April 28, 2005

So ugly, I get mad just looking at it

So......my car was number 5 on the "Ugliest Cars of 2005" list. Some of the quotes from the judges:

"So ugly, I get mad just looking at it."
"It's disheartening when I see one with flames that are only painted on."
"My boss drives one and he thinks he's 'cool.' He isn't."

Isn't that funny? I don't think my car is ugly. But it is weird looking. Even more so now that the bumper is knocked out of place and there are two inch gaps between the metal on each side. The body shop guy took off the bumper and it turns out there is over $2000 worth of damage. So now my car is being held hostage by the body shop while the guy who rear-ended me decides if he wants his insurance premiums to go up or if he wants to pay the money out of his pocket......

April 27, 2005

Stand back, human!

Stand back, human!, originally uploaded by allarounddope.

April 26, 2005

This piece of genius was composed by Leslie, born out of my grasping for a description of person in a superior position to me at a job I may or may not have worked at at some point in my life.  Posted by Hello

You can't save all the birds...

Originally uploaded by Littlebag.
A fable if you will by special request:

So around the time I was thirteen, my brother was about eight. While throwing wal-nuts across the street he had ran across a nest of baby birds. There were 3 in a perfectly formed nest chirping about on the ground. The mother bird swooped about desperately for about two hours wanting to check on the babies but not really having any way that she could help. They were too little to fly and let’s face it - I haven't seen any robins lift an entire nest and carry it around. I have a feeling if they could they would probably always be relocating to more optimal locations.
Realizing the momma bird was in a dire state and that my Siamese cat would have to be let out soon, my brother scooped up the birds nest and put them back up in the tree. Keep in mind he was wearing gloves as to not let the "human" scent taint the birds to their mom. My mom had told me along time ago that animals do not like the scent of humans on their offspring and if they caught whiff of this alleged smell they would instantly murder their "people-smelling" babies. I still haven't found the documentation on this theory and to this day I question its validity. ( My aunt hugged me a gazillion times and I always reaked of Este Lauder, but it never offended my own mother to the point of abandonment.)
After around 2 hours of the birds sitting in the tree, the mother bird still hadn't exactly landed on or by the nest yet. She would land on neighboring branches; and chirp, and circle the tree, and chirp and rinse, lather, repeat. All the while; the babies continued chirping and squawking and becoming more frantic.
The patience of an 8 and 13 year old had already been pushed past the two hour mark and the fact that we had made no efforts to pet or taint the baby birds had been a feat in itself. It was after a 4-hour wait that Larry decided that the babies needed food. Obviously after four hours without food the chicks were in an advanced state of starvation, we were murderers not to help feed the chicks. He pooled his change together and bribed mom to take him to gas station. For those who do not live in mountainous rural regions, gas stations on the western side of the state sell worms for fisherman just as they sell soda, cigarettes, or gas. While Larry was on his food mission with mom, I was trying trick mother bird to come to the nest, by laying about clever tidbits or clues to the chicks location. I left her a bread trail at first. Leaving bread-crumbs on the ground leading to the birds nest, I tried yelling and flapping about and had no luck with that. Basically all that got me was a few odd looks from next-door neighbor and Mr. Campbell eventually telling mom that I needed to make more friends.
Mom was let in on the situation after arriving back at the house. She had deduced that the worms were not for fishing, mainly because any fishing Larry would do a certified uncle would have to drive him too. Mom's approach to animal care was always, "Leave them alone!" "You're hurting more than your helping them." If it was a stray the response was: "We already have a cat." If it was sick; "Don't touch it." If it was a dog; "I hate dogs, NO!" With the birds it was no different. "You don't know how to be a mother bird leave them alone."
We ignored her and began making worm nuggets for the birds. We basically cut them up and fed the chirping chicks. To our delight the little birds gobbled them up. They seemed happy. So Larry was like, "Let's give them some berries." I thought this was a good idea. A well rounded meal, I ran off and got some “bird berries” from the neighboring weeds. The birds ate the berries with the same hungry chirping as when they were eating the worms. The chicks quieted down and we put them on a box on our front porch.

