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[about the author]

i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish, eh?

i work crossword puzzles in ink.

i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie izzard. can't decide, really.

i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really good aunt.

i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.

i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.

i never play dumb. never.

i am way too hard on myself.

i am a change agent.

i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.

i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.

i am militantly pro-choice.

i am pro-adoption.

i know a little bit about alot of things.

i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.

i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it. hard.

i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.

i have been known to hold a grudge.

i have hips.

i am not my sister.

i am lousy at forgiving myself.

i am an indoor kind of gal.

i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.

i am 32 flavors. and then some.

[the ones people ask about]
Rittenhouse Review
Investment Banking Monkey
Cheap Ticket News
iPhone News
Hotels and Travel News
Latest on Retirement Planning
Consumer News and Reviews

[in case you were wondering]

[the blogger behind the curtain]

[100 things about me]

[the old stuff]


<< current

[all content copyright 2007 by tequila mockingbird. seriously.]


at least it's not o-town
the welfare christmas plan went over smashingly with my family this year, with only one person actually receiving a lip balm product of any kind. that would be my dad.

my dad is, i swear to god, the hardest person in the world to buy a gift for. he was forced into early retirement a couple of years ago, and, along with his full-time employment, gave up all of his hobbies at the same time. so…there isn’t much of anything to really give him.

except backstreet boys albums.

he loves the backstreet boys. the statement is, in and of itself is laughable. and sad. but to fully appreciate the depth of hilarity involved, you’d have to know a little bit about my dad.

you know wilford brimley? the guy who does the quaker oats commercials and says something like “it’s the right thing to do” or some such bullshit about oats? okay, he’s a dead freakin’ ringer for my dad.

no lie.

of course, my dad doesn’t actually eat oats. too healthy. instead, he drinks coffee by the gallon and chain smokes kool non-filters. king size, of course. because you just can’t get enough tar and nicotine in the regular sized ones. [ ed. note: oh, come on, you know they must be all-natural and good for you and stuff…just look at that waterfall scene on the package. you don't think the tobacco company would try and mislead you like that, now do you?]

and, he drives a giant-ass dodge ram truck that gets about .3 miles per gallon and sounds like there's a monster truck rally going on inside your head.

several years ago, when my grandmother was battling cancer, she took an abrupt turn for the worse. i received a call in atlanta that she wouldn’t make it through the weekend, and hopped the first plane home. my dad came to pick me up at the airport. on the drive home, we made small talk, but it eventually waned in light of the 500 pound gorilla riding bitch in the truck: would we get to my grandmother’s house in time for me to see her one last time.

we sat at what seemed to be the world’s longest red light, my dad lighting what must have been his third cigarette in 30 minutes.

now, there aren't a lot of choices in radio in the town where i grew up. you pretty much have the following:

1. old school country music [i.e., george jones, merle haggard, loretta lynn]
[ed. note: it doesn't really have anything to do with anything, but i can't help but laugh at this.]

2. new-fangled countrymusic [i.e., tim mcgraw, dixie chicks]

3. not-really-old-school-but-still-not-new-fangled country music [i.e., the judds, brooks & dunn]

4. talk radio [while most markets try and limit this genre to am, you can find it in glorious stereo on your fm dial in my hometown]

5. old-school gospel [i.e., okay, i don’t even know anyone i could possibly name here.]

6. new-fangled gospel [i.e., and...ditto.]

7. album rock [i.e., pink floyd, ac/dc, lynrd skynrd]

8. top 40*

*when i say “top 40,” please note that it should actually be top-40-that-was-top-40-about-six-months-ago-in-the-rest-of-the-country-including-montana.

so, my dad is flipping through radio stations and he stops on as long as you love me. i turn to him in disbelief. disbelief that anyone is still playing that song, of course, but even more disbelief that, of all the possible stations [okay, it’s not like there were really that many choices, but you know what i’m saying], he chose to stop on that song.

“that’s sort of sweet,” i thought. “dad probably thinks i like that song. that it's cool or something. that it’s the kind of music i listen to.”

i’m about to tell my dad that i’d probably rather hear the ccr song he just passed up…although that might actually fall into the too-close-to-call category, when he reaches up and turns up the volume.

“you know…i really like to hear those backstreet boys sing. i really do.”

i sit in stunned silence, staring at my wilford brimley lookalike dad in his giant-ass truck with his king kool hanging out of his mouth singing along with the freakin’ backstreet boys. for a moment, i honestly believe i have slipped into a parallel universe. or, at the very least, one of the uppermost circles of hell.

that year, there were lots of great gifts under our family’s tree. but the gift that lit up my dad like the proverbial christmas tree was his very own copy of the backstreet boys’ millennium album.

he played it so much he broke the tape.

again, i say to you: no lie.

in the years that followed, he was equally thrilled with black and blue and the hits – chapter one.

but, this year, the boys let us down. no new release. i have the sinking feeling that we may have heard the last from the backstreet boys, and it makes me sad. [ed. note: how fundamentally wrong is that sentence?] after all, that means it's back to the drawing board for me when it comes to christmas gifts for my dad.

i’ve tried to get him to branch out a bit, but he says that 98° just doesn’t have the “talent.” and NSYNC is “trying too hard.”

hey, the man knows what he likes.
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please stand by...
back from the holiday break, and i have so much to blog. but, unfortunately, work calls. actually work stomps its foot and throws a hissy fit in an effort to gain my attention.

so, check back in tomorrow, let's say 9'ish, for a brand new full-blown post.

but, for now, let me just leave you with this thought, brought on by my most-favoritest christmas gift: schoolhouse rock on dvd.

show excitement,
or emotion

they're generally set apart from a sentence
by an exclamation point,
or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong.

darn! that's the end.
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merry christmas
this is the ubiquitous-at-christmas blog post where i tell you the following:

1. i am leaving town for the holidays, so it’ll be a couple of days before you see a shiny new post.

2. i hope you all have very safe holiday travels…and that you’re not flying anywhere on united. ‘cause they'll just screw you.

3. i hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your friends and/or families.

4. i really appreciate each and every one of you who has visited this site over the past several months. your kind words, your hysterical comments…and your hysterical words and kind comments…well, they’ve made this blog-thing a truly amazing experience. at any rate, it's a blast, and i appreciate the audience. many thanks.

as i was packing my suitcase last night, i was trying to decide what to wear on christmas day. my family doesn’t do the whole dress-up-and-wear-fancy-clothes kind of christmas day, so it’s not like i need something spectacular. i opted for my relatively new low-rise bootcut velour pants. the maroon ones. you might be thinking that i picked them because maroon is sort of a christmasy color. but, no. i picked them for one simple reason: m said they make my butt look really good.

see, in our family, there is only one tradition that you must take into account when choosing your christmas day ensemble: the christmas butt-shot.

it started when i was a child, and, like many of the best traditions, it was born out of a happy accident.

over the years as we would ooh and aah over each set of christmas photos, we began to notice a trend. every year, someone’s ass was featured rather prominently in a photo. it was never planned or deliberate. usually, it was my grandmother as she was bending over to get a gift from under the tree. but, over the years, other asses were featured as well. some years, there was more than one butt shot. but only one was given the title of official christmas butt shot, earning a place on my grandmother’s refrigerator until the next titleholder was crowned the following year.

although we never said it out loud, we knew several years ago that it would be my grandmother’s last christmas. the cancer had spread, the chemo had failed to stop the decimation and it became clear that she was losing her fight against the disease.

as i bent over to get her gifts, i heard her laugh.

“there’s your winner! grab the camera!”

that night, after all the gifts had been opened and all the dishes washed, we gathered together in my grandmother’s living room in front of the tree bearing years of our memories on its branches. and there, i bent over alongside my mother, my sister, my aunt and my grandmother and posed for the definitive christmas butt shot.

when the pictures came back, i saw that, just as the photo was snapped, my grandmother, wearing a santa hat, had turned her head to face the camera. hers is the only face you can see in the photo. her face. her smile.

i can still hear her laughing.

in the years since her death, we’ve remembered her each christmas with a posed shot. but it is that last one with our asses in the air and her smiling face that sits on my desk.

this year’s shot will be the first to include my niece. i can’t wait until she’s old enough to sit with me and listen to me tell her about the butt shot tradition. about the christmases filled with laughter and love and memories. about my grandmother. and about how important it is for your pants to fit just so.

merry christmas to all of you, and best wishes to you and yours for an amazing new year.
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three unrelated and really short bits strung together to make one post
early this morning, one of my coworkers popped in for our usual monday-morning-weekend recap.

