September 28, 2007

Actual virtual conversation

Pat: Can animals join al-Qaeda? I'm just curious if they'll take anyone, or some poor saps get turned away...and/or animals.

Me: As long as they hate modern clothing and the baby Jesus.

Pat: Why am I in a predicament that involves me needing scissors to open scissors? Terroristic animals are the least of my worries now!

Me: This morning, I almost had to pull over and ask the construction workers to assist me, using power tools, with the opening of an Advil + Sinus pill blister pack. Fucking technology. In other news, I'm throwing a karaoke-housewarming party and I wish wish wish you didn't live in god forsaken TEXAS.

Pat: I rocked Montell Jordan the other night at karaoke like nobody's business. I'm talking standing ovation type shit. Texas, particularly San Antonio, blows. What a great representation of this fine state! It smells like Antonio Banderas, which I think is who it's named after.

Me: Well, THAT was random.

Happy Friday!

September 27, 2007

The sound of September

Fall is always a good time for music for me -- I am restrained by the weather to hours inside on weekends, which means I'm looking for tunes to drive to, clean to, read to, nap to... Music becomes my little pet project.

September's soundtrack:

1. Paolo Nutini.
He's a 19 year old Scottish singer/songwriter, but for all the cliche that is in that description, he's relatively memorable, in a "these songs were totally written for motion picture soundtracks" kinda way. His song "Last Request" reminds me of the pointless romances we've all endured (and endured is the right word). It's pathetic and sad and really wonderful up loud on a rainy day in the car. Almost everything he sings is melancholy, with the exception of "New Shoes", which is a happy little ditty that warms up the corners of your your brain, sticks in your molars like white bread and makes me smile like an idiot.

2. Muse.
I'm hooked. The song "Starlight" is kickass, as is "Invincible". To give them a listen, click here.

3. Sara Bareilles.
This is the perfect "telling me to love you doesn't make me love you, you smothering asshole" song, only it's so damn sweet you'd never know it.

4. Citizen Cope.

Hello, you. He's been in the music game for a while, but I recently rediscovered Cope, and can only say that if you're not already a big fan of his go-go/funk/rock/soul sound (and his... um... hotness), one listen to "Sideways" and "Bullet and a Target" (and a lookie loo at his videos, ladies) will make you a believer.

5. Regina Spektor.

Fidelity is rapidly becoming a "most played" song on the iTunes, but she's interesting across the board. Looks like Tori Amos, has a unique Bjork-reminiscent sound -- she's one of the few singers (another? Imogen Heap.)who's voice wavers between sounding human and sounding purely instrumental.

September 26, 2007

Hello, little Chuckie!

This is the scariest thing I've ever seen on the Internet (and I've seen Britney Spears' crotch)... thank you, Perez Hilton.

It is also (along with Britney Spears' kids) a reasonably valid argument against having children.

For more retro demonic kid ads, plus the fun bonus of deeply disturbing cuisine ads, go here. Whatever these ads were selling, I'm not buying. I'm a particularly big fan of the devilied eggs layed on top of day-glo mac and cheese and surrounded by halved tomatoes and the creampuffs full of peas.

Good God. Thanks, Plan59!)

September 24, 2007

"It's a race... and I'm WINNING!"

This image has literally nothing to do with the post that will follow, except it has the word "race" in it and the quote with which this post is titled is from the movie "Rat Race". (That was like a free association exercise, and I apologize, but now that it's there I'm not taking it back because if you're reading this you clearly don't have shit to do, anyway.)

I believe we've discussed here before that I am at the very least unpredictable, and at most the human embodiment of the word "contradiction". Totally put together on the outside, while secretly stupidly scattered. Great at taking care of other people, almost genetically unable to care for myself. Great at parking, terrible at driving. Torn between city and country, summer and fall, passivity and aggression. Super flirty but impossibly prude.

And, above all, at once graceful and incredibly accident-prone, both at all the wrong times.

Which is where this story comes in.

I recently went with Jim out to lunch. We met in my office, and as we walked towards the elevators, we were joking and laughing about God knows what. It's important to note that the long hallway leading towards the elevators is set up as follows. On the right: wall. On the floor: carpet. On the left: an expanse of windows that looks in to the engineering department at my company (in other words, a bunch of computer nerds staring at their screens, iPods on, facing the window.

"Hey!" Jim said, stopping in the middle of our banter, "I have an idea!"

"What?" I was intruiged as I saw his eyes light up. Whatever it was, it was going to be fun.

"Let's race---"

At the word "race", I knew it was on. In an attempt to get a head start to the elevator, I leapt immediately, yelling "GOOOOO!" AND swinging my heel-clad right foot forward violently -- the first step in my inevitable sprint to victory.

