Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . . Sort Of.

So, on a positive note, I finished most of my Christmas shopping today. I spent an hour searching around Amazon for good books for my friends' kids because they all have WAY too many toys and clothes. I was even able to find a copy of one of my favorite books from childhood (which i still have) for Baby A and Laney Bug. (The name will remain a secret until they have opened their gifts because their parents read this!) I have also decided that I need the Miami Vice box set DVDs of all five seasons. I'm not quite sure what that says about me, but I'm willing to risk damaging my reputation to get a little Sonny Crocket in my life.

In not so great news, as I was leaving work today, I ran into one of my buddies who works downstairs from me at the American Diabetes Association. Today, the ADA laid off 10% of it's workforce. A week before Christmas. So please, please, please keep all of those affected in your thoughts and prayers - this is not going to be a good holiday season for many of our fellow Americans.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mollygood, Bye.

Last week was hell week for me at work. On top of being as sick as a dog, I also had to contend with it being period close, which means, in addition to my normal workload, I also had to deal with short suspense requirements and monthly reports. But I fared okay, and managed to survive . . . looking forward to this week and a lighter workload.

One of the things I enjoy most about my workday is taking a few minutes to check out of whatever I am working on, and logging in over at Mollygood – the best gossip web site ever created. You see, Mollygood isn’t your normal gossip site. It’s thoughtful and thought provoking, and unlike Perez Hilton and many other sites, the commenters are mature and intelligent – with a few exceptions (Matt, my dear, I’m looking at you!). And they are snarky. Very, very snarky. And I love it. I always feel like I’m among friends when I visit the site.

When I logged in around midday on Monday, however, I was in for a big shock. Instead of the normal posts, there were farewells from Whitney Little and Cord Jefferson the two editors of the site. Mollygood is being shut down, along with its sister site Stereohyped. I cannot begin to tell you, dear reader, how infuriating it is to know that such an awesome site is falling victim to the flagging economy, while Perez Hilton is alive and well. (No, really, Perez Hilton needs to die.)

This means no more well-written posts on my favorite celebrities. No more Commies. No more Whitney and her unfortunate love for homosexual men and cats. No more Cord – who gets my vote for sexiest man alive for being not only attractive, but also intelligent, kind (he recently donated a kidney to his father), and comfortable enough in his masculinity to let himself be transformed into a drag queen for his audience. And worst of all, no more Hags. Because the people who commented on the post were (and continue to be) every bit as critical to the dynamic of the site as the editors.

So where am I supposed to go now for my daily dose of sanity? Jossip (parent site of Mollygood, and a dull, dry read if ever there was one)? Popsugar (which seems to mindlessly worship all things celebrity)? Maybe D-Listed (which seems to be the best option)? The truth is this – Mollygood is irreplaceable. There is no way to recreate the dynamic that has slowly but surely developed over the last few years at the site.

So to my Hags, I bid a fond adieu. I may have to create a Facebook account for the sole purpose of keeping in touch with some of the funniest bitches I have ever had the pleasure of meeting (online). Sar, sopthemadness, Cait, Ilnazhad, Skaði, cooter, payter, Chelsea, mae, evil twin, deimos, Lisa (#105), BmoreKate, Tangerine Speedo, and the countless others – you are awesome. Thanks for filling all of those hours at work that should have been filled with, well, work. I will miss you all.

Cord, Whitney, and the Original Molly – thanks for the mammaries.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Would You Do?

What would you do if you found out you only had 30 days to live? Assuming that there were no financial constraints, how would you spend the last of your time here on Earth? I want to know.

Tropical vacations, skydiving . . . . what do you want to see or do before you die?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sexual Jealousy? I Don't Think So.

I adore Helen Mirren, for more reasons than just a shared name. She is an amazing actress - there hasn’t been much that I’ve seen her in that I did not enjoy. And this crazy old broad has been known to say some crazy shit, some of it downright offensive – but I always seem to find her bluntness refreshing. But she recently made a comment that got me thinking:

"In a rape case the courts in defense of a man would select as many women as they could for the jury, because women go against women," Mirren says. "Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don't know."

In other words, if you get raped, make sure that there are all men on the jury, otherwise those jealous bitches are going to let the guy off.

