Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Oh, My. I Almost Forgot.

My apologies to my brother-in-blog, Tom, for forgetting to tell you all that I finally received a gift I like -- not just 'like', but 'looove' -- from him. The Concise Dictionary Of American Biography is the best gifts you could possibly give me, bar none. I think my eyes got as big around as saucers and I almost drooled onto the newly acquired treasure, actually. See, I might read one or two works of fiction a year; the rest of the time I'm reading autobiographies and biographies of all sorts. So, I will have fun with this book. While I understand that this tome is meant as a reference book, I will read it front to back, as I do most interesting reference books, which is a habit I acquired as a little squirt reading my family's entire set of Compton's Encyclopedia more than once. Compton's sucks, by the way. Collier's is the way to go, as I later learned selling the suckers door to door at the age of 19. Thank you, thank you, Tom!

This is one of my favorite, recently-read memoirs: Dry by Augusten Burroughs. It has truly been a long while since I've read a book and almost cried when it was over because I was going to miss reading it so much. I loved this book. I will now go back and read his other books Sellevision and Running With Scissors. Burroughs story is hilariously tragic and one I'm grateful to have experienced through his memoir.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

What's That In The Sky? Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It's A Flying Pig!

I always said that I'd go and live on the streets rather than wait tables again. The time has come for me to eat my words. I'm going to see a man about a job tomorrow. Believe me, if I didn't have a husband and four animals to help support, there'd be no fucking way in hell I'd even be thinking about this. I'd move back in with Mom, of course.

I guess, if I get the job, I'll need to have some gratitude. I mean, at least I'll be working. Maybe Tom can use his new-found skills with guns for a good cause. I'll make it easy for him -- I'll draw a bull's-eye in the center of my forehead.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Hell Hole

In Raleigh with Tom, watching the Spinal Tap DVD, so I will keep this short and sweet. Okay, so I was wrong about the herpes lesions on Nigel and David, but there is even more fodder for the Nigel-and-Dave-as-gay-men theory in the expanded DVD version.

It's better in a
hell hole
You know where you stand in a
hell hole
Folks lend a hand in a
hell hole

Hell Hole
Spinal Tap

I'm quoting a song, not talking about Tom's house. I swear.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Lifestyles Of The Rich, Famous And Silly

I know I promised to keep in touch while I was gone, but my sister was having internet problems, and I couldn't post. I would not, anyway, have been able to post anything funnier than the comments on my last post from Tom, Michael and Ed. Thanks guys, especially Ed, for the hilarious comments. I had a good laugh over that one. I want a copy of the video when it's released on the internet.

THE RICH: I spent Christmas in PA hiking, taking saunas, sitting in the steamroom, playing ping-pong, shooting pool, playing air hockey, etc., etc., while staying at my sister's house. Actually, Aaron and I had our own two-bedroom apartment while staying at my sister's house, separate from the main house. The damn thing is almost as big as my three-bedroom house here in Charlotte.

We spent Christmas day in the main house, where my sister and her husband live, with my mom, my niece, my sister, her husband and his mother. His other daughter arrived later with her young son. I have a small family, and I like it that way.

THE FAMOUS: We did have a surprise guest for a while on Christmas day -- Sandy Koufax. Yes, that's right -- the Sandy Koufax of baseball fame. He plays golf with my brother-in-law. While I am not a fan of pro sports (I'd rather play a sport than watch), I admire Sandy Koufax. He had a difficult career due to his Judaism and injuries, but he never complained and was always a humble person. He even handles the accusations that he is a homosexual, which was in all the newspapers last year, with grace and dignity. I believe, and so has he stated, that if he were gay, he'd admit it because he sees nothing wrong with being gay and he'd have nothing to lose at this point by admitting it. Hell, it might even help to sell more of his new-ish autobiography. The fact is, that he isn't gay. Further proof is found in his long-term relationship with a sweet woman who is a friend of my sister's. He was nice and full of humility. He was also handsome, even at his age. He was quite a hottie back in the day. Then again, you all know that I have a thing for Jewish men, anyway.

THE SILLY: Aaron isn't rich or famous, but he certainly is silly. On the way back to Charlotte tonight, we passed a town called 'Troutman.' Aaron started singing Troutman to the tune of Soundgarden's Spoonman, which was pretty amusing and silly, but it got really silly when he substituted, for the sound of an old man playing the spoons on his legs, the sound of an old man playing trout on his legs with a "slappity, slappity, ka-slap, slap." I had tears squirting out of my eyes, I tell ya'. Then again, where else would tears squirt out of me? (Rhetorical question, btw.)

