Dec 31, 2017

SuperLowBudge 2: Electric Boogaloo

Diary of a Low Budget Superhero is a BLOGCAST now. 


Update November 2018: That was a terrible idea.

Dec 28, 2017

Rose Marie: 1923–2017

You guys, Rose Marie died. 

I admit that I shed a tear or two tonight. I was way too young to "get" the Dick Van Dyke show when it was in re-runs on TV. But years later I found a connection with it, when I went off to college in New Rochelle. 

I loved Sally, and I guess she was my first glimpse into "a TV writer," and she was a WOMAN. YES! Man, she was cool. So yeah, I got a little emotional when I heard of this fine funny lady's passing. Rest in peace, Rose Marie. MAN, you were smart and talented, and also beautiful. What a dame! 

Throwback Thursday: July 21, 2015

"Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT—good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you're a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are—nuclear is powerful— my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago, he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right, who would have thought, but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger, fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us." - Donald Trump  

Dec 24, 2017

Merry Christmas to you, and a Happy New Year!

I hope all you readers will remember
to be generous to those less fortunate
than yourselves.
And now,
Merry Christmas to you,
and a Happy New Year! 

Dec 23, 2017

That Christmas Feeling

Nobody sings Christmas like this cowboy. Except maybe the next cowboy.

That Christmas Feeling
Glen Campbell

Dec 14, 2017

Dec 12, 2017


Top Stories at 10:57pm (EST)

Democrat Doug Jones Wins Alabama Senate Special Election

Doug Jones Just Won the Alabama Sentate Election. Here's What Happens Next

An absolutely insane exchange between Jake Tapper and a Roy Moore spokesman

Sylvester Stallone steps down from directing 'Creed 2.'

Seems about right.
Looks like everyone is playing their roles to script.
Goodnight, everyone.
Let's take a rest.

Dec 10, 2017

Thrift Stories: The Existential Angst Edition

I keep an ongoing photo essay depicting thrift store items that bear a person's name painted, printed or inscribed.

Dec 5, 2017

The New Social Contract. Where do I sign?

"What I wish would occur, in my own fantasy land of imaginings, would be for the Occupy/Bernie Sanders/Jill Stein sects, to unite with the Black Lives Matter members and supporters, along with Native American and environmental land protectionists, and all join forces with the (let’s call them) more centrist, “traditionally” progressive Democratic party forces, realizing that each of their essential, individual goals – some as urgent as repeated, retribution-free murders at the hands of police – are all dependent upon at least a faΓ§ade of functioning democracy. Which has, in recent months, been deteriorating further and further from its already troubled, pre-November 2016, state." 
- Evan Handler, HuffPost 

They just don't get it, do they.

Get Him Out

Dec 4, 2017

Holiday Party Planning Tips

with Joan Crawford. "...I always add a splash of vodka to everything."

Nov 30, 2017

Throwback Thursday: 2003

Photo: T Max

I met my husband on stage, but I fell in love with him online.  He had me at 
"James Dean...
smelling of whiskey and coke 
and some breakfast sausage."


Nov 26, 2017

"...see because cloaking was a Romulan technology..."

Telling Joe about the online discussion I'm in, started by a dude who finds parallel between Star Trek TNG and Harry Potter. Mostly based on the Starfleet uniform colors and Hogwarts houses, the fun ideas being raised are, for example, that the Hogwarts green (Slytherin) aligns with the Romulans.

"By that logic, a Slytherin must have originally charmed the Invisibility cloak---"

That's as far as I got before Joe's eyebrows did the thing. πŸš€

Nov 25, 2017

I'd buy greeting cards from the Hallmark Fugelsang Collection.

I wrote some.

Get in line early for the iRony collection for Capitalism Month
before they sell out.

Browse the Just Sayin' cards for the new year, perfect to send people you told to fuck off at Thanksgiving.

[The un-Valentine collection has been discontinued 
because everything is ruined.]

