Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hickory, Dickory, Crap.

I accidentally acquired a chinchilla about 5 years ago when a friend asked me to watch him while she was on vacation and then refused to take him back. He's a cute little guy and we have a symbiotic relationship that is based entirely on me giving him banana chips and craisins and him giving me big puppy eyes that send the message "more craisins please!". Chinchillas are generally pretty solitary dudes and so I thought Mr. Grumps preferred the bachelor life free of chinchilla ladies who, one assumes, will not shut up about how you never clean up your cage (human ladies have also been known to bitch about this). However, recent events seem to indicate that I have misjudged Grump-n-stuff, in his old age he seems to be inviting friends over to party down at his place.

The fact that my crib was a new trendy hang out first became evident a couple of weeks ago when I turned on the kitchen light and *thought* I saw a scurrying in the corner. I chose to deal with this potential situation in the same way I deal with the very slow drain in my bathroom and how bad my hair looks most mornings: ignore it in hopes that it'll go away. No such luck. On the 19th when G and I returned from our preChristmas Christmas celebration we were greeted by a special holiday gift from my apparently very appreciative house guest(s). Mouse turds. On my couch. Now I know that admitting this discovery likely means that none of my human friends will ever come over to my house again but honestly I'm not that troubled by the presence of a mouse (or, heaven forbid, mice) my general feeling is "hell, this beats bugs." Which isn't to say that I want them to feel welcome.

Soon after cleaning the poops off of my furniture G caught sight of the poop maker crawling swiftly up the side of the chinchilla cage. And what was the chinchilla doing while his abode was turned into a jungle gym? Chilling in the corner all nonchalant and "oh, hey little dude, how's it going?" Obviously I had to have a little chat with Grump-a-roonie. I let him hang at my place, rent free I might add, and he goes and invites over a bunch of other rodents to mooch off the free grub? Talk about not earning your banana chips. But once the lecture was over I had to stop stalling and actually confront the mouse situation. We moved the chinchilla cage away from the wall and discovered two things: 1. A huge gap between the floor and the base board known as The Transcontinental Mouse Highway and 2. The world's largest collection of mouse turdlettes. Again, I know everyone now thinks I live in squalor but remember this: I haven't seen a waterbug in over a year.

There was much talk of mousetraps but despite the stirring of mice it was mere nights before Christmas and I was on my way to California for 7 days the next morning. Ultimately I decided that I would rather come home to a mouse infested house then a dead and possibly rotting corpse. Instead we stuffed all of my excess brillo pads into the mouth of the mouse hole, pushed the cage back against the wall and went to brunch.

Special note to Amy: So now you know that I let you come over and feed Grumpzilla while a mouse scurried about. Sorry, I realize this is especially cruel given your painful history of mice infesting your room in college but I couldn't let Grumpers starve so I figured what you didn't know... and look, you lived through it! Don't you feel stronger?

It took less than 12 hours back in the NYC to discover that The Rodent Boom Boom Room was still in operation. As we sat lounging on the couch bemoaning the passing of days spent lounging on the couch the little mouse invader again scaled the chinchilla cage. This time we were on to the bugger. G saw him on top of the cage but did not spy him climbing down and with a cursory review of the covered box that I keep on top of the chinchilla cage (and full of chinchilla food) found a mouse sized hole gnawed into the back corner. Figuring the mouse was trapped I told G to flip the box over so the hole was on top and the mouse was (hopefully) trapped inside (you'll note that despite my lack of mouse shame I am still unwilling to touch the box that the mouse is inside of, this is how I retain my girl status). We stuck a book on top of the hole and I sent G to release his catch out into the cold outside far far away from my house. He had barely gotten down the stairs when I heard the screams.

Apparently up until that morning my boyfriend didn't know that mice could crawl up walls and his little heart (and lazy little feet) wanted to double check that the mouse was in the box before he ventured down the street. So he removed the book from the hole and his curiosity was rewarded with a face full of mouse. Were this a cartoon or a snippet or America's "Funniest" Home Videos here is where we'd cut to the "Mouse: 1 Humans: 0" scoreboard panel. If you, like me, are holding out hope that a mouse can't possibly be brazen or smart enough to climb back upstairs and return to the scene of his capture you would, sadly, be wrong.

So we resorted to traps. I went into the drugstore with the intention of buying some hippy-ass no kill traps but apparently much like organic food and shops selling hipster knick knacks Astoria isn't ready for letting their mice run free. So in an attempt to further alienate myself from everyone I know ("She has mice in her house and she kills them! dirty and evil! let's string 'er up!") I bought your standard "put cheese here and watch mice die a gruesome death" traps. Now, every morning I wake up and steal myself to peak inside of the box in hopes and fear of finding a mouse corpse. But, despite my best efforts, my homicide record is still clean. Of course this means that my house is infested with some super smart race of mice that is untrappable, next thing you know they'll raise an army of waterbugs and I'll be forced to live on the street.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pay It Forward

Long ago in a land known as September Gillian posted the Pay it Forward challenge on her blog and I managed to snag a coveted IOU for Gillian made treats. Then less long ago in November she gave me a shiny tin full of two different kinds of chocolate chip cookies which were so amazing that the next day G and I took them to the zoo and chose to eat roughly 15 cookies each rather than get a real lunch. And then last week I had to get a personal trainer to work off the cookies. And this week it's your chance to get fat.

The first 3 people to comment on this post will receive a Brianna made goodie provided you're willing to submit to the contests rules:

I agree to send something fun, cute, and nice to the first 3 blog owners who post a comment on this entry. In turn, those three will post this information and pick 3 people they want to send something to and so on. Unfortunately, due to postage costs, I can only pay it forward within the United States. If you are interested in participating, be one of the first 3 blog owners to leave a comment!

You have to promise that you will then post about this on your blog, link to me, and then send something to the first three people who comment on your blog so that this continues. When the first three have commented I will email you a request for your shipping address and I will send out something that I hope will make you smile!

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Letter to My Personal Trainer

Hi! I am writing you this letter in hopes that you will find me hilarious and then you'll like me and probably not want to yell at me and/or make comments about how fat I am. This also seems like a good opportunity to warn you about my personal workout quirks. Firstly, you should not take the fact that I joined the Gym and just threw out the term "workout" all casual-like as an indication that I'm a Gym Person. I don't much enjoy feeling the burn or paying for gain with pain or running. I have also noticed that working out has a horrible return on investment. For example on Friday I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and apparently only burned 235 calories. Do you have any idea how many pieces of pumpkin pie I could eat in 30 minutes?

When you called last week to confirm our appointment I was glad that you were a dude. I had this fear that you'd be a girl exactly my height who weighed 50lbs less then me and who would say things like, "See my thighs? Yours are a lot bigger." I am still hoping that you are gay so that you can occasionally compliment my ass in a totally nonthreatening sort of way.

I am super not interested in being weighed at the gym. I lost 40lbs a few years ago and since then regularly weigh myself at home but I fear using a new scale which could show me as heavier and that could cause me to have a break down here in the gym. I would probably cry and that would probably be embarrassing for both of us so let's just stay away from the scale. I lost my weight through a diet I invented called "I Have a Very Acute Sense of Personal Guilt." Basically I wrote down everything I ate and felt so badly about eating fattening things that I eventually learned to avoid them. I never increased my exercise though I am naturally a "if it's only 3 subways stops away you might as well walk" kind of girl.

Despite all of my stated fears that you will make moo-ing noises at me while I stumble my way through a step routine I don't really think I'm fat. I just think that Gym People have ridiculous standards. Most of my fear of fat stems from the fact that I gained about 10lbs this summer and am having a tortuous time trying to lose it. This has lead to daily hallucinations in which I wake up one morning suddenly so fat that I can't actually fit through the door of my bedroom. On the bright side I don't usually keep food in my bedroom so this could turn into the most effective diet regime ever.

The main problem I have is that I really like food. Have you noticed how delicious it is? Here is a brief list of a few things that I very much wish I was eating right now: salt and vinegar potato chips, won ton soup, Greek yogurt with honey and almonds, pasta with really spicy sausage and broccoli, heirloom tomato salad with fresh mozzarella, Ben and Jerry's coffee coffee buzz buzz ice cream, left over thanksgiving stuffing, blue cheese with the black truffle honey that they make at Otto... I could go on. You'll note that I am not eating any of those things right now which is a sign of my incredible self control. If denying yourself food burned calories I would weigh 4 lbs.