But instead of catapaulting triumphantly forward, I was shocked to discover myself instead flailing violently, unable to get my right foot on the ground. My right heel, on a clear path to glory just a moment before, had firmly snagged in my wide-cuffed kick-ass herringbone trousers just before making contact with the ground, resulting in a "hog-tied" affect -- both my feet together, neither able to move independently.

This, combined with the enthusiasm with which I thrust my body forward behind my first step, resulted in a sort of fishlike wiggling and then a very dramatic faceplant, barely involving my arms, onto the carpeted hallway.

It was horribly quite "Free Willy" -- I sorta dove/slid on my belly down the hall a few feet before coming to a complete stop directly in front of the window looking into the office, and right in front of the baffled, mortified Jim.

"Please," he said, his face a mixture of 80 percent humiliation and 20 percent amusement, "PLEASE tell me you meant to do that."

Unhooking my foot and rolling onto my back, I burst into laugher -- again, right there on the floor in front of the window and in my office hallway. I had, of course, not meant to do that. Jim's great white hope that I had intended that contortionist act of physical comedy made the situation that much funnier. Combined with the look on the face of one engineer dierctly in front of the window, who removed an iPod earbud and was staring, agape, and I couldn't stop laughing.

Realizing the Great Floor Flop of 2007 was unintentional, Jim's face fell. "Oh, God," he said as he swiftly walked away from me and to the elevator, pushing the "down" button rapid-fire, "Get up."

Apparently Jim got his sense of humor back the second he wasn't being associated with me in a publicly mortifying situation, because this is the story that's been told nonstop for the last few days, while the fact that I did the splits and two back handsprings when I got up goes completely unreported.

Either way, I swear to God I would have won that race if not for the disqualification. I'm presently negotiating for a rematch. In a less dangerous outfit, of course.

September 10, 2007


"You know, we should be nicer to each other," Jim said. We were setting up badminton set in my backyard, while drinking red wine and sweating after work one day recently.

"Yeah? Nicer, huh?" I was focused on untying a knot. Things weren't going particularly well with the badminton set -- stuff was tangled, the ground was too soft, then too hard, the net was crooked.

With Jim and I, things were going smashingly, except both he and I have acerbic wits, sharp tongues, and a wide sarcastic streak. Before we dated, these traits were fun. Once we started hanging out, these traits served as flirty little conversation crutches. But lately, once in a pretty solid relationship, our barbs have started to occasionally stick, which means we've each spent a little more time than we should every week nursing unnecessary wounds and pouting at each other.

"Yeah, nicer," he continued. "I think our communication could be a little better lately, don't you?"

I just about threw down the badminton set and ran to the nearest gas station to buy a lottery ticket. Was I getting a talk about communication? From a man? Who I am dating?

Who is, then and therefore, not gay?

It was a minor miracle.

In an attempt to not overreact to the awesomeness of the moment, I played it cool.

"Yeah, I think you're probably right. Less sarcasm would be good. Deal."

(That was a lie. I did not play it cool. I launched into a 4 minute psychological dissection of why our normally entertaining and sarcastic conversations were starting to drive us both nuts. Standard communication-happy emo-girl stuff.)

Then, as quickly as we'd started talking about it, the conversation was over. A solution was in place. We agreed to take it easier on each other. More love, less war. At the same time, my knot was untied. The net was up. We each stepped back and picked up our rackets, looking over our handiwork.

"There. Look how much we accomplished in a few minutes!" Jim grinned at me from across the net.

"Yeah," I said, admiring the net with my own broad smile. "It looks awesome!"

Then, a moment of silence, which I noted a tad awkward. I looked over at Jim, who had his head tilted quizzically at me.

"What?" I said.

"Um, I was talking about our relationship... but the net looks good, too," he laughed, shaking his head.

Holy shit. Either I'm totally out of my element, or I've met my match.

September 05, 2007

My GynoCarnival

I sat in one of 14 lined-up gray chairs in a gray room, legs crossed, flipping boredly through Parenting magazine, steadily getting more pissed off as I watched the clock tick steadily past my appointment time. The irony of my reading material was not lost on me, as I was there to... um... not get pregnant.

About halfway through the article on how to potty train a stubborn child (and 20 minutes after my appointment for the single most horrifying day of any above-18 woman's year -- the pap smear), a stubby nurse in a horribly flowered set of scrubs opened a door and called my name.

"Oh, that's me," I said, scrambling to stand, shove my blackberry into my bag and stuff the magazine back in the rack with the other "YAAAAY! Babies are FUUUNNN!" magazines.

"Right this way," she said, predictably, gesturing down the hall to one of many doors with little numbers in pink on the outside. I was in room 3. "Now just get undressed, drape this over you," (here she hands me a blue cloth approximately the size of a hand towel) "And crack the door when you're undressed. The doctor will be with you shortly."

