Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I actually can look back fondly at the days of being sick as a child. I got to sit in bed all day in warm pajamas that I can still remember feeling so soft on my skin. I would be covered in heavy blankets, watching cartoons in my parents' big bed with their big TV. My mom would make the best-tasting chicken soup with shredded pieces of chicken and delicious vegetables and soothing broth. But that was just the beginning. We had Jell-O and ice chips, juices of all kinds, toast which had the most lovely scratching sensation on your itchy throat. My dad would make this whiskey, honey, and lemon conncoction that soothed the throat and calmed a cough. There was a box of tissues at my bedside and I didn't even have to pick up after them. I didn't have to worry about what medicine to take or when. Everything was done for me. All I had to do was relax and feel better.

And isn't that all we want when we're sick? Someone to take care of us? And didn't we always seem to get better so much faster? Missing more than two days of school almost never happened. Here I am on day five of pure sickness hell and there's no sign of "better" in sight. And with Mike and I both sick at the same time, there is no one to take care of us. No delicious, healing chicken soup. Infact, for about a week we have experiemented with different soup-in-a-bag or "just add water" combinations. Unfortunately there is just no substitute for Mom's. Dad's whiskey-honey-lemon mixture has come out tasting like a gooey cocktail and there is no Jell-O. Instead of finding mom at the kitchen table when you muster the strength to get up, there is a mountain of dirty soup bowls and spoons, coffee cups, and drink glasses the likes of which you have never seen. The pile of laundry is rivaled only by the pile of snot rags which have spilled off of the nightstand and onto the floor and why two grown adults can not remember to keep medicines on a strict schedule is beyond me. Laying in bed watching cartoons may seem okay at first, but before you know it you're staring at the ceiling wishing you could just fall asleep. The temperature is never right. The heavy blankets are suffocating you and your pajamas are covered in dog hair. You can't really taste anything but you're certain that it doesn't taste good anyway and a small voice in the back of your brain whines out into the night: "Mooooooommmmm" in the "I'm gonna throw up" tone that would cause her to come running. What I wouldn't give for some of that chicken soup right now...

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Domesticated Maya

Dust. Ragweed. I guess that something along those lines was the answer I expected all along. Instead, I found myself staring at a two page list of foods, plants, insects and words that even Webster’s Dictionary cowers in the face of, accompanying six tiny color coded vials. My tiny, sweet, little pug, Maya, has been suffering for nearly two years with chronic allergies affecting her skin, ears, and paws. Due to various moves and environmental changes, we have had to wait for what has seemed like an eternity to get her vaccines made so that she can start having some relief that I don’t have to wrap in a snausage for her twice a day. I was expecting something easier than giving her shots for the rest of her life. I thought they would tell us to buy a better air purifier or be more diligent about dusting… or even to closer examine our outdoor plant life. Now I found myself feeling bad for Maya yet again.
Maya is the sweetest creature on the planet. There isn’t a bad bone in her body. Her nick-name, Mia-Pia, means “My Contented One” and it couldn’t be more perfect. When things are going badly for her, all she wants is a warm lap and a nice nap. The same could be said for anyone having a rough day and there is nothing better than laying your head on the pillow and feeling her warm little face snuggle up against yours. Why this poor little thing suffers so constantly with allergies is a constant source of grief for my husband and I. My relief is that now we know what is wrong and are looking at the culprits printed up on paper. I am hoping beyond hope for a more comfortable existence for her and I can’t help but wonder what would become of her in the wild.
As it is, pugs don’t strike me as the type of dog that would ever have had any sort of survival skills. Lap dogs to the core, they were bred to adorn the thrones of Chinese royalty and they haven’t come much farther on the ol’ career path since. But weren’t all dogs “wild” in some form at one point? Poor Maya, with her allergy to chicken, turkey, and any other bird one could imagine, would probably have to develop a taste for vegetarianism. I can’t imagine my “barely as large as a shoe” dog wrestling a cow to the ground. I’m pretty certain that unless she somehow managed to lick the cow to death, a beef meal would not be so easy to come by. I can, however, imagine her using her adorable little face to coerce a lion to bring her a herd of dinner (Because in my fantasy world, lions, pugs, and cows share a habitat). If nothing else, she has a way about her that results in her getting exactly what she wants from people and pets alike. Maya has never had to fight for treats, bones, or the best spot on the fluffiest pillow. Born the only puppy to her litter, she had her little pug mama all to herself and spent her evenings nestled in the bed of the dog breeder… not something you hear of happening often. When she was placed on a dietary dog food that she detested, my other dog would actually bring her mouthfuls of his own food. Truly, no one can resist the charms of Maya.
We look at animals as if they are stupid—lower forms of life. But what do we really know, anyway. Every being on this earth is equipped with a natural instinct and a way for survivability. I just can’t imagine what Maya’s is. After all, she is allergic to a dogs easiest outdoor meal and the Planet Earth, in general. So what am I to make of this list of reactionable offenses from Bermuda grass to Palm trees, from ants to soybeans? I suppose for Maya, survival would come to her as it does to a busty blonde in need of a fancy home and small fortune supplied by a dwindling, but lucrative older man. Lucky for her she will always have someone to take care of her and love her and keep all the evil chicken away. I hope to report in the coming months that she has improved ten-fold with her new allergy injections and is a happy, healthy, itch free girl once again.

