January 31, 2015
10:09 pm

Lisa Mason in the Morning

by Lisa Mason posted Jan 30 2015 8:50AM
Oh dear, the deadline has long passed for Jordan to cave to demands from ISIS. Now we're grimly waiting for news. In a related story, The Al-Jazeera channel is airing a new show called "Sharia Law & Order," with stories on be-headings ripped right from the be-headlines.

An ex-scientist from the Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Lab got 5 years in prison for offering to supply Venezuela with nukes. 80 year old Pedro Mascheroni says he was going to "gain money and power." He has a bit of an ego problem; probably from all the teasing he got in school when other kids constantly called him "Mascheroni and Cheese."

Hey remember Ebola? It's baaack! A patient at UC Davis Medical Center in northern California is being tested for the virus after showing symptoms. Health officials aren't saying from where the patient came, or how much contact it had with the outside world – let us just hope doctors found a cure for stupidity because of those imbecilic people wandering around Dallas and New York so we don't end up with another Ebo-la-la-palooza tour. I'm completely gob-smacked that no one has sponsored an Ebola-awareness 5K already.

The tense border area between Israel and Lebanon appeared eerily quiet all Thursday. No fire was traded between Israel and Hezbollah fighters, where 24 hours earlier it was an all-out war zone. It was almost as if someone found the Lebanon-and-off switch!

Dubai International Airport has overtaken London's Heathrow as the top international airport in the world. That's weird because half the people in Dubai are on the no-fly list.

And a few things you need to know …

On this date in 1847, the California town of Yerba Buena changed its name to San Francisco. Because "I left my heart in Yerba Buena" just didn't have the same ring to it.

The average American is expected to consume 2,400 calories during the Super Bowl! Meanwhile, doctors are preparing for an influx of illnesses on Monday after everyone spends Sunday sharing germs because nasty people double-dip at Super Bowl parties.

The Obama administration wants to make it illegal to operate a drone while intoxicated. Mothers Against Drunk Droning support the idea.

Somebody has created a new alert system that will let you know if your baby is drowning. I thought we already HAD such an alert system; EYES. Good grief people we're getting too dumb.

And … word is Amazon.com's sales are the lowest ever. Hang on, I'll fix that singlehandedly in 3…2… (PLACE ORDER) Boom.. You're welcome Amazon.

Update on the story I had yesterday wherein Denise was trying to find a guy named Michael she met at a concert in Tuscaloosa. We have a lead! Actually, we may have found him already. If this guy isn't the "right" Michael ... Denise should still give him her number because #Hot. I'm waiting to hear back from all the parties involved. Behold the power of the Eagle! They should put us in charge of finding all of those terror suspects they can't find. We'd have everything solved in 4 minutes!
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 29 2015 7:55AM
Malaysia has officially declared that Flight 370 was an accident. No they still haven't found it but CNN is thrilled to again be relevant. This story has played out EXACTLY like the TV show "Lost:" riveting at first, then too many plot twists and ultimately no acceptable explanation to wrap it up.

We're now learning that the genius who crashed his remote-control Radio Shack drone on the White House lawn at 3:00 am the other morning has admitted he "was drinking" at the time. Was there ever really any doubt? Come on! Friends don't let friends drone-drunk!

The Church of England consecrated its first female bishop on Monday, meaning that for the first time in England's long history, women can be both Queens AND bishops. I'm not going to tell anybody how to run their church, but they certainly don't know ANYTHING about chess!

And a few things you need to know …

On this date in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" was first published. On this, the same week the Ravens won't play in the Super Bowl. Coincidence? Yeah. Completely

A study says that people who hear voices in their heads should try talking back to them. Actually, all of my voices had a vote and said that's not true. Then there was the time the voice in my head had laryngitis.

Look out -- Tom Brady is suffering from a bad head cold! I wonder what the PSI is on his sinus pressure?

A report says the super wealthy are buying hideouts in areas like New Zealand where they can escape to in the event of a civil uprising. Sure, but just wait until the Hobbits, Elves and Orcs start fighting again...

And … the story that took up most of today's show involves a lady named Denise. She was at the Black Jacket/Led Zeppelin show in Tuscaloosa this past Saturday night. She got to talking to the guy sitting in front of her during the second part of the show, they made plans to hang out afters but got separated in the crowd. Denise asked for my help finding this guy because odds are he's one of us since he's in Birmingham and knows to see Black Jacket do Led Zep. SO: if you are or if you know Michael from Birmingham who was at the show, I need to hear from you. Hit me up on Facebook or Lisa@Birminghamseagle.com or call my studio line (but not after 10am because I'm not there) (205)741-1069. Denise says he's tall, brown hair, looks to be in his 30's and has awesome taste in music. Isn't this wild? I love a good mystery so help me help Denise find Michael. And yes, I'm trusting that no one involved in this quest has access to chloroform or duct tape. I might be able to make you a good deal on some though.
Filed Under :
Location : Birmingham
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 28 2015 8:34AM
New York shut down with Alabama-like precision panic due to the threat of terrifying snow. Yet it wasn't bad, so all the lunatic weather scaremongers had to haul their cookies over to Connecticut and Massachusets. In all, New England received 30 inches of snow, but a Patriots team trainer lowered it to just 26. It's all about de flate, de flate, de flate – no cheating.*

The Pentagon now says they have not filed desertion charges against Bowe Bergdahl. The investigation's BEEN complete for a while yet the findings on his actions still have not been released. What's the deal? Do we need to exchange 5 Taliban guys to get the report released?

