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.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Stuff and Things

1) A late night at Goodnight's...I mean, why not? There were 20 people there who were READY for some comedy, as evidenced by their crossed arms, tapping feet, and stern/disapproving expressions. I had a pretty good set, meaning I actually got some audible sounds from the crowd. I did some new stuff, some which will return this weekend, others which will be saved until, uh, I post it here for the desperate cyber-approval I long for.

I was introduced by the emcee as "The Queen of Charlie Goodnight's". I hope that means I'm some sort of figurehead that can't be voted out of office, will eventually be featured on currency, and whose rein only ends upon my eventual martyrdom. Either that or the guy was just being a smartass.

2) There was no YMCA this morning, because I have a hard enough time staying awake at work on 8 hours of sleep, let alone on half that. I set my alarm for 6:30 but made it for P.M. because I am awesome. I woke up with a start at 7:15 to the sound of a bird flying into the window, God's little alarm clock. I would've hit snooze, but thought that nine minutes later, an opossum would come screeching through the plate glass. It's nice that the Almighty has time to rouse me with what I regard as symbolic: "Get up or you too will be unconscious in the hydrangeas".

3) My love affair with hip-hop continues today. I love rap songs because they never let you forget who's on the mic. You could listen to a rock station for 20 minutes before the DJ tells you the artist of a song; with rappers, they continuously shout out their names, their record companies, the names of who they're "beefing" with (oh yeah, I've got mad street cred), their accountant, their jeweler (Jacob, natch), mention various diamond-studded acoutrements they are currently wearing (Jesus piece, natch), a list of cars and parcels of land that they have purchased before and after sleeping with your girlfriend, and drop a chronology of rappers who may have been killed during the recording of that song...all under 4 minutes.

4) Finally, hats off to the Wendy's Classic Triple Cheeseburger. I pride myself on having the stomach of a bulimic, without all that enamel-eroding vomiting. Last night, my stomach was digesting itself on the drive home and I saw that seductress, Wendy, calling to me at Exit 270. "Eat great, even late!" she purred. I pride myself on never being a quitter when it comes to defending my status as a member of the Clean Plate Club, going so far as to even eat multiple servings of Tater-Tot Casserole if necessary. I met my match, my Apollo Creed, my Gargamel, my Zuul, on I-40 last night. I couldn't finish that burger and I saw my embarrassment reflected in its metallic wrapper as I tossed it in the trashcan. Before the lid snapped closed, I thought I heard the voice of a pigtailed young girl say, "I own you, Bitch. "

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It's Raining Mensa

Parade magazine did a feature on blogging last Sunday. Granted, I'm getting sloppy seconds at the blog afterparty, but at least I was out the door before Parade walked in. It's a pretty safe bet that by the time any trend is featured opposite Marilyn Vos Savant's column it's already jumped the shark (a phrase that, ironically, has jumped the shark as well). By the time a phrase either enters the Baby Boomer's lexicon or is written about on the same page as a Marmaduke cartoon, it's about as cutting edge as a teething ring. I have also solemnly pledged that the day my mother refers to a weekend spent "getting her eagle on", I will inhale an entire can of oven cleaner. On an unrelated note, have you ever been curious enough about a word puzzle that you would write a syndicated columnist about it? Where do these people find this shit?

Dear Marilyn,
What do these words have in common?
donkey, shuttlecock, hornet, radiator, windshield
R.A. Morgan, Seattle, WA.

Dear R.A.,
Who cares? You will always be a virgin.
A brainteaser for the readers-
What has faith in a path though there is no faith at all?
Answer at the bottom of the page.

(Why are you looking down here? If you're really reading this tiny print, generally written upside down, why don't you take a swig of Crown Royal and fire a flare gun at your crotch so you can't pass your wuss-infested chromosomes on to another generation.)

As Promised...

They definitely share a parent.
And a moisturizer.