Nov 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday: 1974

I had this blue dress when I was four. I hated that dress so hard, I needed all five senses to hate it with, and maybe another half a sense I made up during a tantrum.

The color reminded me of something gag-reflexingly bad, but I don't remember what that was, exactly. I wonder if maybe I associated the sky blue hue with those "wedding almonds" that my grandma Maggie always had, for some reason, in a bowl in her house. Revolting, yet I had to keep checking to make sure I hated those almonds. For more information on me and my perpetual fatness, see chapters 18 thru 24.

My blue dress was made from stiff, unforgiving material, like it was originally meant for outdoor furniture or shower curtains. I bet if I burned it, that thing would simply melt.

The fabric felt unpleasant to the touch, but that was nothing compared to what it felt like against my skin. Especially around my back and shoulders, it felt like being tickled all day with Brillo pads. The collar scratched my neck.  So uncomfortable! 

Not only was I uncomfortable in literal sense, but I felt totally pantsless every time I had to wear that dress. It was so short! Even though I was only four, I did not approve of these underwear-showing dresses. My underwear were nobody's business. Such a fierce, serious little bambina.∎ 

Nov 22, 2017

The verb you're looking for is EXACT.
You don't extract revenge. 
You exact revenge.

A friend who knows I'm looking for a new gig
sent me a lead on a job: Editor of a thing. 
I'm a great Editor, of lots of different kinds of things.
Rate of pay? $12.50/hour.

Do you want everyone to make fun of your content?
Because that's what's gonna happen if you think 
making it better 
is only worth 
an hour.

Just...whatever, at this point.
I'm going to Five Guys.

Nov 19, 2017

Rape Culture Infographic


Is there a more morally corrupt, 
soulless group of people 
than the self-appointed 
Purity Police?


Nov 12, 2017


For decades, women had been risking their careers and reputations coming forward to tell their stories about being cornered and assaulted by Donald Trump, the tacky New York luxury real estate guy turned TV show host. When the Access Hollywood tape was made public in October 2016, Donald Trump was caught bragging about his self-appointed right to sexually assault any woman that he happened to find attractive. 

"I did try and fuck her...I moved on her like a bitch."

The daft, unqualified Republican candidate simply scoffed away the seriousness of these accusations with his usual braggadocio. He appeared in public rolling his eyes and smirking, mocking and denigrating any and all, but especially women, who reported the facts. Any individual who spoke out against his habitual sexual misconduct became a "hater" spreading "fake news." Every crowd of protesters became paid actors or shills for the liberal agenda. Unbelievably, this clumsy tactic worked. He should be in court today, but he is, absurdly, in the oval office. With no experience at all and a cartoonish platform, this buffoon has become the leader of the free world. On a platform of what? There was hatred for Obama, the notion of a wall like something out of a Roadrunner cartoon, and in his own words, "I am very very rich" and "I married a beautiful piece of ass." 

Donald Trump does something new every day to prove he is the symptom of a sick America. Irrespective of whether or not you "like" Clinton, the crackpot notion that Trump could accomplish even one of her successes makes my head hurt. That was the gargantuan Democratic mistake, that any woman at all would be considered based on her skills, talent or experience. It's a nice idea but that's not the America we have been living in for a long time. You know how you can tell? Open your eyes, for one thing. And start listening to women as though we are thinking individuals with our own rights, and our own agency outside of our man-adjacent status. By that I mean, you're not helping if you finger-wag at abusive men and their supporters by reminding them that we are mothers, sisters and daughters. You know how else you can tell? There are other people on that Access Hollywood tape. Not just Billy Bush, but other people too. Was it alarming to them? No, it was not at all alarming that this man, over six feet tall and thick, is at ease talking about assaulting a woman that they are, at the moment, looking at through the windows of the Access Hollywood van. Maybe women were in there too, trying to work in the midst of all this macho bullshit. 

A woman is an "it" to Donald Trump. 

"Oh, it looks good."

