Monday, December 24, 2007

Bow in our presence

Here at the M&M homestead, nestled behind a fortress of snow, we eagerly await the annual Christmas card from a family we, for the purposes of this post, will call the Joneses. Each year I worry we will not receive said card, because for a few years now we have failed to send out our own, and I know there's some sort of etiquette equation that dictates how long you'll blindly receive cards without reciprocating. I fear that this year we've reached that juncture.

Why, you ask, am I so interested in this particular card? Because, I answer, of the pure joy we feel reading it. I'm scrappy and usually find it in the piles of mail first, earning the privilege of reading it aloud. I tried to hunt up last year's for an example, but no luck. Put simply, every single word of it attempts to put you and your pitiful life to shame, what with all their saving of the Whales, playing of the Fiddles and climbing of the Mountains. The nerve to put out this massive long letter detailing so many ridiculous exploits is incredible! And I love every second of it!

We haven't been sure over the years what our answer to all this should be; we've made several attempts, but nothing strikes quite the right note. Below, is my most recent try. It's not ready for release, but we're getting close.

Dear Family and Friends,

We can't believe another year has passed! What with the war in Iraq and Jamie Lynn's pregnancy, we feel very thankful for the lives we lead; the health, peace, intelligence, beauty, great genes (and jeans!) and prosperity we enjoy everyday. If we haven't seen you lately - and I'm so sorry if we haven't! - here's a quick rundown of what we've been up to in '07.

Trevor, in his third year of collegiate studies at a liberal and woodsy university, constantly and successfully strums a wooden instrument with strings, wears glasses that make him look thoughtful, and hopes one day to be in the Olympics without practicing. He also likes to bake casseroles!

Judith, a Speech Language Pathologist, makes a mean cup of black tea, washes her hair with biodegradable soap in the river, and will beat you at Jeopardy. She also has remarkably good skin! Especially for one who's spent so much time in her garden!

Amy, residing in the hilly and expensive city of San Francisco, continues her work in Advertising. She spends her days signing digital estimates, using a Blackberry to Google chat with her boyfriend, and drinking Organic coffee while looking important. She's also able to put on her pants two legs at a time!

We hope that all is well with you and yours. And that you can bear to live in a world filled with such Excellence!

Peace on Earth!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The M-M's

Thursday, December 20, 2007

But it's cold out here

I came home the other day to find a leak in the ceiling. My favorite piece of furniture in the joint was covered in water and my Christmas lights were taking a bath. Safe! It'd been raining hard all day, so it wasn't too surprising. Until I employed my brain and realized we don't live on the top floor. Apparently, our neighbors upstairs let their bath overflow or their meth lab run amuck or something. I sopped up the mess, put out a bucket and went about my snack eating and television watching.

Clay wrote the Landlord, setting up subtle distance from my claim by explaining he was in Austin. Which basically implied: I know, old man. And you should see how she wraps a present. The Landlord was all "How can that be?" which didn't shock me because I'm pretty sure the man hates me and all my nonsense.

Perhaps rightfully so. Before I snagged this job, I had a whole glorious month to myself where I watched hours of Frasier (oh, the good old days before I'd seen them all!), took little trips to eat oatmeal down the street and even went for runs. One day, frustrated by the janitor-like bulk of my keys, I left them outside under some phone books. And yes, of course, I came back 30 minutes later to find all the books and my keys gone. Turns out the maintenance man was holding them hostage, and eventually gave them back - but not before the Landlord told Clay I was "really stupid". We've had a rocky relationship since.

Today he's visiting our place to check out the leak. Which I'm sure will somehow end up being my fault. Like, I ate my grapefruit too loudly and so the people upstairs couldn't hear the water running out of the sink and thus the yellowed ceiling and lowered property value and destitution. He will kick us out and we'll have to live on the streets in a cardboard box, huddling for warmth and taking up smoking to curb our appetites. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

If I could teleport it would be very helpful

I have a sick need to inform others when I bring my own lunch from home, especially when it includes things like fruit and vegetables and whole grains instead of processed meats and caramel. Like, I deserve a pat on the back or maybe some kind of reward. Like, processed meats and caramel. So, the first purpose of this post is accomplished. I ate a grapefruit today and I brought it from home and yes, you too can achieve such greatness.

The second purpose is to explain to people not in client services, that bringing lunch from home simultaneously serves an evil god because it means I won't see the outside of this building for many hours. And then I develop a mild case of agoraphobia and even though I'm dreaming of my couch and Niles Crane, I can't leave my desk because the thought of Chinatown and public transportation seems more insurmountable than K2.

The third purpose of this post is to say 3 people in my 4 person team are sick and I think I'm about to be taken down. And making sense is not high on my priority list right now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Taste the rainbow

The eggnog latte at S'bucks is kind of yummy, but it's also a disconcerting drinking experience because every sip tastes different. Spices! No, eggs! Now it's fake rum! Back to eggs! And now black coffee! Chili peppers?

I drink it, though, because I can't do the cold stuff (didn't everyone get the memo that icy drinks shouldn't be spicy/creamy?) and I've always felt left out of all this talk of nog, whatever that may be.

Friday, December 07, 2007

And then she rolled her eyes again

If you want me to like something, somewhere, somebody, it's really in your best interest not to oversell its awesomeness. I certainly appreciate an endorsement from a trusted source, but if you shove a cup of Kool-Aid in my face and make me drink it, I'll spit it back in your eyes, kick you in the nuts, and hit the road.

In summary, I'm happy to have today to myself.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Adrienne

For as long as I can remember, I've had this thing that happens in the morning when I'm halfway between asleep and awake. My eyes are closed and there's a page of a book in front of me and I'm reading it, but I'm making up the words to what I'm reading as I go along. Sort of consciously, but mostly unconsciously. And it's strangely very relaxing, this mixing of the reading with sleeping.

This morning I read about Sylvester Stallone and the steroids he took to bulk up for Rocky Balboa and how he openly admitted it, but claimed it was okay because his wife told him to and it was for a role. And I think he was giving me this interview over oatmeal. I don't remember how I got in touch with him, but when I remember the number you'll be the first to know.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Is this appropriate?

I'm sitting here watching an episode of A&E's Intervention - a pretty hardcore one about anorexia - when a commercial spoofing a family intervention for a grandpa with bad cable service comes on. Now that's class, people.

Maybe the reason I had no bum

Pretty apropos of nothing, I was thinking today about high school babysitting and the strange dance with food we all danced while doing it.

At the beginning of your night, the Mrs. or (the horror) the Mr. would give you a little tour of their kitchen, saying "Help yourself to anything you can find! I'm so sorry - there's nothing to eat!" Which was either glaringly apparent or a blatant lie. She would laugh a little and perform the cursory opening of the cabinets and fridge, without revealing anything; you nodded and smiled anyways.

But you could already tell by that time where your night was going. Houses with the heat on and activated cable harbored goods like Doritos and Dove Bars, while the cold houses ("we have solar panels!") with "lots of movies, but no TV!" tended towards tofu, stale rice crackers and flat seltzer. You'd wave off the invite - "Oh, I already ate. But thanks, thanks" - knowing soon as they left, you'd grab anything remotely edible.

