Monday, October 31, 2005

media update: October

Well, I’m back from Iceland, bruised and broke and incredibly unhappy to be back at work, but otherwise I’m all right. Entries on my trip are forthcoming, but I want to upload some pictures first.

Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; your mileage may vary.


1. Remains Silent by Michael Baden and Linda Kenney: So-so forensic thriller.

2. Faithless* by Karin Slaughter: When a detective literally trips over the site where a young woman was buried alive, it opens up a big ol' can of worms in this tense thriller. Now that Patricia Cornwell's lost her touch, Karin Slaughter is poised to take over her throne.

3. User I.D. by Jenefer Shute: A woman falls prey to identity theft after her rental car is stolen. Only mildly diverting, but it made me put a paper shredder on my Target list immediately.

4. April Shadows by V.C. Andrews: Why do I keep reading these damn trashy-ass books? The chick's been dead for years, and "she" writes like it too.

5. The Pact* by Jodi Picoult: A deeply engrossing story of an apparent suicide pact between two teenagers, the ensuing murder trial of the surviving teenager, and how the families must struggle to survive and forgive.

6. What Do You Do All Day?* by Amy Scheibe: An uncommonly funny and incisive story about a woman who finds herself wondering what she may have given up in the process of trying to be the perfect mother. The storyline takes a few predictable turns along the way, but eh, I forgive it.

7. Diary of a Married Call Girl by Tracy Quan: The sequel to Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl finds our heroine trying to hide her hooking from her husband. It drags in parts, and it’s a major cocktease as far as certain salient plot points, but it has its moments and parts of it got me very aroused.

8. Birth of Venus* by Sarah Dunant: A young woman in Renaissance Italy longs to be a painter among the turmoil of Savanarola’s religious fanaticism. Beautifully written.

Read so far this year: 54


1. Playground* by Jennifer Selignor: Okay, it's not well-written, but it's still a juicy, fun read. The author's father was Hugh Hefner's personal physician in the 70's, and she practically grew up in the Playboy Mansion. Lots of sex, name-dropping, drugs, and monkeys make this a trashy delight.

2. Don't Try This At Home by Dave Navarro and Neil Strauss: Various essays on fame, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, coupled with pictures taken in the photo booth Navarro has in his home. Meh, although the chapter on Angelyne (I still won't feel like a true Californian until I have an Angelyne sighting) is worth a skim.

3. Why Do Men Have Nipples?* by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg: A highly amusing and very informative book with answers to all the questions you’ve always had (why does poop float, is sperm fattening, etc.) but couldn’t bring yourself to ask.

Read so far this year: 45


1. Yoko Matsumoto's Mystery Shojo Collection

2. Darling* vols. 1-3 by Yuki Yoshihara

3. Weiss Side B vols. 1-2 by Takehito Koyasu and Shoko Ohmine

4. Socrates in Love by Kyoichi Katayama

Read so far this year: 100


1. A History of Violence*: Terrific thriller about an unassuming man in a small town who may have a big secret up his sleeve. Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello are both great (and have an incredibly erotic 69 scene together), although an unrecognizable William Hurt chews the scenery so thoroughly you'd think it was made of rich, creamy nougat.

2. Audition: Holy fucking...whoa. One of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen. It's a Japanese film about a lonely widower who sets up an audition for a nonexistent movie in hopes of finding a new wife. One of the women who tries out catches his eye, and that's all I'm going to say about that. If the hobbling scene in Misery was much too tame for you, then this is your kind of film.

3. Shanghai Noon: G made me watch this, but it was actually really enjoyable. Don't tell him I said so.

4. Corpse Bride: Visually stunning---I'm a huge fan of stop-motion animation (especially the Brothers Quay)---but the constant gags of body parts falling off and death puns got tiresome.

5. Bewitched: Hey, when you’re on a plane and it’s too loud to sleep and you have nothing to read, what else are you going to do? Well, you could drown yourself in the toilet, for one thing.

