Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Smart Attack

Since all three of my blog readers have voted, and 2 out of the three had "smart attack" in their top choices, I'm going with that story first. Although I fear it may be anti-climatic after such hype and anticipation.

After working late last Monday, I made a trip to the grocery store, mainly to get food for a work party the next day. My coworker had graduated from her Masters program over the weekend and we would be surprising her the next day with lunch, a gift and a card signed by everyone. A typical office "party."

I had already picked up her gift over the weekend (a bottle of Bailey's - it was either that or something from the school bookstore and she's not exactly the school spirit type) so was somewhat miffed when no one else from the office volunteered to get the food for the party. But I needed to pick up some things anyways, so no big deal. I was the only one in my building when I left my office in St. Paul and headed towards home in Minneapolis, stopping at the store on the way.

I carefully picked out lettuce and tomatoes from the produce department and weighed and labeled the bags myself. Visited the deli and had two kinds of cold cuts sliced and weighed. Again to the deli for two kinds of cheeses. And to the bakery for rolls. Now I had everything for the sandwich bar we'd agreed upon. (I planned on stealing condiments from the University cafeteria). Others from the office were bringing things like fruit and chips. I'm convinced that they volunteered to bring these items because they already had them at home and wouldn't require a trip to the store, but I could be wrong.

Picked out a few items for myself, and got in line.

Enter the smart attack.

At least I hadn't started unloading my cart yet, or worse, had all my items rung up. The line was long and something possessed me to get out my credit card so I'd have it ready when the time came.

No wallet.

I knew instantly where it was. On my desk at work, where I'd laid it after my coworkers gave me cash towards the party food.

Checked my coat pockets, pants pockets and every compartment of my purse anyways.

No wallet.

Got out of line. Checked again.

Still no wallet.

Stood there for two minutes thinking, "Even if I wanted to just put everything back and go home I can't. First of all, half the stuff I bought came from the deli or bakery and literally can't be put back. And even if I just abandon my cart in aisle 3 and flee, I still have to get this stuff by lunchtime tomorrow."

I decided to confess to the deli girl who'd helped me earlier. Turns out, this must happen fairly often. She told me to go to the service desk and they'd put my items in a cooler until I came back. Which meant confessing to yet another person.

Checked around the inside of my car, just in case.

No wallet.

Headed back to St. Paul. Called my girlfriend on the way to inform her "you're dating a dumbass and feel free to break up with me after I tell you what I just did."

It wasn't until I was walking up the steps of my building that I remembered my only way in at this time of day is with my key card.

Which is located where?

That's right, my wallet.

I was picturing my impending walk to the campus security office where the rent-a-cop would give me the same look the deli girl and service desk dude had just given me ... when I saw a custodian in my building!

One stroke of luck in a series of mishaps.

Retrieved my wallet, returned to the store, retrieved my shopping cart and got to work the next day to find that the head of the department had decided to surprise our office with lunch: a sandwich bar.

Another Michigan Football Legend Gone.

Ok, so maybe Gerald Ford is better known for being a U.S. President, but that doesn't change the fact that he was University of Michigan Football MVP in 1934.

Christmas in Ann Arbor

Holiday Greetings from...

...The Regurgitator! Taking out mortal enemies from up to 20 yards away in a single spew!!!

By day, he is my nephew (AKA "cutest baby ever born"), but by night, a superhero:

The Regurgitator!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Me not blog long time. Me so sorry.

I've been absentee from this blog for over a month now, mostly because I've been super busy. And just because you are busy doesn't necessarily mean you have that many interesting things to write about.

It is the busy season in University Admissions, having received over 4,000 applications and the accompanying paperwork in the past 3 months. Which may not seem like a lot, until you realize that the entire University only has 5,500 undergrads and there are only 4 full timers processing all this paperwork. So when I would usually squeeze some blogging in over my lunch hour, I've been taking shortened lunches or working through lunch to keep up with the workload (and get overtime - gotta pay for Christmas presents somehow). See? Not all that interesting.

But, starting Saturday, I find myself with a week off work which means I will no doubt have some time to blog. I'm celebrating Christmas Day at my parents for the first time in 3 years and although I'm totally stoked about seeing family and friends and getting my Michigan pride on, I'm expecting a lot of much-needed down time. So, what would you like me to blog about first?

* The smart attack I had at the grocery store
* Secret Santa anxiety
* The best concert I've been to in years
* You know you are robbing the cradle when...
* Christmas carols that never should've been
* My cat's football bowl picks.
* Random mystery story TBA

Vote in the comments section!

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'm in shock.

Before Tuesdays with Morrie and Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom co-wrote Bo. My father just called me at work with the news that on the eve of one of the biggest games in the history of University of Michigan football, Bo Schembechler died of a heart attack.

Bo Schembechler, former head coach and athletic director. Bo, who had a 194-48-5 record over his 20 years at Michigan. When my mom got her copy of Bo autographed, it was not Mitch Albom's signature she sought; it was Bo's. Albom was "just" a sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press back then.

I grew up in Ann Arbor, home of Schembechler Hall, with season tickets to U of M football and basketball games. You can't grow up in Ann Arbor and not know about Bo. Especially when your mother is the former president of the U of M club of Ann Abor, the alumni booster club for Michigan athletics. It is true that when she stepped down as president, Coach Lloyd Carr presented her with a glass-encased autographed football that stayed on our mantlepiece for at least a year. She has a Bo Schembechler bobble-head.

And you can't talk about Bo without talking about his rivalry with legendary Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes. And tomorrow is the Michigan-Ohio State game. Both teams are undefeated. The outcome of this game determines who gets to go to the National Championship. Take a deep breath.

