Friday, December 14, 2007

Hallmark holidaze.

I've been buried under a mound of work (or, more accurately, a pile of greeting cards) and am finally resurfacing. And now looking around, I realize it's almost Christmas.

Here's what I can't stand: Christmas.

Actually, I shouldn't discriminate here because as a general rule, I hate most holidays. I'm probably the least festive person I know. So it's beyond ironic that I spend 70+ hours a week working to drive the sales of a company that arguably invented most holidays. Even better, I'm almost counting on my workload from this greeting card giant to serve as an excuse for getting out of Christmas festivities altogether this year.

It's not that I hate spending time with my family. For the most part, I quite enjoy seeing them. And stuffing my face with holiday treats is always enjoyable, even if staring at my ever-expanding ass isn't. When you get to the core of my distaste for holiday observances, really, I'm just lazy, cheap, and increasingly cantankerous. As such, I'm pretty much a massive pain in the ass from October to February.

Which is where living with an extremely festive person gets tricky. This past Halloween, I came home to find 12 tiny pumpkins strewn across the bench in front of our apartment.

"Soooo, what's the deal with the pumpkins?" I asked my roommate.

"OH! Well, you see, it's almost HALLOWEEN! And they're like little mini pumpkin children sitting on the bench!"

I tried very hard to keep my eyes focused, as they were all set to roll right up into my head.

"Ah. Yes, of course," I said, glancing down at a nasty, rain-warped case of Pabst Blue Ribbon that had been sitting on our front doorstep since our last party several weeks before. "I guess this case of PBR will be my contribution to the decorations."

Typically on Halloween, so as not to contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic, I make sure my lights are all out and hide out in my bedroom all night, cursing anyone that dares ignore the obvious "leave me alone" cues. But as fate would have it, this year I had a meeting at my client's headquarters on Halloween, and left that morning inadvertently dressed...

exactly like a jack-o-lantern. Because I'm not a festive person, and because my flight left very early that morning, I can only claim I wasn't fully awake when I pulled my new orange sweater over a black skirt, tall black boots, and green earrings as the finishing touch which I thought contributed nicely to my autumnal palette.

However, when I arrived at my meeting, I was met with my client cheerfully exclaiming, "Liz!!! You look just like a PUMPKIN!" I went totally red, glanced down and realized that I was the corporate equivalent of Mrs. Harris, my sixth grade math teacher who had a closet full of appliqued seasonal sweaters. "Oh..." I said awkwardly while faking enthusiasm through a clenched smile, "yeah, I figured if anyone would appreciate it, you guys would!" Despite winning points with the client, I couldn't have been more annoyed with myself.

Needless to say, my roommate laughed hysterically when I told her of my oversight - thrilled the universe had forced a celebration upon me. And because I knew she wouldn't count on the holiday gods to work their magic on me again for Christmas, I wasn't surprised when I came home two weeks ago to find a pack of ornament hooks on the coffee table. (Please note the genius of my roommate and her subtle preparation for what was to come.)

Four nights later:

"Guess what tonight is?!?"

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I think both the dad AND a kid have cancer in this episode. It's nuts."

"Hmmm. Well, yes, that's on tonight. BUUUUUUUT," she squealed, "it's also time to DECORATE!!!"

The time had come. While she scurried off to her bedroom to put on Christmas music and begin pulling out ornaments, I went to the trunk of my car to get the only two holiday decorations I own: a Christmas tree and reindeer. Both are cut out of sheet metal, which is quite fitting for me, but also causes them to be quite heavy. And as I store them in my car trunk, I figured I'd give my gas mileage a break this month so I brought them upstairs and put them by the front door.

My roommate came shuffling in with her box of ornaments, and began hanging them pretty much any place she could...except on a tree.

"What are you doing?"

"Oh, well I don't have a tree, so I figured I'd just hang them wherever."

By the end of the night, ornaments were hanging off most everything in our living room. Each branch of our fake plant had one. Our "octopus lamp" that has lights at the end of five metal "tentacles" each had an ornament. She hung her stocking off the box that contains our doorbell, and then put three porcelain reindeer on top of the television as well as some colored lights on our bookshelf.

I have a cat that's beyond neurotic, and shiny things dangling from every surface of our home casting dancing lights on the walls sent him on what could only be described as a full-on trip. He was racing around everywhere, eyes wild and fully dilated, batting and eating ornaments, only to then try to scale the walls in an attempt to catch the lights being cast on them. As our neighbor later observed, it was as though someone had hung bags of heroin in Pete Doherty's apartment.

"You should know," I told my roommate as I watched my tripped out cat run around the room, "that I'm not going to apologize if something happens to these ornaments. You've lived with Gus long enough to know he's insane and that this is a recipe for disaster."

"Oh, he'll be fine," she said as she looked at Gus gnawing on a sparkly snowflake, his eyes darting around the room nervously.

I have to admit I was skeptical, but he has since come off his ornamental high and now ignores the decorations. Admittedly, the fact he doesn't have opposable thumbs (or really, even fingers if you consider he's declawed) and yet he, too, is already over Christmas, is a tremendous source of pride for me. And I'd devote more time to admiring his statement of solidarity, except I have work to do.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

MIZZOU-RAH!

"ESPN College Gameday" is being broadcast from Arrowhead Stadium today. An exciting reminder that today is the day. THE day of THE game.

I'm a Missouri Tiger, and tonight we play our biggest rival, KU, the outcome of which has huge implications for both teams.

I've been startled as this game has approached at the ignorance regarding this rivalry in other parts of the country. Everyone knows about TX/OU, USC/UCLA, Ohio St./Michigan. But very few people realize how bitter and intense our rivalry is. Our rivalry goes beyond sports. Its history goes back to the Civil War when William Quantrill led a Rebel guerrilla unit to Lawrence where they slaughtered 150 people and then burned the town. Admittedly, not something I enjoy having my school associated with, since Missouri was a pro-slavery state, Kansas an abolitionist state. But Kansas did their own fair share of atrocities, with John Brown murdering tons of Missourians, and a separate, earlier group of guerrillas (called "the Jayhawkers") who raped, pillaged, and killed countless Missourians in their attempt to spread their message of freedom.

And, despite the fact over 150 years have passed since any of this happened, people still remember. While an embarrassment to our common fan base, please note the following post from a Mizzou fan on a St. Louis Post thread, responding to a Jayhawk's comment of "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk":

Sober up and get back to terrorizing babies and old ladies, which is the only thing that a GayHawk ever excelled at . . . . .Raise the black flag and ride hard, boys. Our cause is just and our enemies many. Wm. Quantrill - 1863

And this deep-seeded bitterness has only blossomed throughout the years between both the states and the universities. Alums that live in Kansas City (a combined total of 90,000 between the two schools) oftentimes refuse to live in the state side of their rival. A division not even Los Angeles experiences. And last time I checked, no one at the Cotton Bowl anticipated the destruction of over 500 seats during TX/OU weekend, as the Arrowhead officials are anticipating today.

But neither KU nor MU have had historically strong football programs. The usual point of contention is basketball. But now they are each other's obstacles for a chance at the national title in football. For those that didn't attend these schools, it's hard to capture the magnitude of this situation. I grew up in an all-Longhorn family (which is why my hatred of KU is rivaled only by my hatred of both OU and A&M), and my family gets pumped. up. about the games. But they've always had plenty to be excited about, because they almost always have a great team. (Though what happened YESTERDAY, Horns?? A&M???)

But Missouri hasn't ever had that opportunity, because traditionally...well, we've sucked. Corby Jones was our quarterback when I was in college and even then, we never assumed we were going to win anything. It was great when we actually did win, but no one really got comfortable enough with the idea of us being "a winning team". This year, however, has been totally different. We go into games ASSUMING we're going to win.

And that's exactly how I plan to head into this game tonight.

"Rock chalk, chickenhawk, SCREW KU!!!"



Friday, November 23, 2007

Comment dit-on "Assholes"?

My sister is currently dating a French guy. Correction, a French giant. JP is 6'7" and somewhat resembles Buzz Lightyear - comical since he's getting his PhD in Aerospace Engineering. He's officially the only guy my sister has ever dated that I actually enjoy being around, which is good, as he spent Thanksgiving with us yesterday.

And unlike when my sister has brought guys she's dated around in the past, I spent the day being mildly embarrassed for my family (myself, included) and not my sister's boyfriend. The last guy we met, paraded into my parents' house like he owned it, wearing a Nautica baseball cap, a MasterCraft t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts and Crocs, and proceeded to tell my parents all about his "toys". And after he'd run through his own material possessions, he rattled off an itemized list of his parents' assets. I've never witnessed such an overt display of douchebaggery in my life. I sat there vacillating between feeling sorry for him and wanting to punch him.