The One(s) That Got Away

The One(s) That Got Away

They say it is better to have loved and lost and it is a cliché that many have pondered over the years. Recently I have been thinking of some special loves in my life that have gotten away. Remembering their loss and feeling their absence is a constant reminder of those feelings of sadness, frustration and anger. Sometimes it is more than even fond memories can tame.

1. Softlips Lemon Sorbet Chapstick.
It arrived in a welcome package from Holmes East dorms at Michigan State University in 2001. I don’t remember a single other thing that came in that gift basket. All I remember is a slim-line tube of chapstick that I swore tasted like Lemon Pledge. Despite its wood polishing aroma, I quickly grew to love this brand of lip balm. It was tingly and lemony and perfect. I must have bought a hundred tubes and of course I lost all of them. But of all the chap stick that has ever come into my life… it is the ONLY brand that I threw away at the end because I used it all before losing it. Nothing replaces that kind of sentimentality. Now, Softlips is still on the market, but they discontinued the Lemon Sorbet flavor and instead have a bunch of silly, floofy flavors like Strawberry Margarita and Cherry Vanilla. I would do anything for another tube of that chapstick.

2. Ohm Ginger and Citrus Body Lotions and Soaps
This didn’t stay on the market for very long. Apparently, I am the only person who found this to be the absolute most perfect smell for any sort of bath product. It just smelled so clean! It wasn’t flowery or spicy…. It was just a nice, fresh smell. Even the packaging was appealing. They arrived in fresh green colored bottles with graphic circles reminiscent of orange slices. It is the kind of product where you buy the soap and the lotion to match because you can’t stand the idea of not having that scent with you all day long. I still have a bottle of the lotion left and I only let myself use it on special occasions.

3. California Pizza Kitchen’s Thai Chicken Pizza
I have never been a big pizza fan but this pizza is out of this world! They still make it. You can order it in their restaurants as far as I know. But all of a sudden every grocery store I know has stopped carrying the Thai Chicken frozen version of the California Pizza Kitchen’s masterpiece pie. It may be a hard sell to some people, peanuts, arugula, and carrots on a pizza, but I assure you, it is the greatest tasting thing I have ever tasted and I am truly saddened by its disappearance from grocery store shelves. What is this world coming too?

4. Express Black Bar Pants
This is sad. I had this pair of black bar pants from Express. Several pair actually. I wore each of them until they were pits of string held together with staples and fabric glue. They went with everything. They looked dressy if you wanted them to. Casual, if you felt like going that way was a simple shirt or even a t-shirt and sandals. They were magnificent. And the one day, they just weren’t to b e found anywhere. I remember how I ruined the first pair. I was wrapping Christmas gifts and sliding the scissors across the wrapping paper and snipped a big whole into the leg of the pants. My back up pair I wore all through my first and second years at Ringling and by the end had stitched together several holes and even tried gluing frayed edges at the heels. It is very rare, indeed, that I become attached to an article of clothing. I loved, loved, loved those pants. R.I.P.

5. Naturalizer Brown Sandals
I’ll try not to harp too much on my forlorn sandals that have often been mentioned in my blog. I had them for many, many years and I wore them until they disintegrated and I bit the big one in the office supply aisle at Walmart where I took out a side-cap of scotch tape and received some nice bruises. In all they were the greatest and most versatile pair of all-purpose footwear known to man. I will give my life savings to the person who locates me another pair post haste.

