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.


"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."


"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'."


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.


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 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


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?


*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.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Coming to a gallery near you...

I was at dinner last night with a friend of mine, when she started telling me about something she'd seen the other day. Someone had sent her the website for a guy that paints portraits with his penis.

When I got home I naturally Googled "penis painter" and, sure enough, found the website for this self-described "Pricasso". He's an Australian by the name of Tim Patch - a name which, alone, makes me chuckle. His site proclaims he's "The World's Greatest Penile Artist", which of course begs the question of just how many penile artists there actually are.

Art is one of my biggest interests (along with writing, running, and tuna). And I'm always intrigued when I come across things like this - art that isn't notable for its greatness, but more for the novelty of its artist. Admittedly, the idea of covering my genitalia in paint appeals to me in no way. But I'm certainly fascinated by the fact that someone not only did just that, but has made a career of it; and, I take solace in believing the people purchasing his artwork are doing so for the humor value and not because they take it seriously.

This was definitely not the case with some folks I saw recently in a news story about a painting dog. The reporter featured this dog, with a brush in his mouth, banging at a canvas. After that, they proceeded to show a gallery opening in the Hamptons, featuring this dog's "artwork". They interviewed a wealthy art collector who went on and on about how, even though he's a dog, the artist clearly had an eye for color and composition. I believe he purchased one of the paintings for around $4,000.

One day he will learn dogs are red/green colorblind and have 20/80 (read: horribly blurred) vision. Which makes me think that despite covering his genitals in paint, Tim Patch might actually be the wiser.

As an aside, one of Tim's featured portrait is of President Bush. I'm not sure what it is, but there's a seriously funny joke in there somewhere.

Suggestions appreciated.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Crack is whack...and so is this.

Obviously, I'm trying very hard to update this thing more regularly. One of the reasons I'm doing so is I've learned more than five people actually read this blog. No one ever leaves comments so I've always assumed no one actually read it. Apparently that's not the case.

So for your amusement, I bring you another story from the "this is your brain on drugs" files:

A good friend of mine recently moved into a new apartment. Passing his next door neighbor in the hall he introduced himself. "Hi, I'm your neighbor, John. Nice to meet you," to which she naturally responded, "Hi, I'm Sonya. I run an escort service out of my apartment. And by 'escort service', I mean I, the only escort, fuck men for money not but one foot from the head of your bed through the wall between our apartments."

Understandably, John was a little startled. To help lessen the blow (ha), she went on to explain that sometimes she cooks these men dinner beforehand "to make it more of a date." But sometimes it's "just straight sex if that's all they want." Because this woman was clearly blasted out of her mind, she told John how she came into the business. Apparently she used to dance, and soon began to realize "that all men wanted was my pussy." She then proceeded to point to her crotch and mused, "I'm sittin' on a gold mine, here."

Earlier today, my neighbor Elizabeth invited me over tonight for turkey burgers and sweet potato fries. I was pretty excited about this until I heard John's story. Now I just think my neighbors are lame.

VMAs 2007

A summary of the 2007 Video Music Awards: Chris Brown meant it. Britney didn't.

First, Britney. I feel the need to begin this commentary with the classic Texas cut-down: Bless. her. heart. Admittedly, I was shocked she actually followed through with her commitment to appear. I was even more shocked she followed through after seeing her. Um, I mean after seeing her performance. I wouldn't have thought it possible to be lackluster at the VMAs, but Britney proved me wrong last night. The "Chocolate Rain" dude would have opened the VMAs with more energy and entertainment value than what I saw last night. And I'm not gonna crawl the catwalks of Milan anytime soon; BUT, I will still say that unless you're Demi Moore in Charlie's Angels 2, you have no business parading around in a black bikini if you've given birth. Much less with a bad weave. Good. lord.

Now, as for my boy Chris Brown, I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like that. Admittedly, I'm partial to Chris as he appeared in the greatest piece of cinema ever - Stomp the Yard. But there's no denying he danced for his supper last night. That Charlie Chaplin stuff was crazy, then hopping around like a mental patient, leaping from one lit up lily pad to another - absolutely off the hook. And when I thought it couldn't get better, Rihanna showed up with her Umbrella-ella-ella-ella, joined Chris and just sexed the place right up. And the seamless transition from that to "Billie Jean"? Let's just say I'm shocked I didn't soil myself right then and there, because despite the mad heckling I've received over the years for this, "Thriller" is, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE, my favorite album of all time.