What happened to him? Did he never develop beyond the teenage mindset? Why is it that he boasts so confidently about forcing himself on women? Is it because he honestly doesn't think he is demeaning (at best) or dangerous to women? Only his therapists know what is happening in the brain of a person such as Donald Trump, but anyone can see that Trump regards women as sexual objects. Women exist as mere scenery, to be ogled and rated. Women exist for making him look and feel like an important, powerful man. If they don't, they become the target of his lowbrow, imaginative-as-an-11 year old jabs and put-downs. He is such a bully.

It makes sense to Trump that a woman's worth is measured on a scale of 1 to 10. The numbers attached to his sexual conquests, like his bank account and his ratings, are all that Donald Trump can understand. He loves to cite numbers. He loves to look good on paper. Why else does he keep stating the ridiculous claim that his inauguration was the biggest crowd despite proof otherwise? It's the same reason he keeps touting his financial wins even as noted economists explain that, in reality, his business acumen is about as sharp as a wet piece of toast. But what are facts to Trump supporters? 

Trump has spent his seven decades building himself into a vacuous vessel of greed and freewheeling indulgence. All he has ever known is indulgence. But if he'd had to work hard to get into those same top schools, would he be so unfeeling? If he'd had to go to war, would be be so crass and insulting? And if he were living paycheck-to-paycheck right now, would he have voted for a man like the one he has become? Does anyone respect Donald Trump? Does he respect anyone, or himself? Do people with a great deal of self-respect act this terrible way? 

If he'd had to "win" the love of any one woman through personality and words, would he be such a revolting cur openly and unapologetically taking what he wants and getting away with it

Donald Trump is a mentally under-developed brat who was handed everything he ever wanted and told that he was "the best" since the day he was born. He's a six foot man boy who was never told "No." Back in 2012 Martin Sheen said of Republican candidate Mitt Romney that he's a guy who "was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." Well, Trump is the guy who inherited the stadium and thinks he invented the whole game. 

The Boy Who Would Be King

Writer/comedian John Mulaney wrote a bit years ago about how Donald Trump is rich in the exact same way a poor person might fantasize over what it would be like to have such unlimited wealth. The joke lands because of the "everything" about Donald Trump. He is his own ridiculous luxury brand, but all the money in the world won't cover bad taste. From the giant white baby grand piano he can't play to the gold plated toilets that no person could ever possibly need in the real world where the rest of us live, the Trump brand is bad old 1980s "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" corny fantasy. While the John Mulaney-imagined poor person fantasizes over having Trump-level wealth, Trump himself fantasizes that all men want to be him, and all women want to fuck him. Because haven't you heard? When you're a star they let you. You can do anything you want. Grab them by the pussy.

Appearances are his stock in trade, personally and in every other part of his life. From his unrealistic tan* to his unruly hairdo, from his TV ratings to his taxes, he is consumed with how he looks. How he looks on camera, how he looks on paper. His preoccupation with numbers presents as a man without substance. He obsesses over the need to be crowned "the best" in every situation -- it never matters what it is, or whether it's even real. Golf courses, casinos -- steaks, even. It was never enough to own a building -- he must put his name on it, huge and in glittering gold, his own tacky monuments to Trump the Great. 

*Do we know what's going on with that, I mean is it like a spray or a tanning booth or like a pill? What gives.

Donald Trump is no great, accomplished man and he lives every single day of his life with the knowledge that he's never earned anyone's true, meaningful respect. That's what makes him so unhappy, and you can tell he's unhappy because he is so goddamn mean. Happy people do not act this way.

Your president is no different from any barstool rando. This guy was blessed by happenstance with a life where he could have matured into a truly great man. He had access to the best education. He had all the benefits and no obstacles. He had the time and resources to travel the world and learn a dozen languages. He could have achieved a lifetime of noble goals worthy of the next Mount Rushmore-level adoration. The worst part is that we now live in an America where there are people who support this clown as though he did do all those things. 

