Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The FAIL-tastic Krispy Kreme

Saturday, Commenter Justin and I road-tripped to Alexandria for cevapcici and donuts.

The Bosnian portion of the evening went remarkably smoothly. The Krispy Kreme segment, however, was like one of those fourth-grade Farmer Brown word problem tests. I always fell apart as soon as Farmer Brown had more than five melons to sell, or had irrigated more than two acres of wheat. Let’s see if I’ve gotten any smarter in the last 24 years.

Question One:
You are in line at the donut shop. The couple in front of you are dressed in RenFest gear and keep ignoring the employee who is asking them for their order. However, once the employee gives up and takes your order instead, the Renfairians become snarky and bitter. Estimate their cumulative IQ (don’t forget to show your work!):

a. 12 (the equivalent of two parakeets)
b. 306 (they’re so smart, they’re stupid!)
c. 200 (average, and average people are dumb)

Question Two:
You and Justin are making a purchase which, between the two of you, includes: a bag of ground coffee, a small cup of coffee to drink inside the donut establishment, and one original glazed donut. How many total items are you purchasing?

a. One
b. Two
c. Three
d. Wait, I’m a gully dwarf, I use my thumbs to count and can’t go higher than two!

Question Three:
You have reached the cash register. Does this establishment accept credit cards?

a. 63!
b. Yes
c. No
d. If the cashier stares at me blankly for long enough, the cash for my purchases will magically drop from the sky. Or Justin will give me money. Or I will get a colossal migraine and begin to cry.

Question Four:
You are attempting to make your purchases. You would like to buy a cup of coffee to drink, and a bag of coffee to take home. Your friend is buying one original glazed donut. Who is spending more money?

a. Me, as I am purchasing the two more expensive items.
b. Justin, because he’s a guy and I earn 77 cents to his dollar, anyhow.
d. Justin, because the cashier is randomly combining and separating purchases until he is the proud owner of 100 acres of Florida swampland.

Question Five:
You have made your purchases, in which somehow Justin has purchased your bag of coffee, you are the legal owner of his donut, and a wormhole has sucked you into Bizarro Land. Nearly thirty minutes have elapsed since your arrival.

What do you do, punk? What do you do?
a. Laugh
b. Cry
c. Laugh, then cry
d. Cry, then laugh

I don't know what happened on Saturday. Normally, that means I woke up in a gutter (again). This time, I was addled by complex sugars and intractable stupidity. All I know is that I wound up with half a donut, some coffee, and a colossal headache. And I paid about $2.79 for it. I think. Maybe. Huh.
PS - Credit to Justin for the post title.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Animal Behavior and the Infallibility of Fathers

I spent a few hours tottering around the zoo on Saturday. I was tottering because my next-next-next to last clean outfit only looks right with heels. (Laundry-Free September continues!)

One of my favorite zoo activities, aside from chucking small children into the gibbon enclosure, is to follow families around and eavesdrop. Because I’m creepy that way. And because I'm looking to snatch a few babies to add to my collection.

Actually, I eavesdrop because the most fascinating animal behavior happens on our side of the cage. Any visit to a zoo, museum, or cultural event is an excuse for children to ask their parents EVERY SINGLE QUESTION ANYONE HAS EVER THOUGHT OF…and a few new ones. The questions are usually pretty tame, such as, “What do pandas eat?”

Mothers will readily admit defeat. “I don't know, now eat your vegetables or your face will freeze that way.”

Fathers, however, are a whole different story. The average father cannot bear being called out as ignorant, and, moreover, has no compunction whatsoever about lying to his progeny. I think it’s the same grandiosity gene that makes dads believe they can fully assemble a bicycle in fewer than ten minutes on Christmas morning.

And if the bike isn’t ready, it’s because Santa screwed up. Not Dad. Never Dad. Fathers are by biological imperative completely omniscient, omnipotent, and wise. This is what makes them so endearing.

Anyhoo, what do pandas eat?

Mom: I don’t know. Now stop trying to shove your sister into her diaper bag.
Dad: Naughty children.
Correct answer: Bamboo. And people who don't leave comments.

