31 December 2011


This morning, I went shopping...and Starbucks was closed.

Also true.
That said, today started off well. I woke up without my alarm clock at 7 a.m.—while it was still dark—showered, slipped out the house, and did groceries while the masses were still amassing.

Perfect people-free morning.

30 December 2011

The Get Off My Lawn Chronicles: Part IV

The dark picture here was taken at 6:05 pm last night, i.e. 23:55 before trash should have been out on a holiday week. The light picture was at 1:30 pm today, 4:30 before it should've been out.
I'm trying to decide if people are illiterate, ignorant, callous, or spiteful.
It's a tough call right now.

29 December 2011

The Get Off My Lawn Chronicles: Part III

The battle continues.

Now with festive holiday colors.

28 December 2011

The Get Off My Lawn Chronicles: Part II

This is a holiday week. The DPW employees got Monday off, which means they pick up recycling the day after the normal schedule.

So, not today.
Even though the HOA sent us a letter in the mail and an e-mail as well as posting a sign at the entrance to the community, I knew with tragic inevitability that this was going to be the scene outside of my house this morning.

Actually, it was more like this, except with boxes on the lawn.
I have a third picture I could show if there were some way I could execute some sort of Penny Arcade style justice on the ignorant neighbors in question. Yes, one of those bins had an address on it. And, yes, I'm almost positive this all came from one neighbor.

As if this weren't maddening enough, it's going to happen again Thursday night when they put out their trash for Saturday, and again next week when we'll have the same delay.

So, yeah, that's annoying.

27 December 2011

Wrapping Gifts the Man Way

Another video post. I know. It's a phase.

I promised my sister-in-law, that I would record the Space Monkey's reaction to the gift I gave her. I also decided I would record my method of wrapping gifts to show my wife she is loved.

A note on prescient coincidences: my wife got me a housecoat for Christmas. A few weeks ago, I looked at her and said I needed a housecoat. She gave me an alarmed look followed by an inquisitive look: "Why?" What I didn't realize then is that she had already gotten me one.

Yesterday, the Space Monkey had off from work and began playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the GameCube. I began to wonder.

Nope, she didn't see it coming.


26 December 2011

25 December 2011

In Defense of Ducky

I touched on this a bit yesterday, but this is my horse ducky.

Also known as not Justin Bieber.
I've tried to find a horse on the internet that matches him, because I know it exists. Unfortunately, I'm not that great with equestrian terminology, which is why the chest thing there has three names.

24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

No dramatically long post today. We're headed over to the Eastern Shore to spend Christmas Eve with family. I know I won't have time (or energy probably) to post when I get home, so this is my Christmas wishes to you post. I like the solemnity of the British version: Happy Christmas.

Because I'm big on solemnity.
As an aside, the white duck standing next to Jesus there is the one my wife mockingly calls "Justin Bieber ducky." As you can see, it's actually a horse ducky. More on that tomorrow.

Until then, for the Evil Space Monkey of Love and the Horde of Abominable Duckies, this is the Oracle of Truth™ praying for a Happy Christmas to all of you.

23 December 2011

The Sugar Packet Diaries: The Best Sugar Packet Is Fear

These are my friends: the Defense Against the Language Arts teacher, the Happy Llama, and the Brandilion.

The Brandilion has candy in her van.
At some point a few years ago, the D.A.L.A. and the Llama started getting into a never-ending spy vs. spy fashion battle involving planting sugar packets. I know from experience that sugar packets have been planted in wallets, purses, jackets, car trunks, VCRs, laptop computers, beds, feminine hygiene products, and taped on doors in threatening fashions.

Which brings us to tonight.

22 December 2011

Christmas Songs (To Annoy Friends)

As I've mentioned before, I'm from New Jersey, specifically the part of New Jersey just outside of NYC. In my brief experience, the NY-Metro area is the most ethnically diverse part of the country. I was shocked at how non-diverse and provincial the Baltimore-DC area is when I got here.

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent about diversity, the reason I brought this up is that this is a Christmas song I grew up listening to:

Even though I'm Hispanic, I adore this song. All of my Italian friends from NJ and NY have indicated a liking for it (although the Queen of the Damned tries not to).

Everyone else seems to hate it.

What do you think of it?

21 December 2011

Triumph of the Catnipvore

Allow me to remind you that this is The Minion Underfoot.

Rolling in a bag of catnip I had forgotten about.
Last night, the Space Monkey advertised that she needed a night out for my protection. No, really.