Why the eating had to be so secretive is still a mystery. One night I had just poured a big bowl of Froot Loops. As I dug in, I saw the flash of headlights and the sound of tires on gravel. I spit my mouthful into the trash, quickly pouring the rest down the sink. Total panic. I ran to the couch, put up my feet, "oh I've been here for hours", and flipped my Seventeen. I do believe I looked genuinely surprised when they opened the door.

Friday, November 30, 2007

i wrote a buncha words and all I got was this pretty logo


but i'm a big sucker for gold stars and pats on the back and small treats at the end of long hauls. for example your new little brother was born and suddenly our previously undivided attentions will be cut by 50% but we bought you this lovely skipper doll! sweet! not even a real barbie!

but so yes, yes: 50,026. done. dun. dunne. dunny mc.dune. doen38@#$$%*.

and now i television and sleep and eat pasta and cupcakes and stop the typing. oh and no, it can't be read by any of yous for a long while. i am putting in a drawer for 6 weeks. and then i will come back with fresh brain and then i will start the very long process of rewriting and editing and rewriting. and after all that if i decide it isn't turrible i will share. maybe.

thanks to all my cheerleaders during this month! if i hadn't had the grim threat of disappointed friends and family staring me in the face i may have given up. but i didn't. so thank you. and you.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tomfoolery

There's this commercial I often see on my beloved telly, a commercial presumably about check fraud. It shows an old lady writing a check - probably for $11.51, probably for her Reader's Digest subscription - only to be foiled soon thereafter by a Bad Guy who watches the mail and steals Old Lady Money. But you know what stops this vicious cycle of thievery? A fantastic pen with fantastic ink that can't be washed off! Surprise! Fooled ya! It's really an ad for pens. Pens!

Hmm. You don't seem as outraged as I am. Maybe you've missed it? Catch up on your Matlock reruns. Then we'll talk.

Word Update: 45,500. Tomorrow is The End. I'm tired.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Doomsday

Birds? I don't like them. It might be more accurate to say I hate them. And yes, Mom and Clay, I realize they are related to or descendants of or best friends with dinosaurs. I could care less. The beady eyes, the talons, the...feathers. Some of it goes back to the time a parrot attacked me in a pet store, some of it goes back to the evil swans that lived in the bog near my house on Cape Cod. All I wanted to do was eat my peanut butter sandwich while wearing a tutu and all they wanted to do was eat my face. Nice.

I don't mind ducks so much, and while we were in Texas this past week I suggested we go feed some at the state park. But instead of ducks we found geese. Huge geese. Huge, diabolical, hungry for my flesh geese. I tried to get away. I tried to throw the bread in the water and keep them there. But they followed me onto the dock and tried to kill me. And now, pictures of my death-defying adventure.


I see the geese. I panic.

The geese see me. They begin to salivate.


I just like my hair in this one.

I hide in the corner. Still convinced I'll get out alive.



They find me, they find my bread.



Checking to see if he can climb up on the table. It's unclear at this point.


They hiss. They plot. I run away. They chase.


Closer they come.



I faint. I die. They feast.

The End.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sorry for the Fug

So I got a little bored in Texas and I started playing around with Photoshop and um, I made that wimpy little header with my feet poking out. I'm punchy so I'm leaving it up for a bit. Because why not. Bear with me if I continue to feel inspired post-Nanowrimo and funk around with it during the hours I usually wrote words. It could get ugly.

Oh - and I'm happy to relay I was (fairly) dedicated during the holiday and brought the ol' word count up to 38,000. Choo-choo.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Statewide Bubble

You know how a bite off of someone else's plate doesn't count towards your daily calorie quota? I'm fairly certain the same thing goes for anything I eat in Texas. That's why all those homemade rolls, green bean casserole, pecan pie and nachos covered in cheese and jalepenos didn't count. And that's why the pizza we're about to stuff in our faces is like eating air. Tasty, cheesy, fatty air.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Old Times

My little brother is home for Thanksgiving, watching our family's extensive VHS collection, many of which feature me in some theatrical capacity. We were discussing my outfits and accents and overall weirdness, and it brought me back to that very distinct period of my life. Where I lived and breathed theater, carrying around highlighted, rolled-up plays, reading George Bernard Shaw for fun, listening to a life shattering amount of Rent. And in the midst of all this fumbling, people thought I was having an affair with my high school drama teacher. Age 34. Who was gay. It was all very young adult novel of me.

I wasn't the one directly accused, though. He was, unbeknownst to me, behind closed doors by some secret coven of paranoid teachers. (Direct quote? "We have reason to believe you're having an affair with Amy." The drama!) I didn't find out about it all until months later, because he was that good at keeping a secret, that good at keeping it professional in the face of small town madness.

I like to imagine what those ladies worked up in their minds, huddled over coffee mugs and leftovers in the teachers' lounge. Did they think we hit it in the back of the theater after my dance routine? In his Honda Civic while we discussed Singin in the Rain? That we talked over stage directions before swapping spit? Please. Would have made more sense if I'd joined the circus and walked on top of elephants.

After the accusation, he gathered together a group of (intelligent) teachers to stand up for him. And by "stand up for him" I mean say that he was gay. Which, for the uninformed, means he doesn't like girls. Even teenage ones. Even ones who cut your class to attend his rehearsals. One more time everyone? Girls = Never. They let him off the hook because, well, it was obviously a witch hunt and they looked pathetic. But I can't imagine he ever viewed that place quite the same and I can't say that I did either.

(And for those following my progress, word count = 30,750. Little Engine!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Half Way!

Just reached 25,560 words, suckas! Thinking of trying to kiss my face. Feeling pretty happy with my usually procrastinating a#$, though I have to admit this hasn't been too painful. Some people talk about pulling all nighters and having no social life and eating 67 Snickers, but I think I'm just doing it the fuddy duddy way. Slow and steady, achy joints and blue hair. With lots of Grape Nuts and Murder She Wrote along the way.

Of course it's hard to get started after a long day at work and sometimes I worry if what I'm writing is blah, but most of the time I'm actually enjoying myself (?!) and happy to have a 'kativity outside of the grind. Anywho. That's the update. And now, I television.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brrrrrring



If you've met me in recent years, it may surprise you to know I used to live with a crippling fear of placing calls to, buying things from, and asking questions of customer service, cashiers, waiters and the like. Calling the pizza place for a large pepperoni? My personal Vietnam. Buying gum at the grocery store? Just send me to Sing Sing. It all came from some deep fear of embarrassing myself, from the horror of inconveniencing others. Like the dude who bagged my groceries was the Pope.

I eventually got to the point where I could order food at restaurants without blushing and buy stuff without hyperventilating (I got a little too comfortable with this one), but the phone has remained something of an issue for me. I still beat myself up over what, to me, is seriously awkwardness, but which probably goes unnoticed to others. Really, I should kiss myself for the way outside of my hula hoop things I have to do for my job. Like calls to customer service representatives, pretending I'm a potential customer for undercover research:

"Yes, I'm married and live in Nebraska. Can you tell me about any deals that would help me save money? My husband has me on a such tight budget."