“what’s up, j?”

“not too much. trying to lay low and get through the next day and a half. how about you? good weekend?”

“not bad. not bad. you’ll never guess what my son did, though.”

“did he pop you in the mouth for talking mean to his mom again?”


“’cause you know i think that’s just about the funniest thing ever.”

“…yeah, i know you thought it was really funny…”

“and you can’t really get mad at him for sticking up for his mom like that. i mean, he’s only three. plus, he warned you, you know, i mean he was all ‘don’t talk to my mommy that way,’ and you were all, ‘get out of my face, son, you’re bothering me,’ you know, all foghorn leghorn. so, he pretty much had to pop you. you left him no choice.”

“whatever. anyway, you’ll never believe what he did on friday at day care. his day care center is at our church, and on friday they asked each of the kids to get up sing part of their favorite christmas song…”

“lemme guess: he got up and busted out it’s gettin’ hot in here.”


“what? why are you staring at me like that?”

“that is exactly what he did.”

“no way.”

“i am not lying. that is downright scary, j. seriously. that’s not right.”

“damn. hey, maybe i’m borderline superhero.”

“you’re borderline something all right.”


while waiting in line to see the two towers this weekend, i overheard the following:

dumbass teenager #1: man, what’s up with this daredevil movie. i’m looking at that poster, yo, and i have no idea what that’s all about.

dumbass teenager #2: well, you know, man, it’s that daredevil movie.

dumbass teenager #1: right, but, you know, like, what’s it about?

dumbass teenager #2: it’s like that spiderman movie. only with daredevil in it instead of spiderman.

dumbass teenager #1: oh.

i fear for the future of my country.


i wanted to share some news with my loyal readers before you read it somewhere else. i wouldn’t want you to be all upset with me for not telling you myself.

viggo mortensen and i are getting hitched.

at some point during two towers i suddenly "got" the whole viggo mortensen thing, whereas i had previously been squarely in the why-doesn’t-he-just-take-a-bath camp.

i mean, i haven’t actually asked him about getting hitched. but i’m sure he’ll say yes. i really felt like we connected during the whole helm’s deep thing. there was a...well, at the risk of sounding cliché, there was a moment.

i know what you’re going to say, but i think you’re wrong. i don’t think he’s just my rebound guy. this is something deeper. as j. lo has said of her love with ben affleck, it is "more realer."
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and i got this one...
when i got home on sunday evening after my weekend getaway to atlanta, i was exhausted. i peeled off my clothes and was preparing to don my newly purchased chococat showercap [ed. note: in an odd turn of events, i just learned that one of my frequently read bloggers also owns a chococat cap. what are the chances?] and pop into the shower to wash the oppression of united airlines off my weary body.

in doing so, i noticed that i had a bruise.

it was quite a nice bruise, actually. it’s about the size of a penny, and almost perfectly round. it’s high on the inside of my right thigh. a beautiful dark, true indigo with a scattering of more vivid violet dots.

if someone asked you to draw a picture of the perfect bruise, this is the bruise that you would draw. not that anyone ever asks you to do that. unless you hang out with some pretty odd people.

anyway, it’s rather spectacular.

and, while i am strangely and utterly enamored with my perfect bruise, the thing is, i have no idea how it got there.

i pondered this for quite a while as the steam filled up my bathroom, and came up with absolutely no recollection of any activity which could have resulted in such a fabulous bruise.

suddenly, i realized that i had a golden opportunity before me. since i don’t know how i actually got the bruise, i could just invent some really amazing story to explain it. i thought about this guy who had some sort of dire need to impress me several years back. i’m pretty sure he was trying to score with me, but i can be a bit clueless on that front sometimes [see: yesterday’s story]. at any rate, every time i ran into him he would regale me with stories of how he got various scars. they were always worldly and exotic and amazing stories.

“and this one i got when i ran with the bulls in pamploma.”

“actually, it’s pamplona.”

“whatever, check it out. nice, huh?”

“and this one i got when a drug-dealing client i was representing pulled a knife on me and the bailiff didn’t act quite quickly enough.”


i was always impressed with the effort he put forth. and i was truly flattered that he was so interested in me that he would go to such lengths to try and dazzle me. but, dazzled or no, i wasn’t going out with him.

i don’t have many scars myself. when i was younger i used to do some rather stupid and dangerous things in an effort get scars so i would have cool stories to tell. however, i seem to have been jinxed in that regard. you’d think with all the beating my sister and i used to do on one another, i’d be loaded with ‘em. but you’d be wrong.

the best scar i have is on my thumb. i was washing a glass and stuck my hand down inside of it [yes, my mother told me not to do that. i’m a rebel, what can i say?] and it broke. but that’s not exactly a mesmerizing story, now is it?

so, i thought maybe this perfect bruise offered a unique opportunity to create some sort of personal mythology. some wacky, nutty mysterioso story. i mean, come on: it’s a great color. it’s perfectly round. and, perhaps best of all: it’s on the inside of my thigh! the upper inside of my thigh. you know what i’m sayin’. the possibilities are endless! it’s a gift from the gods!

then i realized:

1. this is a bruise. this is not a scar. this will go away and, when it does, my story – even if it is spectacular now – will suck. because, really, how impressive is a story that starts out, “i used to have the most amazing bruise right here!” not so much. i mean, i guess i could photograph the bruise in its current state and then use that as some sort of visual aid, but i just don’t think that would pack the same narrative punch.

2. no one is seeing the inside of my thigh these days anyway, so what the hell difference does it make?


what a waste of a kick-ass bruise.
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i hate it when that happens
i met up with some friends last night to have some thai food and some laughs. two of my favorite things in the whole world together in one place…too much to resist.

i actually spent more than 30 seconds in front of the mirror before heading out the door for some reason. i thought, “hey, no reason you can’t look great while enjoying your larb gai…let’s put just a little effort into this.”

so, i was having a good hair day, which is a big deal since the halle berry debacle. and, i smelled good. and i was rocking the black turtleneck sweater, which is always a good thing [it is this writer’s opinion that a turtleneck sweater in either black or navy blue is the most universally flattering piece of clothing available to humankind. there are still five shopping days before christmas…do not squander this knowledge i have given to you.] and i slid into my bootcut pants that, when worn with my oh-yeah boots make me feel like my legs are longer than my entire 5’ 5 1/2” body. topped it all off with my oh-so-cute-even-if-it’s-not-actual-navy-surplus peacoat and a jaunty scarf, and stepped back to take a look at my work.

oh yeah. i looked like i could have been one of those obnoxious chicks from that even more obnoxious gap christmas ad with all the models pretending to be singers and lip synching to that annoying version of love train and flailing around in their striped scarves. [note to gap: just fucking bring back will kemp. dump these losers and fucking bring him back. his ass is infinitely more festive than these chicks with their striped scarves. trust me.] yeah, i could totally be one of them. except i’m not a size 2. and i couldn’t wear any of those hats because they would cover my face and then you wouldn’t be able to see me lip synch. anyway, i was feelin’ mighty fine, people.

after dinner, we said our good-byes and i decided to pop into the next-door marshalls for a look-see. i got my christmas bonus yesterday, so i thought i might be able to shore up my welfare christmas gift list. in addition to a tube of blistex for everyone, maybe i could throw in a pair of socks. nothing is too good for my family.

there are two marshalls stores near my home. they both suck. the less-sucking of the two i refer to as “united nations marshalls” because you can hear any number of languages spoken there, but if you want to speak to someone in english, you’re gonna need those puffy headphones and an interpreter. even the signs are not in english, and i swear that the last time i was in there the manager's name tag read boutros boutros-ghali . the more-sucking of the two, the one i ducked into last night, i refer to as “crack whore marshalls” because it is so dark and dirty in there, that i wouldn’t be surprised to turn a corner into ladies’ shoes and run into a crack ho firing up a pipe right there in the middle of the size 7 loafers.

so, while i’m not optimistic that there will be any clean socks at the crack whore marshalls, i duck in anyway. i head straight for the bath & body stuff, as though my dad would really be interested in finding a tube of shea butter body lotion under the tree with his name on it. but, i’m a sucker for bath & body products, so off i go. i have to smell everything and that requires me to take off my gloves, shove them in my pocket and put down my little bag o’ thai leftovers. after i've smelled pretty much every item in the section, i head over to the luggage section because if there’s anything i like almost as much as body butter, it’s a nice italian leather bag. as i’m checking out just such a bag, i notice that a guy is standing rather close to me.

a cute guy.