I suppose you're going to ask me what my goals are. Gym people probably answer this question with things like "get a six pack!" or "run a marathon" or "work it." Mostly I want to eat more yummy food without getting fat. I would also like to avoid getting older and having some doctor say, "you have a life threatening disease that could have been prevented by doing a few sit ups 3 years ago." I would also like to find a way to see working out as fun. I know other people speak of this mythical feeling that washes over them post workout (perhaps it's in the sweat?) but though I promise I have done plenty of sweating I have never experienced this. I suspect the whole workout high thing is like magic eye posters -- i.e. a vast conspiracy maintained by all of humanity only to make fun of me. Would I like to be stronger, or more toned, or able to leap tall building in a single bound? Of course, but I need to be realistic. I will likely only make it to the gym 3 times in a good week. I will likely only stay for 30-45 minutes. I will likely behave as if this makes me some sort of martyr/hero combo pack.

Can we work together or shall I find the nearest Korean yogurt to drown my sorrows in (only 90 calories!)?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Winner Parade Entry 5: Fight! Fight! Fight!

After some initial eye rolling I have come to love Facebook -- this is mostly due to the iphone application which allows me to while away the minutes I spend waiting for late trains stalking my friends. The great thing to hate about facebook is not how easy it makes for other to stalk me since I generally encourage all citizens of the internet to embrace the fascinating reality that is Brianna but how difficult it is to avoid people whose 5 times a day updates on their latest crush, sandwich topping or bowel movement has you threatening to swear off the internet all together. So I am coy when it comes to approving friend requests because I hate being left with a news feed full of minutia about people I didn't like in person, much less in digital. I am also coy when it comes to hitting "Ignore" because I am a huge wimp who hates to digitally offend people even when they're people I don't much care for. However there are some for whom ignoring is all too sweet.

I received a friend request this morning from someone I was hoping I did not know. In his profile picture he is wearing a prison uniform. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt that this is a Halloween costume and not his mandated wardrobe. His chosen hair style seems a bit harder to explain away. His head is shaved and the part of it that is not disfigured with an unsightly mole (one imagines he was surprised to pull the razor away and find that little genetic gift) is covered with a huge (likely fake) tribal tattoo. I have to admit that were any of my friends to go the extra Halloween mile and pull out the Bic I would think they were awesome. But the difference between all of my friends and this guy is that my friends actually are awesome.

Sadly, I do know this boy -- much more intimately than I care to admit. Be glad I sometimes think of this blog as a confessional. This is a boy I once had the mental retardation to agree to making out with during my senior year of college. This is probably the single most embarrassing hook up in a somewhat lengthy 800 car pile-up of bad dating decisions. I met him at a Frat party (I know.). Obviously I was drunk-ish. Later that night, in a the most poorly executed attempt to get in my pants ever, he told me how he and his brothers were really into "fighting." Not boxing or even "ultimate fighting" which might even be a real sport but just, "fighting". This was listed as a sort of hobby like "ya, my bros and I like to get together on Sundays for a rowdy game of monopoly followed by baking bread and gossiping all night!" Except with fewer descriptive words, "I like to fight." At this point I knew two things 1. I would have to devote the rest of the year to avoiding eye contact in the lunch line and 2. We better do some more kissing before he starts jabbering again and makes things even worse. Luckily, this young man seemed to sense that we just weren't made for each other ("Yeah, I met this girl last night, she mentioned that she likes to eat ice cream. Like that's hobby! I told her to check out fighting. Anyway, total loser.") until one night at least 2 months later when he called me at 3am to see if I wanted to "hang out." I'm not sure why one would even bother with a euphemism for "get it on" during such an obvious booty call -- unless he was actually calling looking for some hard core fightin' action. Either way I giggled and hung up.

While its tempting to approve his friend request in hopes of receiving hilarious status updates about fighting ("Kick to the groin! I am HE MAN!!!") I cannot risk this dude tracking me down for kissing. Or fighting, "Ignore."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Got Vampire Sex? No.

Vampire Porn spoiler alert.

The Twilight books contain no sex. This is especially shocking because the books are essentially paragraph after paragraph of foreplay with a little blood letting mixed in for spice.

I'm only half way through book four but let me summarize the plot for those of you who are not drooling over the books between multiple viewing of High School Musical 3:

Angst. Mope. Oh Hottie. Ahh Vampire! Mmmmm Vampire! Love. Love. Love. Love. TRAGEDY. Depression. Doom. Whining. Angst. LOVE. Love. Maybe they'll get it on. Love. Love. Minor scary bit. Survived! Totally time for sex now. LOVE. Oh. I see we're going to be all chivalrous about the pootang. FINE. Wedding. Yawn. OK SEXY TIME IS NOW. Skinny dipping! HERE COMES THE BOOTY! Morning After. Wait.... let me go back a page. wtf? W? T? F? I WANT MY NAUGHTY VAMPIRE SMUT!

Now obviously I was super upset to find out that the books would be skipping over all of the good stuff, but mostly I was worried about the children. I know we usually give all of the hormone credit to teenage boys, but naughty girls need love too. And while the lads have Hustler and The Girls Next Door and looking up "fine art" in the encyclopedia, lassies are left with far fewer options for scratching the hormonal itch, so I think it's especially cruel for these books to be such a cunt tease.

I may be 30 years old, but I promise you that I am very in touch with the pulse of adolescence. A friend once even told me that I was perpetually 15 years old and, though this is the biggest insult ever and a curse worse than death, it makes me uniquely qualified to speak on behalf of teenage girls everywhere in the following letter to Stefanie Meyers, the author of the Twilight series:

Dear Stef,

I am 14 years old. My life already sucks A LOT. I have acne and braces and all of the boys in my school are losers. My parents have installed Net Nanny™ on the family computer. It will be at least 4 years until I go off to college where, god willing, no one will ever find out that my mom still only buys me Barbie panties because college boys are way too mature to pants someone in the lunch line. If they even have lunch lines in college which they probably do not because everyone is too busy drinking coffee and writing poetry to care about tater tots. Anyways. All I wanted. Nay, all I NEEDED to get me through high school was a little sweet vicarious vampire loving. Why must you deny me this you evil Mormon harpy?

Every 14 Year Old Girl In America (except the slutty ones)

But this letter speaks not only for the girl next door but for the girl next door to 1601 Pennsylvania Ave. According to US Weekly, Barack is reading Twilight with his daughters. I'm going to ignore the fact that this is the single creepiest thing since Purity Balls and just say that I am 100% certain that Barack does not want to have to teach his little girl about the vampire loving and that he would be super happy if Ms. Meyer's would just do that for him. Unfortunately, she hates freedom.

Certain that there were some patriotic perverts out on the web, I did what any independent adult with unfettered access to the internet would do. I began searching for fan fiction. Surely someone had taken care of Meyer's oversight with a little vampire P in the human V short story action and perhaps my good deed of the millennium could be distributing this smut to junior high students nationwide. So I sorted through every Twilight themed entry on the Adult Fan Fic site (putting myself at great risk of spoiling the ending of book four I might note). There were werewolf on vampire stories, group vampire orgy stories, vampires as cowboy lover stories and even one vampire on Hogwarts entry. (I AM NOT KIDDING ). But apparently NO ONE has thought to write the most obvious and necessary of all perverted internet content: hot young virgin gets more than bitten.

And so I say, Internet Perverts, This is your big chance to do what Ms. Meyers could not! The Twilight movie comes out today, this shit is about to go VIRAL and you could ride its coat tails. Get to ye olde keyboard and start typing up that smut because I promise you that whomever can capture the passion of "Edward and Bella: Horizontal Feasting" will be the most famous creepy dude on the tubes. You might even get a cabinet post.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Road Trip: Las Vegas to Bishop, CA

There are at least 3 roads leading from civilization to my hometown of Bishop, CA and all of them travel through the middle of desolation. There are very few towns, very few other cars and no cell phone service. The closest airport is four hours away in Reno but nonstop flights are practically nonexistent and even the flights with detours in Denver (not my favorite place ) are usually super pricey. I tend to start my drive in Las Vegas where flight costs are subsidized by the casinos and the drive home is an hour longer.

I made this drive on Saturday in a rented PT Cruiser even though I had been promised an inconspicuous Ford Focus. This is the 3rd time a rental car company has stuck me with a surprise cruiser and I have to assume this is some elaborate practical joke for the people of Hertz.

Once you escape the clutches of Vegas suburbs you can kiss civilization goodbye. You'll pass through the Las Vegas Paiute reservation and the Air Force base in Indian Springs which skirts the edge of Area 51. There will not be any aliens or government secrets to spy on -- only a minimart with the claim of "Last Gas Before Area 51!" One assumes that aliens have access to alternative fuels.

