30 October 2008

"You can't always get what you want..." --The Rolling Stones

If you've said to yourself, "Hey, that Lacochran sure has it going on. Wish I could get her to sample my tasty blog." then you should know that I'm totally reading every other blog but yours.

Well, yours and ones that fall into the following objectionable categories.

Reasons I might not be reading your blog:

Diarrhea: If you are a blogger of great merit but write twenty-two sentence paragraphs, I'm probably not reading you. It's nothing personal. I'm elderly and I need occasional white space for my tired eyes. Not over-wordification. *bzzt* Pass.

Camouflage: If you are one of those people that have dark gray font on black background (or pink on red): Are you approximating disappearing ink? Working through some passive-aggressive issues? Insane? *bzzt* Pass.

ShoppingList: If your idea of a blog post is: "Went to library. Got 2 books." That's it? That's all you've got? Why?! Why blog about this? Might I suggest Twitter for your needs. *bzzt* Pass.

DanceParty: If you've got loud music and strobe action that starts as soon as I click on your site. *bzzt* Pass (chika, pass, pass, chika, pass, pass).

INeedALotofAttention: Is this you? --> "Here's four pictures of me half-naked and drunk." How nice for you. Mom must be so proud. I'm not so much into train wrecks. *bzzt* Pass.

Feel free to add your "Yeah, but what's even worse..." rants in the comments. (Like I could stop you.*)

* Alright, I'll say it: You're pushy.**

** I love pushy.

29 October 2008

"I'm sorry I'm bad, I'm sorry you're blue, I'm sorry 'bout all the things I said to you..." --Buckcherry

A while back, I was at a wedding of a college pal of mine and, at the reception, I got seated with a group of folks who were all from our alma mater. It'd been about 10 years since I'd seen any of them.

I recognized all of my schoolmates but one. I assumed this woman was the date of someone else at the table. Um, not so much.

It went something like this:

Me, graciously trying to make the outsider feel at ease: Hi, I'm L.A.

Her: I know!

Me *You know?* : Um...

Her: You don't remember me??

Me *Crap*: Uh...

Her, voice rising: L.A., we were in the same year at [alma mater].

Me *Crap!*: Er...

Her, incredulously: We were in several classes together!

The whole table has stopped chatting and is now looking at the two of us.

Me *Crap! Crap! Crap!*: I...

Her: I SAT RIGHT NEXT TO YOU IN [class name]!

She then tells me her FIRST and LAST name in a pretty ticked off voice and...

People... I'm telling you...

I got nothing. NOTHING. Her name is meaningless. I can not, for the life of me, place this chick.

And, now, it's abundantly clear that she thinks she knows me pretty dang well.*

Me: Oh, right! Sure! It's been a while now. Forgive me. You've changed a little. I guess we all have.

Her: Everybody else says I look exactly the same! [Tablemate] was just saying how I look exactly the same!

Me: I have a tumor.

Because what the heck else can you say at this point?**

And all this before they'd poured the wine.

* Okay, so we were in a few classes together. I took a friggin' lot of classes. BORING classes. I was half-asleep through most of them. It's not like we did crimes together. Now,
those people I remember. Fondly.

** No, of course I didn't say that. I wish I had. Maybe I could have garnered a little sympathy.

28 October 2008

"Come away with me..." --Norah Jones

Here is my office view:

if by "office view" you mean "calendar picture I am currently torturing myself with".

Pretty, no?

According to the calendar, this is a shot of Nevis, which I'm told is pronounced NEEvis, which, to me, always sounded less like a tropical island and more like...

Doctor: I'm afraid it's quite serious--he's broken his Nevis.

I'd still be willing to risk it.

And so I will be spending some time on Nevis' sun drenched shores, if by "spending time on Nevis' sun drenched shores" you mean generating reports that probably won't ever be used, under unflattering florescent lights until my eyes cross.

Tra La!

26 October 2008

I'll be the one with her hands in front of her face shouting "No pictures!"

This is a special note to the DC-area locals:

I've met a few of you, and so far so good.*

Lately, I've been playing with the idea of organizing a happy hour.


  • I like happy hours.
  • I like meeting people.**
  • Life is short.
If you are interested in this, drop me a note (it can be as simple as "I'm in") at lacochran812(at)gmail(dot)com. As organized as I've gotten: ...a bar in DC, some time in November.

Note on being cool: With regards to identity disclosure, well, that's your call. I'll show discretion if you will. I'm not about to "out" you to any mutual acquaintances and I'm even willing to call you "Great Baboo" if that's how you want to be known.

Yes, if you're local and reading this, you're invited.

So, who's up for a meet up?


