Sunday, November 06, 2005

The ACC, pronounced "Ack"

After watching Miami humiliate Virginia Tech, there's not much for Hokie fans to be optimistic about...except the fact that felon quarterback Marcus Vick probably won't get into any more trouble with underage girls. After seeing last night's game, I'm pretty sure he'd fumble his own penis.

And my beloved Demon Deacons lost again at Georgia Tech. Despite having a losing record, they still claim that they'll be in a bowl. Um, I'm pretty sure the only bowl they're eligible for is the one that they smoked before making statements like that one.

On a completely unrelated note, when you're shopping at an organic grocery store and they ask you "paper or plastic", I'm pretty sure that's a trick question, right? Could someone help me out on this? I want to say "plastic" but I'm terrified that I'll immediately be whisked to the back room and be beaten severely with a loaf of Tofurkey and forced to try Quorn, which sounds like a condition afflicting a man's daddy parts. "Not tonight honey, I just put some cream on my Quorn. It was itchy."

I dare you to see that shit at the grocery store and not think of that.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I Heart the Boomtown Rats. But Not Mondays.

I was reading a magazine with a headline that said “Always Tired? Diabetes Could Be the Cause.” Right. I love how magazines (and the local news…this means you, Ben Salt) try to whip people into a frenzy by doing stories like “Eating Three Times a Day? You Probably Have Cancer.” or “Do You Blink Your Eyes? You Have a Brain Tumor.” or, the most accurate, “Getting Medical Advice from Glamour? You’re Definitely Retarded.” Call me crazy, but I rarely take seriously any health information sandwiched between articles like “Turn Him On With a Flyswatter” and “I Whipped Bulima- By Star Jones”.

Also, I overheard someone today (we'll call him Freakshow) talking about how he and his family were going to eat dinner by candlelight tonight so they could turn all the lights out to prevent any trick-or-treaters from stopping at their house. I hope that rather than set a bag of dog shit on fire on his porch, someone sets him on fire. A 2 pound bag of KitKats are about $2.50 at Harris Teeter--isn't that a small price to pay for not having to scrape poop out of your birdhouse tomorrow or put a piece of cardboard over the nasty phrase someone scraped into your car, just like Cary Elwes had to do in that movie where Alicia Silverstone was obsessed with him, enough to attack his girlfriend with bees and take used condoms out of his trash? Am I the only one who watched that? Anyway, I swear if I knew where this guy lived, I would hand out fliers with his address on them, pointing out that he's not out of town, he's just cheap. And deserves to have to stomp out a flaming pile of Alicia Silverstone movies.

I wish I had some trick-or-treaters, just because I'd love to see their faces light up when I gave them each their very own tampon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sweeping those Freakin' Clouds Away

Life Lesson #732- Never groom your eyebrows after you’ve been drinking. Absolut mixed with cranberry juice can make you look great to your dinner date. Absolut mixed with tweezers can make you look like a Fraggle. One who is in a permanent state of surprise. While there supposedly aren’t any straight lines found in nature (told to me by my middle school art teacher who I’m pretty sure found the occasional straight line on a mirror, if you know what I’m saying… there’s no other explanation for her unwavering commitment to building a replica of Big Ben out of crepe paper and popcicle sticks, which, based on her greyhound-looking ribcage that was visible through her vinyl smock, she did not consume herself. Moving on…) Anyway, there may not be any straight lines in nature, but there now are two of them right above my eyes. I look like Wembley after discovering that the freakin’ Trash Heap could talk.

Let me point out here that the other day, I typed the phrase “Sesame Street” in Microsoft Word (you know, just working on some Luis the Handyman fan fiction) and I got a prompt asking me if I’d like it to display a map or driving directions for it. Apparently when the theme song asks “can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?” the correct answer is “, and they’ll show you several Denny’s and Red Roof Inns along the way.”

After said drinking binge on Friday, I found myself at home riveted to a show on Discovery called “I Survived a 200 Pound Tumor”, a premise that I have several problems with. Anyway, this woman who basically had the equivalent of Kirstie Alley growing out of her abdomen, had to undergo this incredibly risky operation and they kept cutting to commercials after the narrator said something menacing like “Will Brenda’s family ever see her alive again?” or “Will she be able to endure 40 hours of surgery?” Um, yeah, she will. It’s in the TITLE of the program. The show’s not called “I Died From a Big Ass Tumor” or “My Family Is Reading My Will Because I Was Eaten By a Tumor”. Seriously, Discovery Channel, if you want to keep me interested, don’t list the outcome of the show in the TV Guide.

What kind of person lets a tumor grow so large that they can claim it as a dependent before going to see a doctor? I mean, do they just look at it thinking “OK, when it gets bigger than a basketball, I’m really making an appointment.” Or “Yeah, it’s the size of my daughter, I really need to call the doctor.” This is the same problem I have with people who end up weighing 900 pounds and sob to Maury Povich that they can’t get out of their house anymore. Apparently, eating until the only thing you can wear is a duvet cover is fine, but when you can’t fit in your carport, that’s when it’s gotten out of control.

Confidential to this woman I see at the Y whose name, I think, is Marsha: Putting an airbrushed license plate reading “A Touch of Class” on the front of your Cavalier doesn’t really add one. Oh yeah, I’d also appreciate if you stopped wearing those shorts that say “SALEM” across your ass. I know you’re proud to be in Salem College’s continuing education program, but seriously, you’re damn near 50… do you really want us to know you’re in Basic Math? I will give you extra credit if you can measure the angle of my eyebrows though.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

When Country Wasn't Cool

OK, there are a couple of scenarios where time definitely slows down to an unbearable Dali clock-melting pace: when you’re running on a treadmill, attending Mass at any time other than Christmas Eve, watching an episode of “Family Matters”, or when you’re onstage at a comedy club and the crowd is looking at you silently wishing they could use their eyes to give you diphtheria. Or mesothelioma. Or something else that attorneys who advertise during daytime talk shows say you can sue for. If it were up to last night’s audience, I would have spent the last 18 hours wrapped in a smallpox blanket. Wearing an asbestos sweater. And watching Steve Urkel.

Last night was Round 2 of the Blue Collar Comedy Contest and yeah, I’m not blue collar enough. Apparently, they don’t want the blue collar to be attached to a polo shirt with a little crocodile stitched on it. Let me back up and say that despite my Nell-like Appalachian upbringing, my mother ingrained a sense of, uh, entitlement into her children. Our house was pretty much the intersection of Vanity Fair and the Dixie Classic Fair. Anyway, somehow I made it to the second round of this contest, which is sort of a dubious achievement considering that Round 1 featured a guy who spent most of his stage time hiding behind a stool, popping up occasionally like he was in the middle circle of the Whack-a-Mole game.

Let me interject that the local WB station was promoting this contest which explains both 1) why there were only 8 people in the crowd and 2) why said people smelled of Skoal and some type of jerky—and not from eating it…my guess is that they were capable of making their own. Actually, that’s a lie… there were some other attendees who were all part of the speed-dating crowd that comes there every Wednesday. Trust me, I’ve been on several unintentional speed dates, all of which ended with them racing off, Prefontaine like, when they heard my answer to the question “So, you screw on the first date?” Apparently, they were hoping that I didn’t.
Still, I was watching the crowd as they walked in and realized it would be easier to find Paris Hilton’s hymen than to make them laugh. Yes, that phrase alone will guarantee an additional 400 site views. Hooray!

Anyway, they set the lineup for the show and I was first on the list, which for me was the comedy equivalent of watching that creepy video in The Ring--you just know you're doomed. Seriously, the guys in the audience were expecting Blue Collar Comedy, not "Nancy Drew and the Mysterious Jokes about Babies"--and really didn't want to see a woman onstage unless she's dancing to a Whitesnake song.

So I begged and pleaded to be moved down the lineup card but it wasn’t happening. I was up first. Consequently, if you would like to recreate the sense of general awkwardness that occurred for 6 minutes while I was onstage, I suggest that you wait until an intimate moment with your partner and then start singing “Oh Mein Papa”. Or Suzanne Vega’s “Luka”. Yes, that’s about right…mid-pelvic thrust start shouting lyrics about child abuse. Congratulations and welcome to my life!

Do I think I would’ve made it to the next round if I’d been further down the list? Actually, yeah. Do I think I’d win? No, not really. There are some really talented comics left. I just think that it would’ve been a lot less painful. And I may have even scored some free jerky.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mail Bashing

What is it with me and the mail-related postings? Today I went to the post office to buy some stamps. I could really care less which mini-portrait graces the corner of my envelope, so I grabbed a dozen of the Ronald Reagan ones. I take them to the counter and Jim, my Postal Buddy, says, "Oh, the Reagans, an excellent choice." Look, Jimbo, it's not like trying to match the right wine with the right meat...I didn't know that you should pair a dead president with letters to your relatives or slap an abstract painter on your pharmacy bill, but I'm pleased to know I passed the test.