and he seems to be looking at...me.

i immediately panic. it’s been a looong time since i had to figure out how to handle a cute guy who might be getting ready to chat me up. it's not that there haven't been guys who tried to chat me up over the last six years...it's not that bad for me, people. i just mean that it’s been six years of politely letting chatter uppers know that i wasn’t chatting back. that i was, you know, not available. i always liked that, because it was a nice little ego stroke, but you didn’t have to manage the situation. know what i mean? you got the bonus of feeling attractive without the pain of actually having to engage in any sort of courtship ritual.

in an effort to buy myself some time and avoid any chatting up before i have devised a plan of action, i immediately head for the shoe department.

but, lo…as i round the corner toward the boots, there he is. trying to look all nonchalant. our eyes meet and he looks away sheepishly and darts around the corner.

now i’m sweating it. i still don’t have a plan. all the blood in my body is working on digesting rice noodles right now – i can’t even muster up a standby list of witty remarks i might be able to break out. oh, this is going badly.

i head off to housewares, trying to hide out in the gourmet foods corner.

as i pretend to look interested while browsing the surprisingly extensive chutney selection, he rounds the corner again. he sees me see him and immediately picks up a total crap wall sconce, making an effort to look engrossed.

i notice that he has several items in his hand. a peppermill [he likes to cook…that’s a good sign.]. a small jar of bath salts [in touch with his feminine side…not afraid to enjoy a nice bath. good.]. and what appears to be a lighthouse candleholder [okay, so he’s not perfect. who is?].

he’s still giving me that sideways look, kind of sheepish. he looks a bit uncomfortable, which makes me feel a bit more relaxed. i think to myself, "okay, he doesn’t do this kind of thing very often, maybe he won’t notice how out of practice i am at flirting. this could turn out okay. man, i love these bootcut pants. i’m wearing these every day for the rest of my life. is there anyone on my list i could give chutney to? what, exactly, is chutney anyway?"

i head toward the registers, thinking that's where he’ll say something. he’ll get in line behind me and make a comment about “gee, these holiday lines are a nightmare, huh” and i’ll toss my hair and laugh and make some sort of stunning reply…i can do this. this is going to be fun.

i look around casually while i wait in line. no sign of peppermill boy, which is now my pet name for him. i mean, i’m sure i’ll have a better pet name for him once we get to know each other better, but for now, i don't have much to go on, so it’s peppermill boy.

no sign of him. hmmm. maybe he’s formulating a plan. lining up his own witty remarks.

then, i see him. he’s waiting by the door. no bag in his hand. could it be that he wasn’t even interested in buying those things?! could it be that he was just carrying them around so he wouldn’t look so obvious while following me around, trying to work up the nerve to say something to me?! oh, peppermill boy, you're adorable!

i make my purchase and head toward the door. i see him look at me. “here it comes,” i think. “breathe…relax…no pressure…you can do this.”

he steps toward me.

“hi,” he says.

“hi,” i smile.

“um, this is sort of awkward,” he begins.

“you have no idea,” i think.

“i need to ask you to come with me. i'm with loss prevention, and i need to check your bag.”

i am so not a bad ass pseudo gap commercial girl.
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save the oral spray
thank god for hotmail. before i got a hotmail account, i was sleepwalking through life. i mean, if i didn’t have hotmail, would i ever come face to face with the burning issues – the hard questions – the real existentialist stuff?

without hotmail, would i ever give any thought to how i really feel about seducing women? would i ever dig deep and ask myself if i “want to get any woman into bed -- guaranteed?!”

well, do i?

the queries range from the ridiculous:

“guess who angelina jolie had sex with?”
[well, that one is easy: not me. factually correct. cannot be disputed.]

“want free porn?”
[another slow pitch: duh. who doesn’t want free porn?! now that is a think piece.]

to the sublime:

“what color is your mood?”
[puce? vermillion? is blue too obvious? is yellow too too? ]

“where is your site?”
[can you repeat the question? oh. well...could you use the question in a sentence?]

just this morning, i logged into my hotmail account whilst sipping my green tea, simply content to be, not challenging myself, not seeing the forest because of all the trees. well, i was also probably not seeing the trees because i didn't have my glasses on. but, anyway, thanks to hotmail, i was jolted out of my complacence by the age-old question that has weighed heavily on the minds of generations before me:

are HGH pills and oral spray obsolete?”

good god, how could i have never given this any thought? how could i be so unaware? how could i have been so ignorant -- callous even -- to the plight of oral spray?! what exactly am i wasting my time thinking about when there are such serious matters looming large in society? oral spray? obsolete? say it isn't so! surely there must be some grassroots campaign i can volunteer with; some sort of non-profit organization. oral spray obsolete?! ah, the humanity of it all.

so, thank you, hotmail. thank you for the wake up call. after all, as the god nike once said: life is not a spectator sport. so, if you’ll excuse me…i need to go and ponder the whole oral spray issue. maybe even write a letter to my congressman. which is actually harder than you might think, because every time i even think "oral spray" i just start to laugh uncontrollably.

man...being socially aware is h-a-r-d.
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united: we suck harder.
you just knew there had to be a travel story. maybe i was asking for it with my crack about them confiscating my baked goods to use as an in-flight snack. i don't know.

my trip to atlanta was great…once i actually got to atlanta. but the whole “getting-there” part was a nightmare. and i do not exaggerate. it challenged all boundaries of logic. it flew in the face of any customer service conventions known to humankind. not to mention the desecration of all that is good about baked goods. it sucked. hard.

friday, december 13th
1:30 pm – i arrive to find that my 3:40 flight has been delayed until 4:40. am starving, so i head to the there’s-one-in-every-airport tgifriday’s.

1:40 pm – asshole next to me at the there’s-one-in-every-airport tgifriday’s complains that cnn is “boring” and asks them to change the channel. they do. to the bold and the beautiful.

1:45 pm – first ultimate margarita arrives. chug in an effort to forget that i'm watching the bold and the beautiful.

3:30 pm – leave for gate. notice that board at bottom of escalator shows that my flight is cancelled. as in not going. as in shit.

3:40 pm – arrive at gate to see that board says that my flight is leaving at 4:40. am confused, but consider that this may be a result of the three ultimate margaritas. approach gate agent. as i near the counter, they announce that my flight is, officially, cancelled. mass hysteria ensues and everyone in the greater metropolitan dc area begins to push and shove toward the gate agent desk. or maybe it just seemed that way. again: three ultimate margaritas.

4:00 pm – speak with gate agent who informs me that they – united airlines – are canceling all of their flights from dc to atlanta for the rest of the day, due to weather problems.
“all of them?”
“but, what if it stops raining in an hour? why would you cancel all of them now? it’s only 4:00. it could stop raining.”
“they’re all cancelled.”
“so, what are my options here?”
“i can put you on our 7:00 flight to chicago. then, you can get a flight out of chicago into atlanta. you should get there around 11:30 tonight.”
“i can send you from here to chicago, then we have a flight out of chicago to atlanta later tonight.”
“wait…the weather problem that’s canceling the flights…it’s not here, right? i mean, all the other flights from here are still going, just not to atlanta. right?”
“so, the weather problem is in atlanta. right?”
“i'm sorry, i'm confused. why would i want to go to chicago to wait on a flight to atlanta if the weather problem is in atlanta? i'd really rather not sleep on the floor at o’hare. i’m just not sure i understand how sending me to chicago really helps me here.”
[blank stare]
at this point, i hear another gate agent telling the passenger beside me that he can put her on an 8:00 delta flight to atlanta, which is still scheduled to depart on time.
“okay, that’s what i want to do…i would like for you to put me on the 8:00 delta flight to atlanta, please.”
there is much typing, and then the gate agent hands me my boarding pass.
“you’re all set. gate d7.”
“thanks, have a good evening.”
i head off down the terminal knowing that there’s no guarantee that my 8:00 flight will actually go, but, at least i’m not heading to…wait a minute. i look at my boarding pass. chicago o’hare.
i head back to the gate and walk directly up to the gate agent as the angry mob waiting in line suggests new and exciting ways to dismember me.
“hi, remember me?”
“oh, hi!”
“yes, hi. uh, i asked you to put me on the 8:00 delta flight to atlanta. but, you ticketed me for the flight to chicago.”
“oh, yeah. i don’t know how to do that thing where you put someone on another airline.”
[blank stare]
“maybe you wanted to mention that to me?”
“you can go talk to that guy over there…see that line?”
i go wait in the line. and wait. and wait.
finally, it’s my turn. i explain the situation and hand him my boarding pass, asking that he put me on the 8:00 delta filght.
“hmmm…i can’t do that.”
“why not?”
“because you didn’t pay full price for your ticket. you got a discounted fare. so, we don’t do that for you.”
“who pays full price for an airline ticket?!”
[blank stare]
“i mean, it’s not like you told me it was $20 and i tried to put one over on you and only give you $15…i paid exactly what the fare said.”
“yeah, but we don’t do that for you.”
“what do you do for me?”
“put you on the first flight out tomorrow. there’s one at 7:25 and one at 8:40.”
“fine. 7:25 please.”
there is much typing and then the gate agent picks up a ballpoint pen, crosses through “chicago o’hare” and scrawls “atlanta 7:25 t11” on my boarding pass.
“here you go.”
“you’re all set.”
“are they going to accept this at the security gate? i mean, this doesn’t exactly look official.”
“shouldn’t be a problem.”
“right. okay…what about my bag.”
“oh, it’s checked.”
“right…where do i pick it up?”
“in atlanta.”
“no, i mean, now.”
“well, it’s checked. you can pick it up tomorrow. i mean, if you really want it now, we’d have to find it. what does it look like?”
“it’s black. it’s black, with wheels and a handle.”
[blank stare]
“just like every other suitcase in the world, okay, know what? as long as you say that my bag is going on my flight with me, i’ll just trust you and i’ll figure something out for tonight.”
“yeah, it’ll be on your flight tomorrow. federal regulations state that it has to be on the same flight you are, so it’ll be on your flight with you tomorrow.”
5:05 pm – pay my $15 for parking. head to beltway to sit for two hours in friday rush hour traffic. last remnants of ultimate margarita buzz are destroyed. curse loudly.