6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pizza Crackers
These little crackers were shaped like pizza slices and had a biting “pizza” flavor. They were really pretty awful. I would never want to eat one of these things again, but just somehow knowing that they were out there somewhere would make me a happier person.
the cookies:

7. Ponds Face Dots
These things were great! They looked like little round, clear bandaids. You stuck them on your “acne problem spots” before bed, you woke up and the situation was always much improved. I found that they worked really well. Even my husband liked them a lot. Now, they cannot be found anywhere. I find it hard to imagine that mine are the only zits responding to them. But maybe my pimples are special. I like to think that they are.

8. Snap bracelets
Where the hell did they all go? Are they still in our teacher’s drawers, snapless for all eternity? What a waste of sheer joy. I used to think that they were made out of mini-blinds.

9. Annie Chun’s Hot and Sour Soup Bowls
Possibly the greatest freeze-dried hot and sour microwave soup in existence, this product is disappearing off store shelves faster than I can snap it up. If I find one day that they have stopped carrying it, the HEB has HELL to pay.

10. McDonald’s Old School Chicken Sandwiches
Yeah, I’m sorry but they used to taste different. And better. I would be so happy if they would go back to the 1980s happy version of the chicken sandwich. Nothing fancy just grade E poultry on a bun with some mayo and lettuce. Make it happen guys. Come on. I found this very version of said Chicken sandwich once in Canada on a school trip to Stratford. I know we saw a play that day… but all I remember is a Chicken Sandwich laden with memories of the old days.

There is a lesson to be learned from all of this. When you find something you like… maybe splurge and keep a few spares around. The corporate marketplace is an evil place where many a product is swallowed whole and never spit out again. Best of luck in keeping all of your loved ones close at hand.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Random Nonsense

I decided to repost this from another application. It was fun to do and I really appreciate all the positive feedback I got. Glad to have made some people laugh. :)

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1. I'm insanely shy and went through a "phase" circa the age of five when I talked through a Snoopy doll.

2. I've been to 13 different schools and I used to hate moving. Now I get restless within a year of living anywhere.

3. I am afraid of car washes and any other place where you have to position your car onto ramps just so...

4. When I was a kid, I used to obsessively dry and peal glue off of my hand. My best friend did this as well and it was serious business.

5. Once I convinced Ryan Payne that aliens lived in our neighborhood and to feed them we had to pry up bits of asphalt using a paper clip. we stored it in an empty butter container in my mailbox waiting for it to be absorbed by the mother ship. I was most disappointed when the only thing that happened was the mail lady asking my mom to please remove the cup o' street chunks.

6. Working my way through Ringling was one of the hardest things I ever did and I don't think I could ever do it again.

7. I'm always embarrassed to order my tunafish on wheat with cheese and onions sub at subway. Its the only thing I'll eat there.

8. I've never had a cavity until this year. I'm told it was due to uncontrolled diabetes, but I secretly felt like a failure.

9. I am always made fun of by an old friend for an incident that occured while I was driving him home from work. A deer jumped out in front of my car and I yelled: "Hey, big dog, what are you?" It made no sense and to this day I wish that my gut reaction would have been to... I don't know, BRAKE.

10. I often wonder what my family would have been like if we had never left Illinois.

11. I was certain that boullion cubes were chicken flavored candy. They are not.

12. My dad used to pull a board out of my bedroom floor and I could see into the basement. He would wind up toy doozers from fraggle rock and I thought they lived there.

13.I broke my right wrist twice. The second time resulted in surgery and now its made of 50% metal. If certain fabrics (or anything else) brush across my wrist in the right spot, I lose feeling in three fingers and my thumb for several minutes.

14. The scariest thing a doctor has ever asked me was if I had recently swallowed any small metal discs. (I hadn't, it was an error on an x-ray)

15. I used to put really... really... obscene amounts of butter oil (as in small animals could drown) on the free popcorn for the people that came to the forget-me-not shows at 7am at the Fenton Cinema. I still think they deserved it.

16. I came home from MSU in 2001 weighing under a hundred pounds and if I hadn't come home, I could have been in some trouble.

17. When I have had a bad day, the following things almost always give me some sort of comfort: pugs, the opening credits to Gilmore Girls, Snoopy cartoons, a white blanket with more holes than fabric, hot tea, music that reminds me of my parents washing the car in the driveway, and reading lamps with low wattage bulbs.