20 December 2011

The Sweet Sound of Typing

Last night as I typed up my previous post, the Space Monkey asked me to turn the volume on the football game back on because she couldn't stand the sound of my typing. Tragically, the remote controls were way over there, so neither of us was in the mood to get them to turn the volume back on.

Normally, if I were going to be done relatively quickly, I would just put something on YouTube that we both liked until I was done. But I wasn't that close to finishing up, so I wanted something I wouldn't have to refresh or think of something new every few minutes.

So I gave her Nyan Cat.

After 420 seconds, she decided typing sounds were preferable.

She then started playing Elf City Online on her phone with the volume up to WAKE THE NEIGHBORS as a not-so-subtle way of getting back at me.
I regret nothing!
Author's Note: It wasn't until several hours later that I realized I could have chosen Pandora. Oops.

19 December 2011

People-Free Day

Santa has the right idea: only visit people once a year.

Except I like coffee. And I'm male.
Yesterday while out to lunch with a bunch of friends from church, I learned that my ex-girlfriend's mother takes people-free days.

Best. Idea. Ever.

18 December 2011

When Cats Attack: MK II

It's been a busy weekend. As usual, the Space Monkey has conspired to keep me from posting in a timely manner. That's okay though, because I have a cat!

That is, in fact, my beautiful beloved wife attempting at first to get rid of The Minion Underfoot and then succumbing to his feline chants.

He's the debil, I tells ya.

17 December 2011

Bumper Crop

Today, I saw a license plate I really admired. It said, simply "LESS QQ."

Which being translated meaneth: "Less crying, more doing."
I confess that I adore that license plate. That got me thinking about some other interesting car bumpers I've seen recently, including my own.

16 December 2011

When Cats Attack

Busy day today. When I came out of the bedroom this morning, this is what I saw. For context, I threw this at Daisy yesterday because she kept clawing at the office door downstairs. Somehow, he ended up on the landing.

Who knows where he'll be tonight.

15 December 2011

Delusions of Finality MK II

In which I perish.

Smitten by a survival kit. How ironic.
There's a story about that.

14 December 2011

It Came from Finals (Part 1?)

As I related previously, this is Finals week. Here's what's awesome about being a professor.

Student: "The Santa Clause." Me: "Cute, but I hated those movies."
Student: "Mrs. Clause." Me: "She's cute, but Christmas is canceled. And the Easter Bunny's dead."
Admittedly, I could be more witty, but eh.

On the off chance you're curious, the answer I was looking for (this semester) is a third attributive (adjective). That's the pattern noun-definite article-adjective. When they get into actual syntax next year, it's an accusative in simple apposition: kyrion is the direct object, ton theon is an appositive.

Both their answers are wrong, obviously, but it was extra credit anyway.

12 December 2011

Another Duck in the Horde

The Space Monkey says this is Justin Bieber ducky.
At some point I'll show you how she's slandering my white Arabian horse ducky.

11 December 2011

Perimeter Breach: Adjunct Professor in the Mailroom!

Yesterday was our barony's annual bardic circle. It's a garb-optional event, which means I show up looking like this.

Apparently trying to part something or other.
I say this to introduce the fact that I stopped in to work dressed like this on the way to the bardic circle.

09 December 2011

The Hills Have Diapers (Part 4)

Friday was a much less manic day than Thursday had been, even though it was my day to prepare dinner. That meant significantly fewer cooks in the kitchen.

Even if my mother was being too helpful.

Strangely, a real book.

08 December 2011

The Hills Have Diapers (Part 3)

Thanksgiving morning, I began the day as I always do when in child-infested territory.

By dragging my heels.
My wife can attest to the difficulties of dragging me out of bed when I don't want to be out of bed (like before noon on a Saturday or anytime she wants to go outside). Strangely, though, most of my heel dragging did not involve our bed while there.

Because it was killing us.

07 December 2011

The Hills Have Diapers (Part 2)

We arrived at our location in West Virginia shortly after 10 a.m. Once there, we were greeted by my brother-in-law (the husband of Cain's wife) and a terrifying hound of hell.

And he was monstrous.
My father-in-law, his two single sons, and the Cains (x5) had come up the previous night. I must explain to you how inspirational this was.

06 December 2011

Winter in the DMV

Continuing on a theme from last Tuesday, here's what the weather was like today in Savage.

I know what you're thinking, but my wipers do actually work.
This is what winter's like here in the DMV.

04 December 2011

The Hills Have Diapers: A Thanksgiving Survival Horror (Part I)

Two weeks ago, my parents came way up here (as my father liked to remind us). Their purpose was two-fold: to visit us and to join us for Thanksgiving with my in-laws in the hills of West Virginia.

