December 21, 2006

Back away from the Puppy.

Just a little friendly Christmas PSA for the folks….

Do NOT get a puppy for Christmas.

Yes, it is totally adorable and it's adoreableness would grow exponentially as it ambled through the wrapping paper shrapnel on Christmas morning.

Yes, that cage is rather small; and would it kill them to throw the measliest of squeaky toys in there to pass the time?

Yes, your friends would be impressed by your choice of clever, ironic, or non-sensical name (The Fonz, Rumsfeld, Bagel).

I found myself reassuring myself of these same facts just yesterday at the old mall pet store, as my sister and were entranced by an English Bulldog pup.

How soon I'd forgotten, how just one year ago I made a similar decision that almost ruined me.

I dunno. I don’t' have any really intelligent things to say about how dog ownership is at least a 10-year commitment and you should do your research or blah blah blah.

I'm just saying it's a bad idea to get a puppy for Christmas. Get a Cinnabon instead. Cinnabon won't eat your deodorant.

December 7, 2006

Let it snow!

It occurred to me last Friday when Norfolk's high hit about 80 or so, that we could really use some snow. I'll try some tribal dances and see what happens today, but in the mean time here's the AFV video I found on youtube.

December 1, 2006

Carolannarama: November 2006

I was meandering around OEF, and came upon this entry, in which I promised to keep up posts of it's kind. And since it's been AN ENTIRE YEAR, I figured I'd keep my promise. Irregahdless, here's my Carolannarama for November 2006, which, as I type, has been over for 44 minutes.

1. I got canned!

I've actually been unemployed for a few weeks now. The company I was working for is having some tremendous issues, and since I've been seized by the holiday spirit, I won't spew any sorts of venom. All I will say is that I feel just a teensy bit like I've been paroled---plus, I got a little severance package and a paid vacation for the holidays. I sort of feel like I'm in college again, on Christmas break. But with a lot less hangovers.

2. I won big at the Game of Life!

I can't be too bummed about getting laid off. Why you ask? Well, just two days after getting sacked, my sister took me out for a celebratory "don't have to share airspace with that pack of mouth-breathers anymore" dinner at the Tropicana, and while there I played my favorite slot machine, The Game of Life. (I'd link to a picture or explanation but I couldn't find one in my extensive 70-second search while prepping for this entry). But, in short, it's a video-slot machine that has a bonus game that allows you to play a game on the screen that mimics the board game experience. You get to spin the multi-colored wheel, and the machine will congratulate you for doing things like inventing floppy discs, or inventing gatorade. And, if you're lucky, you make it all the way to the end of the bonus/board game and retire (which gives you 6 times your credits). So, besides being a barrel of monkeys, playing Life is way more fun than your average slot machine. BUT, on this fateful night, I got a different kind of bonus, where I didn't get to play Life, but I did win $400. Which I'm taking as a sign that things are going to be just fine. Either that or they've finally hooked me into becoming a degenerate gambler.

3. I read a whole book!

I've got a confession to make---For an English major, I really don't read a whole heck of a lot. I buy an assload of books, and have recently realized that I might have a compulsion for obtaining them. But then they sit stacked two feet high on my nightstand for months; during which I'll read the first 3o pages or so of each book before "hiding the evidence" in some drawer. Then I've got to replenish the stack.

I think my problem stems from this class I had from 7th-8th grade called T.A.C.T. (Thinking About Critical Thinking), where reading assignments were doled out in hundreds of pages at a time. I can remember counting pages until the next chapter breaks, and losing entire Sundays trying to catch up on my reading before some crazy-ass essay question test that the teacher might spring on us. It turned reading from something I loved as a tiny tot into a chore, and to this day I still find myself unconsciously looking ahead to the next chapter-stop and counting the pages until the next milestone.

But anyway, I read this whole book! I might have a little to do with the extra time I've got from being a jobless loser, but I takes it where I can gets it. If you were hoping for a review, I'm not all that great, though---but I liked this book a lot, despite the corny name for the narrator (Baby).

4. I finally got a laptop!

My sister decided that this year she'd get me a laptop for Christmas because she is the dopest sister in all the land. Best buy had a decent sale for Black Friday, and I snagged me a little blog-in-bed machine. This isn't really all that exciting a deal, as I am the last person on the planet to know the thrill of approving a friend request with no pants on, but whatever. I'm jazzed.

5. I've been to Target four times in the last 3 days!

This doesn't necessitate an exclamation point, but I'm a stickler for sticking to a motif. Most of my Target trips have been Christmas Light related, as those bitches like to break and just randomly not work at all even though your sister has already dragged out the ladder and climbed up it and staple-gunned them to your house. But as I was exiting the store the last time I was there, I ran into a veritable wall of 55-65 year olds just sort of standing right outside the doors. Puzzled, I asked the Target cart-wrangler guy wearing a santa-hat against his will if there was a tour or something; and he just said in the least enthusiastic voice ever, "Yeah, from Canada" and motioned towards THREE motorcoaches lined up. I don't really know why I found that amusing, but I did. Again, could be lack of excitement due to no job. Or Canadians are inherently funny. Who knows.

November 29, 2006

Serenity Now

Inspired by Leslie's pictures, here are some I took of Lake Ballard in my parents' neighborhood. It is now part of a nature preserve called Hoffler's Creek. But it used to just be a lake in the woods where we would go and smoke and make out in high school.

Oh, and I used to throw things in the lake that belonged to my ex when he would piss me, guess I didn't really grasp the concept of "littering." But, hey, I apologized and we made nice. Me and the lake I mean...not me and the ex. Anywhoo, it doesn't seem to have hurt the lake any.

Ok, G, time to follow through on your threat of the 100 foot Ferris Wheel....I only hope your pictures come out better than mines did. Better lay on the ground.

The Ladybug Graveyard and other maladies.

I’m THANKFUL December starts Friday. Not that November wasn’t a fabulous month, it really was - just a few too many events and goings on to ever get a full handle on what just really went down in 30 short days. And the fact that visits from the family leave me feeling a little like Ramona Quimby, for weeks after they are over. Ramona P, An 11 year old version of me, rendered voiceless and enslaved to divorcee conversations, gun control matters, and all things “murriage related”.

MURRIAGE: definition; mountain mispronunciation for marriage, except with a lot less romance and a lot more teen pregnancy. Dates involve speeding around Wal-mart in vehicles which featured either enhanced or (oft-times) non existent mufflers.

I’ll begin with the ladybugs that have plagued the city of Covington since the summer. And when I say plagued, I mean with a swarm of Ladybugs of biblical proportions. Apologies were posted at local restaurants, hotels, and stores. “We apologize for the seasonal visitors, please be aware we are doing everything in our power to remove them.” Relatives fighting them anyway they could. Vacuums, shoe bottoms, brooms, and ladybug name it. I became a ladybug vigilante at night...leaving one light on in the corner of the room at night to draw them in and then sucking them up in the dirt devil by morning (you shouldn't them squish because they stink).

At some point, we made friends. I’d came to see them as fashion accessories and baby cat seen them as protein supplements. We adapt as did the other animals.

My uncle (an authority on all things UVA, Redskin and deer related) states “As the parks service would have it, they brought in the ladybugs to kill aphids that were killing certain indigenous trees and local farming crops. Well they did. Except they made more ladybugs and have upset Covington’s ecosystem. There are swarms of ladybugs everywhere. To make that matter worse Coyotes were brought in to reduce carrion (dead animal carcasses), they are doing that but relieving people of their small domestic dogs and cats as well. “Here Kitty, Kitty” is met with silence in several mountainous homes. And the worst...the worst of that is that there are mountain lions running across the roads along route 220 to Roanoke.”

I wouldn’t have believed it either until my mom’s friend nearly ran over one (mountain lion) in the middle of the interstate.

God help Tidewater if the the Parks Services figures out Norfolk. I’m waiting for an ostrich to pass me in the HOV lane.