The sad thing is, Britney used to be capable of equally riveting stuff. Which makes me think a good commercial would be replacing those eggs with Britneys previous VMAs performances juxtaposed against last night's show for a "This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs"-type message. (There's a reason I'm in advertising, kids.)

An era of judgment.

I read a social commentary piece today called "7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable." The number one thing cited was that we "don't have enough annoying people in our lives." The article argued technology is creating societies made up of like-minded people. Therefore, our tolerance for annoying people has lowered and we get more easily annoyed, in general.

I didn't necessarily agree with all of this article, but did feel they might be on to something. I work in a liberal industry in a liberal town. I'm rarely around people with ideologies vastly different from my own, and that suits me just fine. And when I am around people who have very different beliefs from my own, I do get annoyed. I've always thought this was due to an ego problem, but this column made me think perhaps that's not the case.

Perhaps society is changing in a way that is making us siloed? For example, twenty years ago, people that were really into games like D&D were most likely considered nerds and somewhat ostracized by mainstream society. But with the advent of the internet, they can leave their offices and head home to cyber-communities filled with people just like them. And unlike previous generations that worked for the same company for years and years without complaint, we now have the luxury of knowing what color our parachutes are and what industries are best for us. Then once we've found the right industry, we hop around until we find a company or job that we enjoy, which typically includes having co-workers similar to ourselves.

But the beauty of this something-for-everyone state of things made me wonder if the 21st century will usher in a new set of prejudices and discrimination. These won't be based on race or religion, but other, more stupid shit - like whether you're a Target or Wal-Mart person. Of course I immediately began to think through any stupid prejudices I might have. God knows I've been accused of over-the-top dating discrimination, but did I have any dumb prejudices, generally-speaking?

Turns out I do. Before I reveal these, let me be clear that I recognize they're ridiculous, and yes, if I were pure of heart, I'd accept and love all God's children. But I can be a shallow bitch, and regularly judge others for the following:

- Being an Aggie. (This is a HUGE one, and very problematic given I live in Texas.)
- Owning anything Brighton.
- Not thinking ninjas are awesome.
- Wearing Redwing boots with tapered khakis.
- Ordering overly-fussy coffee drinks.
- Fanny packs.
- Bad home dye jobs (particularly if they involve frosting on men).
- Being a "lake rat".
- Thinking Bud Light is actually good beer.
- Incorporating doilies into home decor.
- Excessive organization.
- Looooooovvvvviiing Vegas.
- Puka shell necklaces.
- Doing too much mommy-talk. (I don't care what different colors/textures of shit indicate.)
- Being both dumb and an asshole. (Either one on their own are fine.)
- Not being or appreciating things that are funny. (And by "funny", I mean what I find funny.)
- Not thinking the word "funny" is funny. Because it is.

Of course there are much, much more. But they'll most likely be the subjects of future blogs. So in the meantime, feel free to judge me for the things on this list, because God knows there's something I'd judge you for.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Gifts that keep on giving.

I received a gift from my mom this week. The local sports store in the town where she lives was having a sale and she'd e-mailed me to see if I'd like her to get me anything. A very thoughtful gesture, to be sure. I e-mailed her what I wanted (running shorts/tops), what sizes (Large bottoms/Medium tops), and what brand (Under Armour).

My sister brought me my mom's purchases, and I immediately pulled out a hot pink Adidas top with matching hot pink bottoms. Hot pink isn't really "me", but that wasn't the only thing a little off. The bottoms were size XXL, the top was XL. Apparently she had confused me for a much larger daughter whose colors are blush and bashful, as there's more pink fabric between these two items than there is surrounding Christo's islands.