Seen so far this year: 39

Thursday, October 20, 2005

potpourri for $200, Alex

Okay, I’m at work and the other peon is here today (unlike the last two days), so I got caught up and am now veryvery bored. Ergo, surveys.


Five details about me:

When exaggerating, I tend to use numbers that have eight in them. For example, “I can’t believe that old bitch at Arby’s used like eight hundred pennies to pay for her food!” or “I’m dying, it must be eight million degrees in here.” Like most of my other quirks, I did not notice I do this until someone (in this case, my coworker Scott) pointed it out to me.

I use the word “basically” all the time.

I am on a perpetual quest to find the perfect pair of blue jeans.

I have over 60 bottles of perfume.

Not including the US, I have been to 6 countries (Canada several times, Mexico four times, Japan twice, Bermuda, Norway, and France). This number will change to 7 after Iceland.

Five details about your appearance right now:

I actually wore mascara today because I got around earlier than usual.

I am wearing a long-sleeved black shirt, Old Navy jeans (it’s casual day), black boots,and L’Artisan Tea for Two perfume.

My hair is still doing that annoying feathery thing.

I am wearing Jane Vanilla Bean lipstick.

My skin is freaking out for some reason, so I’m ziterrific today.

Five things you did yesterday:

I went to the library on my lunch break.

I went to the chiropractor after work.

I got takeout from Arby’s for dinner.

I bought the new Shojo Beat at Borders.

I went to bed at 11, which is early for me, but I was tired.

Five memorable things you did in the last year:

I finally got to see the cherry blossoms in Japan.

G and I celebrated our one year anniversary.

I flew home to surprise my brother on his birthday.

I went to Vegas with Kelly and Susan.


Five things that impress you:

A sense of humor.


An exhaustive knowledge of arcane trivia.

People who can draw.

People who can parallel park.

Five things that DON’T impress you:


Fame (and yet I read all the trashy magazines like People and Us and Star and In Style…oh the irony)

L33t speak (unless done for comical effect)


Motherfucking Coldplay!

Five things you can live without:

Pompous windbags




Motherfucking Maroon 5

Name someone with the same birthday as you. Hunter S. Thompson, Vin Diesel, John Glenn, Nelson Mandela, and Buzz Aldrin.

Where was your first kiss? The backyard of the house where I grew up. It was…uh…I remember Blondie playing in the background, and this is before retro was cool, so it must have been about 1981 or 1982. I had a huge crush on the next door neighbor’s son, and in a rare display of boldness, I asked him to give me kissing lessons. It was pretty underwhelming.

Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else’s property? Nope.

Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? My brother and I had many a dustup in our turbulent teens, but other than him, no. As for other females, I remember getting into it in the sandbox when I was three or so, but nothing as an adult. I hate real-life violence, and unless it was a self-defense/defending someone important to me situation, I would have to be seriously, SERIOUSLY pissed off to hit someone. If I felt I was getting to that point, I would try to remove myself from the vicinity until I calmed down.

Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? No. I did have two solos at a dance recital, though. I wore an aqua blue leotard with matching fringed gloves and danced to “Oh What a Night” by Frankie Valli and “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. Ah, the life of a fruit fly begins early.

What’s the first thing you notice about the preferred sex? I like the politically correct way that’s phrased. Anyway, the first thing I notice is their smile.

What really turns you on? A sense of humor. I know this sounds like a beauty queen answer, but it’s true. As far as I’m concerned, you can get away with anything short of genocide if you’re funny.

What do you order at Starbucks? I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I get a major jones for Starbucks maybe twice a year, and when I do, I get something caramelly. Oddly enough, Arby’s is the other place I get a serious craving for maybe twice a year, and when I get that craving, I must, must, MUST have it…like last night. And yes, there really was an old bitch paying with tons of change, and she was really nasty to the cashier. I wanted to kick her walker away.

And while I’m talking about Arby’s, why does every single Arby’s in the world have a fucked-up parking lot? The one I used to go to in St. Paul has the drive-up window ON THE PASSENGER SIDE. That’s the worst example, but all of them are tiny and/or hard to enter or exit. It’s like they don’t want you to come in or something.

Another Arby’s anecdote and then I’ll stop. Once my dad and I went there and the manager was showing a trainee how to work the meat-slicing machine. The manager said, “And you need to be really careful, because if you hurt yourself, we have to throw away the meat.” Nice priorities there, bub.

What is your biggest mistake? Not being nicer to my mother when she was alive.

Say something totally random about yourself. Be nice to my brother, and you will have an ally for life in me. I’m the first person to admit he’s eccentric, and not always in a charming way, but he’s got the best heart of anyone I’ve ever met and I would literally kill or die for him.

Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? I think we all know the answer to this one.

Did you have braces? Nope…my dentist said he didn’t think I’d need them. Sure, my teeth could be straighter, but when I tell people I didn’t have braces, most of them are surprised.

What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has ever done for you? Oh, this is corny, but it’s true: accepting me for who I am.

When do you know it’s love? You just do. It’s like you feel all fizzy inside, and you just can’t keep it to yourself. It's better than an ABBA song...even "Dancing Queen".

Do you speak any other languages? I speak French pretty well, thanks to five years’ worth of classes, but I wouldn’t say I’m fluent, if by fluent you mean you can speak to a native and not have to say “Plus lentement, s’il vous plait”. I speak a smattering of Japanese, which comes in handy living in Southern California.

Have you ever been to a tanning salon? Nope.

What magazines do you read? It would be quicker to ask me what magazines I don’t read.

Have you ever ridden in a limo? Just once, when I took a limo tour of the Twin Cities’ Christmas lights.

Do you watch MTV? Not since they stopped showing “Liquid Television”.

What’s something that really annoys you? Just one? Okay, it drives me absolutely batshit insane when stores that are very obviously closed have their open sign on. I don’t mind it so much when it’s a placard in the window, as that has to be easy to forget to flip over at the end of the day, but big neon open signs make me want to throw a rock through their window.

What’s something you really like? Candy.

Do you like Michael Jackson? Early Michael Jackson---the “Off the Wall” and “Thriller” era---was great. Since he turned into a pasty-faced child molesting freak, no, not at all.

Can you dance? In the most literal sense of the word, yes. Well? No.

What’s the latest you have ever stayed up? When I was working on my thesis, I chased four No-Doz with Jolt and stayed up about 26 hours straight. I’m damned lucky I didn’t have a stroke. I felt like a swarm of hummingbirds had taken up residence in my chest.

Have you ever been rushed by ambulance to the emergency room? No.

Do you actually read this when other people fill them out? But of course.

Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? Yes, and they are as follows.

*Most recently, Amy Acker from “Angel”. I had to Google her, and I don’t see any resemblance whatsoever, but damn, I sure wish I DID look like her.
*Rose McGowan: Again, I wish, although if I were her, I’d never date Marilyn Manson, wear a see-through chain mail dress to an awards ceremony, or (sniff) do certain things (sniff) in my personal time (sniffff).
*Kellie Martin: She used to be on “Life Goes On” and I heard ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME that I looked like her. I did have the red-framed glasses and similar hair, so yeah, I could see this one. Not so much any more, though.
*M1’s mother thought I looked like Shannen Doherty, at which I took umbrage…not that she’s not pretty in a haughty Boston Brahmin kind of way, but her eyes are totally Picasso.
*Janeane Garofalo: I think this is the celebrity that every sarcastic, dark-haired woman gets compared to.
*Daria: Yep.
*Porn star Stephanie Swift: Uh, no.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Dizz Knee Land

Whatever happened to DaDa, anyway?

Anyway, Disneyland was eighteen shades of awesome, thanks to the brilliance of the Fastpass system, almost perfect weather, and my wonderful boyfriend. (Mini-rant: Man, they really need to think of a better term than boyfriend/girlfriend for people who are over 25 years of age. "Lover" sounds too Harlequiny, "partner" is too businesslike, "significant other" sounds self-effacing and, well, gay...) Behold the pictorial evidence! (Mouse over the pictures for the occasional relevant comment.)

They had tons of these photo mosaics all over the park.

Fake ponies!

Right after this picture was taken, the Memory of Alessa showed up and kicked my ass.  Only my friend Damienne will get this.

They had the Haunted Mansion redone in Nightmare Before Christmas style.  It ruled muchly.

I'm sorry, but if you don't like It's A Small World in all its kitschy glittery glory, you are a pinko Commie red.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

release the crackin'

Okay, I'm doing much better than I was when I wrote that last entry. Pourquoi? Parce que:

  • I had a lovely square of Belgian chocolate.
  • I'm going to take a really long bubble bath while reading the new Glamour.
  • My back has been killing me for the last several days, so I made an appointment with a chiropractor near the Merry Mansion. (My previous chiropractor is being investigated for insurance fraud, plus once he was adjusting me and I felt his boner against my back. Okay, it was an isolated incident and I know guys get hard just by seeing a Wienerschnitzel commercial right after a Maidenform ad, but it still felt ooky.) Anyway, this guy was quite nice, and he gave me the most painless crackin' I've ever had. I feel about eighty times better, and I know I'm going to sleep like the dead tonight.
  • During my morning walk with HangDog, I saw two gorgeous egrets take flight from the cemetery. I associate egrets with my mom, since they were her favorite bird, and it made me think of her and smile.
  • I'm going to Disneyland with G! Happy yay!
  • Iceland is only a little over a week away. Ponies!
  • I actually made a fairly sizeable dent in my ginormous to-do list.
  • Last but not least, I was reading an article on Salon about Real Dolls, which are lifesize, fairly realistic $7000 sex dolls made of solid silicone. The article was talking about the men who use these dolls and the strong emotional attachment many of them form to their "girlfriends". Anyway, curiosity motivated me to visit the website (not safe for work!), and two of the dolls struck my...not's say interest.

WARNING: No explicit nudity, human or otherwise, follows this paragraph, but due to the saucy nature of the first picture, I strongly recommend you use caution when viewing the rest of this entry at work, the library, Kinko's, or wherever you may happen to be.


First up, Anna Mae (and I shit you not, that's what they call her):


Yeah, because anime fans aren't considered geeky enough. For all those lonely otaku boys who ever fantasized about sliding their flesh Pocky into the wet and willing lips of a super-pneumatic Utena, here's your girl.

And don't think they've forgotten about the ladies...oh no! Here's the male version, and OMGWTFLOLZ!!11ELEVENTY!!


Tell me this isn't GARY SINISE.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

public service announcement


Whew. Okay, I think I'm better now, but I'm going to eat a Betty Crocker Warm Delights Molten Caramel Cake (now in single serve, "just add water and microwave" packages for people like me whose idea of cooking is cutting a vent in the plastic on their TV dinner) just to be sure.

Mmmm...yeah...caramel. Is there anything you can't do?

Friday, October 07, 2005

is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?

Dear COW-worker:

Fuck you. If you ever again drop an enormous file full of medical bills onto my desk and imperiously demand that I photocopy all 2000+ (and for once, I'm not exaggerating) pages as soon as possible, adding that “I asked [manager] if you could do it since I’m so busy”, I will take that file and shove it sideways up your ass. It may take a long time, but I don’t have anything better to do...and apparently neither do you, since you spend all day talking on your cell phone and reading magazines.

Die in flames,

Dear Man in the Silver SUV,

Fuck you. I got to that pump first, so don’t wedge your SUV in anyway, mere inches from my poor tiny Cavalier, and give ME a dirty look. Plus my car may be old, but at least it doesn’t cost $60 to fill up every two days, and it’s not raping the environment every time I drive more than half a mile. What does that enormous piece of shit run on, anyway---baby harp seal fetal tissue? And don’t give me yet another dirty look when I pull away blasting “Intergalactic”. The Beastie Boys rule, and you’d best recognize. Hear me, fool? Recognize!

May you come back as a spotted owl in your next life,

Dear Teenage Boys at Borders,

Fuck you. Seriously, stop whistling tunelessly. Some of us are trying to read. And I don’t want to overhear sordid details about the “bitch” you “drilled” at a party last week. And stop calling each other nigga; if you were any whiter, I could ski on your puny asses. Your momma needs to slap the sass right out of your mouths.