My brother was here for a week in which we: seen Borat, walked on the huge ship parked on Waterside drive, ate at Chilli’s (which should be named LESLIE’S as it is Meca), went to beach, an Imogen Heap concert, and concluded the week with a Granby Street trip. Imogen was pretty awesome, although I spent a majority of the time giggling at someone near me who kept saying “HOW MOVING, IMMIE!” To which I responded, “Yeah it’s like watching a live birth”. Borat was funny, but then I pictured Christian Finnegan from Best Week Ever, saying “Leslie, what do YOUR movies say about you?”

Happy Feet Anyone!?


November 25, 2006

If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit next to me

Ok, not sure what's going on, but I have missed a lot of posts. Moon Paparazzi, New Kicks, Home Trip, Our Electronic.....Lamentations (love the ellipses!)..... I check it often, so I don't know how I missed them. I think the time has expired for comments, so I won't, but I wish I hadn't missed them.

Eh....That is all. Everything I was going to post was mean or negative, so I will keep it to myself, and maybe vent offline.

I'll give you a hint as to the topics of my ire:

Four-way stops (not the hardest traffic sign out there, but man, people just don't get it!)

The Mike and Bob Show ( I can barely type it without vomiting a little in my mouth)

November 7, 2006

Moon Paparazzi

It was a full moon last night and I tried my best to get a decent picture of it, but this was about the best I could do. If you COULD see it, it was pretty awesome. I'm hoping it was a sign of impending social change, but in actuality full moons (for me) usually end up meaning someone I know is preggers.

November 6, 2006

Just a reminder...

Tomorrow is election day, it's super important. So go and do it. It's hard to listen to the complainers, when they are usually the ones that didn't vote. It only takes 30 minutes or so. You get stickers, coffee, and usually get to meet some pretty opinionated people that might impact your day. Plus, hello late for work!! Wooohhooo!

November 1, 2006

New Kicks

I've been on a quest for the last few months for some new sneakies. But more often than not, the ones I'd encountered in stores were too busy. I just wanted some brown sneakers. No obnoxious logos, not meant for any other purpose than to walk and maybe stand around at concerts. So I dug back into my younger years, and remembered my favorite sneakers of all time, Simples. I had a pair of the OS Simples in Sand in high school, and my friend Kristy had them in Blue. And since we wore the same size, we'd frequently trade one shoe and be the bees knees for the rest of the day.

They're just trusty, comfy sneaks, and I'm so glad to have some again.

October 27, 2006

I know, I said I wouldn't go there again....

At a certain point in my work day it becomes almost imperative to meander about the internet for a few (cough) minutes and look at mindless pieces of webjunk. This one's a few months old but it's pretty silly.


October 24, 2006

Home Trip

So I traveled westward for Clifton Forge's very own fall festival this weekend. Not alot to that, just a celebration of the leaves turning.

Speaking of which above are a few pictures of the leaves at Douthat State Park and Humpback bridge. Both only about 15 minutes from my house. Happy Cold AT LAST FALL!

October 23, 2006

Boiling Oil!

This news is totally ganked from Lifehacker, but it definitely merits mentioning here, and I'll tell you why.

Starting today, you can get episodes of This American Life in handy podcast form fo' free!

I've been a huge TAL fan since a hundred years ago when Temp tipped me off to it's dopeness.

Basically, for the unhip, This American Life is a radio show with a weekly theme, consisting of poetry, stories, songs, & interviews around that chosen theme. The theme could be Superman, American Soldiers in Iraq, Babysitting, whatever. Any way you cut it, you're bound to hear something totally out of your own little box and refreshing.

AND, the very first podcast available (fo' free!) happens to be my favorite of all time, "Fiasco!". Around minute 24, there's a story called "What we wanted to do" by Ron Carlson, which is a mea culpa by the guy who designed a village's ultimate defense system, which didn't exactly work out as planned. This story in particular makes me cackle every single time I hear it.

So get thee to iTunes & listen!

October 17, 2006

Our Electronic.. Lamentations?

I promised G today that if she didn’t have her laptop by next Christmas (the one following this one) I would be forced to buy her a laptop because she needs to begin “The Next Great American” novel. Why? Because OEF is starting to come undone like that character in the Wally Lamb novels. You know, you just keep reading because it’s got to get better - right? For reals? Or maybe I just need to come back here to this website because it was home before one of my high school friends posted a half nekkid lady in my comments page on Myspace.

The original intent of OEF is stated in it’s banner. Friends living in separate states trying to find a way to chat each other up on a regular, without driving, expensive phone bills and well the melodrama that can sometimes inadvertantly erupt over instant messenger. There also was the unwritten rule (at least in my head), that somehow by banding as a team we’d push each other creatively. We did at first. We were honest in our internet Garden of Eden and then with any friendship: the inevitable changes came.

Myspace was the first attack. When suddenly faced with the choice of adding friends or writing meaningful (in our heads) essays, the three of us were powerless to it’s charms. I mean for heavens sake you even get a theme song on your profile page! I think part two was the inevitable “girls can be catty” phase. In the olden days when there was a conflict, you’d handle it out on the play ground. Some pulled hair, some torn up book bags and problem solved. In college town, there was the “house-meeting” where you’d converge on the helpless miscreant of your apartment and decimate her self esteem rendering her useless as a feeling & thinking person for the next four years of said life (when in all honesty you probably really could have dealt with this person had they just washed a dish.) Brutal but efficient. And now as it becomes harder to see people everyday, how else is one supposed to react to social blights, but to say snarky things about others for the world to see via the world wide web. One good snarky comment deserves another and the battle rages on.

Oddly as OEF’s mantra started to come undone, the phone started ringing, and the road trips started. We didn’t have to write electronically if the people were sitting in the living room in the flesh. We didn’t have to write to kill time if there was work and productive engaging work at that. Plus well as added incentive, at any given moment we are all only two paychecks away from poverty. So what’s a blog to do when it’s owners have all grown up?

Lately I’ve felt my internet toilings are flailing. I read my last few blogs and was like “Dude, stop being a cry baby." I don’t like reading politics. I don’t like watching them. I yell at Bill O’reilly when he’s on at the gym. Why am I writing about it? .....Sidetracked....... I need to be writing about how AWESOME Law and Order is and how I think a whole channel should be dedicated to it. Or hello - who else is watching “Heroes” on NBC. Perhaps the funniest event of this month was Cattina sending me pictures of a stranded owl that somehow found itself staring RIGHT AT HER (and did not move) during Hurricane Ernesto a few weeks ago. Or even about how awesome it is to be off work. Not so awesome to be stranded at home without power. Boo.

To be honest, I’m like Simon and I like to do drawrings. My favorite OEF endeavor has to be “Flour-Face” as he is the embodiment of anyone whose ever had a superior that has no idea what he/she is saying. Mumbo Jumbo..kerflaffle mumble.

Is this a goodbye blog? Nope. Maybe just an attempt at a commitment of non-malicious, snarky, or venomous blogs. As Alumni Leslie would say to High School Leslie... “I’m just not THAT angry anymore.” I guess where I’m going here is that on the eve of OEF’s (GASP) 2 year anniversary (October I think). it’s time to get happy.

October 5, 2006


I was feeling crappy after thinking about bound up little girls getting shot in their school. So I went and got this off YouTube. It's one of the nuttiest AFV clips ever.

October 2, 2006

Troubling Times

So shooting up schools is hott these days, huh?

I can't deal with it. I want to be transported back to simpler times.

A co-worker, having read the news today , told me about a new fun thing they do at his 7-year old son's school; Lockdown Drills.

Fear not, parents, because now your children will know exactly the right thing to do if some truck driver high on PCP happens to wander into their school and want to take out some Mommy issues on the cheerleading practice. That right thing, apparently, is to lock all the windows & doors in your classroom, turn off the lights, and huddle like a bunch of baby mice in the corner for three minutes.