Anyway, he asked if I was a collector. Um...apparently going right for the Gipper stamps has catapulted me far above the amateur stamp purchase. Only a novice would have gotten the flags or the "Love" ones. Hell, I'm guessing they'd still try to lick 'em. Retards. I was like, "Nope, just needed some stamps." I'm not kidding, Jim's entire demeanor changed and he looked as though I'd just taken a shit in a Priority envelope. He acted like my decision to mail my gas bill was somehow demeaning to Ronnie's memory, like I was the only person who was going to let his little face get cancelled. Yeah, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Ronald Reagan whose corpse got paraded around the country like "Weekend at Bernie's: White House Edition"? I believe he was passed around more times than Tara Reid at Senor Frog's but somehow I'm tarnishing his legacy? Holy shit, imagine the chaos that would ensue if Bonzo the chimp had gotten his own stamp? I'm sure it would go well with a nice cabernet.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Sticker Born Every Minute

I’ve had it with the return-address labels. It started with the American Lung Association (A-Lung, if you’re into that Stuart Scott nicknaming thing) who used to send me 500 tiny labels all adorned with pictures of cardinals (the birds, not the Catholics…although, oddly enough when I was a little kid and would have to attend mass every Sunday, they would encourage us to pray for the Cardinals, at which point I would go home and dump out my Topps cards and earnestly bless St. Louis’ baseball team. For some reason, I always spent extra time on Bruce Sutter. I was a dipshit.) Besides, what do cardinals have to do with healthy lungs? Cigarettes do a lot of weird shit, but I have yet to see a smoker cough up a bird.

Confidential to RJ Reynolds- Could you please make this happen?

Regardless, it’s totally out of control and now every organization that could possibly want a donation now sends tons of tiny labels, all with clip art pictures that I do not want my creditors to associate with me. Although maybe if the Visa people see the horribly drawn bald eagles (they sort of look like Snuffleupagus) provided to me by the VFW, they’ll be stirred by such a sense of patriotism (or pity) that they’ll waive my late fees. (On a related note, you know your credit card bill is out of hand when you really need your finance charges to be broken down into monthly payments.) Either that or they’ll see the shitty little fire truck drawn by a Special Olympian (not a gold medal winner in the Art category, obviously) and know that my debt should be erased since I obviously can’t afford a ball point pen to write my own address and must rely on those tasteful little gems.

Anyway, I guess I kind of understand their rationale. They want you to make a donation, so they’re making it easy for you by saving you 3 seconds and potential carpal tunnel syndrome by eliminating the need for you to write your personal information. If they really want to help me out, how bout they send me 500 stickers that look like twenty dollar bills? And maybe the kid that draws the trucks and the eagles could be exempt from that project. I think that these organizations should help themselves: maybe instead of mailing hundreds of thousands of address labels, they should just use that money to, um, support their causes. Who still sends letters anymore, anyway? You’re truly on the cutting edge, VFW. Maybe next month, you could send me some Betamax tapes or a steam locomotive, or some serfs for my feudal plantation. Actually, the check is in the mail, if you promise to hack up a cardinal.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Take Care of Yourself and Each Other

OK, it's Friday night and I'm at home, drinking a glass of milk, wearing my free Sports Illustrated long-sleeved t-shirt (in their default size, 4XL, because apparently no one smaller than Mount Saint Helens gives a shit about sporting events) and watching the Red Sox game. My sexiness knows no bounds. The worst part is that if the game had been rain delayed, I was going to watch part of my 12 DVD set of last year's ALCS and World Series...after explaining to my handsome boyfriend that no, ALCS is not what killed Lou Gehrig. I wish I were kidding. Seriously though, the day that box set came in was the greatest day of all time. Those discs are like porn to me--Spectravision can keep "Searching for Bobby Fister".

Is there any greater tribute to a motion picture than when an adult film bastardizes its title? And why do I know that an actor named Dick van Dyke was in both "Titty Titty Bang Bang" and "Cherry Poppins"? Take that,

Moving on... Jerry Springer sometimes disappoints me. Why can't he put together an entire show that stays on topic? I mean, he'll have 4 couples that dress as cocker spaniels and spank each other with loaves of bread and then randomly the final guest will be a transvestite and its lover. C'mon Jerry, if you can find 6 people who have sex with trees, surely you can fill the whole hour without having to tag on a love triangle involving three Klansmen. (Suggested adult film title: "KKGay") I really think he's at the point of his career where he can't be shocked by anything. In fact, I'm not sure he has human emotions. He's like Data from Star Trek or Johnny 5 from "Short Circuit", without having to hang out with Steve Guttenberg.

Does anyone else think of that Guttenberg anytime the Guttenberg bible is referenced? Because sometimes I catch myself thinking, "Three Men and a Baby, Police Academy, AND a printing press? Damn, that guy is GOOD." And why does everyone in the world remember that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin? Does anyone have a clue what the cotton gin is? And was Cotton Weary the worst name for a movie villain ever? Discuss...

OK, Rick Sutcliffe was just talking about A's 3rd base coach Ron Washington who apparently lost his home during Hurricane Katrina. Tragic, yes, but then Mr. Sutcliffe said that Washington was building a new home, a 5 bedroom one, in which he and his wife would live and he would also invite--and I quote--"all of his parents to live with him". If you need four bedrooms to house your parents, then I believe there's a Jerry Springer episode waiting for you, too...right after that woman who screwed a pine tree.

OH! Speaking of dead wood, congrats to Kevin Federline for producing yet another child.

In honor of Britney's baby, I like to think that somewhere in a television studio in Chicago there's a pre-operative transsexual dancing to herself, singing "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet A Woman." Because that would be off the charts with the awesomeness...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Everyone Report to the Dance Floor

1) Don’t worry kids…no, I have not been carried off by inhabitants of the Carolina Raptor center, but thanks for asking. On a side note, how much do I wish that the Raptor center housed the actual dinosaurs and not a couple of heavily sedated hawks who flap their wings twice and look bored as hell in exchange for some raw chicken. I was running a couple of days ago and saw a hawk holding some sort of hamster or something in its large talons (to be read as Napoleon Dynamite). It was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk and, although I am hardly Sam’s Club Val-U-Sized I’m still bigger than a bird—but this thing didn’t move. It stared me down with its little eyes, like I was going to go all Richard Gere and swipe its gerbil. No kidding, it freaked me the hell out. If I were an Indian (you know, the kind you can’t have a mascot named after), I probably would name my first child Squatting Hawk. Or Richard Gere.

2) In all seriousness, much love goes out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. And Michael Wiltz or Rob Savoy, if you happen to ever read this page, please email me at the address above. I know I haven’t talked to either of you in a while, but I’ve tried lately without luck. Here’s hoping I just have old phone numbers and that you (and your families) are both safe somewhere. I hope every relocated evacuee has the opportunity to make new, prosperous lives for themselves…and secretly a part of me hopes that a practicing Voodoo Queen ends up in rural Idaho, where she terrorizes people at the local Albertson’s by asking where she can find some marmot claws or feral cat tongues, all the while sticking pins in a small, stuffed likeness of the store manager.

3) A friend of mine just bought a bicycle, probably because he had to sell his youngest son to the Nike factory in order to fill the tank on his Kia. HIS DAMN KIA! Anyway, before he bought the bike, the local bike shop made him take a class on proper bicycle hand signals, for turning, stopping, and pointing out to other motorists where his pelvis is after he’s run down by a FedEx truck. Anyway, what good is it for the bikers to know the signals if none of the *drivers* do? Some dude on a Schwinn can stick his left hand out all he wants—I don’t know whether to high five him or give him change for a $10. Either way, I hope I can get a new pair of running shoes out of it.

4) Again with the running—because I’m basically Forrest Gump. On long runs, I try to go through neighborhoods with a lot of reconstruction because, yeah, I need the Porta-Potty. Now I wasn’t very good at Spanish in high school (“The cow has a beard” is not a super-helpful phrase) but I can recognize the word for “mother” and the word for “whore”, and I’ve found that both of them are scrawled pretty frequently on the Porta-Walls. There’s also frequent reference to a woman named Maria, as well as some diagrams that—if anatomically correct—make her look like she’s packing a trash compactor between her legs. I’m also willing to bet that in several instances, the words “mother”, “Maria”, and “whore” may reference the same woman.