saturday, december 14th
6:30 am – ballpoint-pen-scrawled “boarding pass” breezes through security with nary a question.
6:40 am – arrive at gate to learn that my 7:25 flight is delayed until 8:40. notice immediately that the regularly scheduled 8:40 flight to atlanta is still scheduled to leave at 8:40. from the same gate. in my head, i try and figure out the logistics of two airplanes leaving from the same gate for the same destination at precisely the same time. seems far too much like one of those fifth grade word problems ["if a train leaves chicago traveling at 80 miles per hour..."], which i was never able to comprehend. consider approaching gate agent for guidance. however, there is no gate agent.
7:00 am – gate agent arrives. i approach.
“hi, i was supposed to fly out yesterday, but my flight was cancelled. i have this boarding pass for the 7:25 flight that’s been delayed till 8:40.”
she examines my ballpoint-pen-scrawled “boarding pass” and begins to type.
“hmmm? that doesn’t sound very good.”
“well, there’s a problem.”
“color me shocked.”
[blank stare]
“the computer says your ticket has already been used.”
“well, it’s just that the computer says your ticket was used.”
“so, i’m in atlanta right now?”
[blank stare]
“i’ll have to have a supervisor look into this.”
“okay, great, let’s call a supervisor.”
“she doesn’t get here until 8:00.”
i sit down in the boarding area to wait for some word on my boarding pass. after a while, my flight is delayed again, until 9:05. however, the 8:40 flight is still leaving on time. am now very confused. stupidly approach the gate agent, as though they will be able to explain.
“hi there. i was hoping you could help me. i noticed that my flight is now delayed until 9:05.”
“yeah, the crew isn’t here.”
“are they delayed somewhere else?”
“no, they’re not flying in from anywhere else. they’re just not here.”
i decide not to even bother pursuing this issue.
“okay, well, i’d like to fly stand-by on the 8:40 flight.”
“okay, can i have your boarding pass?”
“you have my boarding pass. remember?”
[blank stare]
“i’m the one who is 'already in atlanta.'”
“oh, right. okay, well, just give me your last name.”
typing ensues.
“oh…did you check a bag?”
“yes. yesterday.”
“well, you can’t fly standby then. if you check a bag, you can’t fly standby. federal regulations state that your luggage has to go on the same flight that you go on.”
“but, my luggage can go on the 8:40 flight. you would just have to locate it. there’s a barcode on the tag you guys put on it, you can track it, right?”
“well, you can use those to track bags, but we don’t do that.”
[my head explodes]
“can you just let me know when your supervisor gets here?”
8:10 am – a miracle. as they are boarding the 8:40 flight, they call my name. i grab the boarding pass and tear off down the jetway before they have a chance to call me back.
once i arrive in atlanta, more than 16 hours after my scheduled arrival, i head to the baggage claim area.

let me just say this: i was absolutely, positively not expecting my bag to arrive.

i was not disappointed.
i resigned myself to the fact that i would have to wait for the “7:25 flight” to arrive. and that wasn’t happening until 11:20 now. but, you know, thank god i caught the earlier flight, so i could spend quality time at the airport baggage claim area. finally, my “real” flight arrives and the bags begin tumbling onto the carousel.
but, mine is not there.
nowhere to be found.
at this point, i am not even surprised. i am actually pretty calm about it. i head into the baggage claim service office and take my place in line behind a very nice couple whose bags are also somewhere else. the gentleman working the counter is commiserating with them.
“i don’t know what these people are doing, i swear! that last flight was half-full of luggage that was supposed to be going to cancun! it’s just nutty!”
nutty. well, there you go, people. it’s just nutty. sure, i have no clean underwear. no toothbrush. but, it’s all just nutty.
as i desperately search for anything else to look at so as to not burn him with the laser beams coming out of my eyes, i see it.
my bag.
right there.
outside the office.
i run to it and grab the tag – sure enough, it is my bag! the tag indicates that it arrived about 3:30 am. from chicago o’hare.
so much for federal regulations.
i’m so elated to see the bag that we head out of the airport before anyone can stop me.
once at my destination, i open my luggage to retrieve my baked goods so i can gift my friends with the homemade goodness.
i see the poundcakes that had been packed in the translucent container – safe, sound and oh-so-yummy looking.
i then retrieve the other two containers from my suitcase and open them.
the containers look as if something exploded inside them.
the cupcakes have had their festive paper sleeves removed and appear to have been gouged repeatedly with some sort of stick.
the devil’s food cakes are simply crumbs. and there is one, sad, lonely, impaled de-sleeved cupcake sitting atop the heaping mound of chocolately good remains.
i am stunned.
at first, i think that this must have been some freakish act of physics. undue air pressure exerted on baked goods, yielding destruction. but, that doesn’t explain the pristine poundcakes. or the single cupcake magically transported to the devil’s food cake mound.
my only guess is that my bag arrived at 3:30 am with my name on it. and, with my name not appearing on the passenger list anywhere, it must have been classified as “suspicious.” the bag was, summarily searched, and the “suspicious” baked goods summarily destroyed. then, the containers were carefully placed back in the suitcase, with no indication that the bag had ever been searched at all.

suddenly, i find myself not so troubled that united airlines is experiencing financial difficulties. does this make me a bad person?
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scenes from a kitchen table. where a lot of alcohol was being consumed
sometimes, laughter really is the best medicine. so, i'd like to thank my dear friends, m, c and n for treating me with kindness and laughter this weekend. oh, yeah, and lots of alcohol, too.

i honestly don't know how i would get through this without you guys.

below are a few hazily remembered snippets of conversation from saturday night. i post them here as part of my promise to make my friends internet-famous.

you may very well come away with the distinct feeling of "maybe you just had to be there."

but that's okay.

“so, your new house is great. you know, um…here on peace lane.”
“we went past the turn for your street, though, and came back the other way.”
“what, did you guys miss the sign or something?”
“no, we just wanted to be able to say [singing] ‘take a riiiight onto peace lane…ee ii ee ii ooo…right onto peace lane.’”
[falling down laughing]

“i believe that lee harvey oswald acted alone. but he didn’t do the shooting.”
“so…wait...what? you mean, he was acting…alone?”
“actually, and i think this is a little-known fact, he was breakdancing alone. they had really nice smooth floors in the book depository and he would often go there to practice his moves away from the prying eyes of others. that day, he was just up there poppin’ and lockin' and spinning it out…”
“…old school…”
“…of course, old school…i mean, he was cutting edge. an innovator. practicing his moves in secret and then the cops bust in.”
“well, that explains the famous quote, ‘i’m a patsy, yo.’”