I dunno. The whole thing just reeks of Boogeymanism. Keep em' scared and they won't talk too loud in the lunchroom, for fear of being mowed down waiting in line for extra tater tots.

I don't have any real point to make, or any solutions. I'm just totally bummed out about Lockdown Drills. In retrospect, it makes those bi-monthly mandatory flouride swishes they made us do in elementary school seem like a real party. There was even a song, "Swish, swish..."

Truck driver kills three girls in Amish school shooting (CNN)

September 7, 2006

Open Letters to people or entities that are most unlikely to respond

This Idea is from McSweeney's

An open letter to the new neighbors two odd houses down that keep parking in both of my assigned parking spaces for my house leaving me to park a mile down the road in the Brith Shalom center.

September 7, 2006

Dear Sirs and Madams:

I first want to secretly wish you welcome to the neighborhood. However, this is not 1958 and I cannot bake so do NOT expect a basket of cookies or shortbreads accompanied with wine and a card attached. As you will quickly learn, this is not that kind of neighborhood. We do not chat. We communicate through a series of look away eye techniques and hand gestures that do not any way imply the preponderance of friendship.

With that being said, I spoke to the housing lady about parking rules, which apparently have not changed between the time I moved in and your move in date of last month. You get one space in front of your house and one space behind. And the space you are currently occupying is not in front of your house, but in front of mine. It’s easy to tell your house from mine my house number ends in 96 yours ends in 90 which is nearly 4 apartment spaces from mine. Another tell - tale sign is that if you try to put your key in my door it won’t open, being that is it not your domicile.

Everyday since your arrival I’ve had to park 3 blocks down the street in front of the Brith Sholom center. The people there have welcomed me; I’ve learned the ways of bingo, bonded with the elderly, and built up leg strength in my calves from walking so far. However I have a gym to exercise in equipped with tv’s, saunas, and swimming pools - so as much as I appreciate the walking; I’d love to park in front of my own home again.

I’ve told the housing office on you, which only resulted in the president of the realty company sending out a letter to every resident in the community speaking of warnings and parking rules and an impending bug spray. I tried leaving trash and beer bottles in front of my space to ward you away to which you only drove your car over, leaving broken glass and rubbish in front of my house.

I’d also like to thank you for running into the the other neighbors cars, I’m sure the single mother of 3 appreciated it when you backed your civic into her mini-van the other night. Yeah - I seen that. I also appreciated the thumpa thumpa of your loud music as your sit in your car and smoked until 4 a.m. in the morning.

I would walk up to you and tell you not to park in my space, but the barcode tattoo your girlfriend showcases on her upper arm looks like some sort of prison tattoo. She is tall and menacing and probably eats babies (kittens if she’s on the Atkins Diet.) I have seen you shopping in Farm Fresh without your shirt which shows a clear disrespect for even the simplest rule of wearing clothes while shopping.

Which leaves me no other option............ but to tell on you a second time. I’m sure the whole community will love being reminded of your miscreant behavior.

I hate going there, but I have a pair of Nikes and I will use them to walk right down the street to the realty office again.

Do NOT test my patience...
- “The Tigress”

September 6, 2006

Dog Problems (Live)

Most Favorite Band/Song of the Week. Maybe even month, we'll see! I don't even care if the teenage girls are already onto this. To me, this is what would happen if Freddie Mercury & Rufus Wainwright had a musical baby.

I was totally suckered by the album title, as I have had dog problems for the last 8 months, but I'm glad I ended up liking it and didn't risk jail time or certain death to download it.

Anyway. Enjoy.

September 3, 2006

Nothing nice to say

Uh, ok, I'm all for eye candy, and I'm no prude. But I just logged out of and there was an ad for, you know, the dating or whatever website, and the picture was of this dude, hot, yes, laying on the grass, shirt off, in khakis, with a rather large, uh, um, tent pitched in his pants. Well, I don't know, I just felt compelled to post about it. I enjoy the picture of the hot shirtless guys around the pool, but this one shocked me!

Is this the reason I never post? Possibly. Sorry G and Leslie, I'm an embarassment and I shouldn't be allowed to post. I understand if you want to put me in OEF jail.

August 30, 2006

So I watched Spike Lee’s Documentary on hurricane Katrina. It’s probably the second time I sat that still and openly cried about something I was watching on TV. It was definitely the first time I was so aggravated at listening each branch of the government pass the buck that I threw a piece of bread at my t.v. Yeah, I know - not life altering but I really felt better.

I can’t stop thinking that alot of people voted for this president to feel safer. But are we really safer? A death toll of over 2700 for 9-11...a toll of over 1600 and rising for Katrina (and an ENTIRE displaced city) and the American Lives lost in Iraq nearing 3000. This president’s campaign was based on restoring moral integrity, bringing back the family, and I guess - reducing taxes. Those tax monies I’ve never assumed to have been mine anyway so what is three or four more dollars a check in the grand scheme of things if we can help someone’s grandmother or aid someone in caring for their kids. Reduce taxes but raise gas prices? What is that about?

I read a crude blogger’s comment somewhere that the people of New Orleans knew this was coming and that you can’t live in a bowl and expect it not to fill up and I thought how HEARTLESS can you be? None of the cities we live in are safe from natural disaster especially not with current climatic changes constantly changing? Does anyone else remember a time when it used to SNOW in Norfolk?

I know I’m not supposed to have feelings one way or the other (or at least blog about it) but times like these make you long for 2008. I’m gonna go give some money to my company’s raffle of the week for the charity of their choice. It’s only a couple of bucks for a good cause, but it is a small start and it’s nice to remind yourself that you have a heart floating around in that mass of everyday savings and sensibilities.

August 25, 2006

Break from the grumpy

I've been very grumpy this week. But I just watched this AFV montage on YouTube and it's fairly impossible to be grumpy while watching it.

August 15, 2006


My days of wandering the car desert are over! While I'm sure everyone will miss Seafish..a.k.a metro-ali-docious, I'm sure no one will miss me pandering on about cars for hours and hours. It has been a long strange trip! Now if you will excuse I'm going cruising in the Seaqual...(get it part II). K, am a dork!

August 11, 2006

Profiles in Dopeness: MOM!

(First off a confession - I wrote this P.O.D a month ago. Yeah, I know it's lame, but I'm doing a spring cleaning of sorts on my computer and decided this tribute to moms wasn't worthy of the recycle bin. So without further delay (3 months is long enough...)

On a whimsy, this past Friday my mom took a red eye drive with my aunt down to hang out with yours truly. First off the fact that she drove 5 hours just because she missed me testifies to the fact that she is a. crazy and b. a fabulous human being. Anyone crazy enough to drive that far to see you must really care alot about you. Which got me thinking about what a rock star she is.

We have our disagreements. There are these classic debates: I will never like onions. I will NOT go to bed when she tells me. I will not date men from her job that look like Tom Selleck. I will most definitely and assuredly not wear taper leg jeans with winter boots. I’m not sure I will ever stop drinking Mt. Dew that particular feat will require divine intervention. Despite these disagreements she has episodes of total fabulosity which make me prouder of her than she’ll ever imagine.

My favorite thing about my mom is that she is a doer. Never one to dilly dally, if mom says this is whats going down, it’s going down. Now I’m gonna drop some Sophia Petrillo on you. Picture this: Statesville, North Carolina. The season was autumn. We were riding in our old ass caprice classic, listening to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers sing “Islands in the Stream”. We were on our way to my elementary school, I was happily made up for second grade; Book bag packed, lunch box in tow and cre paper leaves in seran wrap bag getting ready for the usual drop and go. When I looked up and realized mom had driven past my school. I waited til Dolly finished the last “ah, ah” to fill her in on the huge oversight. I probably could have told her at an earlier point. Hell, I was only missing the pledge of allegiance and morning announcements (which rarely if ever pertained to Miss Palmer’s second graders). She just looks at me and says, “Do you want to go to school? (My brain: “Is this a trick question?”)