Monday, December 22, 2003

Holidays Schmolidays

I went to the last Christmas party of the year last night, thank God. There was good company, great food, and a karaoke machine. I have never been in the same room with a karaoke machine before. The extrovert in me wants to sing and sing and then sing some more, but the reality is that I have an awful singing voice. So, because the party was so much fun and I didn't want it to end early, I just sang along with a friend to 'Rapper's Delight', the g-rated version. I came in with the appropriate 'Say Whats?' I also threatened to break dance. See, I'm not as lily white as I may appear. I can dance. I just can't break dance, per se. I have had that song -- six notebook pages, front and back -- memorized since seventh grade. The kiddie version really threw me off, but I still had a good time rapping and dancing next to the star rapper, Billy. Aaron later broke out the guitar and a bunch of us sang along to such all-time party favorites as 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Creep.'

I am proud of the fact that I had my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. I can't stand crowds or malls, and when the two are put together, I'd almost rather be George W.'s version of Monica Lewinsky than shop. Almost. And that's really saying something. I am not proud of the fact that this year, due to financial strain, I've had to give some gifts to people in Pennsylvania that were originally given to me as Christmas gifts in Charlotte. This was easy to do, as I hate most gifts people pick out for me. I sometimes wonder if the gift givers know me at all. I mean, have you ever seen me wear anything like a sequined-butterfly, midriff-baring, disco shirt that would have looked perfect at Studio 54? No. You haven't. So what possessed you to buy me one, huh? I do have some self-respect; so you won't find me passing that gift along up north.

I am leaving for Philadelphia in the morning. I will keep in touch, though. I promise. Family always gives fodder for the old blog, now, doesn't it?

By the way -- hotel, motel, whatcha gonna do today? Say what ...

Saturday, December 20, 2003

I Think I Went Up A Cup Size Due To All The Estrogen

I went to a holiday party this morning that I've been dreading since I was first asked to attend -- I had to attend, for reasons I won't explain here. There were many reasons I didn't want to go to this shindig; one of them being that it was held at 9:30 in the morning. Who the hell in their right mind has a friggin' party at that time, anyway? But I digress. The main reason was that it was going to be entirely attended by females, over 30 of them actually. I can't stand estro-fests. They make me sick. I believe the best parties are the ones where both sexes attend because we tend to balance each other out -- not too much estrogen and not too much testosterone. Given the choice, though, count me in on the testo-fest camp.

I took it as a good sign, after I arrived 15 minutes late, that there was only one woman wearing a holiday-themed sweater, and she is in her sixties, so that's almost allowable. The food was typical for an estro-fest -- all sickeningly sweet, fat-laden blobs loaded with tons of sugar, but they had lots of fresh fruit, just for me, which made me happy. All in all it wasn't too bad. No one complained about her husband or talked about getting her hair done or PMS or menopause, and I was grateful.

I think the reason the party didn't make me nauseous and asphyxiate me from female-hormone overintoxication is that the group was extremely diverse -- early twenties through to late sixties, African-American and white, women raised as debutantes and women raised in the ghetto, lesbian and straight, married and single, professional, blue-collar and unemployed. We all piled into the same house, talked, laughed, ragged on each other, and it was actually kind of fun.

The only truly awful thing about the party, the thing that would have given it away as an estro-fest immediately, was the fat-free half-and-half. Good God! You would never walk into a man's house and be greeted with such nonsense. You'd be lucky to get some milk or some lumpy powdered crap, but it'd still be better that fat-free half-and-half, which contains more chemicals than actual dairy product. Trust me, if your diet cannot withstand the few fat grams that come from a teaspoon of half-and-half, you're gonna be dead in a few years anyway, so why not blow it out and have the regular stuff?

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Cut Me Some Slack, Y'all

Okay? I been real busy. I do want to post something, though. I am going to post another bunch of web searches that brought people here. And although you may get tired of these, I never do, and it's my damn blog.

Jeez, don't people get selfish at this time of the year? Try to read with at least a mosicum of interest.

"big nose swim goggles" (Me?)

"sexy feet hurt"

"21 grams nipple"

"kinds of sXe on bead"

"lisp embarrassed speech therapist effeminate"

"what according to Steve-O is his dumbest tattoo ever" (Probably the huge one of himself on his back.)

"pictures of 13 year old armpit" (This one has to be from some Muslim country where even a flash of armpit is fodder for the old masturbation machine.)

"Cinch heels feet hurt"


"chloroform and euthanasia"

"more evil than the devil himself" (Me, again?)

"Christina Aguilera nipples exposed"

"Parker Posey nipples"

"women with lovely tits" (As opposed to the ugly, hairy, hanging leprous ones most people want to see?)

And my two favorites:

"Marry(sic) Christmas in a whole bunch of languages"

"Why is my turkey such I turd hole" (My question exactly!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Random Thoughts

After working for only four hours today at the in-laws' store, I have decided that I'd rather live on the streets than work again in any form of customer service. I was yelled at or treated rudely at least three times in four hours. Who do people think they are, anyway? Damn. Some people suck.