I would love to say this misstep in gift-giving was a novelty with Mom, but sadly that's not the case. And it's always tough to tell if she genuinely got confused, or if there was a more self-serving rationale behind the gift. For example, my freshman year of high school I received two cds - Patti LaBelle and something called "Classical Loon", a disc comprised of such classical greats as "Claire de Lune" (pun tragically not intended) interspersed with the mating calls of actual loons. Why anyone would want this disc is beyond me*. But when I responded to the gift with, "Patti LaBelle? Are you kidding me? And what's with this On Golden Pond crap?" my mother retorted, "FINE. If you don't want them, I'LL take them." Which I'm pretty sure was the plan all along, and will no doubt be her response when I question the running clothes.

Sometimes the self-serving nature of her gifts are a little more veiled, though. Like Christmas, my senior year of college. Despite not having so much as a boyfriend at the time, I received baby booties featuring my college mascot. Baby booties? "Well, I know it's maybe a little premature, but at least you'll have them when you have a baby." (Translation: I want a grandkid. Let's get on that, please.)

And not unlike the situation with the running clothes, being specific with what I'd like rarely helps curb this problem. When I was in fifth grade, I was a tomboy and my best friends were my cousin and his buddies in the neighborhood. At the time they - and thus, I - were totally into skateboarding. For Christmas that year, I told my mother in the months leading up to Christmas, that all. I. wanted. was a Santa Cruz skateboard. I wanted NOTHING else. Just a Santa Cruz skateboard.

Christmas morning, I ran to the fireplace with the excitement of a 10 year-old combined with the thrill of knowing I was about to get my coveted skateboard. But when I rounded the corner into the living room, there was no skateboard. There was, however, a tandem bicycle.

"What is this?!?" I shrieked.

"It's a tandem bicycle!" Mom said excitedly. "You and Lindsay can ride it around the neighborhood together!" (Translation: This is a gift of peace and quiet for myself.)

First, my sister Lindsay and I hated each other at the time. To think we'd manage to suspend this hatred and work together to bicycle around together was preposterous. And it was a tandem bicycle, for godssake. Even if we loved each other, there is absolutely nothing cool about a tandem bicycle.

"I told you all I wanted was a Santa Cruz skateboard!" I wailed.

"Well, you haven't opened all your presents yet, have you," she pointed out.

I looked around the room for any box that looked like it might contain a skateboard and ran immediately to it. The tandem bicycle was suddenly forgiven...that is, until I opened the box. I saw a skateboard, alright. A SNOOPY skateboard that had "Joe Cool" in great big letters on the top of the deck and Snoopy riding a skateboard on the underside.

"A SNOOPY SKATEBOARD?!?" I sobbed, "I can't ride this in front of the boys. They'll all laugh at me!"

"Well, then you can practice on your Snoopy skateboard, then impress them when you use theirs."

It was, hands down, the worst Christmas ever in terms of gift-giving. But I suppose the upside was that Mom did a bang up job managing expectations as to what I could expect from her moving forward. Honestly, there's part of me that admires my mother's ingenuity as she's amassed quite the collection of if-you-don't-want-it-I'll-take-it gifts she's enjoyed over the years. And as she's coming in town to celebrate her birthday tonight, maybe I'll adopt her principles and buy her some weed with the assumption she hasn't recently taken up recreational drug use.

Happy Birthday, indeed.

*Comical side note: I received "Classical Loon" as a going away present three years ago from a friend that thought he'd come up a brilliant joke of a gift. Needless to say he was beyond crestfallen when he learned I already owned it.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Nuts for donuts.

Last weekend I headed to South Padre Island with a friend of mine for a little Labor Day R&R. My family has had a place in Padre since I was little, and I went there every summer growing up. I hadn't been down there for about four years and it was as relaxing as I'd remembered, save about one hour Sunday morning.

When I was little, we'd always go to one of the local bakeries and get, amongst other treats, these delicious apple fritters. I don't really eat donuts, and I certainly never eat fritters...unless I'm in Padre, and they're from my favorite little bakery.