Me: Well, um..I did my homework, but we don’t have any tests.
Mom: how bout we just skip work and school and go play put-put! Awesome!

I know, not a story about how a kidney saved a daughter, but it’s why my mom is great.
I’m gonna call her now and tell her how great she is.

To which she’ll say: “Can’t talk right now, watching Iron Chef! Love ya!”

August 2, 2006

Status Report

Things have been eerily silent around here, no? We missed July!

Though, I guess a four-day OEF Summit in Mays Landing, NJ accounts for that. Four days of hot dogs, dog drool, and hanging out in the kiddie end of the pool.

It's so hot outside I want to cry. Except if I were to cry it would immediately turn into a vapor. It's so hot that Uma is actually behaving---unable to jump up because the humidity is keeping her down.

Besides monitoring my dog's douchiness, not much else is shakin. July was fairly dreadful workwise, but August seems to be shaping up a little more serene. Maybe I'll get to blog a little more frequently.

Though I was reading Brendan's blog an he was pondering what there is to write about. Well, me too. In my younger blogging days, when it was called "journaling" and was considered very weird to do so, I wrote with such abandon about whatever happened to me that day. I don't know if it's paranoia brought on by World News Tonight stories about blogs getting people fired, or if I just don't think that every single thought that occurs to me is stop-the-presses fascinating. Or maybe I am secretly afraid that all my thoughts have already been expressed somewhere & I'm just regurgitating someone else's mojo?

Though, that's what my initial understanding of a blog was to be. A repository for links to other things that are interesting on the internets, accompanied by your thoughts on it.

On that note, McSweeney's has been keeping me entertained lately, particularly Guidelines for our son Jeremiah's First Birthday Party
by Christopher Monks.

Because rather than unfunnily/uninterestingly write about how boorish it can be to interact with friends that have children, you can go read that and laugh real hard at the part about Head #2.

This is going nowhere!

June 29, 2006

Mama, I'm Coming Home?

So I'll be in Norfolk for the four-day weekend, a bittersweet occasion indeed. While I'm from Wildwood, NJ; my mom moved to Hampton Roads while I was still in college. So once college was through, I was kind of left in limbo. I couldn't go "home" because "home" wasn't in New Jersey anymore. Having no kind of income to speak of to pay for a spiffy Ghent studio for myself, I was relegated to Chesapeake for a 14-month sentence before I was able to escape back the land of fast-talkers & edible sangwiches.

But alas, the tables have turned, and now my mom is packing it in and moving back to the Garden State. Which gives me slight pause, because my Virginia headquarters is closing its' doors. Sure, my brother still lives in the 'Peake, but it's not the same. He has a family of his own now and an uncomfortable couch.

But the more I think about it, the Norfolk I miss isn't there anymore. There's no Hench to drive around late at night, questioning the credentials of the more modest homes on Studley Avenue; and I'm not nearly trendy enough for all of these places that have cropped up with their tapas & crappily concocted Mojitos.

I swear I didn't mean for this entry to be cranky. I'm actually excited about my trip, and I will be back many, many times. I just may have to sleep on a couch in the Webb.

June 26, 2006

I watched “Super Size Me” with Morgan Spurlock this weekend. I know, I know, I’m late and right now everyone has moved on to the Al-Gore documentary and some are still recovering from Fahrenheitt 9-11 (neither of which I have seen yet). I will see those, but most likely or obviously when they are in a constant re-run state on one of my 900 cable channels. The important thing here is that I did see it and I was paying attention and I must say I’m a bit ashamed of myself.

I will not get into weight, I think everyone struggles with it in their own way. I will say that increased stress, lack of time to exercise as much and the culture of gluttony in my work place have contributed to my faultering health sensibilities. It’s hard to turn down free food or social gatherings with co-workers when you are bombarded by them 20 times a week. It’s also hard when they are all enablers, and with a few cleverly chosen words someone has convinced me again to abandon my Michelinas Lean Gourmet and head to “Dog-N-Burger”.

I made a vow to exercise 10 years ago seeing as how the term “diet” in my mind sits somewhere near suicide, holocast, and disembowelment. While I have kept my excercise vow, I’ve had to slow it down to keep from ruining my joints for when I hit my 50’s or so. Light years away right...not so much. College now WAS 4 years ago. Where the heck did that time go?

Shock documentaries don’t really do much for me. But humor got my attention, when Morgan asks "What part of the chicken is a mcnugget anyway?" I want to know. I mean it looks like a foot, but I’ve never ate chicken feet. When I found out what the mcnugget actually is..I question my loyalty to them. Technically I could make a mcnugget, if I had a blender and a cookie mold.

It’s a another blog, maybe rotten tomatoes or something that would recap the movie, I’m not in the business of recapping. I’d just rather tell you about it in the flesh. I’ll just say that I watched it. I’m gonna try and give up Soda for a week and McD’s for a month. I’m gonna be cranky and headachy for while, but until the Mountain Dew inhibitor is created this is gonna have to work.

June 20, 2006

I have no work to to do. Noworktodo. No-work-to-do. I haven't done a document since I got here 4 1/2 hours ago. But still, we sit in our bullpen, waiting for something to come in, some small scrap of paper we can pour over and discover errors in-situ. Why, oh why, can't we just go home? I want to go lay out and invite melanoma into my life. I want to go home and watch tv...anything but sit in this artificial light at my old ass desk, with nothing to do but play Text Twist until my eyes burn.

June 8, 2006

So, I work for a nonprofit. I'm not sure how that works because we do make money from subscriptions to our magazines, but we are considered a nonprofit. Since we are "tax experts" I'm sure our board members and executives know how to utilize tax credits and all that good stuff to the fullest.

None of our higher-ups drive fancy cars or, I assume, live in mansions. Our "culture" is laid-back and casual, we get to wear what we want and our managers are pretty flexible, most of the time.

The downside is that most of us work in a centuries-old building, with at least 30 decades of dusty old volumes of past issues and supporting documents. (Last week, I got to pour through some issues from the year I was born!) Some very nice men come and take out the trash every night, but they only vacumn every 11 months or so. We have spiders and ants, nasty looking centipedes, and due to the volumes and volumes of old issues, silverfish.

Also, the offices are kind of a bullpen where 6 or more people are crowded into a room with open-air desks, no cubicles, no privacy. I guess it works well because we all kind of holler questions to each other about commas and hyphens and all that fun stuff. And it keeps us social, I suppose. But it does get a little awkward when you need to make a phone call about medical issues or something.

But all of that is soon to change. We are moving in November to a new fancy building, one that is still being built. We have to share the building with another company, but there will be a Starbuck's on the first floor and somewhere to eat, too. And hideously over priced condos that none of the employees can afford are being built next door.

Hey, does "over priced" need a hyphen?

Sorry, I was yelling at my co-workers.

Um, does "co-worker" have a hyphen?

Sorry again.

We will also be getting new workstations, which is good because some of us have old teachers desks with very low knee space and mine has "Pickle mora is a loser" and "Amy is a dork" carved into the drawer. We were invited to walk down to one of our buildings (all 200 of us are currently housed in 3 buildings in two cities, hence the need for a new and fancy and large building) to see these new workstations. They are huge! They are so big, they curve, in an L-shape! They have low walls so we can still holler and nice drawers and a thingy that your phone rests on in mid-air so you have more desk space. There is a drawer over head with frosted plastic in the front, very fancy. I'm thinking they are going to shove two proofers into one workstation....we don't deserve all that room. Rumor has it, though, that we get our own. I'm overwhelemed. I feel like a peace corps volunteer come home from Africa, shell-shocked in a Target.

Guys, "shell-shocked" has a hyphen, right?

We are also getting new chairs. These chairs have a name, and the name is Zody. These babies are the "first chair endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)!" We were emailed a link for the "instructional video" which I will include here, for your viewing pleasure: But I sat in it, and it is fairly uncomfortable. I was not impressed. I'm going to see if I can take my chair with me, because it is very comfortable and I just got it in September.