Or something like that. As you know, I'm currently writing my mystery novel and so sometimes I pretend I'm my heroine, er, sleuthing? Or something. The more I do it, the less heinous of an ordeal it becomes, but I'm not sure it's something I'll ever enjoy. But neither would living in Nebraska. No offense.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just Being Mean

Sometimes when the words are coming slowly, I go to to the NaNoWriMo site (I'd link, but it's ridiculously slow) and search the forums. All these people have subjected themselves to the same insanity and there's all sorts of threads to explore. Dirty tricks to increase your word count, how to keep your plot on track, tips for character development, etc. etc. It's a great way to procrastinate and feel a false sense of cyber camaraderie.

It also feeds my black heart and its incessant need to judge.

I found this one thread today, called "Too Good for WriMo?" The first post said this:

"No, I'm not trying to sound pretentious by any means, but it really seems like what I'm writing has become the most intellectual/intelligent/awesome thing I've ever written, and I'm afraid WriMo-esque output into it is going to ruin it. That is to say... I have this overt fear that quality will truly give way to quantity, and I could irrevocably ruin my story. I love my plot, and I've dived very deeply into the minds of the characters, and I think it has resulted in a psychological suspense novel that is... amazing (hint: I want to finish and publish!)"

Oh my God.

This was followed by a second post:

"I'm doing the same thing. And I'd liken my novel to Catcher in the Rye or Ulysses, so I'm definately aspiring to the literary."

I just wrote and erased about 12 different jabs at that. But I think leaving it alone, letting it fester for awhile, does it more justice. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Penny Lane


This afternoon, my girlfriend dragged this procrastinating bum out of its apartment to go for a walk and "get rid of our squish." It was sunny and blue skies and smelled like fall and fires and pine. I was happy to be away from the taunting stare of my computer screen and burning up some of the lard I've eaten in the past few months. It's not welcome here anymore. Please find a new home. You've been evicted.

Near the end of our walk, we stumbled upon an old-fashioned (but actually new and shiny) penny candy store. Bliss! We hurried inside and stood in awe at all the jars. Swedish Fish. Mary Jane's. Strawberry Things. Delicious Things. Out of breath, we huffed: "We'll! Be! Back!" The lady behind the counter looked conflicted. Happy we were interested in her store, fearful of our high creep factor. We left, but didn't stop looking back until we'd walked another block. I blew a little kiss goodbye.

Nothing holds more excitement for me than little stores that sell little things for little amounts of money. When we were little, my brother and I had Candy Day. It came once a week, usually on Friday. This cut down on us begging for something sweet every time we went shopping with our Mom and managed expectations for everyone involved. One Wednesday, Amy, age 6ish, decided she wanted her candy early. My Mom reiterated over and over to me that if I ate my candy early, it meant I wouldn't get candy on Friday. Sure, sure, sure, I said. Bring on the Skittles. I got my sugar coma early and two days later, when it was time for Real Candy Day, I threw a full fledged temper tantrum. Tears, screams, punches, death threats. Which goes to show you, nothing comes between me and my foods. Hence, the squish.

(Word Count = 16,782. Plugging away.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ick

I know it's not fair of me, but when I see a grown man carrying a Starbucks size tall (a small to the non 'bucks drinking population), it just looks wimpy. I figure he's probably a little too close to his mother, uses toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and deeply enjoys talking about his feelings, something we ladies think we want, but when it happens makes us want to hide under the bed.

P.S. Word count = 10,846. Snap!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Oxygen Depletion

As much as I enjoy watching Jay Leno pass out donuts to his staff in the picket lines, and as much as I'm pulling for the writers and pulling against the not-writers, I'd really rather this weren't happening.

Did you know the last strike, in 1988, lasted for 5.5 months? That would take us to mid-April, aka mid-season of Lost aka that last chunk of better-than-usual episodes they throw at us end-of-season for all my other shows too numerous to list? Granted, I watch very old television reruns with a fervor reserved for the elderly, but still. I'm anxious. Donut? Stat?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Turtle Face

So, I'm pretty much on the official NaNoWriMo schedule, with 6,550 words done and done. I thought I might have some burst of inspiration and bust out 5k words at once, as some wretched people on the forums discuss, but I've been more successful with the turtle approach.

This isn't something I've ever been very good at. I had to take this Psychology lab class my senior year at BU, where we trained rats to walk in circles, tap lights and knock poles for food. Kind of sad, but mostly just gross. Every few weeks we turned in these absurd 40-50 page reports on our training methods, our findings, our data, our who even knows what. Needless to say, this was not something I spent my daytime hours attending to. I'd usually wait until 10, 10:30 the night before it was due, turn on my TV, turn on my music and type and type and type. And then take a nap from 3 to 4 AM, wake up, eat some candy, drink some Gatorade and then type some more. Nothing else seemed to get the damn things written. But I was in such angst, filled with such self-loathing, that I knew there must be another way to live.

And so, I'm giving it a shot. And finding, incidentally, my self-pity is at an all-time low. Score!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

And...Go

I'm tired of thinking about it a lot and then only doing it a little, watching the Cranes on my TV instead and then eating some mango sorbet and then falling asleep in a puddle of tired.

I've never completed anything good without a deadline so fine, okay, I'm doing it.

Cheer for me, please?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pretty Princess!


Our little household recently did an overhaul of the dish situation. We trekked to Ikea and bought a bunch of lightweight white dishes and bowls (which each fit about 3x the amount of Froot Loops!) to streamline our hectic Fiestawear madness. I think we'll continue to go the white route for a bit, so that no matter what we buy, it looks pulled together. And then we'll buy some punchy items to liven things up. Although with the bright green wall, red chairs and teal curtains, I think we're pretty punchy already.

But check out the lovely white pottery above, designed by (the prolific potter and 100 year old) Eva Zeisel. You can get certain Zeisel items from Crate & Barrel, which is easy breezy beautiful Cover Girl, and would help make a pretty princess tea party for me and Mary. Yes?

Fugg You



It's a fun activity to read online debates over Ugg boots. The passion people feel one way or the other is incredible! Frankly, I don't care; I bought a new pair last night and I couldn't be happier. Because honestly? Once you put them on, you don't care if people stop talking to you forever and/or permanently white-out your name in their address books. Your feet feel like marshmallows and life is worth living.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Your Fat

This is awkward! Or maybe hilarious! They should have at least thrown me a dollar or two to post that madness. Sheesh.

Stendig It


I just got my first issue of New York magazine in the mail yesterday, bringing my total received publications with "New York" in the title to two. Sometimes three when I treat myself to the Times, which always makes the day a good one. I'm not even obsessed with NYC, which might be the takeaway from my mailbox. I just can't resist the allure of all that erudite nonsense in a neat, tidy package.

This issue happens to be an extra-fantastic one, all about design and designers and all the pretty things they do. It's got me thinking about my Christmas list and all the things I don't at all need but quite definitely want.