This scenario has pretty much been par for the course when it comes to guys my sister dates. They come in, say dumb things, and I get embarrassed for them and just wish they'd go away. (For their sakes.) But yesterday it was my family, and not JP, that was the source of my embarrassment.

My stepmother took French growing up. My brother is currently taking French. I used to take lessons, and have decided to start them again, now that I might actually have someone to practice with. And my sister, despite having no concept of the French alphabet or rules of pronunciation, is currently wagging around a book called, "Just Enough French" which she reads when waiting for doctor's appointments or stuck in traffic in preparation for her upcoming trip to meet his family.

All of this lead to a meal with half the table telling stories about France and making poor attempts to speak French, with JP patiently putting up with us. "Ma papa, il n'est pas intelligent parce qu'il ne parlais pas la francais," said my brother much to JP's amusement. Upon hearing "papa", my father felt compelled to share a story about his memorization of a French phrase book on the plane to Paris, only to get to dinner and struggle so badly with his order that the waiter finally said, "What do you want." And at the end of the meal, I proudly announced, "Je voudrais un desirez!"

"Um," my brother said, "You would like a desire?"

"Oh, right. I meant, 'un dessert'."

All of this was punctuated every so often with my sister blurting out her version of the classic French come on ("Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?") made popular by the song "Lady Marmalade". Only when she said it, it came out sounding something like, "Voooleee-voo sooshwah ah vey mwah say saw." With each exclamation, JP would smile and joke about my sister bringing home half the Parisian metro should she continue her attempts to master this phrase on their trip.

Through all of this, JP was a remarkably good sport. But I couldn't help but think to myself, "This is why the French hate us."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pearls of Wisdom.

Last night, I met up with friends for dinner. One of them brought a girl to dinner that I'd never met before. She looked at me quizzically, and explained she thought she knew me from somewhere. We did the usual where-are-you-from, what-do-you-do, where-did-you-go-to-college-type bullshit, when she finally looked like she'd figured it out.

"Are you in Junior League???" she asked, hopefully.

"No," I said, flatly.

Another friend noticed me bristle, and later called me out on it.

"So why do you think she thought you were in the Junior League?"

"I don't know."

"Yes you do," he said, trying to get a rise out of me.

I ignored him.

But it did bug me. I had to actually stifle a sneer when she asked me, and I had just met her. As a disclaimer, some of my very best friends are in the Junior League, and they all claim it to be a wonderfully worthwhile organization, and I'm sure it is. I only remember that one of these friends had to skip out on a girls' night one evening, because she had to, and I wish I were making this up, "organize a mime show."

I was beyond annoyed. "You're ditching us to organize mimes? Is that a joke?"

"Well, it's children at an under-privileged school. They're putting on the show."

"Right. Okay, well, what if you end up with an unruly mime, that locks himself in an invisible box and won't come out? Then you're going to be pissed you didn't come out with us."

I'm a terrible friend. I really am. But I have a healthy ego, and I wasn't about to get ditched for a 10 year-old mime, even though my favorite children are quiet ones.

Anyway, there's definitely a stigma associated with organizations like sororities and the Junior League. And I've spent most of my life either being in organizations like that, or being close friends with people in them. (It's called The Debutante Hippie for a reason.) But there are few things I hate more than when people just assume my WASP-y background. When that happens, I feel like I'm automatically slapped with this label that says "I think I'm better than you".

I should be clear, that I do think I'm better than most people. (It sounds obnoxious until you think about the idiots that make up the vast majority of this country, after which you'll realize you, too, are better than most people.) But that's one of my favorite things about myself - my mild superiority complex - and I feel it's something that should slowly reveal itself. It's like the pearl in my oyster that very few get to pry open and truly experience, which is definitely for the best.

But the metaphorical irony is that wearing pearls, as I did last night, ultimately blows my cover altogether.

The lesson here: I'd make a shit Clark Kent.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tales from the Skies

I was on a plane for the majority of the day yesterday, and would like to vent. For starters, I hate traveling for work. I don't like mingling with the great unwashed, and I particularly don't like doing so in tight spaces when there's nothing but meetings waiting for me on the other end. But lately, I've gotten very bitter toward air travel in particular.

First, when did they quit serving those delicious, warm and buttery nuts (yup, I said it) in first class? Now you get some crap "cocktail mix" consisting of pretzels, cheese things and something they're passing off as a cracker but tastes like the side of a tree.

Also, it pisses me off to no end it when you're delayed or sitting on the tarmac and the pilot thanks you "again" for your patience when he never thanked you to begin with.

And "in the event of a water landing?" WTF??? In the history of aviation, has there ever been an actual "water landing" that wasn't made in one of those weird boat-planes that only seem to be used in Alaska? Most "water landings" I've heard of resulted in pieces of wreckage floating on the surface of the ocean while the passengers are getting devoured in murky waters below. And I'm supposed to use my seat cushion as a floatation device in this situation? I find no comfort whatsoever just sitting on those damn things, but you expect me to find comfort in the idea of using them as a survival tactic?

Additionally, for everyone's benefit, I've gone ahead and made a list of reasons why I might hate you, should I encounter you while traveling.

1. If you are so fat, you spill over the arm rest and into my seat, forcing me to hang out in the aisle where I get hit by every passenger boarding and going to/from the loo, I will hate you. This happened a couple of weeks ago and when this fat ass pulled out his cheesesteak sandwich from Chili's Too, I quietly recited the fat and calorie content (55g, 1010 calories) under my breath.

2. If you bring your screaming baby on a plane and you're not traveling to one of the world's foremost hospitals for treating some illness your child has, I will hate you.

3. If you take your job at the security screening area too seriously, I will hate you. And if you comment on my name ("Well, the boarding pass says 'Elizabeth Taylor', but you sure don't look like her!"), I will knee you so hard in the nuts that you start seeing stars while I hiss, "Do I look like her now, bitch?"

4. If you don't know what to do in line at the security screening area, and screech things like, "I'ma not takin' off muh shooooooes!" in some defiant hillbilly accent, I will hate you.

5. If you or your snotty kid are watching a DVD without headphones, I will hate you. If said DVD involves Dora the Explorer, I will also punch both you and your kid in your ears.

6. If you are under 5'10" and are sitting comfortably in the emergency exit row on Southwest, I will hate you.

7. If I'm sitting next to you in coach on American, I will hate you because I should never sit in coach on American.

8. If you're a man, and you're bigger than me and standing beside me watching me struggle to get my suitcase into the overhead compartment and don't bother to help, I will hate you.

9. If I have the misfortune of sitting next to the lavatory and you take a massive dump, the stench of which mixes with that nast 2000 Flushes bullshit they keep in toilet making it smell like a goddamn port-a-potty, I will hate you.

10. If I catch so much as a glint of judgment in your eye if I order two alcoholic beverages during a 30-minute flight, I will hate you.

Because if there was ever an activity that required alcohol, it's traveling.

Friday, November 9, 2007

There are tattoos...

and then there is this:


Meeeeooow.

Biscuits in the City.

My friend Erika recently purchased "My So Called Life" on DVD. She IM'ed me yesterday to ask me if I'd ever noticed Rayann is eating in every. single. scene. I told her I'd never thought about it, but thinking back, I can only picture Rayann smacking while talking, so I guess that's probably right.

Last night, I also revisited an old favorite as I watched an episode of "Sex in the City". I loved this show when it was on. Own most of the series on DVD. Sat camped around the TV for every episode of Season Six with my best girlfriends, and actually saw Sarah Jessica Parker (or "SJP" as we called her back then) the night before the final episode aired which was, like, HUGE.

But now I realize I hate this show. How did I miss this before? Is it that I was younger and I thought that's how women behaved in their thirties, and just never questioned it? As I sat watching last night, I made the following observations:

1. Carrie looks like a 4 year-old that triumphed over her mom in getting to wear what she wants for the day.

2. Samantha is actually a pigeon masquerading as a skinny nympho bitch. That's the only plausible explanation for the fact she's cooing in every scene, because I know plenty of skinny nympho bitches (and just plain skinny nymphos) and NONE of them talk like that.

3. How did Miranda not realize she's a lesbian? More importantly, what producer would try to make a lesbian actress a believable straight character by dressing her in ties?

