August 31, 2005
Current event
Just a few years ago I was living in Tallahassee, Florida. Hurricanes were routine. You only paid attention to them when their projected path spooked the administration into canceling classes or football games.

I had a long commute home that day. I was doing research at a hospital two and a half hours southeast of us. When I came off the highway, I saw an ugly storm cloud over town, and a striking, beautiful sunset to accompany it. NPR reported that a tropical storm was going to make its way ashore overnight. Child’s play. We made it through Category 3s without shutting our windows.

I settled in for the night, made a graduate student dinner in the microwave, and watched television. An unremarkable evening at best. Then the rain started. The trees swayed and the wind blew. And the rain came down harder. It crept up my front stoop and pooled in the back patio. Still no cause for worry. I’d seen this before.

But then the rain picked up, and it didn’t stop. It moved up the tires of my car until it was almost to the doors. Despite my father’s 10th-grade warnings about driving a vehicle in standing water, I moved it to higher ground. When I got back to the apartment, the downpour had thickened. The collected water was almost coming through the cracks in my sliding glass doors in the back. I checked the front of the apartment. Same.

It was then that an instinctive need to protect those things important to me became overwhelming. I was in constant motion. With each step, my shoeprints appeared on the beige carpet. Only my feet were not wet. The water was coming up through the floors.

My pictures and every last photo album made their way into the sink, the only place I could think to hide them. I piled books and clothes and electronics onto my tables. Everything I could manage to get off of the floor I did. Minutes passed. The wind howled and lightning flashed. The loud tornado warnings began sounding on the television. In my frenzy I opened my front door without thinking. A two-foot tall rush of water invaded the house, bringing with it a flurry of branches and debris. I don’t think one can understand the power it takes to shut a door against the might of water. I can still remember throwing my entire body – more than once - against the door with all my power.

I had to get out. The water in my apartment was rising – even higher outside its walls – and the electricity was still on. So I took with me one item, the only one that any self-respecting, neurotic graduate student would: my thesis draft. I slung it in a backpack over my shoulder and climbed out a window into the water. My parking lot was a sea of brown. Cars were submerged. And I was struggling. I made it to the upstairs apartment where I was offered consolation and towels. I watched the newly-formed river below, swirling in all its misery. I stood shocked and imagined that we might be swept away, just like trees below.

The rain eventually stopped. The flood receded. And when I opened my front door, feet of water, debris and my belongings flooded into the street.

Six tornados touched down that night. Sixteen inches of rain fell in three hours. An elderly woman was rescued from her car just as the rising flood waters climbed up her neck. An 18-year-old freshman out for a McDonald’s run was sucked into a storm drain and found miles away from where he started.

Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as PTSD, and its potential lives inside all of us.

I became unhinged. I protected what remained of my belongings in plastic containers. I attempted to sleep at night but only when the Weather Channel was on. I would get dressed and eat dinner to televised forecasts. I checked web sites obsessively to see what the projected rainfall was on any given day. And in the South in the summer, it rains. Everyday. I found myself at work, being calmed by a clinical psychologist – also my boss – who needed to convince me that I didn’t have to run home to protect my things and the people around me. It took months before I was able to walk away before a weather report was over, or before I could even sit still in the rain.

And I still can’t possibly imagine what people are going through in Katrina’s wake.

I can't wrap my mind about what has happened in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Today's substantive post called off due to:

A. Difficulty with inserting this morning's Diet Coke IV
B. General bitterness
C. Excessive, inappropriate use of vis a vis by colleagues
D. I've got a headache this big
E. Inability to get Lita Ford's Kiss Me Deadly out of my head
F. Obsessive preoccupation with Jeremy Piven
G. September 1 work deadline
H. General bitterness
I. Both B & H

You make the call.

August 29, 2005
This isn't your mama’s decade
Approximately one day a year I wish I was a woman living in the 1950s. Welcome to today.

Sex: Wouldn’t it be nice if having sex out of wedlock would actually feel risqué, rather than expected? What could be more exciting while at the drive in than thoughts of later moments before curfew, when after a short drive to lovers lane he would make you shiver by removing your cone-breasted bra and Sears girdle...

Finding a man: In that bygone era, it seemed as if all a woman had to do was wash her hair twice weekly and wait at home with her “good” family to snag herself a thickly-bespectacled man to honor and obey. A woman in her 30s wouldn’t worry so much about finding a man to whom she would devote her life. She would smartly resign herself to the fact that she was probably only going to be an auntie and would get on with typing up the church newsletter.

Food: Oh, the sweetness my life would take on with all sustenance being made straight from a Betty Crocker cookbook. Are we having dessert tonight? Why, don’t we always, dear? Did we make it with Nutrasweet? I’m not sure what you’re talking about, honey, but it does have two cups of Crisco in it! [Insert Pleasantville laughter here.] Life would be full of freshly-baked, lard-full cookies and lots and lots of Coca-Cola from the bottle. And we wouldn’t even have to recycle the glass.