The controversy continues over the overturning of Alabama's same sex marriage ban. The federal judge's initial ruling was revised because the ruling on the ruling was new and therefore was independent of the ruling whereupon she ruled about the ruling.

The proposed tax hike on 529 college savings plans – has been scrapped. The idea was nixed shortly after it was discovered President Obama has one such plan for his own kids. Oops! There's one White House "check to see if anyone finds out we have what we want to tax" assistant who will be looking for work.

Didn't the X-Files already cover this? Researchers want to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida Keys. The hilariously sinister-sounding firm Oxitech, believes they can stop mosquito-borne diseases. By making more mosquitoes. Who would have no natural predators. Don the Listener called in to tell me he Googled the article and found the researchers plan on adding herpes simplex 2 and Ebola to the mosquitoes' DNA. What could possibly go wrong with this? I'd like to offer you a part in my next film, "Mutant Mosquitoes from Florida."

After all the NFL scandals and Tiger Woods' "tooth-gate," I'd like to thank the Patriots for at least making their sports scandal actually about a sport. With the whole "Deflate-gate" thing still going on, maybe the Super Bowl half-time show should feature Air Supply. I ordered a "Patriot" with my dinner last night. It's pretty much any drink with soda that's semi-flat.

And a few things you need to know …

On this date in 1861, Kansas became a state. Up until then, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz had no idea where she wasn't.

A drone landed on the White House lawn the other day. Somewhere, Joe Biden is being yelled at right now.

Who you gonna call? Some complainey-pants Ghostbuster fans are upset there's an upcoming movie with an all-female cast of specter-slayers. Oh boo hoo hoo. So you're not getting the movie you wanted them to make? Get in line behind all of us Star Wars fans who had to sit through Jar Jar Binks' and Hayden Christiansen.

By the way, there's ANOTHER asteroid coming today. How's that space program coming along America? This asteroid isn't as large as yesterday's, but it IS large enough to build a Starbucks there. It's not the best place for a restaurant, it lacks atmosphere. HEY! You know what kind of plates they'd use in it? Flying saucers. You could get reservations up there if you planet in advance. I wouldn't go, I prefer to pack my own food in a launch box. Boom.

And, it was this date in 2014 our area experienced the Icepocalypse. Hundreds of drivers abandoned cars on frozen roads while others were trapped for hours, kids couldn't get home from school, I had to sleep here at the station for two days – and the words "only a dusting" became legend.

*It's a song we don't play on the Eagle.
Filed Under :
People : Joe BidenObamaTiger Woods
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 27 2015 8:16AM
New York was told they'd get three feet of global warming, instead they only got about 5 inches. Sorry – my favorite part of winter is still not living in New York.

The 11th US Circuit Court has until February 9th to decide what to do about the overturned ban on same-sex marriage in Alabama. C'mon, Gay Divorce Court would be an awesome show! The argument against overturning the ban is that marriage in America is a sacred institution. Yeah? Allow me to present everyone who has ever been on an episode of "The Bachelor." Yeesh. It's the obsession with shows like that that the aliens refuse to talk to us.

The federal government has asked Disney to make a "Frozen" spin off warning kids about global warming. Because doom and gloom go well with a top 40 hit.

Remember the Facebook fights surrounding Bowe Bergdahl? The guy who got himself captured by the Taliban and for whom 5 terrorists were freed from Gitmo? I saved hundreds of dollars on Christmas presents because of the defriending that took place during a Bergdahl debate. Anyway, he will be charged with desertion. No clue if that's us or the Taliban bringing the charges against him. There will be a court martial, but the WH is trying to keep it on the down-low since we now know we traded FIVE of their guys to get ONE of their guys.

A mystery radio signal has been picked up in deep space. The main thing that makes me believe in UFO's/aliens is sometimes I lose stuff that I had in my hand not three seconds ago. MUST be aliens.

And a few things you need to know…

It was on this date back in 1662 that the lime was first introduced to America. It wasn't until 250 years that the lemon arrived in the U.S., on a Detroit assembly line.

In 1948, the very first tape recorder was sold. We offer that option with this show, but no one takes us up on the offer. Except the NSA.

Sports Illustrated has laid off all its staff photographers. This year's Swimsuit Issue could be entirely selfies.

While you may never actually want to unboil an egg, it can be done. Researchers in the US and Australia have found a way to do so with a primary ingredient from urine. Great – who needed that cure for cancer anyway?

KFC is out with their new "double down dog." A hotdog with a bun made of fried chicken and topped with gooey cheese sauce. The real injustice here is A) It is only available in the Philippines and B) they didn't wrap it in bacon.