* I know. Like you were just waiting for my approval to make your life complete.

** Unless you're completely self-involved, flea-infested, or icky.

25 October 2008

Movie Review: Vantage Point

We ordered "Vantage Point" on Pay-Per-View the other night.

No spoilers here.

It's got an impressive cast including Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, and William Hurt. At first I wasn't sure if they'd just aged that much in real life or they were playing older folks but, no, they've aged. (Sorry, folks, me, too.) Still, they and the long list of actors did a pretty good job with this concept movie.

In a nutshell, there's an assassination attempt and you get to see it played out over and over, each time from a different person's perspective.

I like thrillers and I like movies that muck with your sense of reality and I particularly like ones that combine the two, which this attempts to do. With each "retelling" of events, you get more clues about what just happened or what's about to happen. So you spend a lot of time saying to the yourself*, "Wait! He just saw something! What did he see?!" and hoping it'll be resolved in the next retelling.

The tag line "8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth." is what they try to offer up but it's not a perfect approach. The movie "cheats" in sometimes showing you things that aren't strictly in the viewer's range. And the device used to signal that viewpoints are about to switch--the scenes you just watched play quickly in reverse until you are back at the start--gets annoying, particularly after the third or fourth time. There are flaws in the plot and it gets heavy-handed with it's political message. Plus, how the movie wraps up all the loose bits is contrived.

Even with all that said, I liked it. There were plenty of plot twists, confounding clues and adrenaline-charged chase scenes to keep me watching. It's worth the Pay-Per-View price ($4.99), certainly. I give it 2 out of 4 jujubees.

* Or to the person next to you, if you're rude like that. Guess which I did.

23 October 2008

"I am a lineman for the counteeeee..." --Glen Campbell

[A worse job than mine.]

I don't tend to automatically tell people where I work but I'll respond with the truth if asked. And in DC, you're always asked. It's usually question #1. But if not, certainly it's in the top 5.

The place I work is pretty well-known and people tend to be impressed.*

In fact, people often respond with things like, "Really?! You work for _____?? WOW!! For real? That must be soooo awesome! That must be great!!"

And in many ways, it is.**

But, if you are a reader of any time here, you know that, even if the organization has a pretty good reputation, it doesn't preclude periodic run-ins with morons. And, though my current job is making me happier than my previous positions, I don't exactly leap out of bed and skip to work, scattering rose petals as I go.***

So, there's always that decision to make in the moment when someone says, "Gosh, you must love it!"

I can meet their expectation and lie, saying, "Yes. It's every bit as awesome as you think it is" ...and sound really pompous.

Or I can say, "It's okay" or "It has its sucky moments just like your job." ...and sound modest. Unfortunately, this often brings more "Oh, come on, that must be frickin' awesome!"

Or I can say what I usually say: *shrug* "I guess I'm fortunate... it's a pretty good organization."

Which is really the truth. It’s not my dream job and if I were independently wealthy, I wouldn’t be here. But I don’t take my job for granted either. I know it could be a lot worse.

Excuse me, my break is over and somebody's thrown a milkshake over the clown speaker, again, and it's fritzing.

* I'm not going to reveal my organization's name on the Interwebs but suffice to say that billions have been served.

** Corporate policy: You can keep any food that drops on the floor.

*** In fact, I hit snooze four times this morning and would have hit it a fifth time if I didn't have a morning meeting that I couldn't miss.****

**** Have you ever noticed how, when you hit snooze and you're in that half-dream state and all mooshy*****, you'll start to incorporate what's being said on the radio into your dreams? So, your mom is still talking to you but now she's talking about a Ne-Yo concert. And some other part of your brain realizes something's wonky and says "That's weird. Mom is much more of a Metallica fan."

***** Isn't that half-asleep, snuggled in bed, mooshy feeling the best?! I vote for the candidate who can provide me with more mooshy.

Does it have pink icing?

[Skittles is suing this cake provider for "Taste the Rainbow" infringement.]

Email message I, and everyone else in the organization, received:


What the author of the message couldn't possibly know was what a yellow fiend I am!

Whenever somebody says, "Hey, how about we order cake?" I respond, "Only if it's my favorite flavor: yellow!"

Because I crave the yellow. Yellow is the best. MUST HAVE YELLOW!

This reminds me of an aunt that used to always say to the waiter in any Chinese restaurant, "Does it have brown sauce on it? I don't want brown sauce."


22 October 2008

"How rude!" --S. Tanner

Yesterday afternoon, we are in the small conference room (cozily fits ~25 people) to hear an invited speaker.

Before she begins her presentation, she asks if anyone has any general questions within her area of expertise.