“did you know they have jesus action figures for sale on the internet?”
“really? doing what? like turning water into wine or something?”
“actually, they’re all sports stuff. jesus playing soccer. jesus playing tennis.”
“i think that’s just a bjorn borg action figure. you know, with the long hair, it’s easy to get them confused. especially when jesus wore the fila sweatband.”
“the one i don’t get, though, is the jesus baseball action figure. the description talks about how it’s the seventh game of the world series, and there are two outs, and our hero jesus comes up to the plate. i mean...why would it go to seven games if jesus was on your team?”
“maybe he just wants to have his heroic moment. you know, so he can win the big game. step up to the plate and just nail one.”
“you did not just say that.”
“i did. and the best part is that it wasn’t even intentional.”

“reese witherspoon: american treasure.”

“did you see that blurb about moby getting attacked after one of his concerts?”
“no, what happened?”
“a couple of guys jumped him and they maced him. i thought it was ironic.”
“um, why is that ironic? did they mace that whale in your version of the book?”
“no, i just thought it was ironic, you know, because he’s such a peace-loving guy…”
“no, that’s not ironic. if they had harpooned him, that would have been ironic.”

“you know, where we grew up there was this chain of convenience stores called kum & go.”
“that’s kum & go with an ampersand. not the actual word and.”
“but everyone called them spurt & split.”
“with an ampersand?”

“hey, look at this cute little family christmas ornament my cousin made for us a couple of years ago. there’s me and cory, and the cats…moe and maggie. of course, maggie’s dead now. anyway, isn’t it cute?”

“behold my invention: see how i put my martini glass down inside the bigfoot travel coffee mug?! see how it will not spill? see how much cooler i look when i drink my martini while holding the handle of the bigfoot travel coffee mug?! tell me i couldn’t get laid just by holding this.”
“it is riveting. i can’t really take my eyes off of it.”
“but, i’m wondering why bigfoot is pouring the coffee so daintily in the picture? wouldn’t bigfoot just grab the pot and dump it into the mug? or maybe even just grab the pot and drink the coffee right out of it?”
“i think it might be the gay bigfoot.”
“you know, i don’t think it’s very fair to stereotype like that.”
still not spilling my martini over here.”

“sure, they wanna come over here and knock on my door, asking me if i think i’m going to heaven, and asking me if i want to give them money…but do they ask me if i need a lawnmower?”
“we had to buy a lawnmower.”
“but, i bet they’d take a lawnmower from me, wouldn’t they?”
“they’d probably just sell it on ebay.”
“maybe they could start their own auction site. wwjb. you know…'what would jesus bid?’ that’d make people think long and hard.”

“i’m sorry, but i just think eminem is another vanilla ice. eminem’s 8 mile? just another cool as ice. i mean, who can forget that poster, with ice straddling his crotch rocket…just the raw animal magnetism…it made me moist in the loins. the whole thing: the motorcycle, the leather jacket, the carefully executed haircolor…it made him at least 10-17% cooler than he was before.”
“did you ever see that movie?”
“i’m not even sure i ever saw that poster.”
“robert van winkle: american treasure.”
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gonna fly now
okay, no fresh hell here today, folks, 'cause i'm busy trying to figure out how to pack a bunch of baked goods along with my dancing shoes into one suitcase. i'm headed down to the big peach to spend a weekend with a gaggle of pretty terrific folks. and, as part of the welfare christmas tour [i think it's time i trademark that one], i'm taking an assload of little baby pound cakes and cupcakes and other "gifts."

but i'm flying united, so i'm worried that if i put them in my carry-on, the flight attendants will confiscate them and distribute them as the "in-flight snack" during the "in-flight entertainment" [aka charades].

at any rate, i hope you can find something in the archives to amuse yourself today. may i suggest:

[this is how we say goodbye]


[a tale of two bad asses]

they're both fairly recent entries, but they're in keeping with the spirit of yesterday's my "colorful" family story.

may you have a wonderful weekend...and may my family never stumble onto this site.
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baa baa black sheep
every once in a while, my sister will gleefully tell me that i’m the black sheep of the family. the “colorful” one. of course, i always take the opportunity to remind her that i am only a pretender to the throne. the title belongs, lock stock and smoking bowl, to my uncle d.

uncle d is my mom’s youngest brother. he was the “cool” uncle when i was growing up. he taught me how to ride a bike. he took me fishing. i thought he was movie star handsome and he thought i was cute as a button.

my uncle spent a great deal of time in the garage with my grandfather, working on volkswagens together. my grandfather was well-known for being able to fix pretty much anything that was broken on a vw. somehow, over the years, the folks who brought their car to my grandfather started calling him rollo. to this day, i have no idea why. but, that’s what they called him. as my uncle spent more time in the garage, he, too, picked up a nickname: elmo. rollo & elmo. in the small town where i grew up, hardly anyone knew my uncle by his real name. but if i said i was elmo’s niece, everyone immediately knew who i was.

as is the case with many babies of the family, uncle d got away with any number of things that his brother and sisters never could. it was all overlooked. dismissed. rationalized.

i have a picture of my uncle d holding me in his arms. he’s wearing a rat-pack-worthy gold smoking jacket, and looking like he had just stepped off the mgm lot. he’s on his way to his senior formal, escorting the homecoming queen, of course. but, stopping first to pose for a snapshot with me.

what we don’t have a picture of is him stagggering home at 2:00 in the morning, trying to quietly break into a window after drunkenly locking his keys in his car, then crawling down the exceptionally long hallway in my grandparents’ house in an effort to get to the bathroom to puke his guts out.

he didn’t quite make it to the bathroom, though.

and, there’s the photo of uncle d giving me an airplane ride in the backyard. in the background you can see the school bus he bought for a “great price” and parked in my grandmother’s garden “temporarily.” his plan was to paint the bus in an oh-so-cool fashion, and use it when he put his band together and they went on tour.

to my knowledge, uncle d played no musical instruments. nor could he sing.

uncle d lived with my grandparents, off and on, until he was in his thirties. more on than off, really. he only moved out on those occasions on which he got married. there were three of those. then, when he got unmarried [in a catholic household, you get unmarried. not divorced.], he moved right back into his old room.

uncle d had a friend everyone called chester, although i’m pretty sure that wasn’t actually his name. whenever chester came over, he and my uncle would hang out in my uncle’s bedroom. since i worshipped the ground my uncle walked on, i was always trying to sneak a peak into the room to see what they were doing. i could hear the occasional strain of jesus christ superstar or blue oyster cult, interspersed with their low voices and laughter. and there was always a wet towel shoved up against the bottom of the door. typically, when they finally emerged, they headed out for pizza.

i remember my mom quietly suggesting to my uncle after one of their closed door sessions that they open the windows in his bedroom. i remember being confused by her suggestion, as it was the dead of winter. but, i get it now.

on an unrelated note, a childhood friend had a similar situation with her brother. her brother’s friend, “ramone” would come over and they went in his room and closed the door, too. they put a towel under the door, but, interspersed with their laughter were strains of the carpenters and judy collins. years later, it became clear that he and “ramone” were not giggling for the same reasons that my uncle and chester were.

my uncle’s pot use was the most well-known secret in our family for years. the only person who never acknowledged it was my grandmother. she always got furious when we joked about it.

in high school, i remember having occasional encounters with students i didn’t know, but who seemed to know me. these kids were usually wearing black metallica t-shirts, and they hung out in clusters outside the school, smoking cigarettes before first bell. they’d give me a “hey,” in the hall, and i’d sometimes overhear one of them say, “dude, that’s elmo’s niece.”

the last time my uncle moved out of my grandparents’ house, he moved in with a girl who graduated two years after i did. it was awkward the first time i went to their house, but she tried her best to make me feel comfortable.

“hey,” she said as she hoisted her translucent green tupperware tumbler in my direction. “you want me to make you a drink?”

“sure, that’d be great.”

“you want what i’m having?”


as i took my first sip, it was all i could do not to projectile vomit.

“um…what is this…exactly,” i asked.

“oh, that’s skunk piss -- jim beam and mountain dew. it's my favorite.”


about that time, my uncle came home. i remember looking at him and thinking that, underneath his unmistakable pothead exterior, he was still my uncle d. but, now, instead of looking like kurt russell in the computer wore tennis shoes, all apple-cheeked and sparkly, he looked like kurt russell in tombstone, with the big handlebar mustache and the tired eyes. but, his face still lit up when he saw me. he still called me julie-jules.

it wasn’t so long after that day that they arrested my uncle. it was, of course, the pot. the vast quantities of it. the “intent to distribute” it. i remember the call from my mom.

“honey, have you seen the paper?” she asked.

“no, mom, what’s up?”

“they arrested d.”

i was stunned. not surprised, of course, but stunned nonetheless. and, then, slowly, i realized that my mother was giggling.

