Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Kicking, Screaming, Etc.

First, I'm alive. My limbs are still attached, my obituary is still a half-finished Word document1 and I'm still here, subsisting largely on the kind of cellophane-wrapped mistakes that can only be purchased in the shittiest of Exxon stations.

So why haven't I been writing? That's the thing: I've been doing nothing but writing since I somehow managed to score a couple of ongoing projects, both locally and nationally.2 If my hands had been on any of my exes as long as they've hovered over my Mac's home keys, I'd probably need to own more than one pillow case.

But because I'm made entirely of distrac--BANANA IS MY FAVORITE COLOR! I WONDER WHAT A COELACANTH SMELLS LIKE? MY BRAIN ITCHES!--tions it's been admittedly difficult for me to focus even three Timex ticks past my deadlines. And lately my life hasn't been made of much other than typing, editing, conducting the occasional interview and hoping I won't ever develop Ellen Degeneres-style neck skin. I did take a break this morning to liberally baste myself with alpha-hydroxy products, because I never want to use the folds of my face as a change purse.

"So is it all about the Benjamins, baby?" you may be asking, because in my head you all talk like Puff Daddy. That's part of my enduring frustration; despite the increased time spent rearranging san-serif formatted sentences, it doesn't seem to be helping my financial status. When I checked my balance earlier today, my account was largely composed of dust, bits of string, and the canned laughter of the BB& T staff when I asked whether I could use a complete set of 1987 Topps cards to pay back my credit line.3

Finally, despite my near overdose on personal issues and annoyances, I sincerely thank everyone for their concern, for the emails and Facebook messages that asked where the hell I'd been hiding and whether or not I was still on the right side of the earth's crust. I owe it to you guys--the ones who have been reading this site for the past five years, three jobs and four former boyfriends--to keep this up.

But wait! There's more! Here are the last few things I've done for NBC Sports - Out of Bounds. Since February, I've covered why I didn't sleep with Wilt Chamberlain; what the NCAA tournament has in common with Cher; why the WNBA is dangerously close to becoming a state fair sideshow; how Lionel Ritchie wrecked my NCAA bracket (though I didn't know it at the time); why ESPN broadcaster Tony Kornheiser is a Douche Lord; and--just last week--the fact that it is possible to strike out at tee-ball.

And finally, let's talk about Robyn Hitchcock. Most of you know that I'm a lyric-spewing, tattered t-shirt wearing, double-decade fan of his music and that last summer, my life was pretty much made when I had the chance to interview him.

It got better.

Last month, I re-interviewed him for his website--at his request. Read that sentence again and ask yourself whether my shrieks of delight were audible from outside our own galaxy.4 We largely focused on his just-released album, Propellor Time, but also talked about everything from love to death to why the universe may turn out to be a jelly-filled donut. The entire process was well past stellar and--as always--he couldn't have been more engaging or more insightful with his answers. You can read the entire interview here.

So, yeah. I'm back. Thanks again, you guys. High fives and prolonged eye contact all around.

1 In the event of my demise--probably in some Cakesters-related mishap--I want Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" sketch to serve as my memorial, obviously replacing any references to the Norwegian Blue with my first and middle name.
2 And by "nationally", I mean that I'm invoicing someone who lives far enough away that we don't bump into each other in the ant trap aisle at Target.
3 I don't like to brag, but I made a solid four-figure salary last year. Things were so insanely awful in '09 that my accountant called over the weekend just to verify that I'd actually worked for all twelve months.
4 Yes. They were.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Figure Hating

"I studied theatre in college and took enough of the required classes -- things like "Stage Makeup", "Advanced Stage Makeup" and "We Get It, You Can Paint Your Face to Look Like a Bluebird" -- to wrap up my major halfway through my senior year. For my final semester, I loaded my schedule with a number of brain-busters that involved eyeliner and emoting but was still one credit short of the minimum requirement. I flipped to the Physical Education section of the course catalog, which was like a cruise ship's activity guide, offering everything from Bowling to Tennis to -- yes! -- Figure Skating.

Figure Skating sounded like the perfect introduction to the starched white-collar life I hoped would be waiting for me on the other side of graduation, one that involved cloth napkins and roasted pheasant and other things I probably should've considered before majoring in Theater. So I signed up for the class, a twice-a-week commitment to tiered skirts and twisted ankles.

We were supposed to meet the instructors at our local ice rink and I should've known it was a bad sign when I couldn't even make it inside before sprawling face-down on the partially-frozen sidewalk. I was already limping when I took my first tentative steps onto the ice, but still knew I was going to be a natural. I had grace. I had balance. And I had ice chips lodged in my personal areas before I'd even made it halfway around the rink."

Last week on NBC Sports-Out of Bounds, I had the chance to recap another of my failures, my sad, short-lived attempt at learning how to figure skate.

You can read the whole story here. How many of you can say that your senior year involved feverishly clutching an elderly woman's arm and trying not to cry? You know what, don't answer that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

P.S.

Wow, I had no idea that everyone apparently majored in Dog Feeding, which sounds infinitely more valuable than my own Theatre degree. Thank you guys for all of the tips and suggestions after yesterday's post. Several people told me that I should take the Boxerbeast's food and mix it with pureed pumpkin, which is one of the few canned goods I actually keep on hand.1 No, really.