Work: Let me stay home. Let me do it even for a year. I might strike a bargain with you and bear your children if I could just stay home and eat my own cooking for 365 days. I’m also a great 50’s bargain as I don’t fear cleaning; I’m a 2005 woman who still doesn’t have a Swiffer or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, so in a pinch I can do the whole place with a mop and some Windex.

Exercise: How many of your mothers were slaves to a stair or Thighmaster, or beat themselves up on a daily basis if they were not? Women were light years away from the pressure of a Jane Fonda or Olivia Newton-John “Let’s Get Physical” video. Of course, hand washing cloth diapers and ironing 500 of your husband’s work shirts probably burned some calories. But at least you didn’t have to wear a violet unitard and matching headband while you did it.

Plus, just think about it. In between baking pies and wondering whys some girls wasted their time going on to further education, you could come up with the blueprint for Tab or Valium before anyone else did.

August 26, 2005
Act I: They Meet

Contrary to my generally introverted tendencies, I remember really wanting to go. I must have, because at that time, I was a staunch Virginian and traveling into the city was akin to deep space exploration. From their pictures, the alumni club looked as if they knew how to have a good time. The Best Friend - parties personified - agreed to accompany me into the drunk garnet and gold unknown.

The sports bar was packed and hot. And we were late. My best friend and I commandeered empty chairs from cringing adult diners and sat down next to a table of what for all intents and purposes appeared to be frat boys. Two buckets of mini-Coronas later, I recall hunger kicking in, as well as my extroverted side, and I hit the drunkest up for some of his food.

Drunk likes as drunk is, so it was natural that the Best Friend and Robert Downey, Jr./Hard Living were fast friends. A quiet, terribly game-engaged man sat next to him, cute as pie in a garnet baseball cap. I started talking to New Guy.

Where did you live in Tallahassee? When were you last at school? What do you do now?


He answered politely, but hardly took his eyes off of the game. I had seen these signals before. New Guy and I were going to be great friends.

I moved closer to him as the seating became more accessible, and I became bolder. Best Friend and Hard Living discovered they were both into beer and production, so New Guy and I had lots of time on our hands. We talked. He got my pop culture references and had a sense of humor to strive for. Although shy with me, he was en fuego with his friends. I liked him. And I remember trying to fan my sweat rings in the bathroom and restrict my use of the F-bomb so not all secrets would be told the first night.

The 4th quarter ended. Still bold and even more tipsy, I kept talking. We should all get together sometime. Let me get your email address.

I didn't ask for his phone number, but he wrote it on the back off his business card anyway.

I had seen these signals before. We might just end up more than friends.


When Kris first walked into the bar I went into shock. I wanted to speak, but couldn't. My heart skipped a beat, then raced. I was hot, nauseated, nervous. I couldn't take my eyes off her. I knew from that moment, that if someone didn't tell her and her wasted sidekick to get down in front I would've thrown my beer at them. I've often wanted to hit Kris (and sometimes her violently drunk best friend) with a Corona, but never with such intensity. It was the first game of the college season for us, and to those of us that attended as undergrads, there is no greater day.

I sat with a large group at a front and center table. We secured this spot by arriving early and drinking heavily. Fitz had been drinking since Tuesday for various personal reasons. Kris and her best friend were late and the latter was more drunk than Fitz. The girls sat stage right on individual bar stools. I remember thinking they were loud and I remember looking at Kris and thinking there is one girl I would never date, and she would never date me. It seemed she had to be at the center of attention, and I couldn't want anything less.

As the game wore on our groups blended. Fitz and Kris' best friend shared a moment over some type of cheese dip. Kris would chat with the group but was seated next to a guy on another bar stool so I thought her spoken for. Both girls wandered the bar quite a bit. I focused on the game and mainlining Corona. Towards the end of the night, Kris said we should all hang out again, so I gave my email and made a joke that she would never call. She took this as an assault on her character and I had an email from her within 24 hours. My reply was a compilation of roughly 27 different drafts edited for style, content, and "breezy-ness" by my brother and his girlfriend.

A Redskin game, a preseason hockey game, a hurricane, a blown off concert invite, and her 30th birthday party were all that stood between me and our first date.


August 24, 2005
Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned.
Please let me confess. Let me get a few things off of my chest, just like this bullet bra I purchased when I once counseled sex offenders. You don't need to know all of this, but I figure we're all friends here, n'est-ce pas?