18. I am allergic to Mr. Bubble.

19.It has always bothered me that I lost a superball in a tree outside my grandmother's house and I never found it. Where the hell could it have gone. I'm fairly certain that there is some sort of vortex there.

20. I sucked my thumb until I was like 25. The dentist always knew. I hated him for that.

21. I once got my lip stuck to an A&W root beer bar. My mother finds this extraordinarily funny and makes sure to bring it up every couple of years. I'm pretty sure the story will be printed on my tombstone.

22. theme songs, jingles, and elevator music from the 80s constantly run through my head. I often rewrite the lyrics so that they are about my dogs. It amuses me and it amuses them. So... shut up.

23. My cousin made me a friendship bracelet when I was 8 years old. I still have it, though it barely even resembles colored string anymore. I keep it in a ring box as if it is an expensive diamond ring.

24. My uncle likes cars and I once found a hubcap on the side of the road. I remember proudly bringing it home and declaring that I was going to wrap it up and give it to him for Christmas and my mom looking at me as if the mail lady had just informed her that there was a butter container full of pavement in the mailbox. When I asked her recently if she remembered this story she said no and agreed that he would have loved that as a Christmas gift. I looked at her as if the mail lady had just informed me that there was a butter container full of pavement in the mailbox.

25. I never dreamed I would want to move back to Michigan, but now I think about it everday.

Imploring Employment

I've been hoarding a small collection of "stories" (aka recent incidents) in my head for some time now hoping to get over them and not allow them to escape into the hostility of a blog sprinkled with conceit and self-righteousness... but that pot has boiled over and here we are.
For a multitude of reasons I still find myself unemployed. My "no worries, I'll find something" attitude has deteriorated away to sheer frustration which I imagine to be a giant sticky ball in my brain that looks like something that would be produced from the nose or mouth of a sick person. The frustration grows and sticking to it is guilt, doubt, hopelessness, self-loathing, hate and blame. Its not pretty. So with an already fragile state of mind, I am entering the world each day with a more attuned critical eye for the people around me. I find myself muttering the words: "... and I can't find a job," several times a day and, in my opinion, with good reason. In the last few weeks alone, I have been faced with these situations:

I was taught when I grew up that one shouldn't hate. But I do, I hate them. I hate them SO much. It all started just after our move to Texas when we called and asked for new phone numbers that would reflect our new area codes. We were very clear that we didn't want new accounts and we didn't want to change anything, just the phone numbers. So they did that and told us that if we wanted I was eligible for a new phone. With my grandma living alone I had the brilliant idea to give her my old phone and I got a new "free" phone. Lesson number one: You get what you pay for. After not too long, the new "free" phone started shocking me in the ear and face on occassion. On one such occassion, I dropped it and it shattered like a piece of glass. We took it in to AT&T and told them what happened. This is when they chose to inform us that they had removed our insurance when we got the new phone numbers. So my only option was to buy a new phone at full price. Angry as I was, I may have done just that if it hadn't been for the notice we had received a few weeks earlier saying that due to our not paying the bill for our old phone number (which we no longer used) we had been sent to a collection agency. We called them to ask what this was even about as we still had the same account and they had no record of the bill or of us even having our Florida numbers, EVER, but informed us that we had better pay it because it would effect our credit. So I dropped my service with them and went to Verizon. Mike stayed on but asked when he his contract was up. They said March.
So, seeing as March is next month, we went in to find out exactly what day it was up and look at phones for Mike. When we arrived at approximately 7:30pm, the gates were pulled as if the store was closed, though their hours said they were open until 9:00pm. Sure enough, the door was open so we went in and found ourselves ignored by the store's three employees. One of them eventually informed Mike that his contract had been extended to August and I got really mad and started explaining our situation to which the girl started talking RIGHT OVER ME about whether or not they had a doorstop to prop open the door and let air in. So I stopped talking and waited and finally the boy turns to Mike and says in the snottiest tone I have ever heard: "Sorry Sir, we can't just "break the rules" for you." Mike informed them that it had nothing to do with breaking rules and that these were all THEIR mistakes. Long story short we left without what we wanted and I was mad and offended by the way we had been treated. I kept saying: "How do they have a job? When I did customer service I would have been fired in a heartbeat for not smiling wide enough!"