Even if this game didn't have so much riding on it, Ohio State is still Michigan's biggest rival, beating out Michigan State and Notre Dame. When my parents went to Buckeye country for a Michigan/OSU game once, they got all the way back to Ann Arbor before they noticed the red bumper sticker on the back of the mini van. And then wouldn't go into the house until it was removed. Our neighbor Steve, who ushers all Michigan basketball games and is also a member of the booster club, has a cottage in Ohio. In the weeks leading up to the game, he gets repeated phone calls from his neighbors down there. They even started calling and harassing my mom and she doesn't even know them. He once got a Woody Hayes bobble head in the mail.

The conversation with my father quickly turned to how Bo's death will affect the game tomorrow. I suggested it would inspire the team to win the game. Win it for Bo! My dad is concerned that Coach Carr will be distracted all day with the haunting question, "what would Bo do?". For a moment, we cringed at ourselves. A man has died. Think about his family, it is just a football game. But like I told my dad, I guarentee you, wherever Bo is now, he's horrified at the timing of his death. He was superstitious and the last thing he'd want for a U of M/OSU match up are distractions of any kind. One thing is for certain, he won't miss this game no matter where he is.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Equity Actors Foaming at the Mouth

A while back I was in a storage closet of the basement offices of the theatre where I work part-time. I'd been in there dozens of times, but never before noticed the presence of three peculiar labels affixed to the top shelf.

So I went to my boss, "So, um, why is there a shelf in the closet labeled "Breast cancer prevention, quitting smoking and sexually transmitted diseases?".

"Because there used to be a Planned Parenthood in here."

I'm guessing they kept their extra pamphlets on that shelf.

Who knew St. Paul Minnesota's "Historic Hamm Building" was once home to an abortion clinic?

Which perhaps explains why there is thick (bullet-proof?) plastic between the waiting room and the reception desk. And all this time I thought it was to kept rabid auditioning actors from lunging at the director.

I'd like to introduce... brother Garfield. He plays washboard in Idaho's only Zydeco band. Sometimes, if you are lucky, he busts out the cowbell as well.*

*This is not true. Not a word.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

That is 8 "golf"s in 1 sentence by the way.

My favorite thing about working in college admissions is the entrance essays. I'd love to provide some examples on this blog of choice essay topics, awkward sentence structure or incorrect word usage, but I'd be fired.

A close second to the essays are the random transcripts from school that you could've never imagined even existed. Case in point:
Professional Golfers Career College:

"If you're looking for a golf college program that provides a golf education for a golf career in the golf industry including golf management, golf instruction and golf business, then PGCC is the golf school you need to attend."

Let's talk curriculum. "The objective of the program is to help the student attain a fundamental grounding in professional golf management, including an introduction to the theory and practice of golf shop operations." What exactly is theoretical about running a Pro Shop? Either you carry that brand of clubs or you don't. I can only imagine Calligraphy is offered so you can fill out those Hole-in-One certificates. Psychology of Golf actually sounds kind of interesting. But I'm pretty sure your credits for Turf Management aren't going to transfer over to this learning institution, sorry.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dear Lord in Heaven

I am dating a woman who wears NASCAR cologne.

Good thing I saw that in her bathroom only after I'd decided I like her. Yes, I am so shallow that seeing "Daytona 500" in the medicine cabinet early on might've sent me packing.

I mean seriously, is it made outta synthetic Dale Earnhart Jr. pheromones or something? Yuck. I didn't even realize until I Googled this image that the cap looks like a tire. Classy.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rinse. Repeat.

I spent last weekend 4 miles from the Kansas border in Superior, Nebraska. My dad and I were visiting my Grandmother and her husband, Arlo (Isn't that like THE best name for a retired Nebraskan farmer: "Arlo"). The peculiar part about the visit is that this is my maternal grandmother, but my mom didn't go. My grandmother moved from Michigan to Nebraska when she married Arlo in 2002. My mother has been to see her in Nebraska once, and apparently that was enough. My sister and brother-in-law have also been to see them in Superior. My sister's advice? "Try to shower right before you leave and pick up some groceries between the airport and their house."

This did not bode well.

My dad flew into Lincoln Municipal Airport from Detroit and I from Minneapolis Friday night. Municipal airport. I can't think of a time I've flown into an airport that wasn't "International." Even the airport in Kalamazoo, MI where I went to college was "international," even if it's only because they have two flights to Canada. Detroit and Minneapolis are both Northwest Airlines hubs. I'm used to multiple concourses devoted solely to NWA flights. My dad and I were on the only 2 NWA flights coming into Lincoln that night. Lincoln airport has four gates. When departing from there, everyone waits in the cafe. When you see your airplane taxi to your gate, it is only then that you go to security.

If this wasn't already feeling spooky and isolated enough, it was still a two hour drive to Superior. The minute we left I-80, we lost all cell phone reception for the remainder of the weekend.

First let's discuss the food. The reason behind my sister's recommendation to get our own groceries became clear at breakfast Saturday. There was a cereal box held together with tape. I'm not sure if Grams and Arlo are eating stale/spoiled food because they can't see well enough to notice or because they are such penny-pinching geezers that they'd rather have Fear Factor-type meals rather than let something go to waste. In order to wash down the stale bran flakes, I reached for my glass of orange juice. I had registered the glass out of the corner of my eye and reached for without really looking. I took a swig...and then used all the strength I could muster to swallow it. Ever had some O.J. that is a couple days past the expiration and it has a kinda tangy taste to it? This was beyond tangy. This was an attempt to ferment O.J. into the world's first citrus wine. I set down the glass to see a half inch of clear liquid rise to the top. Like moonshine. I hid the juice glass behind the box of cereal and then, under the guise of being a dutiful granddaughter, offered to clear the table so I could dump it out without hurting anyone's feelings.

