Monday, June 30, 2003

Notes from the Weekend:

It's worth the price of a few mosquito bites to see 50 gay men doing a cheerleading routine.

The game Taboo makes you do stupid stuff. Play with care. And play with M! as your partner, because you'll kick ass.

If you have a best friend who likes shiny items (in manner of racoon), take her to the Gay Pride Parade. Between the oiled chests and the metallic Mardi Gras beads, she'll be in good shape.

I suck v. badly at catch. It's terrible and embarrassing, yet I still think it's fun, even when I end up with purple thumbs from trying to barehand baseball travelling at 50 mph, and a friend who is seriously considering the merits of the beanball because he's had to chase the damn thing so many times.

One of M3's best qualities is her willingness to laugh until she cries. In public. At things that aren't really funny.

People who eat ketchup on their fries are missing out. Ranch and honey mustard! Ranch and honey mustard! Accept no substitutes!

I'm sorry, A, but you're wrong. The Goonies continues to be funny long after the age of 10. Chunk alone is comedy genius. I could do without Cindy Lauper's super-weird music video of her song from the movie ("Good Enough", I think). This eight-minute video of a thirty-second song brought to you by crack cocaine.

Watched The Recruit on Friday. I know others have said this, but seriously: Get some range, Pacino.

When you get virtually married, the only place to go for your virtual honeymoon is Taqueria La Tapatia, for $2.95 sandwiches. This is vastly more humorous if you accidentally wear the same T-shirt as your virtual husband, and you both decide, independent of any discussion, to order the same sandwich.

Tuxedo T-shirts are funny, but homemade tuxedo T-shirts are funnier.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

People. Waffles. Dignity.

What really frightens me about my friends is that we do stupid crap like make up holidays when we're stone sober.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

If I can find somebody who doesn't freak out when I read the last pages of novels while waiting to check out, an indecent proposal will be forthcoming.

So I've decided to institute a test for all new friends, starting now. If you want to be my friend, you will, at some point early in the relationship, be taken to a bookstore and turned loose. To pass the test, potential new friends will have to exhibit the following behavior:

  • Camraderie: must be willing to spend several minutes picking up interesting items, showing them to me, and then putting them aside to look at my interesting item. May occur at any time during the shopping experience.

  • Tolerance: will not laugh/mock mercilessly when I pick up romance novels, In Style Magazine, children's books, or anything with a book club sticker on it.

  • Intolerance: will laugh/mock mercilessly bizzarely titled items on the sale shelves, books by Laura Schlessinger, any other ridiculous "self-help" books, and anything in the "Idiot's Guide" series.

  • Independence: will go away and leave me alone when I become engrossed in something. (Bonus points if potential is easily found again.)

  • Patience: should be willing to spend an hour or more browsing without complaint. If tired of browsing, must wait patiently, asking no more than once if I am ready to leave.

  • Unpretentiousness: will not complain that giant bookstores are "the man, keeping the independent retailer down," or that used bookstores aren't nice enough, or that independent bookstores don't have a wide enough selection. A true new friend will simply enjoy the experience of being surrounded by books and will make the best of the location.

  • Frankly, not a lot of people will pass this test. M4 and Sr. Birdman might be the only two people in the world that could pass on every part of every point, which is not surprising — my love of books and book shopping is clearly genetic.

    So if you think you've got the stuff, let me know. Perhaps we'll have coffee at the Barnes & Noble café.

    Thursday, June 26, 2003

    Feel free to send gifts. And not virtual ones.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    These stepping stones look kind of green. And scaly.

    Before I start, I'd like to report that I finally stole my coffee mug back from the evil person who's had it for the past week. My mug! I like it.

    So the summer is about a third gone, which is sort of shocking. It's been mostly good so far, I suppose. I've read a lot, made a ridiculous road trip, seen a few movies and spent a lot of time just hanging out with my friends, who I love more every day. I've acquired the requisite impossibly unrequited summer crush, there's a band of white skin around my wrist where my watch goes, and I'm heading toward an overdose on baseball.