Another bathroom story…driving home from Charlie Goodnight’s last week after a show best described as a big ball of suck, I stopped at an Exxon station to pee. When I have to go, I don’t even pretend to be a customer. Some people will linger in there, acting like they’re debating the merits of Slim Jims vs. Combos or wondering why a large box of condoms is known as “Family Size” before they eventually sneak off to the restrooms. Not this kid. Anyway, there was a line at the ladies’ and my bladder was about to break a levee of its own so I ducked into the men’s room. Um, nasty. I’m pretty sure Typhoid Mary’s kitchen was higher on the hygiene scale than this I-40 gem. Anyway, some misguided patriot had taken it upon himself to edit the condom dispenser by scratching out the word “French” and christening them the “Freedom Tickler”. Granted, the glory of his act was somewhat negated by the fact that he spelled it “Freedum”, but whatever. Ten bucks says it was Toby Keith.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Team Name Here

OK, it's time for fantasy football season, which means that my patient boyfriend will have to endure 16 weeks of me being insanely concerned about the outcome of the Browns-Dolphins game and wondering about the opportunities for 9th string running backs to contribute to the team (That means you, Avion Cason).

Some people enjoy fantasy football because they say it gives them an interest in teams they wouldn't normally watch. Those people are wrong. I enjoy fantasy football because I now have a concrete reason to hope that Randy Moss falls asleep by the fireplace and his legs melt (you know, like in the creepy non-Disney version of "Pinocchio". Or was I the only one whose first grade teacher thought it was a good idea to read that story to a group of 6 year olds? Pair that with the "Velveteen Rabbit", and I was terrified that at any time I would either burst into flames or contract scarlet fever and be promptly incinerated. Hats off to you, Iris Cooper.) Anyway, if Randy's tibias are reduced to charred stumps, Jerry Porter and I will rejoice.

So I haven't named my team yet. I have posted my potential names below and would appreciate any feedback that you, loyal readers, have on these:

Fightin' Scientologists
Amber Alert!
Angelina Ate My Baby
Faulkin' A
I Drive a Dodge Stratus
Janosz Poha
Garfield Isn't Funny
Pierce Film to Vent
You're Glib, Matt
Blanket aka Prince Michael II

Happy Little Trees
Mr. Belvedere
The United Way
Your Mother Has Loose Morals
6th Commandment
Can You Hear Me Now?

Happy Hands Club
Ninjas Are Mammals.
staphylococcus aureus
SWF, 26
If I Lose, A Unicorn Dies
Tell Your Dad to Call Me
World's Greatest Grandma

The Lilting Banshees
Your Premiums Never Increase

Monday, August 29, 2005

You Can Tuna Piano...

A friend of mine from the gym brought me a large quantity of fish this morning, the fish that he caught yesterday. First, allow me to point out that this is wicked hot, the whole “man as food provider” thing. For real, I never took any Women's Studies classes so I can say that shit. Anyway, the gift of meat is sort of a primal throwback to when men would approach women and grunt some witticism like “Want go back my cave for sex and mastodon?” and then when she would drag her knuckles elsewhere, he’d shout “What? Not like mastodon?” Of course, if you’re George W. Bush, the above scenario would never take place because all the people were riding the dinosaurs onto Noah’s Ark.

Next, allow me to point out that I don’t really understand people who live in the suburbs but choose to hunt and gather their food (my fisherman friend being exempt, of course) because I haven’t spent any part of my adult life more than ten minutes away from a Harris Teeter. Until life on Earth resembles a disaster movie and I am forced to build a trap for a raccoon or a collie or something out of a box propped on a stick that I will pull away when the “prey” lunges for the Pottery Barn catalog or whatever I’m using as a lure (little known fact: most small mammals love a nice leather ottoman), I prefer that all of my food come wrapped in cellophane and stamped with a ‘sell-by’ date.

Despite having grown up on a mountain lake--one that begs to be the setting of a beer commercial--surrounded by woodland creatures and their various parasites, I have had zero interest in ever pulling my dinner from the woods or especially from the water. Why? Because there are fish in it (not in the woods). And I have also on occasion peed in it (both the woods and the water). Not to mention the fact that I will avoid interacting with any animal/fish/bird that is larger than the trunk of my car. For some reason, “car trunk” seems like a reasonable standard of measurement, in that something smaller than a set of golf clubs is probably less apt to drag me back to its lair and either feed me to its offspring or use me as bedding. Although I’m guessing I’m kind of gristly and I do have sort of bony parts, which probably wouldn’t make for the most pleasant night’s rest. If any mountain lions are reading this, I hope they pass that along.

That said, I do have a ridiculous fascination with sharks. I spent the weekend reading a book called The Devil’s Teeth about a group of scientists who study Great Whites (the sharks), which are not to be confused with Great White (the band) which should not be studied by anyone. Although if I were a pro wrestler who had survived a shark attack, I would sure as hell enter the ring to “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”. Same if I had survived a vampire attack. Oh yeah, in the shark attack case, my wrestler-name would be “Remora”. I’ll take suggestions for the vampire one.

Anyway, I learned some interesting things about sharks, such as:

1) You often hear about their length, but the impressive thing is their width. They can be 8 feet across, which the author described as “as wide as Yao Ming”. I cannot wait until my size is used as a standard of measurement. My all-time favorite measuring tool is the apple, because we all know that each and every Smurf stands three apples high. And yes, I know how insanely dirty that first sentence sounds.

2) The skin of a Great White is composed of denticles, which are like scales made of tiny teeth. How badass is that? The shark can kill you with its skin, which is a trait that I always thought was unique to Joan Rivers.

3) This incarnation of the Great White, Carcharodon carcharias, is thought to have evolved over 40 million years ago. Again, similar to Joan Rivers.

4) Sharks prefer Crate & Barrel over Pottery Barn.
And Food Lion over Harris Teeter. And they wish to God I'd stop peeing in the water.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Paradise by the Desk Lamp

OK, I love me some Sitemeter. Someone actually googled "Cryptoquote Longfellow". Perhaps that person can explain to me how what looks like a regurgitated Wheel of Fortune clue can be unscrambled into an obscure passage from Titus Andronicus. Or how someone can type Titus Andronicus without giggling about the word "Tit".

My handsome boyfriend and I went to visit his parents this weekend for his mother's 84th birthday. Actually, if I were 84, I would eat a damn Carvel cake every single day but that's beside the point. Anyway, his father (a youthful 81) had a list of things for me to do, including installing their Bellsouth DSL hardware. It's amazing to me that his parents are 30 years older than mine, yet have a better grasp of technology. My mother refuses to sit within 4 feet of the computer screen not because of the eyestrain but because she's afraid she's going to be sucked into the internet. I wish I were kidding.

I spent about an hour in his father's home office installing all the computer bits and while I was waiting for the software to load, I started perusing his gigantic bookshelf. His dad is quite the coin collector and 98% of the shelves were loaded with books on the value of coins dating back to, uh, like when his other car was a Stegosaurus. Then I noticed at the far left of the middle shelf a gigundo volume entitled "Secrets to Great Sex". Right beside it was a smaller title, "Better Public Speaking". After being creeped out on an epic "Shining"-like level, it began to make sense, cause if I were 84 and still having sex (forget great sex, just anything even slightly involving friction with another person who was not my caregiver or an undertaker) I would tell absolutely everyone about it.

Sample dialogues:

Him: May I help you?
Me: I am 84 and am able to have sex. Yes, that kind of sex.
Him: This is the post office.
Me: A book of stamps and more sex, please.

Her: Welcome to Fresh Market. What can I get for you?
Me: A willing partner.
Her: Excuse me?
Me: Because I'm 84 and still having sex. With others.
Her: Would you like to try our tortellini salad?
Me: Are those shells stuffed?
Her: Yes.
Me: Cause I've recently had my shell stuffed. With sex.

Yeah, that was nasty.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Insert Loverboy Song Title Here

OK first I would like to acknowledge the insane amount of people who have located this blog by searching for "passive aggressive". Kudos also to the person who googled "IHOP Funnel Cake Recipe". I can't tell you how many times I've gone to IHOP and wished that there was some way for me to recreate that experience in my own home. Or how many dinners have been trashed after my version of the Rooty Tooty Fresh & Fruity failed to reach the standards set by the International House. Apparently, it just doesn't taste right unless it's being served by a toothless woman with a tattoo of Dale Jr. on her forearm who is one more Goody's powder away from an overdose and who regards her apron as an essential culinary tool, much like a cast iron skillet, and cannot ever wash it, lest it loses some of its "flavor".