There is the salad that the rest of the world eats, and then there is salad in the Midwest. OK, I've lived in 3 cities that are considered part of the Midwest. But the key word there is "city" as opposed to "town" or "village." Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and Minneapolis all have food co-ops and a variety of restaurants to choose from. The menu of the only restaurant I went to in Nebraska offered baskets of deep-fried chicken gizzards.

My first of three weekend salad experiences was at the house. Grams asked me to cut up an apple. When I took an apple out of the fridge, it was so rotten my thumb sunk into it. I salvaged what I could of the apple and we enjoyed a "salad" of iceberg lettuce, apple chunks and sliced banana mixed with Miracle Whip mayonnaise. Jigga What?

That night at 80 Acres, the chicken gizzard joint, I picked the "salad bar only" option, sight unseen. I piled my plate high with, you guessed it, iceberg lettuce. God forbid we eat some actual greens with nutritional value and flavor. I turned to the rest of the salad bar to discover that the only other raw veggie available were whole baby carrots. The rest of the salad fixins were bacon bits, cheese, croutons and thick creamy dressings. The second half of the salad bar had things like pudding, pasta salad, potato salad and that fluff you usually only see at family reunions that is a combination of marshmallows, cool whip and Jell-O. There wasn't even canned pineapple in the fluff. There wasn't even cottage cheese. And there certainly wasn't any tomato, mushroom, cucumber, olives, broccoli or cauliflower. The only other veggies available were a mix of green beans, corn, peas and vinegar. And I don't mean balsamic vinaigrette. I mean vinegar. And those veggies were clearly from a can because the peas were the color of the shag carpet in Elvis' jungle room.

My third salad was at the Sunday brunch buffet at the Elk's Lodge. Every Sunday Arlo has a 12 seater table reserved for the Methodists. I was informed on the way to the Elk's club that the men would be sitting at one end of the table and women on the other. Arlo is currently boycotting church; something to do with "that lady minister." It was never clear if the boycott was solely because the minister is female or if there is some other reason. Because of the boycott, we ended up at the Elk's Lodge 20 minutes before everyone else. Church must've ran over. So we spent 20 minutes with my dad and Arlo sitting 6 seats away from myself and Grams. I've never felt so ridiculous. My feminist sensibilities were so violated by these seating arrangements that I told Arlo that the reason God created Woman after Man was because He didn't get it right the first time. Man was a rough draft, if you will. I couldn't help myself. And the salad bar there? Virtually identical to the one at 80 Acres. And the coffee? As bad as back at Grams' house.

We drank coffee from sun up to sun down. Coffee with breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Having chili on Saturday afternoon while watching the Nebraska football game? What beverage could possibly go better with chili than a hot cuppa joe? And this coffee was rancid. If we were lucky, it was so weak that it was basically (to steal an Ani Difranco lyric) "water dressed in brown." If the coffee had any flavor, it was from the grounds that had slipped past the filter into our mugs. Grounds that came from a big plastic vat. I took to telling Grandma I couldn't drink so much coffee or I wouldn't be able to sleep, even though it was so weak it wouldn't rouse an infant.

And sleep was not a problem. Their circulation not being was it used to, Grams and Arlo kept the thermostat up around 80. My dad and I both slept with our bedroom windows open. They also kept the curtains drawn the entire weekend, the combination of heat and lack of light creating some sort of eerie cocoon. The fact that the conversation was often as flat and boring as the landscape didn't help any either. I spent the whole weekend nodding off, waking up to find the conversation still hadn't strayed from talking about the weather that we couldn't see through the curtains, but was permanently displayed on the Weather Channel. I had many a mini-nap in that armchair that had a cloth placemat attached to the top with upholstery tacks. Are people's heads really so greasy that we must take such drastic measures to preserve the fabric? Judging from the tan stain on my pillowcase in the guest bedroom, the answer appears to be, "yes."
Perhaps my Grandma has some secret friends with a fondness for Jheri Curl. Which I doubt, because I didn't see one person of color the entire time I was in Nebraska.

Perhaps people's heads are greasy due to the guest bathroom accommodations. My sister's shower-before-departure recommendation was due to the bathtub. Just a bathtub. No shower curtain, no shower head, just the tub. When I was on exchange in France, my host family had a similar set-up. I took to calling it the Sit N Splash. But at least they had a shower head on a hose you could use to rinse. Grandma just has a faucet 6 inches from the bottom of the tub. What the fuck am I supposed to do with this? They are living like pioneers in Nebraska. I assume that Grandma and Arlo had a shower in the Master bath. There is no way that Arlo is taking baths at his age and an artificial knee. But we were never offered use of this bathroom.

Neither Dad or I bathed on Saturday. As we went to bed Saturday night, I took him aside and said, "I must bathe tomorrow." Kinda like my proclamation earlier in the day that we must find Diet Coke, something cold and caffeinated after a day of lukewarm nastiness.

When I entered the bathroom Sunday morning, I found a wet tub with what looked like rust flakes on the bottom and a plastic kegger cup on the side. My dad helped me piece together the sequence of events later. He found the plastic kegger cup in the kitchen when helping with breakfast, with the intention of filling it with the tub faucet to rinse. A makeshift Sit N Splash if you will. But when he turned on the faucet, it took several minutes before the water ran clear because of lack of use and hard water mineral deposits. Hence the rust-like flakes. So Dad decided to forgo any full-body cleansing and settled for kneeling on the floor over the edge of the tub and washing his hair with the kegger cup and a sample of hotel shampoo from his travel kit. Because neither of us had any intention of using the shampoo Grandma had provided: a bottle of Suave shampoo-and-conditioner-in-one that, from the looks of it, hasn't been on store shelves since circa 1984. I guessing the date based not only on the label design, but the overall crustyness of the cap.