We have been reassured that our "culture" will remain the same, that we certainly won't have to tortue ourselves with the question of "what exactly is business casual again?" or cram our feet into pointy heels or ugly flats. Our company must love us to spend all this money on a new building, new chairs for 200 people and new workstations for the 178 of us that don't get offices!

Of course, none of us are fooled by the offering of a new building and desks and chairs and our old "culture" in lieu of actual monetary raises.

But we are a nonprofit....we have no money for raises!

May 30, 2006

Naked Lady Lipstick

My Aunt Tiny works part time at a nursing home caring for aged ailing senior citizens. Miss Annie, an 80ish lung-cancer survivor, is one of her favorite patients as she is the resident comedian for the Bryant Center. My aunt recently had to respond to a page regarding commotion coming from Miss Annie’s room a few weeks ago. When she got there, she found Miss Annie, wearing nothing but red lipstick regailing her visitors with stories of her many lovas she’d “taken” and how she could remember the names of every last one of them (At last count she hit 90, no Gene Simmons, but Erica Kane watch out). When questioned about about her mischevious behavior Miss Annie responded “the two things that have made me happiest in this life are my body and my red lipstick. It’s all any woman really needs.”

I tell my aunt, “I think that she’s (Miss Annie is) great.

Fast Forward two weeks.

The only fatalities at the intersection of Witchduck and Virginia Beach Boulevard this past Friday were an unfortunate traffic light pole and a 2005 Midnite Blue Pontiac Vibe. The deceased were victims of poor timing and being in the path of Otis (the drunk from the Andy Griffith Show). The Vibe momentarily lamented that the last song it played featured Young Jeezy and Christina Milian and had hoped for something more along the lines of Death Cab for Cutie or Rogue Wave. However, it’s death was not in vain as it saved the passengers contained inside which included two 27 year olds and an almost 2 year old.

When the light turned green, all I seen was white. I heard my room-mate scream at me but I had no time to move. In a literal flash there was only white, I was punched in the face. And I was spinning. I smelt gas, I could taste metal there were sparks near my feet. My godson screaming, things hissing, dizziness, slow motion and then quiet.

Has anyone seen the Volvo commercials? The new ones? I was in my own Volvo commercial.

“Sweety.. can you move??? I’ve got 911 on the phone --- talk to her”...
911: Are you pinned?
911: Are you bleeding?
911: Mam?? Mam?

These were my thoughts (in a non sequitur stream):

One night before I told someone my favorite R.E.M song was Radio Free Europe, because it wasn’t the obvious R.E.M song of Losing My Religion and MY favorite R.E.M song could not be an obvious choice. 11th grade High school: Ian licked his name into Mr. Tucker’s (spanish class) black board. How do you say neighborhood in Spanish? April 6th 2004: Larry’s getting on the plane for Arkansas. I’m not getting this goodbye right. It IS true that in art class there is always a 40 year old “MOM”. Mom, mom, holy cow - I didn’t tell her I I’m not sure if I wanted to be cremated or not?? Why did I have to show off this stupid rental car? If anything has happened to my best friend or her son I think I’ll just disappear. My best friend...the first time I met her she was twirling her keys talking to Nicole while crossing Hampton Boulevard. Are they okay?? Who hit me? Where are they? They left us? She left us?? She hit us and kept going?? She kept going!!! What happened? What is happening? My shoe is burnt, the plastic is melted. My bedroom is a mess. This shirt is a terrible choice for a car accident.

With a phone in my ear, I’m starting to come around again.

ME: dazed coming around: “What? Pinned? No. I have a headache. I’m scratched. I’m okay. I’m alive..I can’t hear you police are here. Thanks......”

Police are all around me now. People are all around. 10 people talking at me at once. In all the chatter a sequence evolved. My light turned green I went forward a few feet and a lady in a black lexus hit me (at about 40 to 50 mph), the light post, and kept going. She never lost speed. 10 minutes later she’s caught, and she’s been drinking.

I was amazed at people. People stopped. And something even more suprising they stayed. One family in her station wagon sat with us the entire time. Another mom and her son, called 911 and helped me carry my stuff out of the road. A third man in a Dakota followed the lady that hit us and led the police to her. I didn’t know how to thank them except giving them hugs. I have to be vague on the who’s and why’s because of impending court dates and anonymity but .... if you should ever stumble across OEF in your internet meanderings friends, you’re honorary members in my book.

I was told in the emergency room I was a very lucky lady. If I would have had a lead foot and moved a few seconds faster she would have hit my drivers side door at that speed and a destroyed rental car would have been the least of my worries.

I’ve been in a depressed “what’s the meaning of this accident funk” for the past Memorial-Day weekend.

I think it’s this. I’m hoping, I make it to 80 or 90, still silly and sassy wearing my red lipstick (not sure about naked). And I’m hoping I can take the whole gang along to laugh at me.

May 23, 2006

I know you guys have watched the scene in “Pretty Woman” where Julia Roberts is turned down by the snooty sales lady. She’s brave for a minute and then she starts crying “but...I have money, he gave me all this money!” She cries and you are sad for her because even with the money, she’s still broke. And that’s the way I felt yesterday leaving yet another car dealership, because to them regardless of my job or how much cash I have in my pocket, I’m still broke poor ass Leslie.

Granted I made some credit mistakes, but I paid all those mistakes off. Every penny. Most of them two or three years ago. Does anybody care except me?! NO.

For those of you who have great credit. Go and read another entry. This blog does not pertain to you. Buy a Volkswagon Tourag and tell me how great it handles and how sweet your blue tooth technology is. I’m sure you can afford On-Star and if that’s the case you can drive to my house and pick my broke ass up. My current car isn’t nearly as cool as your tourag anyways.

So to all you first time auto buyers with not so good credit, or no credit buying a car let me give you some insight on the real tip.

1. If the dealer starts off with “we don’t make deals here, the price is the price.” Then leave. Right there. If they don’t wanna take off any money at all, or at least pretend that there is a possibility then they don’t really wanna sell that f**ker.

2. If you have some money saved up for a massive down payment don’t tell them until after they show you your payments without that down payment. Dealers will hike up the price of the car even more just to steal your massive down payment. You don’t really need interior paint sealant or cup holders in your trunk! Do you??

3. Take alot of people with you, especially if you are a girl. A big burly man type or someone conveying power could work to your advantage. Small people are easy marks. You are less likely to be hearded from room to room alone and goaded into feeling like you have to buy the car or your life will end. Nobody wants to buy a Fiat or a Daewoo, don’t be tricked into it.

4. Throw your payment estimator out the window. An 11k car is really 12,500 after tax, title, licensing and.......after that financing...that car is really 17k. The only number that means something is your APR --- get that rate from the dealer and if that start at anything over 12 then you are in essence tacking on at least 5-9k extra on to the price of that car.

APR is everything. If your credit score is under 620 - dealerships can go as high as 20 but.....they can go as low as 12. They can DO it. I’ve seen it done twice.

5. If your current car runs, go right now fill it up with gas and thank it for driving you and your compatriots around all the time. Not everybody has a car, and while status doesn’t mean everything - motility means ALOT.

May 16, 2006

Yay, radio?

I was just sitting here in the old basement, sort of blowing off going to bed, and yes, admittedly checking myspace for one last time. Somehow I got to fumbling with music, and was inspired by Hench's changing of songs to change my own.

I kind of felt like Soul Coughing, so I went to find some. I chose "Sugar Free Jazz", and even though I've heard it seventy-eleven billion times, I decided to sit and give it a spin; maybe play a game of Snood or two. When the song was over, I wasn't over music, so I clicked on over to my bro's myspace page as I know he has another favorite Soul Coughing song on his page, "True Dreams of Witchita". And when THAT song was over, I still needed some music. So I clicked on my handy Yahoo! Widget Engine icon, and turned on my SIRIUS Satellite Radio Tuner widget.

