Friday, August 31, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Southern Babes

S.B. has a couple of long-time good friends with whom he's kept contact since his early twenties. They live in South Louisiana and through the course of my and S.B.'s relationship, I've become friendly with the wife half of the couple. I like her husband, too, but it's with her that I have the kind of 2-3 hour bi-monthly phone fests that have you waking up the next day with aching ab muscles because you laughed so hard.

In fact, I'm willing to bet this gal is one of the funniest people on the planet. Here are some for instances:

She goes to Scotland on vacation and I request she send post cards, lots of post cards. She agrees. I wait in anticipation of at least a couple photos of crumbling castles under brooding skies and lush, endless rolling green hills.

Instead, I get this:

Also come to find out last night during our phone call that while there she gave Haggis a try – twice ("Everyone kept assuring me it was better at this other place, and I guess they were right. It was less disgustin'.").

She also got thrown out of two bars, excuse me, pubs, for promoting public indecency. Apparently, she had brought with her a set of pornographic playing cards that she and her other traveling companions amiably whipped out one night in a drunken but well-meaning attempt to further improve Scottish/American relations. And promptly got shown the door.

Her response? "Hell, you'd think if anyone could appreciate some good photos of people butt-fucking it would be the Scots."

And not only is this gal hilarious, she's also extremely smart, with loads of common sense. Which she's gamely earned through plenty of life experiences, including a hell-raising youth, followed by an adulthood spent raising two children and keeping a twenty-plus year marriage not only alive but also kicking. So you bring up anything pop cultural or political and you can bet her cut to the chase is deeper than most.

Which is why I wish she could be in Reno in about 65 minutes to whisper drolly in George Bush's ear: "Where in the hell did we get this idea that any of us deserve anything. Nah, nah, we have to earn it."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Summertime of their Lives?

Karl Rove and Al Gonzales

Sittin' in a tree


First comes love

Then comes matrimony
Then comes retirement

In a South American country.

I don't know about you all, but I'm having a Miss Teen South Carolina moment. Just where in the friggin' hell is Paraguay anyway?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Back to School for Moi

Writing exercise in response to the clever Ms Robinson's Back to School Challenge:

The couple is from Texas and the wife is very blonde. But instead of the expected nod to Dynasty-era Linda Evans, she’s gone with a long curtain of intricately woven shades of caramel, ginger, and gold, a la Paris Hilton circa present day Los Angeles. Her face is mid to upper forties, but similarly polished, the result no doubt of monthly laser treatments, Botox injections, and a life-long, near paranoid avoidance of the sun.

The husband, well he's nothing much to look at. Mid-sized and beefy and car salesman-esque, although I'm sure he said he's in pharmaceuticals. His complexion is the exact opposite of his wife's: flushed and pitted and creased, like he’s spent too much time out of the sun in favor of bars and boardrooms.

My neighbor is selling his house himself and I've been asked to show them around the property while he's off on some kind of horse-trading business in Colorado.

"I luuuuuuuv it," the wife says as we enter the front patio, which my neighbor crafted himself out of adobe and flagstone and expensive imported Italian glass bricks. I was there to watch most of it being built, sipping wine from my perch on a nearby stack of shipping crates every afternoon for weeks, neglecting my own work, transfixed instead by the workings of my neighbor’s hands.

The wife speaks: "You know, there's something so," she pauses and tilts her head, searching, "Earthy and real, the way y'all do things out here with the architecture."

I arch my brows noncommittally and she takes this as a signal to continue. “And y’all’s arts and crafts,” she pauses and puts a hand to her throat. “I just luuuuuuuv Indian art.”

I catch her husband rolling his eyes. "She's got it bad for the Land of Enchantment. I’m going to go broke, with her collecting. And she’s been buggin' me for years to come out here and buy her a little someplace where she can put it all.”

He’s interrupted from speaking further by the sound of a car engine coming up the drive. Not cautiously, given the slope and the unfinished surface, but fast, like it’s running from trouble. Or, towards it.

A black sedan of indeterminate origin kicks up a cloud of dust as it comes to a halt in front of the house. Emerging from the driver’s side is a gleaming red patent leather pump, followed by a long length of tanned leg, a short black skirt and then a woman even blonder and younger than the wife.