4. Charlotte (who could have out-WASPed Brooke Astor) ended up with a Jew? They should have just replaced Kristin Davis with a unicorn, as that would have been equally ridiculous and they wouldn't have had to mess with salary negotiations.

5. The best alternative to Mr. Big they could come up with was the most famous ballet dancer of all time? Who's writing this show??? Mr. Big is masculinity on HGH, and Carrie has gone from being attracted to that, to Baryshnikov?

When it comes to suspending disbelief, I could win a gold medal. (It's typically the sole reason I'm able to date, or hell, even get out of bed in the morning.) But that this show was ever passed off as being remotely exemplary of the lives of single women is astonishing to me now.

Last Friday, I went out with my little group of girlfriends. By 11pm, we were all drunk and hungry. We headed to a restaurant famous for their biscuits, which also happened to be located down the street from the home of one of the girls old boyfriend. As we approached the restaurant, my friend stopped dead in her tracks and exclaimed, "Oh my God, there is GREAT sex up the street." The rest of us stopped as well not sure what to do with that info, until my roommate quickly said, "Yes, but there are great BISCUITS inside!" With that, everyone - including our friend with gluten allergies - immediately snapped out of it and went rushing inside the restaurant.

And THAT, kids, is the reality of single women. In the real world, biscuits, not love (or even a great lay), will triumph over all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tracy Peterson, BEWARE!!!

That missing Illinois mother is named Stacy Peterson? Seriously??

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A busy body.

Today a little girl in India had a very big surgery. She was born with a parasitic twin, thus giving her four arms and four legs. And, as of today, the superfluous limbs are gone.

Keep in mind this story takes place in India, a traditionally Hindu nation. For those of you unfamiliar with Hinduism, most all of their gods and goddesses have multiple limbs. Thus, when Lakshmi was born, the people in the village thought she was a reincarnation of the goddess by the same name. Therefore a great schism has formed between the people in the village that feel a temple should be built in her honor and those that feel she should join the circus. (It occurred to me our nation could also be divided into similar circus/temple camps regarding our current president. Though unlike Lakshmi's case, I think far more people would vote for the circus route.)

Personally, I feel they should have left her as is. Think of how much more productive she would have been with four hands instead of two? I'd be ready in thirty seconds flat each morning if I could brush my teeth put on makeup, a fix my hair all at the same time. Cooking would be a breeze. And that bitch Paula Radcliffe would have nothing on my girl, Lakshmi in a marathon. Paula would be there huffing along while Lakshmi would fly past her, running on two legs until those tired out, then switching to the other two.

I suppose I should just be thankful Lakshmi made it through surgery okay. Though admittedly, I'm going to get tremendous joy out of the mental image of Lakshmi winning the 2027 NYC Marathon a full two hours before anyone else.

Hey, Paula!

As far as athletic activities, I've never been one for team sports. I'm a competitive person and hate relying on the abilities of others to win. Which is why running works for me. It's solitary and unless I'm in a race, the only person I'm competing with is myself.

That said, I have never had any desire to run a marathon. For one thing, I quite like my toenails. For another, I find the idea of bloody nipples beyond grody. (And yes, I said grody.) But I get there are people out there that have an overwhelming desire to destroy their bodies, pulverizing their joints running mile after mile.

What I don't get is Paula Racliffe. If you're unfamiliar with her, she's the current world record holder for the women's marathon with a time of 2:15:25. That, in and of itself, is INSANE. However, even more insane is that Paula won the NYC marathon this past weekend only ten months after giving birth.

Now, I don't pretend to know what happens down there after birth. Nor do I ever hope I find out. But I have visited one friend in the hospital the day after she had her twins, and she was wearing a diaper. So I have to believe that beginning training twelve days after giving birth was a bad idea for all involved - save maybe a dog running behind her.

Hey, Paula? Can we chat? You've just had a kid that you've hauled around for nine months, and then spent 27 hours expelling. You've been running your entire adult life. Take a break. Maybe just walk? Maybe jog lightly? Have you ever played Scrabble? I guarantee you a seven-letter word on a triple-word-score is every bit as much of a rush as winning a marathon.

More than that, you're making all of us look bad, Paula. You don't realize your own quest for athletic perfection just makes your fellow females look like fat, lazy assholes. And we resent you for that.

Okay, maybe other women don't resent her, but I do. And at the end of the day, my opinion is the only one that matters.

At least as far as this blog is concerned.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A proposition.

I will pay $100 if someone can show me a food concept nastier than chicken fries.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

E.V.Oh. My. God.

I was at the grocery store earlier today, and the headline on the National Enquirer at the checkout stand proclaimed Rachael Ray (whose first name has one too many "a"s in my opinion) had kicked her husband out for cheating. I am a horrible person as I stood there wishing that headline was on something more reputable, like Star or Life & Style.

It's been a long time since there's been a celebrity that annoyed the shit out of me. Fran Drescher was probably the last one. But she has officially been dethroned, as I cannot stand Rachael Ray.

The tough thing about Rachael Ray, is that I feel I'm supposed to like her because the rest of the country does. Unlike with my hatred of Ms. Drescher or that kid that played Stephanie Tanner, when I express my severe annoyance with RR, I feel as though I need to explain myself. People don't just automatically get it.

This past week I got stuck out of town for business, and the only decent television program on one morning was Rachael Ray's talk show. So I watched it, trying very hard to find the appeal through the over-the-top cheeriness and giggling. I've always known I hated her cooking show, with her ridiculous acronyms (EVOO!) and made up words (stoups, sammies, etc). But maybe if she wasn't cooking, I'd like her?

This was not the case at all. In fact, I sat there wishing she had something to distract her (like getting ingredients from the fridge) so she'd shut up for two seconds. Instead, I watched as she interrupted Christy Brinkley for about fifteen minutes saying the most idiotic things imaginable.

"Last week, I was at parent/teacher conferences..."

"OH. MY. GOD! I love that fabulous supermodels go to parent/ teacher conferences!! Audience, can you BELIEVE that?!!! I mean, look at her, she's GORGEOUS, and actually WENT to parent/teacher conferences!! I'm sorry, I just think that's SO cool!"

And then she proceeded to giggle with glee, and I half expected her to start slobbering and rocking back and forth while clapping her hands.

"Ah, well, I'm still a mother and so of course I go to parent/teacher conferences..."

"But you're GORGEOUS! And you're almost FIFTY!! Audience, can you BELIEVE that?!!! She's almost FIFTY! Will you give us some of your beauty tips later?"

"Sure..."

"Audience, wouldn't you just LOVE to know the beauty tips of a SUPERMODEL?! I know I would!"

I expected the audience to come together in a unified statement of opposition against the fact Rachel insisted on absolutely spazzing out over her guest like a sixteen year-old at a Justin Timberlake concert. Instead they erupted in wild applause.

One time, I actually watched the full episode of "THS: Rachael Ray" hoping to find some tiny morsel to enjoy about her. This same THS approach had worked miracles for my once-hatred for Katie Couric, and I had high hopes it would do the same here.

But about halfway through the episode, they introduced a woman who runs an online club for people that hate Rachael Ray, and despite learning of her humble beginnings in New York state, I couldn't wait to sign up. This sentiment didn't change as I watched the remainder of the episode cringing as they explained how her media empire was expanding quicker than a family of rabbits. It filled me with unimaginable anxiety that at some point in the near future, I won't even be able to turn on my television as Rachael Ray will have taken over the airwaves completely. But given my standard programming choices, I think I'm safe.

Though, admittedly, I would probably enjoy watching Rachael if she were on "Rock of Love".

Friday, November 2, 2007

The wheels on the bus...

There are certain times, despite all the responsibility, when I couldn’t be more thankful to be a grown up. Usually these moments occur on weekend mornings when I wake up wanting something like chili for breakfast, make myself a bowl, crawl back into bed where I eat said chili and watch rubbish television for at least five hours. (As an aside, I’m also very thankful I’m single during these moments.)

But today, I passed a school bus and I literally breathed a sigh of relief that I will never again be forced to ride one. I absolutely hated riding school buses growing up. As a student athlete, we had to take them to all our games. Inevitably, I ended up stuck next to the only other white girl on our team who spent rides to the game bitching about the jheri curl activator our teammates were leaving on the seats. The ride home was spent listening to the same girl sob about not scoring more points, while alternately complaining that she couldn’t lean her head back because of what she so sensitively termed, “that fucking jheri juice”.