While I think she may be onto something in terms of the makeup of the jury and how likely they are to acquit, I think her reasoning is off. It’s not because they are jealous, it’s because they are afraid that they could be victimized in the same way. By blaming the victim (she had too much to drink, or should never have gone back to the guy’s place), they can regain control.

We've come a long way, baby. But despite our college degrees, high-paying jobs, and ball-busting attitudes, men are still physically stronger, and that is a terrifying realization. By transferring the blame to the victim, we can say "Oh, that wouldn't happen to me, because I'd never put myself in that situation." And while it can be empowering on an individual level, it is also devastating to our gender, because we have basically turned the blame on ourselves, instead of putting it where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of the animals who do this sort of thing.

When I was in college, I developed a huge crush on this guy. We started hanging out and fooling around, but I was very clear with him that I was the “everything but” girl. He tried repeatedly, but I never backed down. One night we were at a party at his house. And of course we were all drinking. I can hold my alcohol pretty well, but for some reason this night was different. And that was the night I became the 1 in 4. And I eventually became part of another statistic – I was one of those women who never reported it.

I blew it off. I dismissed what had happened as no big deal, and just stopped hanging out with him. And I was fine. Or so I thought. But it wasn’t long after that when I started slipping. I was drinking to the point of blackout almost every time I picked up a beer. I slept constantly. I acted out, putting up this façade of toughness that was backed by fear and anxiety. I had wild mood swings. Ironically, I went from being the “everything but” girl to the “anything goes” girl. After all, he can’t rape you if you’re already saying yes. Within 18 months, sweet, kind Helen turned into slutty, drunk Helen - the college dropout.

One day, as I was on the bus on my way to my crappy minimum wage college-dropout job, I overheard a conversation – two girls talking about a common experience – being raped by the same guy. The same guy who had raped me. As it turns out, there were a lot of us, and our stories were remarkably similar. And none of us ever reported him until it was too late. And as dumbfounding as it was that he had done the same thing over and over and never been reported, it was also consoling to know that there were others who understood. For the first time, I didn’t feel alone.

I eventually went back to school and got my life back together. It was made easier by the fact that he had graduated and gone back to Norway. But the ghosts from my past continue to haunt me. I don’t trust men – which explains why, since that night, I have not dated a single guy that I wasn’t really good friends with first. I am fiercely protective of my female friends. I am obsessive about making sure that doors are locked, and I usually leave half the lights on in the house when Ship is out of town. I keep a police-issue Mag Lite under my bed for defense. And I would buy a gun if I had a couple extra hundred dollars sitting around. And I tell myself that I’m okay. Even though I know, deep down, I will never truly get over what happened.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cardinal Rules – And Why You Shouldn’t Break Them

So, first of all, I hope to God that neither of my parents ever reads this particular post. Mom, Dad . . . if you’re reading this, PLEASE STOP NOW!! Really. Seriously. Trust me.

Anyway, I have been single for a long time – so long, in fact, that my ex-boyfriend has now been married for almost two years. As a single woman, I have developed some “rules of engagement” for myself. The first rule: no sex outside the bounds of a monogamous relationship. And I have stuck to that rule for all I’m worth – despite being really tempted on several occasions to break it.

Well, I broke it. And now I’m kicking myself in the ass.

I should probably explain the circumstances. The guy is a friend of a friend who I have known for a while, although on a very casual level. We went camping together as part of a group about a month ago, and we flirted with one another, but nothing came of it. I chalked it up to us both being unrelenting flirts, and left it at that. He’s a really nice guy, very cute (he actually looks the Latino version of my ex, so I guess I have a type), funny, and always good company.

We were drinking and joking around, one thing lead to another, and the next thing I know, we are headed back to my house together. Before I even got home, all I could think was “I don’t know if I really want to go through with this.” But I did. And it sucked.