AND … Facebook went down for an hour last night. Worldwide, social media addicts had to print out pictures of themselves and hold them up to total strangers while screaming, "DO YOU LIKE THIS?"
Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
Location : AlabamaDetroitNew York
People : Gay Divorce
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 26 2015 8:23AM
Already we have travel disruptions because a blizzard is going to hit New York later. They're calling it Winter Storm 2015. Uh, it's only January, what happens if there's ANOTHER winter storm this year?

Alabama's ban on gay marriage was overturned Friday. No matter what you think of it one thing is certain: in a gay marriage you never have to argue over who left the toilet seat up. I support EVERY couple's right to a 50-50 shot at a miserable divorce.

Thank goodness they finally have a suspect in this sad case -- A Georgia couple went missing after leaving to purchase a car from a seller on Craigslist. You know how to tell if a deal is potentially dangerous? It's ON CRAIGSLIST.

Cheetos is introducing a new cinnamon and sugar snack called 'Sweetos'. I'm assuming it'll do better than the time Comet offered that violet-scented cleanser, Vomet.

The Bulletin of Atomic scientists last week cited increased threats to mankind's existence, so they turned the infamous Doomsday Clock ahead 2 minutes, leaving the world just 3 minutes from midnight! So the other night, when President Obama told everybody that 'the State of our Union is strong," apparently he left out the part about everyone in the world dying in 3 minutes. We would have been OK had Joe Biden not set the Doomsday Clock ahead an hour during the time change last spring.

SkyMall, the catalogue of unnecessary items that air travelers have long flipped through while waiting to be told that they're allowed to turn their iPods back on, has filed for bankruptcy. Now, people who have more money than sense must find abother source for platinum iPad bed easels or life-sized Lord of the Rings chess sets.

The Old Farmer's Almanac says bitter cold is expected to dominate the Central Plains and Eastern Seaboard next month. But enough about the day Hillary Clinton goes to Iowa to announce that she's running for President. Which leads me to this; Sarah Palin says SHE'S definitely interested in running for president in 2016. I'm surprised she'd take the pay cut from doing all those reality shows. Comedians, comedy writers, morning show hosts, democrats and Tina Fey are all desperately hoping this happens.

CNN says they're going to try a political game show. Suggested title: "Who's watching it anyway?"

Hey FYI -- there's an asteroid the size of two cruise ships that's passing by Earth today. Astronomers are calling it a "near miss." Excuse me, but isn't a "near miss" an "almost hit?" It'll be at its brightest around 10:52 this morning but you'll need binoculars to view it unless scientists are wrong and it really kills us all. My dog isn't worried about the asteroid, I'm Sirius.
Filed Under :
Location : AlabamaGeorgiaIowaNew York
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 23 2015 7:59AM
I'm super-duper excited that Birmingham has been chosen to host the 2021 World Games! What are the World Games again?

Some sports analysts are saying the New England Patriots may have peaked a little too early this season, and could be on the way down. Even Bill Belichick admits now he probably should have saved cheating for the actual Superbowl. The NFL says it will investigate Deflate-Gate further once TMZ sends them a tape of what happened.

The U.S. backed President of Yemin has resigned after a coup by a group called the Houthi rebels. Although the coup worked, I still liked the Houthi's better when they were teamed with the Blowfish.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died at age 90. He's being hailed as a reformer, yet women are still not allowed to drive over there. Granted, some women on 280 shouldn't be allowed to drive either, but you take my meaning. His Majesty is succeeded by his brother Prince Salman, who admits maintaining US relations in a crumbling Middle East will be like swimming upstream. Given it's his first day on the job, King Salman is off the hook for now but says he will carry on his brother's legacy just for the halibut.

Michael Moore is backing away from criticism about the film American Sniper. Like the film's main character, Moore also lives a dangerous life: being enormously overweight in his 60's.

Tens of people watched a ref get punched and three players get ejected from the Alabama/Auburn basketball game last night. MAN those dudes can fight! Oh.

Did you resolve to get in shape this year? A new study says that walking on your lunch break with your coworkers is not only a great start but can also make you feel better. I know it works for me. Except I go for a drive and I'm by myself.

The Mayor of Paris plans to sue Fox News for insulting the city's image. A large group of Democrats told her to get in line.

The chief executive of Tootsie Roll died this week at the age of 95. Toot-Toot Tootsie, goodbye.

And … 11:58 has never been more interesting. The hands of the official Doomsday Clock have been moved two minutes (queue up the Iron Maiden)! So are we springing forward to Doomsday or falling back? I'm confused. Or is it now two minutes till noon, which doesn't sound as dire as midnight?

by Lisa Mason posted Jan 22 2015 8:04AM

President Obama is hopping mad that Speaker John Boehner invited Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress. I'm totally with Obama on this; if you're going to invite someone over – TELL ME first so I can put clothes on and have supper ready. "What do you mean you told Benjamin to come over tonight? Have you SEEN the kitchen? Guess I'll stop what I'm doing and clean up."