One person in the audience, we'll call him Binky, asks a question.

Madam speaker begins to answer the question. She is about 2 1/2 sentences into her answer when Binky's cell phone rings softly. He answers the cell phone.

Now the only sound in the room is the voice of Madam speaker and the whispering of Binky into his cell. It's bad enough when people are looking at text messages while supposedly in conversation with you.*

As you know, there is nothing more distracting than someone whispering. People turn towards Binky, annoyed. Binky keeps the conversation going.

After another few sentences, Madam Speaker grinds to a halt mid-sentence and says: Aren't you the one who asked the question?!

Someone elbows Binky and he says: I'm sorry. It's my son. He's having a problem.

He smiles, as if that explains everything, and walks out of the room, talking into his cell phone the whole time.


That's how to represent the organization well.

Jeez Louise, Binky. Either it's an emergency, in which case you explain it's an emergency and excuse yourself as soon as the phone rings or it's not an emergency in which case you turn your phone off.

* Okay, I am rather addicted to checking my (noiseless) messages/email on my phone but I try to be a bit discreet about it at work and I refuse to do it in social settings. At work, the old hold-the-phone-under-the-table-edge-while-you-check-it is a popular, although fairly transparent, gambit.**

** Okay, okay. I have briefly checked my messages in social settings when visiting the ladies room.
Hey, you might as well be productive while you wait in line.***

*** I am a first-class rationalizer.

21 October 2008

"...that funky s%it going down in the city" --Steve Miller Band

I was on the metro Saturday and spotted this ad:

Take a quick look. Cute child. Stack of pancakes. What did you think of?

If you said "fertilizer", ding! ding! ding!, you win the prize. Because, when you said "life is full of s%it", you were practically voicing this company's motto:

I can just imagine the meeting that went on to come up with this ad campaign.

C. B.: People have a negative view of fertilizer. We need them to connect it with something more positive.

Johnson: More positive than rotting manure?

C. B. : Seriously, Johnson.

Johnson: Okay... How about apple pie?

C. B.: Been done to death. Besides the latest numbers say blueberry is the new apple. Come on people, think! How about you, Flerdner?

Flerdner: Hm, positive... positive... what makes people happy...

Johnson: Vodka?

C. B. : *glowers at Johnson*

Flerdner: ...Pancakes make me happy. Pancakes make everybody happy!

C. B.: Keep going...

Johnson: I don't know... all that messy maple syrup...

Flerdner: Okay, we'll put a very neat, adorable child in front of a hardly syruped stack of pancakes. Fertilizer equals neat adorable children with pancakes!

C. B.: Can we tie in blueberries?

Flerdner: I don't see why not! We'll put a few on top!

C. B.: By jove, you've got it!

Johnson: So, wait, you're British now?

So, in conclusion... I wasn't a big fertilizer fan before this but now... I don't know what's changed... I can't put my finger on it... but there's something so gosh, darn wholesome and special about fertilizer... I just can't get enough of it.

Fertilizer. For when you really need to spread it around.

20 October 2008

"Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all" --Whitney Houston

When I was about 15, I babysat for a girl of about 11. It was a plum job in that she didn't need tending to in any way, she just didn't like to be alone in the house. So, we'd watch TV and she'd go to bed. And then I'd watch more TV and collect my pay.

Technically, we weren't alone in the house. They had a great pyrenees named Sam. I remember Sam much better than I remember the girl.

Here's a picture of a great pyrenees I found on the Interwebs:

Notice the size. Notice in the picture that the dog's head is bigger than the man's head. That is not a camera angle distortion. These are freakin' large dogs. In fact, don't think dog, think lion. That's closer scale. Sam was furrier and bigger than the pyrenees in the picture. Sam was the biggest pet I'd ever seen and probably ever will.

Sam was a self-love practitioner. He would spend most of the evening laying on his side, pleasuring himself. Loudly. Lots of slurping noises. For hours. He was a self-satisfaction connoisseur of the highest intensity.

Then the parents would come home and we'd have a few minutes of chit-chat (never about Sam) and they'd always round up the amount they owed me and then the dad would take me home in his car. And he'd call Sam to take the ride.

Even though the car was a big one, Sam still took up the entire back seat with his head hovering between us in the front seat. He'd be drooling, panting, breathing that special self-love breath all over us.

At the time I thought all big dogs panted and drooled. Now, when I think about it, I realize he was gasping with doggy afterglow.

19 October 2008

It's so shiny!

Bilbo of Bilbo's Random Thought Collection has graciously awarded me with the Superior Scribbler Award*:

I would complain about back-to-back memes but it's Sunday and there's only two of you reading anyway so what the heck.