I will say, with all honesty, that I have a hard time enjoying sex if there isn’t also some sort of emotional connection involved – thus my cardinal rule of no sex outside of a relationship. But there were several other things that really ruined it for me:

  • Asking me repeatedly if I liked his penis
  • Asking me if I had any thong underwear (seriously, I have an ass like Wyoming wide & flat – I don’t do thongs)
  • Using my boobs like those squishy stress relief ball
  • Biting my nipples (yeah, no, that does NOT feel good
  • Various assorted “performance peculiarities”

Then, after all was said and done, he tells me to call him. I'm terrified that he might want a rematch. My breasts will not stand for it – they spent all day yesterday trying to recover, and they’ve threatened to strike out on their own if I try. And since I love my girls more than anything (or at least any other part of my body), I’m going to have to follow the sage advice of one Mrs. Nancy Reagan – and Just Say NO!

I hope I don’t run into him anytime soon.

The Very Definition of Insanity

I wanted to post about this last week when it first happened, but I decided to give myself the weekend to calm down before I wrote this post. I’m still not that calm.

There is a guy who works downstairs from me named Vic. Normally, I would change his name to protect his anonymity, but not this time. Vic is a good ol’ boy – a middle-aged former Marine from Texas who drives a pick’em up truck and owns a Harley. He’s always seemed like a nice enough guy, and I’ve definitely enjoyed his company while taking smoke breaks at work.

Now, Vic is a Republican, and while we generally don’t see eye to eye on politics, I have never held it against him, and actually felt bad for him one day when he was being ganged up on by a whole bunch of his Obama-supporting co-workers.

That all changed on Friday.

We were talking about the election and how Sarah Palin is being offered up as the sacrificial lamb by the Republican party to help explain away McCain’s loss. And I definitely agreed with him that she was sharing too much of the responsibility for the outcome of the election.

Then he told me that I should read “Obamanation” so that I would see the truth about our President-Elect. Supposedly, he was responsible for a civil war in Kenya which killed 23,000 people, but no one ever talks about it because of the liberal media. (Apparently, he’s never heard of Fox News.)

He then goes on to say that he can’t wait until Obama is assassinated. Gulp. Excuse me? Did I just hear that right? I asked him to repeat himself, and he confirmed it. He said that he would never actually do it himself, but that he would be thrilled if Obama was murdered (because America would never impeach its first black president according to him – no matter what Obama did.)

Um. I’m at a loss for words that there are actually people out there in this world who think this way. Am I living in a bubble here? I know that racism is definitely alive and well in the US, but this really blew my freaking mind.

So now, whenever I see Vic, I will be going to smoke elsewhere, even it if means that I have to get yelled at by the Nicotine Nazis.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

America - Fuck Yeah!

I have never been more proud to be an American than I am at this very moment. God bless this great nation of ours, and the wisdom of its people to see through the BS of the hatemongers. And please keep Obie safe - he has a lot of work to do, and we don't need any more martyrs.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted - Did You?!

I went this morning to cast my vote, and was shocked at how painless the whole process was. I had lofty aspirations of getting up at 4:30 and showering before I went, but that didn't happen, so I dragged myself there with my hair pulled into a haphazard ponytail around 5:45.

When I got there, the line was already about 2 blocks long, and I had that initial moment of thinking “do I really want to do this?” Very quickly, I realized the answer was yes. As I was making my way to the end of the line, a young guy in his early 20s named Matt started talking to me, and we were joined soon after by Melissa, a girl in her mid-twenties – both government employees.

The overall mood was upbeat, and you can tell that everyone was there because they wanted to be. You didn’t hear any of that typical line-waiting complaining – but mostly because the line moved very quickly.

I was so impressed with the staff working my location (Patrick Henry School on S. Highland) – they kept things moving, were very friendly, and that made the experience that much more enjoyable. Within an hour and 15 minutes, I was done and on my way home – feeling a sense of pride for having taken part in such a historic election.

Tonight, it’s over to the Pub with Pita and Professor to watch the votes come in. Regardless of the outcome, I think America will be a better place tomorrow, because everyone seems to have taken a more active role in this year’s election – and that’s what democracy is all about.

So if you haven’t taken the time to vote yet – please do.

I Said I DON'T Need a Nicotine Patch, Damnit!

I know it's just a marketing thing, but on my post about Stranger Than Fiction, I got the following comment:

"The quit smoking medicine chantix is undoubtedly the right medication to relieve yourself from the shackles of nicotine addiction, but this drug meant for triggering off smoking cessation would yield beneficial results for you only when you administer it in accordance with the suggestions of the doctor. Altogether, there are certain other precautionary measures that you need to adhere to while using chantix and all these are detailed elaborately at the website (hyperlink disabled)."