In the comments, tell me the most outrageous lie your daddy ever told you. If it's good, I won't feed you to the pandas.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday's Story: I Bet Ginsberg Totally Had This in Mind

Yesterday’s post reminded me of a story. It’s the tale of my worst hangover ever, on November 1, 1994.

Why, yes, I do recall the date.

I was a freshman in college, a few days shy of my 18th birthday. I had been extraordinarily well-behaved in high school, for a combination of reasons. Strict parents, my own desire to not do anything that would jeopardize my escape from Woodbridge, and, mostly, the fact that I was a nerd and never got invited to deal drugs or kidnap babies with the bad kids.

I made up for it in college. My first night in Chapel Hill, I got bombed on Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill. A bicycle cop approached, I laughed in his face (I’d never seen a bike cop before and thought it was some sort of prank), realized he really was a cop, threw the bottle of Boone’s onto the ground…and then had to slurrily sweet-talk my way out of a littering citation.

By Halloween, I had the party girl routine down to a science. A friend and I dressed as Beatnik poets, complete with berets, turtlenecks, bongos, and coffee mugs full of vodka. We spent our evening roaming Franklin Street, entertaining the masses with extemporaneous poetry. I seem to recall having a very good time.

The next day was hell. I had only one class, at 2:00, and I almost didn’t make it. I eventually got up, showered, and chose a shirt and jeans at random. (The shirt was actually a pajama top.) I made it across campus to my Anthropology course, and proceeded to slump into my seat as if I’d left my skeleton at home. I may have drooled. But just a little.

The T.A. arrived, and several classmates begin lobbying to hold class outside. It was the sort of bright, sunny North Carolina day that makes your heart sing. Unless you’d been chugging vodka out of a coffee mug, in which case it’s the sort of bright, sunny day that makes you want to climb into the nearest dumpster and go back to sleep.

Despite my feeble protests, we moved to a group of benches near a small parking lot. At this point, I’d given up any pretense of paying attention. I slammed my sunglasses into place and laid down for a nap. Just as I got comfortable, a dump truck began to back up in the parking lot behind me.


That was it. I left class with the T.A. in midsentence, crawled back into bed, and stayed there until Sunday.

In the comments, tell me if you’ve ever laughed in a cop’s face. Or just make me feel better for having been a dork in high school.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Truest Love Affair is With My Own Stupidity

If it’s a bad idea, I want in. Ridiculous? Impulsive? Immature? Dumb? Just plain odd? Tell me the time and place, and I am so there.

But I think I hit full moron velocity yesterday. It all started when I rubbed my eyes after eating a giant bag of Salt n’ Vinegar chips. Then I dealt with a case of menu brain freeze by closing my itchy eyes and selecting sushi at random. I crashed on my sofa, in full makeup with my shoes on, even though the bed is just five feet away.

I went to Russia House on a school night.

I will say that the last time I slammed Baltikas on a weeknight, I wound up engaged to a near-stranger and headed for a new life in South America. So I've really gotten a lot wiser in the last five years. Or, at least, I never pull the same dumb stunt twice.

I am spending the rest of the day encasing myself in bubble wrap, shotgunning Gatorade, and hoping no one notices that I have not spoken a word or gotten up from my chair in more than an hour. I want a hug, a double cheeseburger, and maybe a time machine.

Talk amongst yourselves. Or tell me your favorite hangover remedy. Or, better yet, go away and let me sleep. Mmmm, sleep.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bill and Ted's Excellent Air Guitar Adventure

Saturday, my friend and I watched the Tar Heels shoot themselves in the collective foot, repeatedly, with a sawed-off shotgun made of toothpicks and SuperGlue, while guzzling bleach and sticking its pastel-swathed head in an oven.* In between catastrophic absurdities, we took careful and wary note of one of our neighbors.

He was dressed in head-to-toe Carolina, but was doing some sort of weird shadow puppet swan routine while making rooster noises. He claimed to be doing a Virginia Tech cheer. My friend and I turned to each other, and said, “Now I’ve seen everything! We can totally die now!”