“Dalton!” shrieks the woman as she wobbles towards us, her heels trying to negotiate the gravel of the drive, “You shit ball!” She is holding something close to her chest, about a foot long and wrapped in white cloth, like a swaddled baby.

“I can’t believe you’re out here with her!” she points an exquisitely French manicured finger at the wife and then stops. “You said you were going to leave her! You said that we’d be together for-evuuur.” The way she drags out the last syllable reveals just how young she is.

Dalton waves his hands in front of his body and takes a couple steps backwards. “Now hold on there, Lydia, you know I never said any such thing.”

I glance at the wife, who is standing with her legs spread slightly apart, her hands on her hips, her head swiveling back and forth between the two, as if she were waiting for an argument between two school children to play itself out. I’m reminded of a similarly desperate exchange between my neighbor and myself and inwardly cringe.

“And here, you can have this back!” With a quick motion, she flings the package out of her arms, the contents spilling out in a dramatic unfolding of white cloth. A bronze cast statue of a cowboy on a bucking bronco hits the ground with a thud.

“He bought me that last week in Dallas,” she says, sneering at the wife. “He said it was a pre-engagement gift. Well, some gift. Dalton, you can just go fuck yourself. We’re through.” And then she turns and heads back to the car. But she pauses to look back just slightly longer than necessary. Finally, she gets in and speeds back down the drive.

Dalton moves a trembling hand through his thinning hair and glances at his wife, a hangdog look on his face.

The wife fixes him with a long, blank stare. “Jesus, Dalton. Where’d you find that one?” Then she bends over to pick up the statue.

“Frederic Remington,” she near-whispers. “I’m impressed.” Then she smiles at her husband. “It’s going to look very nice on the mantle of this house you’re about to buy me.”

Monday, August 27, 2007

This is Not My Idea of a Good Time

What in the feckin' hell was Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, thinking? The only way I'm going to get this puppy on a plane is to book a separate seat for it.

Coming in at a whopping 1-3/4 inches and a bazillion and one pages – the vast majority of which feature ads for clothing that 99.975 percent of the global population cannot afford – the September issue of the world's most popular fashion magazine is a daunting and downright grim tome, indeed.

Now, no one loves fashion more than I do. But that's because it's supposed to be fun (unless you show up to a funeral in flip flops, in which case you should be beat silly about the head with an Hermes scarf) . Yet to take it THIS seriously that you have to create what amounts to a virtual King James Bible out of a few ads for some Tod's sweaters and an article on making friends with brooches (I shit you not, but that's Plum Sykes for ya – that airhead I want to beat about her entire body with a sledgehammer).

I won't bother to comment further because the witty folks over at have performed a brilliant, nearly page-by-page deconstruction of the entire mess. I will only reiterate just a couple observations:

1. The Groucho Marx Eyebrow trend for fall sucks the big one;


2. Enough already with Sienna Miller. I'm sure she is a very nice person, but fashion icon? Puleeze.

No one should be caught dead out in public in this outfit. I mean that. If your HOUSE were burning down and this was what you were wearing and you couldn't put on a robe or coat to hide it, you should just give up on life and burn, baby burn.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lonesome Dog

From her spot at our feet, Ivy the dog hears the grumble of a truck engine in the driveway. Suddenly, she forgets just who it is who has left her behind – who always leaves her behind – and charges out across the living room floor, her nails click click clicking on the ancient wooden floor as she bolts impatiently through the screen door and out onto the porch. The door slams back in place with a hard, defiant smack.

Truck doors echo with their own slamming sounds. A child shouts. There is a flurry of conversation, elated voices rising to greet waiting neighbors. I listen hard for the sound of someone greeting Ivy. Her name would be good. Or even just that high-pitched lilt that creeps into our voices when we greet small creatures that are beloved to us.

I wait.

No one greets Ivy.

Within a minute she is back in front of the screen door, whining. I let her in. She settles at my feet, but upright, her back to me, her head turned full to the door.

Surely, I think, our hosts will drop in and say hello to us on this, our last day? And surely then, I think, they will see Ivy at my feet and break out into an elated grin and pat their thigh and bend down to greet her, sighing softly into her, "Ivy."

But no one comes to greet us. Minutes go by. S.B. continues to read peacefully, but I can only seethe.