The former Ferguson, Missouri police officer who fatally shot a teenager will NOT face civil rights charges. Upon hearing the news, residents reacted with grace and quiet dignity. Just kidding, it's about to be free flat-screen day in Ferguson again.

Birmingham wins the bid to host the 2021 World Games! The Magic City beat Lima, Peru and Ufa, Russia for the honour. Apparently the World Games Committee wanted to go with a city that hasn't been featured on an episode of Locked Up Abroad.

Scientists have concluded that people don't load their dishwashers correctly. Apparently we must have figured out the cancer thing and have moved on to dishwasher etiquette.

And a few things you need to know…

On this date in 1881, an Egyptian obelisk known as "Cleopatra's Needle" was erected in New York's Central Park. It was far from the last needle ever found there.

Lindsey Lohan was vacationing in Bora Bora and contracted a bad mosquito-borne virus. That mosquito better get tested.

This past Monday was identified as "Blue Monday," the saddest day of the year. Why? It was a holiday, and your VISA bill from Christmas didn't arrive until Tuesday.

A 17-year-old in Florida was arrested for posing as a gynecologist at a health clinic he'd 'worked' at with phony medical credentials many times before. He could be charged with impersonating Dougie Howser.

Hope Solo, the goal keeper for the US Women Soccer team, has been suspended for 30 days because she was riding with her husband when he got busted for a DUI. Solo was also charged back in June with two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault. She could face charges of impersonating an NFL player.

And … an Alabama teenager is recovering from the incredibly rare Cotard's Syndrome; AKA "Walking Corpse Syndrome," in which the sufferer actually believes themselves to be a zombie. I have the opposite of this condition; I think OTHER people may actually be zombies. Or maybe it's just my coworkers before they've had their second cup of coffee.
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 21 2015 7:13AM
President Obama says the crisis is over and the state of the union is strong. OK, sure. That's why my friends who were large business owners are now small business owners or ex business owners.

Turns out that airline passenger in New Jersey has tested NEGATIVE for Ebola! Turns out it was just some bad tacos from the airport food court.

Caught cheating again, the Superbowl will this year still feature the New England Deflateriots.

On this date in 1793, France's King Louis the 16th was separated from his head. That was back when heads of state didn't necessarily retire with their heads.

On this date in 1924, Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin died of a stroke. At first, they thought he was just showing support for the communist cause. "You're so red Vladamir ... uh, Vladamir?

Brace yourself: the Comedy Central roast of Justin Beiber is coming. The best way to roast this kid is with charcoal and lighter fluid.

The New Kids on the Block have announced a tour. Spoiler alert: they're not that new.

They're out with red velvet Oreos. Red Velvet is the new Pumpkin Spice.

And… Johnny Depp – who got his start in music -- says actors who try to be musicians are sickening. Um ... it worked out OK for Elvis? THIS from the guy who thinks doing "Pirates of the Caribbean 5" is a good career move.
Filed Under :
Location : CaribbeanNew Jersey
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 20 2015 7:44AM
The State of the Union speech will interrupt your shows tonight. Look on the bright side; when you get mad enough it raises your heart rate which counts as cardio.

Ebola is back in the headlines – makes you wonder what we need distracting from. A woman who had contact with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone is now being monitored in Jersey. Over Christmas, I tried to download that Ebola benefit song, but my anti-virus software wouldn't let me.

54 people have been arrested in France for "hate speech." It's tricky there; because you want to dislike "hate speech," you just have to be careful how much.

This is huge news for that one person in your office like me who cares about a bunch of obscure science stuff: the British have FINALLY found their Beagle 2 robot! It was dropped on Mars back in 2003 and almost immediately went missing. They just found it … on Mars. Right where they left it. This is like me looking for my car keys in the morning. So the Brits can find something the size of a trashcan on Mars but they CAN'T find ISIS insurgents in their own country?

And a few things you need to know …

On this date in 1988, the Rockwell B-1 bomber was delivered to the U.S. Air Force. When they heard it was the B-1, the Air Force yelled out, "Bingo!"

FOX is being sued by a watch company for a deal that went bad over making commemorative "24" watches. Because they didn't want it to go public, FOX is ticked that they talked.

Did you hear who won the Critic's Choice Awards? Better yet, did you even know they were happening?

Word is that the New England Patriot's head coach Bill Belichick had been caught cheating again. Belichick swears there's secret video taken during Colt's practice sessions that will totally exonerate him.

There's international trouble brewing at the Miss Universe pageant. Miss Lebanon is outraged to have been photobombed by Miss Israel. I don't get it; both of these women look pretty much the same to me. This is going to make the "interview" part of the show pretty awkward. "I support world peace, except when it comes to THAT GIRL OVER THERE WHO I WANT TO SEE DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS." So much for the "Miss Congeniality" award. Thank goodness there wasn't a cartoon involved …

And ... many thanks to my girl Darlene who posted on my FB page to wish me a happy National Disk Jockey Day! I'm going to celebrate by taking your requests, then just playing whatever I want to hear. Yes I work in radio, yes I make a LOT of money, yes I have a retirement plan … said no DJ ever.
Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
People : Bill BelichickDarlene
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 19 2015 5:30PM
What happens when someone with a giant stick up their rear-end goes on a cruise? I've always wanted to be a travel writer (not really) so here's my chance to chronicle our adventures to … uh … I think some place where some girls were beheaded in Mexico, a city I thought was in the Bahamas but is really near the Yucatan and an island I think might be Roanoke, Virginia. All of this takes place aboard the cruise ship, "The Dream." Sounds majestic, ja? Hold up; it's a Carnival Cruise. (Add horror music SFX).