The only real town you'll pass through is Beatty which, though it was once featured on an episode of that Aaron Spelling SNL show as a rough and tumble cowpoke town, is actually an old mining town which now is mostly occupied by the gas station Eddie's World. I discovered Saturday that they're laying claim to the title "most beautiful gas station in the world" which I guess might be true -- they do have a turret outside. I tried to twitter from here with that sunset picture on the left but it turns out Beatty is not exactly iphone friendly. For some reason the market at Eddie's World specializes in bulk dry goods. There are no nut trees, gummy bear factories or pea plants within 200 miles of the outpost but the store is filled with 2lbs bags of snack food. I bought some rice crackers on the theory that they were more healthy than corn nuts which is probably not at all true.

Outside of Beatty the road is peppered with whore houses my favorite of which (yeah, I have a favorite whore house, doesn't everyone?) is "The Shady Lady" which is housed in a trailer. I guess I can imagine some trucker needing some loving on the road and even imagine maybe paying for it (imagine, not condone) but I'd think that even a dirty trucker dude would be all "a trailer? HELL NO." Apparently not.

There are two ways to get from Beatty to Bishop, the normal way and the Horst Klemm way. Dad's way is admittedly about 50 miles shorter than the other way but it also takes you along a windy mountain road that prohibits speeds in excess of crawling so I fid his claims that it's faster somewhat dubious. The road is also famous for making people who don't usually get car sick demand frequent puke break (and by people I mean me). This has no effect on Dad's insistent that this be the road of choice for my entire childhood. Regardless of the speed and high probability of barfing I'm enough of Daddy's girl to always take his road -- assuming I can find it. The turn off appears suddenly in the middle of dessert, it used to be marked by the Cottentail Ranch (that's ranch as in "we have girls who will sleep with you for money" not, "we have cows") but that was raised a couple of years ago and now I have to consider the implications of not being able to find my way home without the becon of a brothal to light my way.

CA 168 travels through the White Mountains and would be beautiful if i didn't drive it every time I wanted to go to Wet Seal from the ages of 10-18. In the 85 miles from NV to the 395 turn off in CA I passed 4 other cars and almost ran over 2 mice, a rabbit and a fox. I also almost got into 45 car accidents as I tried to push the PT above 45 on curve after curve. I eventually made it to town, passed the radio station, the BBQ Bills, the feed store with a huge red horse statue outside, the garish dutch bakery in the middle of town, the sad empty former home of KMart, and my parents house. It was probalby worth the 11 hours of travel time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Memorandum on Product Quality

As many of our loyal readers have likely noticed the quality of writing here at Random Access Babble (RAB, Inc.) has diminished over the last few months to the point of "sucking a whole fucking lot." For those of you who doubt this claim please just continue reading; this post is actually a fabulous example of how awful our writing has become.

We want to assure you that at RAB we consider content quality a serious issue, one that we respond to almost as quickly as J Crew sales, free ice cream and any opportunity picture Tim Riggens shirtless. In that spirit we have begun taking steps to respond to the overall crappiness that has descended upon this site and are happy to share these steps with you, our loyal supporters.

We have reached out to Underworld, Inc. to apply for their standard soul exchange program. Unfortunately, in these trying times, the company is overwhelmed with offers and we have thus far been unable to secure a meeting. It appears that the market is saturated with daemons running around hocking high quality Jewish, Muslim, Christian and even the once rare Mormon souls. As a result atheist souls have plummeted in value. We are considering adopting a religion in an effort to increase the value of our soul but are sad to report that this will be a lengthy process. Most religions require a lengthy waiting period before souls are officially acknowledged as converted. Readers should also be aware that religious conversion rarely results in an improved sense of humor so it is, unfortunately, highly likely that things will get worse before they get better.

We know that many of our investors have bought into the rumors that our merger with Boyfriend Limited is the main cause of diminished quality here at RAB. We want to assure you that we hear your concerns and while there is some merit to these claims we consider Boyfriend a long term investment that will only increase the value of RAB products over time. While the early stages of the merger have been riddled with rainbows, googly eyes, and mush, all of which have proven worthless in the humor writing industry, we know Boyfriend well and fully expect him to fuck up lots of future shit. Furthermore, if things continue to progress with Boyfriend we anticipate such shenanigans as Cohabitation, Procreation and eventually Widowing all of which are ripe for the kind of tragedy that RAB has historically turned into mega profits.

Like so many modern businesses RAB is facing budgetary concerns. It is increasingly more difficult to produce the kind of hilarious shit you people expect on a budget of mere compliments. As always the most effective way for you to increase the quality of posts here at RAB is to send us a big fat check. We promise to squander these riches on "life experiences" that are sure to result in hilarity.

In closing we want to assure you that RAB has no intention of throwing an internet fit and declaring our retirement. We made a commitment years ago to running this thing into the ground and we fully intend to keep that promise. Regardless of quality you can rest assured that this URL will continue to host words and sentences and, occasionally, whole paragraphs.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Hello Cake Wreck Folks

Thanks to the ever brilliant "Anonymous" for the link. In honor of your visit a few of my own thoughts on Sandra's fabulous no bake cake idea.

1. I'm shocked she is opposed to dog's poo-ing on cake, is dog poo *really* that different than cornnuts?
2. I am *Shocked* that Sandra is unwilling to whore herself out for Walmart. And also shocked that Walmart hasn't already contacted her to sponsor a line of Easy Bake Foie Gras. It's so sad when soul mates pass in the night.
3. I'm glad to see that Sandra is continuing her PHD level studies in Sprinkle Mastery

My old Sandra Lee posts can be found here:

Sandra Lee Is Food's Natural Enemy
The Devil Comes to Kwanzaa

Friday, November 07, 2008

Game Rage

My Name is Brianna and it has been 7 days since I last shot a stream of expletives at my television screen and even less time since I last sat on the couch in full pout over the spilled milk of an unmastered video game level.

I like to think of myself as relatively level headed. I rarely yell at G even though he is constantly spitting loogies in the sink and/or not buying me presents. Even more impressively I have managed to not kill a single person despite 30 years of being surrounded by idiots. And yet video games which should be only inconsequential dalliances all too often leave me foaming at the mouth.

Last weekend G and I spent most of our time obsessively playing Little Big Planet the remaining few weekend hours were spent on whining. I'm embarrassed to admit that we got stuck on one of the earlier levels (the last one in the Day of the Dead theme). The first thing you need to understand is that this level was really hard. It has this stupid part where you have to jump from platform to platform over a sea of deadly noxious gas followed by more platforms hanging by bungee cords from the ceiling that you have to make bounce in perfect rhythm in order to catapult your sack person across more poisonous fog. Expecting any video game player to rely on rhythm is overtly cruel -- there is a reason I am sitting on the couch with a controller in my hand not out shaking it at the club. The second thing you need to understand is that I might wrap a bit too much of my ego up in video game performance.

I created this flow chart to explain the common progression from "This is SO FUN!" to "I accidentally threw the PlayStation down the stairs."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Step Off Ho

So it turns out my (ok, G's) Wii Fit is a huge bitch who may or may not be making a play for my man.

Exhibit A:

Now it is true that I have been.... less than strict with my diet and *ahem* work out plan (read: walking lots of places...) since oh, say... May. And it's also true that I have not hung out with Wii Fit since September but I still think the behavior that is being exhibited here is cruel in the extreme and I fear that soon the Wii will declare war. How far could we be from the following:

  • Does Brii get up in the morning and make you coffee? A) Occasionally, B) No, she mostly lies in bed whining about me making coffee, C) Ha! She's too busy complainging that the coffee I make her isn't good enough, D) She doesn't let me have caffine, or happiness.
  • Brii sure is a bitch about waking you up when you snore, do you think a perfect girlfriend would do that? (note: machine's don't need sleep and therefore would not even consider disturbing the slumber of their significant other): A) Probably not...., B) No, never, C) Real woman are turned on by a little manly snoring, D) Wii Fit, You're looking mighty sexy this morning
  • My oh my, you're looking awfully handsome today, did Brii mention that? A) She says looks don't matter to her..., B) No, but she said my outfit choice was iiiiinteresting, that's good, right? C) She said something about me not looking enough like some dude named Riggins, C)Oh Wii Fit, your'e so sweet, let's run away together!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Right Stuff

I went to the New Kids On The Block show last night not because I have any desire to relive 1991 (which, I believe, was the year Adam V said I would never have a boyfriend because I smelled bad (not true.)) but because the new kids reunion sounded as plausible and as awesome as riding the subway sans pants.