I was wrong. Boy howdy. Because now, just a few days later, I’ve seen everything.

Last night, I went to the All City Air Guitar Championship at Wonderland Ballroom. This truly exists, and it is truly awesome. There were judges and scoring and prizes. There was a room full of enthusiastic fans. It was great. You should totally go.

I saw a guy attempt a scissor kick and bust ass right in front of the judges. I saw a man in an orange jumpsuit and plumber’s crack rock out. I saw a rather drunk young man strip down and boogie. I saw another man pull a beer bottle out of his pants.

I saw my date perform “Breakin’ the Law” in his undershirt with a tie around his head. Cold sober.

I’ve seen everything. I can die now.

Wait, is that a parade of giant fluorescent talking mice outside my window?
*With apologies to Sylvia Plath, because if you're gonna make a suicide joke, may as well go for broke.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Self-Indulgent Long-Ass Travelogue: College Edition

Riding a unicorn pony on a chocolate rainbow? Nope, not better than drunken jackassery in your college town. - The Foggy Dew

I spent my weekend in North Carolina, attempting to drive, embracing my collegiate guyness and engaging in bad ideas and drunken jackassery with this guy, who was kind enough to invite me to stay with him.

In case any of you were wondering, this is what it’s like to have me around for forty-two straight hours:


Hey, where do you live? Really? I had an internship there, I totally know where that is. Whee, it’s fun to drive! Vroom! Beep beep! And I’m playing the awesome road game, “How Big Is Your Penis,” where I’m estimating size in reverse proportion to the macho idiocy I’m seeing all over the road. That guy puttering along in the Chevette? His little buddy's so big it's riding shotgun.

On second thought, where do you live?

How about if I just call you when I get to Durham, put you on speakerphone, and you can be like my Ghetto GPS? What if I figure it out on my own, get to your apartment, and call you asking why you haven’t answered the door?

What if it’s because you’re across town and had no idea I was there yet? But your door is unlocked? Really? We totally wouldn’t do that back in DC. Somebody would steal my crack pipe.

Of course I have a crack pipe.

Dinner? Mexican food? We need our Third Amigo for this one. Margarita, on the rocks, salt. Rinse. Repeat. Then beer. And Wii bowling. And drunken Spongebob Squarepants Operation. Wow, the beer isn’t doing much for my motor skills.
I’m losing, badly. Why yes, I do have an appendectomy scar. (Please God nobody ask in the comments why that statement is relevant.)

What a lovely day! Well, except for the pounding hangover. Sure, let’s go visit our friend Heath at work. He manages a pizza restaurant? I like pizza!

You know what else I like? Rum! I’m so glad you brought a flask to the game. Yay, football! OK, so, if I know we’re playing badly, then it must be really bad. Man, that Virginia Tech guy is annoying. Can I beat him with my crack pipe?

At the bar, should I be a cougar and troll for college boys, or get in barfights instead?
Sure, let’s go to Ham’s and have beer for dinner! We really ought to take a cab home instead of driving. That way, we can both have beer!

Aw, you bought me a blue cup at He’s Not Here! Best present ever. Thanks! You rock.

You want food food, not beer as food? OK, Peppers Pizza it is! Hooray! Pizza two meals in a row. Huh. Maybe we really ought to be hailing that cab.


It’s 3:00 am. We’re on the sofa and the only things left on TV are infomercials and Skinimax.

Could you please tell me why you passed out on me? As in, ON ME? I’m squished and immobilized. Dude. What do you weigh? You weigh more than you look like you weigh. You sleep like a rock and weigh the same as a boulder.

Seven hours later…

Good morning! No, I don’t remember if we paid the tab at Ham’s. Call Cridge, tell him we’re drunken jackasses. He says I paid the tab? Go, me! I’m a feminist with finely honed math skills.

Do I even want to know what the tab was?

Of course we paid the tab at He’s Not. Right? You paid cash.

We paid cash at Pepper’s.

I’ll give you a ride back to your car. Can we stop at Waffle House first? What if I don’t want to turn left? I’m sick of turning left! Why can’t I go right?

