Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yet Another Experiment in Pointless Self-Denying Self-Improvement

As we all know, I love random self-improvement projects. Man-Free 'til May gave me all that self-esteem and decision-making ability I'd been missing out on. Plus, my perfect prince dropped out of the sky on May 2nd. We got married in a cliffside ceremony last week, both of us riding our purple unicorns down the aisle, we're expecting twins, and we spend our nights making blanket forts and eating perfectly balanced gourmet vegan dinners.

It's all true! Well, except for the parts that didn't happen. Which is pretty much all of it.

We all know that life happens in fits and starts, and my last project did little more than give me room to breathe. I needed the break, I needed the space, I needed the extra time nestled up to my lovely girlfriends. But I'm questing for a new exercise in self-denial and clever wordplay. And now we've got it:

No-Buy July

If I don't own it by now, I won't own it until August. I am not going shopping in July...at all. As the pile of magazines on my coffee table can attest, I'm a bit of a fashion freak and shopaholic. This will remove many items from my monthly budget:

Playstation games
Kitchen implements

Dresses will totally be the hard part. I purchase, on average, a dress a week. (Sure, they're the cheapies from Forever 21, but it adds up after a while.) I guess I'll go all recessionista, and 'shop my closet' for the latest looks. That, or I'll go depressionista and make myself a frock out of my shower curtain.

So stay tuned as I torture myself doing something that doesn't matter, for reasons that are obscure even to myself. Should be awesome.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

When You Bet Your Bra Size, Everyone Loses

A few weeks back, I was holding up barstools with my friend Thunderbird. Because we're classy, we started talking about boobs. Because I'm classy, I mentioned that my size is 34A. Because he's even classier, he pointed out that most women wear too-large bands and too-small cups, and that there was no way that 34A could be my size. (I swear I saw him dig out a measuring tape and a jewelry loupe, but that could have been my beer-soaked imagination.)

Well, I can never resist a challenge (unless it involves oars, enclosed spaces, or reality television). So we bet dinner and drinks over whether I wear the correct size. Because, among friends, nothing is more important than brassieres. (Well, among my friends, anyway...is this why I don't have a lot of friends?)

Tuesday was my Measure of a Woman Day, and I pottered over to the local Vicky's Secret. I located a salesclerk, and requested that my measurements be taken.

Me: I think my bra size has changed. Would you take my measurements?

Clerk: Why would it have changed?

Me: I graduated high school. And filled out. Uh, about fifteen years ago.

Clerk: OK, set your bag down and stand over here please.

I realize, in horror and amazement, that this woman plans on strapping a measuring tape athwart my chest in the middle of a crowded store, downtown, during a sale...

Me: Uh, can we do this in a fitting room?

Her: It's over your clothes.

Me: Humor me.

Moments later, she whips out the (pink!) measuring tape, and she proceeds to measure me.

Her: You're a 33 band size. (more fiddling) And you're halfway between an A and B.

Me: So, my bra size is 33 A/B? That doesn't even exist. Hey, does that mean my bra opens the portal to John Malkovich's brain?

Her: Er, no. What that means is that you can wear a 34A or a 32B. (Note: Those are actually identical...I've been wearing either size for years)

Me: So, I'm wearing the correct size!

Her: Yes.

Me: I WIN!!! I just won a bet.

Her: Congratulations! (seeing me open my phone) Are you texting someone to tell them your bra size?

Me: Um, yeah. (pause) That cool?

Upon further reflection, however, I may not have won. And that's where I need your help. I need you to weigh in on whether I won the Great Bra Size Bet of '09. Factors to consider:

1. This is not the cheapest of bets. Thunderbird and I both drink like a fish fell in love with an Irish dockworker, had two half-fish/half-dockworker babies, and those babies grew up to be us. The bar tab shall be mighty.

2. Technically speaking, my bra size is 33 A/B. Wearing a 34A is a workaround...so, does that mean my size really is 34A? What is the nature of reality?

3. Victoria's Secret isn't the most scientific way to git 'er done. Should Thunderbird demand a, um, recount?

4. Why on Earth would anyone bet their bra size?

So, folks, dinner, drinks, and the final shards of my dignity weigh in the balance. Consider wisely.
Who won the bet, me or Thunderbird?

Friday, June 19, 2009

There's a Reason My Doctor Only Does this Once a Year

I just went in for my annual physical. In my twisted little brain-sized universe, this is about the most fun thing ever. The reason? Doctor-patient confidentiality. No matter how poorly I behave, my doc can't rat me out.

My doctor, who I have dubbed Dr. Methuselah, is somewhere north of a hundred years old. He probably made house calls with a horse and buggy, he does consultations in a leather-chair swank sort of office, and he's adorable. It's worth it for the exam alone, as I don't think I'd ever before gotten felt up by Yoda.