Unfortunately, just washing the hair was not an option for me. You see, I hadn't showered for two days in a row at this point. I usually shower every morning, but hadn't on Friday because I'd showered Thursday night after a vigorous round of apartment cleaning. Funny how cleaning can make one feel so dirty. So by Sunday morning, I was starting to feel oily and itchy. At this point, taking a bath is out. I'm not sitting in the tub with the flakes. Besides, I've never been one to view baths as a real way of getting clean. I've taken the occasional bath for relaxation purposes, but usually end up rinsing off in the shower afterwards. Because really, a bath is just you stewing in your own juices. So, if France had the Sit N Splash, Nebraska has the Squat N Dump. This consisted of stripping down, squatting in the tub, knees braced against the sides for balance, wetting a washcloth, washing the soap (it was all gunky from the soapdish), giving myself a sponge bath, and dumping kegger cupfuls of water on myself to rinse. Then repeating similar steps for my hair.

And then properly showering immediately upon arrival in Minneapolis apartment.

UPDATE! Photographic evidence of the iceberg lettuce, apple and banana salad in progress. I think the Miracle Whip is still in the fridge at this point. But please note the coffee is brewing. Goes great with chili.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hey GOP! We're gaining on ya! Can't you feel our breath?

We took the House! You better recognize!

In related news...file this under You can't make this shit up.

Courtesy of the
crazy rat lady:

"My god. I am so in love with this photo! It’s
Rick Santorum & his family…it almost looks like it’s straight out of a Christopher Guest movie or something…"

If you are even going to own a doll at that girl's age, it stays in your bedroom on a shelf, not tucked under your arm at Republican Headquarters.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

R.I.P. Aggie

P-Funk got a call from her ex the other night. Turns out their hamster had died. Damn lesbians and their joint custody of pets! This is the first time I've ever heard of a hamster though. So she was kinda down and I suggested we stay in a watch a movie instead of going out as planned. So what movie did I choose?

Garden State.

Probably the only movie in existance with an extended hamster funeral scene.

Smooth move Smitty.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jesus was a Hasid

I'm spreading out the Halloween this year. Went to a costume party last night and have another next weekend. The subject of Halloween came up when I was getting my hair cut on Friday by one of my new favorite people, Sica.

[After I left the salon the other night, in the time it took me to walk to the gas station next door to buy some smokes, a mini van had been haphazardly parked in the salon parking lot entrance, blocking everyone in. So I came around to the front of the Salon to investigate and see Sica sitting on the back of the couch of the front window, waving me in. Turns out the van driver wasn’t some asshole, but a police officer. Somehow I had not noticed that it was a police van and that a perp was on the ground getting handcuffed right in front of the salon].

Anyways, Sica and I were discussing our Halloween costumes. She is going as a knocked-up hillbilly zombie car crash victim. My costume will be revealed later in the story. She was saying how Halloween is often an excuse for women to dress as, how should I say it, skanks, basically. Normally if a woman is dressed in fishnets and a leotard, she just looks slutty. But add animal ears or fairy wings and suddenly it is a costume. (This is not to say I haven’t fallen prey to the same phenomenon. There was that one November 1st walk of shame into the San Francisco Police Dept wearing knee high boots after my friend's car was towed out of the Castro the night before).

So I go to this party last night and sure enough every girl's costume was slutty_____. There were 2 slutty angels, 3 slutty devils, 2 Marilyns, 2 flappers and a slutty librarian. There were 2 slutty costumes at the party that I could really get behind, however. One was Paris Hilton (“post–rehab”). The other one? Well, she was wearing fishnets with garters, a mini skirt and a corset-- all black.

"So, what are you?"
"I'm slutty".

She came as slutty. Period. She didn't try to diminish her sluttiness under the guise of school girl or nurse. She was just straight up slutty, no bones about it. I can respect that.

Then there were the lesbians in the corner. We were a paired costume. My friend was wearing khakis, a blue button up Polo-brand shirt, and a necktie displaying a montage of the Lincoln memorial, Capital dome and American flags. I was wearing khakis, white button-up shirt with blue pin-stripes, blue blazer and a necktie displaying a montage of crosses, bible verses, 10 commandments and doves. If it weren’t for our props and name tags, we easily could’ve been dressed as Patriotic Dyke and Bible Salesman. But she was carrying a giz-soaked towel (Ok, it was Elmer’s glue) and I was carrying a can of Crisco. My name tag: Congressman Mark Foley. Her name tag: Anonymous Underage Page. If, like some of the idiots at the party last night, you have no clue what I’m talking about, please read the

Side note: I somehow had the bright idea that I needed to bind my chest for a more authentic male look, as if I was going to a drag king competition and not just a Halloween party. But trying to keep my DD ta-tas under wraps really only resulted in looking like I was trying to smuggle contraband across the Iron Curtain, or perhaps concealing a bullet-proof vest.