Outside the flurry of voices, of activity, waxes and wanes. Ivy cocks an ear at certain sounds. She remains alert, but doesn't move.

I run a hand along the top of her head and around her ears. She likes this. While I pet her, I remember the words of the woman who comes to put her up at night: Ivy is eight years old. She fends for herself because her owners are gone a lot. They’re really not very attached to her. She can be kind of cranky, kind of standoffish.

But while we've been here, she's been here for us. Yesterday, she and S.B. even played a little along the porch, she racing back and forth, back and forth, barking and hopping as S.B. egged her on in an excited voice. And later, we gave her an entire steak for dinner.

I sure do wish Ivy wasn't the dog who always gets left behind. I sure do wish I could bury my face in her fur. I sure do wish I could take her home, give her a purpose and a place beside me in the mornings up in the hills.

But she stinks from multiple daily swims in the ditch along the road, so I can’t bury my face in her fur. And she doesn’t belong to me, so I can’t take her home.

So there remains the problem of Ivy. She has owners, but she belongs to no one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tripping Daisies or Smashing Pumpkins?

Of all the alter egos I am likely to possess in a lifetime, this will never be one of them:

Instead, and regardless of the fact that I am unfortunately too young to ever have been one in real life, disco queen is much more my style:

As is:


Both of which are alter egos I actually did in fact try to possess for a time in my late teens/early twenties. Alas, I am tone deaf. So out with the rock star dreams and in with university attendance where I mucked about with Art History and Photography while wallowing way too much under the seemingly disparate influences of Helmut Newton and Barbara Krueger. They are punk. I was not.


The point is, you’ll never catch Moi hippie-ing it out. I would in fact rather stab myself in the eyeballs repeatedly with a thistle-coated smudge stick than spend my days floating along in floor length broom skirts and over sized peasant blouses while proclaiming to friends and relatives that they are now to refer to Moi as Star Child or Moon Woman. Hell, I can’t even smoke pot. All it does is send me on a crazed quest to divest my local 7-11 of its entire supply of Cool Ranch Doritos (and vast tubs of processed guacamole while we’re at it), all the while glancing in a paranoid dither over my shoulders for the cops.

So you can imagine my surprise when, after an hour and a half of hair pin turns up Highway 15 into the Heart of Darkness that is the Gila Wilderness (during which Moi alternated between being sick to her stomach and terrified for her life despite S.B.'s European race car driver expertise), we pitched up expecting this:

But instead got this:

the ne plus ultra of hippie digs. And our home for the next three million, I mean three, days of our Gila Wilderness explorations.

Talk about funky. And I don’t mean funky in a fabulous disco queen kind of way, either. I mean funky according to the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition: “Smells way too much like patchouli.”

Which is just fine if we're paying, say, $30 a night. But NOT fine if we're paying three bazillion times as much. For the price of what we would most likely spend to stay at a fabulous island resort, S.B. and I found ourselves unceremoniously installed in a two-room “suite” boasting a narrow bed as lumpy and aged as this guy:

a shower curtain decorated with just about every strain of mold known to God and MIT chemistry grads, floors so crunchified that I never once was without at least flip flops, and dust so thick on the lampshades and table tops it must have been there since Billy the Kid waddled around along the banks of the Gila River in his diapers.

Well, as S.B. says: That’s the Internet for ya.

It allows photos like this:

to suck you into signing up for hot springs paradise, where every morning is redolent with the smell of brewing coffee and freshly baked bread and the evenings are spent under a cottonwood canopy enjoying a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc and complimentary cookies.

When in the really real world, you get:

1. Absentee owners who seem to care not so much about running a hospitality business as they do about tripping themselves off on their own last minute whim adventure while leaving their guests to fend for themselves. Hell, I made my own coffee.

2. Hot springs? More like moldy-rocked pools a sizzlin' along at five bazillion degrees Fahrenheit so that you had not a chance in hell of soaking yourself without permanent scarring. That’s because, oh yeah, the owner, who usually regulates the pools’ temperatures, was MIA.