I don't remember my junior high years as being particularly New Kids heavy but perhaps I am just repressing my fandom out of a sense of self preservation since last night I had zero trouble remembering all of the words to "Didn't I Blow Your Mind this Time (Didn't I?)." In fact, I was so moved that I may even write a response number called "Obviously You Did (My Soaking Panties are Proof)." The band was.... good? I don't know. It was certainly the most *enjoyable* concert I've been to in forever but that's probably mostly because they kept doing crazy shit like wearing more than one hat at once or wondering out loud why so few dudes accompanied their woman to the show or PULLING DOWN THEIR PANTS. In comparison to NKOTB he majority of concerts I attend are seriously lacking in smokin' dance moves, pyrotechnics and spinning stages and while I obviously enjoy swaying wistfully to Dar Williams or bobbing my head to the Magnetic Fields I'm starting to wonder if in all my college radio coolness I've seriously missed out on the real concert gold. Perhaps I should work a little harder for tickets to Miley or the Jonas Brothers.

In other news: I have been cautiously trying out the world of twitter (and tumblr) and spent much of last night's concert obsessively poking at my iphone expressing my shock and awe to the 4 people who bother to follow me there so if you want a play by play check out my tweets! For those of you too lazy (or technophobic) to click over to twitter here are the highlights:

1. The video homage to "those we've lost" since the last time New Kids took the stage this included not only a disproportionate number of NKOTB family members (do I smell a deal with the devil?) but also shout outs to Tupac and Kurt Cobain both of whom I'm sure were so honored to be part of the New Kids concert experience that they plan on rising from the dead to personally thank the "band"

2. The (I believe new) song in which Joey and a choir of black people encourage the listeners to have high self esteem. Those of us who paid $50 for nose bleed seats to see a boy band from 1991 even though we are 30 years old especially appreciated this attempt to distract us from reality.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vacation Was Fab But I Know You Really Come Here To Listen To Me Complain

They speak Spanish in Guatemala. Of course I knew this before I arrive. Just like I know they speak Spanish in Costa Rica and Mexico where in reality most people speak English thus supporting my arrogant American view of the world. Guatemala seems much more committed to the language than other countries. People seriously do not speak English. For reals. To add to the confusion they sometimes decide to mix things up by rejecting commonly accepted Spanish words like when the Guatemalans decided that rather than stick with coche meaning car they'd make coche mean pig (probably just as an excuse to force tourists to travel by swine ("Travel by Swine -- it's mighty fine! A message from the Joint Guatemalan Tourism Board and The Campaign for Making Fun of Foreigners") .

Most of my travel to Central America was done with my friend Sky who, as far as I'm concerned, is a fluent Spanish speaker. She will likely argue with this label but I am confident that she knows how to express past tense and flirt with boys in Spanish. Now in theory I also speak Spanish. Just like I, in theory, can differentiate equations and play tennis and sew a dress from scratch as these are all things that I spent at least 3 years of my life studying in high school. And it's true that I know all about about popular names in Spain (fun fact: everyone in that country in called "Pepe") and can obtain directions to the discoteque or order snacks that my teacher claimed were super popular in Spanish bars like olives (acetunas!) or peanuts (cacuates!) (should I wonder about why my teacher thought that high school kids really needed skills for ordering at bars?). Shockingly these skills did not make navigating life in Guatemala all that easy.

Despite my meager grasp of the language Guatemala was amazing and I heartily recommend a visit but there was one day in Flores when the whole damn country seemed backwards. This is not really the fault of Flores, a charming island city that is finally, after (one assumes) years of a life without fried chicken not to mention a ball pit, getting itself a Pollo Campero, but can be squarely blamed on my boyfriend. The problems began with me letting G pick the hotel and him deciding that this was a great chance to rough it lest we return from vacation and be questioned by our hardcore backpacker friends about the lavish hotels we stayed in with private bathrooms and hot water and staff that would shape your towels into a myriad of delightful and romantic animals while you were out gallivanting. I could almost relate to his fear that we'd be seen as softie richie rich Americans who likely voted for W and are probably at least 63 years old and who might be part of a tour that makes you wear a color coded tag around your neck so that the locals know exactly who to try to hock plastic necklaces at for $15 a pop (mostly because this accurately describes all of the other people who stayed at our hotels). But none of that justified our stay at La Casa de Grunge.

I have learned that regardless of the GDP of whatever country you happen to be traveling in your expectations for a hotels that charged $13/day should be very low. The bathroom wall didn't extend up to the ceiling, the entire room was weirdly damp, the bedding was florescent yellow. However, I should probably stop whining. I saw no vermin or bugs in our room (the same cannot be said for the fancypants Jungle Lodge in Tikal where I spotted a cockroach while showering and was forced to reconsider just how important cleanliness might be.) The nice Australian couple who we met during the (admittedly stunning) sunset on the porch even went so far as to call the hotel "homey" (but one should remember that their home for the past few days had apparently been a seat in one of the aptly named Guatemalan "Chicken Buses"). I think it's possible that 30 is the age when you become uncompromising on the standards of your sleeping place and while I usually shun signs that I am fast training it towards the dying of the light (one assumes dementia and incontinence should set in around 32) I am happy to embrace this little oldster-ism: No more crappy hotels for my richie ass.

Despite the hotel debacle and due mostly to a sudden urge not to be the planner in our relationship I let G pick a restaurant for dinner. He picked out an "archeology themed restaurant serving authentic Mayan cuisine" which sounds like either a very cool cool life experience or a horrible tourist trap but I'll never know which one it might be because we couldn't find the place. Upon leaving the hotel I ask G if he wanted to bring the map and made the grand mistake of actually believing that we didn't need it.

So we're tromping around the street of a foreign country starving when fate chooses to remind us that we traveled to Central America during the rainy season. Umbrella-less we had no choice but to duck into the nearest restaurant. The Cuba Libre I ordered tasted a little weird (not in that lip smacking Belizian rum that tastes a little like cloves but in the "can rum mold?" way) but as I watched the deluge outside and felt the grumbles in my tummy I had no choice but to soldier on with ordering food. Guacamole "nachos" (which we had learned meant "just chips!") and beef tacos took roughly 25 years to come out of the kitchen and when they did G caught the plate of chips out of the corner of his eye and noted that they were red! He began preparing for some local and likely homemade Guatemalan chip delicacy. Instead we got two corn tortillas filled with ground beef that might have been cooked in some Old El Paso seasoning which was bad enough but the "nachos" were the reason why G broke out the camera and interviewed me about the state of affairs. You would think that a country so committed to a refusal to speak English would have the cultural pride not to serve me Doritos for dinner but you would be wrong. Let this be a lesson to all who argue that spontaneity reaps just rewards -- it does not. Spontaneity reaps nacho cheese chips for dinner. Sadly this video has no sound but I think you can tell from my erratic hand gestures and glum expression that I have either just been served some super awful food or am heading up the Republican presidential ticket.

More vacation pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/briannalk/sets/72157608227171391/

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Music of the Night

As a child I remember a camping trip where every night the kids tent that housed myself, my younger brother and my friend Jennifer filled with the sounds of fake snoring. This little rebellion of "honk-shoe-me-me-me" was our way of saying "you can banish us to bed but you can't make the party stop!" and we found it hilarious. We could barely get through a refrain before the me-me-mes were broken by peals of laughter.

Real snoring is nowhere near as funny.

G snores. Not every night. Not all night. But, when he does, it sounds not like the pleasant sing song snore of my childhood but more like this, "HRGURMPHGRRRHAAAAEEEEN" and my response is not a girly giggle muffled by my pillow but a high pitched wailing noise that translates to "oh my god I think I woke up in Guantanamo Bay." When the whining doesn't work I sometimes hit him. I also sometimes get out of bed, stomp out of the room and cry on the couch about how now we have to break up because I like sleep way too much for this bullshit to continue. I am not exactly rational at 4am.

We are about to embark on the first long term vacation of our relationship (Belize and Guatemala!) and while other more serious folks would worry about if 13 straight days together will lead to petty arguments, after the past 2 nights of Snore-a-Palooza, I mostly just worry that I'll die of sleep deprivation. I purchased a set of earplugs but I'm not confident that I'll be able to sleep while wearing them not because they might be uncomfortable but because I fear a disaster like an errant howler monkey entering our cabana to attack me with a coconut in the middle of the night and with the earplugs in I'll be totally vulnerable!

I also bought G a box of Breathe Right Strips even though I doubt they actually work (the enjoyment I will get from laughing at how ridiculous he looks sleeping with a mini band aide across his nose will likely be cold comfort). Snoring remedies seem to fall into the same infomercial territory as baldness and ED relief. Why is it that male ailments are so often met with outlandish mock medical solutions? You don't see 3am infomercials on vibrating belts that sooth cramps or laser beams that let you birth a child painlessly.

After 5 minutes of skulking around the drugstore looking for the snoring relief section I eventually was reduced to asking the pharmacist to point me in the direction of "aids to help you resist murdering him in his sleep." Breathe Rights come in two sizes "small/medium" and "large" which means you have to sit in the drugstore thinking about the size of your boyfriend's nose or you could do what I did and rely solely on the old wives tale connection between nose size and nose size *nudgenudgewinkwink* if you know what I mean*.