As a member of the drill team, I traveled with a busload of girls on their way to football games, most of which insisted on changing into our uniforms while en route to the game. Marci, the team whore, would always smash her bare ass against the glass while changing, and when a car inevitably honked she would always claim that she *giggle* “totally forgot” everyone could see her. And more than a few of those girls never wore anything under their required pantyhose, providing more unwanted exposure to crotches than a weekend with Britney Spears.

Luckily, I only spent one year actually riding a yellow dog to school. But that year was more than enough for reasons far beyond the uncomfortable seats and ever-present sludge covering the floors. Our bus driver, Mr. Mallory, was an alcoholic and would typically show up at least 30 minutes late to pick us up, piss drunk, and then get us to school just as late. Our principal was outside nearly every morning, waiting for us with a ready yell for Mr. Mallory who would just laugh and apologize, and then repeat the exact same scenario the next day.

I now know that firing someone for being an alcoholic is a tricky thing, riddled with legalities since it’s a disease. Somehow, I would think if your job involved driving children to and from school, an exception could be made. Mr. Mallory was ultimately fired toward the end of the year, but not for being a drunk. He was fired after a particular afternoon when, on our way home, Mr. Mallory decided to let one of the students drive the bus. That we were thirteen would have been cause enough for concern. But the student Mr. Mallory chose to drive our death shuttle was a severely retarded boy named Walter. Certainly a drunk should not be driving. Nor should an eighth grader. But a retarded eighth grader is another matter entirely, and once we finally came to a stop, one of the girls on the bus went running home, crying hysterically, and told her mother that Mr. Mallory had let Walter drive the bus. The next day we had a new bus driver.

I think maybe it's time for some chili.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To host a ghost.

As today is Halloween, I thought it was appropriate to discuss hauntings. Specifically, hauntings in the workplace involving the scariest ghost of all: the Ghost of Penises Past.

Today I received a frantic message from a friend of mine. Apparently Sarah had been in a meeting with the CFO when the new guy from accounting popped his head in to drop something off. The CFO quickly asked Dan if he'd met my friend yet, at which point he quickly said yes (in an attempt not to further disrupt their meeting) and left the room.

Sarah had not yet been introduced to Dan from accounting. This would make Dan a liar. However, as fate would have it, Dan was actually (perhaps unknowingly) telling the truth. About eight years ago, Dan and Sarah had a brief, week-long fling and hadn't spoken since.

It is worth noting that Sarah has, by no means, been "around the block". She did, however, recently get out of a relationship with a co-worker that she kept very secretive. Currently, there are three single guys in her office. She has now hooked up with two of them. Of course, she's the only one that knows this, but she's disturbed by it nonetheless. It is always awkward to be around people you've dated in the past. But there is nothing worse than the Ghost of Penises Past haunting you in the workplace, particularly if it's unexpected.

First, I should admit to being a Class A offender when it comes to dating guys I work with. Despite my best efforts to avoid this route, I have dated someone at the three ad agencies I've worked for. (Note to potential future employers: I chalk that up to extreme dedication to my craft, requiring hours upon hours of work therefore limiting my social life and only exposing me to the men I work with.) But at one point when I was dating a guy at work, The Ghost of Penises Past paid me a visit as well when a guy I was friendly with in college started working at my company.

I should be honest when I say my "history" with this Ghost consisted of a few dates and a couple of drunken makeout sessions. But it was haunting nonetheless, as I had really liked him at the time. Things got even more complicated when my Ghost and the guy I was dating joined the same team and began working together. Eventually the truth spilled out to everyone involved, after which began a ridiculous dick dance between my now-happily-married Ghost and the guy I was seeing, with me quite unhappily wedged in the middle.

And not unlike Sarah, I haven't dated a ton of guys, as my mother reminded me this weekend at another friend's baby shower. She first probed around trying to get confirmation on my sexuality, then proceeded to express her concerns about the fact I haven't found anyone, that I rarely like the guys I date, and when I do like them, I seem to hold them to ridiculous standards. Personally, I think my overall standards are abysmally low - tall, funny, must have opposable thumbs- but she is right that I have yet to find someone that meets these. Nonetheless, two of my ghosts ended up in the same office on the same team despite all odds.

Even more remarkable is another recent story from a different friend. While engaged to a wonderful guy, Karen started a new job. The first day of work, she went to get a cup of coffee. In the kitchen, she ran into a co-worker who paid her no mind at all, got his coffee and left.

Two years prior to this encounter, she and this co-worker, Eric, had met for coffee - the first actual meeting after a month or so of talking on an online dating site. Prior to coffee, she had been very excited about this guy. Everything seemed to be going wonderfully. Great conversations, lots in common, etc. But once she arrived at coffee, all chemistry was gone. She e-mailed him to thank him the next day and never heard from him again. Now, despite being married she continues to do her very best to avoid her Ghost.

It is by pure coincidence that a year prior to Karen's coffee date, some friends of mine tried to set me up with Eric. We had one painful date during which he made clear that despite being tall and smart, he most definitely was not funny.

He also had weird hair.

Robet Goulet died.

"Da-da-deeeeeee-da-da-da-doooooooo..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2zRGQX2QLo

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wild gone wild.

This week, on opposite sides of the planet, animals were making news. In Boston, wild turkeys have apparently taken over the city. Not only are these things showing up everywhere, but they’re actually chasing people. And they’re BIG. My God, I had no idea wild turkeys were so large. Some of them grow to be four feet tall. I sat next to a little person on a plane the other day that was about that height, and I was completely unnerved by him. I get uncomfortable around any men I tower over, but this guy was adjusting himself the whole flight which didn’t help my discomfort. But had this guy been a turkey of the same size (particularly if it spent three hours adjusting his tiny turkey gherkin) I would have completely freaked.

The article in The Boston Globe featured this picture (which I edited for my own amusement), but it gives you an idea of the craziness of this situation.
Meanwhile, as the turkeys were running loose in Boston this week, six drunk elephants were being electrocuted in India. Apparently forty of them came into a village looking for food. They like the rice beer brewed by the local tribesmen, got wasted off it, and proceeded to uproot a utility pole.

First, I’d like to extend my condolences to their elephamilies. Second, I would like to place the blame for this situation solely on the rice farmers who made the beer. According to the news, the beer the elephants drank was being stored in drums in the farmers’ huts.

Let’s pretend I live in a three-story brick home. Let’s also pretend I’m sitting on the third floor with headphones on. And say I have a keg on the first floor. This might be a bold statement, but I’m fairly certain I’d notice if an elephant came in looking for drink. These dumbasses, though, somehow MISSED elephants coming into their straw huts and drinking beer out of large drums that were sitting right next to their beds.

I had some fratty friends in college that tried to get a guy’s dog drunk one night. I’d assume maybe the same thing happened here, except I have to believe that for impoverished rice farmers beer is next to gold and they’re not going to take their fake IDs to the Party Barn to pick up another keg in the event the elephants drink them dry.

But I’ve never been to India, so that could be a very uneducated statement.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pee-nko.

I am truly one of the most embarrassing people I know, and one of my more embarrassing moments occurred when I was in fifth grade. I absolutely had to pee, but like most elementary schools we were only allowed to have one student out of the room at a time on a bathroom run. David, the class hooligan, had asked to go to the restroom and had been gone long enough that if I didn't know he was probably covering the side of the building with graffiti, I would have assumed he'd actually drowned in the restroom.

I finally took matters into my own hands and begged Miss Basigner to make an exception. "Please," I pleaded, "I really, really have to go."

"When David comes back you can leave," she kept saying without even looking up from her paperwork.

I wanted to tell her she was an idiot and should know David was most likely not ever coming back, when I simply couldn't hold it anymore. I stood there at the front of the classroom, right by Miss Basinger's desk, and pissed myself. I would say I was embarrassed, but at that exact moment any feelings of mortification were completely overwhelmed by the warm - very warm - feeling of relief.

I have to imagine this was not the case with Marie Fodale, who had essentially the exact same thing happen...only on national television. Ms. Fodale was a recent contestant on "The Price is Right". Like many contestants, when her name was called she ran up to Drew Carey, jumping up and down and screaming. But unlike most contestants, after learning she'd be playing Plinko, she confessed to Mr. Carey through screams of joy, "I gotta go potty."

And here's where Drew Carey made the same error in judgment as Miss Basinger. He told her she'd have to wait. That she'd have to play Plinko first. Everyone knows that Plinko is the greatest game on TPIR, maybe the greatest game ever invented. As such, people freak the hell out when they get to play it. That, of course, is exactly what this woman did. She stood at the top of the Plinko board screaming and jumping around (a terrible idea I thought, given her state) continuing to say she needed to pee. But Drew insisted she'd have to get through the rest of her Plinko chips, and the excitement just kept coming for poor Marie. Her first chip earned her $100. The next two, however, earned $10,000 each, and Marie jumped and screamed with the final clink of each chip.