But I guess if you're going to get spammed on your blog, this is better than the ones that tell you how to meet really rich guys or increase your penis size.

The Eve

Well, it's finally arrived. Tomorrow is the big day. I don't normally follow politics very closely. In fact, this will be the first time that I've voted in a national election. I know - I should be ashamed of myself.

I have always considered myself to be conservative. While more liberal leaning on social issues, I am an advocate of small government, the right to own a gun, and keeping my money in my pocket. But something’s got to give.

Our country is in bad shape. And I think it has as much to do with crappy business practices on the part of our banks and major corporations as it does with our attitudes as Americans. We've gotten so used to the rest of the world looking up to us that we've completely lost site of why the rest of the world respected us - our integrity and hard work. We've lost it because we've gotten so self-entitled that we feel like everyone owes us. I see this more and more every day with teenagers. I wonder if our parents felt the same way when we were teens - like our generation was a lost cause. It honestly scares the shit out of me.

And do you know what else scares the shit out of me? Sarah Palin. She terrifies me with her gosh-darned winkin' and her "you betchas" and not being smart enough to realize that she was getting pranked by two DJs from Canada. She's arrogant, and she is a threat to women everywhere. I know that it's highly unlikely that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, regardless of who wins the White House - so abortion rights are not my primary concern. The problem is that she is totally unqualified to run the local library, much less the United States of America! John McCain is a great man - but I seriously question his judgment because of his decision to have Palin as his running mate. Either he has picked terrible advisers, or he seriously thinks that female voters will not be able to look past their own uteruses to see that this woman is not a replacement for Hillary Clinton. (By the way, I am NOT a HRC fan at all, but if I had to chose between she and Palin, Hillary would have my undying support.)

So, tomorrow morning, I will be heading to the polls by 5:30 AM to cast my vote for Barack Obama. Then I'm going to drag my tired ass to Starbucks for my free cup of coffee! And tomorrow night, I will be watching the election coverage from my favorite pub as history unfolds.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Death of Polite Society

I’m chubby, and because of that, most guys don’t ever take the time to see past my extra inches to find out who I am beneath the extra pounds. And I’m okay with that – most of the time.

I am also okay with the fact that most of my friends are more attractive than me. Pita is an adorable, sassy little thing who guys always find attractive. PL oozes sex appeal. And JoJo, well JoJo is a drop-dead stunner. But it’s when I go out with one of them somewhere that it really starts to bug me.

Last Friday night, Pita and I went out to DC for some fun. Well, fun was eluding us, so we headed back to Arlington to one of Pita’s favorite haunts – Guarapo’s. Guarapo’s is a neat place because they always have a good DJ upstairs, the drinks are nice and strong (although pricey), and unlike most bars in the area, there are usually more guys than girls.

It took about 10 minutes before the first guy started circling us, preparing to make his move. He positioned himself between Pita and me (with his back to me) and started chatting her up. I was left standing there totally bored – and annoyed.

It didn’t take Pita long to get over this guy, and we moved a table, where three more guys were already sitting. Within 5 minutes, they were all chatting with her and not one of them said a single thing to me. Not one word.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not looking to hook up with any of these guys. I’m not the kind of girl who meets a guy while drinking and takes him home for a little fun. But would it freaking kill them to just acknowledge my presence? Just because they say hi doesn’t mean I’m going to fall in love with them and start following them around like a little dark cloud. Is that what they are afraid of? To guys, since I am not their target, I am an obstacle to be avoided at all costs.

I am left asking myself this: “what happened to the basic rules of polite society?” When did it become acceptable practice to ignore someone who is standing right next to you? Someone whose conversation you just interrupted? I don’t mind if guys hit on Pita – or PL or JoJo (who are both engaged). And I don’t mind if they don’t hit on me. What I do mind is being completely ignored.