For example, the fantastic, oversized Stendig calendar featured above. Designed by the super couple, Massimo and Lella Vignelli (they also designed the Bloomingdales logo! and the NYC subway map! and those cool Knoll stackable chairs! and I can barely make a cupcake!) in 1966, it says "I'm a liberal city dweller and I'm sophisticated and know some stuff" in addition to "I'm a little bit crazy, but still organized" and yet still getting across that "Mary Tyler Moore is my hero and I wish she'd come over for tea and throw her hat in the air for me."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Up and At 'Em

The summer after my junior year of high school I worked at this coffee shop a half hour's drive away. I'm not sure why I chose this job over working at our local dive, which was closer and would have brought in more cash, but I did. As my good friend Michaela says, I don't know why I do the things I do.

On bad days, I was given the 6-2 shift, ungodly hours that crippled my 17-year-old soul. It meant throwing on my bagel-battered sneakers, leaving my house at 5:30, driving in the dark to crack open hundreds of eggs into individual plastic containers, make many pots of coffee, and haul bags and bags of bagels down the stairs and into bins, all whilst not really sure I was alive.

One morning I got in my car to realize I was nearly out of gas. Common enough for me, but usually at an hour when gas stations were open (or "were awake" as I just typed). After passing many a closed station, I pulled into the dive's parking lot ("If you worked here, you'd be at work now!"), after seeing my friend Caroline's car. I knew her shift was longer than mine, so maybe I could drive her car, leave mine behind and return it without a glitch? Kind of smart? Kind of desperate?

I ran up to the ordering window and tapped on the glass. Caroline hurried over and opened the window, worried.

"Why have you been driving around all night?"
"Excuse me?"
"Well...why else would you be here?"
"Because I'm up early and I'm going to work? And work isn't a strip club?"
"You went to sleep last night and then woke up?"
"Oh my God, yes!"

So blah blah, I went into it and got her car for the day, but it's always stuck with me that it made more sense to her that I would have stayed up all night and was out driving around, than that I was awake and headed to work at an early hour. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Empathizers


Me: "Is it wrong that I came away feeling Alcatraz was sort of cozy?"

Mom: "No. I thought the same thing."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Frooty

My Lunchable kept falling out of my bag on the bus (city, not school) today, quickly followed by my baggie of Froot Loops. I kept pushing them back in, like they were something to hide, until I looked up and saw a distinguished (enough) looking woman, confidently pulling out a baggie of her own Froot Loops! Ka-chow!

Also. Two weeks late to the job, I finally removed my red nail polish. I totally forgot about that crazy pulsing sensation that happens after, where your nail beds are sucking in oxygen like there's no tomorrow and they sort of feel alive? I guess they are? Good talk.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mr. Amy

Some dude with a ridiculous name I won't advertise on the Interweb, used to have my extension before I worked here. Apparently, before he quit he booked a conference room on the sixth floor for all eternity. We have a serious shortage of such rooms in my office, so everyday is a battle, a constant struggle to usurp the throne of the One Who Had Enough Time on Her Hands to Book a Room Before Five Minutes After the Meeting Started. So people call me all the time trying to steal this room I don't even want, and I answer the phone, and they plunge ahead with their plea as if I were clearly a dude. Even though I'm pretty secure in the girliness of my voice? (Yes? No? Is there something I don't know?) And let's also note, they're usually sitting no more than two cubes down from me and can simultaneously hear my voice both on the phone and in real life, full of despair at the daily trials I must endure.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Weekend Treat

All he wants for lunch on the weekends is a little delicacy I like to call a Mom Sandwich. It's found down the street at our neighborhood market, made from plain wheat bread, plain old cold cuts and plain yellow mustard. I don't get it. For my dollar, I want a crusty roll and lots of cheese not found in my refrigerator and some sort of terrible fatty meat like salami, things my Mom - queen of plain Cheerios in snack bags and juice in old pickle jars (I love you, Mom!) - never bought when I was little. But nothing makes him happier than a Mom Sandwich and so, I take the short walk down our street and buy one, knowing I should probably just make it myself, but not quite ready to yet.

Friday, October 19, 2007

When You're Always the Last One to Fall Asleep

Don't you miss falling asleep while multiple other people are still awake, shuffling around and eating cookies, making sure anyone bad sneaking in will get punched in the face? I do.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Play

Act 1, Scene 1: Bus Ride. Tall chai.

Act 1, Scene 2: Client call. Bagel. Cream cheese. Fruit.

Act 1, Scene 3: Talent seminar. Cheese pastry. Orange juice.

Act 2, Scene 4: Team status. Gummi bears. Many.

Act 2, Scene 1: Work at desk. Fettucini alfredo.

Act 2, Scene 2: Meeting. Peanut butter and jelly UnCrustable. Milk.

Act 2, Scene 3: Gossip. Tall cider. 1.5 brownie bites.

Act 2, Scene 4: And then she died of sugar.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can You Do Less?

During my freshman year in theater school, grades were earned on a scale of how well could I pretend to be fire, how hard could I cry about third grade, how long could I watch the dude I was dating paint his naked body with finger paints without sinking into the floor and dying of shame. On opposite day, I also earned a grade for how well I could do less.

My Alexander Technique class consisted of, what seemed to me, a lot of lying down on the floor and writing my name softly with a pencil. We had this crazy/tall teacher who didn't say much except: "Can you do less?" Which for me meant taking a nap and hoping I didn't get caught. From what I remember, I think I was also supposed to grow an inch by the end of the class? This did not happen.

At the time, it was just one more class squeezed into a busy schedule including "Stage Craft" and "Clowning 101" so it all got jumbled into a pile of nonsense. Now I see how "Can you do less?" is probably the one thing I should have listened to that year. I know I can always stress less, talk less, worry less, and... throw my clothes on the floor less. Which means, conversely, I should probably pick up my clothes more. About that...

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Turkey Family

Once upon a time, there was a crazy family called the Turkey Family. There was a boy, a girl, a man and a woman.

One day, a tiny kid came down the road.

"Wow," said the boy.

That was the way it was here. He saw everything, everyday.

The kid walked downstairs. He went into the boy's room. He climbed on the bed. When he went to bed, the boy got into bed and called: "Mom!"

- Me. Age 6. Confused by pronouns.

And harboring some deeply suspect thoughts.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sorry I've Been Gone...

it's just that my job can seriously get in the way sometimes.

Some quick updates:

1. After some serious soul-searching, I think might give in and take up leggings. Yeah. I know.

2. I went to my first TV commercial shoot last week. Production assistants scampered around and brought me Starbucks. I wore a headset. It was fantastic.

3. I read Jane Eyre. It bumped a yet-undetermined choice off my Top 5 Swoon-Worthy Books.

4. I'm pulling full-force for Wanye Newton on Dancing with the Stars.

5. Crosswords are my new crack pipe.

6. I learned there are both offensive and defensive teams in football. It all makes so much more sense, people.

7. I tried foie gras. Thumbs down.

8. I'm trying to write fiction. It's hard.

9. I painted my nails red.

10. Custody or not, fatty or not, I still wear her perfume. Cupcakes. Yum.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Full Disclosure Part 5

LOST



Technically, I'm in a fight with this show because it's on hiatus until January or February of 2008, which is ridiculous and seriously testing the limits of my fanship and sanity. But I would be remiss if I didn't include it, so...fine, J.J. Abrams. Fine.