I also enjoy the Cracker Barrel, where occasionally you are seated and served by what appears to be a 4-star General. Sometimes I'm terrified to eat there, because in the case of an earthquake, tornado, or other natural disaster, the antique pitchforks, hacksaws, and pickaxes that provide the decor could fall and impale me, and that would be one undignified way to die. I pray that my life doesn't end within 50 feet of a bin full of Saltwater taffy, a John Deere music box, or a clearance priced Big Mouth Billy Bass.

And now, Starbucks. They have to be enjoying the ridiculous gas prices. Crude oil is now so expensive, it makes paying $7.32 for a cup of coffee seem like a reasonable thing to do. I rarely visit Daddy Starbucks because 1) I'm not a fan of warm beverages and 2) I hate hipsters (which is the same reason I have an aversion to Che Guevara. I did see a guy wearing that ubiquitous C-Guev t-shirt and the caption read "I have no idea who this is". Thank you, sir. P.S. I would appreciate if someone would stab me in the thigh for using the word 'ubiquitous'.) Anyway, I went the other day, mainly to feel better about myself because I'm not one of the girls currently staring out onto US-311, writing poems and wondering what rhymes with "empty".

So I order the "Venti", hating myself for not referring to it as a small or whatever and the barista (or as I like to call them, "the Duke graduates") actually corrects me and says, "It's pronounced Benti." No, Josh, I believe it's prounounced Buck you and the Dodge Stratus you rode in on. You're wearing an apron with your name stitched on it-- you cannot POSSIBLY be least not until you've earned at least 3 stars or sold four "Little Rascals" DVD sets.

Anybody know where I can get some AAA batteries? This singing fish is awesome. "Take me to the river..." Damn, that's clever.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Good Charlotte, NC

Oh yeah kids, my comedy career has taken me to Mecklenburg County… On Tuesday night, my stack of John Mellencamp CDs and I (because I too know what it’s like to be riding high in the Rumbleseat) drove to the Comedy Zone in Charlotte to audition for the Carnival Comedy Challenge. The winner of the competition would receive a paid gig on a Carnival ship, a destination I have longed for ever since I saw those commercials with Kathie Lee Gifford singing “If they could see us now/Out on a Fun Ship Cruise/Words, words, words, words/I believe she completed the rhyme with the word ‘choose’!” K-Giff made it look awesome. And Carnival was totally the best “Wheel of Fortune” sponsor ever, surpassing both Kwai Garlic Supplement and Eggland’s best eggs.

So Tuesday was audition night and it was a rough. Imagine that you’ve been hired to beat the shit out of Mr. Peanut…at the George Washington Carver Memorial Celebration. That’s the level of awkwardness that occurs when performing to a room full of comedians. But somehow, I was one of the twelve finalists selected out of seventy auditionees to perform last night, putting me one step closer to my Fun Ship Fantasy…

Fade in. The Finals. Twelve comedians, one Carnival Fun Ship. I wish Fox would turn that into a reality show. Maybe in the process we could find a new singer for INXS or locate a new arm for Def Leppard’s drummer. The lineup was chosen at random and I was batting #5, right in the heart of the order. And holy crap, the other guys (and woman) were killer. All of the others were professional comedians—I’m the only one with a day job, at least until upper management realizes how much of my time is spent reading Vibe magazine and wondering if anyone in the word can ever solve those 'Cryptoquote' puzzles from the paper. How the hell does “XA43DEvjU@*^1” translate into “Longfellow”?

They had an "American Idol" format which meant there was a panel of judges at the front of the house who offered comments and suggestions after your set and then immediately were solicited by Corey Clark.

Brief "American Idol" note- I admit it. I think Simon Cowell is smokin’ and if I ever bumped into him at Big Lots, I would totally try to seduce him. I read that he’s slept with 200 women but I’m unsure what kind of woman would stick around for the post-coital analysis where he’d wrap himself up in his (black) sheets and say something like, “That was absolutely dreadful. I would rather spend time alone with a jar of Noxema and some clothespins than to ever endure that again. You make me wish that at the 11th week of gestation, I’d developed a second X-chromosome so I would have never been sexually attracted to a malignancy like you.” At least he has that hot accent.

So my set was pretty solid, despite the fact that I was more nervous than Rafael Palmiero holding a specimen cup. The audience laughed, which is awesome. The judges represented several of the major national comedy club chains, Carnival Cruises, and Jagermeister (which I have represented during several altercations with my neighbors). They all gave positive feedback and said that I was doing incredibly well for someone who was this early in her career. The phrase “you’ll go a long way” was used and I was told that I had lots of potential. Cool. I also spoke with a couple of clubs who told me to call them in a few months when I had some more experience. I’ll definitely take them up on it, the whole time hoping it won’t be like when my friends’ older brothers would tell me to call them when I got to college so I would and they’d feign interest by saying things like “Um, good to see you t—uh, why do you still collect baseball cards?” or “Hey, I really thought you’d have breasts by now”. Seriously, here’s hoping I’ll get some work out of this down the road.

I didn’t win. No Fun Ship. Not even an Ennui Ship or a Jaded Ship. But I did get a duffle bag and a “Deuce Bigalo: European Gigolo” t-shirt, so I’ve got that going for me. Actually after my set I wasn’t really thinking about winning anymore, because I was so wicked stoked (hello, 1993!) to be a finalist. I know what you’re thinking: “That’s the kind of shit losers say.” But seriously, I’m still in my first few months of Funnytime so I went into the finals feeling like the Permian High School Mojo, baby…I know I’m totally outmatched by Midland Lee, but dammit, I’m going to bring all I got, cause I’m not a quitter. And then Tim McGraw threw his class ring at me and kicked my ass.

Two notes:
1. Thank you to both of Billy Bob Thornton’s fans for understanding the last sentence. I heart “Friday Night Lights”
2. That is the same logic that led me to eat an entire ½ lb bag of Reese’s Pieces last weekend.

All in all, it’s been a good week. My first ever corporate gig is tomorrow which is leading to my first ever stay at a Red Roof Inn. I’ve got some material to work on...
Today's clue is : FAE#59bV!k = Pythagorus.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Things to Do in Denver

1) Looking out my office window, I watched a woman park her car so horrendously that she is simultaneously in two parking spaces, on the curb, and blocking the stairs to the lower level of the parking lot. I applaud her though, because she has a "handicapped" tag on her rearview mirror. She has the right idea. If you get a pass for being disabled--and I'll add that her only handicap appeared to be purchasing the teal and pink windsuit she was wearing--you should enjoy the hell out of it. If I had one of those stickers, I would ignore the lot altogether and instead drive onto the sidewalk. Not only that, but I'd make sure that my bumper was always triggering the automatic door sensor so they would open and close constantly, and so people would have to scale the hood in order to get in the building, timing their entrance--like Indiana Jones when he has to slide out of that tomb--so they don't get smashed in the door. Don't forget your fedora... That would be the most fun at hospitals. Either that or I would park in the cart return space. Sideways. Not parallel, I would actually try to flip my car onto its side so it would fit into the corral.

2) The personal trainers at my gym are all horribly out of shape. The woman who's there in the mornings has a physique resembling a Ziploc bag full of cottage cheese. She always has clients, but I can't understand why someone would pay her to get her advice. If you look at her, you'll notice that when she's standing, her legs touch each other at every point from waist to floor. How do you develop a gut on your ankle bones? I'm convinced her thermos is full of Crisco. Seriously, isn't getting fitness advice from a fat woman a little like taking a soccer lesson from Larry Flynt?

3) I'm not a fan of the vanity license plate. I couldn't ever be friends with anyone who paid additional money to outfit their Dodge Stratus with a "UGOGIRL" tag...although I've never been friends with anyone who's ever said that either, so maybe that's a bad example. I also shun people who say "co-inky-dink", "Git 'r done", and "You're fired". (No, not in that Donald Trump/"Apprentice" way...I'm talking about people who have actually fired me.) Anyway, the vanity tag just doesn't seem practical and I'll give you three reasons why: Hit. And. Run. If someone remembers seeing a red Kia in the vicinity, that could be anyone, but I guarantee some meddling witness would recall a "KIDSDOC" or a "NSCARFAN" mowing down the Scout troop. Actually, if your plate actually IS "NSCARFAN", you deserve to be run over.