My husband, Trap, booked a cruise years ago but never went, he HAD to use his credits this month or would lose a lot of money. Because Carnival spent their money on a sales department that can fight lawsuits better than Matlock, cruising was our only option. I begged Trap to save himself and take anyone else but me; because I wanted him to have fun. Yet there we were aboard the Good Ship Lollypoop.

My vacation dread was already at reactor meltdown levels as I made my Emergency Contact List which included Liam Nissen's number in case of human trafficking (since we're visiting countries that support that vile industry). THEN I saw that Liam had come out in support of the scumbuckets who attacked Charlie Hebdo so I scratched him off and put Thor on instead. My friends were instructed to call Thor before calling my parents.

Believe it or not, I was keeping an open mind despite all the comedy mileage I got out of Carnival's inability to keep their floating petri dishes out of the headlines. You're probably already shaking your head at this whining, so allow me to embark (haha, nautical humor) on a review of my first and final HMS Pinifart experience.

First Day: Welcome Ablah

I sent one last text before the oversized dinghy lumbered out of NOLA into the fog and blackness beyond, like a bloated Leviathan crowded with lanyard-wearing parasites. I wept as I watched my Wi-Fi and service signals go dark on my phone. We were cut off from land-based civilization. As I paced our suite in full Freak-Out mode, Trap napped after a long day of dragging my miserable butt around. Pope Francis will probably saint him if Trap's not too busy being knighted by the Queen. I knew we were in for trouble when I asked the Dream's Captain if he knew where we were going and he replied, "Off course."

One fantastic feature of your FUNTASTIC Voyage ™ is trying to figure out what the staff is actually saying. I love learning different languages but only thought I was fluent in Manglish. I approached a snack bar girl and asked about buying a single drink package. Her response was "809." O … K… any more info on that? "It is 809 dollar for two person one week cup of cup. No cup of two at seven day." She shook her head mournfully as she added, "No cup of two." Great! Got it, thanks very much for your help. A similar conversation was repeated regarding where the restaurant was and the security drill. No cup of two indeed. BTW-- The bartenders speak perfect English until you ask them if they applied your VIP discount, then it is back to, "no cup of two."

Not even a full 24 hours in, I was wondering if they'd serve dinner on the rescue chopper. Except there was no rescue chopper coming because, despite Carnival's track record, everything was still floating. There wasn't even a single, lousy Ebola patient onboard that would cause us to turn back to NOLA.

Day 1: The "Fun Day at Sea" AKA: "You're trapped"

I was thankful I'd brought enough nausea meds to drop an elephant riding a tank.

You know you're on a Carnival cruise when the spa is cold but the pool is at 90 degrees, thanks to choppy seas. We'd finally gotten semi-relaxed on our balcony only to have some dude instantly pop through an adjacent door to declare, "Please to sorry for the washi. Man is detory." Me, "A man fell down a story?!" Dude says, "No is for a wash. Is a man-da-tory." Oh well of course. No cup of two.
The biggest #Fail was nothing less than the FREAKING LIFEBOAT DRILL. The Carnival Survival Minions ™, are (in theory) in position to direct you to your evacuation station in the incredibly likely event that something goes wrong. Ours guided us to the wrong side of the ship, a broom closet, then to a dead end before stumbling upon our assigned station. On the plus side, most of the people in our station were old/disabled. We could easily fight our way to the lifeboat first! Granted, Trap is the kind of guy who would stay behind to get all the Cruisin' Sheeple™ to safety. We later found out these "old guys" were a veterans' group; those 80 year olds could wipe the floor with us. After it was announced that the lifeboats were "unsinkable," I went to the ship library and asked if they had any books on the Titanic. The librarian said, "Yes, several." I told him I was sorry, as those books were likely ruined long ago.
You have neither power nor control while on a cruise, which drove me mad. The flow of onboard information runs similar to that of Turkmenistan: "you WILL attend the Happy Fun Seminar™ or you WILL NOT know how much money we allow you to bring into ports of call." Wait, WHAT? It's my money, turdblossoms, and you won't let me use it on your garbage scow so I might as well get robbed by the locals who pay dearly to curry favour from the Almighty Cruise Lines™. I skipped all "seminars", hoping to get arrested in Cozumel. I saved embassy numbers for just such an emergency. Trap laughed because I treat vacation like Survivor meets Locked Up Abroad.

On the plus side, the tilework aboard the Dream is lovely. So is the tile in my friend Amy's kitchen, next time we'll vacation there. She probably has a cup of two.