What if I yell, “RAMMING SPEED!” every time I accelerate? Hey, what would happen if I hit the brakes and the accelerator really hard at the same time? Think I could take that white Subaru in a fight? How about that minivan?

Here’s your car! Bye!

OK, the open road, just me and my rental car. Man, I hate this car.

I totally forgot the Mexican leftovers! I could have had a chicken burrito for company. And I bet the burrito has better pickup and handling than a Chevy Cobalt.

The penis game has gotten dull. Let’s figure out which idiots could impregnate me with their stupid macho driving. Oh, this guy who cut me off in the Canyonero totally just knocked me up with triplets. Sure, it’ll be rough, raising three babies on my own in a studio apartment on a secretary's wages, but I can totally do it.

What I can’t do? Figure out where the rental car drop-off is in National Airport. I swear I’ve done two laps, cut off four hotel vans, and used up the whole tank of gas.

OK, I’m home. Here’s the Home Arrival Verification Text! Have fun in Dublin, and I am going to sleep for the next fourteen hours and hate anyone who ever suggested I should go to Chapel Hill for a low-key relaxing visit.

Friday, September 19, 2008

So Long, Suckers!

Many years ago, I had a job I didn't much care for. The company made up for the long hours and high-stress environment with a fabulously tiny paycheck. All I ever did was work, and when I wasn't working, I was talking about working. I was well on my way to becoming a Washington Tool.

In fact, I became so insufferable that my sister loaned me money so I could get the hell out. So I did. I prepared two resignation letters. The first letter was the standard, "It's not you, it's me, I need room to grow and boy howdy have I learned a lot!"

The second was written in crayon and said, "So long, suckers!"

I submitted the first. To this day, I wish I'd had the nerve to submit the second. It is the sole regret of my life.

With that, I'm outta here. And, in honor of that long-ago day when I learned that, sometimes, quitting is the better part of valor:


Oh, this isn't my last post or anything. Don't cry! I'm just leaving town and on blog-cation for a few days. I'm headed to Chapel Thrill, North Cackalackee for football, beer, and possibly some more beer. I'll be back soon enough.
PS - In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day:
What's a pirate's favorite candy?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Might Be Wearing a Barrel Right Now

I have no clothes.

And I don’t mean in that vain, ridiculous, staring at a full closet and yelling, “I have nothing to wear!” sense. I mean, I have no clothes. I am down to my last dress. And I own virtually every dress that has ever been made.

There’s an explanation. I live on the fifth floor. The laundry room is in the basement. My building’s elevators have been out of order for the last few weeks. And I’m weak and lazy and don’t want to carry a heavy basket of laundry up and down six flights. I might as well take my clothes down to the river and beat them with rocks.

The last time I washed clothes, FreckledK was a blonde, AIG was a solid and respectable company, and Bangkok Dangerous improbably ruled the box office.

Things are getting desperate. I may have to retrieve my wedding gown from its Shelf of Shame and wear it to work tomorrow. I may have to buy underwear on my way home tonight. I may have to recycle my grocery bags into a trendy plastic outfit. I may have to pack nothing but pajamas for my trip this weekend. I may have to suck it up and carry my laundry up and down six flights of stairs.

Heaven help me.

In the comments, tell me the longest you’ve ever gone without doing laundry, and why.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Face Jam, Not Facebook!

Yesterday, I alluded to a troubling cultural shift: the ascendancy of social networking over Internet porn.

First off, what is wrong with you people? It’s porn, and it’s free! It’s free porn. How can Facebook even begin to compete with that? Sure, it’s fun to convert nouns into verbs (“to friend someone,” “to author a book” and so on). And it’s great to find out that the kid who pulled your pigtails collects Dungeons & Dragons figurines and is still living with his parents. But, people: PORN.

Second, I’m worried about how this is going to affect our society as a whole. Recent trends have taken us toward social isolationism. Examples include the ascendancy of longer workweeks, the breakdown of the nuclear family, and increased mobility.