I didn't watch this program for the first two seasons because I thought it was about dinosaurs. I got hooked when the boyfriend (not knowing he was lifting a crack pipe to my lips) plugged me into episode #1 downloaded on his computer. Fire! Dimples! Tracheotomies! Ocean! Handcuffs! Dimples!

You better have the patience of Job to watch this show - endless character flashbacks, slow as Christmas plot development, and enough red herrings for a fish fry - because if you don't (and I don't) you'll spend a lot of time yelling at people who don't exist and producers who do.

But I stay in this unhealthy relationship because Sawyer likes to take his shirt off a lot. Sayid just killed someone with his feet. And has skin like candy. There's creepy music that tells me what to feel and when. Two characters got buried alive just because viewers didn't like them. John Locke can talk to invisible people. They've played Wonderwall more than once. A man wearing an eye patch got electrocuted and I got to press rewind over and over to watch the blood explode from his eardrums. And there still might be dinosaurs.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Full Disclosure Part 4

The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries



This will begin to reveal itself even more as the list goes on, but I am a serious fool for all things mystery. And all things British. So combine the two and there'll be a real problem with me leaving the couch. The stories of Sherlock Holmes are smart and creepy and quirky and the genius that put these on the screen should get a bear hug. Yes, if you have to make a choice between reading the stories and seeing the program, you should read the stories. But that's obviously a ridiculous "if" posed in a ridiculous world I wouldn't want to live.

I have to watch this one with the sound jacked up, because the production quality of each episode is always questionable. It's unfortunate, because this is a program where every line is of the utmost importance. (See how fun it is to talk like him?) At the same time, the characters' facial expressions are close-to-unbearably intense, so you can usually tell what's going on with the sound off.

Jeremy Brett plays Sherlock and is beyond fantastic. He's probably 89% of the reason I watch this show. Sometimes he's whispering and then yells things at the top of his lungs just because he can. I always look around the room like really? Am I the only one who cares that he just did that? Admittedly, I'm confused whether he's a real person or not.

The answer to "What did you do Thursday night?" should probably never be "Watched Sherlock Holmes" but I'm also the girl who'd choose a bagel with Nutella over a beer every single time.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Full Disclosure Part 3

The Dog Whisperer



Although my little brother did - mysteriously - request that my mother puffy paint I LOVE DOGS onto his t-shirt at age 4, we were never the dog-loving-type family. Truth be told, most dogs (even the tiny yippy ones) used to scare the bejesus out of me. Now I want one with an unabiding fervor I usually reserve for flat boots and/or 35 cent packages of Peeps. So, I never thought I'd be pausing my manic channel changing on a show about dogs, let alone sitting quietly and enjoying it immensely with mouth agape.

Cesar Milan is a tiny Latino man with a big a#$ pack of dogs (comprised mostly of big a#$ pit bulls) who's got the ability to whip even the most heinous dogs into shape. If you were to ask him, he'd say he "rehabilitates dogs and trains people" but whatever dude, the man's half canine.

He's fixed skateboard-obsessed bulldogs, crazy-face chicks who use their dogs to cure panic attacks, demon puppies who kick their owners out of bed, and traumatized postal workers. And he's got a side gig in saving maybe-ruined-by-dog-issues-but-actually-dumb-people-issues marriages. You're impressed.

I don't have a dog (yet, CC) to make act better, but CM has improved my vocabulary. I can now request that family and friends please remain "calm-submissive" - the term he uses to describe a dog's ideal mental state - whenever they start acting feisty. It rolls out his mouth nonstop and smushed together into one word; it took me a couple episodes to even figure out what the heck he was saying. I felt confident it must be "con smith" which I thought might be a variant of "heel" or something in Cesar Speak.

I currently have 2 episodes at a time recorded to the DVR. Not exactly something I brag about at work, but I feel pretty good about it.

P.S. The C-Man's not gay? He's married with a child? Really? Well, knock me over with a minpin.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Full Disclosure Part 2

Star Trek: The Next Generation


There is something magical about this program. I think it's a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Although the parts are pretty damn awesome. The shiny skin and unwieldy emotion chip of Data, the ship's token android. The aliens that all basically look like humans, but with bigger ears or teeth. The quiet whispers and soothing gentlemanly doings of Captain Picard. The muted color schemes and background muzak. The parasites that take on personalities. That time everyone devolved into snakes and primordial goo. Genius!

Adding to the nonstop goodness, are the Holodeck episodes. Every television program has filler episodes, usually executed with flashbacks and warmhearted retrospective musings. Not TNG! When they have nothing to say for themselves, they throw their characters into the Holodeck - a "simulated reality facility" - and just write ridiculous side stories apropos of nothing. Sometimes they play cowboys, sometimes jazz musicians, sometimes the men wear tights. I'm still confused about whether they can get stuck in there or not. I think they keep this vague so I keep watching.

And I'd like to make clear I am not talking about all Star Treks across the board. This entry is very TNG-specific. I can't handle the other iterations and I don't care to try.

Simply put, any show featuring Reading Rainbow's Levar Burton wearing a headband around his eyes is a show that cannot be missed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Full Disclosure Part 1

It always bugs me when someone professes their dorkdom and then follows it up with a decidedly not-geeky example. "I'm such a dork - I love NPR!" Please. You know nothing of my work. I've decided to show you the true inner workings of a dork, just because people should know before they open their pie holes, just because I can.

I'll illustrate my point with a Top Ten rundown of my favorite TV programs. And I mean programs I'm seriously excited to watch, will DVR, watch with full attention, make appointments for. Some are socially-acceptable and age-appropriate, but most are not.

For this first entry, I'm going to discuss a specific genre, because these shows can't really be separated by rankings and because I've got a lot more shows to discuss.

#10: MYSTERY SHOWS MADE FOR OLD PEOPLE

Matlock/Murder She Wrote/Columbo




What is more satisfying than a formulaic mystery solved by the elderly? Nothing, I say. There are scheming villains, small town cops with poorly-chosen accents, mullets, and soft focus camera work. There are big shoulder pads, many earnest facial expressions, and some outstandingly creative plot devices ("I know he isn't the real clown, because he just sneezed in this video frame! And the real clown isn't allergic to wigs! Look! Right here! We got 'em! The real clown is dead."). It's sort of like hanging out with my grandparents, while reliving my eighties childhood, while vicariously fighting crime.

Need I say more.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stitch, Pedal, Stitch

Every morning when I get off the bus, headed for the underground stairwell that carries me into the office and away from my couch, I'm confronted with a huge sign:

IS SOMEONE YOU KNOW BEING FORCED TO WORK?