4) Note to the Defense Department: you may want to add "blue jeans out of the dryer" to your list of approved "interrogation techniques" for war prisoners. Nothing hurts worse than those red hot rivets searing into your pelvis, aka "The Abercrombie Bone". Nothing. Pull a pair of Levis out of my Kenmore and threaten to put 'em on me and I'm talking, whatever you want to know. Get an old priest and a young priest, because I'll confess everything before I'll get branded. I'll even give up my handicapped space.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

In an ever changing world, there are only a few things we can count on: that Ted Kennedy's head will always increase in size and girth, that you can actually hear Ryan Seacrest getting gayer, that comedy clubs will always put a fake brick wall onstage, and that Al-Qaeda videos will always be shot in front of a big rock with a bunch of machine guns in the background.

Where the hell do they tape these things? It looks like they're sitting on Big Thunder Mountain at Disney World, although surely someone else standing in line would notice the tall guys in turbans with the Handycam and the automatic weapons...unless they just thought they were extras from the "Aladdin" dinner show. Actually, most people at amusement parks are so focused on either not dying of heat stroke, contracting food poisoning from the homemade tartar sauce at Cap'n Crazy's Shrimp-n-Scurvy Buffett, or trying to resist making mean faces at the triplets sitting in the SiblingStroller(TM) until they cry to notice that the Grand Dragon of Al-Qaeda is taping a live remote from Frontierland.

As someone who has witnessed her mother laying face down in a tulip garden at Busch Gardens following an unpleasant incident involving garlic bread and a ride on the Pirate Ship, I can attest to this.

All I'm asking is for a little set decoration from these people. They can mastermind all sorts of criminal activity and manage to be the scourge of society, but they can't purchase a little bookcase, a fern, a desk or something to make it a little less rustic?

If Al-Qaeda's Line Producer happens to be reading this, I have two words for him: PARTY CITY. I fully expect to see two inflatable palm trees, a pinata, and a Parrothead hat. Show us your silly side, would you? It's always anger, anger, anger at the infidels, which frankly gets a little boring.

Secondly, why is the term "mastermind" only applied to evil pursuits? You always read about "terrorist masterminds" or "criminal masterminds" but where are the all the "butterfly collecting masterminds" or the "macrame masterminds"? I know they're out there somewhere and I sure wish USA Today would write about them...or maybe just do a pie chart.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The More You Know...

OK, our HR department sends a 'health and wellness' newsletter with every paycheck, hoping I guess that you'll take the advice so that you can work here until you're well into your 90s. Below please find a verbatim listing of travel tips offered "For a Bon Voyage!":

1) Stop for shots.
2) Stow the right stuff.
3) Keep legs limber.
4) Be good to your body.
5) Regulate your re-entry.

Shots? Flexibility? Re-freakin' entry? Either my next business trip is to the Hedonism resort or we're hosting a Pi Beta Phi mixer.

If the latter occurs, we'll need shots of both varieties: alcoholic and antibacterial. Remember, there's no "i" in "team", but there is in "Hepatitis".

'Cause Zygotes are Sexy

Disturbing Song Lyrics: Bryan Adams edition
Welcome back to the work week, which means more mind-numbing soft rock. They just played that hardcore song "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" or some combination of the words "Love", "Woman", and "You", which could be any song from the WMAG playlist with the exception of the ones by Elton John, because, well, you know...

Anyway, it was the theme song from "Don Juan DiMarco", a Johnny Depp movie from the period of his career known as "the Arena League Years", when he was past his college playing days (21 Jump Street, "Edward Scissorhands") but hadn't been picked up by an NFL team yet ("That Keith Richards-as-a-Pirate Movie", "Charlie, the Chocolate Factory, and Neverland Ranch"). "Don Juan" and "The Astronaut's Wife" are the cinematic equivalent of the Barcelona Dragons. Moving on...

That song has a lyric that says "When you see your unborn children in her eyes/You know you really love a woman." Um, no, when you start seeing pupils-as-fetuses, you've taken the brown acid. If a man looked at me and referenced seeing anything in my eyes other than allergy-induced redness, I would kick him in the teeth. No questions asked.

Who writes shit like that? Bryan? Even if you're seeing the kids as 4 or 5 year olds, staring at your lover and seeing children's faces etched on their retinas is a little too "Omen"-like.

Nothing is hotter in bed than a man calling out baby names. "Oh yeah, right there, hey, what about Austin? Do you like Austin? Do that 'bout Kelsey if it's a girl?"

On an unrelated note, nothing is a bigger ball of suck than having a rainy ass weekend and then on Monday morning watching the sun come up at about 3:30 a.m., mocking you. Stupid life-sustaining star.

Friday, July 29, 2005

I need James Taylor to Win...

I have the pleasure of listening to 99.5 WMAG's continuous soft schlock all day, every day at work. I'm sure that several of you are similarly afflicted, so to give us something to make the day go faster and to provide a reason not to go out at lunch and impale ourselves on a parking meter, I have created this: Soft Rock Bingo.

Print out the attached bingo cards, distribute them to your coworkers, and play it like regular bingo although without that musty "Aspercreme & Elderly" scent that permeates most bingo halls. Mark each artist as you hear them, continue until you have 5 in a row in any direction or until the Wellbutrin wears off. Winner gets to choose which of the Losers will shoot them in the face. Congratulations!

Speaking of James Taylor, Runtie is attending his concert in Raleigh tonight. She continuously berated me about what a dork I was for my love of all things Mellencamp, but at least he's mobile. I can actually hear James Taylor's bones getting brittle. Hopefully, her seats are close enough that she'll be able to see the wires holding him up and moving him across the stage. True, when JCM sings "When I fight authority/Authority always wins", he's talking about the AARP, but at least he won't crumble to dust if you shake him vigorously. Don't worry, the Alltel Pavilion is offering a partial refund if JT breaks a hip during the show...

Holy shit, rereading that last paragraph makes me wonder how I have ever managed to have sex. With another person.

Confidential to John Fogerty: Why haven't you called me? I still think you're very handsome. Would you like to play Bingo?

Was That You, Lindsay Lohan?

Recognition is in order for the person who found this page at 2:24 this morning while doing a Google search for the phrase "stomach of a bulimic". Must have a big weekend planned...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Shall We See It Through to Its Logical Conclusion?

1) Charlie Goodnight's did, in fact, rock like a hurricane last night. The crowd was young and drinking heavily, which is as good for comedians as it is for frat guys. I had one of my better sets and will have it available on DVD by next week. I'm sure all of my loyal readers would love to get a copy so that they may pass it along to comedy bookers in their area. Or so they can give it to their parents to say, "Who's a disappointment now? At least I'm not talking about my crotch in public."

I have a setup that references my former career as a stripper (again, comedy is all lies) and I was actually approached after the show and asked if that was true. Um, these people either thought that 1) I looked coordinated enough to rhythmically gyrate around a pole; 2) that strip clubs were getting more lax in their hiring procedures and that perhaps they too should get out their WD-40 and old majorette costume before heading down to the Gutter Ballz Strip Club-n-Bowling Alley; or 3) that I look like I have dangerously low self-esteem.

2) At the mall the other day, a store had Larry the Cable Guy calendars in their window. My guess is that if you purchase one of these items, you don't really have any important dates to remember. No "Meeting With Company President" to jot would be marked up with things like "Custody Hearing" or "2nd DUI" or "Find my pants".

3) I am currently on Day 3 of my Crest Whitestrips program. It seems that these things whiten your teeth by melting the enamel off to expose the unblemished surface of your skull. Holy shit, I hope it whitens my teeth enough to compensate for the fact that I've been unable to brush them for 2 days. My gums feel like they were stuffed full of fish bones and then someone punched me in the face. Actually, I'm not sure there's any whitening effects at all. After a week of not eating or drinking, people are taken aback by your prominent ribcage and distended abdomen to notice your coffee-stained teeth. I'll stick with it though because I am not a quitter, dammit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Incomplete Rock Lyrics, Volume 1

What James Taylor wrote:

Whenever I see your smiling face
I have to smile myself

What James Taylor meant to write:

Whenever I see your smiling face
I have to smile myself
Because I'm sleeping with your wife

Another McNugget

Two Sentences I Overheard That Made Me Really Want to Hear the Rest of the Conversation:

1) "Don't tell her why, just throw out all of her underwear and tell her she's getting new ones."- a woman on a cell phone, overheard while walking through a department store.