Porn reinforced the lone wolf in all of us. With the popularity of social networking, people are beginning to interact again. No longer is it every man for himself, facing a landscape of implants, acrobatics and improbable social situations. Only in the world of porn is “You're not the usual cabana boy,” an effective pickup. (I know, I tried.) Instead, people are interacting. Messaging. Announcing their status. And connecting…with no nudity whatsoever.

This is deeply, deeply troubling. I hate people, and I do not want them to band together and conspire against me. So I say we start a movement: No More Scorn for Porn (NMSFP, which really rolls off the tongue). Together, we’ll go and download and much porn as we can possibly find. Who's in?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be Googling "Grosse Point Spank."

PS – Disclaimer for Dad: I’m not really a porn freak. And I never knew about your Playboy stash. Also, that time in high school you busted me for sneaking out? I was totally taking candy and schoolbooks to disadvantaged syphilitic legless orphans. I was NOT making out with a 19-year-old in a vintage Mustang. Really.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Outrageous Fortune

It’s a topsy-turvy, mad, mad, confusing, and ever-changing world. Internet porn is no longer king. And we now have flying cars, moving sidewalks, and personal jet-packs.

We don’t? Really? Why not?

One thing I can always count on is the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet near my office. This legendary experience is eight bucks, which includes a soda, tasty heat-lamp cuisine (the buffet table operates as an enormous Easy-Bake Oven), soup and fruit.

Yesterday, LivitLuvit and I decided to meet up for lunch and buffet conquest. All was well (and delicious!) until the fortune cookies arrived.

Liv’s fortune had been personally written for her by Barack Obama, “We must become the change that we want to see.” Inspiration, and a tasty snack!

What sort of fortune would be in store for me? Fame? Wealth? Love? Unicorns and ponies? I got excited. I tore open my cookie. However, instead of Barack Obama, my fortune was written by dyslexic monkeys. Dyslexic monkeys on crack.

“Today’s profits are yesterday’s good well-ripened.”

Now, it could just be that I’m a stickler for grammar. Or, more likely, it’s that D-minus I got in Economics 10. But I have no clue what that even means. If I’m good today, I’ll have money tomorrow? Old people are well-ripened and profitable?
I should cook and sell old people?

Then I remembered, these things are a crock. Now, Tarot, that's the real deal. So I did what anyone would do in that situation:
I stole Liv’s fortune. Sucker!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Multiple-Choice Path to Everlasting Love

Dating sites such as OKCupid! and EHarmony (motto: "We Hate the Gays") ask their patrons to fill out a numbing series of questions. These moral conundrums march before users like a Rockettes line of lame, such as, "Do you believe in preemptive war, and, moreover, if you found a $20 bill in the street, would you keep it? Or would you give it to the legless mute homeless guy? You'd keep it? Wow!"

Then the program matches you up with prospective suitors. My last OKCupid! match batch included two of my friends, plus a man interested in building a polyamorous love-nest in Waldorf. So, clearly, scientific matching works! Except when it doesn't. Which is most of the time.

Over the weekend, I noticed that OKCupid! also allows users to submit their own questions. In the interest of finding my perfectly perfect soulmate, I tried to write a few myself:

1. Do you like stuff?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Maybe
d. Whuh?

2. Do you take responsibility for your actions?
a. Yes
b. No
c. The bitch set me up!
d. I know what “the bitch set me up” is about, and yes, the bitch did in fact set me up

3. Have you ever done a line of cocaine off a prostitute’s thigh?
a. Yes
b. No
c. A DEAD prostitute’s thigh, no less. Sucka!
d. The hell?

4. You have a baby in front of you. How would you go about decorating it?
a. Star stickers
b. Glitter
c. House paint
d. All of the above

5. Two trains leave a station somewhere. One is traveling 75 miles per hour, the other is traveling at 64 miles per hour. Stuff happens. What sort of stuff?
a. The trains collide outside of Minneapolis at 3:53 pm in the afternoon
b. The trains pull into Chicago at the exact same time
c. “3:53 PM in the afternoon?” Redundancy much? Weren’t you a journalism major?

As of yet, none of my questions have made it into general circulation. But if I meet a man who answers them all correctly, I will have to marry him that instant, have a dozen of his babies, and name all of the babies, "Awesome Radical."