Marie ended up with a handsome sum of cash. She also ended up covered in piss, and had to be blown dry with hairdryers backstage.

Today Marie was invited on the "Ellen" show to discuss her ordeal and was given a brand new washer and dryer. So I'd say between the Plinko prize money and a new washer and dryer, it was ultimately a net net situation for ol' Marie. Granted, pissing yourself on national television is horrifying. But she didn't have to sit in her teacher's chair for the rest of afternoon with a classroom of 10 year olds staring at her only to have her mom bring her clean clothes, but FORGET to bring underwear thus forcing her to spend the next two hours running errands with her mom in clean jeans only.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

How not to sell a car.

This weekend I flew up to North Carolina to visit my friend Patrick. We were reviewing the plans for the weekend, when he asked if I would go test drive a car with him. The car he was interested in was the new C30 from Volvo. This car was essentially created to compete with the Mini Cooper, thus it is exactly the size you would expect: mini.

My friend is 6’4”. Why he was considering this car to begin with was beyond me, but I agreed to go along. He’d been e-mailing with a salesman at the dealership named Herbert. We got to the dealership, asked for Herbert, and I scooted off to the restroom while Patrick waited for him. When I returned, Patrick whispered, “He’s German,” and Herbert who was several feet ahead turned around to see me.

“Hallo! I am Herbert,” he announced in a thick German accent that was muddied by his even thicker German moustache. He looked sort of like Teddy Roosevelt, only shorter. “Let’s head ovah to zee little blue von,” he said, and gestured to this blue car with a dork-tastic Swedish flag painted on top. Clearly Herb wanted to sit in the front seat, which left me sitting in the back. As Patrick is so tall, he had to have his seat pushed all the way back leaving exactly three inches between his seat and the backseat.

I am not a small person. I’m 6’ tall, most of which is made up of my legs. I have few enemies in life, but ceiling fans and the back seats of cars are definitely two of them. So when I was finally able to crawl into the car, saw there was no room behind the driver’s seat and limited room behind Herbert, I knew this was going to be a very long drive.

As we drove along, Herbert explained all the benefits of the car. Safety features, gas mileage, how Vovlos are made. Meanwhile, in the backseat, I tried to admire the fall foliage but my knees were obstructing my view. I sat there getting increasingly annoyed that Patrick was even considering this vehicle as he looked like a total idiot in it, and obviously having passengers wasn’t going to be an option. The impracticality of this situation combined with Herb’s ramblings about the car’s benefits finally got the best of me, so I interrupted his safety speech to ask how long he’d worked for Volvo. He’d been there four months. He was married to an American, and she had wanted to move home. Apparently he had been a nurse in Germany, but his credentials hadn’t gone through yet in the States.

I explained I was in town just visiting, and Herbert asked what I was planning on doing while I was there. I mentioned I wanted to go to the state fair, as I’d heard they had a legitimate freak show. (I typically jump at any opportunity to boost my own ego, and if staring at the 27 inch woman with her five-legged goat won’t do the trick, nothing will.) Herbert mentioned he too, wanted to go to the fair but was waiting until Tuesday.

“Why Tuesday?” Patrick inquired.

“Because on Toosday, zay geev avay zee free things because it is zee last day. And I am German, and so I love zee free things. My vife hates it ven I haggle, because I LOVE to haggle. But at zee fair on Toosday, zay vill just geev me things for free!”

I consider myself a worldly person familiar with many cultures. I knew haggling was common in lots of countries, but I will be honest that Germany isn’t a country I automatically associate with haggling. Jamaica, yes. Germany, no. So I asked Herbert how he haggles in the U.S., as that’s not something typically done here in the States.

“Oh I haggle everyzing here. Zee other day, I haggled a pair ov jeans at zee Val-Mart.”

Now I was really interested. Wal-Mart has everyday low prices, afterall. But he had managed to talk them down?? Fascinating. I had to know more.

Vell you see, I took zee jeans to zee till. And I said to zee lady, ‘This says recommended retail price ees $72.'”

After I got over my shock that Wal-Mart was peddling $72 jeans, I let Herbert continue on with his story.

“Yes, so zee lady at zee till says I have to pay $72. And I said, ‘Noooo, zis is the recommended price. But zat is not vat I vould like to pay.”

Oh my God, I'm glad I live halfway across the country as I would never leave the house if I knew that man lived in my town for fear I'd get stuck behind him at a checkout line.

Zee line to zee till kept getting longah and longah, and finally I say, ‘May I please speak to zee managah,’ and zis Black American lady comes ovah and asks me vat zee problem is. I say, ‘This says recommended retail price is $72, but zat is not vat I vould like to pay.’ She said I had to pay zat and I told her no. 'Zis is only zee recommended price and it is my consumer right to not agree vith zis price.' So I told her I vould give her $55 in cash, and as it had been ten minutes since I had been standing zere, she said okay, and I gave her zee $55 and met my vife who vas standing very far away from me.”

No shit his wife was standing far away. I would be standing in the next county if i were her. With divorce papers in-hand.

“But you zee, I saved $17 in TEN MINUTES! You can’t make money like that!” and then Herbert erupted into laughter at his own brilliance.

“Herbert. I cannot imagine how horrifying it is being married to you,” I said with the utmost sincerity.

“Oh yes, vell my vife is horrified too, all zee time. Vee vent to zee Outback, and zay brought me a steak and I say, ‘Is this steak nine ounces? Because I’m not sure it is.’ So, zay brought me a much bigger steak, but I only paid for zee nine ounces!!” Again, he erupted.

I wanted to tell Herbert that he probably shouldn’t be telling stories like this to potential customers, since car sales is one of the few areas where haggling is actually acceptable in the States. I can’t imagine Herbert has sold a single car since coming to the U.S., but then again, he’s a nurse masquerading as a car salesman, so I guess you can’t hold that against him.

I’m just thankful he was able to surgically remove my knees from my chin following our ride.

Friday, October 19, 2007

One man's trash is Gigi's treasure.

A friend of mine IM'ed me last night about the ordeal that has been moving her mother out of her home and in with my friend and her husband. She gave me a heads up that when I reach that life stage, I should prepare for the fact elderly people don't like throwing things away. They start seeing everything as keepsakes and memories.

I was quite happy to say I'd already learned this lesson a couple of years ago when we moved my grandmother out of her home. But in my grandmother's case, everything aligned to create the perfect storm of the most useless crap imaginable. First, her home was quite large, thus there was plenty of room to store plenty of junk. Second, my grandmother is in her eighties, so she's definitely at the everything's-a-keepsake stage. But what really made all this the perfect storm is that my mother's side of the family (my mother strangely excluded) has an inability to recognize what is trash. It's like a severely mutated form of the packrat gene.

So it was no surprise that my grandmother came to me last year with two treasures she thought I might like. The first were little plastic cake toppers (a clown, a little girl, etc.) that by the looks of them, had been on someone's cake in...1976, maybe?

"Gigi, what are these."

"Oh, well, I thought you might know someone that would like these."

"I'm pretty sure the trash can would like them."

"Ohhhhh, no!" she cried, "They're so cute! Maybe James or Catherine would like to have them?"

James and Catherine are my youngest siblings, and both are teenagers. I was fairly certain they would rather have, oh I don't know, an iPod over cake toppers from the 1970s. But I appreciated the gesture so took them and told her I'd check and see. She then proceeded to give me a bottle of Breck shampoo, that was probably retired the same day the cake toppers were. It was half full, and what was in there had separated out into different layers. I was familiar with this phenomenon with salad dressings, but was concerned to see the same thing happens to shampoo with enough time. In an attempt to see if the layers would actually mix, I turned the bottle upside down. The shampoo barely moved, and I was shocked to see the layers actually stayed in tact.

"And what, exactly, am I supposed to do with this?" I asked, watching the shampoo carefully.

"Well, it's shampoo, silly. We shouldn't just let it go to waste."

"If I put this in my hair, it most definitely won't clean it. In fact, I'm fairly certain it will preserve it, like sap does with insects."

After realizing the shampoo had moved about a centimeter in the time I'd had it upside down, she finally resigned it might be time to throw the shampoo away.