G likes to claim that the drop in my blog posting can be directly attributed to him -- certainly no girl lucky enough to date G (and the sunshiny goodness of his amazing man tool*) could continue to support a blog dedicated to snark. So now, while he is not exactly thrilled to have the details of his nocturnal concert performances broadcast for the entire internet, G is trying to lay claim to this post as if his snoring were a sacrifice he made to free me from the prison of writer's block. If this is the case I have to hope that he'll have the good sense to give himself and his gargley, fitful, midnight wheezing a rest in honor of our vacation since snoring or not this blog will for sure not be updated for 2 weeks. It is also possible that I won't update again ever, you know, if the sleep deprivation or the monkeys get me.

* Note that certain members of the snoring population may have only permitted the advertisement of their annoying night time habits in exchange for suggestive claims that imply that said member of the Proud Snorers of America (PSA) is in possession of a HUGE penis.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Buzz? I don't hear a buzz. What buzz?

The deal I made with myself when I left the office Tueday evening was to either fix my computer or write a blog post. Welcome to the lesser of two evils.

I built the computer a few years ago with my bare hands (literally smelt the metal on my cook top...) and it has mostly served me well. Only now it emits this odd buzzing noise which, despite five months of stern looks in the general direction of the half open tower and a bit of prodding at the fans, refuses to abate. I even went so far as to obtain a second tower full of replacement computer parts (though not enough to constitute a whole new computer soldier) and set it next to Tower #1 to represent the threat of war. "Do not mess with me! I can pull your innards out and go all Frankenstein on your ass!" I leered, "Don't think I won't... right after this episode of Best Week Ever is over and I finish shredding 2 months worth of junk mail." But still the buzzing persists (right beneath the satisfying growl of the shredder).

People will claim that I am annoyingly tolerant of any high pitched noises in my living room (Dirty.). My television has a whine that a few times and hour crosses the line between "audible only to dogs" and "dear god why is blood pooling on my shoulder?" Since replacing or, even less surmountable, fixing the TV seems shockingly painful I mostly just dab a Kleenex at the problem and focus on tuning out high frequencies. I excel at avoiding problems that can't be fixed without me committing suicide via sighing in agony so often that I fail to breath.

The computer buzzing highlights three of my most painful personality flaws: I am lazy and shallow with a side order of miserly.

I see my homebuilt computer as the castle where my geek cred lives. I may not program any longer and I may find first person shooters painfully boring and I may roll my eyes at the mere thought of the SCA but dammit I BUILT MY OWN COMPUTER. Give me my geek pin! I would take a moment here to address the irony of putting so much effort into being the antithisis of cool but I think the world (or at least the world of blog readers) has long since accepted that the geeks have inherited the earth. Hail Cthulhu (See? A Cthulhu joke! GEEK!)

In addition to possibly being the last proof I have of my geek nature Tower #1 is the cheapest means to a computer end. I built it (bare hands! gloveless!) in 2002 after a particularly painful experience at a computer parts store where, unsurprisingly, the staff had never actually talked to a girl before. I originally had installed on it a dual boot to Windows or Linux -- this was done entirely in service of geek cred as I used the Linux OS only when some thing broke badly in Windows that I was (shockingly) too lazy too fix right away. The computer occasionally chokes -- the video card has been replaced twice, I stuck in a new hard drive a few years back and upgraded the motherboard in 2005 -- but replacing a broken part is infinity cheaper than buying a new computer (which seems to be what Dell and IBM and Apple expect virtually everyone to do once every 3 years or so).

So Why not fix it? Lazy, remember? Fixing the computer requires knowing what's wrong with the computer and as far as I can tell there is no clear source for the buzz. It's not the fan. It also seems like it's probably not the processor fan -- though it might be... but replacing the processor is a huge pain and... maybe I should just buy a new computer. Later. After I take off my old nail polish and look up recipes for tatsoi and find the album art for every song I have in itunes. And, of course, right after I finish this blog post.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Of Course TV Brings Me Out of Hiding

Is everyone watching Gossip Girl? Yes? Ok, good.

Now, this show may not be that awesome, it's no Buffy, it's no 90210 (old school, 'natch it's got scads on the new swill) it's probably not even on par with Dawson's Creek (not that I watched that crap even if it is perhaps the favorite show of a certain guy who I am dating who I promise is NOT GAY (though I know everyone reading this wishes he was cause how awesome would a Winner Parade post about the guy who dumped me for a dude be? Alas). Gossip Girl is sometimes even annoyingly unwatchable -- I am constantly tempted to fast forward through Dan And Serena blathering about how hard it is to date when one of you is super rich and the other is only sort of rich or Jenny pretending she is a fashion maven and not a 14 year old girl who appears to be wearing a junior bridesmaid dress BUT I stick with it because Chuck Bass is the most awesome character ever created.

Current Awesome Chuck Plot Lines

  1. I cannot get a boner for anyone other than my true love (Blair). Thank you to the CW for highlighting this pressing issue that affects scads of male teens across the country. How many times will a poor young boy have to suffer through puberty unable to attain so much as half mast unless his soul sings with love? If nothing else think of the poor young lassies desperate for a little action with your average mock turtleneck-clad hunk-a-roonie only to have her heart crushed when his dick reveals his true feelings! I am awestruck that it has taken a teen drama to finally bring this widespread horrific affliction into the spotlight, the presidential campaigns of both Obama and McCain could take a cue from Gossip Girl.
  2. No one can tell the difference between two dudes in the dark assuming they both have British accents. All English dudes are indistinguishable from one another and in last night's episode Chuck took advantage of this unfortunate evolutionary loophole in order to take advantage of Blair. When the lights are out your paramour could be Prince William, or Prince Charles or Mr Bean! This explains the proliferation of obviously less than the fittest genes throughout the British empire.
  3. How ridiculous can my outfits get before I am gay bashed at my prep school? Gossip girl has everyone in the middle of the country convinced that dudes in NYC constantly dress as if 1957 collided with a bottle of pomade and some velvet drapes in a creepy late night Central Park three-way tryst. In this season's opener Chuck sports an argyle sweater vest, a plaid bow tie and shorts with KNEE SOCKS -- the perfect croquet ensemble! I look forward to seeing Chuck clad in a kilt and bloomers before the season is out.

In conclusion:

Everyone not working at the CW: Monday nights, 8pm
CW Staff: Please make everyone else on Gossip Girl more like Chuck (start with mandated velvet penny loafers for all and work from there)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let Me Hear Your Body Talk (Mine Says "Ow")

First the bad news: Once again Nintendo has failed to reliably stock its products in an amount even vaguely on par with demand. Now the good: This time I didn't have to personally commit to sleeping on the sidewalk or breaking and entering since I can just mooch off of my boyfriend's Wii Fit. I love relationships!

I was originally a little apprehensive about using the Fit primarily because I feared that the device would announce my weight each time I stepped on it (likely in a mocking tone while someone makes pig snort noises and/or moos in the background) and my weight is something I am only prepared to acknowledge once a week on Friday morning after a night of no liquids and a morning of peeing as much as I can. This is how I avoid going crazy over the theoretically insignificant fluctuations of a pound or two which might otherwise cause me to curl up into a little ball to watch an infinite loop of my imagined future 300lb self creating shock waves as she wobbles down the sidewalk. Luckily, the system allows you to easily skip the little step where you get weighed and have to spend years in therapy. Hallelujah.

Early on in the Wii Fit registration process (after cringing at your BMI but before you shed even one measly calorie) the game lets you pick a trainer. Your only choices are "girl trainer" or "boy trainer" which I thought would be highly disappointing -- how could the designers at Nintendo hope to create the dream trainer look for ever girl in the world with just one avatar? By making that avatar look exactly like my Olympics boyfriend Ryan Lochte, that's how! There is evidence that Ryan may be a bit of a douche (what is it with these swimmer dudes?) but as a trainer he's perfect. He constantly tells me how great my balance is, looks smoking hot (you know, for a digital representation of a hot dude) and encourages me by lying about how impressively strong my abs are. Still, a nice expansion to the standard Wii Ft might be a program that ups the trainer encouragement so that I can hear Ryan tell me over and over again how skinny and irresistible I am (a SUPER nice expansion might be him telling me exactly what he'd like to do with my well toned body...).