Dr. Methuselah is calm in the face of my dizziness. As most of you know, a stretch of alone time with me requires heavy sedation and the patience of a saint. Today, as I disrobed, I realized I was wearing red panties and stripper heels...and not once did he think I was coming on to him! I mean, it's better than the time a doctor asked if I was sexually active, but not by much. What a classy guy.

He's also direct and deflects my insanity in a way that I really and truly need.

A few gems:

During the consultation:
"I have trouble seeing Metro signs."
Diagnosis: "You need glasses."

During the exam:
"I have a funky red mark I've been referring to as my 'Check Engine' light."
Diagnosis: "It's a new mole. It'll turn black in no time." (Sexy!)

During the blood oath portion of the exam:
"I don't have any veins. I think my blood is transported by a system of levers and pulleys."
Diagnosis: "There's one vein on your left arm. Make a fist. A real fist. Thank you."

"I think I might be a pterodactyl."
Diagnosis: "Now you're just being silly."

OK, the last one might be a joke. But, really, if I could someday meet a man that patient, I'd marry him and only impersonate a pterodactyl once every 25-30 days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When Life Hands You Turkeys...

...toss 'em in a sarcasm fryer and laugh your ass off. Yesterday in my (mostly neglected) OKCupid! account, I found a charmingly ungrammatical, incomprehensible piece of short-form literary goo, in the form of a private message indicating a desire to visit Washington (and subsequently rock. My. World). Because I can never resist a good freakshow, and because my Internet suitors are nothing if not blogworthy, I decided to check this guy out. You're welcome.

The accompanying profile included a reassuring burst of randomly capitalized enthusiasm.

all Emails will be answered!!!!

Operators are standing by! And a stunningly ambitious life goal...

Trying to get a Job.

A job or a Job? Biblical archetypal victims aside...we have a small issue of bean-counting, when the beans are the six things you can't live without:

Family,Friends,Music and Movies, Beer, Cigars and Women!

He spends his time thinking in near-haikus about:

The future and Money.
Places that I would love to see.
how to get more money.

I should message him if I...

Like my look.
Are not overweight.

And a final caveat:

I have no respect for women that do not even send a reply to an email

Sir, my truest love, as a woman who simply will not reply to that which stretches her tiny, non-overweight brain beyond its natural capacity, I apologize for preemptively losing your respect. Also, if your beer belly is swelling to flopover proportions, yet, you demand a funzies-partner who is not overweight, I'm gonna guess your respect for women in general runs somewhere between negative and nil. Never hold others to a standard that you yourself cannot meet.

Welcome to the delete pile! You'll make lots of friends there.

In the comments, call me a nitpicky mean-spirited bitch, or remind me that proper spelling and punctuation have no place in Zee Rituals of Zee Lovin'. Or, set a standard for me that you can't meet. "Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound," for example.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Saying This As Your Friend...

My friends tend to say the same stuff to me, over and over again.

"Hey, that's my beer!"

"You know that's not strictly food, right?"

"Let me reach that down for you."

"You are too much!" (Really? I tend to think that I'm just enough.)

"You do realize you're a teeny little white girl from Woodbridge, right? And this can only end in a shanking?"

"Pants buddies for life!"

However, no sentence is more popular than, "I'm saying this as your friend." "I'm saying this as your friend," means, "Your motivations and behavior make no sense to me whatsoever, but, because I care, I am going to be honest with you about how ridiculous you're being."

Here are a few (paraphrased) versions I've heard in the last week:

"I'm saying this as your friend, you really need to let go of your weird loathing for canoes."

"I'm saying this as your friend, you spend a lot of time obsessing over the insignificant."

"I'm saying this as your friend, you really need to stop discussing things like fetish videos and skin cancer on the first date."

I can draw a few conclusions. The main one is that I require A LOT of adult supervision.

The next is that I have wonderfully honest friends who will confront me if I'm headed for trouble. (Even better, they'll support me even when they don't agree with me, which is the truest test of friendship.)

The final conclusion is the most vexing, because it's something I'll need to decide:

At what point does the sensible gathering of information and advice morph into the gutless crowdsourcing of your very existence?

I let my friends weigh in on everything from whether I should move (yes! but no! but yes!) to what color my hair should be (red! brunette! red! brunette!). Most of the time, I listen carefully, give a contemplative nod, then do whatever I'd made up my mind to do in the first place. More rarely, I take all of the advice to heart, sift through it for the wisest parts, and make an informed decision. Other times, my brain gets so filled with packing peanuts, rattling noises and static that I just wind up doing whatever the last person I spoke with told me to do.