To my initial chagrin, my favorite station, Left of Center, was playing the MC Lars (pictured here) Show. MC Lars is a self-proclaimed "geek rapper", quasi-famous for such songs as "iGeneration" and "Signing Emo". Sounds cute, right? So why the chagrin? While I sort of enjoy these little songs for their snarky commentary on pop culture; it's not real music, it's novelty, and I came to my Sirius tuner this evening for some HITS to sing while I futilely try to beat my sister's Snood score.

But something odd happened---or rather, is happening. Because you see, friends, it is currently 10:46PM. WAY past my bedtime. Or at least I should be in bed right now watching General Hospital, and already starting to feel the effects of my Tylenol PMs. But nooooo. I'm sitting here actually listening to a radio show (that isn't Howard Stern), waiting to see what this guy is going to play next.

So far, a sample playlist:

  • Alice in Chains, Would
  • Weezer, The Sweater Song
  • Soul Coughing (!), Circles
  • Public Enemy, Bring the Noise
  • NWA, Fuck the Police
  • The Ramones, Sheena is a Punk Rocker
  • Rusted Root, Send Me on My Way
  • Hilary Duff, Fly
  • Weird Al Yankovic, Amish Paradise
  • Nirvana, Come as You Are
  • Rob Base, It Takes Two
Yeah, Hilary Duff is whack, but you see my point. It's actual variety, and I actually enjoyed listening to the radio. It's sort of endearing when you know someone actually chose those songs, and chose them to play in that order. Working in radio, the act of actually "doing radio", that is getting the music to the people, is so clinical. Songs are ranked according to some consultant's opinion, and will get rotation based on that rank. Or something like that. I don't know for sure, as I'm not a programmer, but you get the point. It's a totally joyless process concerning one of the things that brings the most joy to the most people---music.

I'ma admit it right here, I don't have a conclusion for this rather meandering blog; and now I kinda want to find out if the brain surgery Dr. Drake illegally performed on Sam will actually save her life, thus vindicating her mobster boyfriend, or further fueling the wrath of her newly-discovered mother, Alexis.

May 5, 2006

Profiles in Dopeness: Rufus the Cat

We've been so serious around here. I thought we could use some fluff.

So I thought I'd profile a very important entity in my life; Rufus the cat.

I accquir
ed this gentleman on a summer weekend trip to Wildwood, NJ in 2002
when I still lived in Virginia. My friend Nicole's sister Jackie had encountered a family of cats on a misty late-night Cape May County road, huddled together in a box in the middle of the street.

Looking to unload some of these 6 new family memb
ers, Nicole asked if I'd consider taking one home with me. After carefully interviewing all six, I settled on this handsome boy; as he was the one who seemed to like me the most and he had a pretty awesome white diamond on his forehead.

Rufus got his name because on the long, hot drive back to Virginia in the old Lincoln Town Car, we listened to Rufus Wainwright. My mom had put some bottled water in the freezer for the ride home, and Rufus spooned one of the frozen-solid bottles for the better part of the 4 hour trip trying to say cool.

Among Rufus' chief interests are sleeping, grooming the other cats, lounging, posing, and caterwauling in the kitchen late at night.

He often "kills" pears or apples that he has hunted down on the kitchen counter, and presents them as tokens of his affection; and generally enjoys knocking anything off of the counter.

When the world is getting to be a bit too much for Rufus, he retires to a kitchen or bathroom cabinet for undisclosed stretches of time; and upon his exit from said cabinets Rufus is the most non-challant fella on the block. Even if you're in th
e middle of a fancy dinner party.

Lest you think Rufus is nothing more than a selfish layabout, I assure you, he loves his fellow cat. When he first came home with me, we had another male cat, Tigger. There was no growling/posturing between
Rufus & Tigger. They were pals straight away, and remained inseparable until my Mom had to move, and the boys were split up. In that fateful car ride back to New Jersey, Rufus and Tigger washed and comforted eachother until they were ripped apart. Tigger now lives with my brother Butch, Rufus came home with my sister and I. Rufus has tried to forge relationships with subsequent cat-roommates, but he mostly gets abuse from them. But still, he is a lover, and he tries to wash them and protects them from the beastly dog, Uma.

April 28, 2006

The saddest thing ever

In continuation of the debate on myspace, the news had a jarring headline this morning featuring a soldier that had returned home from Iraq. He simply posted a bulletin (on the aforementioned website) on the sad state of affairs of the world and then concluded that he no longer wanted to play a role in it and that he was making his departure TODAY. His myspace and real world friends found him deceased in his residence.

I know things are bad. New Orleans is gone. Pretty soon I'll be looking at horse breeds because I can't afford gas. You're getting arrested for drinking in your hotel room (yes people that went down in Texas two weeks ago). Your parents are losing their jobs if they work for Ford (3000 unemployed in Norfolk last week). Hell, everyone is losing their jobs. Someone you love or know is, has, or will be in Iraq. Pedophiles are getting caught on National T.V. - anyone seen the Today Show's "Perverted Justice specials"?

I was thinking I was running out of happy things to type. But take heart, I found them. Katie Couric is going to be a co-anchor on the evening news. Rosie O'donnell and Joy Behar are going to be mud wrestlin on "The View". Hench keeps getting promoted to the next grade here in OEF land despite never showing up for OEF class (props to G for making me laugh extremely loud with that statement). Some of our best friends are getting married for the right reasons. Someone in your family might be having a baby. Someone you know might have somehow gotten a promotion. F**K I went to dog-n-burger yesterday!!
And if you go out this weekend - I might be dancing somewhere. Don't be scared I'm not having a seizure.

April 19, 2006

Myspace Manifesto

A few weeks ago, Phillips totally ripped the band-aid off the scab that I’ve been picking at for a while now; that scab being my love/hate relationship with Myspace. He posted a rather thoughtful bulletin informing everyone that he was going to delete his profile, and that anyone who wished to remain in contact with him should email him his or her information. The thing that struck me as completely odd and telling about the whole thing was that I actually contemplated whether or not I should email him with my info.

Because, you see, I wasn’t all that sure that I was actually friends with Phillips, despite the fact that there was a 1”x1” graphic that indicated that he was just that on my myspace page for the last several months, and the fact that I think he’s a really awesome human being. Sure, we were friendLY enough in college. We swam in a few of the same social pools, and once he was nice enough to star in a rather ill-conceived short film about a boy and his monkey for Hench’s & mine Short Works in Narrative Media class.

Hold the phone. I’m gonna go back to the beginning of my love/hate relationship with d’space for a second. Like most people, I claim to not even be sure why I joined the damn thing. I was on Friendster for awhile, but never really did much with it, and for no good reason later migrated to Myspace. I think I may just have a medical need to be clued-in to everything on the internet, so if I read an article or hear about a website, I’ll bop on over and sign-up; as evidenced by the seventy-eleven billion blogs/journals/diaries/whatever I’ve started and abandoned in the last ten years. Each and everytime, I think I let the very idea of this new web page or program take over my brain. I’ll imagine that this is the platform upon which I will begin to change my life; I will finally be able to communicate my thoughts in a concise and meaningful manner, I will electronically reinforce my relationships via this webpage, I will learn about new music and expand my horizons.

So I signed up for Myspace. And I was on it for almost a year before anyone I actually knew (besides a kid that interned at my radio station) was counted among my “friends”. For the longest time, I had 8 friends. One was Dane Cook, one was Tom, one was Lagwagon, one was the aforementioned intern, and the rest were people from MS groups. True, there were people on Myspace that I actually knew from college or whatever, but I felt kind of like a douchebag “requesting” to be considered their friend when I actually WAS their friend in real life at one time. I sort of assumed that if I was supposed to be in touch with these people that I would have without the help of a website.