In case you are wondering, the guys at the party, while not dressed like sluts, still fell victim to the “multiple party goers in the same-costume” problem. There were 4 pirates, 2 wizards, 2 Darth Mauls and 2 Jesuses (is there a plural for Jesus? I mean He is sorta one-of-a-kind). Although one Jesus was “Jesus H. Christ: Attorney at Law” with business cards to prove it. In addition to the long hair, crown of thorns and stigmata scars, he was wearing black dress pants with matching suit vest, white shirt and pocket watch. This led me to the conclusion that Jesus wasn’t just any Jew, but a Hasidic Jew.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Looking at my nephew...

...I start to think that maybe, just maybe, there is more than sand and cobwebs in my womb after all.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Ohmygod, you hear that?"

"Yeah, what the hell is it?"

"It's Kurt Cobain rolling over in his grave."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

From the creators of Godforesaken Park...

... another seemingly pointless and interminable film, Swimming Pool. Actually, Gosford Park feels like freakin' Terminator II compared to this one. At least in Godawful Park the viewer got to learn (way more than we ever cared to) about the social nuances of servants and guests interacting at an upscale dinner party. That and it stars Professor McGonagall. All we get in the first 35 minutes of Swimming Pool is a dowdy, uptight Englishwoman scarfing down more yoghurt than should be safe for any human to consume.

CoryQ is under duress! Please help!

For reasons beyond my comprehension, CoryQ has become jerkytourniquet's #1 cyber-fan (It is easy to be #1 when there are so few). Some cyber-glitch wouldn't allow him to view anything but the background this morning so I received this:

In related news, apparently I like to create phrases that start with "cyber" and are hyphenated with some other word. Cyber-fan, cyber-glitch, cyber-biscuit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's official: I have in fact inherited the bad pun/play on words gene from my grandfather and father

When discussing scary movies with P-dawg, she said, "You need to see Saw."

"See-saw, like on a teeter-totter?"


Smitty, signing off (impatiently waiting for a blog comment from jerky tourniquet's only faithful reader, CoryQ)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Um. No.

My BFF and I went to Ikea (or Dykea, as we like to affectionately refer to it) tonight. Even though my SLIPAD Design D Crafoord/ U Vejbrink knives only cost $2.59, I still had to pay with a card. As I was signing the touch screen of one of those self-serve card swipey thingys, the palm of my right hand accidentally hit "Enter" before I was done. I informed the cashier, who jokingly told me that the machines were made for left handed people.

I joked back, saying, "Well that makes sense because all Swedish people are left handed."

To which she sincerely responded, "Really?".

You know your co-worker has been reading your blog when... receive an email entitled,
"I think you need to put a
bandage on that dried meat."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My phone thinks I'm way more scandalous than I really am.

I got a new cell phone that has a feature my previous phone did not. When creating a text message, not only does the phone have the auto-fill feature for common words (you know, you get as far as "H-a-p" and it suggests "Happy"), but it also remembers not-so-common words that I've used in previous messages. It is great for not always having to type my friends' names all the way through. But I went to text the word "special" recently, and I only made it to "sp" before my phone suggested "spanking."

I know why my RAZR did that. A few days prior I had texted my friend Sally from a club and said, "If you were here right now, I'd be spanking you on the dance floor." Which, face it, is probably true. My favorite dance is the fake spank, right above the "grab your shin and jerk your knee back and forth" dance. But for a moment I took pause and revelled in the notion that my phone thinks I'm some kinda dom goddess or something.

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'd like to dedicate this song to Lucy

Especially the last two stanzas.

"Taken for Granted" by Sia (Excellent song in its own right, even if the lyrics are ringing a little too true for me at the moment).

I'm sitting in the car again
Waiting for you
You said you'd be a minute
But you've been twenty two
See you've got to do your hair
And get it just right
Sometimes you're in the bathroom
For half of the night

And I'm waiting for you again
Yes I'm waiting for you
And I'm waiting for you again
Tell me what can I do
And I'm waiting for you again
Yes I'm waiting for you
And I'm waiting for you again
Tell me what can I do

Now I'm sitting by the phone again
Waiting for your call
You'd said you'd phone at two
And it's a quarter past four
Now I'm standing out the front
Again It's late at night
And I'm truly sick to death of Sleazy men
Undressing me with their eyes

And I'm waiting for you again
Yes I'm waiting for you
And I'm waiting for you again
Tell me what can I do
And I'm waiting for you again
Yes I'm waiting for you
And I'm waiting for you again

Now I'm back back from
The theater
I watched the show alone
I waited for you and I missed half act one
Have you never heard
Of the phone
I don't like being
Taken for granted
I'm too nice for my own good
See I do what I say
And I say what I do
Is it too much to expect
That you could
I wish you would

I ain't waiting for you no more
I ain't waiting for you
I ain't waiting for you no more
Go find another fool
I ain't waiting for you no more
I ain't waiting for you
I ain't waiting for you no more
It's the usual coup
I ain't waiting for you no more
I ain't waiting for you
I ain't waiting for you no more
May I show you the door
I ain't waiting for you no more
I ain't waiting for you
I ain't waiting for you no more
I ain't missing nothing for you

And Lucy? If I ever see you again, I will tell you this to your face. It's just that I've stopped taking your calls because we're not making any more plans for you to break. Ever. Again.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I feel like an effing rock star.

Today, I got to buy new pants. And for the first time in probably 10 years, I got to buy new pants because my other ones were too big! I've gone down two sizes. Sweet.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Bossy" by Kelis, feat. Too $hort

"It's bout time that she get with me/ Can't stop starin, she's fine and she's pretty."

These are part of the profound lyrics that make up the song, Bossy. That line always sticks out to me because it sounds so redundant. Personally I think pretty is a pre-requisite to being fine. If a woman is described as fine, you already know she's pretty. However, one can be pretty, but at the same not be FINE. You know, so fine that you pronounce "fine" so that it rhymes with "coin." But in order to be fine, you must first be pretty. So the lyric would make more sense to me if reversed. She's pretty and she's fine. She's not just pretty, she is hella fine. But then the lyric wouldn't rhyme which is certainly problematic.