I'm probably not the target for the accompanying photograph of a small child operating a sewing machine, but I still keep the 1-800 number on my cell phone's speed dial. Just in case.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fear Factor


A few weeks ago, we dined with a gentleman who harbors an unusual fear. A fear of something I've held close to my heart and stomach since the day Chef Brockett on Mister Rogers told me to wrap a piece of American cheese around it and "eat right away." His fear, my friends, is of the banana.

It all came out when I was contemplating getting a - gasp! - banana split for dessert. Horror flooded the poor man's face. Being the sweet flower that I am, I chose a coffee instead, but couldn't help grilling him. How can you be afraid of a delicious fruit? Of a very conveniently-packaged fruit? Of a fruit filled with Potassium and a startling ability to disappear into smoothies? Maybe it wasn't socially appropriate, but I couldn't help myself. (Flashback to my 13-year-old self in Amish country: "I'm sorry! I HAVE to look!")

He had no answers, only drama-filled accounts of getting sick at the sight of fruit salad and leaving parties that served Bananas Foster. I shouldn't judge since I have serious phobias of (completely appropriately) needles and flying and I know by their very definition phobias are irrational. Just think. Tyra Banks (and my boyfriend) are afraid of dolphins. Dolphins! The things we're all dying to swim with in a pee-filed pool. And you? What're you scared of?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ow.

Things I ate tonight at the new employee dinner:

Lobster Ravioli
Vegetable Eggroll
Beef Satay
Crab Dumpling
Filet Mignon
Lemon Chicken
Chinese Broccoli
Bok Choy
Green Beans (DISTURBINGLY GOOD green beans)
Jasmine Rice
Fried Potatoes
Chocolate Banana (next post = banana phobias. wtf.)
Fried Apple
Flan with Raspberries
Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream
Coconut Ice Cream
Kitchen Sink

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hostess with the Mostest

My little brother's in town. I'm not about to win any Martha-Stewart-type award for Excellence in Hostessing, as my weeknights typically consist of Frasier reruns (My name is Amy, and I'm a Crane-aholic) and peanut butter toast, while my weekends involve a lot of...downtime. But I've been trying, in spite of my inherent laziness, to give the bro the full San Francisco treatment.

We drove down Lombard Street, strawberry milkshaked at In-N-Out Burger, and hunted sea otters in Monterey. He got the extensive tour of my cubicle, watched people suck face at Telegraph Hill, and strolled around Chinatown (PINK...BAGS...EVERYWHERE). We walked over the Golden Gate bridge, sneaked up to the Boy's office for some killer nighttime views and snack hoarding (late night gummy bears make life worth living) and took a long drive through farm country.

It's been water slide fun. Tonight I'm having over a couple friends for a Wii tournament. Team M will prevail.


Wii tennis. He won. I'm pretty sure he cheated.

Eating roadside stand cherries. I'm not really that pale. I don't think.

Looking at fish. I'm obviously not a PETA member, since everything I saw looked delicious.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Brrrrrrr


The photograph above illustrates two important points:

1) It's June. He's wearing a (thick) sweater and corduroys. And still cold. Every morning last week, I hustled to work in my winter peacoat and a wool scarf. I waited for the bus and when I swore about the fog trying to eat me, I saw my breath. At night, I considered building a fire while I drank hot cocoa and crocheted an afghan (watched tv). Yea, yea, "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" - I get it. Enough. Good talk. Now bring me my sun.

2.) Cuteness.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Awesome

I want to punch people in. The mouth when. They send emails that. Are supposed to contain helpful. Information and. Schedules to make my day easier. But have random punctuation so by the. End of it I'm more confused. Than. Before I received your helpful email. Did you or did you not. Go to. College? Did you. Or did you not go. To elementary school?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Meat Gum. Or: He Better Sleep With One Eye Open.






Name That Flavor

Knowing I'm a sucker for all marketing schemes, The B-Fri picked these up for a Mem Day bbq we attended yesterday. The idea is taste the chip and send in your vote for a Flavor Name. Just like a Crayola contest. Well, I tried it. And it's a Jr. Whopper with Cheese. Heated-up frozen beef, mayonnaise, American cheese, and a bun. I see a rapidly-approaching Burger King partnership in Doritos' future.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I Could Just Take Some Ambien

It's not that I don't miss him when he's gone - because I do! I do! - but when The Boy travels (the first half of most weeks) I can't help but get into my own little routine. This includes leaving a trail of dishes and glasses at various stations around the apartment, eating Nutella out of the jar, sitting in the middle of the couch, and watching Matlock on the living room television from my bed.

The first night The Boy's back is the most difficult one in my adjustment period. I don't remember how to share the couch, I get confused by someone else in my kitchen, and I feel especially territorial about the bed. I have to choose a side? I have to sleep vertically?

I'll fully admit that I am a terrible sleeper. It's a lifelong disorder I can't seem to kick. I'm not sure who's to blame here, but when in doubt I blame my parents. It takes me a long time to fall asleep and when I finally do I have nothing but nightmares on topics ranging from glow-in-the-dark robbers to Bill Cosby and his quest to murder me. Starting around 2, I wake up multiple (MULTIPLE) times during the night. I've recently cut down on my habit of eating small meals during my jaunts (hunks of cheese, beef jerky, Thin Mints), but that only means that the trips themselves are shorter, not the frequency that I take them.

Thursday I was having a particularly rough sleep night. I tossed, I turned, I kicked the sheets off my feet (nothing is more detrimental to a good night's sleep than sweaty feet), I got up, I got down, I sighed, I moaned. The Boy silently suffered through all of it, until my final move. Around 4 am I pulled a dramatic back-to-stomach flip, pulling the comforter off of him and onto me. Out of the blue, in a crystal clear, sleep-free voice he says: "STOP MOVING BEFORE I BLOW DART YOU."

I have no idea what he was dreaming about to stay something so... tribal, but you can bet I hightailed it out of there and onto the couch to flip and moan in a tranquilizer-free zone. Yow.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Drinking a chai latte made with soy milk...


...is like drinking a plant. A spicy plant. A spicy, liquified plant. Other than raising my estrogen levels, turning me into a Train lyric, and giving me a gut ache, what's in it for me?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tae Bo

Billy Blanks. Love him, hate him, don't mess with him in a dark alley. All I know is, this (51-year-old!) man's beat down gets me in better shape than anything I've ever done - including those hellish months of JV soccer when I was an "athlete" and ran quickly after a ball I didn't know what to do with. I believe my source of inspiration lies in the things BB yells at me. I like to repeat them to myself throughout the day.

Some gems?

"Peace, love and joy!!! Peace, love and joy!!!"
An overall happy thought he likes to throw out at particularly tough moments. I've never been clear in how it applies to kicking and punching with forceful rage, but that's not mine to figure out.

"Hold on! Even when you can't hold on - HOLD ON!"
Pretty aggressive. It reminds me of my freshman acting professor who never gave specific feedback. She'd just say "Act better." We'd sit and stare. There's not much room for interpretation on this one. The Blanks has spoken.