Next instance:
I pulled up to the drivethrough at McDonald's and the lady handed me my little bag of chicken nuggets without a word. I asked if I could have some sweet and sour sauce and she said: "What?" I repeated "Sweet and sour sauce, please?" and she went and got the manager! He came to the window and said: "Is there a problem, ma'am?" And I sat there completely shocked for a second before I said for the third time: "I just wanted to know if I could have some sweet and sour sauce for the chicken nuggets... if you're out or something, that's fine." He turned to the girl and said something really quick in another langauge and she turned to me with a big smile and handed me the sauce.

The Last Straw:
I went to WalMart today. I only needed to get about 7 small things. When I went to the checkout I was second in line and waited about a half hour for the WIC family in front of me (dressed to the nines, by the way) straightened out which items the government would and would not pay for. Finally, its my turn and the lady checking me out hands me the cabbage and says: "you no buy."
I think about an hour passed as we stood there staring at each other and I tried to comprehend what was happening. Finally I said: "No.... I need to buy" and I handed it back to her.
She handed it back to me and said: "No. It no ring up," in some kind of Russiany accent. Again with the standing and the staring. Finally I announced that the cabbage was the reason I had come in there. Which, it was. I told her, as I dropped it back on the conveyor belt in a huff that I would go get a new one. This was all happening as a line gathered behind me and there were TWO supervisors standing around just watching this happen. So I ran all the way back and the other three cabbages that were left also had damaged barcodes from the plastic getting wet. So right there in front of the produce guy who had watched me struggle twice now to reach them off the top shelf I yanked the sign off the cabbages and marched it back over to her and said: "HERE."
She let out long angry sighs that there were no barcodes to punch in and that she had to find the produce code (which she could have done without making me have to run all the way through the store leaving my few items and a line of people who blamed me for the hold-up) and she dumped everything into bags. Without a word she turned herself away from me and handed the receipt OVER HER BACK SHOULDER and left me to squeeze in behind her to take my own bags.
Once again, I found myself wondering why I couldn't find a job but the employee of the month here didn't get so much as a raised eyebrow from the supervisor not more than five feet away during the whole incident.

This sort of thing is really taking a toll on me. Not to mention, with no graphic design jobs even available to apply to, I have taken to searching for ANYTHING else from nanny jobs to data entry. There are some crap jobs out there and I'm not even getting THOSE!

For your amusement here are some "job" postings this week. I am pretty sure that some of these belong somewhere other than the job postings, but what do I know. Also, I have not changed the grammar or spelling mistakes so you can really soak it all in:

wanted: one or two females needed for housecleaning new house... house isnt large roughly 1300 sq ft... a perfect detailed job not even needed.. only request is that u be comfortable performing this task in skimpy sexy wear.. will be private and safe.. there will be no touching or any kind of sexual favors..if u enjoy and can handle it can make it a routine deal.we can workout payment i was thinking around 200 dollars for maybe hour or less of work not bad.increase in pay if u come back. any questions and reply with pic..thanks

I'm thinking about getting a scooter and selling my car, but I've never driven one and am not sure if I should go through the trouble of taking an expensive motorcycle course without knowing I feel comfortable on one. I would pay $25 an hour for compensation. Thank you! Have a fun day!

我給我孩子們找一個保姆。星期三至星期五, 2:45-6ish。你可以帶來你白己的孩子This position requires you to have a car to pick up the kids from school and take them to karate/ piano. Cooking, grocery shopping and teaching Chinese are some of the duties。15 hrs/week. Do not apply if Mandarin is not your first language. 直樹力歲,直孑六歲。

I am seeking a training partner of similar size to myself to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with me. I'm an instructor and can only compensate with individual instruction time. If you like submission grappling and are looking for a great way to be entertained while improving your fitness level please contact me. My professor is Joao Crus and joining his school would be required in order for you to train with me. His website is

I have written a movie that will be in need of TWO monster puppets.

I know a few ninja's.... an I know there are a few custom boot makers.... Are there any custom ninja boot makers.... aka tabi boots or split toe boots? I would like to have a pair made out of leather....

I am looking for someone to file chapter 7 for me.