2) "It must have been pregnant because the corner was full of baby spiders."- the woman at the Y's front desk, overheard this morning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

McSweeney's Lite

Two Things That Rod Stewart and Bruce Springsteen Could Say to Their Significant Others and Get Away With and One That I Could Not.
1) The morning sun when it's in your face really shows your age.
2) You ain't a beauty but, hey, you're all right.
3) It's really shitty that you're going to Jamaica without me and I hope the women you're going with get amoebic dysentery.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I, too, Was Born In a Small Town

I was just in my car and had the stereo up so loud it now feels like my ears have been crammed full of oatmeal. I love loud music and always have. As a kid when we visited my grandmother, I would sit on the porch and listen to mixtapes on my Walkman (including classics by Heart, Michael Jackson, and Dolly Parton, a combination that has probably never been duplicated) until inevitably, her mailman would come up and point to his hearing aids and tell me that headphones left him deaf in both ears. Even at that young age, I was perceptive enough to realize that his problems had less to do with his affinity for Judas Priest and more with the fact that his mother drank throughout her pregnancy. Loud music won’t cross your eyes, Josh.

Speaking of music, on Friday, I had eighth row seats for the John Fogerty/John Mellencamp concert in Raleigh. I bought our tickets in advance because I am a longtime member of Club Cherry Bomb, the official John Mellencamp fan club, providing yet another reason why I never had a prom date. Hell, why I never had A date through most of my high school years, unless you count the time our gym class went swimming at the Y and a guy named Phil was matched up as my swim buddy. Good thing I could tread water, because he was more interested in Chera and her surprisingly buoyant D-cups, leaving me to fend for myself in the corner of the pool with the Jehovah’s Witnesses who weren’t allowed to wear bathing suits and were barely able to keep their heads above water because their sweatsuits got real freakin’ heavy when they got wet.

But I digress. Back to the concert. John Fogerty tore through loads of Creedence songs and sounded absolutely fantastic. I love CCR because no one, including Mr. Fogerty, has any idea what the actual lyrics are other than the choruses, but dammit, they are still great songs. I was basically reciting my grocery list to the tune of “Down on the Corner” but it worked out just fine. He was also rocking a denim on denim outfit, proving again that when you are a Rock Star, you may ignore the fact that the only other people who dress like that have a name patch sewn onto their shirts, generally something like “Dwayne” or “Critter”.

There’s something irresistible to me about a man with a guitar. I found myself finding Mr. Fogerty incredibly attractive, despite the fact that he is 193 years old. During one song, he mouthed the words “after the show” to a woman in the front row and I was overwhelmed with jealousy and curiosity. What’s after the show, John?

Confidential to John Fogerty- Please email me and let me know what happened after the show. I think you are very handsome.

Generally, there’s nothing that can kill crowd mojo like a classic artist who wants to sing new material. It’s basically the equivalent of during sex when your partner says “so, when are we going to see your parents?” But JF proved this wrong when he did a new song, “Déjà Vu (All Over Again)”, which I immediately downloaded when I got home, using iTunes because I only illegally download songs from artists who no one will care about in 4 months (Read: Most rap stars. That includes you, Webbie).

After the set was changed, it was time for John Cougar aka John Cougar Mellencamp aka Dances with Cougars aka Mellencougarcamp. Now, I was very excited about this because I have had a crush on him since I was in elementary school. It was not as intense as my obsession with Huey Lewis, who was absolutely my first love. I remember when he was on the cover of People magazine I threw a tantrum in Elliott’s grocery store until my mother would buy a copy, which I immediately took home and hung on my wall. It seems like maybe this would have been a warning sign to my parents when all of my friends liked Kirk Cameron and Corey Haim and I was in love with Huey, a 38 year old married father of two. But John C. Mellencamp was absolutely the guy in the on-deck circle and would have assumed “Main Crush” duties had Huey been eaten by scorpions or something.

So, I was whipped into a frenzy when J M’camp came out in a blue suit--which in the 99 degree heat probably felt like he was walking around in a Muppet's ass--and smoking a cigarette which for a heart attack victim is totally badass. I’ll admit, he’s still hot (with optional second t) but he’s aged into a hybrid of golfer Tom Watson and Michael J. Fox, with the swagger of Uncle Jesse from “Full House”. He does have about 850 great songs and he played most of ‘em and played ‘em well, meaning he didn’t tinker with the arrangements, or have a harpist come out while someone did an interpretive dance to “Small Town”.

Um, let me interject here that there was some harmonica playing, an instrument that I place in the same category with the bagpipes, in that it can be played very well or very shittily and still sound exactly the same. There was also an accordion player who was making Serious Musician Expressions. Sir, you are playing an ACCORDION. You can’t possibly brood while doing this. I’m willing to bet if you hadn’t hooked up with J-Mel, you’d either be in the lobby of an Olive Garden or you’d have a monkey and a tip jar at your feet.

For most of the evening, I remained in love with John Mellencamp, save for on several occasions… He ditched the suit jacket early and was wearing a white t-shirt (hot) which was tucked in, which just about killed the hotness factor. The gesture that absolutely gave the hotness factor an overdose of sleeping pills and then held a bag over its nose to ensure it was dead was when he kept grabbing his belt buckle and pulling his pants up, again and again, until eventually his waistband was resting on his collarbone. Despite the swagger, the dance moves, and the voice, that was it--he may as well have put on a robe and slippers and started eating a bowl of All-Bran, cause my lust couldn’t have been any more extinguished. That said, it was still a great show and if he pulled into my parking lot in his tour bus, I would still probably try to ravage him. Especially if he’d promise to be my swim buddy…or could give me John Fogerty’s number.

To-morrow, to-morrow

Sometimes, sitting here in my peaceful Elton John-infused work area, I really miss working at the ad agency. Sure it was an abusive, horrible place to work but they did provide bagels on Wednesday and they encouraged casual drinking during business hours. I did have a lot of friends there--not enough to start a revolution when I left, erecting statues of me in the atrium or throwing their iMacs down the stairs, daring Management to fire them too--but I did have friends that I miss and wonder how they are because I don't see them often enough.

I imagine this is the same way Annie thinks about the other kids at the orphanage while she's sitting in a bed of marigolds at Daddy Warbucks'.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

She Works Hard for the Money

1) The lyrics of that song, "She works hard for the money/So hard for the money/So you better treat her right" seem like they're coming from a Prostitution Watchdog group. Pimps, you best be looking over your shoulders because Donna Summer is on to you.

Author's Note- OK, I just looked that song up, and I swear, it really is about a hooker. Of course, I always thought that Shawn Colvin song "Sunny Came Home" was about a woman building a bomb...

2) I didn't work out this morning, which is fine. I'll be running 8 miles tonight. I've learned that running through sketchier neighborhoods has really helped my training. It's basically like an interval workout: Sprint past the guy passed out at the bus station (run all-out if he's foaming and twitching again), slow down at the laundromat unless you see an ambulance outside, sprint past the Morningstar storage place because you're pretty sure a woman was held captive in one of them in a Lifetime movie once, sprint past the guy wearing a Che Guevara shirt, not because he looks dangerous but because you really don't like hipsters...

Also, today is Thursday which means Stinky Guy was at the Y. I don't know how someone could possibly cultivate a stench that powerful and still remain unaware of it. He smells like dead animals threw up on his clothing and then he filled it full of deviled eggs and left it in his car trunk for 8 months. I'm not kidding, I've never been around napalm, but I'm pretty sure it had the same noxious effect this guy does. On the other hand, I do get freaked out if a gigantic bodybuilder guy smells like fabric softener. When I was unemployed (that should narrow it down to, um, most of the time between 2001-present) I used to see a beast of a man whose legs were so big he looked like his torso was perched on top of two full-grown Asians. He also had a tattoo composed of about 90 human skulls inked on one arm and it was of lesser quality, like it could have been done over the course of a prison term using a BIC pen and a thumbtack. So it was always jarring to me when I'd see him throwing up in a trashcan after he'd deadlifted the equivalent of a Kia dealership and he still smelled like a Care Bear.

3) Back at Goodnight's last night. It was an odd crowd. There were about 100 people there, but they were apparently ashamed to laugh out loud. That explains why the club's "burka check" was full. "Omar, you know it is unclean to display our teeth to a stranger. Do not make eye contact with her, standing on that platform with her Western demeanor and exposed ankle flesh... ". I had a good set, actually, and did some new stuff. Hooray for me.

I wore a t-shirt that had a shark on it, which apparently made it OK for everyone with a Y-chromosome to ask if I was a maneater. Very clever, sir. Perhaps you'd like to do some comedy from your table next week. No, actually, just like this shark, I am considered a delicacy by the Japanese and occasionally pose a threat to swimmers. Also, I am made primarily of cartilage. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be slamming my car door on my head for the next 40 minutes.

One of my jokes is about my unwillingness to ever have children and I was approached by a woman after the show who said that her 3 friends were ready to propose to me because I was in shape and didn't want kids. I'm glad that I've reached the stage where those are my two major selling points: an ability to wear corduroy pants without making an audible sound and a lifetime prescription for Ortho-Tri-Cyclen. As an added bonus, the birth control keeps my skin dewy as well! My boyfriend is a lucky, lucky man.