Trouble is, I can't seem to get anyone hooked on him - "That's so 1997" they tell me - and I'm desperately looking for someone to speak my new language. Any takers?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thank You Coke Gods

Anyone who knows me knows about my serious issue with anything made from fake sugar. I almost cried when I ordered chocolate pudding online and it arrived sugar-free. I've had people bring me back cranberry juice "lite" and almost punched them in the mouth. It all tastes like rat poison mixed with bubble gum and I'm pretty sure it puts holes in people's brains. Except. For. Coke. Zero. I'm not sure how it's done, and I don't really want to know, but this stuff tastes so much like real Coke it's scary. I think it's made in the same place unicorns live and Santa Claus takes vacations.

I've been worried about it disappearing off the shelves before people gave it a real chance, but my hope has been renewed. A new ad campaign just launched and they've recently added Cherry Coke Zero to the mix. Combine this with it being Friday, someone supposedly dying on my DVR'd Lost and, Sweet Jeebus, could life get any better?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

An Open Letter to My Remaining Friends on Idol


Melinda,

For a long time, you were my hands-down favorite. You did that crazy back-of-the-throat guttural thing, sang songs that taught us how to spell woman, and bravely admitted to never having a boyfriend. But c'mon, lady. You're 29, not 79. Stop singing songs my ancestors would bop to, stop pretending you don't know how good you are, and - not to be mean - but sometimes I get worried about where your neck went?

Jordin,

At first I didn't really notice you or remember what you did each week. You just didn't stand out for me, which is hard to believe since you're roughly three times the size of Seacrest. But lately, it's hard to ignore how good you are (especially for 17) and I tend to enjoy your song choices. Still, don't rest easy. Sometimes you yell at me really loudly and you're kind of a kiss-up. Also - that little heart thing you do with your hands is pretty cute, but it's trademarked. Pay up.

Blake,

Blake. Blake, Blake, Blake. I hate you, I love you, I want to rip your hair off. Why did you dye it black? Who told you this was a good idea? If it was Bon Jovi, you shouldn't turn to him for style advice. That whole beat boxing thing works for you, but do you have to change every song into a dance party? It's either that or you give it the David Bowie/Coldplay/Bono treatment and I squirm uncontrollably. However, you seem to be a genuinely nice person, wear fun sneakers, and I appreciate your affinity for 311, a fact that proved to me you were most definitely a fellow Class of 2000 graduate.

And to all of you: Please make next week a more enjoyable entertainment experience for us all.
I'm feeling restless and looking towards Dancing with the Stars for happiness. Not good.

Love,

A

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Good Talk

"Remember how Dad used to say 'thank you much'? Not adding the very?"

"Oh. I do that now. It's actually really useful. At least i don't say howdy??"

"Oh. I say howdy all the time."

What have we become.

Hairapy

I realized this weekend that my hair color is the hair color it wants to be when left alone. Meaning, all my highlights have grown out, my roots are the same color as the rest of my strands, and someone might actually describe me as having brown hair if pressed for an opinion. It immediately made me nervous and just a little bit naked.

Since eighth grade, when I started coloring my hair with a disturbing combination of lemon juice and markers, I don't think my locks have been their real self. It makes me want to break out a box of cheap henna or, alternately, dial up someplace expensive and get "caramel" highlights no one else will notice. I'm trying to hold still, though, and appreciate the potential serious downgrade in maintenance (and costs) this could mean. But man, are my fingers itching for a pink highlighter.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Blue Jean Lame(y)


One would think that a retailer dedicated to carrying solely designer denim would, in fact, carry said designer denim. This weekend I tried - for the third time - to find some new jeans at this neighborhood establishment called The Blues Jean Bar.

I guess the idea is pretty cool, in theory. Different brands and style are laid out on a bar and instead of beer (or in my case, cranberry juice) you belly up to the bar and make your request for brand, wash, and size. I imagine that ladies who lunch - the ones who don't pluck their own brows or buy their own tampons- would like this arrangement, but in general I like to be left alone when I shop. Who wants to shout out their size over a large sea of pants? Plus, I don't like to be watched as I paw things and then stare into space, picturing what I'd look like walking down the street listening to Dolly Parton on my Nano. Stop judging me, crazy jean ladies.

But I was still lured into this concept of only-jeans-all-the-time, so after an cursory trip a few months ago, I stopped in two weeks ago, ready to drop some cash. I was serious about giving these people my money, but after searching for what must be an extra hidden room with scads of merchandise and not finding one, I realized they didn't carry most of my favorite brands. The one brand I really wanted to try and they did carry (True Religion) was only available in sizes way too small or way too big. And they barely carried any dark washes. "Very light is very cool for summer," they told me. Thanks. But you're wrong.

They promised there would be a new shipment in a couple weeks, so this weekend I trudged back down the hill. Their selection was even smaller! Still no Citizens, still no James, still no Earnest Sewns. Huh? Their TR section was even scrawnier than before and I was once again promised "a new shipment in two weeks." I tried to branch out and pick up a couple brands I wasn't familiar with, but they, too, were out in my size. And when I expressed disappointment or bafflement, the cougar chicks who run the place just raised an eyebrow and continued to fold.

This place is b-a-n-a-n-a-s. It's like the cheese shop in that Monty Python sketch. No matter what I asked for it wasn't there.

Well, eh, how about a little red Leicester.
I'm, afraid we're fresh out of red Leicester, sir.
Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of Caerphilly.
Ah! It's beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.

Anywho. Some of my favorite pants of late have been under $40 (pretty much free!) and from distinctly non-designer retailers. I don't want to make any dramatic claims about giving up pricey brands forever or anything, but I'm definitely ready to give cheap another chance. Designer denim is so 2004.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Wheels On the Bus


I think I was born in the wrong time
, I thought to myself this morning, riding the bus to work, slammed against the pole by a middle aged man's backpack. Because, seriously, what happened to the good old days when dudes gave up their seats for ladies?

Young, sturdy-seeming gentlemen will grab the seat I was about to take, as we chug up yet another mountain and I desperately cling to my life and dignity. I stare them down, trying to guilt them into standing up, with pitiful sighs and dramatic bag shifts, but it's yet to have an effect. They refuse to even look up from their books or work, pretending to ignore the tragedy unfolding before them, nonchalantly flipping through their iPod.

I'm making progress, though. Today an elderly woman offered me her seat as she exited the bus, dismissing the man closer to the seat who had been on the bus longer. Victory!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

This Just In


I was well aware of the marketing campaign to change the name of prunes to "dried plums" but this newest tomfoolery I just spotted involves wrapping each prune individually like some sort of delicious candy. FYI, prune people: I don't like lies. Okay? That is all.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Flip This Cast


Not sure if there's any Flip This House fans out there, but there are some serious turnover issues going on with this program. It all started with a crew based in South Carolina, headed up by a dude named Richard Davis and his sidekick Ginger (whose, uh, wholesome charms reel in my boy's attentions). I got hooked on the southern twangs, the trumped up dramas, the Diet Coke chugging, and Richard's pleated pants. But then one day, my DVR popped up with some crazy cats in San Antonio doing their own flipping - with no word as to where my friends went! Diligent interweb research came up with only some vague references to "creative differences" between the SC crew and A&E. Hmm. Mysterious.