I am enjoying Aaron being away, actually. I can stay up as late as I want, leave dirty dishes and socks everywhere, play solitare in bed, stay in my PJ's all day, watch any movie I want to watch, have the computer and bed all to myself. It's a good thing we don't have kids, or they'd be a mess, too. I'm sure I'd be like, " Well, that big, green clump of dried-up snot on Junior's nose isn't really hurting anyone, now is it?" or "Who said peanut butter isn't supposed to be in one's hair? That's a stupid rule. Besides one of the dogs will lick it out eventually." As much as I love my husband, I sometimes long for the days of bachelorettehood. Except for the 'no sex' part.

So, Jack White got into trouble for beating another musician? Jack, you can spank me anytime you want, you paler-than-death Romeo, you. I promise I won't press charges.

It's such a coincidence that we found Saddam right after another large chunk of the American population expressed that it was no longer of the opinion we should be in Iraq, isn't it? What a morale booster, Georgie.

I was cut off in traffic today by another moron. No, he didn't have a NewLife 91.9 sticker on his vehicle or his ear stuck to a cell phone. He was picking his nose. 'Picking' isn't the right choice of words. 'Drilling' is more descriptive. As a matter of fact, I have never seen anyone have his finger that far up a nostril before or use such force to remove a lowly boog. This guys was acting like he had his winning lottery ticket fly up his nose.

I really wouldn't name my son 'Junior.' I would however name my son 'Che.' See, I told you it's a good thing I don't have kids.

Monday, December 15, 2003

I Know You're Trying To Be Nice But ...

Do not tell me to enjoy my time off, please. And don't write it in the comments, either, smarty pants. That's what most people I know, who have asked about my job status, say right after they ask me whether or not I'm working. The problem with enjoying my time of is that I'm not eligible for unemployment insurance because I only worked part-time. So, time off equals no income. Since my husband is fishing with his dad this week for his annual birthday fish-a-thon, I do have the opportunity to pick up a couple of days working at the old natural foods store, which is good. I am also making a friend 25 tins of chocolate and peanut butter fudge to give away for the holidays. That will not only keep me busy for a couple of days but give me some more cash. I have been trying to use my time off wisely. I have been trying to keep busy to keep the fear of the financial situation at bay, and I've been succeeding for the most part.

I have done many things since losing my job. I have read 15 books in the last three weeks. Usually, I don't get the opportunity to read 15 books in a year. I have been walking the dogs at least two miles a day, rain or shine, which is no small feat because my dogs go insane when they are walked -- they walk me, actually. I scan the want ads everyday, and I have sent approximately 15 applications to would-be employers. Of course, I clean the house and listen to music and watch movies, like the original La Femme Nikita, mainly because my cable service finally picked up IFC, but it's all the little things that I do each day that really fill up my time.

Let's take a look at what I did yesterday to give us an example of how I'm filling my time: Attended a birthday brunch for a friend; exchanged CD's with Ed at the library while perusing the new non-fiction and biography sections; went to Starbucks; bought a new mouse because my died yesterday morning; made mushroom soup, sesame cookies, marinated mushrooms, red pepper/cheese bars, fruit salad, homemade chai, and steamed shrimp in my kitchen yesterday (whew); read the entire, new Monty Python autobiography; watched the disappointing second half of Angels in America; did two loads of laundry; updated a member's list for some group I belong to which has 50 members; searched the want ads; talked to my husband who was bored on said fishing trip because of the weather; ad infinitum -- okay, maybe not 'infinitum,' but 'inaneium,' anyway.

The worst part of all this has been the offers to travel. People naturally assume that because I have all this time off, I'd love to go places with them. They're right. In the last week alone I've been invited to: Stay in England for as long as I want, only having to pay for the plane ticket over; go to Paris for two weeks only having to pay my share of the hotel, as the flight would be free; and go to Denver, Colorado for three weeks only having to pay for my flight and lift tickets, as the hotel would be free. It just isn't fair -- now that I actually have all the time in the world to travel, I don't have the cash. I think a large portion of today's activities will include rolling up into a tight ball and feeling sorry for myself. Wah.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Sunday, The (Ass)Holiest Of Days

It's Sunday, and if you're not at church, I know what you're doing. I had 20 hits today alone from people searching 'ass hole.' That's right, 20 hits, and that's nor even including the searches for 'beautiful black hole ass' and 'big ass hole' and 'Fundamentalist Christian.' Just kidding -- no one searched for 'beautiful black hole ass.'

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Dads -- Gotta Love 'Em

These examples of annoying/irritating/cruel dad-type jokes I culled from the B3TA homepage. They are an extremely silly, British humor page with lots of fun things for all. I have been on B3TA's weekly mailing list for about two years now. Each week there is at least one thing that makes me chuckle, and most weeks there is actually something that makes me laugh out loud. Taken from this week's request for members to post their dad's lamest joke:

I went into a Chinese restaurant the other day. I said to the waiter ‘This meat is rubbery’ to which the waiter replied (Chinese accent) ‘Ah! Thank you very muuuch.'

Do you want me to do my man-eating shark impression?
Mmmm. This shark tastes really good!