I'm a hairstylist in So. Austin and I have a weekly newsletter that goes out, via email, to my clients. I have over 200 emails.
Do to my growing business, and lacking in writing skills, I'm looking for someone who would like to do some bartering, like cut and coloring.
I'm looking for someone with creative idea around the beauty and self improvement area. Must have writing experience.
Compensation: no pay


Thursday, January 15, 2009

So, A Priest Walks into a Bar...

...Except replace priest with escaped mental patient and bar with MY HOUSE and you'll have my Wednesday. Now, I know what you're thinking. On Monday, a hobo rubbed his nuts on my car... and now I'm telling you that an escaped mental patient tried to break into my house. Yeah, and by Friday Unicorns will be flying out of my ass singing the Star Spangled Banner. But I assure you, its true. I know this kind of stuff just doesn't happen to people. But it HAPPENS TO ME.
It was mid-afternoon and like always, I was parked in front of the computer with my headphones on. Usually I can't even hear the phone ring when I'm in such a position, but today I heard an unusual noise. I wasn't alone because the dogs heard it too and began their frenzied barking, running, sliding, nail-tapping ho-down at the front door. I was taking the headphones off, alarmed, and hurrying to gather them up when the front door opened and the outside light flooded down the hallway. My first instinct was that my father-in-law had stopped by, knocked, and I didn't hear. But before I reached the entryway, the door slammed shut. Odd.
So I gathered up the dogs and looked out my little peep-hole to see a figure meandering around on the driveway-- someone I certainly didn't know.
My fingers flew to the lock and I half ran to the bedroom to peer out the window and see if anyone's car was at the house that I recognized. To my dismay, there were no cars and the mysterious person was gone. I ran to check the back door lock and immediately IMed Mike, who called his dad, who came right over.
Turns out, my mystery guest had also stumbled next door where my brother-in-law, Chase lives and was prepared to guard the house. He saw her face and realized that she had some form of mental disability and the last he made out was her helping herself to the daycare across the street where we assume she had been taken care of because she was not seen or heard from again.
It was at this point, I learned that a home for the mentally disabled lie right around the corner. Yippeee!
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not a heartless bitch. Well, not always. After the fact I did feel really bad that she was lost and confused and I am very disturbed that she is wandering so close to a busy road. I hope she made it back to safety and I hope that the tard house keeps better tabs on their people. I was very close to becoming a special ed teacher and people with exceptional needs have always been close to my heart. I hate the idea that this woman was in danger. Yet still, the fact remains, a tard tried to break into my house and nearly gave me a heart attack.
So, to recap the events of my week thus far:
Hobo humpfest + Tard B and E = the story of my life. At least for the week of January 12-16.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just a Squirrel, Trying to Give Some Nut

"This could only happen to you," is a sentence I have heard many times in my 28 years, but I never really believed that I was the only one who found themselves in the midst of bizarre circumstances. After today, however, I give up. You win. Weird crap happens to me. I am stating it for the record: the unusual, uncommon, and unconventional have all taken a liking to me and I can't deny it any longer.

Today on my way home from the doctor I was stopped at an intersection. I reached down to read a text message from Michelle that I had already seen once-- but I needed something to naturally divert my eyes from the break-dancing hobo in the median. This trick failed me, however, when I found him yelling and holding his cardboard sign up to my driver's side window causing an instant stomach-drop freak out. I checked all locks and tried to remain somewhat composed as he took the sign down and began to hump my car door, rubbing his nuts up and down like a dog who had found the perfect leg. I was well aware of the fact that there was a hobo making sweet love to my door-- but I didn't want to look... and at the time was pretty shaken up. I shot off a text to Michelle explaining the situation and that was all I needed to occupy a portion of my brain until the light turned green and I could once again drive safely toward a car wash.

Some people look at the homeless with pity and say: "He's just a squirrel trying to get a nut." But I'm pretty sure that he's just a squirrel trying to give some nut. Unbelievable. I have no pity for this man. In fact, I think he owes me $9.00 for a car wash.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Sad Tale of the American Writers' Demise