After what felt like an eternity on board, I finally figured out how to get a few things that I want (Cokes) to my room without running through a Labyrinth with a ball of string and David Bowie; bribe the stewards.

I was surprised to find you lose your identity once on board. To the (supposedly) "in charge" people, you are simply a credit card. To the staff, you are an annoyance asking a (sometimes incredibly pertinent) question. To the other hostages aboard; you have no name except for what your novelty t-shirt reads. On Day One I was, "Hey NASA, what time is it?" "Clocks are in the stairwells, 'White Girl Wasted.' Just glance up." The majority of interaction with other hostages occurs in The Trough ™, the Carnival equivalent of a grade-school lunchroom. The interaction consists of A) elbowing you out of the way to get to the bacon and B) elbowing you out of the way to get to the other bacon. By the end of the cruise we'd learned to move fast, but neglected to strap razor blades to our elbows like everyone else.

Day 2. Cozumel.

I'm going slightly mad. Carnival wants you out of your room and spending money in their jank casino, watching their cut-rate shows, or at infomercials they disguise as "seminars." We skipped all of that, so I swiftly depleted my bootleg supply of Coca Cola. Like the sailors of old, I was going to have to start drinking my own urine even though I expected Carnival would charge a corkage fee. After all, "No cup of two."

At this point, you're thinking, "What a brat! Cruises are awesome!" Yeah, well at this point I was Captain Ahab and sparsely-populated dry land was my great white whale. I was happy to see Cozumel floating on the horizon like an oily film over a neglected pond, even though it is a place I hadn't the slightest interest in visiting.

We avoided the Carnival-owned Happy Fun Tourist Area™ and got into the actual city. It's a dump. HOWEVER, we found Sunset! It's some kind of travel/scuba/restaurant with awesome service and FREE WI-FI. We were able to talk online to some of the people we went on vacation to avoid, so that made me happy.

I wasted a few minutes eavesdropping on conversations amongst the other hostages. Fleecing on board was the primary complaint. One couple bought $1200 of CarnivalCash™ to use onboard, but was only allowed to use their shipboard card, leaving them with $1200 they could not access. They were told something to the effect of "No cup of two." The ship was so crowded, it reminded me of that Star Trek episode where people are waiting for others to die just so they can get an extra inch of room.

Day 3 OMS it's only day three and we're NOT in Belize?

That's because we were in Honduras. Belize was to be the following day. Whatever little island we visited was the one I kept calling Roanoke.

Waiting to get on dry land, I was struck by how scarcely the other hostages on board acknowledged each other. I was likely the least fun person on that tanker yet I always smiled when passing a stranger. The others just shuffled along their assigned paths and if you said "good morning," they averted their gaze and scurried along as if you've broken some hostage code.
We couldn't get out of the Honduras Happy Fun Area™ due to the ship's schedule. Mom and Da went to Honduras a while back and their tour guide told them that the way to gain passage through guerilla-controlled mountains was to show them an American Bicentennial quarter. I was boring Trap with this story when he asked, "you mean like the Bicentennial quarter I found in the nightstand?" Taking this as an omen, I carried that quarter with me, hoping the guerrillas had free Wi-Fi. Useless guerrillas offered NO assistance whatsoever. Jerks.

Day ? Time has stopped but here's a cesspool port in Belize.

I've been to some jankey places, but Belize City was sketch by my already subterranean standards and I was shocked some of my fellow hostages even made it back alive.

This was our last stop before turning back to NOLA and I was prepped to personally beat to death any a-hole who missed the last ferry to delay the trip home. Some of us are simply not meant for cruises; it's boring, I couldn't sleep because of the boat rocking, it's ugly and people were rude. Our balcony was usually in the shade so there was no sun and you couldn't even smell the sea, much less swim in it. The food was all frozen and you had to fight 3,000 people to get a bite of it. When did we volunteer as Tribute?
Except for our cabin steward, the guy in the uber-tacky dining room who taught me how to make napkin swans and whatever brilliantly noble soul put "Guardians of the Galaxy" on the giant (but outdated) screen twice; the "Dream Team" staff is professionally indifferent. Just pick a beautiful, exotic location and fly there instead. It's cheaper, nicer and there's no cup of two issues.
Day ?? "ANOTHER Fun Day at Sea™"

It was rather chilly outside so we spent most of the day locked in our suite. Trap, who had a cold, napped/watched TV and I paced around. I pace a lot.

People tell me, "There's something for EVERYONE on a cruise." No there is not. Where's the beach? Where's any adventure? Where's fresh food? My steak was so cold it was singing "Let it Go." Where is privacy? Where is common decency? Where is our car and how fast can we get to it?