Besides, I am a sucker for shiny things. Awards? Very shiny. Now, who took my swag bag??

The rules:
1. I must pass it on to five other deserving bloggers; [Check!]
2. I must link to the author and to the name of the blog from whom I received the award; [Check!]
3. I must display the award on my blog and link to Melissa's post which explains said award; [Check!]
4. I had to add my name to the "Mr Linky List"; [Check!]
5. I had to post the rules on my blog. [Check!]

So, without further ado, may I present the award to the following fabulous bloggers who so often make me laugh:
  1. Crissy: She's already the Queen of F-ing Everything, so what's one more award on the pile? Besides being hilarious, she bravely displays video of her terrible dancing (which is still better than mine.)
  2. Your Beard is Good: Follow the bizarre and always funny adventures of Rs27. Do it!!
  3. The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy: J-Money is the funniest chick on the Internet. Period.
  4. The DC Universe: Ignore the stuff on comics unless you're all geeked up like that but definitely read the rants. When he's on a roll, he's all about the funny.
  5. Surviving Myself: A more recent find for me but definitely worth a check if you're looking for quality comedy.
Being in the limelight sure is exhausting. I'm gonna go climb out of a car sans skivvies, check into/out of/into/out of rehab, and throw my cell phone at my assistant. Yeah, I'm all glamorous like that.

* When did awards start coming with homework? I'll bet Halle Berry doesn't have to do this sort of thing when she gets an award. *hmph* **

** Yeah, I guess I did just compare myself to model, actress and beauty queen Halle Berry. What's your point? *glowers menacingly* ***

*** I read somewhere that Halle Berry has always slept in a bra. That's just messed up. Why are you so interested in Halle Berry all of a sudden anyway? Your obsessions are a little creepy.

17 October 2008


[I am a fierce tag competitor. And a shape-shifter, apparently.]

I was tagged by my fine, feathered friend, GreenCanary.
Not really fair... playing tag with someone who can fly. *shakes fist* I'll get you my pretty.

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 FACTS/True Confessions:
  1. Periodically, I will eat an entire box of (cooked) Kraft Macaroni & Cheese but it has to be the Spirals. When I do, do not reach for the plate. Just back out of the room slowly.
  2. My first car did not have working air conditioning. It's hard to act the cool kid when you are a sweaty mess. These days I can no longer blame the lack of air conditioning when my hair swoops in odd directions. Now I blame country music.
  3. When I was in kindergarten we all had cubbies to hang our coats in and coats with little chains and metal hooks in them (Yes, yes, we all know I'm old.) One day I reached for my coat and the little metal hook went right through that fleshy piece of skin between my thumb and the rest of my hand. I just sort of looked at it curiously. Meanwhile, my teacher and school nurse were freaking out and pretending not to for my sake.
  4. I used to do all kinds of charity work (singing at nursing homes, serving meals at homeless shelters, recording books for the blind.) Now I am a selfish git.
  5. At summer camp, I ruined a water bomb fight the boys were plotting by snatching up all the little plastic baggies and tearing holes in them. I thought I was clever. Then I realized the girls were pissed at me. I felt bad.
  6. For many years I would stand on my head at New Year's. I can't really tell you why. I guess it makes as much sense as going to Time Square.
  7. Once, I saved my mother's life by heimliching her. (Boy, that sounds dirty.)
I tag the following people: You're Not Worthy, Travelin Through, I Wanna Sing Like Sarah "Sassy" Vaughan, Disaffected Scanner Jockey, The Restaurant Refugee, Herb of DC, Secret Simmerings and Shameful Scandals of the Singular Smash.

Oh, just suck it up and do it.

Cleveland/Three Men in One Night

I am back from Cleveland.

First, a little about the "city". I was only there for two-and-a-half days and I did what I could with the time but I may not be able to give tours yet.

I guess what I want to say about Cleveland is that it clearly doesn't have that city thing down. Oh, sure, it's got stuff to see and do. It's got the tall buildings and the large number of people. It's got enough places to drop a lot of cash on fru-fru food and fru-fruier drinks, if that's what you want to do.* It's got landmarks and neighborhoods, yeah.

What it doesn't have is a pissy city attitude. The entire time I was there, I didn't encounter one person who was snotty to me. Nobody was irritated or impatient.


Shape up, Cleveland. You'll never get to DC's status if you continue with your laid-back ways.

So, that was a little disappointing.

But, in addition to doing as little work as possible, I did have the pleasant diversion of enjoying three men in one night.** I hadn't planned on three men in one night. I had hoped to divide up my pleasure between the two nights I was there, but, alas, the best-laid plans...