True story: there's a place in WV named Scary....
What could possibly go wrong?

03 December 2011

The Tale of Satan's Coffee Table

It's Saturday and there's a Christmas tree in my house. So I'm going to tell a story about the Space Monkey.

We have a living room (surprise!). In our living room there is a Persianesque rug that is entirely too close to burgundy (it's Cottage Red confound you!) for anyone's good. The rug sits in the midst of our sectional on three sides and the patio door on the fourth side. Nestled in the corner by the patio door is the television home entertainment unit.

But I didn't come here to describe my living room at you.

I describe it so you will understand that the rug occasionally gets bunched up on the entertainment unit. By occasionally, I mean every day because it gets pushed incrementally every time someone sits in the recliner.

We used to have a table on the middle of the rug, but that's now toiling underneath the Christmas tree.

Back when it was still in the middle of the carpet one time, the wife was sitting in the recliner in a reclined position. I decided I would adjust the carpet using my foot.

The Space Monkey fell to pieces.

Needless to say, I was a little surprised because I normally don't get to see her go from normal to lost-her-stuff without me trying. I asked what was wrong.

"Why is the table moving?!"

I let the question wash over me for a moment before I informed her that I was adjusting the carpet with my foot and it was moving the table. Then I demonstrated again.

After I comforted her (because that's the kind and loving husband I am), I was able to discern the reason she lost it so fast.

She thought an evil spirit was moving it.

Anyway, you didn't hear that from me, and I was never here.

02 December 2011


My parents are returning home from their vacation way up here in the North. For me this marks the transition between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My wife's family deeply enjoys the fact that I hate Christmas trees. It's that whole thing where I don't like wasting money on trivial things like decorations, relatives under 13, and my health.

So where'd this come from?

01 December 2011

Day of Rest

So I'm thinking I might do the NaBloPoMo for December too. I already have three epic posts...titled. The time and energy simply elude me at the moment.

But Soon™.

Until then, some rest.

Basement cat demands it.

30 November 2011

The Get Off My Lawn Chronicles: Part I

I make no representations about when the next post in this particular series will be, because it really depends on my idiot neighbors.

This morning as I left the house to take the Space Monkey to work, this is what I found.

That blue bin is a recycling bin. There's a reason for that.
Today was recycling day. If you look closely at that picture, you'll notice that one of my neighbors—who put their 'recycling' out last night in a plastic bag rather than a bin or trash can—is under the impression that turkey with lots of meat still on the bone and styrofoam egg cartons are recyclables.

29 November 2011

Outside: the Revenge

So this morning as I took the Space Monkey to work, she said, "I'm so jealous you get to be outside today."

There's that word again.

I looked up at the sky and saw nothing but ominous—nay, portentous!—grey clouds. Sure enough, this was my view by the time I got to the school:

Yes, I get a "reserved" spot; no, it's not actually that close to the building in which I teach.

And I got to drive to Northern Virginia in it at rush hour. I also get to drive back in it after dark.

Envy me all ye and despair!

28 November 2011

We've Had This Discussion Before

Whenever the wife wants to go outside, for some reason she wants me to go with her.

I believe this is a plot to undo me.

Penny Arcade
Because there are bears outside.

26 November 2011


Is a beautiful place.

The trip to and from West Virginia has reminded me of something very important. There are a lot of places in this country (and world) that I'd really love to go see.

But they're way over there.

On a side note, my brothers-in-law and I are all in for this.

25 November 2011

Pernil Asado y Arroz Amarillo con Gandules Verdes

Also known as pernil al horno.

No pictures today because...well...I forgot.

7+ lb pork shoulder on the bone (also called picnic cut)
Goya Adobo seasoning
Goya Sazon seasoning
Goya Mojo Criollo marinade
Rice (brown or white)
Bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
1-2 cans green pigeon peas (gandules verdes)
1-2 packets Goya Sazon seasoning
2-6 cups chicken broth
Oil (olive preferred)

24 November 2011

Chicken Garden Salad Stuffing Casserole

Or as we call it, Chicken Garden Salad. It is neither salad nor stuffing, but a casserole. For some reason, my in-laws struggled with accepting this until I expanded the title.

2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups grilled chicken, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 cup condensed chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 bag herb seasoned stuffing
1/2 cup flour

23 November 2011

Fun with Fire

Down in WV, which my uncle claims is small. It's 3 times the size of New Jersey.

Anyway, went out stargazing and the fam gathered around the fire to make s'mores.

