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I Might as Well Violate the Law of Italics While I’m At It

So, now that the Pope has officially endorsed my Harry Potter Nativity scene, I feel like I can finally stop walking around with a rosary in my pocket in the hopes of warding off any lightning strikes.

Yes, I am perfectly aware that the above sentence pretty much guarantees that even a rosary can’t protect me now.

But the Pope did admit that things probably didn’t happen the way we’ve been lead to believe for the last thousand years.  No angels singing, no animals gathered around the manger.  No Little Drummer Boy pa-rum-pum-pum-pumming.  So, I think it’s safe to conclude that we don’t know that Hagrid and Dumbledore weren’t standing around during the Holy Parturition (learned a new word today – look at me, using my online thesaurus in a fruitful manner!).  It’s possible.

Speaking of this admittedly unlikely, but not completely impossible, rendition of the epitome of Blessed Events, I committed another Googling sin yesterday, and was surprised (as I always am) by the results.

I don’t know if you do this, too, but I like to Google some of my former blog topics that I think were completely, astoundingly unique – just so I can see my post title at the top of the Google results page.  For some reason, that gives me a sense of satisfaction – knowing that pretty much no one else in the world ever thought about writing about this particular topic.  Of course, that also usually means that no one is particularly interested in that topic, so it doesn’t really increase my blog stats to be number one on the Google search results.  I tend to ignore that depressing fact, though.

So, I Googled “Harry Potter Nativity”, and was predictably gratified to discover that I was still at the top.  But then, I noticed in the image results that the picture from my post was not #1. And then I noticed that there was an actual image of a “Harry Potter Nativity”!  What the heck?  Someone else had this idea?

Now, I’m depressed.


This is quite blasphemous. Someone needs to tell the artist that, according to the Pope, there were no animals in the scene.

Unfortunately, despite my Super Duper Holmesian Google Detective skills, I am unable to actually figure out who had this idea.  I’ve narrowed it down to someone on this site:, but I apparently do not have Super Duper Holmesian Detective skills, because my searches either turn up nothing (Harry Potter Nativity – no results) or too much (Harry Potter – 67 pages of results).

So, I would like to tip my hat to the clever crafter who reduced my ego to ashes (don’t worry; like Fawkes the Phoenix, my ego will rise again), but I will, instead, be spending the rest of my evening Googling “spells to ward off vengeful lighting strikes” and “Cap’n Firepants and Wonderbutt” in doomed-to-fail attempts to avoid an argument with my insurance company over the exact meaning of “acts of God” and to revive my very damaged self-esteem.



Does Harry Potter Have to Get a Driver’s License?

“All you do is walk straight at the wall between platforms 9 and 10.  Best to run if you’re nervous.  Good luck.” ~ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

9+10=19.  That’s important for later…

After witnessing what happens at the Department of Motor Vehicles to creatures who have the gall to go to the front of the line without the appropriate paperwork, I was even less confident about my 3 measly papers and my increasing proximity to the front desk.  Especially as I took some casual peeks at my fellow line companions, and realized that many of them had file folders bursting with paperwork.  I told myself that if anyone showed up with a piece of rolling carry-on luggage, I was going to leave.

Finally, it was my turn.  I slunk to the counter with my three pieces of Proof that I Exist and I Did Not Come to this Country by way of the Rio Grande.

The woman barely glanced at them.  I told her that I needed to renew my license.  After two other questions that I don’t even remember, she gave me a ticket and told me to go sit down.

I was not turned back!  No one put a bowl over me and took me outside!  This was progress, indeed.

My number was 12.  The DMV branch that I had chosen has a very organized approach to calling numbers.  They are announced over the intercom, and then they are displayed on a screen.  If no one responds to either of these alerts, then a very nice lady comes into the room and calls the number a few more times before they call Time of Death on the number.

Number 2 did not respond.  I was flabbergasted.  How can you make it so far, and then disintegrate before you cross the finish-line?  And then I had a sobering thought.

Maybe the mouse was #2.

After what seemed like a ridiculously short length of time, number 11 was finally called.  I put away all electronic devices, and sat up straight in my chair.  This was it!

#450 was called next.

What the heck?

Oh, yes.  I vaguely remembered, before the mouse, reading a poster with some kind of translation of the numbers – indicating that higher ones were for commercial drivers.

Okay.  Tantrum averted.


Now I was worried.  Did they skip me inadvertently?  Or, worse, did they skip me on purpose?  Did one of the supervisors see that my DMV Employee did not demand more Proof from me and that I did not carry an Important File Folder Full of Proofs, and revoke my number?  Without telling me?

Then I noticed something even more worrisome.