His most manly-man supporters believe in a spotlit Trump character that is powerful and brilliant. They believe that all women must want to fuck him, so if they're "complaining" they're either lying or seeking attention, despite the facts. It is fake news because Trump said so and they won't hear of any other truth but the one they've been fed by this guy. 

So I can't help but wonder: how are we supposed to have a conversation now, Trump guy? You're the America that has curated a Trump in the white house. You did that, and we all let it happen. He's a loudmouth and a fraud, nothing but an educated caveman in a good suit, and that's the chronic insecurity that makes him so cruel and petty. He sits there alone hunched over that gold plated throne of lies obsessing over himself, grunting and rage-tweeting. Mama Trump's golden boy is the Baby King of America now, seated right where he was destined to be all along.

Related: Dear Donald Trump: Thank you! 
Related: The Trump Card

Nov 11, 2017

And now for the weather

It is currently "brrrrr" degrees, with a wind chill that makes it feel like "fuck this."

Nov 10, 2017


Ya know, if I had like, $7000, my whole entire life would be different.

I wonder what it was like centuries ago when there were patrons supporting artists. Should I finish The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer? I keep thinking magical thoughts. Like, "Maybe seven thousand people will give me a dollar." That's how it works, right, Amanda? I only read the first part. Okay, I only read the cover. At the bookstore and I didn't buy the book. I don't have any extra money. Maybe I'll hit the library, but I have the feeling that the big take-away is gonna be, "Start by being Amanda Fucking Palmer."

I just wanna finish my first book and launch my Diary of a Low Budget Superhero blogcast.

Because we didn't have a lot when I was a kid, me 'n my family always just sort of had to roll up our sleeves and push forward anyway. When I found the Arthur Ashe quote, it sang to me, so I wrote it on a piece of paper and taped it to my wall. It's the one that goes, "Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can." It's basically what my mom always tried to tell us, only she used different words. But same thing. Be fierce, claw your way out. Eye of the tiger.

But I'm so tired. The thing is, I'm getting too old for this perpetual hamster wheel. You get a small raise at work, same week you get hit with another increase on your health insurance that wipes out the raise and takes even more out of your check so you're worse off than before. Then you get a Christmas bonus and it's just about enough to cover the extra taxes you owe because of whatever. Pay off a bill finally that sucked up $50 every month, then the rent gets raised by $50 a month. You get an extra pay check in a month that happens to have three pay periods in it, your car dies, along with any hope of ever collecting any real savings. Repeat until exhaustion sets in and you go insane.

Fuck everyone that says you just have to work harder. Fuck you, seriously.

I'm so tired.

Need a new laptop, need some software I'll never afford at the pace I'm going. Everything is sky high — rent, food, meds — and I don't understand how people are doing it. We don't even have kids, or a car, or even a hamster. I need new glasses. I can't see. I'm worried about myself, I'm worried about everybody. And I need more sleep than I used to need back in the days when I did the things. So tired, while hopes and dreams gather dust on the proverbial vine (EDIT: holy ballz, that metaphor doesn't work at all and I don't even care. Wow, that's shite. I'm leaving it in because why not, at this point. Is this thing even on? Is there anybody out there?)

I dunno, you guys. I dunno what to do or how it all works anymore. It's all just a sour ambrosia of mid-40s angst and all my heroes are dead or settling out of court.∎

#FirstBookProblems #PodcastWoes #EyeOfTheTigerIsBloodshot #Declawed #HardTimes

If you like me, you can click here to send me money. 

Help get Michelle a new pair of glasses.

Nov 5, 2017


“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” 
Mae West 

Nov 1, 2017


Will Andrew Smales please check in? 

  It me! "lexikahn"! From the thing! 

Oct 17, 2017

did trump really say

It's a problem. He's a problem.
He is not the solution to literally anything.

None of this is okay.