    But I'm no closer to making those big decisions that I started the summer wrangling with. I don't know if I'm coming back to Houston next year or going on to graduate school, or how I'm going to get everybody to like the decision that I do end up making. I don't know if I'm going to be able to afford a computer, I don't know where I'm going to live in Austria, I don't know how to fix this one quasi-broken friendship I have, and I'm still kind of clueless at work. I don't know what to do about the bug problem in my apartment and I'm not real sure what the eventual fate of my furniture is.

    So I guess the upshot of this is, I'm simultaneously happier than I've been in a long time and the most confused I've ever been in my life. Give me a Radler and a hug, and then we'll go do something fun.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2003

    Your team kind of bites if your mascot is a color

    I'm a totally satisfied kid this morning, despite the fact that I stepped on a thumbtack right before I had to leave for work. The euphoria of Rice winning the College World series has whisked the pain away.

    Monday, June 23, 2003

    But what if I want to eat the blue ones?

    The whirlwind weekend, in bullet points:

  • 6:32 a.m., just north of Topeka, KS: "Dairy Queen! I bet those bitches would have ice cream!"

  • If you're going to be the breakfast Nazi and tell us we can't have ice cream, you probably shouldn't admit four hours later that you occasionally eat Pez for breakfast.

  • M2 will totally believe anything I tell him, especially over text messaging. It's like a Jedi mind trick with cell phones.

  • What is the deal with ConAgra? They put Slim Jims in everybody's newspaper, and they let you run around on their campus at 1:30 in the morning while you have a Deep Discussion. The security guard drove past us four times and never even paused. Admittedly, four kids in polo shirts sitting in the grass talking don't really look all that scary.

  • Watching one of your friends laugh until he cries and starts making "hoo hoo hoo" noises is a big warm fuzzy. Especially if he's laughing at something totally inappropriate that he's already heard twice. "Hook-ed on puh-honics work-ed for me!"

  • My parents proved yet again that they're awesome, getting up at 5:30 a.m. to drive two hours and take the three of us out for breakfast. Then they drove home. We were the sole purpose for their trip. And my mom brought cookies.

  • I could watch the penguins at the zoo aquarium all day. Now that I know they have a webcam on them, I might. The baby sea lion was also adorable.

  • Catch phrases we overused this weekend: "Rock and roll," "feeble," "freaky-deaky Dutch bastard," "in like Flynn," "how about no, Scott," "possums," "imbicilen!" "why don't you shut up?" and the ubiquitous "your mom."

  • If you haven't seen the movie Bull Durham, best do so before your next baseball game. I don't know how people who haven't seen it get through a game. Every time there's a conference on the mound, M! is going, "Well, candlesticks always make a nice gift, and maybe you can find out where she's registered, maybe get her a nice place setting or something. Now let's go get 'em," and whenever a pitch goes wild, I bust out with, "I wouldn't dig in there if I were you. The next one could be at your head. I don't know where it's going, I swear to God." There's an appropriate quote for every part of the game.

  • If I had to spend the weekend essentially chained at the ankles to two other people, M! and S would totally be my first choices. I will say, though, that when you spend 60 straight hours with two people, you sort of run out of new things to talk about. "Hey, guess who I saw...oh. You were there. You saw him too. Right, then."

  • I have a lot of freakin' annoying habits that come out when I drive. I'm constantly adjusting the knobs on the dashboard—volume up, volume down, volume up, volume down, little more down, little more down, oh, now up again, back down...I'm surprised M! and S didn't tie my right hand to the stick shift. I also tend to read road signs aloud for no apparent reason. "Perry, 27 miles." "Lanes narrow ahead. Reduce speed." Great, thanks, Einstein. Good thing you read that, since your traveling companions are illiterate.

  • If you walk out of a gas station and can't find the car you're supposed to be riding in, it might be a good idea to check behind the building to see if your friends have hidden it from you. Don't be lazy, it makes our practical jokes less fun. Also, don't take so long in the bathroom. It makes us antsy.

  • Even if you're young and foolish, it's kind of a bitch to drive 32 hours of 60.

  • Friday, June 20, 2003

    "More ping, less bling."