So, Wednesday night, I met up with two dear friends who I hadn't seen in a couple years for happy hour at the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant. They put me in the middle, but you probably already figured that out. After that, one pal headed out and the other brought me to Pier W for more great conversation, an excellent dinner and, once the storm lifted, a gorgeous view of the lake and the city skyline. Finally, I met up with the infamous Narm at The Metropolitan. So young, so cute, so clever... but enough about me. What can I say? Narm was the perfect ending to a perfect evening. Who else could charm me with giant squid tidbits?

And now I am back home, tired, but with my memories.

Lest you think I completely forgot about my husband, I didn't. I brought him this treasure trove of gifts:

* I love fru-fru food and my record on alcohol is clear. I am not a flip-flopper. I have always been pro-alcohol, fru-fruie or not.

** TMI? Look away. I can not bear your scorn.***

*** Well, I thought I couldn't but look at that. Scorn isn't so bad.

13 October 2008

I can't wait for the Powerpoint humor

5 Things I hate about business travel:

1) Playing "space invaders" on the plane. This is my seat. That's yours. Don't be pushing your knee into my territory.

2) The person in front of you, who can't quite understand what's going on no matter how patient the clerk is, at: the airline counter, the car rental counter, the hotel desk...

3) Finding out at 3 a.m., that the last person that had the hotel room before you set the alarm clock for 3 a.m.

4) Discovering the hotel's "free breakfast buffet" consists of mini-boxes of Oat Bran and bananas.

5) Being trapped in a room for nine hours straight with people who expect break banter about the weather.

At least I can practice my awesome bedjumping skills.*

* Jeez, what do you take me for? Just click the link.

12 October 2008

"You take the good, you take the bad..."--The Facts of Life

Saturday we meet a friend for lunch and a trip to the Renwick to see the glass exhibit. It is a large collection by Lino Tagliapietra. It's not Chihuly (Sorry, Lino, I'll be you hate getting compared) but the show is fairly brilliant and my glass-loving soul swells.

As the Renwick is across the street from the White House and it is gorgeous weather, we stroll around.

We smile at the protesters calling for Bush's arrest.

We don't smile at the sharpshooters on the roof.

We wander up a few blocks and peek in on some of the fancy hotels. We are clearly lookyloos as is evidenced by the reaction of the doorman at the Hay Adams. He hesitantly opens the door for us while asking: Do you have a question?

Um, do we have a question?

Yeah, we have a question: Are you profiling us?

He does let us in and we look around. It's pleasant. But we decide we like the lobby of the St. Regis better.

We ride the Metro back and at one stop a dozen people board our car.

Me, pointing at an envelope that is now on the floor a few feet in front of us: Look. That wasn't there a minute ago was it?

Hubby: No.

We contemplate it for a bit. No one is anywhere near it.

Me: You want it?

Hubby: No. ...You can get it.

Me: Suppose it's full of cash...

Hubby: Suppose it's full of anthrax...

With that I look up to see a man sitting across from me who is holding a bunched up t-shirt over his mouth like a mask, as if he doesn't want to breathe in whatever is in that envelope.

Hubby, sensing me react: What?

Me: That guy...

Hubby: That would be more of a sarin gas thing than an anthrax thing.

Me: Great.

After 30 seconds the man stops covering his mouth and then he looks like everyone else.

We leave the envelope where it is.

10 October 2008

"All I want is your extra time and your..."--Prince

[Klimt demonstrates the hold-her-face-like-a-Subway-sandwich-cheek-sucking kiss.]

I heard a woman announce that she had spent some of her weekend teaching her teenage son how to kiss because, after all, being able to kiss was very important.

When we looked at her with blatant shock and disgust, she corrected herself to say she explained to him how women want to be kissed and encouraged him to practice on his hand.

A) Despite multiple blog posts on the interwebs offering kissing advice, I'm not at all convinced you can teach someone to kiss. Either they've got it, instinctively, or they don't. Can I get an amen?

B) Is this kid gonna be effed up, or what? Who is the last person you want to talk about kissing with? Thaaaaat's right.

09 October 2008

"Oh I want to thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you"--Natalie Merchant

[EepyBird's Sticky Note experiment. Credit to Urban Bohemian for spotlighting this gem.]

The first boss--of seven and counting*--I had in my current organization was the kind of person who left multiple stickies on your door, a voice-mail message, and an e-mail for you, all on the same topic and all before 7 A.M. Then he'd catch you in the hall before you got to any of these things in order to talk to you about the topic that was burning a hole in his brain.

It was different, to say the least.

