[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
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
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.
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.
unless your name is caroline and you are stealing my writing, you can just skip this post and read the one below it about my weekend in atlanta and how i almost died.
dear caroline of inflatable emu:
recently, a very thoughtful reader sent me a link to your blog [ed. note: oh, how i am loathe to make that a link.]. it seems she stumbled onto your site, quite by accident, and became a bit concerned that you are heading down a rather ill-fated path. she thought i might like to have an intervention with you.
i know you probably think you’re the only person in the world who ever thought, “hey, i’ll just steal her post and pretend that i wrote it and no one will ever find out.”
oh, caroline. how wrong you are.
apparently, you’re new to my site and aren’t familiar with the infamous interweb saga of bryan lamb. [ed. note: there are actually, quite a few posts to read, caroline...i just linked to the first one. make sure you check them all out so you can see how things worked out. it's really very interesting.] see, before you, caroline, there was bryan lamb. bryan, too, thought no one would ever find out. of course, bryan made the foolish and fatal mistake of linking to my site, so it was pretty easy to find him. but, you, caroline...you were just a dumb luck find. wow. what are the chances? i mean, of all the blogs in all the world, right, caroline?
anyway, bryan was wrong in thinking i wouldn't find out. and so, caroline, you and bryan appear to have at least two things in common.
furthermore, if you had familiarized yourself with the infamous interweb saga of bryan lamb and his unfortunate violation of the digital millennium copyright act, you would also be familiar with the fact that an amazing writer named sour bob became a particularly vocal crusader in the effort to force bryan to cease and desist in his violation of my copyright. quite frankly, caroline, sour bob rained down hellfire the likes of which the interweb hadn’t really seen before. fire. brimstone. it was a thing of beauty to behold, caroline, i wish you had seen it. i mean, it was a thing of beauty unless you were bryan. in which case, it sucked. a lot.
i’m telling you this, because, as you know, in addition to the posts you stole from me, you stole this post from sour bob. i think you might have stolen another one from him, too, but i sort of got tired of the whole searching and back and forth thing.
anyway, caroline: oops. big oops.
i mean, i’ll just drag out my lawyers again. but, sour bob? sour bob will make you cry.
as for the other stuff you're stealing -- well, at least the stuff i found right away -- i have no idea how the folks over at the spin starts here and right wing news will handle it.
i note you offer no contact information or commenting feature on your site. you did list your msn messenger id, but i tried several times to use it and the messages bounced back.
so, since it appears you’re reading my site, i’ll just tell you what i need to tell you right here:
the following posts on your site are in violation of the protection afforded me under the digital millennium copyright act:
1. a jolly good psa [dated august 19, 2004]
2. without you here there is less to say [dated august 20, 2004]
[ed. note: you aren’t even stealing the good stuff, caroline. the good stuff -- "good" being a completely relative and subjective term, of course -- is over there on the left under “the ones people ask about.” hell, even bryan lamb had enough sense to steal the good stuff. bring your a-game, caroline.]
you have misrepresented that you are the author of this material, which is my original work and is protected under the digital millennium copyright act. in order to comply with federal law, you need to remove those posts which contain the copyrighted material. with haste.
please also be aware that i have submitted a complaint against you to blogger [a subsidiary of google.com], which hosts your site. this complaint asks blogger to disable your site on their server until the material which is posted in violation of federal law is removed.
so, there it is, caroline. if you have any questions, you can feel free to get in touch. and, if you do write, i have a sincere question you might answer for me: what in the world is the purpose of creating a personal site for yourself if you don’t have anything to say? you don’t have to have a blog, caroline. really. if you don’t have anything to say, then just don’t write.
thanks for reading, caroline. take care.
[update: one down, caroline. one to go. at least that'll take care of the ones stolen from me. of course, i've now found a few other sites you've pilfered from, so it's sort of a one-step-forward-three-steps-back thing. see these posts at this fish needs a bicycle [one of my favorite reads], sfgate and the supermercado project. interestingly, on that last one, you not only pilfered the post...you pilfered a comment, too. wow. just...wow.]
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highlights from the weekend, immediately followed by one motherfucker of a lowlight
- sitting on the acela on my way back from baltimore and thinking that the perfect antidote to two crushingly brutal days might just be a quick trip down to atlanta -- land of humidity, the neiman marcus outlet, my aunt’s potato salad...and wonderful friends who will probably disown me when they read this and realize that i came to atlanta and didn't call them. again.
- going straight to the airport from union station with not so much as a clean pair of underwear or a toothbrush in my possession and getting on a plane to atlanta.
- noticing while waiting for take off that the sign inside the coat closet on the plane touts the closet door’s “whiptastic handling.” immediately making a note to try and work the phrase "whiptastic handling" into at least one conversation a week for the rest of my life.
- being punchy at midnight at the hertz counter and deciding that what we really need here is…a jag.
- having diana-at-hertz comp the gps navigation service because she thinks it’s totally cool about the jag.
- pressing the “whatever/whenever” button on the phone in the hotel room and having the following conversation:
hotel employee: thank you for calling w hotel guest services, what can i get for you tonight?
me: yes, i was wondering if i could get a few items that i don’t have with me. like…a toothbrush, maybe?
hotel employee: certainly. is there anything else?
me: well…actually, what do you have?
hotel employee: well, we have the things people usually forget, so anything you don’t have, we can probably assist. razors. q-tips.
me: well, i didn’t bring anything with me. so all of that would be good. just bring whatever you have.
hotel employee: you didn’t bring anything with you?
me: nope. not even a bag. i'm traveling like a rock star.
hotel employee: well…we don’t have…clothes…or anything like that.
me: oh. okay. well then just bring me extra q-tips, i guess. but a lot okay? i mean...a lot.