"Great," I said. "I thought for a minute he was standing me up!"

I always think it's a good idea to try to be funny at these things, which never goes well. The nurse grunted in my general direction while fiddling with a clipboard. "Oh," she said over her shoulder on her way out, "I've got an extern here shadowing me for the day, so if you don't mind, she'd like to observe your procedure."

Well, if that wasn't a loaded question, I thought. What am I going to do, say no to science? That's like not donating organs, which you simply can't not do, because what kind of person won't give their organs away if they're not using them? Jesus. "Uh huh," I nodded. "Sure."

The door firmly shut behind me, I disrobed, as instructed, piling my clothes under my purse on the chair across the room from the exam table, grabbed the tiny drape and strategically placed it so I could go to the other side of the room, crack the door, and sit down on the papered exam table without an incident of indecent exposure.

Once safely on the table, door partially open, I became aware again of the tiny size of the drape. Either I am a larger than normal-sized person, or this thing wasn't capable of properly draping over a female body and covering enough to keep the examination room rated PG-13.

As I tugged and considered my nakedness, the clock kept ticking. After 10 minutes went by, I started to anxiously look over to my purse, where I could hear the steady "buzzzzzz..... buzzzzzz" of my blackberry, indicating I had recieved email from work.

Now a full 40 minutes after my appointment had passed, the buzzing continued, and I was on the brink of a meltdown. I simply. couldn't. stand it. anymore. So, taking a deep breath, I strategically repositioned the drape, and barefoot and naked with the door half open, raced across the room to my bag where I dug frantically for the blackberry before sprinting back and leaping up onto the paper-covered table again, gasping and re-adjusting the useless piece of cloth while people talked in the hallway just outside the partially open door.

Back to safety, I distracted myself from the fact that my appointment was already technically over by sending 15 work emails (again, while effing naked at the effing gyno. Can you say workaholic?) And then, at last, the doctor entered, frumpy nurse and 12-year-old extern in tow.

"Get your emailing done?" he said sarcastically, noting the blackberry in my right hand; my only accessory. I nodded sheepishly. "Alright," he said, "This should go pretty quickly." I leaned back, feet in stirrups, and tried to relax.

And then, a few seconds into the exam, my phone rang, blaring out a Rufus Wainwright song titled "Rules and Regulations" for which the chorus includes "Theeese are just the rules and regulaaations/for the birds/and the bees...". And as I scrambled to silence it in the middle of my exam, it occurred to me that there was a huge mirror in the room, which reminded me of the many E.R. and Grey's Anatomy episodes where classes of snarky 20-somethings sat behind one-way mirrors to watch procedures, and I pictured myself being the subject of this observation, with my ineffective drape and my gay songwriter "birds and bees" ringtone and the nurse-extern-doctor medical triangle at my feet.

I just couldn't stop myself. I burst into a fit of giggles.

This thoroughly confused the doctor and the nurse, who exclaimed "It's okay, honey! It's like getting the hiccups in church!" to which I laughed harder. By the time the exam was over, I was teary eyed and heaving.

And then, I remembered that two of my work friends and I had recently been discussing all the new birth control methods and had vowed to ask our doctors for their opinions of all the options so we could compare notes, you know... just in case. And as the horrified nurse and extern stood there, I, half-naked and having just experienced the strangest pap of my life, asked my doc about birth control.

He ran through a couple types -- things I'd never heard before -- with names that I swear sounded like spaceships or military acronyms. (By the way, thanks a lot, public education system, for the stellar sex-ed). And then, he came to "The Ring".

"The Ring" I was familiar with, having actually remembered that from human sexuality in college. Doc ran through a couple little bits of information about that particular method, noting that the only possible inconvenience was that some people liked to remove it before... uh... intercourse.

"Oh, really?" I said, trying really hard to be all adult and stuff about this super-weird topic in front of my audience of three and still chilly and naked. "Why would you remove it if you don't have to?"

And here is where my appointment ended with a bang:

"Well," he said, "You don't have to, but sometimes if you leave it in... well... you might just ring yourself a penis!!"

I immediately snorted with laughter and the extern began to giggle, us both certainly picturing some sort of carnival game where if you "ring a penis", you get some huge, overstuffed pink elephant, a goldfish, or a bunch of stick-on tattoos. Unbelievably hamming it up, Doc continued, now gesturing as though plucking low-hanging fruit from a tree:

"...and then you'd have to say (here's where he uses his female falsetto)'whoops! i'm going to need that back!'"


I swear to God, sometimes my life is like an episode of Sex in the City gone wrong... way, way wrong, only with less sex, less money, and in distinctly more practical shoes.