On spotting a policeman he
grabs me around the neck and says 'It's ok, officer. I've got him, I've got him, he's here'

Everytime he picks me up from outside a mate's house, or anywhere, he will always put on a scared face, lean on the horn, and drive right at me, pulling away at the last second.

Whenever there was a guitar solo on the radio, he'd pretend to play a piano. The kids would shout 'Dad, you're supposed to play the guitar!' To which he'd reply, 'Don't be stupid, I can't play the guitar!'

Dad: "Pies.... P.F.I.E.S" (spelling it out)
Me: "There's no F in pies!"
Dad: "I know, it's a cake ... chorttle"

When making tea, Mum says "Put the kettle on, then," and Dad replies "I don't think it will fit."

His favourite is --
Me: It's going to a cold night tonight.
Dad: Yes, and a dark one too.

"Whats big red and eats rocks?"
"I don't know, what is big red and eats rocks"
"A big red rock eater!"

Every time I bring a new girlfriend or just a friend who is female round, my dad always says, "She's not as bad as you said".

And the funniest but also the cruelest:
Not so funny, but my father thought so --
When my grandfather passed away, my father told me by saying: "All those with grandfathers put up your hand." Then, pointing at me, "Not so fast you!"

Thursday, December 11, 2003

She Rocks

In keeping with yesterday's post about chefdom and all it entails, I have garnered my favorite excerpt from Anthony Bourdain's book to share with my beloved readers. This woman is my hero.

"A long-time associate, Beth, who likes to refer to herself as the 'Grill Bitch', excelled at putting loudmouths and fools into their proper place. She refused to behave any differently than her male co-workers: she'd change in the same locker area, dropping her pants right along side them. She was sexually aggressive, and as vocal about it as her fellow cooks, but unlikely to suffer behavior she found demeaning. One sorry Moroccan cook who pinched her ass found himself suddenly bent over a cutting board with Beth dry-humping him from behind, saying, 'How do you like it, bitch?' The guy almost died of shame -- and never repeated that mistake again."

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly
Anthony Boudain

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Chefs -- The Rock Stars Of The Culinary World

Chefs are gods of their own, little worlds. The big problem arises when you take a power-hungry chef out of his own, little world -- he still thinks he's a god and all of his underlings should cater to his every need or want. He has a hard time functioning in the real world, the one outside of his realm. Marriages definitely don't seem to last very long unless they marry someone of a suitably meek temperament, such as a geisha. Everyone else in the world except the chef is stupid, inept, inadequate and borderline retarded. His opinion of others just gets worse after the 1st drink, the 5th drink, the 25th and all the drinks in between, up until the point of passing out, anyway.

I have been reading, thanks to the suggestion by James, Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, and I just finished reading Typhoid Mary by the same author. I've been wanting to read these books for quite a while, especially after I read Bourdain's original article in The New Yorker about what really goes on inside of the nation's restaurants, but they somehow got lost in the shuffle.

I am like Bourdain. I am a classically-trained chef; although I didn't go to one of those fancy culinary institutes -- I worked my way up from the very bottom (pot washer) almost to the top (I was a sous-chef). Unlike the author, I had to get out of the business if I wanted to maintain any semblance of sanity, reality or sobriety. Bourdain, on the other hand, walks a very fine line between those states and their more reasonable counterparts. I admire a chef who can do that and write these two terrific books. He's definitely the exception, not the rule.

I loved being a chef. And even though I wasn't at the very top chef status, I was only underneath the head chef himself, sometimes quite literally, depending. The kitchen is a completely different world from the one you civilians (diners) wander around in. It is a world of sex, drugs, alcohol, power-play, degradation and, yes, food. There is such a distinct pecking order that no one even thinks of jumping rank without a promotion. This is made extremely difficult by the fact that almost everyone in this profession could be the poster child for the 'Type A' personality. There is no back-talk, but there is plenty of underlying, seething resentment. It hangs in the air at all times and is the catalyst for the kitchen staff's ability to actually perform the way they do under such harsh circumstances. It also fuels the closing-time drinking where, out of the safety of the kitchen, a particularly nasty chef may find himself the barely-obscured butt of many deprecatory jokes or even an occasional sucker punch, leading to a drunken firing and hopefully a subsequent, drunken reunion and re-hiring, complete with hugs and tears.

It is a harsh cruel world and one in which I thrived for quite a while. It was also one in which Typhoid Mary, Mary Mallon, thrived, as she was a cook and a good one at that. As she was being released from her three-year hospital quarantine in New York City, she was told never to cook for others again, and she got a job as a laundress. She was so used to being at the top of the pecking order, she couldn't handle the new lowly profession and went back to cooking under various pseudonyms, until she caused another outbreak at a hospital where she was cooking, was found out and locked away in that hospital for life.