I don't know when I wound up both stubborn and indecisive, but at least I'm self-aware enough to realize when I'm bullheadedly dithering for days at a stretch. The next step will be knowing when to listen to my inner drummer, and when to pummel him into submission and do whatever Foggy tells me to do.

In the comments, tell me something as my friend. Or, ask for everyone's advice on something absurdly insignificant that you've decided must be The Most Important Thing Ever.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Among the Many Things That Baffle Me

Someone, somewhere, who is somewhat smarter than me, once said that wisdom is the compensation for growing older. Unfortunately, as I'm a bit contrary, the older I get, the less I understand.

I don't get the purpose of the "campon" feature is on my work phone, except for perhaps to rhyme with "tampon." I don't get injustice, racism, leggings, decaf, or the weird rolling sound I hear from my upstairs neighbors.

But, with all the hullabaloo over David Carradine, I find myself even more confused than usual. Not that a celebrity died, because, really, they die just a little more than most of us (to the point I wonder if we'll ever run out).

No, I simply do not get auroerotic asphyxiation. Like, I could spend hours in an empty room with lots of rafters, with a noose and no pants, and it would just never occur to me.

I will admit to not being the most adventurous person ever. Last night was a rousing session of skimming vacuous fashion magazines (neon? really?) and scrubbing the bathroom. I live 25 miles from where I grew up. Lastly, my safety word is "ouch!" followed by, "...the hell?"

So, I'd never, in a million years, in that imaginary empty room with the many rafters, pantsless and bored, think any of this up.

In the comments, imagine you're in a room with a noose and no pants. Is this what you'd think up? If not...what WOULD you do?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Guest Post by My Cell Phone

I just got back from a few days in Atlanta, catching up with college buddy The Professor, consuming gallons of sweet tea and a bucket of beer. Hrm, possibly more than one bucket.

But I don't need to tell you about my weekend. That's because my phone has decided to do it for me:

Dear People Who Observe the Daily Freakshow That Is Shannon,

Hi, everyone! It's me, that frequent character here known as Shannon's Cellphone. I live a pretty rough life - she's forever jamming her thumbs into my tummy, dropping me off of barstools, and keeping me up til all hours. I've tried rebelling. I've shut down the mp3 player, turned off the cameraphone (because all she was using it for was photographing whatever haircolor monstrosity she was trying that week). And I've made sure the number 6 is a little wonky. Let's see how she does without the letters m, n, and o.

The next step is taking over her blog. Maybe, this way, I can humiliate her into submission. Here's a log of her classiest outbound text messages from her weekend in Atlanta. (Note: none of these have been edited in any way.)

Wednesday night:

Why do people at dca eat such gnarly smelling sandwiches?

Also, am being hit on bx persistent skeevy guy.

You may have to fake being my angry bf bubba.

Actually it was an old lady playing freecell on her laptop. Helped her find the mute button.


[Professor] has monogrammed towels. I find that sort of endearing.

at a baseball game. Is raining like the urine of the damned after a sixer of bud. but am having the most wonderful time!

Thanks. My hungover ass will check in once tomorrow. Then coke n whores.


I apparently befriended a woman w a head wound. Atlanta is awesome.

If i can remember. I'm just thrilled i have pants.

rikki tikki tavi is my homeboy [note: this went to Shannon's dad.]

It is entirely possible I partied with a mongoose.


Who invented autoerotic asphyxiation? Like, if I had a noose and no pants, i still wouldn't think that up.

well, i thought if i bought her a drink she'd get stitches

About to drink. More pearls of wisdom to follow.

Am at a pool party in atl. everyone is playing beer pong and has perfect hair. It's just like the real world house

I think the chick is a tranny stripper

just gave someone a ride on a handtruck. [Shannon's note: Really? I did? Awesome.]

And saw a girl on girl beatdown. Best weekend ever.

If I'm a jumbled pile of beer and jackassery, you'll know why.

What an amoeba weenie. Well, you'll always have me. Drunkass sweet sweet me.

Oh snookums. Watched a girl on girl beatdown. [Professor] says girl 2 had a brazilian.

And i still can't figure she was post op or a really good tucker. Either way? Tranny.


Through security in no time flat. Did see a woman almost put her baby in the xray.

If i lived here i'd be a total degenerate.

Flight delay. What, did delta catch my hangover?

Well, folks, there you have it. Shannon's an idiot, her friends are depraved, and Atlanta is just strange enough to turn her into a drooling degenerate within 72 hours.


Shannon's Phone, aka, Her Favorite Enabler

In the comments, just don't ask me if I've seen Texts from Last Night...isn't it enough that I lived Texts from Last Night?

Friday, June 05, 2009

My Apologies...

