Some months ago, a friend of mine put me on to Subversive Cross Stitch (R). It has a bunch of cute cross-stitch samplers that express sentiments I find much more apt than the usual ones. I think my favorite is “Don’t make me cut you.” With the holidays coming, I ordered up some of the patterns and have been crafting them for a few friends. Working with the proprietress / designer / resident wiseass has been a delight. The patterns are good and clear, the service is personal and great, and I even signed up for the newsletter. The major news item this month was that someone hand-delivered one of the site’s greeting cards — a tasteful sampler with the words, “Go F* Yourself” embroidered on it — to Anne Coulter. See? This is a great site! So many of us feel the need to express things to people and just can’t find the words at our local Hallmark stores.
Incidentally, I think these patterns make excellent first cross-stitch projects for anyone trying to learn how to do it. The kits are complete with everything you need including instructions, and the site even offers animated tutorials. Plus, it’s so much easier to learn a new skill if you’re creating something you don’t consider lame and boring. I highly recommend it.
With prisons becoming increasingly overcrowded, house arrest is becoming a favored form of incarceration. I say it’s also a vast untapped market! The holidays are approaching. What does one get for the housebound felon in one’s life? Sure, various gift cards that may be spent over the Internet are always good, but I think gifts should be available that would specifically help you express your love and support for your favorite inmate.
For one thing, the in-casa-rated are sort of in solitary confinement, and do not have access to the full prison experience. Therefore, they must take on a number of roles themselves. A series of gift baskets designed to help them through this difficult time could be quite thoughtful as well as highly lucrative. Consider for example:
The Prison Tattoo Kit: a rusty compass and box of golf pencils.
Go Shank Yourself: a cheap, stamped-metal spoon and a grindstone provide the shiv; a trip to the yard or or balcony for a good shanking does the rest!
Be Your Own Bitch: two appealing hard rubber sticks beg the question of which to bite.
A Selection of Beatings: a roll of quarters for each hand, a pillowcase containing a number of sharp, heavy found objects, and a bag of oranges (not the edible kind, the beatin’ kind) allow your inmate to select the sort of beating he would like to administer and receive today.
Love Your Bad Self (especially good for Valentine’s Day): Some Soap-on-a-Rope to give your favorite inmate that sought-after feeling during shower time, and a mirror with the words, “You got a pretty mouth” written on it in Sharpie.
Raisin-Jack Time!: 30 pocket-size boxes of Sun-Maid (TM) raisins, a votive candle, and a glass jar with screw top permit your fave felon both the entertainment of clandestine smuggling of tiny fruits and the opportunity to create his own liquor, big-house style.
I was at a party not too long ago where I had an opportunity for empirical research, and therefore, public service, thrust upon me. I was listening in polite sympathy to some jerk droning on about his crappy job. He began complaining about one co-worker in particular, and then he got kind of personal, talking about her always having PMS. He then expanded his criticism to a host of other women in his life and claimed they always had perpetual PMS as well.
“Do you know how many women actually suffer from PMS?” I asked. He admitted he didn’t. In truth, estimates vary wildly, but most sources not explicitly trying to sell women something put the range between 10 and 20 percent. Jerkwad seemed surprised by that statistic.
“How come ALL the women I know seem to have it?” he countered.
“Hmm,” I said, considering the proposition thoughtfully, “It seems the common denominator there is you. Have you considered that perhaps you just have a particular talent for pissing women off? Might be a theory worth considering.”
“It’s not a theory,” he sneered at me, “it’s just a stupid hypothesis.”
“It’s a theory now,” I replied with a wry smile and was careful to just barely catch his toe under my high-heeled shoe as I walked away.
So off I went to the gym this morning, still kinda sore from all I did yesterday, got in some good cardio work, and went on home, minding my own business. I get there, and we’re having some work done on our phone line/Internet line dealie, which I made Phillip spearhead, along with cleaning the joint up beforehand, because I’m a busy lady, I have a zillion rough drafts to grade, and not much time.
Now, to my mind, the only thing that makes it tolerable to have random people come into your home is the knowledge that they’re strangers and you’ll probably never see them again, ever. This is especially comforting when you’ve left the person in the house who has the greater tolerance for crud and general messiness in charge of cleaning it. So I roll up to my house and it kinda looks like the tech is a former student of mine. Now, I don’t forget my students, so I’m pretty sure it’s him, and I’m all sweaty and gross in my gym clothes, I’m certainly not wearing any makeup, my house is a f*ing mess, with a couple of major projects going on, so things are even more misplaced than usual, and he’s not a stranger, and I’ve read his intimate thoughts in his journal, and I really just want to get the hell out of there. It’s not the way I like to meet up with former students, ya know? Why not bump into each other at the supermarket, or have coffee, or something less alarmingly tawdry and hillbilly-looking? I just pray to God he doesn’t have to pee while he’s there, because I’d bet dollars to donuts that the cursory cleanup that went on this morning in anticipation of some random stranger coming in did not include any sort of bathroom cleaning, or heaven forefend, toilet scrubbing.
So okay, the tech crew wasn’t going to be long, so I blew out of there, and went to go get some coffee and something to eat, because that’s stuff I’d have to do anyway. I could avoid and yet still be productive. That was about three hours ago, though, and there’s still no sign of them being finished. I ate, I caffeinated, I handled my electronic correspondence, I cleared out the spam around here, and now I’ve run out of other things that require my attention besides showering, changing for work, and getting all that grading done, and that all has to happen right about NOW. I can’t just duck off to work like this, that’s for sure. So now I’m stuck here, at a delightful local coffee shop where they have computer terminals and wireless access. I might have to live here. DAMMITT!
Of course, this would all be much easier if A., I weren’t such a weenie about how the house was; B., I were married to someone who was; C., The house were cleaner or less hillbilly in appearance at the moment; D., I hadn’t been at the gym, so I could still be presentable enough to go teach without getting back to my house to shower; E., I had gotten my grading done yesterday or someone else had done all the shopping and stuff that needed to happen so I could; F., I didn’t care about keeping up appearances with anyone who has somehow been part of my daily routine at some point or another; G., I didn’t suck at intimacy, and therefore would be more welcoming about the various compartments of my life mixing. But I am, I’m not, it isn’t, I was, I didn’t because they hadn’t, I do, and I do. Maaaaan, why can’t I just shower and go to work?