“um, mom? what is so funny? he’s going to jail, right?”

more giggling.


“do you have the paper there?”

“yeah…hold on.”

and there, in our small town newspaper, was my movie-star-handsome-pot-smoking-weed-selling uncle’s picture, splashed across the front page. the headline: busted!

not a lot happens in the small town where i grew up.

in my mind, that alone would have been enough to justify my mother’s case of the giggles. but, what really set her off was the last sentence of the first paragraph:

“the accused is also known by his street name: elmo.”

after my uncle was released on bail, i saw him at sunday dinner at my grandmother’s house.

“hey,” i said.

“julie-jules! what’s going on?”

“not much. how’s the gang?”


“you know, your ‘gang.’ your ‘crew.’ the count. grover. snuffleupagus.”

we laughed so hard, we cried.

except my grandmother. she never saw the humor in it.
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oh president! my president!
as i was slathering my face with beta hydroxys last night [exfoliation is a very important part of a complete skin care regimen. that’s regimen. not “skin care regime.” regimes are what they have in third-world countries. sorry...it's a pet peeve.], my heart skipped a beat. there, on my television, was al gore.

i love al gore.






i was never a cheerleader. never even a twirler. i was a student body officer. a member of the key club. captain of the knowledge bowl team.

al gore is my patron saint.

sure, some may talk about him being “stiff” [and i’m not referring to the infamous rolling stone cover…get your minds out of the gutter, people.]. or “boring.”

to which my still-bearing-the-wounds-of-high-school self says: “are we voting for homecoming king, or student body president?”

al gore is the epitome of the pencil-necked geek. he can talk – at length – about “boring” things like global warming. and, often does so, despite the, i'm sure, vehement protestations of his staff. he can actually write his own speeches. and they contain polysyllabic words!

i know gore is far from perfect. believe me. but, somehow, i just didn't get the knock on him that he was "too smart." or "too intellectual." when did our country turn into my junior high school that one day when all the football players dumped milkshakes on the heads of the guys in the rocket club? i mean, isn’t "smart" what you want in your president? if the leader of the free world sits down at a table with the leaders of kiribati, burkina faso and djibouti…wouldn’t it be nice to think that he’s the smartest guy in the room? or, at the very least, that he is able to locate them on a map? no offense to anyone from kiribati, burkina faso or djibouti, of course.

shouldn’t the president of the united states be a total dweeb? the guy who could kick everyone else’s ass at jeopardy? the guy who took his best friend’s little sister to the prom because he was too busy in the basement with his leopold ruzicka™ junior chemist set to even notice girls? the guy who enjoys tossing the occasional latin phrase into every day conversation?

i think that the president should be a freaking genius. that way, when some bad-hair-having-jackass [paging trent lott] says, “the president’s economic plan will not work,” we can dispense with the partisan bullshit. no more mud-slinging…let’s just have an open debate of the facts. put up or shut up.

it would be a nationally televised, weekly event. every friday night, concerned citizens could tune in to see the president and the naysayer-of-the-week square off. how much ass would that kick? you know my boy al would show up with four-color graphs, a powerpoint slide presentation, and visio charts. along with printed copies of his source list. the debate is scored, the winner’s position stands, and the loser has to shut up.

of course, it would probably lose in the nielsens to fear factor and get cancelled after a month.

but, i dare to dream.
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i love the nightlife. i got to boogie.
guilty pleasures. specifically, those songs that we loooove, that we sing along to, or play air guitar to, or dance around like mad to... but, we'd never own up to other people how much we loooove them. we all have a few. 'fess up.

i'm a disco junkie myself. kc and the sunshine band's get down tonight comes on, and it's all over but the crying. brick house? i'm insane for it.

and there's more.

80s new romantic stuff. and not just the mainstream stuff like duran duran and those obnoxious a-ha guys. i'm talking scritti politti. it's a sickness people.

but wait, it doesn't stop there.

my mom was sort of a folksy-hippie type. we drove vw bugs most of my life, and sang along with the local am radio stations wherever we went. dan fogelberg? jim croce? bread? oh, yeah, baby. i'm all over that. anything that screams k-tel 70s soft rock -- i know the words. no one-hit wonder too obscure, no ballad too cheesy. i know no shame.

last night, as i made yet another effort to download christmas songs to wrap up my mom's christmas disc, i decided to indulge myself a bit. i searched for this and that...found pretty much everything i was looking for. but nothing was really scratching my itch. nothing was really turning my crank.

and then...there it was:

ain't nobody by rufus and chaka kahn.

oh. my. god. yes.
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i'm dreaming of a white christmas...yo-del-lo-del-loo
as part of my welfare christmas this year, i decided that, in addition to the homemade goodie [is it goody or goodie? i never know which is proper. in a similar fashion, i always say veggie. but, some people say veggy. and, when you’re dealing with a sort-of-made-up-word like that, there’s really no definitive resource. so, i’m gonna go with goodie, and you guys can just know that, if you’re one of those people who says goody, that’s what i mean.] baskets, i also thought i’d go all out and make some genuine, old-fashioned homemade cds, too. nothing is too good for my friends and family.

my mom recently got a new car and, of course, it has a cd player in it. actually a six-disc changer, which is rather amusing because my mother does not own six cds. oh, sure, i gave her that nice bookshelf stereo with the three-disc changer last christmas, but, evidently, that only spurred her to buy [you know what i’m going to say here] three cds. there’s a strange logic to her thinking, so i really can’t argue with her. anyway, i thought i’d burn her enough cds so she could have cds in her stereo and her car at the same time. it’s madness, i tell you! [cheap] madness!

the first couple were pretty easy to knock out. i have a rather far-flung collection of cds, so i was able to find some discs that i thought my mom might appreciate. copied those babies, and made some oh-so-cute-yet-still-remarkably-cheap cd covers, and voila! christmas is busting out all over the place!

then, i hit the wall. she has expressed a rather strong dislike for natalie merchant [“that girl has no range at all. none.”], so the maniacs, as well as natalie’s solo efforts were right out. and, hole is probably not up her alley, either.

after some pondering i thought, “hey, i’ll make her a cd of christmas songs. last time i talked to her, she said all of her christmas music was ‘getting on [her] nerves,’ and i have a whole slew of christmas cds, so that would be good. i even came up with a festive title right away: “yeah, this is really your gift…just be glad it’s not a fruitcake.” that’s festive, right?

as i started flipping through my holiday discs, i came to a startling realization: there’s an assload of crappy christmas music out there. ass. load.

i have no less than a dozen holiday cds [i shudder to think of the “real” christmas gifts i could be buying this year with the money i’ve pissed away on crap christmas cds], and there seems to be an emerging pattern: i buy the promising-looking holiday cd, i bring it home, there is one song on the disc that is recognizable as the actual song it is supposed to be, and the rest is ass.

there’s a simple truth to christmas music that too many “artists” [yeah, 98 degrees, i’m talkin’ to you] seem to forget: most christmas music is not for dancing. it is for singing along. ergo, this is not the right time to push the envelope with your vocal stylings and “innovative” arrangements. just sing the damn song!

case in point [although after an aneurysm-inducing day spent on kazaa, i could offer you about 20 cases in point]: christina fucking aguilera. sure, you’ve grown up to be a total tramp, but you really do have a phenomenal voice. why not use it for good, not evil? why not just sing the song? i do not want your interpretation of have yourself a merry little christmas. i want to hear that song sung in such a way as to be recognizable as said song within the first 60 seconds of listening.

i do not need you to run scales for the entirety of angels we have heard on high. and, although i cannot confirm this, it may be a mortal sin to have a thunderpuss remix of the christmas song, you stupid hooker.

and, the whole very special christmas series? seems like a good idea on paper. it’s a great cause. but, billy corgan?! look, i happen to dig the pumpkins, but billy corgan does not exactly scream “festive.” and, who the hell thought that santa baby should be redone as a rap song?! call me traditional, but if you don’t actually use any of the lyrics from the original song, is it really fair to call it the same thing? i don’t think so. oh, never mind…i see puff daddy/p. diddy/padiddle’s name attached to that…and that’s a death knell if ever there was one, leading many to beg the puffster to stop the madness, and leave decent well-meaning songs alone.

and, while i’m on a roll…chicks from destiny’s child: there should be no…well, screeching is the word that leaps to mind, in carol of the bells. none. and, on a similar note…dear jewel: there should be no fucking yodeling in the middle of winter wonderland. ho.ly.shit. i can’t believe i even have to say that, but, evidently, someone needs to let you know: no yodeling.