After about an hour the few occasional chirps coming from the box dulled to a muffled squeak. I peeped in on them to find all the birds laying on their side. Chick number one was shaking a bit and chick number 3 was cold. Number two just sorta sat up and chirped blindly at nothing. It was this one that was more traumatic than the other two. Birds have weird eyes anyway and the errantly chirping one with roaming eyes was very traumatic.

Despite the ample cornucopia of berries, wormparts, and water; despite the cush Payless shoebox bedroom lined with blankets, the chicks died. The moral of the story (if there is one) is stay outta other birds business. Despite your best efforts you’re still just feeding them worms sometimes.

You fell in love with her work, "Mountain Dogs", now behold! The latest from little Brittany G, "The Proposal"! Hold on to your hats as the art world collectively shudders! Posted by Hello

April 22, 2005

This is from a song called "TKO" by Le Tigre. Thoughts? Posted by Hello

April 21, 2005

New Episode, May 1! Is it on your calendar?

Excerpt from an interview with Seth MacFarlane (and his "cartoon id, Peter Griffin"):

Do you still feel that there's bad blood between you and the producers of The Simpsons?

SM: I was at the Aspen comedy festival, and Matt Groening came up to me and said very sincerely that he wanted to dispel any misconceptions that The Simpsons had some kind of beef with us. I mean, we're not Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Who are the kids listening to nowadays? We're not Billy Ocean and Rick Astley.

PG: Actually, at that same party, Homer Simpson came up to me, and we had a very similar conversation. Then we gave George Jetson a wedgie and stole his briefcase car.

( He Ain't My Brother, He's Heavy; Itzkoff, Dave. SPIN, May 2005, p.54).

seafish78 (11:40:29 AM): i think my ipod is devious..as if it has a bad soul
seafish78 (11:40:32 AM): i fixed it
seafish78 (11:40:41 AM): but had to literally go through tech spec hell
seafish78 (11:40:50 AM): that was my motivation for the piece
seafish78 (11:40:51 AM): lol
seafish78 (11:41:10 AM): i only lost one song
seafish78 (11:41:45 AM): apparently...a song I downloaded by beck off itunes had some sorta virus---it was offending the ipod
seafish78 (11:42:34 AM): i woulda thought my extensive macy gray collection or lords of acid was more offending Posted by Hello

April 19, 2005

Leslie asked me to post this. Posted by Hello
It's time for our favorite new game, "Serious Art Critics"...do your worst! Today's artist is Brittany Grant, 12, hailing from Hampton Roads, Virginia. Brittany enjoys pony rides, Jesus, and peanut butter crackers. Posted by Hello

April 14, 2005

The streets are paved with million dollar bills and the stoplights are made of pure gold!

I was reading an article in the paper today about how 75,000 people moved to the DC metro area in 2004. The article also mentioned that over 1 million people live in (un)Fairfax County, the same county I live in. Now, I'm no native of Northern VA (thank God!), so I know that complaining about the number of people living here is kind of hypocritical, but my God!!! A million plus people in one county? Where are they going to put us?

Land is at such a premium in Falls Church city that all new office buildings have to have space for at least two stores and one restaurant, and it really helps you get past the approval board if you have budgeted space for luxury condos. I know this because the company I work for is currently working on a new building so's that we don't have to be split between four. Since I work for a nonprofit, its not like any of my fellow employees will be able to afford to live in the condos that will be attached to our office.

We talked to a mortgage lender the other day, just to see where we stand. He told me that we could get a $250,000 mortgage for $1600 a month. Problem is, nothing in this area is selling for much under $275,000. And if there is something that is anywhere near $250,000, there will most likely be a bidding war that will drive the price up to close to $300,000. Oh, and the other problem? We don't have $1600 a month to spend on a mortgage. If we want to eat and have electricity, of course.