Finally, I was talking to another comic about working a couple of other local clubs. We were going to exchange numbers but he only took mine and said, "You skew on the attractive side and I don't think my wife would appreciate you calling." Thanks, sir. You skew toward the schmuck side for saying something that retarded. I hope my shark shirt and eggless ovaries don't screw up the grading curve for everyone else.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Birdhouse In Your Soul

1) Several people have located this page while searching for the term "intergalactic walrus". Mr. Cruise, please stop googling things. You're glib, Tom. You don't know the history of the intergalactic walrus. I do.

That paragraph alone should lead to more hits than a High Times convention...

2) My coworker and his wife have talked on the phone eight times today. She always sounds absolutely FRANTIC about something, and when she hangs up she shrieks, "Oh, I love you so much!" No kidding, every time, in the same tone of voice I would use if my boyfriend were being dragged off by the VietCong. Topics they have discussed include where she could find a costume that looked like something women would wear "in the time of Christ", a potential spider bite, how the only thing she feels like eating is yogurt, and (my favorite) how the cat keeps chewing its back and she's terrified it's going to gnaw through its spine.

I'm glad he keeps his phone's volume at the decibel level of a space shuttle launch. My mornings are so much brighter. Plus, I have a wonderful visual image of a Mary Magdalene clone with a cup of Yoplait, an inflamed arm, and a mangy cat with exposed vertebrae. That would be the best Highlights hidden picture puzzle ever.

3) I saw a GMC print ad with the tag line "Built to move just about any pile." Um, isn't that Metamucil's slogan?

I'm at Goodnight's tonight. Bring on the funny.

Some of you are saying, "Holy shit, I hope it's better than what you've just typed." And to that, I say, "You don't know the history of stand-up comedy. I do."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Journalism 202: Proofing Your Headlines...

I'll Give You a Writing Credit

OK, when I'm driving and think of a premise for a joke, I have a tendency to write a key word down on a snippet of paper (yes, Mother, I know how dangerous this is...mainly because I could spill my scalding hot coffee and that would interrupt my cell phone conversation) and then write the whole bit out later. This morning I found an Exxon receipt from Friday on which I had scribbled:
Jewish Mystics
Cranberry Juice
If anyone has any idea what the hell I was talking about and how I was going to make those items entertaining, please email me.

Hello Monday.

1) We get radio stations in here that aren't available anywhere else in the world. I've tested it--you can't get them in my car parked right outside. There must be some sort of current flowing through the building, like the river of slime from "Ghostbusters 2". Seriously, there is one program that I believe is called "Celiac Chat" and it's basically two women always talking about what sorts of wheat products they can't eat and how they can substitute tissue paper or Miracle-Gro for flour in some of their recipes to prevent inflamed smaller intestines. For real, if I took a drink every time they said "inflamed" and "intestine", I would be dead by noon. There's also a station where a man discusses the merits of obscure Bible passages and ruminates on items that were left out of the know, the Lord's B-sides and hidden tracks. Hopefully, this afternoon he'll have "Ruth-The Remix" or "Ezekiel-Unedited" for us...

I just learned that the EZ listening station is called "Lyte FM". Why? Why try to make the word "Lite" sound edgy? That's like Q-Tip advertising "Cottyn Swabz", yo.

2) Don't ever go to a pharmacy on Saturday mornings. I believe every nursing home within a 400 mile radius loads their residents into buses and drops them off there for the day, turning it into "Six Flags Over the Hill". I was in line behind a woman whose cart contained Depends, Poise pads, and a portable toilet thing. Why not just wear a sign that says "I am currently peeing on myself. Again. Please wear foot protection." I spent 15 minutes wishing I hadn't worn open-toed shoes and hoping that my life ends before I have to double bag myself in order to leave the house for an hour.

3) Has anyone in the world ever eaten at an IHOP during P.M. hours? Are they even open? I visited one post-show on Saturday night and seriously think the Jerry Springer show was holding auditions in the no-smoking section. Some guy had his 4 year old there, which makes me hope Social Services was waiting for him in the parking lot. Currently, you can add a funnel cake to any meal for only .99 cents, which really adds to the carnival-like atomosphere of the IHOP.

I love that it's the "International" house of pancakes. Looking at the waitstaff and the clientele, the closest they're getting to 'international' may be a day trip to Rome, Georgia.

4) Any time a comedy club owner says repeatedly "OK, well, you guys just keep drinking! Drinks are on the house! Keep drinking", it is short for "OK, well, just keep drinking because you're not getting paid because there are only 22 people here and 5 of them are comedians so I'm going to sedate you with alcohol so if you all confront me in the parking lot I'll have a chance to outrun you. Hey! Look over there! Something shiny!" And then he scurries off into the back to put a severed fingertip in his Lean Pocket and wonders if it looks authentic enough to warrant a lawsuit.

5) Honestly, I was glad to see Jack Nicklaus finally retire yesterday. His farewell tour has gone on longer than Cher's. Why do golfers insist on playing so long that someone has to prop them up on the first tee and remind them that no, that's not their ball, that's actually the marker for the tee box and if they could, to please stop hitting it. The Masters is the worst. They dust off and drag out these guys that won the 1834 British Open, guys who still refer to their clubs as "mashies" or "niblicks" and remember playing with balls made of lambskin and dodo feathers. You never see them after the first tee though. A guy in a "Ranger" shirt straps them into a cart and they are then taken onto the course and buried in a bunker. That's why they're so anal about the raking--somebody digs too deep, you'll find Lew Worsham or Doug Ford or something

Mark my words: whichever LiverSpot hits the ceremonial first shot at Augusta next year (which everyone pretends is majestic, even though he's just knocked the ball off the tee and onto his shoe) will have been put down before Vijay Singh is off the driving range. Until then, he'll be at Eckerd every Saturday from 9 to 3.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Knowledge is Power

OK, so at lunch today I broke my rule of avoiding bookstores and decided to go to one. I had to get out of the office because the gentlemen on the loading dock below me have apparently been removing items from trucks and then hurling them into the vending machines. The noise has made it very difficult for me to sleep.
So I went to the bookstore which always makes me sleepy. They also always makes the urge to watch "Seabiscuit", if you know what I'm saying. I don't know why they have anti-theft detectors at the door to the bathroom but nowhere else in the store. There's no way I'm going to sit in their little "We're Trying to Look Close Enough to Starbucks to Avoid Copyright-Infringement" cafe reading 9 pages of The Historian, pretending I'm going to buy it but really just spilling nutmeg and biscotti crumbs inside it while I thumb through looking for the dirty parts. BUT, I will take a book into the restroom and test it out, see how it feels on my lap, how well it rests on the back of the toilet tank, etc. Why? Because my home is cafe and barista-free but I do have a bathroom...a bathroom where I will be reading. I should be writing this shit on the comment cards...

Anyway, after reading Uncle Conor's page, I was inspired enough by the Amazon synopsis to also want to read "A Million Little Pieces". I thought I'd pick that up, along with the new Vibe magazine ("The Sexy Issue"). While I was there, I realized that it can be fun to read pharmaceutical descriptions out loud from the Physician's Desk Reference, and commently loudly about whether or not you actually got that side effect. "Huh-uh, I took twice that much and never got dry mouth, impotence, or thrush. These guys suck." Then, politely hold out the pages that show pictures of pills, remove something from your pocket and ask passersby if they think yours looks like the one in the picture. You may want to mutter something about not being able to remember if you're eating Xanax or Nerds candies.

As I walked to the counter with my book about, uh, a guy's battle with drug addiction, I caught a glimpse of myself in the window. Last night I was at Goodnight's, but didn't get to go onstage because there were several comics from out of town or some shit like that. Short synopsis- one guy backed into and shattered the neon "Goodnight's" sign and another looked like a miniature Martin Sheen, like if you were ever going to make a "West Wing" snow globe you could place him inside behind a tiny desk and it would be quite the collectible. Anyway, since I didn't have to be funny, there was a fair amount of alcohol consumption and about 19 minutes of sleep. Also, I drove back from Raleigh this a.m. after staying at Runtie's and was wearing the same jeans I wore to the club (which have the distinctive 'cigarettes and bitterness' scent that results from an evening with other comics) and a Ramones t-shirt. This is practically erotica. I am one sexy beast.