I'm just sayin.

Friday, September 01, 2006

This song reminds me of some people I know.

"Small Dark Movie" by Greg Brown

how are things going in the small dark movie of your life
late at night you call your girlfriend in the morning you call your wife
in the morning you go for coffee leave town by the underpass
leave whatever happened last night cigarette in a champagne glass

the road used to go someplace you never been before
now it's just a race track and the only prize is more
the only off-ramp is up ahead and just where ain't too clear
and change is a semi with smoking wheels filling the rear view mirror

you could really use a rain coat and a pair of cool shoes
you could really use some idea of what you're gonna do
but the road keeps coming at you and you find no place to rest
and in these small dark movies no-one knows what's best

so how are things going in the small dark movie of your life
late at night you call your girlfriend in the morning you call your wife
in the morning you go for coffee leave town by the underpass
leave whatever happened last night cigarette in the champagne glass

how are things going
how are things going
how are things going

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I just got word my friend was caught sending personal emails (to me) while at work. Her boss told her, "I see you and Karen are very good friends. I've been reading your emails."

To which my friend said she turned beet red.

So I went back to my inbox to review today’s exchange.

The last email I sent before her boss pulled her aside included the phrases, "Maybe if you stop sniffing my socks, these dreams will cease" and "Whatever, you were totally making out with my severed head, don't lie!”

Those sentences seemed so innocuous when private and so entirely creepy now that they've been exposed.

Friday, August 25, 2006

What is this "waitlist" you speak of?

Since my return to academia, I've experienced fewer instances of workplace tomfoolery and inefficiency than when I was employed at large corporations. But I had a meeting the other day that had me feeling nostalgic for the good old days.

I've recently been assigned as the go-to member of the Processing staff for Admissions Event Registration. Whenever a recruit goes online or calls in to register for an on-campus event, I'm the lady maintaining that data.

Okay, now that we all understand each other, I attended my first Event Registration meeting this week. On the agenda? Waitlists.

An hour later, we'd decided to handle waitlists as follows:

Set a number of maximum registrants per event.
When the max is met, provide a waitlist option for the interested parties.
As registrants cancel, move members of the waitlist onto the registry in the order they were waitlisted.
Inform the lucky waitlisters that they are waitlisters no longer.

Funny, see, I thought that was the definition of a waitlist. I'm really glad we all had a sit down to figure that one out.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Perhaps I fit in afterall...

So I've had some mixed feelings about working on the campus of a Catholic University. I was brought up a heathen United Methodist and strayed from that flock long ago. Plus, there is the whole lesbian feminist thing that doesn't quite jive with the Pope. But I needed a job and I was qualified for this position. Luckily, it turns out my coworkers are pretty progressive and I enjoy academia over corporate America, even at a school where theology is a core requirement. Yet my guard has remained slightly up given my surroundings. This is the only job I've ever had where I regularly received emails asking me to keep people in my prayers.

But then I went into the doctor today for a physical, complete with the dreaded OB-GYN exam. Hey, I've worked in two "women's clinics" (If you know what I mean... and I ended up working for a Catholic school, how, you ask?). I am all for women being diligent and proactive when it comes to their health, but then there's the reality of a metal speculum up your cooch and my take on the pap smear is like most women: necessary, but not fun.

With such an exam brings the usual pre-exam questions and the always awkward dyke responses:

Nurse: Are you sexually active?
Me: (Hell) Yes!
Nurse: Are you on the pill?
Me: No.
Nurse: Well then, any chance you're pregnant?
Me: (Yes, I did say this) I'm a lesbian so that would be a miracle. *

Which got me thinking about Mary and the whole Immaculate Conception thing. I felt a certain kinship with her, our foremother in having to answer awkward questions regarding the status of her uterus. Poor Mary, did Joseph ever really believe her? So that was my first religious experience today.

That nurse had it easy by the way. When it came to the birth control issue, she'd asked a yes or no question. Usually they ask what form of birth control you're on:

"Well, you see, when women like me have sex, there isn't any penis involved. Well, sometimes a synthetic penis is used, if you are into that kind of thing. But either way, there's no sperm."

Luckily, my doctor came in shortly there after, a woman who knows me well enough to know my sexual preferences and practices. I suggested to her that she stamp my medical files with LESBIAN in big red block letters. The last time I was there a different nurse asked me about stress and when I mentioned a recent break-up and she proceeded to pat me on the shoulder and patronizingly tell me that I'd find a new, better boyfriend. Yes, I did correct her.

I put up with the nurses at this clinic because of my awesome lady doctor that I can joke about these things with when my feet are in the stirrups. And because she told me I only need to get a pap smear every three years because I don't have sex with men and I'm young and healthy and the risks are so low. Bless this woman (see, here I go getting all religious again) for not making her lesbian patients adhere to the same regimen as her straight female patients. Why have I never been told this before? Well, I know why. The short answer being "patriarchy" and the long one involving the history of medicine and medical schools coming from the male perspective, women only being viewed as vessels for carrying children, our tender bits only having to do with reproduction and not pleasure, any women who has sex with no possibility of pregnancy are not worth research dollars, etc. etc. etc.

So what was my 2nd religious experience you ask? When it came time to draw blood, I warned the lab technician that historically, my veins don't like to show themselves. Sure enough, she tried both arms before she surrendered to another nurse who also tried both arms before giving up and moving on to the back of my hands. She tried both hands before she finally found a gusher.