21 November 2011

The Space Monkey Uses Hissy Cat

It's super effective.

This is Daisy Doomsayer.

Channeling Shub-Niggurath.
She's called Daisy Doomsayer not simply for alliterative purposes, nor for cryptic purposes. No, her situation, as with the other two cats was literal.

Omens and portents.

20 November 2011

Rise of the Catnipvore

This is The Minion Underfoot.

Disdainfully surveying his domain, hate lasers ready to destroy any creature so foolish as to be a dog.
The Minion came to me somewhat by accident.

19 November 2011

A Domestic Cat Appears!

I've been attempting to build towards a single post called Das Katzenhaus all week. Unfortunately, the week has conspired against me, and I've come to realize that it's probably going to be that way until I've completed production of all of my lectures and study aids for next semester.

So mini-blogs.

As such would go coming from me.

This is Diego.

He's very excited to meet you.

18 November 2011

Photodog Friday

Cats try to eat the strangest things.

Like this.
So my grand plan was for a larger post today but I foolishly promised my college students yesterday that I will upload lectures related to the next class by today.

PowerPoints take a long time to make when you want to make them with audio.

So I'm hoping to get you some longer posts Soon™. Until then, understand that The Minion really did want to kill that dog.

17 November 2011

Beware the Ides of March

I know it's a bit early to tell people to beware the Ides of March, but there's a reason it's on my mind. As I mentioned yesterday, I've been working on my syllabi for next semester. Upon completion of my syllabus for my college class, I noticed something that made my day.

My college students will take their mid-term exam on the Ides of March.

I won't lie: I may have danced a little.

In celebration of this portentous omen, I give you Daisy Doomsayer.

Your doom awaits you.

16 November 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I apologize for going lame on you a few days in a row. Unfortunately it was time I submitted my midterm grades at school, and syllabi for next semester are due next week. Since I'm working on revamping the way that I conduct my classes for next semester—which requires research to justify to my superiors the changes I'm making (and to make sure I'm doing this right)—I've had less time this week than expected.

So I leave you in the trusted paws of a cat.

Because it's dangerous to go alone.
I promise this is all leading somewhere (which I hope to unveil on Friday).

14 November 2011

Behold the Meal: Makeshift Chicken Chili

The Space Monkey has endeavered to keep me from the computer until after midnight in an effort to make me miss a post.
Luckily, I have a Droid.
Tonight, I'm going to talk about food. I made chicken chili today. Now, I share the recipe with you.
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
2 hot Italian sausages, unsheathed and ground
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. Goya Adobo with Pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
Winging It:
Because we had it available, I mixed in the meat from a leftover KFC chicken thigh from yesterday. I also didn't have any chili powder, so I substituted a mix of cayenne pepper, white pepper, and paprika.
I have a theory that chorizo would make a great substitute for the Italian sausage, but it cost more so I didn't buy it this time.
1. Heat the oil on medium high heat in a heavy pot.
2. Add the chicken, sausage, garlic, and onions to the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, and cumin.
4. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to medium-low heat. Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir the beans into the mixture along with the sugar and Adobo. Cook for 10 minutes.
I served it in a bowl with brown rice, but you can serve it however you like chili.

13 November 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

Not much new today, but there has been some enlightenment on items from this week.

Has Anyone Seen My Money?

In sweet racket news, the Space Monkey has posted her account regarding The Diagnosis. In case I left you thinking you might want to get yourself some Assurant Health (part of Key Benefit Administrators, a participant in the PHCS health network), I think she will set you straight.

Also on that front, I have learned by force of relation that the MD-DPR toll hikes have begun phase one: the toll to get to the Eastern Shore of MD-DPR is now $4.00. intolerable.

12 November 2011

Did Someone Say Cookie Monster?

So, I was looking at my stats the other day and I noticed that one of the search phrases for my blog was "Cookie Monster hugging." I have to confess...

That made my day.

My first thought was, "But...Cookie Monster?" And then I remembered that I have referenced Cookie Monster once:
And that's kind of awesome.

11 November 2011

My Veterans

By my own admissions, this is intended to be a humor blog. Today, though, I want to take a break to talk about the men in my family who have served this country. This will not include my extended family because, being Hispanic and having married Irish(ish?), we could start our own brigade. I am, however, thankful for their service as well.

Of the veterans in my family, the most important of them, to me, is this one:

My father, Wilfredo Ortiz. He still has that smile.

10 November 2011

Brain-Eating Toddlers

I confess, I've got nothing today. Greek must take something out of me.