#13 was supposed to report to station 19.

There is no Station 19.

I looked everywhere.  No Station 19.

Is Station 19 the bathroom?  Or, where the mouse went?  Or, some kind of magical Harry Potter destination?

How am I supposed to cope with a crazy DMV that has psycho mice, switches required paperwork, and calls people to report to non-existent stations?  And where the #2 person in line suddenly disappears?!!!!!!


Oh, yay!

Please go to Station 12.

The mouse bowl station.


I timidly crossed the floor to Station 11.  I handed the woman my ticket, and made small talk, hoping she would not notice that I was under-paperworked and decide that she should put a bowl over my head and “release” me.

“Do you get mice in here often?”

“Huh?  Oh, no.”

“Well, you guys handled it well.”


I attribute the fact that she gave me my temporary driver’s license, complimented me on the astounding resemblance of myself in my new picture to my 29-year old self in my old picture, and promised me a new license in the mail in two weeks, to my superlative small talk.

I exited the DMV.  It opened at 8 A.M.  I left at 8:20.

Mission accomplished.

I went home and spent the rest of the day obsessing over Station 19.

Holy Sith!

I am in deep Bantha Fodder.  Take a look at this photo of my recent referrers and tell me what you see.

O.K.  Besides the Edward Hotspur kitchen sex thing.  I have no idea what that’s about.  But thanks for the reference, Hotspur.  I think.

Anyway, notice anything related to, uh, potentially powerful people who, I don’t know – Control the FORCE?

Yep.  The Temple of the Jedi Order.


Notice that the link says, “Have you seen this?”  If you click on the link because you are somewhat curious and big-time paranoid, like I am, then you will find this:

Oh, Bantha Fodder!  I’m not even allowed to see it!  Kunena AND THE FORCE  do not give me access to this page.  I knew I should have actually joined the order instead of just casually entertaining the idea and BLOGGING ABOUT IT!  Now, they are talking about me in a secret forum.  What are they saying?  Are they laughing at my pitiful attempt at humor?  Or are they discussing how to dispose of me?

O.K.  Allow me to explain myself, Oh Mighty Wise Jedi Temple People.  I was not making fun of you.  I actually think that your Order makes a heckuva lot more sense than the “order” into which I was baptized – the Catholic Church.  I was, if you really read my post carefully, making fun of them, not you.*

Also, I want you to know that, really, only about 5 people read my blog per day.  So, I obviously have very little impact on the world, meaning that there is no need to be concerned about the effect of my measly musings.

I think you might be better served by taking a look at Edward Hotspur’s blog,  I mean, kitchen sex must violate one of the tenets of your order.  You should really talk to that guy about his attempts to weaken the force.

I guess it could be worse.  If Voldemort finds out about my Harry Potter Nativity scene, I don’t think my wand from Ollivander’s Wand Shop in Univeral Studios is going to do me a whole lot of good.

*Illuminati, if you are reading this, please move on.  This is not the blog you are looking for.

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

I am a heathen and a Bad Person.

I mentioned a while ago that I was a bit apprehensive about the upcoming Christmas decorating season.  This will be Wonderbutt’s first Christmas with us, as he came into our household last December 26th.  As a little tyke, he was crated whenever unsupervised, so the tree that was up for the couple of days of overlap last year did not suffer any damage.

However, this year is a different story.  Our family is still debating the appropriate placement of the tree in order to avoid the Wrath of Wonderbutt.  So, unlike most seasons, we did not get all of our decorating done Thanksgiving weekend.

We did break out a few small items in order to start getting into the spirit of things – decorations that could easily be situated far North of Wonderbutt territory.  This light sprinkling of Christmas cheer in odd spots around the house mixed with my apparent disregard for the Reason for the Season probably contributed to MILlie’s confusion the other night.

MILlie, for those of you who just arrived at this party, is an elderly woman who is close to our family.  We were having her over for dinner a few days ago, and she commented, “Oh, I see you got your Nativity scene set up.”

From MILlie’s vantage point, this is what one would see:

As you will no doubt note, this is not a Nativity Scene.  It is our Harry Potter shelf.  Dimples and I are Harry Potter fiends, and we have dedicated this shelf to our collection.  The shelf has been this way since July when we were fortunate enough to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.

Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Harry - The Three Wise Men

In MILlie’s defense, this is the shelf where we usually set up the Nativity.

In MY defense, MILlie was wearing her OLD pair of glasses, the ones that she “hates”, the ones that are the complete wrong prescription – not one of the two new pairs that I took her to the eye doctor and the eyeglass store to get three separate times in order to get the prescription, fit, and balance exactly, precisely correct.