Hrm. And my mother wonders why I'm single.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who Knew Meatheads Could Be Such Poets?

Commenter Justin mentioned being unable to get through the entirety of Wednesday’s wacko-rant. Apparently, that sort of bile needs to be broken down into chewable, digestible chunks.

Even better, let’s tart up the Firehose of Meathead’s missive into poetry! Many of his insults practically arranged themselves into pentametric couplets (though not all iambic, so, overgrown English majors: most lines won’t scan, get over it). I threw in tetrameter at the end. Or possibly not. I haven't taken a poetry class in more than a decade, so I'm rusty on meter.

Without further ado (or maybe just a little more ado...), I offer my first poem in the nearly six years of this site. You're witnessing history, y'all. Weep before its beauty, and recognize yourselves as mere pebbles on the Beach of the Universe.

From the Meathead, With Love
And you are Suzy homemaker who makes
Useless fats, cheese fondue, Old Glory cakes.
My killer abs don’t come from drinking beer,
My old slobby self is my greatest fear.
Endurance training may be cynical,
I do seven miles of elliptical.
And I can pair that with a two-mile run,
So at forty-six I’m still having fun.
Vain? Me? Vain, oh baby, you’ve got that right,
Today I’m just itching for a fight.
My body and cocky-ass attitude,
A conceeded, ripped, chiseled, dago dude.
I can go for hours in the sack,
Provided there’s a mirror on your back.

I love all those useless hours in the gym, but you,
Have your American flag cake and eat it too.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Importance of Frivolity

I debated whether to post at all today. September 11 doesn’t feel like the right sort of time for goofiness, relentlessly mocking my own flaws, or micro-analyzing the world around me. It feels as if I should have something bigger and more important to say.

But I believe frivolity is of enormous importance. We need all of the little details that make up our days. I believe in the lame jokes, the small kindnesses, and a spirit of resilient levity in an imperfect and often evil world.

On September 11, 2001, I hunkered down in my sister’s apartment with a small group of hometown friends. We foraged for pizza, we watched the news, we waited to hear if our friend’s dad had made it safely out of the Pentagon. When he knew his dad was safe, my friend poured himself a big glass of wine, grinned, and said, “I have a few brain cells marked for deletion.” That small bit of humor pulled the day into focus. That was when I knew that everything would be OK.

So thank you to everyone who has posted something beautiful and profound about today. But also, thank you to everyone who posted something ordinary, frivolous, nitpicky or ridiculous. We need you, too. We have to mix the sublime with the absurd. It lets us know that a broken heart can keep beating. In your honor, I offer a link to a hilarious and odd video:

Rick Astley, Beaker-Style

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Special Guest Post, by a Very Special Internet Wacko

This comment was left for me elsewhere on the Internet, and it was just so amazingly awesome I had to share it with all of you. You're welcome.

I'm putting it up without any backstory or explanation. I believe this paragraph of solidified vinegar can stand on its own, like a Jell-O mold of indiscriminate rage:

And you are Suzy homemaker who makes cakes, cheese fondue, and eats useless fats, has what leg to stand on? But let me think about this...I will give up my 2 mile run in the morning, my 7 miles on the elliptical, plus an hour of endurance training to go back to that slob that I looked like 6 months ago. Vain...oh yeah baby, you got that's right. Take a look at my abs...not from
eating your american flag cake, or drinking beer on a Friday. Oh, forgot the most important thing...I am 46, and this body and cocky ass attitude still turns heads...maybe not yours...and I am so glad you are not interested in us cocky, conceeded, ripped, chiseled, full of piss and vinegar, dago boys, who can go for hours in the sack, from all the useless hours put in the gym. You win...You can have your flag cake and eat it too.

Thanks for joining us, folks. Today's post was brought to you by the letters C, R, A, Z, and Y!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Go Ahead and Hate Me, But...

I have many qualities that could be considered downright un-American. I mean, aside from only being half American and all. I don’t drive a big car. Big houses with big lawns strike me as a whole lot of pointless backbreaking work. I can’t remember the last time I watched a SuperBowl, ate apple pie or called my mom.