This is the same boss I had this conversation with:

Me: I feel like I've got way too much on my plate for the next few weeks and I need your help to know what the top priorities are.

Boss: Okay.

Me, showing list: Okay, here's all the things I'm working on. Which one would you say is priority A, which is priority B, ...

Boss, scanning list of over a dozen things: They're all priority A.

Me: *blink* Let's start over...

Despite this kind of stuff, he turned out to be one of the better bosses I've had.

Long before the priority conversation, after only a few months on the job, I went to Boss and knocked on his door.

Boss: Hi, LA. What's up?

Me: I just wanted to thank you. You and [coworkers names] have been really great. I feel like my transition into this organization has been pretty easy because you've taken the time to really help me understand what I need to know and not that many people would do that. I know you're my boss and that's technically your job but I've been other places where that didn't really happen. You've clearly taken a lot of time to show me how things work around here and I just wanted to say that I appreciate it. A lot. ...So, thank you.

Boss, looking horrified: Oh my god, are you leaving?

Apparently, the only time Boss got a thank you was when people were on their way out the door. Sad, no?

So let me say first, I have no plans to leave.**

Second, thank you! Thanks for taking the time to listen to my rambling stories and to help me understand what I need to know. You've been swell.

That's all. Carry on. Oh, and you can disregard the four stickies I left on your door.

* I will outlast them all! *insert evil genius laugh here* followed by *sigh of depressed realization here*

** Doesn't mean I won't get booted. Say La Vee.***

Go on. Say it. You know you want to.

08 October 2008

"I love the places that we go/And I love the people that you know." --Nickelback

Don't you hate people that say "Let's get together! We haven't seen each other in ages!" and then you say "Okay, what do you want to do?" and they say "Anything, you pick" and so you pick a thing to do and you say "Where do you want to do this?" and they say "Doesn't matter" and so you pick a place and you say "When do you want to meet?" and they say "Any time--whatever is good for you" and you say "Okay" and you pick a date and time and they say "Great! See you there!" and you're totally stuck making all the decisions because you're now their social secretary even though it was their freakin' idea to get together to begin with?

I hate that. And run-on sentences. And sentence fragments.

Don't you hate that?

If so, that person you hate is me. And 95% of my friends.

We totally want to get together.* And none of us care about making arrangements. So, someone always gets stuck being the planner or we'd never do anything. We are forever having tag-up conversations like the one above except we're all playing the "anything is fine" part. I mean it: the vast majority of my friends. Old friends. New friends. Doesn't matter.

So I wind up with a lot of "I know I'm doing something with X some time the third weekend of the month" and then locking in the day before when one of us finally gives in and says "We're doing something, right? What are we doing?" and there's a series of "We could do lots of things" statements and somebody finally puts their foot down and says something completely weak like "I decided last time so it's your turn."

And I get stuck finally making the arrangements after not doing it for, oh, forty times.

I hate that.

* Make that "We epically want to get together." You're right, Jon, that's much better.

07 October 2008

"Just Eat It " -- Weird Al Yankovic

I don't care what you put in your mouth.

In the spirit of the lovable and doubly articulate Joe Biden, let me repeat that:

I don't care what you put in your mouth.

It makes no difference to me. Eat whatever the heck you want and revel in your gastronomic bliss. It matters not a whit to me. No, that's not quite right because the full truth is: if you're happy with it, I'm happy for you. Food is a glorious thing!*

Pigs feet? Enjoy. Chicken gizzards? Great choice. Bull testicles? God bless.

You will never hear me saying anything about what you're eating outside of "That looks tasty."

And yet... and yet... every time I meet people and they find out I don't eat meat, they fall all over themselves because they think I am judging them. Not so! Maybe your other rabid veg friends judge you but not me.

I grew up on meat and potatoes and I remember just how good meat tastes. (Especially with potatoes.) Oh, but I do.

I've eaten chicken and duck and beef and lamb and pork and venison and loved it all. I get it--it's yummy!** I just choose not to eat meat now. Check it: I don't do this to guilt you. In fact, you're going to find this hard to believe, but some things in this world have absolutely nothing to do with you.***

So, when we meet at a party, as happened this past Sunday, and the hostess outs me by pointing out which foods have meat and which don't, you do not need to look cornered nor do you need to launch into any of the following explanations, which I never ask for yet hear all the time:

  • "I really think I could go vegetarian. I don't eat much red meat."
  • "Vegetarian is such a healthier way to go. I should do that."
  • "Mostly I just eat fish. And a little chicken."

You don't need to say anything. because, people, I don't care. Get that "about to get smacked by a nun with a ruler" look off your face. How many times do I have to say it?!

I don't care what you put in your mouth.