Though I'm sure I usually seem like a polite demure young thing I play video games the way my dad watches baseball. I jump off of the couch. I scream. I curse at the screen. Someday I will have kids who find Mommy a little scary when the console is on just as years ago Lil' Brianna felt like Daddy was replaced with an angry beast every time the Dodgers took the field. Save the joy of ogling Ryan it is fair to say that my first date with Wii Fit was a little rocky. It is possible that there was even more yelling than usual. The words "stupid fucking machine" may have been bandied about. My boyfriend, G, may have used the term hissy fit. I am, however, proud to say that I did not cry (G is likely proud to say that he did not laugh out loud at all of my pouting and thus avoided a fat lip/bloody nose/detachable penis). While I was able to stop the machine from announcing my weight to the entire room I could not stop it from picking up on how much I hate being bad at things. And lord was I bad at hitting soccer balls with my head, and running in place, and hula hooping. Especially hula hooping which I failed at despite wearing the national uniform of girls hula hooping on Wii Fit: panties and a tank top. I can only hope G has the self restraint to resist making me one more of the legions of girls swinging their scantily clad hips on youtube.

The Fit is a surprisingly good work out. At first most of the exercises (save the wailing and complaining) seemed unnaturally obsessed with my center of balance. Scoring for yoga, strength training and balance activities were calculated based on my ability to distribute my weight in a way that keeps a red dot in the correct area. The only sport that I can fairly claim even intermediate knowledge of is yoga and I was shocked to find that this method forced me to do the poses more accurately than I would have in a class or if I were to ever get off my lazy ass and do yoga on my own at home.

Due to the possibility that I might throw the wiimote at my boyfriend's head I eventually had to quit my workout in favor of brunch and dress shopping. An afternoon of stress-free bliss far away from obsessing over my center of gravity and Ryan tsk-tsking my uncontrolled attempts at slalom skiing was just what I needed to chill the fuck out and accept that Wii fit is only a game and no matter how often Ryan frowns at my pathetic attempts at athleticism I will not suddenly balloon to a size where TLC will make an hour long documentary about me trying to get out of bed in route to gobble down a 5lb bag of M&Ms (mmmm chocolate-y!). I rushed home to a gin and tonic and the most time devoted to hula hooping outside of 1958. I woke up early the next morning jonesing for some more hula action even though my lats were killing me(look at that! I just used a sporty sounding shortened name for a muscle group! I blame the Fit for that! Soon I'll be flexing in the mirror, willingly eating "goo" and telling everyone about how much I can bench).

Let's momentarily pretend that this real review of the game and not just me pontificating on my nerdy reaction to physical activity so that I might make some suggestions about how Wii Fit could be improved (you know, in addition to the brilliant Trainer Compliment Mode that I recommend above). Firstly, I know this has been mentioned all over the internet but I would really like it if the software included some sort of training routine. Moving from one exercise to another requires a lot of back and forth with the wiimote and the software which unnecessarily interrupts your workout. The need for a mode that walks you through a good 30mins of continuous exercise seems so obvious that I'm shocked that the smart folks down at Nintendo HQ failed to include this in the first release. Barring an update that allows me to work out without the wiimote ever present in my right hand I could use some sort of wiimote holster, in addition to freeing up my hands for balancing, grasping and wiping my brow this would also make a smashing addition to my panties and tank top work out look. A holster always adds that certain spark to an outfit -- I'm shocked we don't see more of them on the red carpet.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Biological Clock has Cold Feet

Despite my acute fear of getting knocked up I have always loved kids and though I was never one of those girls who listed "Mom" as my life's ambition (in fact I spent a good year mocking my brother because his pat 5 year old answer to "what do you want to be when you grow up?" was "A dad!" which, while cute was also ripe for 8 year old sister ridicule.) I did always think that I eventually wanted to reproduce if only because taking myself out of the gene pool could be considered an unfair attack on the future of the human race. You gotta respect the need of Darwinian evolution but as the expiration date on my ovaries looms I find myself more and more interested in selfishly spending all of what might have been diaper money on lavish vacations and booze (Ok, fine, we're not expiring over here. I'm 30, I know I have time but at most I have what? 7 years? 8? Honestly I think I need at least 10 just to mentally prepare for routinely having to get up before 8am on a Saturday).

Throughout high school and college I had reoccurring paranoid dreams about finding out I was 6 months pregnant the dreams appropriately ended with some serious freaking out and/or crying an/or getting grounded. My faith in birth control must have increased over the past few years because my dreams have ceased to resemble a surreal after school special despite a welcome upturn in activity likely to invite babies to my womb. But Monday night, deep in REM, my subconscious dreamed up a new version on the surprise bundle of horror craziness. In the dream I was happily going about my life when I suddenly remembered "Oh shit! I told Kajal I'd have twin babies for her and now I'm 4 months preggers!" Dream Brianna was deservedly annoyed with her expanding belly but in a striking bout of optimism decided that "at least I can go off birth control, it's probably bad for the babies anyway." Sadly, in the world of nightmares it turns out the you can get EXTRA PREGNANT and I quickly found out that in addition to Kajal's 6 month old twin fetuses my body was also home to a 3 month old fetus of my very own meaning I would be pregnant for an extra 3 months AND have to be a mom. Total bummer.

I never went through the all too common liberal college student "maybe I won't procreate at all!" stage. When friends would cringe at the possibility of crying and diapering and overpopulation I would counter with adorable baby shoes and reminders that babies grow up to be kids who will totally do chores for much less than minimum wage. I have always been the first person to volunteer for babysitting gigs or hanging out at the kids table and even today I can't help but dote on my niece to the point where my boyfriend occasionally feels a certain amount of present neglect come birthday season (things might improve if he'd just warm up to the concept of frilly dresses...). My deep desire to (someday) have kids has often made me super stressed out about my proverbially single status. I once even had a long phone conversation with my mother about how I would probably have to adopt a baby on my own since my poor sad pathetic whiny ass would never ever ever find a boy to lover her. I was 24 so you can understand my concern (I believe this was the same year that my EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD cousin commented that she thought it was sad that I would never have kids. You know, because I was a dried up old hag).

These days I know a lot of new mommies all of whom, unlike the mommies I knew in high school, are having bundles of joy under socially acceptable circumstances and their babies are cute and not on food stamps and very rarely annoying. My baby love has not waned and I love spending an hour or so eating their bellies and making monster faces until they giggle, but, unlike all of the babies I've thought about in my years of paranoia and day dreaming... these babies are REAL. Watching close friends of mine go through pregnancy and birth and motherhood has made the idea of babies suddenly very daunting. There came a point 7 months or so into one friend's pregnancy when I suddenly realized "Oh! She's going to have a baby! And it's going to be around all of the time. FUCK." This is when the new and improved freaking out started.

It's not that I no longer peer into my future and smile at the idea of a little blond haired terror of my own, it's that the future is coming at me at warp speed. The irony of waiting for babies until you're financially and emotionally ready is that when one really starts to think seriously about the reality of babies it becomes clear that no one in their right mind is EVER ready for this insanity. I'm convinced that almost all babies are born out of ignorance or denial. As far as I can tell the "Where to babies come from?" monologue should be edited so that it reflects reality:
When two people love each other very much and they pray really hard they slowly lose their minds and then they decide to go off of birth control and bring a child into the world. This child will make them stay home every night and spend all of their money on tiny spit up rags and environmentally conscious diapers and breast pumps and these two people will never again have a good excuse to spend $150 on one sushi dinner.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Finding the Land of the Lost

Last Thursday I went on the best date ever. Assuming that your idea of best date ever involves puppets and growling and big hunks of meat, but really if it doesn't you're lame and might as well stop reading now. The date activity and location were a surprise. I was just told to meet in front of the the Manhattan Mall at 6:30. While being guided out of the hubbub of Herald square I was told we'd be seeing "a little theater" right as we approached "Peep World" so my eyes were all prepped for the rolling when out of the Taxi clogged lanes of 7th avenue emerged Madison Square Garden's huge blinking sign announcing "Walking with Dinosaurs Live."

Walking with Dinosaurs, for those of you who manage to keep your Tivo off of the Discovery Channel (for shame!), is a BBC program staring Computer Generated dinosaurs engaging in everyday dinosaur things like snacking on the flesh of other dinosaurs and fleeing forest fires all while being fucking huge. The live version replaces CG with robots and puppets and the TV with 6000 screaming 6 year old boys.

It was very romantic.

My boyfriend may be a dinosaur loving fool, but he's not crazy enough to spend $100 for top shelf viewing, especially since he knows I'll give it up for midrange. Luckily our not-quite-nosebleeds were located directly behind the sound board so we were instantly upgraded to seats only a few rows back from the stage where the kids whose parents really love them get to sit. Pursuing the program preshow, I learned that the puppets were made with "muscles bags" and "voodoo kits." How could this be anything other than awesome?