Anyone who knows me wonders how I put up with the pressure, as I'm pretty laid-back now. The pressure was truly awful -- constant chiding; constant, demeaning reprimands; constant and sometimes seemingly impossible requests that never began or ended with a with a 'please.' Most kitchen staff is also completely surrounded by equipment that, while it may not have the capability to kill, could easily maim or injure someone for life. I have seen oil taken directly from the fryer, measuring hundred of degrees Fahrenheit, accidentally spilled down the front of the fry cook's legs. His skin came off with his Levi's and a nasty infection set in after a trip to the hospital. I have seen many, many hideous burns on many, many different parts of the body. I have seen burns and cuts down to the bone. I have seen fingers tips sliced clean off in a non-guarded slicer, which were carried to the hospital on the sliced cheese, along with the patient. I have many scars from burns on my hands and, while in a great hurry slicing vegetables, sliced into the meaty part of my left hand, the palm-side part under the thumb, until fatty tissue and muscle were visible. I was told to bandage it and put a latex glove on and work the rest of the shift and to stop being a 'pussy.' The next day the pain forced me to go to the hospital, where they had to pry the already-knitting flesh open with a scalpel and give me stitches inside and outside the wound. I went to work that night -- the pain medication helped some -- because I wasn't going to be a 'pussy,' damn it. Women in the professional kitchen really have to tough-out many things to prove they're capable.

I have seen people have sex in the walk-out refrigerator, people spit into food, people not wash their hands properly after handling raw meat or going to the bathroom. I have seen kitchen workers drain all the nitrous oxide from cases of whipped cream containers to just have moment's peace amongst the chaos and hellish working conditions. I have seen chefs go into alcohol-withdrawal-induced seizures because, for some reason or another, they couldn't drink on the job that night. I have seen fist fights, food fights and sexual harassment, the likes of which the employment commission has never even dreamed. I have even seen chefs cry when their favorite 9-inch chef's knife has broken, but not shed a single tear from a third-degree burn.

God, I miss it sometimes, and I think that my stress-filled life on the edge in some of the most renowned and depraved kitchens in Charlotte and Pennsylvania is responsible for my frequent slipping into soul-sucking ennui. I was a semi-god, a semi-rock star, if you will. I actually had a little power then, and power for a personality like mine is a dangerous thing.

Monday, December 08, 2003

The Bummer Post

*WARNING* this post is a bummer. I woke up today with a sore throat and general malaise, and that's exactly where I've remained throughout the day. Since being sick really pisses me off, I've not been in the best spirits today. I've been thinking about some things that really bother me.

#1 -- I didn't get the call back on Friday that I was supposed to get about a job that I really wanted. No, it wasn't the really cool job as the autopsy assistant, it was another much more refined and less shocking job. It would have been really cool, and I would have been given a laptop and another scanner. I was more than qualified for this position, but not overly so. So, it must have been my shining personality that turned them off. When I'm sick, I take everything personally.

#2 -- I had a little public speaking engagement last night that was just atrocious. Normally, I am quite the little public speaker on various and sundry topics, but this talk was of a personal nature, and I've never really felt comfortable divulging personal information and dredging up my sometimes sordid past with strangers. I felt disconnected with my own mind and stumbled quite a lot. What I need to realize is that my talk wasn't really about me; it was about trying to help someone else who might relate to my story. Still, my ego is a little bruised.

#3 -- On Thanksgiving, we spent the part of the day not spent with Crazy-Ass Grandmother at our friend Ryan's parent's house. Ryan was is a horrible car accident about a year ago. He was drinking and driving and entered the wrong ramp onto 277. He actually entered the 'off' ramp instead of the 'on' and ended up going the wrong way and was hit head-on by a tractor trailer. He was in a coma for quite a while. He was expected never to be able to walk, talk or move his right arm again. The good news is that Ryan is walking, talking and is slowly but surely regaining the use of his right arm and hand. The bad news is that the person who used to be 'Ryan,' one of the very few people to be invited to our wedding, really is no more. The old Ryan was sullen and slightly depressed, skinny but handsome, with long hair and cool clothes,and he was the butt of more than an occasional joke, including being dubbed 'that flat-chested chick' by his pool league team because he was so dainty, thin and pretty. We loved him just the way he was.

The new Ryan is his ultra-Bible Belt, image-conscious Mother's wet dream. His hair is short and neatly combed, and he is her life-size version of a Ken doll. So, she dressed him up in a well-pressed pair of pleat-front Dockers (definitely not in style or cool) and an overly starched button-down shirt with little pin stripes that I am sure was Dockers or Tom Hilfiger or something else just as ghastly. He looked like every middle-aged office worker on casual Friday. I am sure she has thrown all of his old clothing away, along with all of his music and replaced it with Christy Lane or other mindless Christian crap.