3. Not so much a charming bed and breakfast as a kind of glorified frat house, where friends and neighbors come and go as they please, mainly into the very same hot springs for which YOU’RE paying mucho dinero but in which they get to soak for FREE – and who are immune to scarring because soaking and getting stoned is ALL THEY DO IN LIFE, and they've therefore built up quite an immunity. As well as an aversion, it seems, to clothing. So not only is your mucho dinero-ed space being invaded by hippies, it’s being invaded by nekkid hippies.

Looks like the concept of customer service is something else that doesn’t make it up the Highway 15 pass very often, either.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Calgon, Take Me Away

S.B. asks: So where does a couple who lives in the woods go when they go on vacation?

Even deeper into the woods!

But to get there, we had to begin our trip with a stop at a bona fide city. Well, city by Land of Enchantment standards. Our fair state's skies are wide and our mountains as imposing as any skyscraper. But our cities, not so much.

This one, Silver City, population 10,000 people and a couple hundred house pets, is a charmer. Everything I require in a town: a fascinating Wild West history (outlaws! rebel Apaches! determined settlers!), a rockin' revamped downtown (art galleries! funky coffee houses! relocated NYC chefs who serve pate!), and the crafty use of color whenever possible:

Talk about feeling like you're in another era:

And, of course, every Western Town needs one of these:

A bona fide 1800's-era hotel, complete with a lobby that would have made Lily Langtry proud and rooms that push the envelope of quaint right on over the edge into marginal. In a quaint kind of way.

The Baby was oh so glad she got to spend the night outside. Because that's when searing daytime desert temperatures thankfully plunge into the much more manageable mid-fifties.

But did either Moi or S.B. really grok the full implications of the front desk manager's warning to "fill the swamp cooler up with water from the sink and let it run."? Oh no. We were too elated with the prospect of scouting out some local art and dressing up in Big People clothes for our first fancy Dinner Out in a coon's age to really worry about the temperature in our room.

So we filled said swamp cooler, dressed ourselves up, and went merrily tripping down the street to Shevek & Mi where we had a fabulous, romantic-type dinner, complete with a bazillion courses (pate! lobster bisque! Tourenado of beef!) and wine to match. We were, in fact, having such a good time staring into each others wine-soaked eyeballs that Moi didn't even go tearing around outside when a big ol' cow-spotted pit bull and his owner came bustling along the sidewalk. Because it would have looked utterly ridiculous, Moi in my Big Girl dress and heels mooking all over a fat-faced pit bull in front of one of the toniest restaurants in southern New Mexico. So if I could pull my mind from the pit bull, I certainly wasn't thinking about the temperature back at the room.

But as soon as we opened the door, it hit us. A wave of 86 degree heat that turned our charming 19th century bordello-esque abode into the sauna from hell. Thank God S.B. had the good idea to soak some bath towels in water, drape them over our bodies, and crank up the fans. 'Cause Moi, well, I was about to high tail it for the nearest Holiday Inn Express, never mind the atmosphere.

So, that was how we spent night one: somewhere in between hypothermia and heat stroke. We sure do know how to travel . . .

Stay tuned for more chronicles of our adventures, including: why Moi spent the rest of the trip channeling Eric Cartman and how she nearly took home an aged, stinky, cranky ass cattle dog named Ivy.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Waiting For the End of the World

One day to go until S.B. and I go on vay-cay and what am I doing? Trying to get as much work done as possible so as not to totally freak out once I get back home? Uh. Nope.

Instead, I am blithely catching up on my blog reading, savoring each and every word of these wonderful gals' posts and dreaming of the day when I will be grown up enough to purchase a tri suit.

I mean, I figure that one should take at least a full day before leaving on vacation and a full whole day after coming back from vacation, to rest up.

At least if you work for yourself. Because those of us who work at home are not as blessed with as much free time as you'd think. In fact, contrary to popular belief, working for yourself is actually in many instances not better than working some slave wage 9 to 5 job.


1. Moi may like to think she charges on average $40 an hour for her services. However, in the really real world, once she divides the amount of time she spends researching, phone calling, emailing, writing first draft, then worrying in a mother-hen-like-state over each and every word of the second draft, her actual salary is more like 1.675 cents per hour. (Note to self: in next life, go into plumbing or engineering.)