[ed. note: so much for the whole “whatever/whenever” concept. i bet no one tells lenny kravitz "we don't have clothes or anything like that." i bet gwen stefani doesn't have to make due with some cheapass toothbrush and some fake q-tips. i am totally going to write a letter.]
- using the gps navigation thing to go everywhere, including the 800 feet from the hotel parking lot to the bank drive-thru next door. just. because. i. can.
- putting on my new shirt in the
car jag and screaming at the gawking man in the target parking lot, “oh for god’s sake, just pretend it’s a bathing suit top and get over it.”
- putting on clean underwear in the jag and being asked “aren’t you gonna tell that very happy ups driver next to us to just pretend that it’s a bathing suit bottom and get over it?”
- sitting in the jag with no shoes on while eating a chik-fil-a chicken biscuit and then, just when you think it can't get any better than that...journey comes on the radio. honest to god.
- commenting repeatedly on the jag’s “whiptastic handling.”
- telling the waitress at mellow mushroom that you dream about their pizza every night since you moved away four years ago and having her respond with all sincerity and solemnity befitting the occasion: “right on, man. we are honored.”
- noticing the photo and sign on the wall commemorating the “historic moment” of the “first and only” completely non-smoking shift ever at mellow mushroom. and feeling very certain that by “non-smoking” they mean tobacco cigarettes.
- eating the pizza and commenting that it’s even better than you remember, and that you cannot conceive of how it possibly could be any better than this and then, suddenly, from the speakers you hear...two journey songs in a row.
- trying to convince yourself that you don’t actually smell something hot and acrid and burning immediately after take off, only to have your efforts interrupted by a high-pitched beeping followed by the flight attendant’s voice telling everyone to remain in their seats because we’re “going to head back to atlanta,” and then, as the plane drops and banks unusually sharply back in the direction of the airport, you see out the window that the tarmac is swarming with flashing lights and emergency vehicles and you know they’re waiting for you.
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"without you here there is less to say"
there are many things in this world that suck.
among these completely suckfull things is spending an entire evening hoping the phone will ring and then, when it does, it's not the person you had hoped it would be.
in this way, caller id is both a blessing and a curse.
as a blessing, caller id allows you wait a few rings before answering the phone so as not to appear too eager. it also allows you to affect a breezy tone, as if to say "oh. huh. it is you. quelle surprise. while it is nice that you have phoned, i certainly don't want to give you the impression i have been hoping that you would call. because, really, that would be rather desperate and sad. and if there are two things i am not, desperate and sad would be...um...some of them."
caller id also destroys all glimmers of hope. immediately. it is the opposite of instant gratification. plus, you sound like an asshole when you answer the phone because it's obvious you're disappointed. these are ways in which it is a curse.
and, god help you if you have some sort of super-fancy phone that lets you assign specific ringtones to individuals. then your disappointment can set in from a distance. you don't even have to get up off of the couch to get disappointed.
god bless technology.
of course, the other part that sucks is the part where you're so damn stubborn that you won't just pick up the phone and call him yourself.
but, for purposes of today's exercise, we'll just focus on section a.
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full of grace
you don’t know her.
you’ve never seen her.
you never will, you're sure.
you know her name. and the other things he tells you about her.
and that’s more than enough.
more than enough to know.
yes, you had dreams. but you secreted them away a long time ago. you turned him into a ghost. the ghost of “what might have been.” occasionally skirting the edges of your life, but never really present. never really in the forefront of your mind. you moved forward with your life. you believed, really believed, it was all ancient history.
but every once in a while, those echoes of memories would come thundering back, the sound of them drowning out the voice of reason that moved you forward and chided you that the past is just the past.
when you hear part of that song.
or see the cover of that book.
or someone asks if you ever saw that movie.
and it all floods back.
like it was yesterday.
like you were still in love with him.
even though you know, you’ve told yourself a million times, that you’ve moved well past all of that.
but, hearing the joy she brings him, hearing the way he loves her...being caught off guard by the sharp intake of breath that was your response...it’s enough to force you to ask yourself if shoving those thoughts of him into a dark corner where they’re out of sight is really the same as moving past them.
before this, maybe you always had hope. or at least, if you didn’t dare to hope, you could always entertain yourself with wondering. it's a fine line between wondering and hoping, but a line nonetheless.
did he think of you?
did he wonder “what if” or “if only?”
did he get caught off guard in the middle of a crowd every once in a while, dazed by the sudden feeling of missing you. a feeling that came out of nowhere. with no apparent reason.
in the occasional quiet moment, did he ever find your name repeating again and again in his head?
but now, hearing the happiness in his life. hearing that he has finally found the things you had secretly hoped he might find with you...meaning. purpose. serenity. the surrender of all-consuming love. happiness.
whatever wondering or missing he might have done over the years hasn’t been enough to change things. hasn’t been a strong enough pull to bring him back around. he let go of you years ago.
and so, it is time. time for you, too, to stop wondering. to let go forever of the timeworn remnants of possibility that you carried in your pocket for all these years.
and you realize as you take a deep breath and let yourself think about him one last time, that you’re happy for him. happy for him in a way that only someone who has loved him for a very long time could be.
[ed. note: i really don't want this site to turn into a one-trick pony, and i note that, of late, i've been doing quite a bit of swoony romantical writing. it's just a phase. something in the alignment of the planets. i just have a lot of romantical-related stuff going on right now. trust me. it'll pass. it always does. not that i'm bitter about that. anyway, i'll make with the funny again soon, okay kids?]
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