His disposition has changed dramatically, too. Like I described before, Ryan was sullen and slightly depressed and could even be a little surly after a drink or two, but he could also be funny, was up on the latest bands, movies and gadgets, and was, in my opinion, fun to be around. Ryan, right after he regained consciousness could be terribly mean and violent if he was frustrated. He generally knew when these episodes were about to overtake him, and he would cordially ask us to leave his hospital room so we wouldn't have to witness it. See, Ryan's brain injuries are in the emotion center of the brain. People with these types of injuries tend to be either angry/violent people or laidback/sweet people. He has now turned sweet. He acts as if he hasn't a care in the world, everything makes him happy. While looking at all of us who came to see him sitting around the dining room table he said, "I don't know who you people are, but thanks for being here. It's just great." Even while explaining to us that he hopes he can have a normal life one day, one in which he's not in constant pain 24 hours of the day and can comprehend movies and books again, he sounds like he's telling you about the beautiful flowers he picked on his lovely walk this morning, not one note of anger, rage or self pity. I am glad he's made the switch to being a happy person because it's got be easier on him than being constantly full of rage, like he was when he first awoke.

The bottom line is that we will probably never have Ryan back the way we knew him before. If this accident had happened to someone else and Ryan had heard about it, he would have been just as dumbfounded as we were about how a person can go onto the wrong ramp on 277. He never would have thought that he'd be capable of doing something so stupid, even after drinking, but he did. So, I want to say to you all to drink -- drink as much as you want, as often as you want. Just don't get behind the wheel of a car. Even if you don't care about your own life, care about others' lives and the lives of those who may be affected by witnessing your crash. The truck driver was devastated by what happened that icy night. He probably still has nightmares about it. If it happened to Ryan, it could happen to you.

Sorry, but I have to fill a certain amount of PSA requirements. I promise I'll be better tomorrow.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Maybe the Romans Had The Right Idea After All

I live in the Bible Belt. I am socially liberal and I am spiritual, but not religious, which, according to the Christians living in the Bible Belt, is equivalent to being a Satan worshipper. I knew what I was getting into when I moved here, the fact that I was too young to truly comprehend the situation aside, but I am still stunned by the control and ignorance flaunted by the Fundamentalist Christians in this area (and everywhere, I guess).

The first job I had after moving here was in a restaurant, waiting tables. There was this one waiter who hated me from day one. He would torment me by doing things like ... oh, taking food meant for my table to one of his own and then pleading ignorance. He was consistently snide and nasty to me. One day after I'd been there a while and wasn't the new kid on the block anymore, I had enough and decided to dish it right back to him. He couldn't take it and told me that I was being mean to him because he was an African American. I immediately told him that I was mean to him because he was an asshole. He was an asshole who just happened to be African American. Well, the shit hit the proverbial fan. He screamed, "How dare you call me that? How dare you curse in front of me, knowing that I am a member of the Church of God and will be going to seminary school soon?" I gently reminded him that he was in food service where cursing is almost as prevalent as a drunken chef passing out in the kitchen, and if he really wanted to know what cursing was, I'd be happy to oblige him. He tried to get me fired, but when everyone else who worked there stood up for me, black and white, the manager told him that if he ever said anything less than cordial to me again, he would be the one to lose his job. He cried racism. I should have run screaming from Charlotte never to return, except in nightmares, but I was young and stupid, so I stayed.

I am not even going to go into politics and stances on social issues here. I just want to talk about everyday occurrences in the Bible Belt, such as the fact that 50% of the drivers that pull out in front of me while I'm driving or do something equally as dangerous have a NewLife 91.9, a modern Christian radio station, sticker or front-mounted license plate. I guess they are so busy thinking about
the Rapture they can't drive safely, or they think that endangering someone else's life is what Jesus would do in that situation. By the way, the other 50% are usually people on their cell phones. God help us, because I know there are people out there driving who have a cell phone and a reference to 91.9 on their cars. Scary.

The latest run-in I've had with a mentally damaged Fundamentalist Christian occured just two days ago. I went to the post office to mail a package to England. The postal worker was extremely nice, at first. He asked me if I was from England, which is just stupid because I have a bastardized accent comprised of a slight southern lilt with hints of Philly thrown in. I tell him that I am not from England, but I have a friend there. He proceeds to tell me that Europe is full of heathens, and they are essentially a Godless people. He tells me that Yankees are the same way. I defend all of Europe and all of the Northeast by using Catholicism as an example, how it's rampant up North and also in European countries, like France and Italy. He looks at me with genuine terror for my soul. When I get home, I relate this conversation to Aaron, who was raised by the most fundamentalist Christians I've ever heard of, who forced him to attend some very scary Christian schools which taught him what they wanted to teach him, not things as they really happened, and they did such things like, instead of dressing him up as a monster or a lumberjack for Halloween, forcing him to attend church on that day dressed as his favorite bible character or a pillar of salt. Aaron tells me that Catholics are considered just as bad as Satan worshippers in their eyes.

When asked what my religious leanings are, I'm going to tell people that I was born to a Jewish mother and a Catholic father, but now I'm spiritual but not religious. I think that's what Jesus would do, as I'm sure he had a sense of humor, especially with all the wine he drank back then.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Bring On The Weirdness

A lot of weird things have been occuring around the Way Down In The Hole offices lately. Maybe weird things are always occuring and now that I'm home all day, I finally get to notice them. Who knows?