But the least American thing about me is this: I don’t care for dogs. I don’t get what’s so great about them. I hate itchy, hot fur, slobber, the clack-clack of paws on linoleum, and being jumped on. Barking is the most piercing sound known to man (except possibly the two neighbor kids who slurp and gasp their way through their boxes of milk every morning on the elevator with me).

I’m completely skeeved by the people who buy expensive toys, gourmet food, and outfits for their dogs. Doggy spas appall me. I wonder if these people might be better off just adopting a Romanian baby. And there is a special category of hell for those who convert their dogs to a vegetarian diet.

I suppose there are exceptions. Mellow dogs, I can handle. Well-disciplined dogs, great. Ones that don’t bark are even better. Stuffed ones are the best option of all. I guess it’s like kids: I like the kids I know, and am generally annoyed by the ones I don’t. So if I know you, I'm probably cool with your dog.
I just compared dogs to children, which is another peeve of mine: dogs aren't kids. No matter how much you love them, they're still pets. Last week, I overheard a pet owner say, "I should be able to bring my dog into a store, after all, people can bring their kids!" I wonder how big a trampoline their brain needed to make THAT leap of logic.

But it all comes back to one of my laws of life: If I had wanted to be jumped and slobbered on, I would have dated more in high school.

Wow, that felt really good. It was cleansing and lovely. Anyone else want to make a confession? In the comments, tell me something you can't stand that everyone around you seems to adore.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?

Saturday evening, I gathered some friends together to share a post-Hanna batch of bourbon slush. We drank, we ate, we sang karaoke, we passed another beer to the man holding a baby.

At one point in the evening, my friend Mike noticed that my computer was on, and that Facebook was up. So he did what any sane person would do: pulled up a chair and pretended to be me for a while. A series of IMs flew to his brother in Kentucky.

The next day, I was up at the crack of noon to read the transcript. Some stuff he got right: “You stupid whore” as a term of endearment, for instance. Some stuff was wrong: even at my most altered state, I use excellent grammar and punctuation. At any rate, Mike’s target fell for the charade and we all had a good laugh.

So I’ve been wondering how easy it would be to impersonate me. And for that, I need a volunteer. I need someone to write a post, as me, which I will put up sometime in the next few weeks. And then I want the rest of you to identify the fake Shannon. It’s an experiment, lazy blogging, and shameless self-indulgence, all at once!

Remember, it’s not plagiarism when it’s science.

PS: Here’s how to make Bourbon Slush. (Though I bumped the bourbon to 3 cups…for an extra cup of fun!)

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Other Half Lives with a Ham in a Holster

I am a woman of simple tastes. But one of my favorite hobbies is perusing the Dean & Deluca catalog, which is most assuredly not for simple tastes (or simple budgets). The one conclusion I can draw: the rich really are different. And most of those differences are due to their superior (and possibly somewhat bizarre) food intake.

I tailgate with hot dogs and beer. The Dean & Deluca squad would prefer I swap my pig lip surprise with relish for a foie gras burger.

In the "Pantry Staples" section, I am lacking a very basic item called the Texturas Spherification Minikit, for the miniature price of $200. This kit allows me to "transform [my] favorite flavors into spheres of different sizes." I cannot WAIT to serve spherical Goldfish crackers at my next party!

I'm also in need of another Very Important Item: A Healdsburg Decanter Dryer. From the sound of it, you would think it's a highly specialized device, when, in fact, it appears to be a $120 version of a paper towel rack. Also, I have no decanters to dry. I pour my wine straight out of the bottle. In fact, I often pour my wine straight out of the bottle and directly into my mouth.

My favorite find, however, is the Jamon Iberico de Bellota (translation: “Iberian Soap of the Ball”). If you’ve got twenty C-notes, you can buy an entire leg of ham. With a foot still attached. A leg of ham with a carving stand. A ham in a holster, if you will.

Really, all foods should come in holsters. Couldn’t you imagine your ground beef in a sling?