It would be easy to blame both of these gifts on the nostalgia of the elderly. But again, this isn't really a new thing for her, or anyone related to my mother. The summer after my freshman year of college, I lived with my grandparents. One morning, I was having a quiet cup of coffee with them. My grandmother was putzing around and suddenly said, "Honey, do you know what I found in the freezer yesterday?"

"What's that?" my grandfather responded.

"A turkey."

"A turkey?"

"Yes. Isn't that strange? I guess it was one Robert gave us for Christmas."

"Ah, yup. Bet that's it."

As it was July, I was somewhat horrified they had a turkey in their freezer leftover from Christmas. But before I could settle into this idea, my grandfather said, "Honey, how long has Robert been dead?"

Needless to say, I spewed my coffee across the table. "How long has Robert been dead??" I shrieked.

"Well, I really can't remember," my grandfather responded, clearly perplexed.

"You have a TURKEY in your freezer, that was given to you by a man that's been dead so long you can't even REMEMBER how long it's been?!?"

"Oh. Well, I guess that is a good point. Honey, maybe we should throw that out."

"MAYBE?!?"

Given the situation with the Breck, I guess I'm just happy they didn't eat it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to snake a toilet.

Yesterday in Brooklyn, a women went to the bathroom early in the morning and saw a couple of shiny things in her toilet. She turned on the light and learned the shiny things were eyes. They belonged to a SEVEN-foot python. She screamed, shut the lid, put a box on top of the lid and ran out of the room.

I have several issues with this story, not the least of which is the fact this woman had a kitchy toilet seat with coins suspended in lucite. (There's a place for creativity, kids, and it's not on your shitter.)

Here's another problem I have with this. After seeing a large snake head in her toilet, she closed her coin-filled lid, put something on top, and then ran. If I found a snake in my toilet, you better believe my ass would skip steps one and two and go straight to the running. A few years ago, I saw a tiny pink tail slip under the door of my bathroom linen closet. I screamed bloody murder, ran out of my apartment, called my boyfriend and wouldn't return to my apartment until after he'd removed what turned out to be a three-inch gecko from my closet.

Obviously this thing was someone's pet. Not surprisingly, the python-as-pet mentality is something quite foreign for me. But what kills me, is that this thing had been hanging out in the basement of this woman's apartment building for awhile. Um, seems to me that some phone calls should have been made.

"Hi, animal control? I have a seven-foot python that seems to have gone missing. Can you help?"

Or maybe, "Hi, pet store? I have a seven-foot python I don't want anymore. Would you be interested in it?

Or how about, "Yeah, we appear to have a seven-foot python living in our basement. Can you send someone out?"

At what point does a monstrous snake have NO other option than to crawl through pipelines and into someone's TOILET?! The craziest thing is this isn't the first time this has happened. In looking for additional information about this story on-line, I found FIVE other stories almost identical to this one.

Thank god she was simply washing her hands. How horrifying if she'd actually needed to use the restroom and received a little "kiss". Or worse, if she had been a he, and a snake of a python variety had met a snake of a completely different variety.

The only part of this story that made any sense to me is this lady's been using her daughter's training toilet since her run-in with Monty Python.

Here's hoping it's not covered in coins, too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Popozao!!!

My friend Jill forwarded me a picture of a One Tree Hill script she has that was signed by Kevin Federline. On it, he wrote, "To Jill, Thanks for all your support!" and signed his name with a heart and his scribbled name.

At that, I demanded to know what, exactly, Jill was doing to support Kevin Federline. I knew Britney was supporting him, but Jill, too? I was relieved and highly amused to learn she'd lied and told him she owned his album.

To quote Cowboy Mouth, "Everybody loves Jill," and this is a great example of why I especially do.

Doin' the doo.

First, my apologizes for not having updated this recently. I've been working my ass off lately. Actually, my ass hasn't gone anywhere. If anything it's grown due to stress-induced junk food binges, which is the real bitch of the matter. But I digress.

When you spend excessive amounts of time at the office, inevitably times will come when you need to go to the bathroom. Like, GO go to the bathroom. (Particularly if you've spent the afternoon downing Doritos.)

And here's something I absolutely hate doing: THAT.

My friend Rachel has no problem whatsoever taking dumps at work. (Which is curious because we went toobing once and she absolutely refused to piss in the river, preferring instead to hop out and squat against a tree in front 200 drunken rednecks that make up the floating Wal-Mart that is the Guadalupe River in August.) But I've always been jealous of people that can do that. And why should we be embarassed? As Taro Gomi's book teaches us, "Everyone Poops."

Everyone poops, that is, except me when I'm at the office. Now, that's not to say there haven't been exceptions to this rule. But those exceptions typically involve me covered in chills, clenching the arms of my chair and sweating profusely for about an hour before that exception is made. Even then, I'm lucky to live close enough that if I'm not parked on the fourth floor of our parking garage, I usually pretend I have something at home that HAS to be mailed TODAY, jump in my car, and break every traffic law I can in the mile or so drive home.

But I don't always have that luxury. Historically, this has never been a problem. Every office I've worked in to date has had a "secret restroom", ideal for that sort of thing. My last office had one in the basement. The one before that had one way down this hall no one ever visited. My current office, however, has no such thing. Most people travel to the third floor of our office, as there are less people on that floor. But there are still plenty of people working on the third floor, and why should we subject them to the anal atrocities of the rest of the building just because their floor only has 150 or so people working on it?

Adding insult to the injury that is this scenario, we have polished concrete floors in our bathrooms. While very much in keeping with the hipster vibe of our office, they are not only prone to echoes, but - much to my horror my first week here - also reflective. So, theoretically, if one was left with no choice but to take a dump at work, not only would every sound be amplified, but theoretically someone in the next stall could actually witness one's agony in a very muddled, shadowy sort of way.

I should acknowledge this scenario would require working with complete and total sickos, which is thankfully not the case here. But I do think perhaps those shaggy rugs that wrap around the base of Me-maw's toilets would be a comforting investment.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mylannah Spice.

This week, two concerts sold out in a matter of minutes. The first was the Spice Girls, who sold out 20,000 seats in 38 seconds. So in the time it takes me to pee, 20,000 people simultaneously decided they HAD to see a bunch of middle-aged women with names like Posh, Baby, Sporty, Scary, and Ginger sing their two (yes, TWO) ten-year old hits along with a slew of other over-produced sugary-sweet pop songs off their new album. Who are these people???

And who are the promoters billing this as a "reunion" tour? This is the SPICE GIRLS, people, not the Police. And again, who wants these five reunited anyway? This is the cast of "Spice World", after all. It's like Mariah launching a "Glitter" tour and it selling out in record time. All of this makes me question England as a nation, really. But perhaps there's an undiscovered link between bad teeth and bad taste in music, so maybe they can't help it.

The other concert that caused mass hysteria this week was Hannah Montana. She sold out cities in mere minutes with tickets going for prices as high as $2,000. I (gracias a Dios) don't have children, so I don't pretend to know what the appeal of this kid is. From my perspective, she seems to have some sort of multiple personality disorder, at times calling herself Hannah and other times, Mylie. It was explained to me that Hannah Montana is the name of her character on the show of the same name, Mylie Cyrus is the name of the actress. But as obsessed as I once was with Mark-Paul Gosslear, I wouldn't have bum rushed Ticketmaster in an attempt to see Zack Attack sing "Friends Forever".

So in an attempt to understand this phenomenon, I've done some research. This girl, let's call her "Mylannah" is apparently Billy Ray Cyrus's kid. So the man that put the "mullet" in "mullet" has spawned a hit-making Cybil whose real name is Mylie Cyrus, character's name is Mylie Stewart, unless of course she's being her "secret" alter-ego, pop superstar Hannah Montana. Alright, so perhaps she doesn't have MPD, but if this bitch doesn't have an identity crisis by the time she's twenty, I'll eat a parakeet.

And am I the only one who thinks the premise of this show is absurd? A "normal" girl who happens to also be one of the biggest pop superstars around, and only her close friends know? Everyone knows kids can't keep their mouths shut with shit like that. My 14 year-old sister has a kid in her grade whose celebrity amounts to being in a local play once and having a head shot, and the whole class knows he's "an actor". And the man keeping a lid on this big secret , ol' Billy Ray (who plays her dad on the show, too!), is the same man who hasn't had a career as much as a handful of 15-minutes of fame moments strung together with all the finesse of a macaroni necklace.

I also feel compelled to mention that one of Mylannah's close friends includes her ex-boyfriend, "Jake Ryan". Oh Disney. Has the creative well run so dry that we're having to recycle boyfriend names from 80's films?