Side note on hereditary drunken tendencies- I just get insanely chatty, rivaling the verbal skills of Blossom's sidekick Six, portrayed by Jenna von Oy on the brilliant sitcom "Blossom". My sister, Runtie, gets mean in a slapstick way. She hits people with her purse--or in the case of last night--launches a 24 oz. sorority tumbler across the living room where it lodged directly in my skull. I have a knot on my head so large it looks like I'm growing a horn. Our mother tends to combine both traits when she's had too much (read: one mai-tai) and blurts out silly things about her friends like "Linda's really 54, not 52! I saw her passport!" or "Diana cheats on Atkins! She hides bread in her car!" or "Barbara doesn't love her husband! And she never did! Hehehehe!"

Anyway, I realized that today--when I have bags under my eyes large enough to hold pomeranians, a knot the size of a sugar maple growing out of my forehead, and a shirt featuring notorious drug abusers--I probably shouldn't buy a book about junkies, regardless of how much of it I read in the bathroom.

Author's Note- While in the above paragraphs, I reference my experience with prescription drugs, it is purely for comedic purposes, very similar to the way those miniature woodgrain roulette wheels at Marshall Field's are just for entertainment purposes. I have very limited experience with drugs due to the terror ingrained in me by Sergeant Mitchell who led my D.A.R.E. class in 5th grade. He taught me that pot smells like burning rope, that users never win and winners never use, and that if your drugs are confiscated by the police department they will hot glue them onto pieces of plywood and show them to elementary schoolers. Again, I'm not into the whole drug scene, unless someone would like to take a hit from my asthma inhaler. I will never bogart the Ventolin.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Heroes in a Half Shell

What does it say about me that when my coworker announced "The Shredder's here!" I secretly hoped he was talking about the villain from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I wrestled with myself over whether I would address Shredder cordially, masking my true loathing for him like when world leaders have to meet with Kim Jong Il. I wondered if I'd slap him on the back and casually ask how Bebop and Rocksteady were doing...
OR if I would think about that time that he kidnapped Splinter (like I gave a shit that he snatched April O'Neal every 15 minutes. She sucked.) and would give him an icy "Hello Shredder" (not even a "Master Shredder", just "Shredder") before turning back to my computer...
OR if I would fly into full-on vengeance mode and, the second he crossed the threshold, I'd viciously attack him with the Georgia O'Keefe painting hanging by the door, eliminating two problems at once...

I've never been more disappointed to see a piece of office equipment.

Things that Freak Me the Hell Out

1) Remember when used to be a neat place to get books, music, and movies? Then apparently they merged with every other website ever created and now you can also purchase wholesale portions of organic granola bars, a fish finder, a hyperbaric chamber, and your own cemetery plot and frankly, I don't like seeing those items in my shopping cart beside my "Snowdogs: Deluxe Edition" DVD that I hope features Cuba Gooding's commentary on why he possibly could've needed money bad enough to make a movie like this or like "Boat Trip". Also, I like puppies.

Note: The only acceptable reason to have made "Snowdogs" is because you needed to pay the ransom demanded by the Venezuelan rebels who kidnapped your mother. There is no other way anyone would have read that script or looked at the drawings on the cocktail napkin or whatever and decided that it was a good idea. I've heard 4 year olds call it "vapid" and "derivative". Then I decided to stop hanging around prodigies.

For real though, Dear Mr. Amazon: Having too many choices makes me rashy. I go to your website to buy books because I don't like going to Borders because there's always some hollow-cheeked folk musician in there, plucking his guitar and singing songs about how hard it is to live in Mt. Airy. Also, the entire store smells like adhesive. We do have a Barnes & Noble but I can't go back there because they caught me taking pictures of myself holding a copy of "Moby Dick", placing my hand over the word "Moby" and giggling.

I can't even order items off a menu that is more than one page long. This is why I inevitably end up getting whatever is pictured on the placemat, even if the item's description includes the phrase "comes with your choice of breakfast meat." I was raised in the Appalachian mountains (yes, just like Nell. "Tay inna wen" to you too, sir) where the terms "breakfast" and "meat" are not used in the traditional manner. I'm sorry that "Brenda" didn't take seriously my request for sparrow and while I shouldn't have yelled directly at her, I think I was right in my decision to hold up my placemat and shout "LIES! ALL LIES!" before storming out.

2) What is it about the Tour de France that makes every person who owns a bike feel like getting out and riding it? I have seen approximately 374 bicyclists here in the past week. A tip to the guy who lives on my street: Lance Armstrong is not riding a Huffy mountain bike that has a basket on the handlebars. You are not part of Team Discovery Channel. Your willingness to weave in the path of my car does not help him climb the mountain stages. Please, sir, just put down your kickstand (another thing Lance does not have) and go home.

I can't say I've ever been similarly influenced by a sporting event. OK, that's a lie. I watched that hotdog eating contest a couple of weeks ago and immediately added "Oscar Meyer" to my grocery list. But I didn't consume 39 of them in one sitting, nor did I dip the buns in a glass of water pre-bite.

3) The EZ listening station has been replaced by classical jazz today. It feels like I'm working in a hotel lobby where the guests are more interested in Power Point presentations than they are in clean towels.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Lifetime is the Right Time

I'm ready to make the leap to the big time. I'm ready to write for Lifetime movies. Seriously, half the songs on the office EZ listening station sound just right (read: depressing as hell) for the pivotal scene in a film, tentatively titled "Murderous Passion in the Secret Shadows of the Hamptons". Seriously, all Lifetime movies can be named by selecting a word from the first to columns below, adding the words "of the" and a word from the final column:

For example: "Twisted Passions of the Heart" or "Fatal Vows of the Body".
Picture it: Paul Davis' "I Go Crazy" plays softly in the background as "Reba", a woman too beautiful, intelligent and empowered to be in such a horrible relationship walks through a parking garage wearing a silk shirt and sensible A-line skirt, reflecting on the fight she had with her boyfriend "Michael", a struggling musician. He was lapsing back into his drug addiction and had raised a hand to her just before burst out of his apartment shouting, "You're not a has-been, Michael! You're a never were!" She then found herself alone in this garage at 3 a.m., fighting an eating disorder, a tumor, and looking for her abducted younger sister.
The next five minutes include her alcoholic mother, her abusive stepfather, an affair with her daughter's cheerleading coach, some ill-advised plastic surgery, a brief turn as a stripper, a night as Tori Spelling, successfully opening her own legal practice/hair salon, some stolen embryos, a sex-change operation, a car crash, a fight with a coworker that turns fatal, someone falling through a plate glass window, an appearance by Susan Lucci, a young lover who ends up dead in her swimming pool, and then a typed synopsis that reads:
"Reba emerged from this cocoon of terror a beautiful butterfly. She went on to write for Vanity Fair and adopted her sister's children. She opened a women's shelter and later became a Supreme Court Justice and the first female pope. She is currently 149 years old."
"Michael's prosthetic arms made it impossible for him to fend off his attackers in the prison laundry. He died penniless and alone. His body was immediately incinerated and his still-smouldering corpse was covered in that stuff that janitors put on vomit in elementary school hallways."

Monday Starts the Weekend

I'm living the dream: 10:30 a.m., at the office listening to matchbox 20 and my coworker's audible intestinal problems--he doesn't even attempt to cover it up with a fake cough anymore. I think we're losing some of the magic...

I'm on my best behavior's review time which means I'm eligible for up to a 3% raise, which would work out to an additional $14 per week. I'm looking forward to pampering myself with an extra gallon of gas and a new spiral notebook. It also means that I won't have to steal pens from the doctor's office anymore. This has to be the most self-destructive habit of all time; I'm currently chewing on a Bic marked "Cefzil" and wondering how many of those I will have to take to eradicate the diseases I've probably contracted by gnawing on it.

The weekend was great... I guest setted (again, yes, that is a verb. Past participle, if you're conjugating at home) for Kathleen Madigan at Goodnight's. Holy crap, I'm not kidding, if she ever is within 280 miles of your home, immediately get in your car, truck, boat, or John Deere Gator and go see her. She's absolutely brilliant/amazing/hilarious/other gushing synonyms. She told me she thought I was funny, which is a lot like having Carl Sagan see your science fair project and mention that he liked your model of the Milky Way.

Note: No, he was not the guy on "Full House". That was Bob Saget.

Anyway, it's humbling to see someone who is at the top of her game like that. We've had comics come in and I've thought, "Now J-Money's funnier than that", because my inner monologue sounds exactly like Rickey Henderson. I equate this weekend to building one of those 25,000 piece 3-D puzzles of the Taj Mahal and putting it on your coffee table for everyone to admire. Then you end up going to India, seeing the real Taj Mahal, and you come home and immediately throw your crappy model in the back of the closet and want to write a note of apology to anyone who saw it.

She's that good.