Last day: The horror … the horror …

Since 3000+ jerk hostages were all aboard with nowhere else to go, every common area was packed with the biggest idiots ever to float aimlessly upon Poseidon's waters. Seriously, if you also had the ill-fortune to sail aboard the Carnival Dream last week – you are an imbecile and your mother would be ashamed. It's as if the self-centered behavior exhibited on Day 1 ratcheted up to Kardashian levels. Men shoved women aside to get through doors first. Fat banshee-women screamed at their kids. 20 year old males picked fights with grandmothers. If you give up your window seat at breakfast so an older couple can sit down, they'll order you to wipe the table for them. At least I learned that I should carry my semi-hot coffee with my arm outstretched; if anyone bumped me they got damp.

One high point on the last day came when I got to meet the Dream's Head Chef; the microwave.

Day 7: Thank Poseidon for VIP debarkation status.

Waiting on the call to leave the boat, I imagined this must be how death row dudes feel; waiting on a call from the Governor.
If you've got "that" friend who is obnoxious about not doing things they don't want to do: listen to them. It'll be easier on everyone. Would YOU like to discuss the galactic consequences of a corporate trade blockade of a small, backwater planet? Oh? You don't? Well there you have it.

The best way to describe a Carnival Cruise is this; some dark entity transported an entire Wal-Mart to the Gulf of Mexico and announced it was Black Friday all week. Since Trap and I managed to return home to a dead plant and a happy dog, I'd say we won the Hunger Games. With or without no cup of two.
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 9 2015 7:58AM
The terror suspects from the Paris massacre are surrounded after a massive manhunt. Well, it wasn't a MAN hunt, more of a scumhunt. Now we have a SECOND standoff in Paris. So far 2015 is much too depressing.

Snow fell Wednesday in Israel and the Palestinian territories. We all suspected it would snow in H E Double Hockey Stick before we get peace in the Middle East.

The Department of Public Health is warning a massive measles outbreak in Southern Cal has been traced back to Disneyland. Disney Measles are awful but at least it's not a Small Pox world, after all.

Space heaters have sold out in Hawaii, as record low temperature records broke when the mercury dropping into the unheard of 50's. The 50's? Hey Hawaii, get back to us when you reach "Hawaii minus-five-O."

And some more stuff that I'm spending shockingly little time on since I can go on vacation once I finish writing this…

Starbucks has introduced a new drink called "the Flat White." For coffee drinkers looking for a new experience, it's a way to pay $1 more than just buying a latte.

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree was taken down Wednesday. Now, they're asking about yours.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the new Audi A7 self-driving car actually drove itself 500 miles to get to the show! The whole drive, the car was singing, "But I would drive 500 miles and I would drive 500 more, just to be the car that drove a thousand miles to break down at your door."

Due to a slowing of the Earth's rotation, scientists are adding an extra second to 2015. WOW! Now, to figure out what to do with all that spare time!

Don't look for news next week, I'm taking some time off. And don't think you're going to rob my house because I'm "on vacation." I'll be inside with an attitude and a claw hammer*. I'd bring you back something but my sofa doesn't sell touristy refrigerator magnets.

*Read; "guns."
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by Lisa Mason posted Jan 8 2015 9:40AM
As of right now, the manhunt continues in Paris for two of the animals responsible for the massacre at a French satire news office. It's a sad, sick world when humor and free expression can get you killed. Remember; laughter is the best medicine – unless you're laughing loudly for no reason, in which case you need medicine. Rallies of support for those murdered at Charlie Hebdo are taking place all over France, many American satire artists are sending tribute as well. #JeSuisCharlie.

Congress is considering making some changes in order to improve their image. Changes could include; doing something, doing anything and only fighting with Obama on odd-numbered days. Can you believe this is the 114th session of congress? Hard to believe any team has gone 0-114 but they've managed it.

The CDC reports that more middle-aged white guys die from binge drinking than college-aged kids do. Of course, this is the same CDC that told us that Ebola could only be spread by direct contact with bodily fluids, so keep that in mind.

Scientists say they've discovered the most Earth-like planet since, well … Earth. Kepler 438b is 475 light years away so it's gonna take a while for the apes who live there to enslave us.

And a few things you need to know …

On this date in 1918, President Wilson outlined his 14 points for peace after World War I. Given the state of things now, I'm going to assume we chose to ignore them.

A Connecticut brewery has apologized for marketing a beer named after Gandhi. When you think about it, non-violence and booze are seldom used in the same sentence.

UK government officials have ordered Urban Outfitters to remove photo-shopped models on their British website that promote unrealistic body sizes and shapes. Most unbelievable of all, they depicted models with mouths full of clean, straight white teeth.

The Consumer Electronics Show is underway in Las Vegas. Hey, if anyone there is listening: you know those robot vacuums that run around the house by themselves? Do one that does laundry and puts it away.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he is going to read a book every other week for 2015. Maybe this will keep him from messing with your security settings again.

And … A new study says that kids with smartphones in their bedrooms sleep less. The study was conducted by the University of No Duh.
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by Lisa Mason posted Jan 7 2015 8:40AM
Tell me honestly; at what point should I just give up on my last-minute Christmas shopping?

After a revolt in his own party, John Boehner managed to hold on to his job as House Speaker yesterday. No word on if his tanning package is still intact.