2. Nine-to-fivers are guaranteed vacation, sick leave, and bereavement leave to the tune of at least a couple weeks a year. Which they can schedule months ahead of time. In work-at-home land, no one gives a crap if your mother just died or you just ran over your dog or you're so dead tired you could sleep for a week. No. This article on 51 ways to beat wrinkles before they beat you simply MUST be complete before you do anything else. Including brushing your teeth, showering, or shopping for shoes.

3. When you work at home, many clients feel perfectly free to call you at all hours of the day, including first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and during lunch. That's because the majority of your clients are NOT located in the fly over states and therefore have quite the loosey goosey relationship with time. Mountain Standard Time? WTF is that? On the Left and Right Coasts there is only Client Time. You cannot hang a CLOSED sign on the door. You do not have a secretary to tell callers that Ms. Moi is out to lunch and will be back at 2:00. Hell, you can't even ignore your emails. No, sir, don't even think about opening those missives unless you are fully prepared to deal with them right at that very moment. Because the crazed client at the other end will know exactly when you hit the "read" button.

But, soon, I will be in a place with no cell phone coverage and no Internet service.

Which is so righteously anarchical I'm relaxed just thinking about it. Now, if only there was a way to guaranteed there won't be 1.5 bazillion emails and voice mail messages waiting for me when I get home.

Friday, August 10, 2007

To See or Not To See

Four days ago I got my first pair of cheaters. I guess a lifetime of self manicures, writing for a living, and needle pointing in one's spare time does something to one's eyeballs. So does, ah-hem, tipping over ever so slightly into the Forty-Uh-Oh Club. Last year I could easily inspect my cuticles this far from my face. This year? Not so much.

So during my annual eye exam a week and a half ago, it was determined – by a doctor who looked for all the world like he still belonged in Kindergarten – that yes, indeed, I would benefit from some reading glasses. But not just any reading glasses. Not for me the naughty secretary 1.25+ magnifiers sold at just about every hip retail joint in the city. Oh no. Because one of Moi's eyeballs is this much fucked up while the other one is only this much fucked up.

Which meant special lenses.

Which meant spending 30 full minutes alone trying to find a pair of frames that wouldn't immediately suck the Shoe Fund dry but which also looked, well, kinda hot perched up on my head when I wasn't wearing them up on my nose. Glasses that say that I'm more than just somebody's secretary, naughty or not, but am instead a Serious Writer. With some taste.

Of course, the devil on my left shoulder had to go and obsess all over a pair of bling-encrusted $285 Versace frames, trying to justify beyond any justification spending that kind of cold hard cash on what really just amounted to some bent metal.
So the angel on my right shoulder said to Moi, "Self? Fall is right around the corner and have you seen the new boots at Banana Republic? Besides, you only need these so you don't inadvertently apply M.A.C.'s Kid Orange to your elbows instead of your nail beds." So I told devil on left shoulder to piss off and went with a slightly more reasonably priced set of BCBGs. I say slightly because believe me when I tell you there is no such thing as inexpensive no name eye glass frames. Every shoe designer, restaurant owner, and car mechanic in the known universe has their named emblazoned on a pair. Which means any way you slice it, that's mucho dinero, compañero.

Another potential career opportunity whose bandwagon I did not catch.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Some of My Favorite Things

Tagged again.

It Would Be Perfectly Okey Dokey with Me if I Die and Go to Heaven and Eternity Turns Out to Be Located in:
Ambergris Cay, Belize
Istanbul, Turkey
Missoula, Montana
New Orleans, LA
Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC

Jobs I’ve Quit in Eye-Rolling, Drama-Accompanied Disgust:
Secretary for an ambulance-chasing lawyer

Alternative Universe Job #345

Current Favorite Movie that Originated as Literature:

I Want Candy:
Licorice, licorice, licorice (Yeah buddy, Pirate!)
Cadbury Milk Chocolate (Dark? Bah!)

Things I Can’t Do Without When I Travel:
Five kinds of lipgloss (F_ _ k the dumb-ass security regulations!)
Crap celebrity gossip magazines
Running shoes

The Alternative Universe Dinner Party Hosted by Moi:
Thomas Jefferson
Erica Jong
Chief Sitting Bull
Steve Prefontaine
Courtney Love
Stephen Hawking

Un-favorite Foods (a shorter list than the other way around, believe Moi):
Brussel Sprouts
Any kind of meat cooked to death
Dr. Pepper

Favorite Un-PC Foods:
Fois Gras
Rabbit (sorry, Wicked, for everything)

Absolute Favorite Curse Word:
The "F" word, of course. I mean, it covers so many bases.