So guys, a little piece of advice – if a girl across the room catches your eye, don’t ignore her less attractive friend who is standing right next to her. Say hello. Introduce yourself to both of them. Engage both of them in conversation. And then, as the opportunity presents itself, make your intentions clear to the object of your affection. But don’t leave the homelier half of the dynamic duo standing there with her thumb up her ass. Trust me – that girl is likely going to have some say in whether or not you get to go home with her friend. And if you’re an ass to her, no matter how much of a connection you think you have formed with her friend, your efforts may be all for naught.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I don't watch the Oscars, or any awards shows for that matter. What's the point in wasting 3 or 4 hours watching a bunch of self-important celebrities pat each other on the back. Besides, all of the winners are posted on the internet the next day, and the show's highlights are talked about ad nauseum and are always available on YouTube within hours.

Add to the boredom factor the somewhat depressing fact that I generally haven't seen most of the movies that have been nominated. This year was no exception.

There Will Be Blood. No Country For Old Men. La Vie En Rose. Juno. Michael Clayton. I have not seen any of these movies. Don't get me wrong - all of these are (and have been) on my must-see list. (Well, except for Ma Vie En Rose, because, quite frankly, I don't know who Edith Piaf is, and I don't really care.)

What I do care about is the fact that all of the "best of" awards for acting went to foreign nationals. And, no, I don't think that is a bad thing.

For so many American actors & actresses, it's not about the art, it's about the celebrity - the money, big houses, fancy cars, and designer duds. They cannot truly appreciate the award because they don't really value anything, and are generally devoid of any true talent. (I know there will be those of you who will come up with some exceptions to this, but this is intended to refer to the overall Hollywood community, not everyone specifically.)

But when I saw Marion Cotillard sobbing with job on Forrest Whitaker's shoulder after she won her award, I knew that she really appreciated and deserved it. And Daniel Day-Lewis is a seasoned actor who has been responsible for some of my favorite movies - including Last of the Mohicans and In the Name of the Father. Javier Bardem? Just the previews of No Country scared me so badly that I was afraid that I'd no longer be able to find him sexy. (No worries - I got over it rather quickly.) Don't forget Tilda Swinton, God bless her ugly little self. She is such an amazing actress that she has repeatedly convinced me that there is no woman more beautiful than she - now THAT, my friends, is talent.

So until our American actors learn that making a crapload of dough doing something they love is a blessing, and until they stop cranking out more mindless, heartless crap, I hope that the awards will continue to go overseas.

Until that time, I will enjoy every minute of Javier, Daniel, Tilda, (and probably not Marion unless she makes a new movie soon).

Friday, February 29, 2008

Money Well Spent

Please forgive me for the shameless product endorsement you are about to read.

I know it's not exactly the most sound financial move in the world, but I am one of those people who claims zero deductions on my federal withholding so that I can be guaranteed a nice, fat tax return every year. I like to think of it as my government-sponsored savings account.

And every year, as soon as I receive my W-2, I file my taxes.

In my younger years, the extra money always came in handy for catching up or getting a little ahead on my bills. But in the last few years, I've used the money toward some sort of luxury. In 2006, it was a tropical vacation to beautiful Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Last year, it was a clothes shopping spree and a new digital camera. This year, it was a Dyson DC15 Absolute Animal.

Now, I know that a lot of people would question the wisdom of spending $500.00 on a vacuum. I was one such person. I researched them thoroughly - talking to people to owned them, reading online reviews from customers, using my mom's while I was home for Christmas, and even subscribing to the ever-trustworthy Consumer Reports. And except for a few detractors, the feedback was positive, so I decided to go ahead and buy the Dyson and therefore do my part to help boost the sagging US economy.

My initial reaction? My new vacuum sucks. I mean it REALLY sucks.

Smelly the Wonder Dog, although short-haired, sheds like a monkey with the mange. Add to that her extremely dry skin, and Ship's fair-haired kitty, and you've got a house full of pet hair and dander. My first test for my new Dyson was the 10 x 12 area rug in our living room. (*Before I go on, I feel the need to explain that, while I won't be winning any Good Housekeeping awards any time soon, I DO vacuum on a fairly regular basis - in fact the house had been vacuumed in it's entirety just 5 days earlier.)