In the comments, tell me why a leg of ham could be worth $2,000. And, no, you cannot say, "A leg of ham would be worth $2,000 if it was wearing a diamond anklet."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Science of Being Shallow

Today, there was a bit of a kerfuffle over at DCBlogs. Not quite a brouhaha, but definitely more than a spat.

A contributing editor suggested that we bloggers make our posts more meaningful, and stop writing until we have something to say.

It was very difficult to not take that statement personally. We all know by now that I do not possess a window to the absolute. I'm not usually even in the same room as the window to the absolute. I write about falling down, newspaper theft, dating, my own stupidity, and other happy things. Then you lovely people make fun of me, and I lap up the attention like the cuddly indiscriminate narcissist I truly am. Instant validation!

But, thankfully, science has come to the rescue. My utter lack of depth, mindless chatter, and silly opinions are a weight-maintenance program! Thinking too hard fattens me up. Idiocy keeps me in my skinny jeans. My sluggish mind is cheaper than Jenny Craig, more efficient than jogging, and far more palatable than a package of rice cakes.

This is why I love science. Science has a convenient explanation for everything.

PS - I bet Luke Wilson never has to put on his fat pants! Plus, he's dreamy. Mmmm, Luke Wilson.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Just Say...Maybe?

One of my favorite hobbies is the arbitrary disqualification of my fellow man.

A date with the vegan teetotaler? Yeah, I can probably skip that one. What would we even talk about? How much fun he isn’t having in his life? How much I dig his hemp shoes, tofu pies and moral superiority?

Or, speaking of superiority, I think I can skip the guy whose online profile specifies, “Absolutely NOBODY - overweight, has kids, divorced/separated. “ Well, clearly, buddy, you’re looking for the cutest little tabula rasa in Washington.
Meet at Starbucks? Sure...I take my coffee with cream, sugar, and a little less of your sanctimony.

Then there’s all the people who specify, “Absolutely no drama." Because life totally works like that. If you can’t deal with relationship problems, don’t be in a relationship. Get a dog or a new grill or something.

The point, and there is one: why do so many people focus so hard on what they don’t want, what they don't like, and what they simply can't approve of? I get sick from both aspartame and mushrooms. But when picking a restaurant, I don’t keep a list of places that ban Sweet n’ Low and Portobello. I go where I want and make do with what’s offered.

It’s not just dating. There’s a whole life out there that so many people haven’t bothered to experience.

And I'm the worst of all: I never go to Virginia. I figure I grew up in Virginia, and that's plenty for one lifetime. I don't fly, because crowds freak me out. I don't camp, because I like to sleep in my own bed. Even when one of my friends busts the slats and I spend the next week sleeping at a forty-five degree angle. It's my bed, and I like it. I don't take the bus, instead, I walk miles out of my way. I live too much in my comfort zone.

So, I'm taking suggestions. What should I try out, start saying "yes" to, and open myself up for? I'm game for anything...except that date with a vegan teetotaler.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Your Wallet Or Your Ass?

Gentrification is the magic pixie dust of Washington. A few sprinkles, and a Starbucks springs to life. A good shake or two, and you wind up with a trendy gastropub, a wine bar, or an upscale pizza joint.

Progress has even been working its way to my little corner of the colony. Our ice cream truck has been upgraded. It used to make a whooping sound, have bars on the windows, and never come to a complete stop. Instead, the kids would trot alongside it to buy their Rocket Pops. But now, it plays actual tinkly music and stops right at the corner.

All this change has me worried. I enjoy skanky, trashy, dirty Washington.

Saturday night, I decided to console myself with a few beers at the Red Derby. My friend Sean and I walked up 14th Street together, and we came face to face with the Washington we remembered. Sure, there were the people smoking pot right there on the sidewalk, groups of bored teenagers, and loads of fast food joints. But, the best moment of all was when a drunk homeless dude lurched in my direction.

I sidestepped him deftly, no harm was done, and we continued up the street. And then I asked the question:

Me: Hey, Sean, was that guy going for my wallet or my ass?

Sean: Your ass, I think.

Me: Good, I’d rather be violated than have to go get a new license from the DC DMV.

Somehow, I just don't think I'd ever adjust to a life in the suburbs.