I'm no closer to understanding the appeal of Hannah Mylannah, but I am closer to believing a world in which the Spice Girls are a reunion tour, Billy Ray Cyrus's kid is a singing sensation and the first Jenga block has been removed from the empire Mickey built (JAKE RYAN, people!) is a (spice) world I'm afraid to live in.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sad, but true.

I will probably never be called "shawty" even if someone considered me that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mr. 86.

I will still claim I had the worst first date ever. But my friend Roslyn has officially won the worst SECOND date award.

Her sister had met this guy and proceeded to set Ros up with him. Their first date was bad. For starters, he took her to the Cheesedick Factory. He then proceeded to text throughout the meal, so much so that Ros texted him, "Stop texting. You're on a date." (This is why we are friends.) He apologized, said his cousin was in the hospital, obviously the date wasn't going well, and could they try it again. Ros was ready to throw him on the scrapheap. Instead, she gave him a second chance upon the advice of her dear friend who coincidentally happened to be sitting in the booth next to her at dinner and watched the whole thing unfold.

This advice, while well-meaning, lead to the disaster below.

He began their second date by asking Ros where she was from.

"Houston."

"I hate Houston."

"And why is that."

"I don't know."

"Well, you can't say you hate something without having a reason."

"Yes I can."

"Fine."

"I prefer Dallas."

"I hate Dallas."

And then he mocked her and said, "Why do you hate Dallas? You know you can't hate something without a reason."

"I think it's materialistic."

"Well, you drive a BMW."

"Yes, because it gets me from A to B. That, and not because I'm trying to make a statement, is why I drive a BMW."

"If I were spending that kind of money, I'd buy another Corvette. I used to have a Corvette."

Okay, first of all, I don't trust anyone that would put that kind of money into what is, in my opinion, a "fancy" Camaro. Ros agreed and mentioned that "used to" was the theme of the evening. He used to drive a Corvette, used to have a motorcycle, used to own a home, etc. "Um, who wants to date the mother-fucking 'used to' guy? I want to date the has guy. Just as long as it's not a Camaro." Again, this is why we're friends.

She told him she was in advertising, and he asked what specifically she did. When she responded that she was an Account Manager, he replied, "Sounds like a secretary to me."

This made me laugh. But not as hard as Ros did when she told me her response. "Really," she said calmly, "And this coming from a man who works at Rooms To Fuckin' Go? Oh, and why do I know you work there? Because you're wearing a shirt that says 'Rooms To Fuckin' Go'."

Fantastic.

Right after her retort, his second cell phone rang, prompting Ros to give him a WTF look. "Oh yeah," he bragged, "I have a second cell phone." Then he followed that with, "You have to graduate to get this number."

I love this guy.

Ros shot back, "Then consider me a drop out," and went home. Of course he texted her the next day asking how her day was going. Could he be more predictable?

Hoping something was redeemable about this date, I asked if he was at least good-looking.

"He was okay," she sighed, "But he was light-skinned, and you know that shit went out with El DeBarge in '86."

The Camaro-lovin' Used-To Guy: Out in '86, and 86'ed in '07.

Gross, yet rewarding...

1. Biore strips.
2. Clean and Clear oil-absorbing papers.
3. Popping zits.
4. Peeling sunburned skin.
5. Pooping.

Worst date ever.

My youngest sister called this morning with some very exciting news. She's a freshman in high school and asked a guy to her Sadie Hawkins dance. She had all the bubbling enthusiasm you would expect of a 14 year-old who met "the CUTEST. BOY. EVER!" at the mall this weekend and subsequently got him to agree to attend this dance with her. It was nothing short of adorable. I was especially proud of her, as the first time she worked up the nerve to call and ask this guy, his buddy answered the phone, pretended to be his friend, and told my sister he wasn't sure about the dance. She was completely crestfallen. Then, my sister's crush called her back, apologized for his friend, and my sister had to ask all over again. Luckily, this time he said yes.

I couldn't tell her I had a similar experience in college. It was my first sorority mixer, and I had to find a date. One of my friends suggested I ask her boyfriend's friend, Jeff. So I called him, having never met him, and his roommate answered. He talked to me for awhile, posing as Jeff, and was nothing short of a total dickhead. Then Jeff called me back, apologized, and said he would go to the party with me. At the time I was happy about this.

It turned out Jeff was an alcoholic. Of course I had no way of knowing this...nor would I until he joined AA two years later. But as this was my first college party, and he was a year older, I followed his lead on the booze consumption and was quickly blasted out of my mind. On the bus ride back to campus (as this party had been in a field somewhere because that's how they roll in mid-Missouri), I started to get sick and as my motor skills had been compromised, couldn't figure out how to get the school bus window down. (Admittedly, I struggle with those sober.) Anyway, I proceeded to just puke on myself as it seemed to be the only option at the time. As a sign of how drunk my date was, he didn't even hop up out of his seat, despite the fact he was now sitting next to Linda Blair. He just patted my back and asked if I was okay.

When we got back to campus, we all headed to the dorm. Me covered in barf, my date stumbling all over the place. When we got up to our rooms, I went to take a shower and change. Apparently while I was off doing this, my neighbor asked if anyone wanted some champagne. At this point, my horribly intoxicated date took the bottle, chugged the whole thing, then stumbled to the balcony and proceeded to pee off it, nearly missing another friend and her date as they walked in the dorm down below. Of course I knew nothing of any of this until I got out of the shower and my neighbor was yelling at me for my date drinking all her champagne. (Was later bitched out for the balcony-piss-near-miss.) I apologized to my neighbor and went back to my room only to find him passed out on my bed. I put on my pajamas, rolled him up against the wall, and crawled under the covers.

Around 3am I woke up feeling like I was sleeping under weights. Quickly I realized why. It turns out if you piss on a down comforter, it gets quite heavy. And that's exactly what was going on. I was sleeping under a blanket of piss, and thus, was covered in piss myself. I screamed, jumped out of bed (with Jeff sound asleep) and ran across to my neighbor's room and banged on the door. She opened it to find me hysterical.

"He pissed the bed!!! Oh my GOD, he totally just PISSED. THE. BED!!!"

My friend, in her drunken stupor, reminded me that another shower might be in order. I did so, and spent the rest of the night sleeping in my roommate's bed. (She'd been out of town, and I'd thought about sleeping in her bed initially, but didn't feel like I should since this was the beginning of the year and we weren't that close yet.)

The next morning I woke up, and he was staring at me clearly still wasted. I sent him home immediately, and then went about the mortifying task of having to call my parents and ask them to send me a new comforter.

A fantastic postscript to this story was last year, my friend was in a wedding and one of the other bridesmaids went to college with us, though we didn't know her. But she had the same - unusual - last name as Jeff. My friend asked this girl to repeat her last name, and when she did, my friend made a brief face, quickly explaining that she'd thought it sounded familiar, but she was thinking of a different last name.

Later that night, this bridesmaid got drunk and stumbled up to my friend. "Yes, I'm married to Jeff. And yes, I know he pissed on your friend. Everyone does. But he's been sober now for SIX years, and I'm VERY proud of him!"

I'm crossing my fingers my sister's dance isn't met with the same amount of drama. Though having a story that can trump anyone's worst-first-date story almost made the whole thing worth it.

Almost.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Brads, Bans, Bushes and Bachelors.

I watched President Bush's U.N. speech this morning and soon realized I was experiencing the exact same physical and emotional response as I did last night watching the bachelorette from Austin talk to the latest Bachelor. Yes, typically I'm mortified for all these girls. But when there's a bachelorette from your hometown, I think there's always part of you that roots for them. Until they open their mouths and say stupid things. Then you just get pissed. And this morning, as I watched Bush representing us at the United Nations climate summit, I had this overwhelming feeling of wanting to scream, "Shut up, shut up, shut up...OH. MY. GOD., SHUT UP!!" at the television while pulling at my hair.

Again, this was the exact same reaction I had watching Solisa, the aesthetician, bond with Bachelor Brad over being from Austin. Solisa is from Georgetown, which is not the same as being from Austin. To me, that's kinda like how being against mandatory emission cuts is not the same as caring about the environment. And just as the truth will ultimately reveal itself to Bachelor Brad, so too will the truth reveal itself to Bachelor Ban.

Please note, that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is not, in fact, a bachelor. But I thought the alliteration was quite nice and the mental image of him as the next Bachelor is beyond hilarious. If you need help with said mental image, please go to the Bachelor website and watch a day in the life of Bachelor Brad...running (and "looking hot!") at 6am, showering at 7am, making breakfast in his towel at 8am...and substitute Ban Ki-moon's face for Brad's.