So as I was driving home, my hands at 10 and 2, looking at the bandages dead center on the backs of my hands, I just started laughing out loud by myself in the car. What if I walked on to the campus and held my arms up, yelling, "Behold! I have the Wounds of Christ! Bow down before me and worship the Virgin (yeah right) Lesbian of Uptown Minneapolis and her Stigmata."

The only difference between me and Jesus being the Bugs Bunny band-aids on my wounds. Well, not the only difference.

*I just want to acknowledge that while this conversation truly did take place, there is a lesbian comedian (her name is escaping me at the moment) who has a whole bit about this very thing. My diatribe might sound similar and I wanted to acknowledge any pseudo-plagiarism up front.

Monday, August 14, 2006

DMB tools

It is official: Boys that wear Dave Matthews Band baseball caps look like complete and utter weenies.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I just wanna be your teddy bear

Here is what I wrote in an email recently to attempt to explain my cat's unusual sexual predilections:

"Ivan has only been in my life for a couple years and he came with some unique habits. As a kitten, Ivan had a stuffed bone (I think it was meant to be a doggie chew toy) that he cuddled with and ultimately began using to um, satisfy himself sexually. Well, the kitten grew in size, but alas the bone did not. Ivan's previous owner discovered that Ivan had graduated to his mother's stuffed animal collection (creepy, I know, not so much the humping as the existance of a grown woman's stuffed animal collection). That wouldn't do, so a special trip to goodwill was made and that is how Ivan came to have his very own hump bear. But here's the interesting part. Ivan holds the stuffed bone in his mouth while he humps the teddy bear. He also carries around the disgusting, threadbare, crusty-with-god-knows-what bone in his mouth such that I find it in random places in my apartment. But when he leaves the bone on top of the bear, you know what he's been up to when you weren't looking.

So Kelsey is correct, Ivan doesn't hump other cats. However, I've never seen him around another cat. Chances are, the bone and bear are simply poor substitutes for the really thing. So probably best for your cat to steer clear. In fact, I advise most creatures to steer clear of Ivan because he really only gets along with his bear and himself (no, not even me most of the time). So while flattered that you want to meet him, don't say I didn't warn you if he tries to bite you."

In related news, a
guard dog at a children's museum did what dogs do and chewed up a teddy bear collection (Ivan's nightmare really- so many hump bears laid to waste by, of course, a dog). The difference being that this was a rare and valuable collection of teddy bears. The photos taken in the museum after the massacre are hilarious. The dog is standing there with a look on his face like, "What? You mean that $75,000 teddy bear that was once owned by Elvis wasn't meant to be a chew toy to help me pass time on the graveyard shift?". The King's bear, by the way, was on loan from a collector. Yikes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What the?

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, California (AP) -- Actor Haley Joel Osment was hospitalized early Thursday after he apparently lost control of his car while heading to his Los Angeles-area home, authorities said.
Osment, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as a boy who could see dead people in "The Sixth Sense," was driving a
1995 Saturn about 1 a.m. when the car collided with a brick pillar and flipped, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Greg Sisneros.

What the hell is Haley Joel Osment doing driving a 1995 Saturn? Surely his royalties from the re-runs of those two 1997 "Walker, Texas Ranger" episodes alone would at least cover 2002 Jetta or something. You reckon because his entire career thus far occurred when he was under 18 that his parents got to decide how the money from "The Sixth Sense" and "Forrest Gump" was spent? That shit never happened to Macaulay Culkin. Sure, he had a failed marriage by age 19 and was probably molested by Michael Jackson, but at least Macaulay was independent.

08/18/2006 Update Perhaps Haley Joel has a bit more rock star in him than I thought.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Oooh, you touch my Tra la la...

Allow me to introduce you to Gunther, the Swedish techno singing sensation.

I'm not sure what it is about him I love most.

His mullet?

His motto: "Champagne, Glamour, Sex and Respect"?

The fact that his group is Gunther and the Sunshine Girls despite the fact that the "girls" actually sing whereas he merely whispers things like "It's a No-no, and you like it" in a deep raspy voice?

Hard to say.

All I know is that I'm forever changed since that fateful day Sally introduced me to the wonders of Gunther.

Do yourself a favor and go to his website, click on Video and watch Tutti Frutti Summerlove and Ding Dong Song. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Oscar Party

Allegra and I hosted an Oscar party in our new pad, complete with party games and themed menu. Games included your standard ballot, with prizes going to the top two with most winners picked. And Oscar Bingo, where each guest was given a blank Oscar grid in which to predict things that would happen on the award shows. Each empty square was filled in with things like "Winner will thank God," "Jack Nicholson will appear onstage in sunglasses" and "Jon Stewart will make a Jews in Hollywood joke." First three to shout "Oscar" got a prize.