oh, and one more thing that burns my downloading ass: why is it that if i download shawn colvin’s christmastime is here, when i open it it’s some fucking lonestar song?! is it really possible that you were that confused? that drunk? or are you just plain old mean?

i’m trying to steal music over here, people. work with me.
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we interrupt your usually-tequila-mockingbird-free weekend to share this interesting development

in what can only be described [by me] as a stroke of genius, someone in apple's marketing department is thinking "outside the box" as people [who i would like to throttle] say.

if you run a google search for "stoned chick," the very first hit in the list is now...

the actual, official ellen fleiss switch ad at apple.com!

and, while i'm guessing ellen, and her folks, might not be thrilled with this marketing ploy, i can say to apple: that kicks ass.

and, as an fyi in case anyone from the marketing department over at buick is reading this: your site doesn't appear at all when you search for "stupid harley earl."

just think about that.

we now return you to your usually-tequila-mockingbird-free weekend, already in progress.
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i like chickens and the chicken dance...but, dude, i love these underpants
i’m a bit pressed for time today, so i'm afraid i just can’t cough up one of my typically lengthy posts. you know the ones. some have called them “prolific.” others “epic.” still others simply “long-ass.”

this isn’t one of those.

instead, today is just a couple of thoughts that ran through my head as i rode into dc this snowy day.

1. vis-à-vis yesterday’s post, and maddie’s comment in response: maddie, you have chickens. yet, you say you do not live on a farm. i cannot help but ask: where do you live that is not a farm, yet lets you keep chickens?? and, perhaps most importantly: can i find such a place in our nation's capital?! for rent?! cheap?!

2. my site stats tell me that, since tuesday’s post, i have had no less than eight hits to my page as a result of searches for “stoned chick.” and to think i was all worried about “dead butt jerry.” furthermore, i received emails from two of said searchers stating that, in fact, they had been looking for ellen fleiss. whaddyaknow.

3. sometimes, when you’re trying to scrimp and save so you can afford to move out of your place it seems like a bad idea to spend money on sexy underwear. sorry…lingerie. but, when you stumble onto some la perla
at filene’s at a price that, while not exactly free is still too good to be true, and you always wanted to have your very own la perla underwear, and you know yoy're pretty much never going to find it at this price again…well, sometimes you just have to remind yourself that a lot of people in asia eat nothing but rice, and you can too for the next month. ‘cause you know what? even on a snowy casual Friday…even when you’re wearing your ducks and a big ‘ol wool turtleneck sweater and your funky glasses…even when the whole metro smells like a wet dog...even then, just knowing you’re wearing that la perla set underneath it all is a real kick in the pants. yowza.

see…not prolific at all.
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itbuh snowedbuh!
so, it snowed. like the proverbial mofo, it snowed. and it’s still snowing. hard. and where am i? am i nestled in my bed, all snug in my jammies, cozy and warm under my fluffy down comforter? noooo.

i’m at work.

pretty much by myself.

why is my office “open” today? why? why? why?

the truth is it’s kind of okay-nice. i get to goof off all day [i hope] since no one else is here. plenty of time to cruise the internet. plenty of time to play around with still more color schemes for the blog [ed. note: our current palette is homage to martha stewart and her somethin-somethin’-cuana chickens that lay colored eggs. but the eggs still taste like regular eggs. i mean, i guess they do. i’ve never actually had them myself. i’m sure martha would say they’re better than normal eggs. but, as i said, i just don’t know. i digress. a lot.]. plenty of time to design cd covers for the homemade cds i’m giving this year as part of my welfare christmas plan. hey, it beats homemade lip-balm.

anyway, i hate cold weather. partly because of hats. i mean, i love hats. really, i do. i actually own a bunch of hats. but, i can’t wear them. and, before you go jumping to any conclusions, or nodding your head in sympathy because you’re one of those people who just can’t wear hats either, let me say: i look just fine in hats. i just can’t wear them.

as i revealed earlier this week in a comment on jodi's site, the problem is my head. i have a small head. very small. tiny. freakishly tiny. just-not-right-tiny. even hats labeled small…well, they’re not small enough.

when i put on a hat, i look like dumb donald from fat albert. i always thought i looked like mush mouth from fat albert, then i thought maybe it was weird harold, and i had them confused. but after a bit of due diligence, it turns out that it’s actually not mush mouth or weird harold. it's dumb donald. you know the guy. the one with the big-ass-pink-seashell-lampshade-lookin’-hat-thing that covers his whole face, except for the eye holes he cut in it. yeah, that’s me. and, that alone sucks -- that i look like dumb donald when i put a hat on. but, add to that the fact that it totally ruins a whole big schtick i was going to do in today's post where i ranted about my hat-anger in mush mouth talk, like “thatbuh sucksbuh.” but, now i can’t do that whole bit, because it’s not mush mouth. it’s dumb donald.

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i got your "room"...baby
so, i’m in the market for a roommate. actually, i’m in the market to be a roommate. i don't actually have a room. or a mate, for that matter. need one. or both, at some point, i guess. but, for now, we're just focusing on the room part.

so, i signed up with a couple of online roommate locator services, and filled out my profile. i was excited – okay, as excited as i’m going to get about this entire process and the undeniable implication it has in my life – to discover that i was getting bombarded with responses.

“wow,” i thought, “maybe this won’t be as impossible a task as i thought.”

so, i log in to the site and open my mailbox there. 19 unread messages! 19! surely i’ll find the room of my dreams here.

the messages all have subject lines like, “i’m interested” and “let’s talk.” it’s actually kind of weird how similar the subject lines are. i try and open the first message, and am greeted by a pop-up window telling me that to read my messages (one of which surely contains the room of my dreams!) i have to join the site.

“but i thought i did that already,” i say to the pop-up window.

“well, you signed up,” the pop-up window responded, “but you didn’t join. and joining only costs….”

i tuned out the pop-up window at that point. “cost” implies money, i'm pretty sure, and i cannot afford to be throwing any money around willy-nilly right now. plus, i didn’t really care for his tone.

"so, you have to pay to actually read the messages? well, that is trés helpful! thanks so much for this valuable service!"

but, the pop-up wasn’t listening to me anymore. arrogant bastard.

then, i notice that i can view the profiles of the message senders without having to pay. well, that’ll work! that should tell me at least enough to know if i want to follow up with them. i can get location, a very limited description of the place and, most of the profiles include a photo, so i could get a feel for whether or not the place is what i have in mind. great. hey…wait a minute…this is a photo of the...roommate? yes, i click on the first profile, and there’s a profile of the room, and a photo of the roommate. that seems odd to me. i was expecting a photo of the room. or the house. huh. and it's kind of a glamour shot or something, too. interesting. but, manassass? no way.

next profile.

okay. huh. another picture of the potential roommate. he looks a little creepy, actually. probably has his last roommate stuffed in a trunk in the attic. pass.

next profile.

yet another picture of the potential roommate. and, wait for it: it's another thirty-something guy! sending me a message with a subject line that says “i’m interested.”

have i stumbled onto pimp.com? is there something going on that i just didn’t get? i mean, i’d expect 19 messages from guys sending me their profiles with their pictures in it, with subject lines like “let’s chat” if i was on nerve.com. or match.com (and, let’s be honest: i probably soon will be. *sigh*). but, this is supposed to be a roommate service, for god’s sake. 19 messages and not one woman? what the hell?

is this what it’s come to? is every site on the internet that involves human interaction now seen as some sort of variation on a hook-up chat room? are there guys out there blogging simply as a thinly veiled way to meet women? do e-bay bidders chat up the sellers? do people email other folks and say, “i read your user review on amazon, and i think we have a lot in common”?!

i feel so dirty. i swear i’m just looking for a room. not a “room.” a room. period. no quotes.

but, what the hell. i paid my membership fee this morning and wrote back to three of the guys. hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
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ode to my site counter thingies©
i enjoy my site counter thingies©. they’re kind of cool, in a voyeuristic/narcissistic kind of way. it’s interesting to see “who” has visited your site, where they’re from, how long they did – or didn’t – stay to read your ramblings.

i don’t do a lot of super-sleuthing using the info from my site counter thingies©, i just find them really interesting [yes, i should get out more.]. plus, on those days when the comments are scarce, they offer just a bit of reassurance…they say, "yes, needy girl, someone read your blog. gah."

but my favorite part of my site counter thingies© is that i’ve found a lot of terrific blogs by clicking on referral links – most recently stutarded and figmental. both of which kick copious quantities of ass.