I in turn tag: Wicked Thistle, Doris Rose, and Meghan. You may commence to your own version of said list.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What Ivan Wants

There is something both funny and kind of sad about this. Kind of sad because it's so typically American, that way we have of mixing righteous indignation with the giddy opportunity to score some cash.

And of course funny because, well, who wouldn't want to turn the tables on this lowlife, scumbag piece of shit by chewing his head off?

Aw, what the hell . . . Ivan's not catching them squirrels anyway.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nature Loves Her Little Surprises

Yesterday afternoon, as I was shamelessly surfing the sofa post-La Luz, one eye on my eBay search, the other on Tiger Woods, S.B. pulled me from my perch to witness this:

The Nature Channel's version of Alien Vs. Predator, right there on my front porch. And Madonna lost. Do you know that little shit dragged her for about a yard and then flew away with her? Upsetting as it was, from an ethological standpoint, it's all good. I mean, that's some pretty single-minded determination right there. Not to mention muscles . . .

RIP, Madonna. Thank goodness there are two more of you left to pass along your DNA.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Yes, A Lady Does Do That

In this photo of my mother, she was twenty-one-years old and living la vida loca in Bad Godesberg, Germany, where she worked as a nurse for one of the city's top private ob/gyn's. At that point in her life, a desire to hit the highway and try her luck as a nanny in NYC was just beginning to bubble in her brain.

But at this particular moment, at this particular party, it's unlikely she was thinking about America. She was most likely thinking of her dreamy Greek boyfriend who was lingering just outside the frame. My mother had many fabulous boyfriends in her youth. She was loyal to none of them. I mean, a girl only had so much time.

Tomorrow, the day I hike my ass up La Luz, my mother would have been 68 years old. She died January 18, 2001 of a sudden heart attack. My grief over her death is a constant in my life – some days sharp and angry, others like a mild case of the flu, lingering just below the surface but not acute enough to prevent me from going about my life.

My mom taught me a lot of wonderful things: love for art and literature and finely crafted stuff, for the great outdoors, for baking and gardening, for life itself. Raised during World War II, she knew from grief. And from horrors few of us in our cushy middle class existences could ever grok to. But she made those horrors the exception in her life, not the rule. My mother knew there was no crying in baseball and she taught me that, too. She taught me instead to make happiness my primary purpose.

So tomorrow, when I'm sweating and stumbling up La Luz, I'll not only be thinking about my mom, but also hoping that she takes a moment to break away from that rockin' cocktail party in the sky and give me a nudge up the mountain. Just enough to bust me out of 18 minute mile land and into, oh, say 17.5 minute mile land. And I'll toast her when I get home and remember that every day is a birthday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fun With Spiders

Readers, meet Madonna, one of our resident orb-weaving garden spiders. She's very chic, no? I just love her gawgeous markings and her 'tude. Just the other day, I had the privilege of watching her catch a teensy little fly who had been unlucky enough to get caught in her lair. Whoomph! Madonna was on him like a debutante at a Dolce and Gabbana sample sale. Fascinating, if just a wee bit creepy.

Madonna's home:

Madonna's home, part deaux:

Madonna's not the only spider in the 'hood, either. There are three others just like her, weaving their orb-shaped spider condo webs up and down between the beams that make up our front porch, all of them quite complicated and multi-layered. All the better to catch spider snacks, I assume. Then again, if the average spider fare is so small, why the ginormous webs? Is this some kind of spider posturing, an arachnidian keeping up with the Joneses?

So I did a little experiment. Yesterday, I messed with the webs. I didn't destroy them, mind you, I simply de-attached the strings of silk that connected them from one beam to another (and in one case, one beam to the ground itself, so you couldn't walk under the porch in several places), letting the main orb section sort of sag and hang. No worries, though. This morning, I went back out there and all three ladies had built them right back up – even larger and more complicated than before.

And one of the Madonna's, she was right there in the middle of her web, glaring at me with those spider eyes of hers. If it weren't for the fact that I am a bazillion times larger than she and don't fly, I'd be lunch.