You Can't Spell "Technology" Without "c-h-o-t-o-l"

I really wish Blogger would let me post some photos, so you too could see the amazing resemblance between Sandra Day O'Connor and Benjamin Franklin. It's uncanny really. So is the similarity between Ruth Bader Ginsberg and, well, you'll just have to wait for that one, dear Reader. And no, it's not Yoda's scrotum. We all know that looks just like Judge Judy. Or my 9th grade Spanish teacher.

Note to self: R.Kelly may be substituted for Michael Jackson in the punchlines of several jokes to keep up the "variety".

Back at Goodnight's tonight. Here's hoping the crowd is a group of 40 year old heathens in contrast to the past 2 weeks which have included visits from the Catholic Diocese and high school summer campers.

Confidential to Tom Cruise: Say what you like about the use of anti-depressants. Nowhere in the PDR does it reference an INTERGALACTIC WALRUS, unlike, say in "Dianetics". I'm sorry you don't see the benefit of Ritalin or Prozac, but will put your faith in AN INTERGALACTIC WALRUS. Now a SEAL or a NARWHAL would be ridiculous, see, but a WALRUS is plausible as a prophet...

To revisit the topic of American flag boxer shorts...does anyone see the irony that the men who are most likely to cover their asses in such a garment (think Toby Keith) are the same men who would kick the asses of anyone who "disrespect" the flag. Brilliant. Praise the Lord and pass the Freedom Fries.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

"P" is for "Passive-Aggressive"

OK, my favorite coworker is back to insane decibel levels of the EZ listening station and I am just about Gloria Estefan'ed out. Every time he goes to the bathroom I turn it down and every time I leave, he turns it back up. I have tried unsuccessfully to drown it out with Notorious B.I.G. but that just causes him to sigh deeply and/or clear his throat with every curse word (read: every 1.4 seconds).

Oh, screw you Josh Groban. Dear Chuck Palahniuk: Could you please enlist Josh Groban as a character in your next novel? And could he meet an untimely end with an exhaust pipe, some bingo cards, and a rabid pigeon? Thanks! Love, J-Money.

ITEM! I have ID'ed the Phantom Shitter. I am the only woman in my office and our building is empty most of the time so I was always perplexed when I walked in and the scent smacked me in the face with the force of 1,000 devils. So, after Deer Park water #4 (hydrate or die, bitches) I walked in and heard the furious rustling of someone trying to zip up and bolt. And out she walked, a squat creature that looked very much like Mrs. Gorg from Fraggle Rock, and she reeked as though she'd grilled and eaten both Wembley and Gobo. I don't think she works in this building. Actually, I'm not sure she works, period. You can't have a day job and consume enough human flesh to make me wish I could just brick that half of the office off, Cast of Amontillado-style.

Apologies to Jackie Harvey.

Nose, Grindstone. Grindstone, Nose.

Things I'll be attacking today:
1) Reading VIBE magazine, because I heart Common.
2) Reading the rest of the Enquirer ("The Best and Worst Beach Bodies") and approximately 14 pages examining how close Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes stood to Penelope Cruz and what this means for their relationship, the path of the X-47 Comet, and whether or not I will throw up in my mouth
3) Reading SPIN (The 100 Best Albums from 95-05) and subsequently filling in gaps my CD collection by signing up for yet another Columbia House membership using my mother's maiden name. Do they ever wonder how many people live at my address? Or why four people use the same credit card to pay for their free CDs? By the way, I know that cheating Columbia House was cool in, oh, 1988. Hate all you want, I'm getting 15 CDs for a penny, bitch.

I was out of town for the weekend, in South Florida, where a 30 minute run can leave you looking like the bug shield (is that the technical term for it?) on the front of a Dodge Dakota. Mmmm...insects.

This being the day after July 4th (July 5th, for you Carolina graduates) I would like to point out that there is nothing patriotic about wearing shorts that look like the American flag. We did not fight for our independence so that you could whip your schlong out between the stars and the stripes. I'm just saying...