1) First things first. I keep a clothing journal. I know every outfit I have worn for the past two - let's be real - three years. Every day save weekend days. One might think that I keep this journal largely because I'm obsessed with myself (which simple upkeep of this blog does admittedly imply) or for reasons related to the fact that today I actually checked myself out in the office elevator while others were riding with me.

No. This is due to the fact that my matter (I can't remember if it's gray or white right now) is quickly deteriorating; I can hardly remember anything. While I can quickly recall the names of all of Demi and Bruce's children, I struggled recently to explain supply and demand. I forgot whether bludgeoning referred to stabbing or beating (utter blasphemy to the serial killer aficionado). But recognize that I refuse, friends, to wear that beige pencil skirt two weeks in a row. One must remember her priorities.

2) I ate crumbs off of my lap today. Not even a large crumb that surfaced after being lost in the crease of a pant. No no, fair readers, this was a particle of Baked Lays BBQ seasoning (I don't think they even use the entire word barbeque, as I'm pretty sure the FDA doesn't allow them to call ground hoof and snout actual barbeque). Not a chip. Not a flake of a chip. This was a particle of a bit of a twinkle of a chip. And I licked my finger, plucked it off my skirt before it could run away, and savored its goodness.

3) I hate - and by hate, I mean I would pick them last in gym class - those cards with small children photographed in black and white in adult clothes while acting out romantic scenes. They greet each other at the train station with roses while wearing size 12-18 mos. Burberry coats and top hats. He offers her tulips and it makes her widdle in her Pull-Ups. An intern then draws in their rosy cheeks.

It hurts, and you can't really convince me that it doesn't.

4) While we're at it, let it be known that I can't remember the last time I washed my entire back. I can't see it. I can't reach it. Frankly, I don't care all that much about it. Naturally, I ensure its protection by slathering it with sunscreen. But that's primarily due to the fear put into me by that graduation speech crafted by Kurt Vonnegut. Let's be honest with each other: there simply are not enough hours in the day to scour your feet, wash your back, and record what you wore to work that day.

5) And finally, hail Mary, mother of felines: I like one cat better than the other.

I need to go now. Hell is waiting, and the meter for my handbasket is almost up.

More about meme.
A tag from Bridget AND Min Pin!
If you haven't already, please take a moment to read the comments you all submitted to yesterday's post. I wish I could be that funny.

Seven things you plan to do before you die!
1. Travel to the pyramids and the Greek Islands
2. Document my family’s history

3. Go on a real roller coaster without being a) intoxicated or b) on beta-blockers

4. Feel like I’m living in the moment

5. Write something substantial that I don’t post to the Internet
6. Sing karaoke sober
7. Successfully raise a puppy.

Seven things you can do!
1. Win penmanship contests
2. Sing every word to pretty much every Billy Joel song ever recorded
3. Irritate my mother without really trying.
4. Lie
5. Do a spot-on imitation of a parakeet
6. Tell one clean joke
7. Create a vacuum-tight seal between my nose and upper lip

Seven things you can't do!
1. Babysit
2. Successfully wash my back, even with the aid of the recommended extenda-loofah
3. Understand a lick of Spanish
4. Swim correctly

5. Keep quiet when someone asks my opinion
6. Eat sushi
7. Like Bridget, I can’t drive a stick shift

Seven things you say most!
1. Hilar.
2. Cripes.
3. Cricket, I’m going to kill you if you don’t stop playing in the boxspring. What did I say? Mommy is going to return you to the shelter if you keep chewing on her hair.
4. I’m sleepy.
5. Murr.
6. Mama like.
7. Crickets.

Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex!
1. Sense of humor
2. Kind eyes
3. Need to take a nap at least once a day
4. Willingness to drive me while we’re in the city
5. Ability to locate my cats sans GPS on command
6. Shoulders
7. Ability to put up with me

Seven celebrity crushes!
1. I like me some Andy Garcia,
2. spoonfuls of Tyler Florence (Mmmm. Kris 911 . . .)
3. a little Mark Wahlberg (feel the vibration)
4. ample helpings of Mark Ruffalo
5. pinches of Andrew McCarthy in the late 80s
6. cups of Matthew McConaughey
7. and just a tiny dash of Tom Sizemore (when he isn’t assaulting people).

August 23, 2005
Spammers, you have forced me to turn on the word verification software. Now I feel like Ticketmaster. Thanks a bunch.

So spammers, here's a big t7Kq you, word-verification style.

The Management


August 22, 2005
You've come a long way, baby.
Sweet baby Jesus, I miss smoking.

I don't miss it like I miss the smooth, muscular legs I used to have when I was 17. I don't miss it like I do the ability to read Seventeen magazine without getting awkward stares from other business travelers. I don't even miss it like I do the innocence I lost in '91, the same one that Mr. Henley so blatantly immortalized without permission that very same year.