The newest members of congress are getting to work this week. This is that honeymoon period where they actually believe they're going to get something done, which is sooooo cute. The first order of business is the Keystone Pipeline, which President Obama says he'll veto no matter what. Great job, guys! You're off to an awesome start. Back in grade school, there was a line on the report cards that said, "Works and plays well with others." These guys better practice changing an F to an A or their parents are going to be ticked.

A new study claims that the biggest cause of cancer is purely bad luck. Good thing I bought that anti-carcinogen rabbit's foot.

Area superintendents are mulling over the decision to either close or delay school tomorrow because it will be cold. I've been sitting here shaking my head at that statement for so long, I can't even think of a punchline. Seriously, another five minutes just elapsed and I'm still baffled by this.

McDonald's is reportedly swapping to plain white bags so people who don't want you to know they've been there can still get their fix. What these people don't realize is, none of us care.

Verizon has approached AOL for a possible takeover. Kids, ask your parents what AOL is.

Yesterday I mentioned the sign in front of Bill Cosby's house read "9 days without a new allegation." Cosby's people called to tell me this information was completely incorrect. They're right; two more women just came forward in the defamation lawsuit.

The Girl Scouts have unveiled three new cookies! Toffeetastic, Rah Rah Raisin and Trios. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed the 4,500 year old tomb of the previously unknown mystery queen Khentakawess III. 4,500years and they finally found her? And people make fun of Geraldo for still looking for Jimmy Hoffa.

With animal rights groups outraged over a photo of Sarah Palin's son using a dog as a step stool, her husband says he stands by her. Unfortunately, he was on the dog, too.

And … The movie Exodus is finally being allowed to screen in Morocco, but all mentions of God had to be removed first. Given that and the fact that Egypt had a couple dozen gods, none of whom could be mentioned all that's left of the film is Christian Bale running around in a skirt for 15 minutes talking in that weird Batman voice.
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 6 2015 7:07AM
LMN 1-6-14 Freezing again.

Congress returns back to work this week, if that isn't an oxymoron.

Have you seen the sign outside Bill Cosby's house? It now reads, "8 days since our last new allegation."

Consumers are hoping drastically lower gas prices will cause a domino effect among businesses to drop the fuel surcharges on things like delivery pizza. I'm just curious to see how the domino effect effects Dominos.

It was on this date in 1994 that figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee... It turned out that rival Tonya Harding's boyfriend was behind it. Obviously, the average IQ of figure skaters took a very big dip that year.

Horrible. A record number, over 1,000, rhinos were illegally slaughtered in South Africa last year, and they could soon become extinct. Wow! It's the EXACT same thing that happened to Unicorns.

Falling oil prices are being blamed for a horrible day on the stock market Monday, with the Dow dropping over 350 points. The only guy who didn't lose his shirt? Matthew McConaughey. I don't think he HAS a shirt.

And … Space X aborted it's mission the is morning, scrubbing the launch that would have resupplied the International Space Station. Guess the guys up there will be stuck eating beanie weenies for another month.
by Lisa Mason posted Jan 5 2015 7:22AM
Happy Cinco de January-o! Oh hi! You came back! To be honest I HAD news for you all last week but just never got around to posting it. Mom yesterday expressed displeasure that I didn't even bother to post a happy new year's message, which I meant to do but instead … didn't. Here's hoping you and yours have an awesome 2015 and beyond. I hope that sounded sincere. Now on to a few things of note in the headlines!

Apple is facing a pricey lawsuit accusing the company of falsely advertising the storage capacity available in its iPhones, iPads and iPods, when in reality, nothing close to the advertised capacity of the devices is available to users. Yeah, and I bet an apple a day doesn't really keep the doctor away either. Little lying liars who lie!

In his New Year's Day address from a jam-packed St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis called for peace. He's the POPE what do you expect him to say? "We need to start some more wars?"

JeffCo officials are looking for a woman who simply walked off her work release job. 42-year old Sharon Young was last seen wearing black pants with a black and white striped shirt. That alone qualifies her to officiate the Birmingham Bowl.

Scientists are studying how birds react to alcohol. It's been found birds can get "drunk" from toxic algae and fly into windshields because they mistake them for water. Happened to Ted Kennedy once. Seriously, why are birds getting drunk? Did someone put vodka in the birdbath to keep it from freezing?

And a few more things you need to know …

On this date in 1778, the colonists set explosives afloat on the Delaware River to destroy the British fleet, but not one exploded. The only bomb was the idea.

Lindsay Lohan was hit with a virus while on vacation. Wow, that's a pretty brave virus.

Sara Palin is crazily fighting online because animal rights groups took offense to a photo of her son STANDING on the family dog in order to reach the kitchen counter. Call me crazy, but I was raised not to stand on animals. Granted, my dog stays underfoot so any standing on Hera Mason is accidental. Honestly, I'd like to think I'd die a noble death but I'll probably end up chocking on a popsicle while tripping over my dog.

And … A 72 year old Wisconsin man is recovering after the deer he shot with a crossbow … turned and attacked him. The story is being made into a feature film. "Bambi: the Revenge."
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