Only 1 in 4 residents of Falls Church can afford to buy a house. Wanna know why? Because most houses in Falls Church look like the Mini-Monticello in the picture that G kindly posted for me!

I can't wait to move.......

Humble Mumble

I moved to Seattle eight years ago except nobody told me it was Seattle. It rains here all the damn time. There are no seasons in Norfolk just a perennial autumn-spring type thing where it never snows, but never stays hot consistently enough for the ocean water to get warm at the beach.

Larry always says it rains whenever he goes someplace new. He is kind of like the Zoloft ball from the depression commercial. He’s about as bald as the Zoloft thing now, maybe they have a few things in common.

When I flew to Florida this past November, it was my first time flying. I was nervous about the whole situation because flying in general seems dangerous. I’ve never been in situation where I had to fly, and post September 11th, I really felt as if even thinking about getting on a plane was suicidal. Then a co-worker in an attempt to dispel my fears on the plane issue laid the situation out in black and white. “It’s like a rollercoaster. Once you get on you give up control. You’re either going to fly safely or you will die.” I can’t say that the statement enamored me any to the prospect of getting on this plane. But I WAS GOING at this point. I had signed it over. You get on, you fret a bit, but you hope for the best. You believe you will live and it makes it bearable or you accept you may die and you go with that too.

I’ll believe he’ll be okay. He HAS TO BE. I just have to turn off the T.V.

So Larry is going to Iraq in June and I’m trying to apply the logic that he chose to do this. Just as I chose to get on the plane, I chose to come to ODU, I chose to wear pink today. I know that’s the fact of the matter, but PEOPLE it doesn’t make me feel any better. Are you really “choosing” to do something if life presents you no alternatives? Is it a choice then? It is a choice to be born into low-income?

I was about to go all political, but I feel kinda like a song lyric is more appropriate.

“Speeches only reaches those who already know about it,
This is how we go about it.” – Andre 3000, Outkast

April 13, 2005

Just thought we could use some nice scenery. When did Berg get so bomb? I mean, he's always had a fairly alright mardi-gras head, but come on! Are those long johns? Posted by Hello

April 11, 2005

BING-BONG, The universe has started revolving around YOU!

It reminds me of a time I was at my brothers' house with friends and an old friend of all of ours stopped by from out of town with his new-ish girfriend. The group got into discussing our friend Christine & Jay's recent wedding.

The girlfriend knew my brother but not me, because since she came along I'd been at college in Virginia, so her familiarity with the schematics of our friend group was limited, to say the least. She couldn't recall my bro sitting at her table at the wedding, and he told her (at the table right next to theirs with me, others).

So she goes "Oh yeah, you were at that table with a bunch of nobodies, now I remember."

I couldn't help it. I'ma admit right here. Part of my venom was a holdover for the 16-year-old version of me who had the most massive crush ever on her boyfriend, finally getting to spill some spaghetti sauce on his girlfriend's pretty little white tank top of cuteness...

I just said, "Yeah, he sat over at the table with all of us other people who've known Chris & Jay for more than four months." Room goes silent. Victory.

That whole thing about assuming is so got-damned true. Where do people get off?

It reminds me of this girl I work with…last year everyone was chatting about their Halloween costumes, as our radio station was having a big party in AC. Miss Thing thought she was supercool because her & her friends were going to dress up like the cast of Gilligan’s Island. Now, I’m not generally a one-upper. I wasn’t even THAT stoked to tell anyone about the costumes my friends and I had planned. BUT, since we were going to the same party, and my friends & I happened to also be planning a group costume, I thought I’d share. So I told her about the Seven Duffs. No joke, she just said “You have six friends?” What a whore! You don’t know me! Just because I don’t come crawling in here every Monday morning and recount every minute, shot-by-shot of my weekend of debauchery, throwing out names that (a. could be fake people anyway and none of us would ever be the wiser and (b. no one cares about, doesn’t mean I don’t have a life.