In MILlie’s defense, it’s Christmas time, and I should have a Nativity scene set up first, above all other decorations.

In MY defense, and I realize that this is not a good defense at all, I am still trying to figure out where I want to put it.  Because of Wonderbutt.  And because I don’t want to disturb the Harry Potter shelf.

I know.  That sounds bad, doesn’t it?  It sounds bad, even to me as I’m typing it, that I am reluctant to remove Hogwarts to replace it with the birthplace of the Baby Jesus.

I suppose it would not be a good compromise to place the stable next to Hogwarts, would it?

I just hope, when the lightning strikes me, that it gives me a cute little scar on my forehead like Harry’s.

Holy Heart Failure, Batman!

Dimples and Cap’n Firepants have many things in common, as is right between daughter and father.  One interesting quirk that they both share is what I call “Shock and Awe in the Auto.”

When I first started dating Firepants, I was charmed by his attention to detail, particularly when we were driving somewhere.  Something about being in the car seems to magnify Firepants’ emotions – not exactly charming when he is ticked off at an errant driver, but somewhat amusing when he makes random observations.

I, in the car, on the other hand, tend to completely space out.  I read a book or play with my iPad or think about new blog posts.  Not while I’m driving, of course.  Well, sometimes I read a book while I’m driving, but only if it’s really suspenseful.

Anyway, as a passenger, I might be doing a crossword puzzle on a two hour trip, and Firepants will all of the sudden say, “What the —-?!!!”

Of course, this grabs my attention, so I rip myself away from the page to try to see what has gotten Firepants all worked up.  I see nothing out of the ordinary.

“What?  Wha’d I miss?”  I ask.  Was there a unicorn on the side of the road hitchhiking?  Did someone with three heads just pass us in the right lane?

“There was a construction sign at that exit, but there was no construction going on.”

“Uh, okay.”  This is worth an unfinished exclamatory sentence that usually expresses extreme astonishment?  This is why I broke my concentration when I very nearly had the answer to Number 11 across?  Are you kidding me?  WE LIVE IN SAN ANTONIO, TX!!!  It’s unusual if there is no construction sign for a mile on the highway, or if there are signs that say people are at work and they actual are.  People. At work.  What a concept.

5 minutes later.  “Did you see that?!!!!”

I reluctantly raise my head.  “See what?” I ask hesitantly.  I hunt the landscape for something out of the ordinary – like a police car pulling someone over who was actually blatantly speeding (besides me).  I see nothing.

“There were a bunch of bluebonnets in the median over there.”

I love that Cap’n Firepants notices beautiful things.  I really do.  But I HATE it when he points them out knowing that I will be 5 seconds too late to appreciate them, too.  Plus, we live in Texas.  During certain months, there are bluebonnets all over the friggin’ medians.  It’s not like we’re tourists from Ohio, for goodness sake.

The irony of all of these extreme emotional reactions on the road is that Firepants never exhibits them outside of the car.

If you gave him a $10,000 barbecue grill for Christmas – the One that he’s been salivating over all year – I swear his mild response would be,  “Thanks.”  There is no delineation between the crappy gifts and the ones he finds most impressive.  They are all, “Thanks” worthy, and that’s it.

Dimples, on the other hand, shows absolute enthusiasm for any gift she receives, whether it was on her list or not.  Strangely, though, she has inherited both of our car traits, which seems impossible, but she makes it work.  She is able to play on her iPod with deep concentration, and simultaneously observe mundane things outside the car that she feels obligated to bring to my attention as I’m driving.

“Is that what I think it is?!!!” she yelled yesterday as I was navigating a busy street during 5:00 traffic.

“What?!!” I exclaimed, fearful that I was about to hit Harry Potter on a broomstick or possibly miss the Second Coming of Christ in the Hobby Lobby parking lot.

“The traffic lights are red and green.  They make Christmas!” she said, delightedly.

I gripped my steering wheel and reminded myself for the thousandth time that, if I would just lower my expectations, I too could find myself irrationally excited about commonplace occurrences in the landscape of my commute.  I tried to pay more attention to my surroundings so I could appreciate them.  Because that would probably make for better blog posts.  Which I needed to –



“That cloud looks like Wonderbutt!!!!!”


What I need is a family that understates things.  Like in Pulp Fiction when Vincent accidentally shoots his passenger and says, “Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.”

No need for drama.  We’ll take care of that little problem later, Vincent.  Just give me a tissue to clean up this blood spatter and let me finish up my crossword puzzle, and I will give this predicament the attention it deserves.

After you drop me at the hospital so I can check on the heart attack I currently seem to be experiencing.

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