A List of Various Weirdosities

* I received some pictures of myself and the husband from Thanksgiving. I look just like a teacher or someone's mother. I guess I'll just have to settle for being 'alternative' on the inside, 'cause I certainly don't look it on the outside anymore. Boy, I must be getting old.

* My computer has decided to turn all kind of large-print all of a sudden. I was looking at a website when BAM, it turned the text into large print and now everything I look at is really, really big. It's ticking me off, so if anyone has an answer ...

* Aaron brought home some new cat treats that Sam (a cat) just loves. Sometimes when I am standing in the kitchen, Sam will run up to me, stand on his little hind legs and grab my hand with both paws, just to be sure there's not a cat treat hidden in there somewhere.

* I've also noticed that Sam doesn't in anyway say 'meow.' He says 'wow.'

* I finished reading a biography on Mick Jagger (Get off your high horse. It's not like I have anything better to do.), and I realized I've had no life. Sure I've traveled a lot and met a lot of people, been to a lot of shows, plays, concerts, etc., but all I've done is observe other people 'living' in those places and venues. We have a friend coming into town tonight from Chicago. He went to grad school in Dublin, got his master's in philosophy, met a lovely Irish girl with an exotic Irish name, dumped her and now has a beautiful, talented, new, Jewish girlfriend. All within two years' time. Look out. I'm gonna start living real soon -- lock up your liquor, flush your drugs, and hide your teenage sons. I'm gonna live like a rock star, for at least 20 minutes anyway before I need to jump into the shower.

* Addie, our lab is really dirty and I've not wanted to clean her because it's all rainy and stuff outside. Meanwhile, she has surpassed normal canine stinkiness and now smells like ... curry. She smells exactly like an Indian restaurant.

* My mom recently admitted to loving That '70s Show. Considering her favorite singer is Johnny Mathis, she doesn't own an answering machine, VCR or any of those other new-fangled devices, and she last had sex in the '70s, I think this is extremely odd. I had to ask her if she knew what the kids on that show were doing when they sat around in a circle, eyelids drooping, talking about inane things. She said that, in fact, she did know -- they were "doing marijuana." I was impressed. She then told me she had the flu and felt tired and sleepy, like she was sitting on the couch and life was just passing her by. I told her now she knows what 'doing marijuana' feels like.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Things I Really Want For Christmas

Okay, I could try to be altruistic here and pretend I give a rat's ass about other people on this planet, but you'd see right through me, I know, because you're intuitive like that. So, my list is all about ME.

Dear Santa, I want, need, must have:

A Job: Okay, this is as much for my husband as for me, if not a little more, actually. I've been getting a lot shit done not having to work and all, like reading and blogging and this.

A New Dishwasher: We have a dishwasher already. Her name is Ann and she has this blog ... No, really we have one but I do practically have to clean the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Kinda defeats the purpose of a dishwasher, I think.

Artistic/Musical Talent: I have all of the eccentricities, I've been told, of the 'artist-type' with out the 'art' bit. UNFAIR, I say. I have a hard time drawing stick figures. And even with 3 years of piano lessons, I still just feebly bang out the melody with my right hand when I play, and singing is something you just don't want me to do, audibly anyway. Trust me. To make matters worse, all of my friends seem to be terrific illustrators, fantastic potters, unconventional poets, incomparable singers, cutting-edge oil painters and the like. They suck.

To Go To Buxton, England: Notice I have changed the name of The Fund. I now no longer want to go to Cornwall to meet up with a group of my overseas, raw friends, I want to go to Buxton to see Jood, who just happens to be a member of said circle. Jood is my friend-soulmate. We speak on the phone at least once a week and email each other every day. I have never, ever done this with any friend prior to Jood, and I never will again, so don't even ask. I have never even been in the same room with the woman. This must be changed and soon.

To Be Swarthy and Exotic Looking: I am an Aryan, plain and simple -- light hair, skin and eyes. While I would have been honored and worshipped in Hitler's Germany, I am not honored and worshipped enough in modern day America. I don't like the whole blonde hair/ blue eyes thing. I want jet-black hair, emerald eyes, and skin the color of ivory, not skin the color of a drunken Irishman's right ass cheek, like I have now. The only draw back is the hair factor. Dark, exotic women tend to have a substantial hair overgrowth problem. So, I have a plan: I could open up a hair-removal salon, which would mean full-time employment, and kill two birds with one stone, eh? Then, it wouldn't matter if my pubic hair and my armpit hair meet at my breasts -- I could just go and have it waxed.

Recognition: I want recognition. I don't care what it's for. Okay, I take that back. I don't want recognition for having, say, the dullest personality or the ugliest mole with a wiry, black hair growing out of the middle or the feet voted 'most fungoid.' But I do want some recognition, people. Is that too much to ask?