Oct 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday: 1990'ish

I don't have my college yearbook, in fact I'd never even seen one. But Lisa brought hers to our 20th reunion in 2012, and this picture was in it -- the drama club officers. It's Edwardyne, me and Amy. Eddie was also my Junior Sister through a buddy program CNR came up with for incoming Freshmen.The photographer had us pose (awkwardly, if memory serves) at the bottom of the steps that, in those days, arc'ed up to the cafeteria and swooped down to the bookstore and club offices., books and stuff to join. Yeah, I always liked that building.

That building is now called the Sweeney Center, and it's mostly administrative. But in the 90s Steve Sweeney was the Dean of Arts & Sciences. One of my work-study jobs was in his office. He was...very businesslike. I couldn't get a read on the guy at all. I wonder if he knew or had any part in what happened when they kicked so many of us out. Why didn't that mass expulsion raise any eyebrows? I still don't get it, looking at these young faces in grainy black & white.

There was definitely something fishy going on with the money handling at that school.∎

I posted the following snarkful on Facebook in 2012:
"Eddie clearly didn't get the memo
that all club officers needed to show up for pictures
wearing horrifying sweaters." 

UPDATE: November 24
Real shocker that the College of New Rochelle is in trouble. Oh, was there something weird going on? Welcome to the party, pal. They're talking about the "timeline" of this scandal in terms of years. Dear lawyers: try decades. If I were you, I'd seek out the students who did their work study in the Bursar's office in the early 90s. #CNROwesMeADiploma 

Conflicting timelines
The statements of Roberts, Huntington and the college board of trustees show differing timelines of when senior management first learned of looming financial issues.
When the board announced in October that it was probing a financial crisis, it said trustees were advised around the beginning of the school year of significant unmet obligations and took immediate action. In an FAQ, they added the obligations emerged after the May retirement of the controller. 
Huntington said she “promptly notified the board” about unmet obligations and unpaid payroll taxes after the controller’s retirement. 
Roberts’ statements said she raised warnings throughout her time at the college, which began August 2014, and well before Borge’s retirement. 
Several messages left for Borge at his home were not returned. Borge has not commented throughout the scandal.
Full Story on USA TODAY LOHUD 

Oct 5, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Early 90s

Photo: Allison Q Blatt

So last week's big clean/organize/purge event? 
When I totally cleaned my studio?
Photos were found. 

So many photos, tucked into boxes and hiding in bags.
They came sliding out from between book pages.
So now I have a pile of pictures, some I haven't seen in ages.

For today, here's one of me
with Hub (then-boyfriend) and his college friend Geoff.
Hub organized a group trip to a car race.
We liked the F1 and Indy cars and did this a number of times

but I don't remember where this track was located.

Check out my sweet blue long johns in public.

I regret nothing.

Oct 4, 2017

Recipe: Garden Pizza

Yesterday Joe posted on Facebook about the pizza I made for dinner. People were all "wow!" over how good it looks. But really no need to "wow" this one, guys! Quick pizza is so easy if somebody else makes the dough, and my grocery store happens to have a great ready made pizza dough in the deli section.

I wrote up a Quick Version of a garden pizza, and further down there's a more detailed explanation if you've literally never thought about making your own fresh pizza at home. We do this once a week, and we almost always make a Garden Pizza. It's especially great when everybody's gardens are busting out in tomatoes and peppers. Last night's had a purple bell pepper that Sue gave us.
  • Pizza stone or pizza pan (read what prep it needs to make sure dough does not stick)
  • Pizza cutter wheel thing
  • Oven mitts (I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but I have stories about certain know who you are...)
Garden Pizza: Quick Version


A ball of fresh dough
A little bread flour or white flour
Olive oil
Shredded cheese (a blend of Mozzarella with other Italian cheeses is great)
A variety of vegetables

1. Prepare the dough first by warming it.
2. Preheat the oven.
3. Slice all the vegetables.
4. Lay out the dough on your pizza pan or stone.
5. Top the pizza.
6. Bake at °425 for 12 minutes.

Be careful taking it out of the oven! It should cool for a few minutes before serving. πŸ•