Now that I have finished my classes and have once again begun the dreaded job hunt... the anxiety of finding nothing available to even apply to in my field is starting to take its toll. I have found myself digging through the depths of my mind searching for backup plans and the depths of the want ads searching for anything that won't require me to sell my soul or stand behind a cash register again. For me, ye olde standby has always been writing. I'm not sure if I'm really any good at it or whether I just think I am... and the bulk of my experience comes from newspaper work and mainly in school. I wrote the great American novel at the age of 8... 40 some odd pages of incoherent babbling and something about a whiz kid computer... and then again when I was 12. This time, I co-authored a 97 page atrocity in which I imagined Keanu Reeves playing opposite Christopher Lloyd in the feature film. Either way, its possible that I really don't have any sort of grounds to base judgement on but I refuse to let that stop me! You see, I was looking through the Conde Nast database for jobs in the Austin area. At any publication. ANY. That's when I came across this article for Glamour magazine with the headline: "The Sad Tale of my Favorite Shoes' Demise."
Granted, there isn't much to be expected from a story like this- a little featurette about someone's shoes. I envisioned it being cute and funny and I actually wanted to read it as I had a pair of shoes that I wore to oblivion as well. What I got was a trite, self-indulgent, piece of crap that massacred anything good about the story-telling process. Within the first paragraph or two, the reader is immediately overcome with, not a sense of the story, but a sense of how much the writer loves herself. Instead of funny little anecdotes about previous adventures she has had with her wayward shoes, you read about her seared eel skewers and hamachi snack on the glitzy streets of New York. All I know about her shoes is the name brand... but then again, I doubt much else matters to the author. To add insult to injury, she provides a picture that is God-awful. It is of her mammoth leg and you can almost see the shoe at the end of it, if it weren't for the refracted light off her oft-mentioned rhinestones.
I know I wasn't expecting anything worthy of a Pulitzer going in, but I still felt so cheated and dirty after reading this piece of garbage. I had to check out the comments and as imagined they made my eyes roll. Not one moronic woman commented on the complete lack of a story but instead dove right in to her own self-centered tale of woe without stopping for breath.
I stewed over this article and the fact that she had a job and I didn't. After irrationally fuming over this fact for several days I have decided to rewrite her piece to be something more attuned to what I would have hoped it to be. I am hoping that it will tell something of a story... something a little funny (since it should be about shoes, after all), and something less-- oh, I don't know, SELF-CENTERED? So below I invite you to skim through the first short article and please find my remake. Hopefully it comes out a little better. I guess we'll see.

The original Story can be found here:

otherwise I am copying and pasting below in case that link doesn't work (but the pictures are also pricelessly bad):

So I took your advice, lovely ladies, and I wore the comfy Calvin Klein mirrored wedges for New Year's Eve, so I could dance my arse off without worrying about being uncomfortable. Turns out, a pair of really broken in shoes may not be the best choice for a long night of partying...

I had barely scarfed the last of my seared eel skewers and yellowtail hamachi and stepped onto the sidewalk old reliable friends decided to quit on me, right then and there! The rhinestone strap came right off at the edge, leaving one sad shoe dangling from my foot, and me walking the sidewalks of Nolita in my tights. In their defense, I've given them quite the beating over the years (I literally scaled a gravel hilltop in Tuscany while wearing them once, spilled about two gallons of margaritas on them at a birthday party, and shook my booty in them more than I could possibly remember), but how could they pick a time like that to say sayonara to me? After all we'd been through together? They were comfy and neutral-colored and sparkly and oh just everything you could want in an evening shoe...

So I made a (possibly champagne-fueled) decision then and there. They had served me so well for so long that it was just time for us to part ways. The sole was starting to part from the rest of the shoe and three of the rhinestones had found their way elsewhere and now, with the strap calling it quits, I tossed them in the garbage with a quick thanks for all of their years of service. If you love something, set it free! As much as I pride myself on my carefully curated closet, sometimes you've just gotta know when the fat lady has sung.

Amazingly, my uber-prepared friend Annie had a pair of flats in her handbag and wears a size 5 1/2, like me, so I spent the rest of the evening partying in pure comfort. Sad but true, my friends, sad but true...

What's the worst party fashion disaster you've ever had? Has your dress come unraveled at a wedding? Gotten a run in your hosiery with no spare pair minutes before a job interview? Lost a heel in the sidewalk grate? Leave your own stories (and your sympathies) here!