    I love Sports Center, and I'm stealing their College World Series motto and making it my own. Soon I will stop stealing quotes from places and using them as blog titles, but today is not that day.

    M!, S, and I are off to Nebraska for the weekend to watch the first game of the CWS championship, also known as the "Nerds: Play Ball!" Series. Rice takes on Stanford tomorrow at 6 p.m. If you're watching the game on ESPN, keep an eye out for us--we'll be sitting on the right field line about 30 feet down from first base. We'll look tired, but happy.

    Thursday, June 19, 2003

    Those three little words...

    "Texas is eliminated."

    Tuesday, June 17, 2003

    "Yeah! Dumb unit of currency!"

    To file under "Ideas I Wish I'd Had": This chick makes fun of the reviews found on She can both a) pick hilariously bad reviews and b) skewer them with a neat one-liner.

    Check it out.

    Sunday, June 15, 2003

    Kristin, you look burnt or dead

    So my curling iron just exploded. Freakiest thing ever—it kept turning itself off, so I jiggled the cord to see if there was a loose connection.

    That was maybe not the best idea I've ever had in my life.

    Something is obviously shorted out, because there was a bright flash of light (fire?) and a decently loud popping noise. Followed rapidly by me yanking my face out of firing range, and then unplugging the offending item. I suppose I should be glad I'm not en fuego—literally—or blind or something, but mostly I'm annoyed because my hair's only half done.

    Friday, June 13, 2003

    It probably does not reflect well on my pet-ownership skills that I just gave my cat Sharpie tatoos on the pads of her feet.

    Well, she shouldn't have put them where I would be tempted.
    They put an addictive chemical in their juice that makes you crave it fortnightly, smartass!

    It's impossible to get normal orange juice. I'm not exactly sure when the orange juice revolution started, but I tried last night at the grocery store to get it, and I stood there for a good fifteen minutes trying to decide what I wanted. Even in the store brand, my options were: No Pulp, Low Pulp, High Pulp, No Pulp with Calcium, No Pulp with Vitamin E, and So Much Pulp It's Solid and You Will Have to Consume It With a Spoon. Regular Pulp, or better yet, Plain Ol' Orange Juice, was nowhere in sight.

    These options are not about giving the consumer what she wants. No, this is actually a conspiracy (I suspect the Florida Department of Citrus is in on it) with a two-step approach:

    1.) Building consumer self-esteem through an excess of options. This is the principle laid out by Tom Hanks's character in You've Got Mail: "The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, et cetera. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing, or who on earth they are, can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall! Decaf! Cappuccino!" Orange juice is the same way, but with a twist (pun intended). You have to do the mixing yourself. Leading to tactic two of the conspiracy:

    2.) Sell more orange juice by not providing all of the correct options in one container. What I really want is Some Pulp with Vitamins C & E, Not from Concentrate. Of course, this is not available in one handy container. No, I have to buy High Pulp and No Pulp with Vitamin C and No Pulp with Vitamin E, and mix them together in the correct proportions to get juice that's drinkable and up to the standards that I've established for myself in step 1.

    So, I urge you, rise up against this abuse of our insecurities! Drink something with fewer options!! Perfect.

    Thursday, June 12, 2003

    Quick quiz, hot shot

    I have $54 of credit at What should I spend it on?

    a) Books off my summer reading list
    b) A new card game
    c) Travel accessories
    d) New sandals
    e) Other (please explain)

    P.S. I wish I could figure out a way to put a poll on this website without it completely messing up my html, but I can't, so until I can bribe someone to do it for me, we'll go with this.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2003

    The breast says: squoooooge, or, Why I love my friend S

    Phone conversation* I had with S earlier this evening:

    S: I've been movie crazy lately. M3 and I rented Killing Me Softly last night.
    E: Oh, yeah?
    S: Yeah. It stars Heather Graham's boobs. Heather Graham's boobs over here, Heather Graham's boobs over there...just a whole lotta the boob.
    E: You know, if you were a guy, you could take that and pretty much run with it.
    S: Uh...yeah. That doesn't really do it for me, though.
    E: Useless information.
    S: Not really my thing.
    E: And I feel fine about that, really.
    S: Me too. Although if it were...
    E: You'd be in totally good shape. There's a lot of exposed boobs just running around out there. Exposed.
    S: Yeah there are.
    E: Although if you take that image literally...
    S: What, disembodied boob, just running around?
    E: Yeah. That's not so hot.
    S: Where would the legs come out?
    E: Uh...
    S: I mean, how would around?
    E: I don't know. I guess I pictured it with legs. Maybe it could roll, though, like a wheel.
    S: A wheel? It's a boob!
    E: Yeah, you know, on its side. Except I guess it would go in a circle, since it's not really perfectly round. It'd run a little retarded. Why, what were you picturing?
    S: I was thinking it would sorta...squooge along.
    E: Squooge? Whaaaat?
    S: You know, if you lopped it off, the bloody gory part would be like its...slug foot or something, and it would...squooge.
    E: You mean scrunch up and then stretch out, like an inch worm? Using the bloody—?
    S: Yeah! Exactly! Squooge!
    E: Oh yeah! That's totally how it would move.
    S: ...
    E: ... That's just...ew. I have to go take a shower now.
    S: Yeah. Me too.

    *Slightly paraphrased, but not enough so that you should stop being afraid.
    Well, at least I'm not working in a mole hole anymore

    Everybody kind of acknowledges that the more responsibility you have, the more stress you have. It's a directly proportional arrangement that's largely to be expected.

    What people don't tell you is that the stress doesn't actually come from the responsibility; it comes from the damn confusion about what it is, exactly, that you're supposed to be doing now. And five minutes from now. And tomorrow. And what everybody on your project is supposed to be doing now. And five minutes from now. And tomorrow.

    Excuse me, I have to go cry now.

    All right, I'm back. See, I'm the production manager of a code book at work this summer. Being production manager basically means you help the legal manager coordinate the...production...of an 1100-page book. I'm the formatting liason for the probate code; I have to know at what stage each section of the book is and what needs to be done to get it to the next stage. I have to either do the work to get it to the next stage, prepare things for the legal department so they can do the work to get to the next stage, or tell somebody else in my department to do the work. I'm not saying I don't like to be in charge, because I think anybody who reads this will know that's a lie. But I have spent most of the past two weeks trying to hide the fact that I have absolutely no friggin' idea what the hell I'm supposed to do next. It's kind of like walking blindfolded up a staircase where the stairs aren't all the same height and there's no handrail. And maybe sometimes somebody pokes you every now and then. I know I'll eventually make it to the top, but my knees are going to be pretty damn bruised by the time I get there. Multiple contusions.

    I'm not really sure what my point is here; mostly I just needed to explain that I feel very confused and uncertain lately. I don't like that, but I do like the experience. And of course, my book is going to be awesome. If you buy a copy, I'll autograph it for you.

    Monday, June 09, 2003

    All of my friends cringed when I told them this

    Here is the way to get me to like you, in one easy step:

    Ask my advice.

    That's it. I'm sure it has something to do with me subconsciously thinking that you're stroking my ego, or that you're vulnerable and you need me to like you, or whatever. I don't know why, exactly, but that's the most fool-proof method if you need me to like you quickly. If you want to take more time, I may like you anyway without you ever asking my advice. But will I ever like you as much? Hard to say.
    Okay, brain-trust, pay attention.

    The present perfect tense of "drink" is "have drunk." You can't "have drank" beer before, it just doesn't work. (Although I know a lot of you who have drunk beer before. Many times before.) Now, I know you don't want me to think you're a lush by using the word drunk, but I promise you, I won't. On the other hand, if you use "drank" when you're not supposed to, I will think you're an idiot.

    Saturday, June 07, 2003

    A point of etiquette

    If you're going to ask friends to save you seats in a crowded movie theatre, please do not:

    arrive late
    complain about the location of said seats
    bring a harem
    roll your eyes at me when I talk during the movie
    forget to turn your cell phone off
    make me sit on the end, you ungrateful bastard.

    Thursday, June 05, 2003

    Excuse me, Old MacDonald? Move your ass.