The lesson? We’ll take it from the bonafide crackhead who once threatened to “put my head through the wall” when I tried to suggest that my friend didn’t mean to interrupt her cell phone conversation in a crowded club bathroom by shouting to a peeing me in the stall, “YOU DON’T KNOW ME!”


I tend to get attacked when I am in a really good mood. At that moment when I am unprepared and most happy, people will no doubt do their best to besmirch my joy. When I am making tacos, they will knock the hamburger meat in the floor. When I am in the shower, they will flush the toilet. After mopping, they will walk across my wet kitchen. And now, when I am at a charity gala, they will try and take my seat.

I’m sitting at our “assigned” table with my friend’s mom (and aunt) happily chatting and eating delicious shrimp when the green dress lady with the white jacket says this, “This is OUR table, AND SOMEBODY’S GETTING UP AND IT’S NOT GOING TO BE ME!”
She pulls one of the other nouveau riche people to the side, and mumbles about; “these” people are at “our company’s table” and “I’m not sitting in the back with the “nobodies.”

This is the worst example of human behavior I’ve seen in ages. She assumed that we were company-less nobodies even though my friend, M, was part of the reason the whole thing could occur.

Up until her arrival it had been the most attractive party I had been too this year. It ties with Sheikos Mardi’s Gras wine tasting a year back. Havanna Nights themed, I couldn’t take my eyes off the mens mambo five suites and the womens wild flamingo dresses and flowers. It reminded me of the MTV awards w/o all the celebs.

She finally stops speaking under her breath and addresses me directly, and says “This is OUR TABLE, and YOU must be in the wrong seat.”
L: “NO, we were assigned this table. If it is only you then perhaps we can scooch in another chair.”
Green: ‘I’m going up front to settle this.”

She leaves and comes back, and the hostess confirms we were seated correctly and that her company was to sit with us. She speaks under her breath for the remainder of the evening. Until I discreetly ask her if she has a problem and then she is left with only hot air and dirty looks.

I mean,this was a party for the Ronald McDonald house. Everyone there either paid good money for their ticket or was a guest of someone who worked tirelessly to be there. Green assumed that we wandered in off the street and should have been sitting at the back.

Appearance and money do not account for manners and decency. Just because you have cash does not make you a good person. It apparently does not account for taste either. I haven’t felt that way since we were on food stamps and my aunt took me to Victorias Secrets to buy a 50-dollar training bra.

I was feeling good because the fortune teller told me that my soon to be significant other had in fact noticed “my legs” and it was only a matter of time before moves were to be made, however disappointingly I would have to “flirt” a bit. She also told me my raise was long overdue and that my mom was proud of me. “Judy” the psychic seemed weary from telling five hundred other fortunes and I wandered if the aura coming off my signature didn’t have left-over auras on it.

I guess I need a conclusion. If you mess with my friends. I will jack you up in the ladies room, biyatch.

April 4, 2005

What’s in a name?

A lady at my job consistently refers to me as Mary Beth. She is a nice lady and I think somewhere inside her head she knows I am not Mary Beth but yet she cannot refuse the urge to call me that. Not that it is a huge deal, but people should take the time to at very least learn your name. I have corrected this alleged offender three times, and she responds by say “oh Les, you know what I am talking about.” To that I just look at her because I really don’t know what she is talking about. My name makes me unique. It makes me not Mary-Beth. A fellow student of mine called me Lisa for 3 years, despite being corrected repeatedly. If you do not know my name ask; for god sakes I was wearing a name badge! Not Liz, Not Lisa, Not Leann, Not Mary Beth.