But the thing Allegra and I were most proud of, where we thought we were the most clever, was with the menu. I typed up menu cards for each item:

  • “Revenge of The Fifth”

    Absolut, Malibu Rum
    Best Makeup Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
  • “Bread and Jam for Frances McDormand”

    Carr’s Crackers and Dickinson’s Preserves

    Best Supporting Actress: North Country

  • “Rachel (Hefe)Weisz(en)”

    Paulaner Hefeweizen

    Best Supporting Actress: The Constant Gardner

  • “Goblet of FireWhiskey”

    Jack Daniels

    Art Direction: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

  • “Heath Ledger Bar”

    Heath Candy Bar

    Best Actor: Brokeback Mountain

  • “Baby BrokeBack Ribs”

    Baby Back Ribs

    Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Directing, Original Score, Screenplay (Adapted), Best Picture: Brokeback Mountain

  • “Munich Paulaner”

    Paulaner Oktoberfest

    Directing, Film Editing, Original Score, Screenplay (Adapted), Best Picture: Munich

  • “The Constant Gardner’s Salad”

    Strawberry Spinach Salad

    Best Supporting Actress, Screenplay (Adapted), Original Score, Film Editing: The Constant Gardner

  • “Willy Wonka Movie Candy”

    Nerds, Runts, Everlasting Gobstobber

    Costume Design: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

  • “Reese Witherspoon PB Pie”

    Reese’s Peanut Buttercup Cheesecake

    Best Actress: Walk the Line

  • “North Country Hot Dish”

    Hash Brown Casserole

    Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress: North Country

  • “Walk the Lime Chicken Skewers”

    Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken Skewers

    Best Actor, Best Actress, Costume Design, Film Editing: Walk The Line

  • “March of the Penguin Strips”

    Cap’n Crunch Chicken Strips

    Documentary Feature: March of the Penguins

  • “Wallace and Gromit’s Giant Vegetable Competition Sampler”

    Carrot/Celery Sticks & Dip

    Animated Feature: Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of The Were-Rabbit

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


If my toes don't warm up soon, I'm afraid I might just lose them. Today was my first day back at the theatre since we got 10 inches of snow. Due to poor planning, I wore black loafers rather than boots. Treacherous conditions on the sidewalk made things slow going, so I just missed a bus and had to wait 15 minutes. My toes were already numb and I hadn't even started to wrangle buses yet.

You see, I work at a nonprofit theatre that hosts "An evening of theatre during the day" for school field trips. My job title is "Usher" when I work the weekday matinees. But my duties include not only ticket tearing and handing out programs, but also concessions and bus wrangling. That's right, Bus Wrangling. Like I'm gonna lasso me a school bus on Brokeback Capital Hill (the theatre is in St. Paul - Capital of Minnesota). Bus Wrangling involves meeting and greeting busloads of middle school students, teachers, chaperones and typically grumpy drivers that arrive to see "The Diary of Anne Frank."

Wranglers start meeting buses at 9:15. Buses should arrive anytime between 9:20 and 9:45 at the absolute latest. So they usually arrive at 9:50, 10 minutes before 10:00 curtain. Which means another half hour outside. Which is what happened today.

Once all students have been escorted across the street and into the theatre, announcements made, tickets torn, programs handed out, students seated (and re-seated by teachers when they realize problem kids have sat together), the show can begin.

The Diary of Anne Frank runs from February to May and this is like the 5th year the theatre has been doing this, so things pretty much run like clockwork:

When Anne screams in fright during an Act I nightmare, it is time to get the soda out of the cooler for concessions. When the family starts to sing the Chanakah song, intermission is about to begin. In Act II, when you can hear "ooooohs" and whistles coming from the audience, Anne and Peter are about to have their first kiss. [When I hear this cooing and giggling, I always think to myself, "What are you? 12?". And then I remember that yes, they are.]

When the siren sounds that the SS had surrounded the block, it is time to once again head back outside to meet the buses, making sure they haven't arrived too soon in violation of our contract wth the city, or too late, leaving students in the cold. When the House Manager radios me on the walkie talkie and says "The Nazis have arrived," then I know the students will be out shortly.

With my toes already refrozen from the 2nd wrangle, I head back out to wait for the return bus. That is when I had my "Groundhog Day" Ned Ryerson moment. I stepped off the curb into a seemingly shallow puddle, only to find my right foot in a slush-filled pothole up to my ankle, water going over the top of my loafers into my shoes. "Watch out for that last step, it's a doozey!"

No amount of heat on the bus could penetrate that cold wet sock, leaving me in fear of permanent frostbite damage.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ridiculous Shenanigans

I just finished a half hour phone call with Washington Mutual Bank. I had a checking account with them when I lived in California. I didn't close the account before I left California because I was driving cross country during my move and wanted to be able to use the ATM at Wall Drug, know-what-I'm-sayin? When I moved back to the Midwest four years ago, I called to close my account. I was told that I could not close the account unless I came into a branch in person. Well, the reason I was closing the account was because there were no Washington Mutual branches in my town. So, I opened a new checking account, withdrew all but $1.00 from the Washington Mutual account, put my meager savings into a the new account and promptly forgot about the old one. I lived with my parents for a little while after the move, and I found out a few weeks ago that Washington Mutual has been mailing paper statements regarding my $1.00 balance to my parents' house for four years! I left California about 45 months ago. With monthly statements at 37 cents each, that is $16.65 the bank has spent to let me know I have one dollar in Berkeley. My parents politely suggested I call and have the statements stopped. Since I don't have an ATM card or checkbook for that account anymore, I called their 800# and suggested we just call it even. If anything, I owe them money. I said, "Take it! consider it a donation to your financial institution." They said the only way to stop the paper statements was to sign up for online banking. Why would I want online banking with a bank I don't bank with anymore? Couldn't they just press a button? I was put on hold. A supervisor returned to say that the other way to stop the mail would be to write a letter to an address in Los Angeles requesting that they send me my $1 and close the account. "Seriously? You want me to spend 39 cents to get one dollar, a net profit of 61 cents?" There had to be another way. Finally, the supervisor clicked a button that would stop the paper statements, but I was told federal regulations prevent them from closing my account. So my one dollar will stay in Berkeley.

UPDATE (one year later): Despite assurances that the paper statements would stop, my parents have informed me that they've continued to receive them. How long with WashMu continue to waste postage on an account they won't let me close?