Ban Ki-moon: "the best Bachelor yet", indeed!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Au revoir.

Marcel Marceau died this week, making me wonder if he was buried in an invisible box.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Monkey see, monkey doo.

I spend a great majority of each day bitching about stupid people. But when I'm not counting on them for anything, they can be wonderfully entertaining.

Tonight, I had a couple of great conversations about stupid people. My first conversation was about some girls I went to high school with. I went to an private all-girls high school that required testing to get in, so overall I went to school with very smart people. But in each grade, there were a couple of girls that slipped through the cracks. In our grade, there was a girl that while undeniably gorgeous, was also undeniably retarded. When disgruntled by an ex, she exclaimed, "I swear! He calls me 48 hours a DAY!" She also once asked me how many trimesters were in a semester. But the greatest of all these idiots was a duo two years ahead of me who, during the review for their World History final, shocked the class with the following questions...

Dumb: "I can't remember. Was the Holocaust in World War One or World War TWO?"

Dumber: "Wait a minute. There were TWO world wars?!?"

At that, the teacher threw up her hands, shouted, "I have FAILED as a teacher," and ran out of the room crying.

My college roommate, also a teacher, called tonight with an e-mail from one of her students. She teaches at a major state university and this was her student's actual e-mail explaining why he wouldn't be attending class:

"Hello, I am in your MWF His Class at 2 p.m. I'm sorry but I can't make it to class today, as unbeleivable as this might sound I have two monkeys and my female is pregnant causing my male to be quite aggressive. This morning when I was feeding them I noticed that he was acting extremely stressed and the top of his head was really red, so when I was trying to see what was wrong he attacked me and got ahold of the back of my head. I am fine, its just a little scratch but it has been a year since they have been to the vet so I have to leave now and drive to Jackson to take them to my vet and I also have to get a TB test to make sure I am okay. I am sure I will be fine because I am sure that they are healthy...it is just a precaution I have to take. I'm sorry once again about this. I know it sounds pretty made up but I assure you it is very true. Thank you for understanding."

When I was in college, I thought I was the smartest student alive for telling my Spanish professor I'd missed class because I had diarrhea. As Sarah Silverman brilliantly pointed out at the VMAs, no one will question you if you claim diarrhea. But it's missing the outstanding creativity of this monkey excuse. So the lesson here, boys and girls, is that a pet monkey suffering from explosive diarrhea might be the greatest excuse of all time.

Out of Africa.

My roommate made me promise to begin this blog with a warning. So heads up: I'm going to write about my cat.

First, it should be acknowledged that I am not a "cat person". I didn't grow up with them, and a few years ago, my hatred for cats was so severe I almost got up and walked out of the musical "Cats" because I was so grossed out. At the time, I was renting a house and my neighbor to the west had a million cats they refused to fix. My hippie neighbor to the east, while hating the cats as much as I did, still fed them so as to avoid the karmic repercussions of letting them starve. Thus, I was kept up at night with fighting cats, greeted almost daily with cat turds on my back mat, and my car was constantly covered in dusty paw prints. People that knew me then are always stunned when they find out I own - by choice - a cat.

It's a long story as to how I came to get Gus, but I've had him about two years now. The great thing about having never had a cat growing up is that I only know how to treat dogs. And because Gus is actually very smart (and because a Super Soaker is far more effective than a squirt bottle when it comes to curbing bad behavior), he's turned out to be quite the pet. He runs to the door when anyone knocks, is very friendly, loves to play fetch and can sit on command. He also knows that when I say "out", it's time for him to leave whatever room he's in at the time, and he jumps down from the counter if I say "down". He's pretty quiet unless he's hungry, or it's 7am because he knows it's time for us to get up. And being a cat, I never have to "walk" him. So it's like having the benefits of a dog, rooster, and cat all rolled into one.

He's quite ugly - obviously a mutt of some sort, but we're not sure of which breeds. My roommate has a friend with an extensive knowledge of different cat breeds. He took one look at Gus and suggested he might be part African hunting cat. We basically thought he was full of shit, but after he left, we looked it up. Apparently, there are breeds of cats people have domesticated, but are essentially wild African cats. They're illegal to own in many cities, but gaining popularity. Gus does bear a striking resemblance to these cats, and upon further investigation, we learned there is a "cattery" breeding these things near where Mom found Gus. Based on Gus's brothers (which clearly have different fathers), we know Gus's mom was a slut. So my hypothesis is Gus's whore of a mom jumped the fence at this cattery, banged a Savannah cat (their technical name) and then went off to have Gus in a storm drain. The bad news is Gus is the feline equivalent of the prom night dumpster baby. The good news is, we now have a multi-ethnic household, and are looking forward to celebrating our first Kwanzaa this year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DCH BAG

Is it possible to have a vanity plate and not look like a total asshole?

I'm thinking no.

Love, marriage and a baby carriage.

Lately, I've had several conversations with people about the dating challenges facing tall females. Specifically the dating challenges facing THIS tall female.

I'm 6' tall. Something I'm generally not fazed by, unless someone is making a supremely retarded comment. (Take "Austin Powers" this weekend, "My you're a tall glass of tea!" What does that even mean? Seriously.) But when it comes to dating, it definitely becomes a challenge, as I'm not even remotely attracted to men my height or shorter. I struggle with guys that are 6'1". And nothing pisses me off more than when people tell me I'm being unrealistic and should be open to dating guys shorter than me.

Here's the deal. It's not about whether or not I'm "open". It's about the fact that when I'm on a date with a guy my height or shorter, my instinct isn't to kiss him. Rather, I want to scoop him up, stick him in a baby carriage and roll him down a hill. Okay, maybe rolling him down a hill is a bit dramatic, but I start to feel very maternal or at the very least like an older sibling. What I don't feel is romantic.

I would love nothing more than to be attracted to guys at all heights, because statistically speaking I'm completely screwed. The average American male is 5'8", and only 14% of men are my height or higher. I'm typically most attracted to guys around 6'3", and I don't have a statistic for that, but I do know only .05% of the male population is 6'4" or taller. If I were being honest with myself, I'd also have to admit that I don't like dating guys that are much taller than 6'6" or so, only because at that point you start to look like you and your date escaped from the circus. (True story, I went out with a guy who was 6'7" once and a woman literally hid her baby when we walked into the restaurant.)

I know it will all work out in the end, and I'll meet my Prince Charming/Paul Bunyan at some point. (Preferably before I've turned to dust.) But the odds are definitely stacked against me in the romance department. Because if you take all the men in my acceptable height range, remove the ones that are married (usually to short chicks), gay, carnies, unmotivated, or ugly, the odds are higher that I'd hit by a man rolling down a hill in a baby carriage.

But wouldn't that be karma at its finest...

Monday, September 17, 2007

International Man of/and Mystery.

This weekend was my best friend's 30th birthday. Her mother, despite my pleading, hired an Austin Powers impersonator to embarrass the hell out of my friend. In her mother's defense, she thought this would be funny, and people did seem to enjoy it overall. In my best friend's defense, she'd told her mother she wanted a low key party, didn't want any "surprises", and embarrasses easily.

You should know "Austin Powers" sang a song about the "skills" my best friend performs on her boyfriend, and the "wood" he'd consequently receives as a result of said skills. You should also know her boyfriend's uber-Jewish parents were there meeting her WASP-tronic parents for the first time and thus were in the audience. You should also know Austin stripped at the conclusion of his song.

It wasn't even my birthday, but at the end of his performance I would have been more comfortable wearing an Angora sweater in August filled with razors and bees. And while I was embarrassed for my friend, I was ten times more embarrassed for this guy who makes his living prancing around in a Union Jack Speedo with toupees taped to his chest, getting paid by over-zealous mothers and wives to humiliate their loved ones.

And speaking of things that are humiliating on at least two levels, I've been watching VH1's The Pickup Artist this evening. First, you have these Class A nerds blubbering on about how they can't pick up chicks. And the guy that's teaching them how to pick up chicks is a douchebag who calls himself "Mystery". (All together, "Of course he does.") This guy wears more makeup than a tranny, has cowboy hats he clearly stole from Jose Eber*, and has two nerd sidekicks with the worst dye jobs EVER. That said, I've been told I'm intimidating and terribly unapproachable in bars, so maybe I should be paying attention instead of judging?

Nah.

*Random, but true: Jose Eber is the only man in the state of Texas wearing a hat in his drivers license. You heard it here first, kids.