...if you were one of the (apparently multiple) people who received a text message from me last night which in any way made reference to:

1. Forklift boobs.
2. The weather conditions having any sort of relation to "The urine of the damned after a sixer of Bud."

On that (disturbing) note, I'm on vacation, and therefore not in my proper frame of mind...see y'all next week!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The One Trend I Never Tried

I was pretty trendy in my twenties. Platform shoes. Ecotourism. Sleek sushi restaurants. A quarterlife crisis, starter marriage, fancy beer and bootcut jeans.

Somehow, in all that inadvertent love of the Next Big Thing, I never got a tattoo. My shoulder is not adorned with the mystic Chinese symbol for strength (which is far more likely to be the mystic symbol for Egg Foo Young, lifted off a delivery menu). No roses march across my ankle, my lower back is sadly free of a sunshine or butterfly tramp stamp, and a jailhouse strip search won't reveal a fairy or daisy.

Mostly, I'm relieved. Now that mortality is a slightly more concrete concept, it is far too easy to picture myself as that saggy, tarty, inky old lady on the beach. Also, back when I was a member of the tattoo demographic, I thought red pleather pants were pretty rockin'. I had loud taste, by which I mean you could generally hear my outfit from across the room. So I'm sure I would have picked something tacky and horrid. A battleship on my breast, perhaps, which would drop anchor in a few years.

Sometimes, though, it makes me a little sad. See, I believe that one should not pick up the ink habit after age 30. It's undignified, like developing a sudden prurient interest in the Jonas Brothers or taking up binge drinking. Tattoos, jailbait and booze are all habits best carried over from our twenties, not undertaken as new journeys after blowing out those 30 candles.

So I've missed the tattoo train, and one more option in life has been taken off the table. Life sometimes feels like the constant narrowing of options. However, the saving grace of maturity is that we realize not everything is right for everyone, and that narrow worlds are fine if those are the proportions we've asked for. I don't really care what sort of body art other people have, and I'm sure most people have a very good reason for getting inked, but I'm grateful I have none of my own.

And, best of all, I've been spared the sight of my slowly reconfiguring* early-30s posterior, graced with the face of Ozzy Osbourne. So, all in all, I'll consider my inkless body a win.

In the comments, tell me about your ink. Especially if it's a good story. Or, be silly enough to take me seriously here, and call me a judgmental unfunny twit. Or, tell me why you don't have any, or...try to erase the mental image of my naked hindquarters adorned with the grimacing face of Ozzy Osbourne. Can't do it, can you?

*Yes, girls, after age thirty, stuff, uh, moves around. Not necessarily smaller, bigger, higher, or lower, just...reconfigured. Like your body has reformatted your fatty hard drives without your consent. So be ready to laugh, get over it, and go buy some new pants.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Robots and Naked Chicks

I am supremely nice, or, quite possibly, my life is empty and dull. Either way, I wound up going to Artomatic twice on Saturday to accommodate the schedules of my friends. No matter, though. After a cumulative seven hours of looking, I saw less than half of the works on display. So I'll be going a few more times.

Bearing in mind I know nothing about art, and even less about artists, here are a few impressions I had:

This year, people mostly painted naked chicks and robots. Last year, people mostly painted naked chicks and space aliens. I wonder when robots became cooler than aliens.

Speaking of naked chicks, it would be nice if more of these works had been done by people who knew, and perhaps even liked, women. I spent much of my evening contemplating walls and walls of uncomfortable, contorted, sad-looking naked chicks, nodding sagely, and saying, "So, tell me about your mother." The finest tableau was on the second floor, a believable scene of two bored-looking naked women hanging out by a gate. Really, that's totally what my girlfriends and I do when we hang out. We strip down and wait for the mail.

Incidentally, if you stand in front of a whole bunch of naked people paintings and laugh hysterically, people *will* stare at you. Best was when a bunch of backwards-capped frat boy types joined me, attempted to ogle the naked chicks, then, when I started heckling, joined in.

Mobiles are really, really cool...and, moreover, I made one in a free class on Saturday afternoon. It even matched my dress! I ran into the artist on my second visit, and he was really very nice -so go check out his forest of mobiles on the eighth floor.

Somehow, I've turned into the sort of person who hates dreams. Specifically, I hate the ridiculous things that privileged white people dream of. One photo exhibit included a 'life list' of each subject's top five wishes. The wish lists always included travelling somewhere outrageously expensive, becoming famous thanks to the efforts of others, opening a homeless shelter (or other noblesse oblige-y aim), or "becoming fluent in one of the languages I speak." What a tiresome group. I think if I saw them at a party, I'd run right back out the door.

I take that back...one guy's dream? "Meet Heather Locklear." I could totally party with that guy. I imagine we would sit in a corner and mock the aims of others.

In the comments, dream of something outrageously bourgeois.