IN FACT, one of my original inspirations for this here blog was that it was to be the anti-Myspace. A little corner of the internet where people who actually know and interact with each other in real life could mingle and entertain each other while at work or in spite of geographical constraints. All the while satisfying the need to feel like people give a damn what I have to say and find me utterly fascinating. Cause really, that’s the mission of myspace, but myspace just is just a walmartized version of Our Electronic Friendship.

And I ended up buying into it! I eventually ditched those first few “friends” I’d had on Myspace and replaced them tenfold (save for Dane Cook and Lagwagon) with people I actually know. There’s lots of ODU people, some people I’d worked with at the waterpark, and all sorts of other random characters from my life that I’d otherwise lost touch with. There’s also a bunch of people I interact with on a regular basis in real life; and the effect myspace started to have on those relationships, the way I was conducting my relationships with everyone on my friends list, as well as the just plain curious and anonymous visitors really started to freak me out.

So then comes Phillips’ bulletin. He basically said that while he has really enjoyed reconnecting with everyone, Myspace has become sort of a gluttonous social black hole in his life, and he needs to make a clean break of it. Well, that’s how I took it anyway. I would re-post the bulletin here, but some of you dear readers may not have been on his friends list and therefore not his intended audience. (Rupert Murdoch owns Myspace now, and I’m not trying to get stuffed in the trunk of a car and shipped to Moldova to be sold into human slavery for possibly violating any terms of service.)

I think the most troubling aspect for me is the whole idea of having a page on the internet that is supposed to give the world a succinct picture of who you are as a person. I somehow got my brother to sign up for Myspace, as most of his high school friends had been making it a habit of reconnecting with him through me on both Friendster & Myspace. Which is fine, as they were friends of mine too, but I really just wanted my friend count to creep ever so slightly higher (not really), so the Butcher signed up. A few days later, he said to me in passing, “I was really surprised that you didn’t have ‘Johnny Dangerously’ in your list of favorite movies.” Friends, I was BESIDE myself. I felt like I couldn’t draw another breath without getting myself to an internet connection before any more unsuspecting internet dwellers got the wrong idea about me.

But just including “Johnny Dangerously” in a list of a few dozen other movies doesn’t add or subtract from the picture I’ve electronically painted of myself. I could replace all those movies with fake ones, and it would have the same result. Now, If I had the time and space to explain on my profile page WHY I like “Johnny Dangerously” so much, then you might actually learn something about me, however mundane. (That it was a movie that my dad introduced to my brothers and I as kids, which took as a sort of necessary homework for entrance into his secret club, as we thought my dad was the coolest man on the planet.) But Myspace forces you to boil everything that could possibly be interesting about you into these tiny boxes, conveniently categorized; like Walmart might, and lately I’ve been yearning for some mom & pop shop electronic socialization. So here I is, Miss Celie.

But I will admit that I’m not quite so strong as my sorta-friend Phillips. I can’t bring myself to quit Myspace; as it can be a good thing, if used properly. So for now, I’m risking life and limb and violating those Terms of Service by lying about my age. It’s currently the only way to make it so your profile can only be viewed by people on my friends list. I figure I’m okay with whatever THOSE people derive from what I may or may not put in my profile, as they actually know me as a person (besides Dane & Lagwagon). And, in turn, I’ll do my best to use Myspace less as the leg that my social endtable stands on, and more as the decorative lace doily I throw on top of it to spruce it up from time to time.

I realize now that I was a crummy jerk for thinking that just because people may have drifted out of my life (even when they weren’t all that solidly in my life to begin with) that they should stay out of my life (and mine theirs). There’s no harm in keeping the lines of communication open. But just because they’re there and you’ve agreed to be on each other’s friends list doesn’t mean you have to hold hands and skip down the street with them.

I was listening to a Jets to Brazil song the other day, and a line struck me:

“We live like astronauts, our missions never cross.”

With Myspace, while that may be true, at least we have access to each other’s flight itineraries just in case we ever want to rendezvous at the Tatooine Cantina for a brewskie.

April 3, 2006

Teens are Scary

I was standing in line at Hot Topic the other day. (Yes, I know Hot Topic. What am I still doing going into Hot Topic?) As I stood there, ears bleeding from the intense moody sounds of Hawthorne Heights and H.I.M, I realized that there were in fact not one but two lines for one register. So trying to expedite my departure I ask the guy in front of me - Is this the line? He pulls his uni-bang off of his mascara covered eyelid and responds “Man (I’m not a man) I guess it is or I wouldn’t be standing here. His gaze shifts over me and returns back to his feet. I think - well jeeze don’t kill yourself I didn’t ask you to solve the sphinx’s riddle.

Man, if only Robert Smith were here. He’d save me.

As we stand, despite being there longer than the new comers - the dude in front of me continues to let people pass. I attempt to spur him on up to the counter and am greeted with a mix bag of ugly faces and glassy eyed greetings. After 5 people pass him, I say F*** this - I’ve already heard The Silence in Black and White 3 times and fear I my cut my ears off. As I begin to contemplate going all Van Gogh - I gather my super cute black converse and pass this emo chicken and the “gothic” girls wearing the huge baggie pants that have gathered in the speedy line. The cashier gave me no grief at all and just said, “these janks are f**ing hot!” I say - “they are pretty hot.” I make a joke about passing the emo kids and she’s says “Emo” is so over. It’s more about incompetant rebellion now. Incompetant (sp) rebellion??

(so is that abbreviated INCOREBELLO??) Cause I’ve probably been incorebello since 2nd grade..

I’m not advocating cutting in line or joking the morose habits of the rich enough to look poor teenagers. If you have enough money to buy hot topic clothes, then you should have enough to generate some friggin happiness for yourself. I guess it’s just sometimes measures have to be taken to get results. Standing around looking “moody” only makes you look f**ing weird. Not rebellious, not emo, but weird. I may not be as book smart as I was years ago, but I’m happiER dammit.

March 26, 2006

I found an old CD-R today that had basically all my papers & homework from my last semester of college on it. In reading through them, I couldn’t shake the thought; “Goddammit, Carol Ann, you used to be smart!” I was reading through a paper I wrote for my New Media Technologies class, which was totally not a hard class at all, and I was intimidated by my own writing.

I don’t know about you guys (or any of you dear readers), but I just feel like a big dummy since college. While I am strongly inclined to blame Myspace for the deterioration of the collective intellect of our generation and the annihilation of the generation after ours, I just feel like punching myself in the face for how…stupid I’ve become. Granted, I don’t exactly have Kyle Nicholas all up in my grill every minute to hand in a paper on anything in particular, so my instrument is not as in-tune as it once was. But finding that CD really sealed my feelings about my recent life happenings…

So I got a new job, which accounts for my scarcity 'round these parts lately. As unnofficial OEF policy, I won't really go into crazy details about said new job, as I intend on keeping it, though connecting the dots shouldn't be too hard for those who'd want to. But I will say that I am still working in radio, but still not on the radio.

My old job was great, really. I had a nice little 8x8 lair with a door and a fast computer and plenty of “me” time (this blog is proof). But alas, I was not long for that place, you see, as in my interview with the general manager, when he textbookly asked “So, do you have any questions for me?” I dug around my brain for an equally textbookly answer and asked if there were any opportunities for advancement, and was met with a flat “No.”. I was unfazed due to dwindling unemployment checks and happily accepted the job. Poverty averted.

But as I was rounding out year three there, My “me” time was really stacking up, and it started to worry me. I found myself wanting to re-do old work I’d done over the previous three years. My boss was totally uninterested in my fine-tuning; even though I pointed out how much more efficient things would be with the changes I’d made. In fact, he was pretty much against it. So I , headed on “across the street”, as they say.

So this is my first real career transition, say, from being a lackey to actually needing business cards, and so far I’m not missing my “me” time; even if this blog has. It’s weird to not want to run out of the building at 5 o’clock on the dot, but I promise, I’ll try & scribble in here on a regular basis. I just might need some assignments from Professors Hench & Paxton (hint, hint)….