My version begins here:
If I had a time machine and could travel the space-time continuum, there is one place I would go before I witnessed the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the burial of Jimmy Hoffa, or the post-apocalyptic ruins of a post-nuclear future. That place is the Naturalizer, circa 2001. If I could only go back to that moment in time when I first purchased the most wonderful pair of shoes to ever grace the human foot, I would have been certain to purchase SEVERAL pairs in varying colors. I imagine that comfort is very important in the time travel industry, anyway. Why not, they give out pillows on airplanes... but I digress.
I bought these sandals at the Somerset Mall in Troy, Michigan. They are kind of strappy, kind of chunky, but just plain and elegant footwear. Never a huge fan of shoe shopping, I didn't realize that these shoes would change my life and I barely gave a thought as to which color I wanted. I ended up going with an all purpose brown. And all-purpose pretty much defines the very being of these shoes, anyway. If I wore them with a skirt, they looked dressy. If I wore them with jeans, they looked casual. They were so broken in and so comfortable that if they hadn't finally just deteriorated from over use, I would have worn them forever. (See photo below)

Shortly after this purchase, I moved to Florida and managed a movie theater. I wore these shoes there every day and saw them covered in butter, sweat, and splashed soda day in and day out. I wore them to the store where they were stomped in and stepped on. I wore them out with friends where they put on miles only to be kicked off later. I wore them and wore them and wore them and time passed and passed and passed.
Finally, in January of 2005 I got a puppy. A special dog, Midas was usually a friend to shoes. He made shoe nests and slept on piles of them that he would gather from all over the house. He chewed up books, pants, and miscellaneous papers that he would find lying around, but the shoes were always used solely for nesting purposes and I couldn't have been more glad for this fact. One day, however, I was sitting on the couch sliding into one of them when I noticed little nibble marks. My first instinct was to yell at poor Midas and I ran to see what horrible thing he had to be up to right at that moment. But alas, he was simply adding a peanut to his mysterious pile of peanuts that he had been collecting (and not eating) which is a whole other story...
Anyhow, after further examination, it didn't appear that Midas was really CHEWING on them, but dragging them around-- for nesting purposes. The sides had begun to weaken and I knew that the end would inevitably come. I had been denying their wear and their age for awhile now. For four years I had worn these shoes to every possible venue, outing, or event. I couldn't imagine not having them. So I clung. I continued to wear them in denial of all the signs that the disease was fatal. My husband was the first to give up all hope. He insisted that I throw them out and get shoes that weren't "stinky death traps." But I didn't listen. I kept pushing forth and made new memories and added new miles with each passing month.
The end came on a fall night late in 2006. Of course, it was always on the back of my mind, but I still didn't see it coming. Rounding a corner at the local Wal-Mart, my brain was occupied with the locating of refrigerator magnets when the strap broke... I went down like a gorilla with a tranquilizer in its neck. Customers scrambled out of the way and I took out an end cap of Scotch tape. My knee and wrist throbbing, I grabbed frantically for the shoe... but it was too late. It was the end.

"FINALLY." I heard my husband say from behind me. "Oh, I'm fine!" I shot back, fighting tears. The rest of the night was a blur. I know I left in new shoes. Shoes that would eventually betray me and join forces with evil gravity to mock my motor skills. It has never been the same. I have never fallen for another like I did for those sandals. When I think of the good times we had... I look back on that first day... to the very first moments that they were truly mine as I punched in my pin number. I remember how I had spent close to $50 on lotion for a friend that day as well. They had stopped making the lotion-- her favorite-- and I wanted her to get some before there was none left. These shoes, outlasted that friendship.

They say live life with no regrets. But I regret. If you ever find that perfect shoe... get another pair. Get two more pair. You NEVER know when they will leave you for good. Don't make the same mistake I made. Rest in peace, dear shoes. When that time machine comes my way, we will meet again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fair Well Fair Weather

I dedicate this blog to Michelle and Angie. Two of the bestest people I have ever known and like me, have had their share of friends that don't have what it takes to be there for you, put themselves second, or even just be decent human beings. I hope we all spend 2009 with people that matter and can leave behind the fair weather friend and laugh off their ridiculousness after all.

Sung to the tune of the Golden Girls theme song:

Thank you for being a (fair-weather) friend.
You know I'll take your crap again and again.
We both know its true,
You're a pal when its con-venient.

And if you threw a party...
Invited everyone you knew...
You would see the person to clean up would be me
And you know I'll still come back
Because I am your doormat.

And, though you may not notice
I have had it just up to here.
You will see the next person to fix it won't be me
And I really will not miss
My little (fair-weather) friend.

La, la, la, la, la, la.

Pay Attention: