Monday, July 31, 2006

media update: July

I got more reading/viewing done than usual this month, chiefly because it was too fucking hot to do anything else! Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; your mileage may vary.


1. Eye Contact* by Cammie McGovern: An autistic little boy is the only witness to the murder of his classmate, and his mother must try to find out exactly what he knows. A unique concept, brilliantly executed.

2. Calling Out by Rae Meadows: A woman working as a receptionist for an escort agency winds up working as an escort herself. Clichéd.

3. 24 Karat Kids by Dr. Judy Goldstein and Sebastian Stuart: A pediatrician joins an Upper East Side practice that caters to the kids of the very rich and famous. It's an amusing trifle, although I'm still not sure how she managed to get positive blurbs from both Gregory Maguire and Woody Allen. Since the author is a pediatrician in New York City herself, I'm thinking some logrolling might be involved.

4. Baby Proof* by Emily Giffin: Claudia Parr, the protagonist, marries a man who doesn't want children any more than she does...and then he changes his mind. Most chick lit is utter trash, but Giffin is one of the rare authors that's a credit to the genre.

5. The Abortionist's Daughter* by Elisabeth Hyde: The suspicious death of a prominent abortion doctor opens up a particularly ugly can of worms in this riveting novel. (And no, don't think the irony of this one following #4 escaped my notice!)

6. The Ruins* by Scott Smith: A group of vacationers in Mexico befriend a fellow tourist whose brother has disappeared. They decide to go in search of the brother, and very, very, very bad things happen. This book takes some time to get going, but once it does, it doesn't let up; if the accursed need to sleep hadn't kicked in, I would have read this in one sitting. Be warned, you do NOT want to eat while reading this. Seriously.

Read so far this year: 30


1. The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain: The famous chef weighs in on various culinary topics. (My inner Beavis adds: "Uh huh huh huh...trim...uh huh huh huh...bone...")

2. A Year in Japan by Kate T. Williamson: A beautifully illustrated account of the author's stay in Japan.

3. Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case by Diane Dimond: You're going to have "Billie Jean" stuck in your head for the next hour, aren't you?

4. Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants* by Jill Soloway: Essays on topics ranging from Monica Lewinsky and Kobe Bryant to the author's "huge Jewess bush". Hysterically funny, with the occasional sharp pang of truth.

5. Horsemen of the Esophagus* by Jason Fagone: An incisive and engrossing (and occasionally just gross) look into the absurd world of competitive eating contests. I recently read another book on the subject (Eat This Book by Ryan Nerz), but this one is better, and sports a fantastic title to boot.

6. Superstud, or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin* by Paul Feig: These essays about the author's adolescence are literally laugh out loud funny. I was reading this book in bed one night, and I had to clap a hand over my mouth, lest my hysterical chortling wake K or the neighbors.

7. No Touch Monkey!* by Ayun Halliday: A collection of anecdotes, some howlingly funny, some excruciatingly painful and/or gross, from the author's world travels. (And given the opportunity, I will ignore the title, and touch a monkey.)

8. Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence* by Paul Feig: I had to run out and get this after reading #6. It's not quite as good as Superstud, but there were plenty of moments where I burst into hysterical laughter. Feig created the cult TV show Freaks and Geeks, which I've never seen, but now I'm thinking I might have to hunt it down.

9. But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous* by Jancee Dunn: The author alternates recollections of some of her more memorable celebrity interviews with personal anecdotes, and it's a fun, breezy, gossipy read. (Extra points for tossing in two lines from a Smiths song without attribution, I assume because---and rightly so---she figured that anyone who caught the reference would feel secretly thrilled, and like part of a geeky but awesome club.)

10. Two for the Road by Jane and Michael Stern: This couple has pretty much the coolest job in the world, which is to drive around the US sampling road food. Fuck this secretarial gig; I want to drive around and eat BBQ and Jell-O cola salad with pretzel nuggets too, dammit!

Read so far this year: 52


1. Swamp Thing: A Murder of Crows by Alan Moore: When I borrowed this from G and mentioned how cool it is that a group of crows is called a murder, he told me that a group of apes is referred to as a shrewdness. That just might be even cooler.

2. Swamp Thing: Earth to Earth* by Alan Moore

3. Swamp Thing: Reunion by Alan Moore

4. Say Cheesy by Darby Conley

5. Royal Seventeen* vol. 2 by Kayono

Read so far this year: 55 volumes


1. Hoodwinked: A cute, albeit poorly animated, Rashomon-like retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It has some clever moments, but it's not exactly essential viewing or anything.

2. Palindromes: Wow, what a strange movie. It's about a 13-year-old girl named Aviva who wants nothing more than to become pregnant. Throughout the movie, she's played by different actresses of varying ages and races (and once by a boy). Roger Ebert once said that you leave a Todd Solondz movie feeling like you've just failed a course in ethics, and that's the case here.

Anyway, I'm not going to star this---it's no Welcome to the Dollhouse (one of my favorite movies of all time; the first time I saw it, I alternated between laughing and crying hysterically because it was so much like my own junior high experiences) or Happiness (the only movie to make me feel sorry for a child molester)---but it's better than Storytelling by a long shot, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'll always watch whatever Todd Solondz does, because even when I'm disappointed, I'm never bored.

3. Rize: A frenetic documentary on the dance style known as krumping, which sprang up in Los Angeles as an alternative to gangs. Interesting, but I was disturbed by footage of children dancing like strippers. As a little girl thrust her pelvis while chewing on a corner of her shirt, exposing her stomach, a fellow dancer said (paraphrased from memory), "You hear a lot of people saying 'Oh, I would never let my kids dance like this,' but there's nothing sexual in it at all." Um, dude, yeah there is. There are perverts who pop boners over Toys R Us flyers; I can only imagine what they'd think of prepubescent krumpers.

4. Flightplan: Not bad, but I'd recommend Red Eye over this one for all your inflight thriller needs.

5. Happy Endings: A quirky set of interconnected stories about people who aren't all that happy. Lisa Kudrow has always bugged the shit out of me, but I have to admit she's great in this (as well as The Opposite of Sex, another---and superior---Don Roos movie). Contender for line of the year: "Who is pro-life, once you start to pay attention?"

6. Pretty Persuasion: A very black comedy about a manipulative teenage girl who cons her friends into accusing a teacher of sexual harrassment. It has some very funny lines and scenes, but man, something near the end left a bad taste in my mouth.

7. Superman Returns: I might have enjoyed this a lot more if I hadn't been about to fall asleep---through no fault of the film, I must add. Still, I did like what I managed to glimpse through my bleary eyes; I'm a sucker for superheroes and 'splosions. (Side note: I couldn't keep my eyes off Superman's crotch, thanks to the Internet rumor that Brandon Routh's bulge had to be digitally minimized because of his colossal package.)

8. The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things: I suppose this movie, which is based on the JT Leroy book about an unbelievably shitty mother and the son she somehow manages to get out of a loving foster home, could be more depressing...but I'm not sure how. The director/star, Asia Argento, is the daughter of Italian horror film genius Dario Argento, but this is more disturbing than anything he's ever done. Sure, he had a ballerina fall through a stained glass ceiling, and he had a teenage Jennifer Connelly fall into a pool of maggots, but he never had a little boy in drag trying to get bloodstains out of his underwear after being anally raped by Marilyn Manson. It's a well-done movie, but my god, is it painful to watch.

9. Oldboy*: A twisty Korean thriller about a guy who's been imprisoned for 15 years and has no idea why. When he's finally released, he sets out to find the truth, and much shit hits the fan. There are some really cool moments in here, including a hallway melee that's one continuous take, and the story constantly kept me guessing (and guessing wrong, I might add). Warning to the sensitive: there is a scene where the main character eats a live octopus, for real, and it's utterly disgusting.

10. Clerks 2*: Unbelievably, unabashedly raunchy, and the funniest damn movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s worth watching for Jay’s Silence of the Lambs imitation alone, but if you can keep a straight face through the donkey scene, the ass-to-mouth debate, the Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars conversation, and the pussy trolls, then you’re either a better person than I, or you’re Joel Siegel.

11. Into the Blue: This flick about divers in the Bahamas tangling with drug dealers isn’t exactly classic art or anything, but you can’t beat it for eye candy, both in the form of its stunning cast (Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Tyson Beckford) and its gorgeous underwater scenes.

Seen so far this year: 58


1. Perfect Blue OST: This is a really interesting mix of creepy ambient music and unbelievably peppy tunes. I still think "Ai no Tenshi", the opening song, is one of the most exquisite slices of J-pop heaven anyone could hope for.

2. "Last Nite" by The Strokes

3. "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera: You don't even have to say it.


It's so amazing I'm not even going to make a crack about the name. I had a very nasty ingrown hair that was beginning to hurt like hell, and I was about two seconds away from going to a dermatologist to get it removed. Oh, sure, I suppose I could have tried to extract it myself, but I scar easily AND I'm clumsy, which is just asking for trouble. One of my biggest fears is dying in a way that would be amusing to everyone else, and I would hate to be remembered as the Chick Who Severed an Artery With Her Tweezers While Being Vain.

Anyway, I was in the drugstore and I saw this stuff, and I figured it might be worth a shot. I applied it faithfully for several days, and voila, that bad boy poked its ugly little head out, and I whipped out my tweezers and got to yankin'. No fuss, very little muss, and no expensive dermatologist visit!

I'm still not using their depilatory goop on my cooter, though.


Who Wants to Be a Superhero?: This is a reality show about a group of people who have created their own superhero, and they compete to have their creation immortalized by the legendary Stan Lee in a comic book and Sci-Fi Channel original movie. In the first episode, the challenge is to change into your costume without being seen by anyone else, and then race to reach the goal. Ah, but the crafty Stan Lee has thrown a monkey wrench into the path, and planted a crying child in the way to see if the contestants will stop to help her, as any good superhero would, or if they’ll ignore her in their race to get to the finish line. It was really a fun show, and I enjoyed it even as I rolled my eyes. I tell you what, though, Major Victory is going to be the winner, both because he looks the part and because he has a great Bruce Campbellesque delivery.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

quit playing gay with my heart

If Daddy-O found out I was about to tell this shameful secret to TENS of people on the Internet, he would be furious, and he’d disinherit me so fast it would make the Candy/Tori family feud look as warm and fuzzy as a kitten in a sweater.

(Pause to squeal happily over mental image of a kitten in a sweater)

Anyway, my father’s most carefully guarded secret is…

(Awww…seriously, can you imagine a little gray and white kitten all curled up in a sweater? Its little pointy tail sticking out from under the hem, and its adorable, undoubtedly green eyes shut in blissful sleep? And you know how cats, when viewed from a certain angle, appear to be smiling? I can’t stand it!)

…he’s a big fan of the boy bands.

I am so not even shitting you. If you were to paw through his glove compartment right now, you would find the same CDs you’d expect to find in the glove compartment of any man his age---Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys---but you’d also find CDs by *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. I’ve given him a heaping ration of grief over the years about this quirk, but he’s always laughed it off. I remember sitting in his car on the way back from dinner, listening to an *NSYNC CD.

“Come on, Dad,” I protested. “I mean, this is music for TEENAGE GIRLS.”

“So? I like the music, and I like the fact that you can actually understand what they’re singing. Plus it’s a refreshing change from all this bitch, slut, ho rap trash. And mark my words, if Justin Timberlake ever goes solo, he’s going to be big.”

Okay, so he got that right.

“I think that one guy is gay,” I said, not as a judgment, but more to test the depths of Daddy-O’s fandom.


“The one that kind of looks like a lizard. Lance something?”

“Lance Bass? Why do you say that?”

“I don’t know, just a feeling.”

Daddy-O shrugged. “I don’t give much of a shit, but I doubt it. Why would someone join a boy band if they’re gay?”

I had no response to this jaw-dropper.

“Ooh, I like this one,” he said, turning it up and singing along. “No it ain’t no lie, bye bye bye!”


Anyway, so after months of online speculation, who just came out of the closet on the cover of People?

Yup, that’s right.

As one delightfully snarky person commented, “I was more surprised to find out it was Wednesday”, but still, vindication!

I am totally calling my dad tonight.

Monday, July 24, 2006

your weird is my normal

I done been tagged! Here are six weird things/habits about myself. I don’t know how weird they really are, but that’s because I’m used to them. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

*One of my biggest pet peeves is when an obviously closed store has their “OPEN” sign showing. Seriously, I am driven to frothing rage when I see this. If it’s one of those signs that you have to flip over, then I am marginally less irritated, since I can imagine forgetting to turn it over in the rush to get the fuck out the door. If it’s a neon sign, though, all bets are off.

*If a song I like comes on the radio, I point at the radio and go “Oooh!”

*I read my library books in alphabetical order by title, unless there’s one that I’ve been dying to read, in which case that one obviously comes first. I’m not THAT OCD.

*Along the same lines, when I go to Borders and grab my usual teetering stack of magazines, I read the weekly ones first, and in alphabetical order, followed by the monthly ones, also in alphabetical order. For example: Newsweek, People, Star, Time, Us, and then Bust, Glamour, Playstation Monthly, Self.

*I always seem to look at the clock at exactly 3:33, whether it’s AM (assuming I’m up) or PM.

*Despite my unbelievable sweet tooth, I don’t like fudge.

I have today off work because of my AWA schedule, and I decided to head over to Borders, buy The Devil of Nanking (yes, I've already read it, but I've decided that I want my own copy because it's one of my ten favorite books of all time), whip through a stack of (alphabetized, bien sur) magazines, and luxuriate in air conditioning that I don't have to pay for.

Anyway, so I grabbed my reading material and bought a bottle of water at the cafe, and I sat down to read. I was frowning at a particularly ugly dress in In Style when a guy came over and said, "Excuse me, can I ask you something?"

"Um, sure."

"Do you want to buy a MAC lip pencil?"

"No thank you."

"It hasn't been used or anything. I'll let you have it for $10."

"That's okay."

"Okay, thanks." He walked away, and I assumed he was going to hit up another table, but no, he sat down at a table and began pecking away at his Sidekick.

WTF? Do I just magically attract freaks?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

insert clever birthday-related title here

On the morning of my 35th birthday, I had to clean up a puddle of cat puke and pluck a white (not gray, but WHITE; if this keeps up, I can start cosplaying as Abby Cable) hair from my scalp.

This was not an auspicious beginning.

Fortunately, things got better from there. I took the day off work, so I spent the 8 hours I would otherwise have spent in the office doing much more interesting things, like shopping, reading an enormous stack of magazines at Borders, watching anime, and napping. Of course, since I was still being paid, I did a jolly Boobie Dance around the living room to The Strokes.

G and C picked me up a little before 7, and we met up with M at Kate Mantilini’s, a restaurant in Woodland Hills. We sat down and placed our orders, and despite my recent transition from Tara Reid to Carry Nation, I had a glass of pinot noir. I was just beginning to get a pleasant buzz when G said, “Okay, birthday girl, time for presents!”

C and M went first. They gave me a cute (and huge!) Hello Kitty card, which also had a Borders gift card inside. I protested that they had been far too generous, but there was more: two Pacifica candles, one in Indian chai and one in vanilla orchid. I was really blown away and thanked them profusely.

Next it was G's turn, and as you can imagine, I was practically drooling with anticipation. First off, I opened his card, which also had a Hello Kitty theme and came with HK temporary tattoos inside. He wrote:

Huh. What message exactly are we sending to the round-eye youth of our country with this card, anyway? Ah well, no matter---I'd still be into you if you had a HUNDRED Hello Kitty tattoos. Happy birthday, m'dear!!! Hope it's the best one ever...Your devoted NS

"Don't take that card as license to get 99 more Hello Kitty tattoos, by the way," G warned.

My next present was a bottle of Nanadebary Pink perfume, which was a total surprise. Months ago, I might have mentioned enjoying a sample of it I’d received with an online order, but I can’t believe he managed to remember the name! “This is one you like, right?” G fretted. I assured him that it was, and gave him a big kiss. The retailer had also thrown in a bag of samples, which was a lovely lagniappe.

Next I opened up a sheet of monkey stickers, and G said, "I know you said you wanted a monkey lunchbox [from Borders] too, but the salesgirl said they were all sold out, so I owe you a monkey lunchbox."

"Please," I snorted. "Like you haven't been generous enough!"

There was one more present, but our food came, so it had to wait. Gleefully, I plowed through my delectable filet mignon sandwich and beer battered french fries. Once we'd finished eating, G turned to me and said, "Are your hands clean?"


I wiped my hands off on my napkin and said, “They are now.”

And then I opened this:

“Oh my GOD!” I shrieked, as everyone exploded with laughter. “I cannot BELIEVE you found a Doggy Poo shirt!”

“Found?!? I’ll have you know I drew that myself and got the shirt custom-made, little missy.”

And that did it for gifts. I thanked everyone again, and then we ordered dessert (chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick for me). After we'd finished and paid, we went back to C and M's to feed the cats, and it turns out there was one last gift for me: C had found a recipe for old-fashioned sugar cream pie online and made one! Of course, I was in no condition to try it, being full of filet and cheesecake, but he wrapped it up for me to take home, and I plan on tucking into a slab of it after dinner tonight.

It was after 11PM by this point, so G drove me home and helped me carry my gifts upstairs. He gave me a goodnight kiss that made my knees wobble, and damn if that didn’t take some of the sting out of cat puke and white hairs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

go on, girl, getcha wobble on

With a tip o’ the lid to [cream] for the idea, my “current” list. I lack her mad formatting skillz, as well as the motivation to figure it out, so I apologize for how craptacular this looks.


*No Touch Monkey! by Ayun Halliday
*Superstud, or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin by Paul Feig (the funniest damn book I've read in forever; it must be read by chronic masturbators and geeky adolescents of all ages)
*Swamp Thing: Reunion by Alan Moore


"Soldier in a Box" by Hot Hot Heat
"Samson" by Regina Spektor
"Angel of Love" by CHAM (I’m so glad I found my Perfect Blue soundtrack; this track is essential for any hardcore J-pop fan)

To Buy List

*G's birthday present
*Shaving cream
*More black shirts (because I can never have enough black shirts)
*Black flats

Happy Things

*I have a massage tonight
*Three birthday celebrations in one week = lots and lots of dessert. Sweet, sweet dessert.
*G’s nephews gave me (unprompted) hugs when they left on Saturday

Not-So-Happy Things

*How the ever-lovin’ fuck am I going to be 35?
*Still worried about my brother
*Sad for my friend B, who just had a miscarriage
*My room is dusty and messy, and needs to be cleaned forthwith, but...
*...It’s too damn hot out
*My computer is acting up
*My iPod is acting up too, so I had to take my old, clunky Discman on my morning walk. Christ, I might as well have carried a gramophone on my fucking shoulder.


*Black shirt
*Black ruffly skirt with white floral print
*High-heeled mary janes
*White gold and diamond ring
*Miss Marisa perfume

The Best Movie I’ve Seen (So Far) This Year

Hard Candy

The Best Novel I’ve Read (So Far) This Year

Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

The Best Non-Fiction I’ve Read (So Far) This Year

Okay, this one is a toughie; I’m torn between Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig and Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent.

Most Anticipated Books

*The Ruins by Scott Smith
*Lisey’s Story by Stephen King
*Sweet Valley Heights by Francine Pascal, which catches up with the Sweet Valley gang as adults and promises to be campy, trashy, dishy fun. Where the HELL is it?!? I read about this in BUST ages ago!
*Triptych by Karin Slaughter

Most Anticipated Movies

*Clerks 2
*Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
*Little Miss Sunshine
*Pretty Persuasion (DVD)
*Cache (DVD)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


G’s sister and her family are in California, and last week, he asked me if I wanted to come with them to Sequoia National Park over the 4th of July weekend.

“Absolutely!” I chirped.

“Do you think you can get that Friday and Monday off?”

“I don’t see why not!”

Here’s why not: practically everybody in my department was already off, and my vacation request was smacked down like a sniveling slave in a dominatrix’s dungeon.

Well, fuck.

So I conferred with G, and as it turns out, his best friend C wanted to come along, but he couldn’t get that Friday or Monday off either. We decided that G would go up to Sequoia with A’s family, and then I’d come up on Friday night with C. G would come back with us on Sunday night. A short trip to be sure, but one I was looking forward to.

To be honest, I was a little worried about spending 5+ hours in a car alone with C because I didn’t know what we’d talk about; we'd never spent any time together without at least one of our significant others around. Fortunately, it wasn’t a problem; we talked about everything under the sun, and aside from a nasty traffic snarl-up on the 5, it was a very pleasant drive.

Unfortunately, thanks to said snarl-up, we didn’t arrive at the Waksuchi Lodge until just before 2AM. The night sky was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, but I was far too tired and it was far too chilly to stand in the parking lot and admire it for long. A bleary-eyed G let us into the room, and after C and I had brushed our teeth, he climbed into one bed and I flopped next to G in the other, passing out mere seconds after my goodnight kiss.

In the morning, we grabbed breakfast at the crapshack café in the Lodgepole, and then we headed off to Morro Rock to meet up with A, J, and the kids. “Oh, by the way, after dinner tonight, I’m going down to Three Rivers,” C said.

“What?” G said, startled. “Why the hell are you doing that?”

“I got reservations at the Holiday Inn Express. I don’t want to bother you guys with my snoring, plus I figured you’d want a little privacy.”

“That’s dumb,” G said. “That’s, what, 25 miles away down a twisty dark road? What about tomorrow morning?”

“I’ll just get up early and drive back up here and meet you guys.”

Between the two of us, Glenn and I eventually wore him down, and he said he’d cancel his reservation.

When we arrived at Morro Rock, A, J, and the kids were sitting in the shade. The second G got out of the car, the boys leaped up and clung to him like limpets.

“Uncle G, Uncle G! Have you played Lego Star Wars? We saw a bear! It’s hot out, huh?”

They’d already gone up Morro Rock, but I., being 11 years old and full of energy, wanted to climb back up with C, G, and me. Not even halfway up the rock, I was clinging to the railing, panting and wheezing. My shirt was soaking wet, and little fingers of sweat groped under my bra and greedily tickled my breasts.

“I’m going to die,” I wheezed.

“Come on,” G said, grabbing my hand. “I’m sure the view will be worth it.”

The descent was, of course, much easier. I stopped to tie my shoe, and I noticed something on the rocks. I grinned and said, “Hey, G, look at this.” He came over, and I said, pointing, “I’m not lichen this.” He sighed heavily, shook his head, and walked away without comment.

Our next stop was General Sherman, the largest tree in the world, followed by a brisk hike through the woods and then a trip to Crystal Cave, which was gloriously chilly and very pretty---well, if you like caves, that is, which I do. Here’s the one picture that came out decently:

Near the end of the cave tour, G grabbed my arm and whispered, “You have to get a picture of Dildo Rock.” I looked to my left, and sure enough, two distinctly phallic stalagmites were jutting forth proudly from the ground. Now, granted, all stalagmites are phallic by nature, but these two couldn’t have looked more like cocks if someone had actually carved them. They even had heads! I giggled like a schoolgirl and whipped out my digital camera, but unfortunately it was too dark, and the picture didn’t come out.

It was an uphill climb back to the parking lot, and I was hardly able to concentrate on the lush greenery and gushing waterfalls thanks to my aching feet and burning calves. As soon as we hit asphalt, I raced to the vending machine and had the most delicious Coke of my entire life.

Our day of death marches was drawing to a close, and the seven of us went to the Waksuchi’s restaurant for dinner. I had a kobe burger, fries, and crème brulee, and we all talked and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. Then we retired to our respective hotel rooms and crashed for the night.

Sunday consisted mostly of hiking various trails, so there isn’t much I can say about it, other than that it was really beautiful. Once I get all of my pictures uploaded, I’ll try to remember to come back and edit this entry accordingly.

After hiking, we went back to A and J’s hotel room, where A, C, and I talked and the others played poker. At 6PM, we sadly said goodbye and C, G, and I started the long drive back home.

Now, I’ve always been intrigued by Sonic Drive-Ins, which have a cultlike following, and I asked if we could stop at one on the way home. “What do they have there?” G (who is familiar with my culinary transgressions) asked suspiciously.

“Standard drive-in food,” I said. “You know, hamburgers, fries, and…and…” Overcome by excitement, I blurted out, “They have cheese-covered tater tots!”

“Oh holy Christ,” G groaned.

So we stopped at the Sonic in Visalia, and I got a hamburger, cheese-covered tater tots, and a cherry limeade. How was it? Well, let’s just say that, with the exception of the sublime cherry limeade, it was pretty underwhelming.

“Wow, that sucked even worse than that frickin’ Hawaiian BBQ place you made me go to,” G commented as we pulled out of the parking lot.

“Sorry,” I mumbled sheepishly.

“Awww, it wasn’t that bad,” C said. “What would you have preferred for dinner?”

“Some of your delicious manmeat.”

“Awesome! Bend over.”

“Hello, gross!” I called from the backseat.

“Oh, listen to Little Miss Prissy back there. Why can’t you accept our manly love?”

This went on for pretty much the entire drive home, barring the hour I fell asleep.

(OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: G and C make jokes like that all the time, but there’s absolutely no malice in it; I wouldn’t think it was remotely funny otherwise. They’ve known each other for something like 25 years, so they make all sorts of verbal jabs at each other, and they’re two of the least homophobic straight men I’ve ever met.)

We didn’t roll into town until almost 1AM. C dropped G off first, then me. I thanked him for driving, and then I staggered up the stairs to my apartment, where I showered, did a cursory blow-drying of my hair, and then crawled under the covers.

A scant six hours later, my alarm clock went off.

So on Monday, my hair was a frizzy aureole, I was exhausted, and every step I took was spiked with pain; I limped around all day like a footbinding victim. Was it all worth it? You betcha.