so, today, let’s talk a little bit about site counter thingies©. actually, let's just talk about my site counter thingies©. hey, it’s my blog, after all.

first off, i’d like to give a big shout-out to my huge fan base in antarctica. i mean, i get the occasional hits from france and china. and i seem to be gaining momentum in australia. but i have always felt that antarctica is really the epitome of the “if i can make it there, i’ll make it anywhere” sentiment. and, so, i guess i’ve made it. and can retire now. except this blogging thing doesn’t actually pay. anyway, it's probably just a horde of rabid penguins who have taken over a research base and are just randomly hitting keys on the keyboards...or maybe the penguins thought this was some sort of bird porn site. anyway, shout-out to antarctica...holla back. [ed. note: can penguins holla?]

in addition to finding out that people you'll never meet visit your site in the middle of the night, you also find out how they found you. maybe they linked from someone else. maybe they used a search engine, although i don’t get so much traffic from search engines. and, the traffic i do get from them seems to be a bit…misguided. so, since i’m nothing if not co-dependent, i always feel a twinge of guilt when i see that someone has been directed to my blog and i damn sure know they’re not finding what they’re looking for.

i shall now attempt to right these wrongs.

your search: “i love sue thomas fbeye”
what led to your disappointment: well, if you love sue thomas fbeye, maybe your life is filled with disappointments. but it's probably not filled with quality programming. anyway, you're here because of this particular entry. and, given the sentiments contained therein, you must have been very very disappointed. maybe even offended. my apologies. sort of. i mean, come on…pax sucks.
where you really wanted to go: anyway, here you go.

your search: “stoned chick”
what led to your disappointment: while the words “stoned” and “chick” do, in fact, appear in this blog, they do not appear together. yet.
where you probably wanted to go: you and everyone else on the planet seem to be very interested in ellen fleiss. given all the hoopla, i feel pretty confident that's the stoned chick you were looking for. [ed. note: you gotta love the "ellen just wanted to smoke up" and "mad weed" ones.]

your search: “hermaphrodite boy in the everwood tv show"
what led to your disappointment: well, hermaphrodite got you this. and everwood got you this. but, i gotta tell ya: dude, if there’s a hermaphrodite on that freakin’ show, i'm totally going to start watching it!
where you probably wanted to go: i'm hoping it was here. and not some other place. ew.

your search: “dumbass ben affleck”
what led to your disappointment: in a word (or two): push, nevada. don’t worry, it led to my disappointment, too. there are several posts here extolling the dumbassness of the sexiest man alive…even though his fiancee says he’s “brilliantly smart.” to which i say: match. made. in. heaven.
where you probably wanted to go: well, you could try this. or you could just go back to your own damn website.

your searches: boy, did i hit the motherload with harley earl. searches ranged from “stupid harley earl” to “who the hell is harley earl.” both of which i think speak directly to the success of buick’s brilliant marketing campaign. i'm sure that's exactly what they were going for: "stupid harley earl."
what led to your disappointment: my own pondering of the question "who the hell is harley earl?" [yeah, that archive is all jacked up...no idea what's going on with that.]
where you probably wanted to go: the buick website. but only go if you plan to send them an email telling them how asinine that damn campaign is.

your searches: any number of searches looking for nigella lawson’s body parts. cleavage. ass. some of you were willing to settle for just “nigella naked.”
what led to your disappointment: just that one little mention in the sidebar over there. close to the top…see it? man, you were disappointed. interesting note: i never get hits from people searching for eddie izzard's naked parts.
where you probably wanted to go: well, i looked high and low out of loyalty to you, dear readers, but, alas -- there don't seem to be any pictures of nigella lawson's naked body parts anywhere on the web. or eddie izzard's. did find the naked chef, though.

your search: “dead butt jerry”
what led to your disappointment: um, honestly, i have no idea how the hell you got here.
where you probably wanted to go: i shudder to think.
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x-treme travel
when you road trip during the holidays, you get to see things you don’t see on your average day. as i traveled the highways and by-ways over the thanksgiving holiday, i was witness to one of those uniquely holiday occurrences: piling as much shit as possible into and on top of your vehicle.

don’t get me wrong: i’m a compulsive over-packer. i can’t go home for a weekend without multiple pairs of shoes, reading materials, snacks. but this…this is a whole different ballgame. i’m talking about shit piled up to the ceiling of your car. shit riding shotgun. so much shit that you have to use an x-cargo to haul it all.

ah, yes…the x-cargo. by sears. nothing really announces the arrival of the holiday season like a caravan of cars crawling along the highways, with their x-cargos glinting in the sun. of course, these days, you see two distinct varieties of x-cargo out there on the highways.

1. the x-cargo of my youth. the earth-toned x-cargo with the yellow and orange cartoon snail on the side. this is your father’s x-cargo. literally…your father gave it to you. probably so he could buy himself…

2. the new, hip x-cargo. it’s black and gray, with x-cargo scrawled in electric-blue-wet-paint-looking letters that lean to one side to give the impression that the x-cargo is going fast. [ed. note: this, of course, is an impossibility, given the laws of physics. but they get an "a" for effort. sort of.] i guess they’re marketing to the “x-treme” crowd with this hip new logo. cutting edge, people. cutting. edge.

i saw a phenomenal number of x-cargos on the highway this weekend. i noticed that you really only see them on large suvs or other land-yacht-type vehicles. i guess that’s to be expected, on one hand. i mean, if you put an x-cargo on a ford festiva and a strong wind came along, it’d be a tragedy of enormous proportions. but, i was just thinking that, if you have a big-ass suv, don’t you have enough room for all of your shit? i have a big-ass suv, and i can haul an entire family of haitian refugees, a large dog, a 55-gallon drum of canola oil and a rather unwieldy kite. and still have enough room to put my seat back. what the hell kind of random, useless shit are you hauling in mass quantity to grandma’s for the holidays that you can’t fit it all in your suv, so you need to add on a storage unit to the top of your vehicle? not to mention that your suv must be getting, what, about .3 miles to the gallon with that thing on top?

i pulled into a rest area on my way back to maryland yesterday, which is pretty unusual for me…i’m not much of a rest area gal. but, i’d been sitting in traffic for about 30 minutes, and this obnoxious girl in the car beside me was videotaping the traffic jam and i was sick and fucking tired of worrying about whether or not i was being filmed during a crying jag. so, i pulled into the rest area to see if i could wait out the logjam.

i couldn’t. i had to be at work this morning.

so, as i’m sitting at the rest area, talking to my mother on the phone [“make sure you drink a lot of water. you’re crying an awful lot, and i don’t want you to get dehyrated.”], it pulls in.

“mom, let me call you back.”

i was mesmerized. hypnotized. dazed and confused. it was a mini-van – some sort of lucasfilm super-special-very-limited edition or some such crap. with an x-cargo on top [old school, with the snail]. and, on top of the x-cargo was a little tykes kiddie car. all red and yellow and cute, and about three feet tall. it was sitting straight up, lashed onto the x-cargo with those bungee cord things with the hooks on them. it was, truly, amazing.

the mom and dad got out of the lucasfilm super-special-very-limited edition van, and the mom headed inside. the dad walked around, stretching his legs. he saw me looking in his direction and smiled.

“that’s quite…quite a…an…arrangement,” i offered.

“yeah, well you gotta keep the kids entertained,” he replied.

as he said the word “kids,” i realized that i hadn’t actually seen the kids.

“guess they’re sacked out, huh?” i asked.

“actually, they’re watching a dvd. probably monsters incorporated again. i don’t know…they have headphones so we don’t have to listen to it,” he said.

“oh…well…that’s…nice?” i ventured.

“it’s great! we don’t have to talk to them at all except when the dvd is over and they want us to put another one in,” he enthused.

i thought back to all the road trips we had taken during my childhood. all the games of padiddle. all the games of i spy. all the games of...whatever you call that game where you try and find a license plate from every state. those trips are some of my most treasured memories from my childhood. and i do mean the actual travel itself – stopping along the way at south of the border or the mystery hole. or even rock city, where i picked up my very own "see rock city" birdhouse.

i bit my tongue so i didn’t offer a “helpful” suggestion to mr. lucasfilm mini-van: why not just put your kids in the fucking x-cargo? you could wrap them up in tyvek® sheeting, and seal it up with duct tape in case you’re worried about them getting cold. drill a couple of air holes in the top. put a catheter in those little darlings, run an iv drip of sunny delight, and hit the open road.

but, instead, i just smiled and said, “wow…that’s really…something.”

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