* Someone should write a song about that.

** I've even eaten some things that others would call exotica. Cow's tongue? Oh, yeah, baby.
You haven't lived until your food is licking you back.

*** While other things have everything to do with you. I'd tell you which things but that would kill the mystery.

06 October 2008

"The more I get of you the stranger it feels, yeah"--Seal

Sometimes people are stupid. I mean besides me.

What? You noticed this, too? Why didn't you warn me?

A few months back, my boss volunteered me to help strategize on a struggling project and this has meant my meeting with a core team of three others (Team Leader, Team Member, and someone we'll call Snookums) at least once a week. If I'm lucky the meetings are only once a week.*

Here's the kind of thing that happens at these meetings...

Me: What're we working on today?

Team Lead: Um, there's a fire. I guess that's different. Why don't we go around the table and check in on previous actions--

Me: Wait, did you say there was a fire?! The building is on fire?!

Team Lead: A little... I've never really dealt with a fire before. So, how about we start with last week's presentation?

Team Member: Once, I saw a fire.

Team Lead: Really?

Team Member: Yeah, we called the Fire De--

Snookums: You know what goes good with fire? S'mores. Did you ever have S'mores? Once I went camping and we--


As you can see, my strategic input is always constructive.

Anyhoo, right before a critical deadline we had one of these core team meetings and Snookums flaked. Total no show. This was Friday at 11:00 a.m. The rest of us sucked it up and did what needed to be done. We made the deadline and got the product delivered.**

Come Monday, we got an email from Snookums explaining that she didn't make it back to work after her hair appointment. Her appointment ran a little long and she couldn't be bothered to come all the way back to work after that for only a few hours. It just wasn't worth it.

That's what she wrote.

In e-mail.

Yeah, the kind of email I could oh-so-easily forward to her boss.

So flippin' stupid is our Snookums.

You want to blow off work, Snookums? Next time, for your own good, maybe try a little less honesty. Try, um, sick child. That's popular. Or, hm, emergency flooding at home. That's always viable. Couldn't be bothered to shlep back to work after you got your hair done?! Not feelin' it, Snookums. Not feelin' it at all.

* At least these give me something to put on my weekly status report. This week's status report: Managed to keep from getting stabby. Briefly.

** This is about as impressive as my businessspeak gets.

05 October 2008

Ode to the "Entertainer" at Murphy's

To end a week that whipped my tail
We head to Murphy's for music and ale
Your guitar playing is fine
And you sing a good rhyme
But your non-stop, lame jokes? ==> Total FAIL.

04 October 2008

Bringing the Funny

For the two or three people on the interwebs who are not clued in to "You Suck at Photoshop", I proudly offer up the link to the series, including some more recent additions:

You Suck at Photoshop

You think you've got troubles? Check in with Donnie, here.

Funny, funny stuff.

03 October 2008

Salt o' the Earth

[Me (front), with a salt lick in a previous life. A) How adorable am I?; B) Those Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever ticks tickle; and C) Notice how I do not mention to my sister that I have found the salt lick. Mineminemine. ]

From big ol' kosher salt-embedded pretzels to finely ground salt-dust on popcorn, I love me some salt. I am blessed with low blood pressure so this is not a problem.* In fact, I have rationalized that salt is really good for me. If I get up in the morning and feel a little lightheaded? Salt! Must have salt!!

Anything with salt will do. Chinese leftovers. Pasta. Celery. Just as long as it's got a good salty edge to it. I've been known to dump salt from the shaker into my palm and lick it.**

In college, I had a boyfriend who would carry those little salt packets, like the ones you see at fast food places, in his shirt pocket at all times. Not for me, mind you, but for him. Things were never salty enough for him. Now, I wonder if I liked him because he had salty kisses.

*Said in an anchorman voice* In other salt-related memories...

When I was little we had a beagle that would lick my mother's feet for hours, if allowed.*** Only my mother's. We assumed it was the saltiness, although we didn't actually lick her feet to check, but I guess the dog could have had other, um, issues.

Remember when all bars served either peanuts or popcorn? I miss those days.****

One of my favorite treats is a salty, chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. I buy them and devour them and stand in awe of what has just happened because they are a sweet, salty, chewy sweepstakes prize from the angels.

I've bought these cookies but I've never tried to make them. This week, I wrote Lemmonex and asked her for a recipe for this manna. She sent me a recipe that she hasn't tried but she assures me comes on good authority. So, at some point, if I am not blogging, it is because I am in a heap on the kitchen floor in a salt/chocolate-chip/oatmeal-cookie coma.

And loving it.

PS In the land of global interconnectedness, after I completed this post I saw this dcblogs link.