Or perhaps it's something more sinister.

09 November 2011

Five Sweet Rackets I Need In On

Yesterday I posted an image from my GNUCash profile of our shopping trip on Saturday. I chose not to make any explicit commentary on the price of my wife's shampoo outside of the helpful tag I use in the program to remind me what the expense was.

Simple. Easy to remember.
Since BJ's is a wholesale club, you may be inclined to think we needed a handtruck to get it out of there.

You would be wrong.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. Nor am I allowed to talk about the fact that instead of buying a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner, the Space Monkey actually bought two bottles of shampoo.

So I won't.

No, what I'm here to talk about today is money, the process whereby people separate it from me, and how I really need to get a piece of that action.

08 November 2011

Talkless Tuesday

I know the tradition is supposed to be for Wordless Wednesday, but Tuesday's my busiest day. So I present to you all a picture that will receive further commentary (and perhaps not the sort you're expecting [hint: look at the labels for this post]) tomorrow.

Anything about this stand out to you?

07 November 2011

The Statue of Liberty is Kaput!

The Space Monkey has been harassing me for "copying her posts" lately. I would point out two things. First, three of my posts were related to my hospital stay. You don't get to claim copyright on my ill health!

Even if you caused it.

The second thing I would point out is that three of her most recent posts were about crushing me for all to see. Complaining about me responding to her allegations is like the prosecution whining that the defense has a case.

So there.

06 November 2011

The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Space Monkeys

As I previously noted, the wife has been spreading propaganda against my junk good name. Much as I expected, this has resulted in the Sisterhood of Humans being horrified at the crimes I have committed against humanity. And I quote:
  • H.H.B. - "(B)tw, I'm pretty sure I would kick [husband's name omitted to protect the innocent] in the junk if he laughed at me like that" (emphasis added).
  • The Space Monkey - "H.H.B.... it has crossed my mind. But then, there was the whole drugged thing... ;)"
  • Defense Against the Language Arts teacher - "This blog post is an excellent example of why it's a good thing that you're married to him and not me. XD (I would probably have punched him in the nose.)"
  • Mom - "He is his father's He's 66 and just starting to mature."
To think, I compared that woman to Iron Man....

Having, of course, read the posts, I can see where this righteous indignation is coming from. I mean, I laughed at my wife while she was crying! Who does that?!

It gives me no joy to have to answer my wife's post with cold, unfeeling truth. Nevertheless, the junk must be defended.

05 November 2011

Why Toddlers are Terrorists

I shall preface this by saying that I do actually love all my drooly little disease-bearing relations niblings.

Before she began defaming my character, the Space Monkey posted about the day we babysat the niblings.

In general, her account is accurate from what she experienced. Hindsight reminds me that I am still so glad I slept through 6 of those paragraphs. I just thought I would supplement it with my recurring nightmares account.

04 November 2011

More Tales from the Hospital

It occurred to me while discussing my recent hospital visit, that a couple of stories are reasonably relevant to it. Namely some stories surrounding my prior two hospital experiences.

In this case, I'm going to start with the latter story rather than the former on the basis of a comment my friend the Defense Against the Language Arts teacher made on my previous post: "Also, when your wife texts someone who is in a classroom at work with, 'Call as soon as possible, Will is in the hospital,' she needs to clarify that you are NOT DYING."

I'll let the wife explain that if she desires.

As to its significance, it reminded me of the second hospital encounter, the one I said took more than five hours.

03 November 2011

On Caterwauling and CAT Scans

In which our hero receives the best drugs ever....

When last we met, I was caterwauling. Not, you know, literally, because that was like a month ago....

I'm just saying.

Besides being painful this was also a very difficult thing for me as a husband. There are many, many ways I would much rather awaken my wife than by crying in agony.

Most of them licentious.

But I digress.

02 November 2011

On Cats and Caterwauling

So, pain and suffering....

At the beginning of October we got new windows installed in our house. This is proof that my parents could not rock more if their hands were actually made of 1980s Metallica.

Artist's depiction of my mom. Deal with it.

But I digress.

Windows! When you get them installed you have to move furniture around. This is not that bad a deal since furniture can be pushed.

Cats, however, cannot be pushed.

We will not be moved.

We have three of them: Diego de la Sofa (El Gato del Cielo; orange tabby pictured above), The Minion Underfoot (Bad Cat the Bad; tuxedo cat pictured above), and Daisy Doomsayer (coming to a haunted house near you; not pictured because she will shank us if we try). Two of them are dumb and got tossed in the basement without much trouble.

Diego...not so much.