April 1, 2005

I'll fight like hell to hide that I'm giving up

On Mitch Hedberg:

I hesitated to post about this yesterday for morbid fear it was an early April Fools joke. I am all-encompassingly* bummed out about this. For those not in the know, and really, just to make myself smile, Mitch Hedberg was a ridiculously awesome rockstar of a comedian who passed away the night before last. I’ve read a few articles on the internets trying to sum up what kind of comedian he was, comparing him to Steven Wright, describing his delivery as “spacy staccato”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I even found futilely trying to describe him to Leslie yesterday, but I’m totally at a loss. He was just a true original. His jokes made my stoner cousin and 77 year old grandmother laugh like silly bitches at the same time. That kind of skill gets my vote.

I know his jokes are being thrown up everywhere, and making away messages both funny and sad at the same time, but here’s a joke of Mitch’s that made my brother, Chet, and I laugh until we cried one night:

"In England Smokey the Bear is not the forest fire prevention representative. They have Smacky the Frog. It's just like a bear, but it's a frog. I think it's a better system, I think we should adopt it. Because bears can be mean, but frogs are always cool. Never has there been a frog hopping toward me, and I thought 'man, I'd better play dead. Here comes that frog...' You never say “here comes that frog” in a nervous manner. It's always optimistic. Hey here comes that frog, al-right”

On my brothers who aren’t jerks, Butch & Brian:

I love them. Butch because at 28, he still would rather take a bath than a shower, and he can make a gourmet meal out of pretty much ANYTHING you’ve got in your cupboard. Brian, because when he was away on one of his earlier cruises with the Navy he’d dutifully write me a real letter on paper every week just to bullshit. One time, he had been out enjoying the local scenery (re: drinking egregious amounts of beer) in Greece or Italy or something and got back to the ship 10 minutes before mail was going out. He wrote a fairly complex and mostly incoherent letter to me that to this day, ten years later, is still one of my most prized possessions. In it (I think) he sang my praises as the best sister of any sister in existence, and then at one point asked if I was listening to him. In writing. Also, he signed that letter “Dr. Brian Moneybucks”. Sometimes I get bummed out that the other male that happened to come out of my mom’s junk isn’t as dope as Butch & Brian, but then I think most people don’t even have ONE bro as cool as either of my two, so I should be thankful. Plus, that’s one more person I’d have to buy Chrimmas presents for and we all know money is tight.

On iPods:

A few days ago I was desperately pleading my case for iPod need to a co-worker, who shrieked, “They’ve got you!”, then went on to explain how there are plenty of fine and dandy and much cheaper MP3 players out there. I can’t help it though. I check back at the Apple store at least twice a day, hoping for some miraculous price drop. The only thing that has kept me from seriously overdrawing my bank account to get one thus far is that they don’t offer them in purple. Then we’d be in trouble, kids.

On the importance of Salad dressing:

It makes most things better. Bad pizza, especially. I was totally mystified when I got to college in Virginia to find that most purveyors of pizza offered ranch dressing with their pizza. How needlessly indulgent, I thought! But then I tried the pizza. Yipes, that stuff is bad. Also, most dressings can be used as a marinade, though I don’t know anyone other than my mom in 1988 cooking a strip steak that has ever done that.

On the mostly male tendency to espouse movie, tv, and general pop-cultury quotes:

Fellas, PLEASE, use quotes sparingly and with purpose. Most critically for those no longer in college…No one cares that you can remember the “Shampoo is better” speech from Billy Madison. Nor do we care that you remember the alternate lyrics to the venerable Biz Markie’s 1989 masterpiece, “Just a Friend”. I too, sir, was in six grade myself, but right now I’d really just like to hear Biz say “I asked her her name, she said blah, blah, blah”. Good rule of thumb, if you’re quoting for quotes’ sake, just don’t. It’s okay if you’re quoting within the context of a conversation. For example, someone reminds you of something you can’t get out of your mind, it’s okay to say “Stupid sexy Flanders!”. Or even a simple “Obeekaybee” for “okay”. Don’t just scream out “The yellow one is the sun!” when someone talks about science. Not everyone is a Brian Regan fan. Even if they should be.

On getting off my high horse:

It’s about time.