Two and a half. That's how many times I filled my Dyson from just that one rug. I was dumbfounded. I was awe struck. I was - disgusted. How was that possible? My rug was, quite literally, a different color. And I didn't sneeze once, unlike when I used my old Hoover Wind Tunnel. There is an attachment for just about every conceivable purpose, and there is none of that awkward fumbling with the poles that you have to put together. It's bagless, but unlike most of the bagless vacs I've used in the past, when you empty it, the dust and dirt don't fly back up in your face and get all over your hands.

My complaints? It doesn't have a light. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but you don't realize how handy a headlight is until you don't have one. Also, how hard is it to put a retractable cord on an upright vacuum? My final complaint - it whistles. It's like this high-pitched noise that kind of gets under my skin, but not enough to turn it off. These gripes, however, are far outweighed by the sheer joy I get everytime I turn that little beauty on.

If I had it to do all over again, I would GLADLY plunk down the $500.00 without a moment's hesitatiion. If you need a new vacuum, definitely give the Dyson a nice, long look. It's reputation is not just a lot of hype - it really is that damned good.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What About Bob?

With the writer's strike now officially over, couch potatoes across America are finally able to let out a collective sigh of relief. Things are starting to get back in gear on some of our favorite shows, while others will have to wait until next fall or (GASP!) January.

But there is one question that I've been asking since November - What about Bob?

You know Bob - he's the guy behind the scenes. He's a production assistant, or a key grip, or gaffer, or works for craft services. he is the guy who lives with a few buddies from film school so that he can afford his ridiculously high LA rent. He's the guy who was already working a second job handing out fliers for Mr. Cluck's in an itchy, smelly chicken costume. What happened to him?

The actors were out in full force supporting the writers. We saw the faces of all of our favorite stars (and some we loathe) on the picket lines. But these are people who have amassed huge fortunes over the years - making 7-figure salaries for movies and up to 6-figure salaries for each episode of a long-running TV series. I don't mean to detract from their support - it's great that they showed solidarity - but trust me on this: it's a lot easier to be "noble" when you've got a couple million bucks in your bank account.

Don't get me wrong - I understand the importance of the unions and striking; they are a powerful tool to help keep the big, bad corporations and media conglomerates from taking advantage of the little guys. But during all of this, who was watching out for Bob?

And now that everything is getting rolling again, does Bob even have a job anymore? Are our favorite shows going to be staffed by the same good folks who've been working behind the scenes all along?

I don't suppose there is much that we as viewers can do to make sure that Bob still has a job. (After all, picketing is so over-done right now.) But the next time you catch yourself complaining about how "Lost" is only 8 episodes, or how you don't know how you can wait another 10 months for your Jack Bauer fix, take a few seconds to think about Bob. I can guarantee that the strike has been a hell of a lot harder on him.

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's Already the Middle of February? WTF?!

I had lofty aspirations of blogging my brains out this year. It wasn't necessarily a New Years resolution, but I felt like I could really benefit from having a creative outlet. Well, it's now officially into the second half of February, and this is my first blog post of the year. Pretty sad.

This is a breakdown of what's going on with and around me of late:
  • Work still sucks (don't bother asking me if I'm looking for a new job, because I'm not)
  • My baby cousin got locked up for buying crack cocaine (and is starting an in-patient detox program tomorrow)
  • Ship and C-Reg are now "just friends" (yeah, right)
  • I made a new friend, Jay-Emz, who represents everything good about human beings (but who unfortunately lives in the incestuous hell-hole known as Reston)
  • I rearranged by bedroom furniture and now I feel like I live in a new place
  • I've decided that I want to learn to speak another language (I'm thinking French)
  • My friend Kimmah is no longer single (we're both very happy about this)
  • I have curbed my shopping and have been dumbfounded at how much money I have managed to save (in related news, Lane Bryant stock prices have plummeted)
  • My parents remodeled their kitchen (finally)
  • I'm heading off for an early camping trip in Mid-March and fully intend to freeze my arse off (Smelly will be staying home in the warmth)
  • I miss my JoZaff because we never get to see each other anymore and that makes me very, very sad

Unfortunately, that's about it. No new adventures in dating, no exciting forays into international intrigue, and (thankfully) no utterly heartbreaking losses.

Until next time . . .