PPS It was too after. Fine. Believe whatever you want. Yeah, 'cause if I was gonna lie about something, that's what it would be.

* I once had a technician check my (low) pressure and say to me "You are still with us, right?" Yeah, that's what you want to hear.

** Yeah, like you never did anything weird involving salty substances, palms and licking.

*** Yeah, like you never did anything weird involving salty substances, feet and licking.

**** Yes, I've seen the 20/20 exposes about the incredible levels of bacteria on those communal bar bowls. And your point would be? We're talking free, salty bar snacks here. That which does not kill me makes me happy.*****

***** True confession *leans in* : I once ate popcorn out of a tub in a movie theater that somebody from the earlier show had left. I didn't die.

02 October 2008

Fresh Sheet

I am a thrasher.

When it comes to sleeping, I love nothing better than a freshly made bed to crawl into because ahhhh, those cool, smooth sheets feel good against my skin.* I crawl in between them as soon as I am done un-tucking my side and the foot of the bed because I am not a fan of the foot mashing induced by a tucked bed. That's just another form of patriarchal foot binding and I'll have none of it, I tell you! I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR!

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Clean, fresh sheets on a newly made bed: heaven. That lasts about 2.3 minutes, apparently. I don't know for sure. I'm a pretty heavy sleeper. But whenever I wake up I find the sheets are a disaster. I have thrashed so much that the top sheet is in a different part of the country** and not only is the fitted sheet easing itself off the mattress but it's all bunched up under me.*** Now I could see the sheets getting pulled to one side or the other, but somehow I manage to thrash so much that I make a lumpy furrow of sheets under me that a gopher would be able to tunnel through.

What's up with that? Is my subconscious so messed up that I am fighting wildly in my sleep? Am I trying to make little animal escape tunnels because I feel guilty about the terrible treatment of gophers in the movie Caddy Shack? In my sleep, am I doing an interpretive dance of the economic crisis the country is experiencing in order to draw the demons out?

Who the heck knows.

This is one advantage of staying in a hotel. A freshly made bed every day. Ready for thrashing. Ahhh.

* Once, when I was sick and had chills, I put flannel sheets on the bed and got into flannel pajamas. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS! This was a disaster. The flannel of the PJs locked with the flannel of the sheets and I was completely paralyzed. It was terrifying. And sweaty. Really sweaty. In a not so pretty way. We're talking "As I believe I've already told the committee, I have no recollection of that event, Senator" sweaty. I'd rather have chills. Since then, no pjs.

** No doubt a part that has a view of Russia.

*** You know the mashed potato scene with Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Not really like that.

01 October 2008

Want to come over and view my Vintage Experiences?


Over here.

Can you keep a secret?

I've been receiving Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences now for probably three months. Pretty exciting, right?! Yes, that Dan Berger!!

It just started showing up in the mailbox one day. Now, you're going to laugh at me and my provincial ways but would you believe I didn't know who Dan Berger was? I had no idea why I was the recipient of his Vintage Experiences.

*chuckles, shakes head*
I know! Bumpkin, right?!

Dan's web-site describes the Dan Berger Vintage Experiences as "a four-page weekly wine commentary" (it is!) which covers stories of the (wine) industry, (wine) news, (wine) commentary and (wine) ratings (it does!). Subscriptions are available for the shockingly low price of $95.00 if you are in the "wine industry trade" (which I am not) or the delightfully low price of $58.00 if you are a "special consumer" (also which I am not.)

Well, that's not entirely true. I am a consumer of wines. And I always felt a little special. Not in a Jerry's kids way. More of a Matrixy/we've-been-waiting-for-you-so-hop-into-your-black-latex-outfit way. And I guess this confirms it. Since I am not paying the $58.00 rate or even a penny and yet I am still awash in Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences.

It makes me feel a little naughty. Like maybe Dan should be saving some of his Vintage Experiences for his wife... or girlfriend... or boyfriend... or Pomeranian. Or maybe someone who is interested in his wine tidbits.*

Me? I'm interested in drinking wine. I read local wine reviews like Dezel's because I go to local wineries. Where... I drink wine.

Just because I signed up for an Alexandria, VA wine shop's mailing list in hopes of hearing about wine tastings doesn't mean I'm, you know, into Dan's kind of action. Little did I know the shop would be pimping out my address to the highest bidder and that this was a gateway set up.

Dan's in California, forgawdssake.

I'm in over my head. The Experiences just keep coming!

I... I guess I could go on the website and cancel the subscription that I never requested in the first place.

And, yet... I have to admit... all this attention is pretty flattering.

* Euphemism? You decide.