The show started with a huge raptor-like beast chowing down on some cute widdle baby dinosaurs -- way to pave the road for the chorus of bawling children to come! Actually, for a show about creatures who regularly sucked the marrow out of eachother's bones, there was surprisingly little violence on stage. The dinos mostly meander around sniffing each other's butts and grunting. Save the hatchlings, there is no blood shed and the one meal of the 90 minute program shows up already dead and half eaten at the opening of Act 2. They never even charge the annoying guy playing the paleontologist time traveler even though everyone in the audience, even those under 5, spend the whole show dreaming of seeing him decapitated before he can utter another inane joke. This level of peace amongst giant lizards seems like a dangerous precedent to set. I can't help but think about what will happen when a time machine goes wacky sending a bus load of elementary school kids into the Jurassic where, based on the lessons learned in this play (and from Barney), the kids will stream from the bus hoping for some big friendly dinosaur hugs only to be greeted as tasty hor'dourves. As a society we should work harder at teaching all kids to cower in fear.

Sometimes the boyfriend refers to me as an amateur botanist because I'm constantly making him stop on street corners to ooh and ahh over foilage. The plants of Walking With Dinosaurs were each individual little windsocks that popped up proudly out of the edge of the stage and when a volcano spewed ash into the air withered up in a way that was vaguely reminiscent of a penis. While Variety's review of the show specifically mentioned being disappointed in the plants I loved them and am hugely grateful to the poor little stagehand who has to slump around stuffing each and every one back into it's little condom like holder between the acts.

Overall, the dinosaur puppets were amazing. Most were a robot/puppet hybrid. All were GIGANTIC. You're sitting there thinking, "yeah, i know, big, whatever," but seriously they were BIG -- their necks stretched out over the audience, their teeth were roughly 7 feet long, I believe the head of at least one creature extended well outside of the earth's orbit. The puppets were also impressively realistic, however many of the large motorized beasts looked like they were perpetually standing in a presquat crouch that seemed like it could lead to a dinosaur sized number 2 at any moment. The show eventually made the dreams of the entire audience come true when a stegosaurus rumbled and growled and shook until a compact and surprisingly clean looking 1 foot in diameter poo rolled out onto the stage. The six year olds went wild -- nothing pleases the savage elementary schooler like a good poo joke.

I give the dinosaurs, the penis plants, the poo and even the paleontologist at big thumbs up, even though AM New York (the trashy free daily for those you not living the NYC) found it lacking (2 stars? Am I to assume we're rating in binary these days?). My boyfriend is a lucky man to have found the only girl in New York who puts out for dinosaur puppets.

Our date ended at Dinosaur BBQ, because I appreciate nothing more than a good theme. And meat. All in all way better than dating a TRex.

This post is cross posted at Burt Reynold's Mustache

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Short Play About Being Almost 3

Kurt: Father (despite being Brianna's baby brother -- How did this happen?), turning 28 in 8 months (see? A BABY I TELL YOU)
Delanie: Cutest Little Girl in the World (despite being a bit of a diva in this particular play), turning 3 in 2 weeks.
Brianna: Doting Aunt (despite being treated like crap), encroaching on 31...

Scene: bicostal phone call/The evil domain of Verizon

Kurt: Did you want to talk to the bug?
Brianna: Why else would I ever call you?
K: Hey Delanie, wanna talk to Brianna on the phone?
Delanie: (yelling from the background) NO!
K: Ha, she said no.
B: I heard, I guess someone doesn't really want any birthday presents.
K: Hey Delanie, Brianna says that if you don't want to talk to her she might not buy you any birthday presents!

Brianna and Kurt chit chat for five minutes about the weather, family drama and if their mom will be openly mean to Brianna's boyfriend at an upcoming family event (probably not....). Delanie continues her coloring trying to concentrate while quietly pondering the possibility of no birthday presents....

D (Tugging on her dad's arm): I want to talk now.
B: Hi! How are you?
D: I was doing some coloring. I wanted you to talk to my dad.
B: I did talk to your dad -- what are you coloring?
D: I'm using blue.
B: cool! What kind of things are blue?
D: I like pink. And I like purple
B (laughing) ok...

Is everyone feeling the love?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Hear They're Making Nicer and Nicer Wigs....

In my life, in addition to the requisite heartache and pain, there have been girls who didn't invite me to their birthday parties, boys who said I smelled bad, bosses who didn't pay me anywhere near enough and at least two people who refuse to recognize the brilliance of my writing but I have had only one true enemy and that is my hair.

I wrote the above sentence months ago and have struggled with a post about my hair ever since -- how could I let such a fabulous intro go to waste? What's more -- How could I deny my readers paragraphs of me whining about HAIR? What could be more thrilling? If any post will get me on the front page of Digg it will be this (Q: what do geeks love more than long diatribes on physical appearance?) (A: Jokes about the Linux kernel).

Living with my hair is like waking up each morning to the task of appeasing a rogue dictator. The official words that I used to describe the beast that rests tauntingly just above my forehead (and which proudly takes credit for most of the forehead wrinkles) are "blond" and "wavy" but I'm not actually comfortable saying either of these things because neither is absolutely true. My hair is only blondish and wavish. I constantly feel like my hair is making a liar out of me -- like people are whispering behind my back about how I'm mouse-y brown and stringy and in deep deep denial.

There are 2 options for my hair post shower -- apply a defuser enabled blow dryer it in hopes that the curls/waves decide to play nice and evenly distribute like a romantic frame around my face (15% success rate) or give up all hope and straightening it which will look exactly the same every time I do it but which will also be kind of boring (95% success rate).

Evil hair stylists are always claiming that if I'd just purchase this $50 bottle of goop I could look so beautiful every single day that people would stop me on the street and offer me free ice cream and wouldn't even care when I got super fat. It is possible that I am just way too lazy and oblivious to judge hair products but I can't say for certain that I notice any discernible difference between say Marc Anthony Curl Lotion or Loreal Springing Curls Mouse or just rubbing excess sunscreen on the ends of my hair. All might lead to a comfortably curly frizz free day and all might cause my head to explode.

"Get a better hair cut!" You naively scream. ("Perhaps one that costs more than $20" you might add as a snotty aside. You're kind of a bitch.). The sad truth is that hair styling as a profession is only one step above televangelism or spray on hair in terms of delivering results (though at $13.95 it might be worth it to just shave my head and start from scratch). Hair stylists are incapable of doing anything to improve the state of affairs north of my eyebrows. I've tried to tell every single one about the elusive wave and temperamental frizz and the results are always the same. They claim I should scrunch it more and use some magic product sold only at their salon and I might even be willing to try such foolishness (despite years of failure) if they had any ability to get me out of the salon looking anywhere near presentable, but every appointment ends with some ridiculous take on prom hair. I also hate getting my hair cut because going to the beauty salon means that I have to have at least one conversation with a beautician.

"So what are you up to tonight? Perhaps we can give you a special do!"

"I have 2 episodes of Baby Borrowers buring a hole in the Tivo... Can you do something that will compliment a tub of Chunky Monkey?").

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dear Pandora Part 2 (Now You're Just Being Stupid)

I'm sitting at my desk, grooving on some Hold Steady (and by grooving I mean occasionally bobbing my head and perhaps biting my lip and nodding a bit when they play Chips Ahoy but not ever actually doing anything that might be categorized as dancing) when what should I see but this:

(outraged pink commentary by yours truly)

Look Pandora -- I thought we settled this shit. I agreed not to shame you by having a torrid affair with your mortal enemy and you agreed to stop acting like all of my favorite bands are Blowfish clones. Personally I've enjoyed this extended period of peace (thanks for recommending The Kamikaze Hearts!) but don't think I won't turn on the bitch face and cut you if I hear so much as one note of some stupid song about a dude crying over a football game (save that baby act for when I kick your ass at Mario Kart).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the Installation of Automatic Toilet Paper Dispensers

They just installed automatic toilet paper dispensers in the work bathroom (I can only assume they are somehow wired through the deck). My first thoughts was "Really? Who is this lazy?" but then I realized that this probably has more to do with woman being crazy germaphobes in the bathroom.

Other thoughts:
  1. How did they determine the amount of toilet paper to to dispense? Was a study on average butt wiping needs done? The amount delivered seems more than substantial to me and I can hardly imagine going in for seconds. If this is average I feel that one of the main causes of global warming is over wiping. Perhaps this is commentary on the size of my ass (small).
  2. When I stood up my butt caused the dispenser to redeploy. Perhaps this is commentary on the size of my ass (big).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


My office has a deck that serves as a fabulous cafeteria during the months when it's not covered in snow. Sadly, yesterday the door to the deck bore the following message:
Please do not step onto the deck. The [building management company] is having electrical work done on the deck. Please. for your own safety, we encourage you not to open this door until further notice.
When I told G about this sign his response was, "don't do it, babe . . . even if you think opening the door would make a good blog post."