Eat a plate of dicks,

Dear Temp,

I’m not going to say anything mean to you, because you’ve only been here a day and you don’t know any better, so you get a break this time. But just so you know, you are never, ever to interrupt me when I am eating a piece of lemon meringue pie unless it’s to tell me that the building is on fire, there’s a streaker running through the parking lot, or a disgruntled coworker in army fatigues is marching down the aisle with a suspicious bulge hidden beneath his jacket. There are few things I love more than a good piece of lemon meringue pie; inane conversation about the ornery photocopier is not one of them.

Just so’s you know,

Dear Neighbor,

I’m not going to say anything mean to you either, because you don’t know any better and you are a genuinely nice guy, plus I can tell you’re lonely. And I’m more than willing to stop and chat for a few moments if we run into each other on the walkway or around the complex. But please, when I’ve just gotten back from work and my hair is plastered to my scalp with sweat and my feet are swelling up from the heels I’ve worn all day, and I’m carrying four trash bags---one of which is overflowing with particularly odiferous dirty kitty litter, and weighs eighteen pounds to boot---to the dumpster, please, I beg you, just say hi and let me go. Seriously, let me go.

Come on, man, let me go!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

vomit-flavored jelly beans

[NOTE: This is a repost of something I wrote two years ago, so if you've already read it, I apologize in advance. A friend of mine wanted to read it, so I dusted it off my hard drive and put it online again. Also, they have added a couple of new flavors to the mix since I wrote this entry, but I absolutely will not try the earthworm flavor. Good lord, what's next...yeast infection??]

I bought a box of Jelly Bellies at Borders last week, not paying much attention to the flavors. I brought them to work and absentmindedly popped a couple into my mouth; green apple. Chew chew chew.

Along came K, and I offered her a handful. She put one in her mouth, began chewing, and almost immediately began gagging. "My god, what flavor is this?" she cried, spitting it into a Kleenex. "It's revolting!" I apologized for my unwittingly nasty treat, and shortly thereafter, she left, leaving the rest of her jelly beans on my desk calendar.

Hmmm, what was that flavor, anyway? I picked up the box and suddenly realized my error: I'd grabbed a box of the Harry Potter Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, which include both "normal" flavors and some truly disgusting ones. I immediately foisted a couple of the grosser ones on The Wad, and ran away laughing when he started hollering and spitting into his trashcan.

Anyway, in the interests of the public, I have endeavored to try every one of the gross flavors so that you don't have to. (You're welcome.) I've got a bottle of water and a box of Orbit gum, so I'll be able to get rid of even the most loathsome flavor in a matter of seconds. Here goes!

BLACK PEPPER: This one is not in my box.

BOOGER: god. This definitely tastes like boogers. (Oh, stop groaning, we were all 3 years old and less discerning once.) A faint salty aftertaste.
[swigs water]

DIRT: Yep, that's dirt all right.

EAR WAX: I'm not sure what ear wax tastes like, exactly, but this must be it. It tastes like a really salty candle, or that homemade flour-and-salt dough that everyone's mom made for craft projects.


BANANA: Nope, sorry, I refuse to try this one.

GRASS: That is indeed grass. If I were to chew one of these and a dirt one at the same time, it would bring back memories of the first time I wiped out on my bike.

SARDINE: Sweet baby Jesus in the manger! Oh Christ! I humbly beseech You to cleanse this oily, salty, fishy flavor from my mouth! I'm sorry about that entry from last week! Please! I am at Your holy mercy!

[water, Orbit gum, 30-minute break to allow my tongue to recover]

SPINACH: Why did I begin this fucking entry? I will never eat again. At least I only have one disgusting flavor to go...but it's gonna be bad.

Ladies and gentlemen, the final Jelly Belly is...


And there isn't enough Orbit in the world to take this one away. I don't need to eat any more of these, because I'm about to go taste the real thing right now.