A Home Designed By Frank Lloyd Wright: Any home that he designed will do, but especially Fallingwater, which is in my home state anyway; so they'd might as well just give me that one. There is one major stipulation here: Some of FLW's homes were notoriously famous for having major trouble with the foundation, water leakage, settling, etc. They are beautiful, but not always sound. I want all of that stuff repaired before I enter. Understood?

A Pearl-White Cadillac Escalade: Like all da' superfly playas be drivin'. Especially my favorite playa, Bennie. His is black, though, but that's okay. We'll meet, fall madly in lust, and drive our black and white Escalades all over LA. The heat from our passion will scorch the hairs off your forearms, so be warned. The locals will yell "Me dar, las Gemelas Zebras," as loud as possible while bowing down to us in all our glorious lustitude, with a mixture of awe, jealousy and a slight erection from all of the pheromones we'll be throwing around. Our Escalades will provide a beautiful contrast to the misty, burnt orange sunset we'll drive off into together, as long as Bennie stops wearing those stupid trucker hats he's always wearing lately. That's like putting a turd on a rose, that is.

Okay. I know the chances of actually receiving the things on my list are slim to none right now. So, I'll just settle for the new, comprehensive Monty Python book that available as we speak at your local bookstore or online. You can just have it shipped directly to my address with a card tucked inside the packaging. No, really. You can. That'll be fine.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

People Scare Me

More strange searches that lead people to my blog:

"the whole movie frankie's death"
"spider red dots abdomen cupboard"
"diamond earrings wore in a movie"
"sexiest aerobics show on tv '80s"
"sexy daisy dukes ass"
"real women in daisy dukes"
"incidences of suffocation with pillow"
"brown nose"
"hugest tits in the world"
"salt johnny knoxville die eat"
"chris pontius ass lookalike"
"lispy women's wear"
"feet tickle real women"
"indian sexy large hole"
"dunebuggy web ring"
"lauren hutton hiking"
"tits babies"

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

A Heart-Felt Apology For Those Lovely Guys At Blogger

Well, once again, I must make amends for my utterly uncalled-for attack on the lovely IT guys here at Blogger. It seems that right after I posted my tirade, I went to my inbox and, lo and behold, there was a message from Blogger Guy Graham. He seems to believe that my problems stem from my browser settings, although nothing has changed concerning my browser settings in a long, long time. At least he took the time to write me 30 words and direct me to a useless link. Hey, Blogger Guy Graham, can I get a job doing what you do? I mean, I can type 30 words in less than an hour and link to some random site that is supposed to help the person in need but probably won't. I can also come up with a pseudonym, just like you. Let's see ... Bianca? No, too ex-Jaggery. Ursula? No, too twiny. Ophelia? No, too waterlogged. I got it! Jaquenetta. It's Shakespearean, but also a little 'ghetto' for that touch of realism and hard-to-come-by EEOC quota reaching.

Dear 'Graham':

I am really sorry that I was so mean about the length of time it took you swell Blogger Guys to respond to my complaint. I should be more understanding of your plight in this world. I am insensitive and mean, and the 'ass-faced' thing was just above and beyond all decency. So was the 'loser' thing, I suppose. I am on bended knee begging your forgiveness. Please forgive me because it difficult to type in this position and there's all kinds of cat hair down here and stuff. Thanks.

By the way, I know it's probably not part of your job description and all, but do you think you may actually be able to give me a viable answer to my dilemma? It would be greatly appreciated.

With Love and Devo-tion,

Monday, December 01, 2003

Blogger Sucks Ass

I have been having major problems with Blogger. I have emailed them numerous times. They do warn that they deal with the paying customers' problems first but, come on already, it's been since Thursday that I've been having serious problems, and I've gotten no answer. They should realize that maybe one day I won't be an unemployed slacker and may actually pay for the premium services; so they'd better help me now, or I might not upgrade. Ass-faced losers.

I had an interesting conversation today in the parking lot of Cotswold Mall. It was between a balding, yuppie, middle-aged man -- picture a man who looks like every 13-year-old's father -- who was driving Lexus and me.

Man: Excuse me, Miss? Can you help me?

Me: Whaddaya need?

Man: Can you tell me where Phillip's Place is? I think I'm lost.

Me: Sure. Make a right on Randolph --

Man: See, I'm moving here from Miami, and someone told me about Phillip's Place. They said it was a good place to look for an apartment. Is that true?

Me: Well, it's extremely upscale --

Man: Well, see, I'm single and I'm looking for a good, single place to stay. Where are the singles' places here? Where do you stay ... or are you married? I bet you're married, aren't you?

Me: Yes, I'm mar --

Man: Jeez, well, I thought so. Thank you very much for your time, but you obviously won't be able to help me. (Gives me a look of extreme irritation and peels out of the parking lot.)

Me: Er, um, wha ...

Must be my come-hither-and-f*ck-me boots that I described in an earlier post. I guess they advertise 'single and willing.' I guess I'll have to switch to Rockports.

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