March 23, 2006

Right now

All I really wanna do is eat M&M's, drink my trusty Mt.Dew, and ponder the meaning of song lyrics.

What am I thinking about - Tom Cruise and why he's suddenly turned into such a tool. It's just not right to censor South Park episodes so Tom Cruise doesn't get offended. I didn't see M.I. 2, only watched half of M.I. 1 and just can't believe that with his recent shenanigans (ahem thank you Hench for reintroducing fabulous word back into my life) that anyone is going to see his next craptavaganza.

Trey and Matt are right, he didn't complain when they were joking OTHER religions.

I met a real douchebag of a human at the YMCA the other night. Literally, a total stranger walked up to me - handed me her 1 year old daughter? and asked me if I could watch her for an hour. Leaving me standing there with a Dasani, and Ipod, and a lingering doubt of the new generation of parents. Ugh.

Strangely happy to see "That 70's Show" calling it quits. No lead characters that people love equals no viewers. Gah - reminds me of when they only showed SMG's hair on an episode of Angel. Writers if you can't get the real Buffy on there no one wants to see some random lady in a Buffy wig. BOO.

A funny conv. went down last night between me and a friend - demonstrating the need for conversation segues.
We were originally talking about pepperoni and an episode of this Seasons real world.
(If I knew how to do a hyper linky I'd clue you in..but just not there yet.)

Friend: So they were using pepporoni to describe those??!
Me: Yep, gross but funny.
Friend: What perfume are you wearing? Are you wearing it? Well??
Me: ummm...
Friend: well are you?
Me: what pepperoni? uh, yeah you like's by Hormel.
Friend: I meant SJP.

Sadly a minute or so passed between realization that we were no longer talking about food.

Well off to attempt a real life "friending" of sorts.

March 13, 2006

Can't stop, won't stop.......

Myspace finally irritated me to the point where I had to step away. After the 18th bulletin about if you are my real friend you’ll repost, or the 50th 2,578 Intrusive Questions About You survey, and finally the gladiator type battles that are going down jockeying for top 8 positions; I’ve thrown up the white flag for today and led the retreat back to OEF.

I realized I had a problem when this conversation actually occurred:

Me: You know your myspace page is really bland. The only thing I can gather from this is that you are married and are 27.
Friend: Well, I mean, those are key things to know I THINK. I just wanted to be on here to be YOUR FRIEND anyways.
Me: Well, you are my friend. Now share what your favorite movies are.
Friend: You know what my favorite movies are.
Me: Comments, I want comments from you dammit!
Friend: I’m talking to you right now. There you are. I’m commenting.

Leslie Conscience: What are you talking about? That was heresy that just came out of your mouth. Go to your room, read comics and be the nice dorky girl I know you can be.

At this point I realized I’m the “bad” one in the after school (post collegiate) special playing out in front of me.

So time to return to real-life. Which thanks to an impromptu visit via good buddies CA and Henchio is looking alot better than the internet. It’s time to get back to important subjects like name melding, (ex. Mattfleck, Bennifer, Brangelina.), or why people shouldn’t kiss dogs in the mouth, or the shocking frequency of Mi Hogars in the tidewater area, or how strong Smirnoffs are while tasting really quite pleasant.

I wish I could give up the internet but like Diddy says - “I thought I told you that we won’t stop. I told you that we won’t stop eh,”

March 8, 2006

I just wanted to drop a quick note to say that, while my "me time" has been slashed in recent weeks, that I WILL be back soon...I've finally gotten a permanent workspace (cubicle, natch) and my computer is on the way. I just wanted you to know you're in my heart, ponies!

February 28, 2006

Soap Opera tragedies...

I push, I pull
The days go slow
Into a void
We filled with death

from - Little Earthquakes by Beck

So I socially died the day after the day after Valentine’s Day. Luckily it was only a soap opera tradgedy and today is the day my blood besmirched hand pulls itself ominously up from the cliff. Those characters never die, they are mysteriously thrown to amnesia land where they can be brainwashed into believing they are some sorta foreign royalty.

Sickness apparently isn’t selective as to what dates are convenient to it’s victim. Your allergies do not care that you have a concert, your bronchitis doesn’t care that you have to go to work, your headache does not diffentiate between the YMCA and your bedroom.

My nose is no longer a functioning body part, but a uselss deadweight for sun glasses to sit on. Since my nose has went on an extended hiatus, my mouth has been working double overtime. Breathe, chew. Breathe, eat. Breathe, Speak. BREATHE, JUST BREATHE, and DON’T THINK ABOUT BREATHING.

Coughing only segued to more coughing rarely producing anything more than the Triscuit I had bravely tried to eat earlier in the day. Attempts at productivity were greeted with migraine headaches.

During this “down” time, I as able to take in massive amounts of useless TV. I’m now familiar and consequently addicted to Project Runway. You think it’s hard being a model, try dressing someone in fern leaves. Heidi Klum is mean.

I tried some reading and attempts at creativity, but quickly retreated when I realized I had to hold head upright or more than thirty seconds.

I realized I was becoming an annoying sick person when I looked around my room and questioned the arrival of aliens. You see I had about 50 half filled glasses of various liquids sitting here and there ala M. Knight Shyamalan’s “Signs.”

So today despite drugs and *new family trauma, I am here. I’m sedate, tranquilized, a little somber but I’m here.

February 10, 2006

Book It?

It was suprisingly easy to pick my three favorite books:

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice — not because of his voice,
or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the
instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God;
I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.
-John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

I became what I am today, at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the
winter of 1975.
-Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've
been turning over in my mind ever since.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

From my never-to-be-written debut novel Thank You, Dear, the opening sentence:

Someday you will meet somebody who changes everything you know about what kind of person you are; somebody who will make you do crazy things you always knew you would never do; the things you thought you were to smart for. Someday soon.

February 9, 2006

Book It

So here's my pics for favorite novel intro...and my own...

From “The Cheese Monkeys” by Chip Kidd.

“So, what are you taking?”
At that point I could have said a lot of things – I could have said, “If I don’t get the classes I need after waiting five hours in this line, I am taking that clipboard out of your sausage fingered hands, breaking it into ten thick splinters, and slowly introduce each one of them beneath your cuticles as way of say Thanks for herding us like a flock of three thousand Guatemalan dirt pigs into a ventilation hall built for three hundred in order to ask us question we’ve already answered so many times our minds are jelly and our jaws squeak an act which has to be covered somewhere in the Bible as punishable by an manner we, in His righteous stead, see fit”.

From “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie

“All children, except one, grow up.”

From “It” by Stephen King

"The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years-if it ever did end-began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat...

From “A Hasty Departure from the Script” by Leslie Paxton

“Despite having taken a series of redundant steps to avoid this conversation, Gail found herself positioned face to face with the former Prom Queen, who once stately, was now reduced to handing out cheese nips in Wal-mart.”

Book It!!

So Leslie handed down an interesting challenge. Take your 3 favorite books & transcribe the first three lines from each. Then write an opening line(s) of your own debut novel, and somehow we will all be better people, so here goes with mines:

From “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien

First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior
at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were not love letters, but
Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of
his rucksack. In the late afternoon, after a day’s march, he would dig his
foxhole, was his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them with the
tips of his fingers, and spend the last hour of light pretending.

From “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris:

Anyone who watches even the slightest amount of TV is familiar with the
scene: An agent knocks on the door of some seemingly ordinary home or
office. The door opens and the person holding the knob is asked to
identify himself. The agent then says, “I’m going to ask you to come with

From “ A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole

A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The
green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that
grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals
indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the
bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with
disapproval and potato chip crumbs.

Okay…so, for my debut novel, entitled “Get in Your Red Bed”, I only have one line and you’ll just have to like it:

Most summer nights, Tommy Lee Ferber sang nonsense songs on our front stoop as
he strummed away at his guitar-shaped scrub board someone made for him at the