So far so good...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Insert Trite Pot Joke Here

Before we begin I feel obligated to warn my readers that this post is about D-R-U-G-S. Or... it's probably about D-R-U-G-S. It could also be about O-R-E-G-A-N-O because since the DARE Program in my elementary school was almost as effective as the "Sex = Babies" lectures I don't know that much about pot.

This evening after work I decided to make a quick stop in the Union Square Whole Foods. This is hilarious because no one has ever got in an out of that store in less than four lifetimes. But I needed fancy plums and some nice cheese and given the paltry food shopping options offered in New York City I had no choice but to swim through the sea of yuppies. Eons later as I waited sweaty and bored for the N train to show itself in the subway station I happened to glance down at my feet (cute shoes!) and notice a tini tiny little ziplock baggie stuffed full of some mystery substance. Now as we all know the only things that come in tini tiny ziplock baggies are jewelry that's purchased at a flea market or on a street corner from an "artist" too cheap to invest in classy gift boxes for his wares and DRUGS.

My thought process went something like this:


Man, I really wanna pick them up -- could it really be real live DRUGS?

What if my 6th grade teacher is hiding in the subway? What if she sees me touching DRUGS. She will be so disappointed. Must resist picking up DRUGS.

What if a cop sees me and can tell it's DRUGS and thinks the DRUGS are mine and arrests me on the spot? Must resist picking up DRUGS.

What if this is a STING? Must resist picking up DRUGS.

Man I could totally blog about this.

So of course I picked the DRUGS up and cleverly hid them in my shopping bag right between the crimini mushrooms and the organic pluots. One might argue that posting on the internet about the DRUGS you just acquired is not the best way to go about avoiding being arrested however, the marijuana now sitting on my kitchen table seems to exist in a legal gray area. Am I breaking the law by possessing these DRUGS that I found? What is the proper thing to do when you spot a baggie of DRUGS on the subway platform? I suppose the right answer is "alert the authorities" but calling in the troops for a sting on enough pot for 5 or so joints seems like a bit of a waste of tax payer resources. Also, calling the cops could have led to missing my train and like any self respecting New Yorker I'm not risking that even to report a murder.

I realized on the subway ride home that I was living the dream of some Phish fan (minus the lack of shower but plus a pungent wedge of Gorgonzola so really it all evens out). Sadly, this dream is going to be crushed, because in addition to the fact that drugs are bad and might turn your brain and/or testicles into a fried and/or smashed egg anything one finds on the subway is 100% FOR SURE smothered in a tangy sauce of rat piss, cockroach droppings and the dried tears of washed up mariachi players/break dancers and ingesting such a combo will kill you. So this pot's future is going to be spent in the NY sewer system which, I'm next to positive, won't seem much different than the floor of the Union Square Subway Station.

Monday, July 07, 2008

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best Song From 1979

I used to love greeting cards. This was back in Junior High when I didn't have a very firm grasp on things that were cool versus things that will ensure that I keep my virginity well into college (this sentence seems to imply that nowadays, my grip around "cool" is steady and tight, this is a lie.). Back in the day I could spend a few hours in a Hallmark store giggling a Maxine jokes (that old lady is a cad!) and envying my Aunt Karen's box of cards that allowed her to send everyone in the family at least two cards for every birthday (she probably had TONS of boyfriends!).

Has anyone been to a Hallmark store lately? Since the internet now allows me to forget friends' birthdays up until the very last minute and then greet them with a "happy brithday! wooohooo!... we're old." on facebook it had probably been at least 6 months since I set foot in a card store. On Saturday I had to dive into the bowels of Disney themed ornaments to search out a "congratz on spreading your seed!" card. Unfortunately Hallmark not longer offers actual cards (unless you're willing to purchase one of the no irony "little girls are love and kisses and farts of sugar" tragedies).

Let's suppose for some reason (perhaps the card recipient is deaf?) you don't want your card to play a popular song at maximum volume. You should probably go to another store because, as you can see from the picture at left, at Hallmark it's all annoying jingles and quotes from not so funny movies into infinity. There also seems to be an overabundance of country music themed cards including a birthday card that plays 'Live Like You Were Dying" which I only recommend for birthday boys who are under age 30 unless you want to ruin the special day with the implied "because you are, really soon".

There is one way to avoid the din of sound cards and that's to go green. At Hallmark caring for the environment means having no sense of humor. It also means taking every single opportunity to note your superior recycling skills. Every card in this section is a parody of how people in Alabama picture "those liberal Env-I-Ron-Mentals." There were pictures of vegetables on more than one card. There were repeated chants to the earth goddess. I believe one card included a coupon for tofu. Apparently Hallmark has identified the market for "green" cards as "strictly people who have full time jobs protesting for PETA."

Lest you think Hallmark has completely failed to join the 21st century let me assure you that on their web site in addition to demos of how to wrap packages and recipes for strawberry jam (cause if anyone knows cooking it's the stationary store!) they also offer premium ecards.... for $1.99 each. Frankly this seems like a smoking deal for an video of an orange couch with clip art of dogs haphazardly crossing the frame to the dulcet tones of Jungle Boogie. It appears that Hallmark has only been able to legally source a few songs for the ecards so most the cards feature either "Jungle Boogie" or "Hot Stuff." Really what more could anyone need?

This entry is cross-posted at Burt Reynolds' Mustache

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Little Protein in my Salad

So. It's Tuesday morning. In an effort to not be wasteful or 400lbs I'm dutifully working my way through the mounds of lettuce that the CSA forces upon me by making a salad for lunch (seriously, I hear there are food shortages in other parts of the world, this is likely due to the mass lettuce hording done by the hippies in my neighborhood.). Brianna cannot live by lettuce alone and since I'm nearing the end of the veggie supply I'm forced to scrounge through the fridge for fixins'. On to the island of lettuce go some grape tomatoes and some tuna fish and some canned beets when out of the crisper should pop one spring onion. Let me rewind to last Thursday as I chopped some other veggie and thought to myself, "my oh my these knives are dull. I should sharpen them." And so I did. I think you see where this is going. The onion is poised on the cutting board preparing to be bisected, dissected and consumed but this onion has bite, this onion has teeth, this onion is the little veggie that could and he's ready to stand up and fight for root vegetable rights. The cut through the onion was swift and clean right up until it hit my finger. Then it was bloody.




As you can see things did not look good for Mr. Left Index. As I stared at the waterfall of blood that poured into my sink as I bravely submitted to washing the wound I thought about slapping on a couple of band aides and ignoring the throbbing. I thought about how if I were in the same house as my mother her ER nurse skills could probably magically sterri strip the flaps of skin together for the tiny price of listening to her lecture me on knife skills. And then I called Amy and asked her to drive me to the hospital. I felt a bit bad getting her out of bed (Oh to be a teacher on summer break *sigh*) since I probably could have called a Taxi or walked (you know, assuming I knew where the nearest hospital was which.... I did not) but then I remembered that due to her little bout with cancer Amy owes me a debt of roughly 400 hours of hospital time -- this 8am trip to Mt Sinai is no where near pay back.

My last trip to an ER for stitches took place in 1993 when I got kicked in the mouth by a wild lamb who was none to keen on putting on some shoe polish and showing off her shapely legs in the country fair. The hoof I took to the mouth resulted in me actually hiding from my parents in an effort to avoid the trip to the emergency room and thus reduce the likelihood that I'd end up with a needle shoved into my lips 5 or 6 times (though really my mother would not have blinked at the idea of stitching her wimpy daughter up in our kitchen so placing all of the risk in the hospital was incredibly short sighted). I was eventually herded into the family car, given a long lecture called "Do you want to have a huge scar on your pretty pretty face cause I can give you one with my fist young lady." numbed up and subjected to some fancy facial embroidery. I am proud to say that I was much braver this time around.

The only time when I considered jumping from the gurney and running far away from the nice Physician's Assistant and the man in the bed next to me with the truly gruesome puss-filled tale of stepping on glass a few weeks ago only to be alarmed by the oozing 14 days later was when, after my finger was numbed up with 5 or 6 shots of anesthetic, I thought "hmm my hand feels weird, is that just the numbing? Perhaps I should turn my head and actually look at the hand..." only to be greeted with a scene from SAW IX: Decapitation Isn't Just For Heads. There was so much blood. It was running down the table, it was puddling between my fingers, it was like a side of finger french fries with extra ketchup. But I again averted my eyes and managed to get through the stitchery and the tetanus shot ("Was the knife clean?" "Well, I assume it had some onion juice on it.").

I left my hospital ID on all day in an effort to court sympathy at work, this was mostly in vain. And so I am forced to court sympathy on the internet.