Sunday morning, I woke up, and in less than 10 minutes I was dressed and on my way to the bakery. I'd heard the bakery had been sold and wasn't as good as it used to be, but I was determined. I pulled up and walked inside. The place was bustling...but with people seated eating actual breakfasts. I looked to the left and there was a bakery case filled with...air? I couldn't see a single pastry. But there were several white cake boxes behind the counter. Maybe there were selling them pre-packaged? Undeterred, I told the hostess who was running around clearly flustered that I simply wanted to pick up some pastries. When she had a moment, she asked what I wanted.

"Okay, first, I need one apple fritter."

"We don't have apple fritters. All we have is what's in the case."

She nodded to another portion of the case that had exactly five donuts in it, none of which looked appetizing. But I wasn't going home empty-handed.

"Um, okay, do you have any glazed donuts?"

"Those are glazed," she replied and pointed to two twists that appeared to be covered in white cake icing. I felt like saying, "Bitch, what about that gloopy white shit is GLAZE?" Instead, I told her I'd take them both.

I got back in the car knowing these were never going to hit the spot. I'd been dreaming about my apple fritter for a week, and this nasty ass twist covered in an inch of icing wasn't gonna cut it. So I pulled out my Blackberry and looked up the closest donut shop. Daylight Donuts, Laguna Vista, TX. I had no idea where that was, but I saw it was only 8 miles away on a street called Santa Isabel Blvd. At this point, I was a girl on a mission.

I called my mom on my way to see if she knew where Laguna Vista was.

"It's on the other side of Port Isabel. D'you call 'em to make sure they have fritters?"

"No. But they'll have donuts, and at the very least they'll be better than these nasty things I got at the bakery."

"Awlright," she said skeptically, "but I'd still call 'em. Why don't you just get them at the grocery store in Port Isabel? Then you won't have to drive awl the way to Laguna Vista."

"Laguna Vista's only 8 miles from here. I've run 8 miles before." (lie) "So it's not that far, and I'd much rather get them from a donut shop than a grocery store."

Hung up when I saw the sign for Laguna Vista. Now I just had to find Santa Isabel Blvd. Based on this trip, I'm now convinced Bono was in South Texas when he wrote "Where the Streets Have No Name." There aren't street signs ANYWHERE. I came to the first stop light in Laguna Vista, and took a right. It wasn't until three blocks later that I received confirmation from a small sign hidden behind a tree that I'd actually guessed right and was on Santa Isabel Blvd.

A couple of blocks down, I saw Daylight Donuts. It was now drizzling, but despite the weather, I jumped out of the car with a smile on my face. My sweet tooth was about to be satisfied. I walked in and again, saw a restaurant and a bakery case. Only this one was filled with miscellaneous cakes and pastries...but no donuts. The lady behind the counter asked if she could help me.

"Yeah, I'd like to get some donuts, please." I figured I'd start with the basics and work my way up to the apple fritter.

"Sorry, doll," she smacked like Flo from Alice, "we don't sell donuts."

"Um. Is this not Daylight Donuts?" I asked trying to keep my tone somewhere between appearing genuinely confused and a snarky bitch pointing out the obvious.

"Naw, it is," smack, smack, "but we ha'nt sold donuts fer 'bout two years now. We're a deli. Just never bothered t'change the name."

I stormed out to the car angry at the Daylight Donuts trickery, and even more angry my mom was right. I should have called before I went there. "Um, yes, hi. I'm looking to buy some donuts, and see the name of your fine establishment is Daylight Donuts. Do you in fact sell donuts? I mean, you're not a deli or anything, are you?"

Once in the car, I called my mom. "D'ya find your fritter?" she asked, cheerfully.

"NO. Apparently, Daylight Donuts, is. in fact. a DELI. Just never bothered to change the name. Seriously, what's a girl gotta do to get a goddamn fritter around here?!?"

This just upset my mom, because she refuses to acknowledge her daughter is, linguistically-speaking, the Dread Pirate Taylor. I apologized for my profanity, and my mom reminded me that if "not findin' your fritter is this upsetting, you've got a LONG road ahead, young lady."

I took a deep breath, as my mom was right. I'd become a woman possessed. So I drove through the rain to the grocery store in Port Isabel, found donuts, and apple fritter. For the record, it was more like a honey bun with some apple chunks in it. But even though it wasn't all that sweet, the victory of completing my mission most certainly was.