Unfortunately it didn't work, although he seemed to enjoy spitting the orange-hued mixture onto the floor, tongue bathing the wood as he tried to lick up every harvest-flavored splotch. Since he continued to scatter--and ignore--the LifeSource® bits, I'll be trying one of the other approaches tomorrow, right after my wracking sobs stop. Also I may be giving up a dog for Lent.2

1 I make a protein shake with pumpkin, because I like to refuel my muscles after a workout and also I enjoy stomach cramps. For those of you who might be interested, get your blender (or register for one if you're getting married soon and your sister might be looking for a present in the $15-$20 range) and add one cup of skim milk, 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin, 1/2 cup Butter Pecan ice cream, and one scoop of Vanilla protein powder.3 Toss in a few frozen cubes, mash the button and pretend it tastes delicious, right before dumping most of it into the sink and eating the rest of the Butter Pecan ice cream.

2 As opposed to my usual Lenten sacrifice when I claim I'm going to give up celibacy. You'd think that would work as a pickup line but it never does. This Ash Wednesday, though, I'm going to try to make it out of the church before I point this out to any eligible-looking, possibly madras-wearing gentleman. I just assumed that people would be more chatty in the communion line since it's not like there's anything else to do as we endure our interminably slow two-step toward the priest.

3 I dig Designer Whey protein. Every brand tastes like ground up cow bones, but this has a hint of real vanilla flavor layered within the Nastiness.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crunch & Munch

Four.

It's not even noon and I've already vacuumed four times, not counting the Dirt Devil's victory lap around the bar stools after it sucked up the final nugget of dog food. Pigpen the Boxerbeast is on a new diet, one suggested by his veterinarian that costs more per bowl than any of the freezer-burn flavored fish I'll extract from a battered cardboard box and deposit into my own digestive system.

The good news is that he loves each expensive scoop of food that comes out of the forty pound bag that currently slumps in the corner of the kitchen. Well, he likes most of it. It's Blue Buffalo kibble, their bison-shaped logo constantly reminding me that it probably would've been more cost-efficient to raise, slaughter and serve up an actual buffalo, and it definitely wouldn't be any harder to store. Anyway, Blue Buffalo garnishes their food with dark brown pellets they call LifeSource® bits, an unsettingly named addition that makes me think that my dog is actually consuming the souls of other dogs.

Or he would if he didn't spit them all out.

When Pigpen eats, he buries his face in the dish, scooping up an oversized mouthful before turning to deposit it all on the rug to his right. Then he sifts through it, scarfing the pieces not made of DogSouls® LifeSource® before doing it again until the floor has been covered with a trail of pellets that make it look like I'm setting a trap for PacMan.

My options are to either leave my kitchen boobytrapped like Kevin McAllister's MicroMachine covered bedroom--and inevitably end up splayed on the floor watching as shards of my femur go skittering across the room--or to vacuum. Again.

So my question is whether any of you have ever faced (and hopefully fixed) a problem like this. Can you change the way a dog eats or is that embedded in his genetic code like his floppy ears or willingness to impregnate the throw pillows? I can't spend my entire day emptying LifeSource® bits into the trash can, not when there are other, less productive ways to procrastinate.

Unfortunately since I have enough LifeSource® to feed the Forsyth County school system, switching to a new brand isn't an option. I can't afford it and I don't know what I'd do with this oversized bag of Blue Buffalo, other than burrow inside it for warmth after I use all of my spare cash to purchase another vacuum cleaner. So one of us is gonna have to eat that shit--OUT OF THEIR BOWL--and I'm not sure it goes with fish sticks.

Your move, Pigpen.

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Flat Chest & A Fake ID

As for the Super Bowl, let's ignore the teams and look at the cities they're representing in Miami. I've never had the pleasure of visiting Indianapolis, but I've heard that it's the prettiest shade of grey. I have introduced myself to New Orleans on a couple of occasions and regardless of how bright eyed and well-rested I am when I get there, I always leave looking like a less hepatitis-y Amy Winehouse.

When I was in college, some friends and I made an obligatory Mardi Gras trip, where we learned about the rich traditions of the Lenten season, the jazz-infused history of the French Quarter and also that Winn-Dixie shopping carts will comfortably seat two semi-conscious sophomores. Predictably, we spent our time subsisting on pastel-colored chunks of King Cake and drinking souvenir-sized Hurricanes, the only alcoholic beverage that can give you both a hangover and adult-onset diabetes.

This week for NBC Sports - Out of Bounds, I was supposed to pick a team for the Super Bowl. Instead, I covered my first trip to New Orleans, which included a failed attempt at wearing barrettes, zero Mardi Gras beads and a fake ID that probably would've been more effective if I hadn't tried to pass myself off as Asian.

I've only been to Louisiana one other time and that trip ended poorly as well. I should bang out that story over the weekend. I should also eat an entire King Cake, carefully trying to chomp around the plastic Christ child baked inside, because I'm pretty sure eating one of baby Jesus' arms will give you seven years of bad luck.