I wasn't yet over the disappearance of Richard and crew, but started to watch the new peeps with muted interest. But soon those folks were gone, too, replaced by an Atlanta crew. Who were quickly replaced with another Atlanta crew. Who have now been replaced with the most recent (I think?) iteration - a bunch of hot dudes (including some former NFL guy I'm sure non-theater types would know) in New Haven. I don't mind the eye candy, but what in God's name is going on? What is A&E asking of these people or vice versa that is causing all this nonsense and confusion to my DVR?

The only good news to come out of this disruption to my regularly scheduled programming, is a new show premiering this weekend on TLC. It's called The Real Deal and stars my old South Carolina friends presumably doing the same thing they were doing before. It's recording right now; I'll keep ya'll posted.

Monday, April 16, 2007

To B or Not to B



Okay, people. I may have lost it. Feel my forehead, because I'm actually considering the purchase of a Blackberry. I didn't think this day would come, but I also didn't think I'd be working in the (probably as un-corporate as it gets) corporate world. I experience small to large stabs of fear when I leave my computer behind for more than ten minutes. I buy my lunch at a light jog, making it back to my desk quick like a bunny and checking/replying to email throughout my sandwich chewing/cookie inhaling. I figure if I have a little obnoxious friend in my hands at all times I'll feel freer to maybe walk to lunch and/or chat with a coworker for a minute? Am I right or am I right?

There are a couple obvious downsides to the whole thing - you're never disconnected from the office etc. - but the most troubling to me is how much I'd have to cut down on the complaining I do about the boy's Blackberry (aka Crackberry aka The Other Woman). What will I do with all that spare time? I have been meaning to finish The Brothers Karamazov...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Where's Stanley Tucci When I Need Him?


I know Stacy London (Has anyone seen her new show? Keep your day job, sister.) would kick me for saying this, but I just can't make it through a work day in heels. Or any attractive shoe, for that matter. I spend most of my hours at the agency on my feet, and much of that time running up and down 5 flights of stairs. If I'm not wearing shoes with support and a sensible sole, I've got shin splints by noon. I'm happy to swap cheery feet for my new sitch, but I do miss looking not crazy.

I gaze longingly at the girls wearing wedges and pumps, their hair smooth and shiny, their makeup dewy and fresh; I'm straight-up Amy Version 14 (years old, that is). Black Chucks and a falling-out ponytail, my face dewy with sweat, tripping over my shoelaces. I'm hoping once I get the work stuff figured out I can break out my style, but for now it's last under my large piles of stickies. That and eating foods not from a vending machine.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's Like 1992 When I Used Encyclopedias to Do My Homework

Turns out to blog you need a computer, something BJA doesn't possess at the moment. I'm currently at a 15-minute-limit computer at the public library ("San Francisco has those?" asked my boyfriend) and thought I'd drop in for a quick hello.

Tomorrow I start my new jobby job so that's exciting and tonight Sanjaya will take another stab at ruining my favorite guilty pleasure. Tune in and please don't vote.

Until I'm back on the Interweb...

BJA

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dear America


If you do not vote Sanjaya off this week I will be forced to make it happen myself. I will drive down to LA, steal him, drive away in my vdub, and drop him in places unknown. I don't even want the ransom, I just want him out of my face and ears for life. This brush with the law shouldn't be necessary, but you've forced my hand, America. You've forced it by making me listen to him ruin everything from the Kinks to No Doubt and by making me stare at that dead animal on his head week after week. Please keep me out of jail. Get him gone. I mean it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Happily


We've got a Japantown here, so where's my Happily? I just read about this aptly named, for-females convenience store found only in Japan, and I wa-nt one - I want an everlasting gobstobber now.


This place is like the anti-7-11. It's got an all female staff, a smoothie bar instead of a hot dog bar (which, honestly, I would kind of miss) and one restroom for - yup - women only. No standing in line next to sketchy dudes eying my stuff, flowers on the sink- heck, I could walk barefoot ala Brit and not even raise a brow. Pick up a cali roll (health food vs. junk food), a new gloss (at the extensive cosmetic aisle!) and an O without Maxim up in your kitchen. I'd wander around this place for hours; it'd be my Cheers. And yet, I'm not. I'm still grabbing my Gatorade and Lil' Debbie cupcakes in coed squalor. Get on it, SF.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Yaz


Does anyone else feel like crawling inside their refrigerator when they see that commercial for - gag - Yaz? It lasts about 3 hours and takes place in a club, where one Carrie Bradshaw wannabe (who we're lead to believe is a medical professional) is lecturing her - surprisingly naive for their age - fellow CBWBs about birth control. It's whiny, condescending, and the whole thing is inexplicably dubbed like a Kung Fu movie. I think it's safe to say if your moving mouth doesn't match the words coming out of it, birth control should be the least of your worries.

I'd be hard-pressed to think of a prescription ad that I enjoyed, but this thing makes me embarrassed to be female. Although, I must say their interactive website - you can direct CB to her doctor's office, a cafe, or her apartment and then explore each room for tips - is, uh, something to behold.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

American Apparel


When I first learned about American Apparel I was delighted. Bright colors, soft cotton, no labels, made for skinnies; it all exuded such sophisticated simplicity. And of course there was that socially responsible/no sweatshops/made in the USA thing.

I'd step in that store and cash would just fly out of my pockets. I couldn't get enough of the soft scoopnecks that fit my scrawny pipes or the skirts that invented a bum where none existed. After awhile, though, it simply lost its novelty.

If I want a plain t-shirt, why shouldn't I just hit Target and drop 10 bucks vs. 36? And I don't really need a moderately-priced, ill-fitting turtleneck in my closet. I'd rather spend a little more at Banana and have it look right. It's not cheap enough to buy in bulk nor quality enough to be expensive. And the holes and stretched-out necks might be hipster-approved, but I'm working towards becoming a professional woman, people. Maybe Kathie Lee was onto something?

What was once appealing about their sizing has become ludicrous; the undergarments, especially, are made for girls with no hips and their "one size fits all" selections are a joke. And, finally. The soft porn in the dressing rooms made me giggle my first time around, but now I just find it distracting. I have to avert my eyes to focus on my own booty shake and not Kiki's.

I still get sucked in when I want a bright colored item with a clean line, but they need to step up their game (show some love for curves, improve quality, find a more sensible price point, tone down the scandalous shots of strangers - are you listening AA?) if they want to win back my heart.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Couch Potato

Our couch is no good. It looks fine - creamy oatmeal, clean lines - but it's stiff, the cushions always move out from under me, and it doesn't fit the two of us unless one is lying down with one's (his) feet on the other (me). I also think it'd be nice to have a pullout, so when my East Coast peeps come out I don't have to throw them on the floor. They're usually so ugly, though. (The pullouts, not my friends.)

I found this today. Don't think it answers the comfy/space problem when folded up, but it looks snappy and makes me want to have a pajama party.

Now that's the way to watch Lost.