    So when I left for work this morning there were a bunch of farm animals milling around in my driveway. I mean, they were milling in a truck that was in my driveway, but still. What a surreal experience. I live in the middle of the fourth largest city in the nation, people, but it was a confusing moment of throwback to rural Nebraska when I walked out my door at 8:30 a.m. and heard, "Baa. Baaaaaaa." I literally stopped in my tracks on my balcony and said, "That was definitely a sheep. The hell?"

    There were, in fact, two sheep, a miniature donkey of some sort, and something that I couldn't really identify but suspect was either a llama or an alpaca, and they were just hanging out. I assume they were there for the amusement of the children at the Montessori school that's next door, but really, where do you even find those animals in urban Houston? I mean, wouldn't trucking them in from somewhere that they actually live be prohibitively expensive? Or does some guy in the neighborhood just have a flock of sheep in his backyard, all, "Oh, yeah, the sheep. Yeah, they're great for keepin' the yard mowed and fertilized. Oh, and the kids just love that minature donkey. Ride 'im around and chase the alpaca all over the place. I tole 'em they're gonna get hit by an SUV someday iff'n they don' stay outta the traffic, there, but what're ya gonna do, ya know?"

    This city is weird. It could happen.
    Paging Dr. Ruth

    I'd have to say that if your nickname for your significant other somehow involves the name of a ruminant, your relationship probably isn't as healthy as it should be.

    Wednesday, June 04, 2003

    It's not called "America's pastime" for nothing

    You know, the best part of baseball isn't the game. It's the scandal. I think baseball is the most scandalous sport in the country. There are brawls that are half exciting battles and half high comedy (ever seen a baseball player try to throw a punch? It ain't pretty.). There are corked bats, illegal drugs, shocking disparities between the rich and the poor. There are rumors and allegations and things left unsaid. There's incompetence at the top and disgruntlement at the bottom. People on their high horses and people lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut. The drama is fascinating, and all the better for the fact that, in the end, it's completely pointless.

    Tuesday, June 03, 2003

    Und jetzt, für etwas total anders...

    Ich schreib' jetzt auf deustch, weil ich für Oktober üben muß. Die erste Person, die dieses Blogpost übersetzt und mir ein Email schickt (lassen Sie es nicht in den Anmerkungen), kriegt von mir ein kleines Eis oder sowas. Süßigkeiten während des nächsten Filmes, was weiß ich. Oder, wenn diese Person nicht in Houston ist, etwas cool die ich selbst durch Email schicken kann. Vielleicht wäre es besser wenn diese Person in Houston lebt.

    Ich hab' nichts besonders interessant zu sagen. Ich find es geil, dass so viele Leute mein Blog lesen—habe geglaubt dass es langweilig oder schlecht war, weil ich keine Anmerkungen bekommen habe. Jetzt ist alles besser; ich habe vielleicht acht LeserInnen.

    Also, eine Frage: wenn du nur ein Ding emfehlen könnte, die ich nach Europa nehmen muß, was wäre es?

    Monday, June 02, 2003

    Miscellaneous Update

    Does anybody still read this blog? Is there a point to this? Seriously.

    Sketchy evicted neighbor still not evicted. Seems to be oblivious.

    The FCC voted 3-2 today to relax monopoly restrictions on the media, damn it. If you emailed your congressperson about this like I asked you too, thanks, and I'm sorry. If you are lazy, don't say I didn't warn you. If you are a communist who likes central media, bugger off.

    Finished stories for my grandparents, but I won't be posting the other one here. That's because it sucks, you see.

    On the movie front, I can cross Scotland, PA off my list. I can also stop hating Andy Dick quite so violently since he was involved in that fine film. Next up: Finding Nemo.

    Is it possible to clean your ears too much? Because I think I'm developing an unhealthy dependence on Q-Tips. My ears are not even that dirty, but I've cleaned them three times today. Q-Tips are the coolest.

    Sunday, June 01, 2003

    You look like a monkey...

    Happy birthday to E3, who is a whopping 18 years old today. That's right, boys, she's legal. Step off.

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