I miss it, as my best friend has pointed out, like Jazzy Jeff misses the Fresh Prince. Like Tom Cruise should miss his sanity. Oh, yes. I miss it that much.

It isn't because it's cool. Shit, there are rumors that it isn't even really healthy. But there are times when it seems to a smoker that few things in life are better than slowly devouring a single, full cigarette. After a Taco Bell Burrito Supreme and a large Diet Coke, all I have ever wanted to do is take a sweet puff of a Marlboro Light. I jones Less Than Zero-style for even a bummed Pall Mall after two glasses of wine, whether I be at a favorite local bar or at a bris. When desperate enough, I have hit up 80-year-old men for smokes and even teenagers whose legal eligibility for the act was questionable. My burning desire knows no bounds.

It all started on a Friday night circa 1989 in a lame Pennsylvania skiing lodge. Jason Wiener and I sat thawing at a darkened back table while our other high school friends continued down the icy slopes. He pulled out a pack of Camel Lights. I knew immediately that I wanted one. I feared that I would cough like I had seen the child actors do on ABC after-school specials, but I was quickly a pro. Maybe those suckers only coughed because they mixed smoking with wine coolers, I thought to myself. The wisdom I had at 16.

Before I knew it I was in college and smoking every day. In that former life (the same life in which I hitched a ride home from unknowns driving an unmarked white van by the highway in rural Virginia) I re-smoked what others had left behind, whether it be on the ground or in an ashtray. I have doused myself with Love's Baby Soft at rest stops on rides home from college as to avoid the wrath of conscientious parents. I was even occasionally bumming Menthols - I know, God forgive me - out of sheer desperation.

But unlike my stretch marks, some habits seem to fade. I don't need to smoke like I once did. I can say proudly that I probably only fully indulge every few weeks; to the dismay of my smoking friends, I have avoided purchasing my own pack for months. I don't have cigarettes in the pockets of each of my frequently-used handbags. I hardly ever have an emergency stash. I like it that at age 31, I no longer have to worry that my parents will smell it in my hair when they give me a spontaneous hug.

But most of all, my friends, I consider it a triumph that it has been weeks - nay, months - since I bummed my last Kool.

August 21, 2005
Coming home tonight, slightly tipsy from exorbitantly priced wine at the Kennedy Center, I hoped I would have enough cash for cab fare. And as I looked out the taxi window, I thought, How much money would it save us to turn off the lights in all of these mothergrubbing Federal buildings?

August 18, 2005
Spam libs
Hello (derogatory adjective) writer!

I saw your (insulting adjective) comment on my blog today. Thanks for stopping by, you (belittling noun)!

I'm not sure why you devoted your blog to (heinous affliction), the uses for a (kitchen utensil) in the bedroom, or the wonders of (histrionic Canadian pop sensation married to her 80-year-old manager) , but more importantly, why do you think we need to be there with you?

We presently have no need for your (type of snake oil), (specific pyramid scheme), (radical religious or political preference), or giant miniature golf windmill, but please feel free to stop back at my site when (afterworld) freezes over.

No, no. Really. If we EVER need a (nationality)-Internet bride, crates of (collectable ceramic characters), or (food item) bearing the image of (religious icon), we'll write you.

No really.

(British salutation),
(Your name here)


August 17, 2005
Uncomfortable by any other name
Kris: She looks to me to be either a Sela or a Casey. What do you think of those names?

The Beau: Uh, no. Definitely not Casey.

Kris: Ohhhh. That one was my favorite!

The Beau: No, no. Can't do it. I've uh, I've had sex with a Casey.

Kris: Crickets.

The Beau: Crickets.

Kris: Well, Sela it is then.

August 15, 2005
Exes and Excess
The ex’s weekend wedding went off without a hitch for the bride and groom. (Save the one that was intended.) For those of us merely attending the festivities, all hours before the wedding turned into a series of errors. There was comedy, why yes, but mostly errors.

The young woman about town that I was, I drank four glasses of wine before the Best Friend (BF) and I boarded the night flight to Chicago, and eventually found myself at the A Terminal’s five-table Sam Adams Brewery hitting both locals and visitors up for “social smoking” cigarettes. I slept the bulk of the 1.5-hour flight and awoke only when we hit turbulence on landing. I found myself slightly panicked under a cloak of darkness when I hatched; at some point over Pennsylvania I had covered my entire head with my jean jacket. I also have a record of calling my parents sometime after 11 pm. Central time.

I thankfully did not require or inspire the services of an air marshal, so not all was lost.

I really must stop drinking when I fly.

We awoke the next morning just slightly less fresh than young cherubs kissed by the dew of the dawn. Wedding Day! The BF decided it imperative that she replace one green halter dress purchased for the occasion with yet another green halter dress; I of course needed my hair coiffed in a fabulous Glamour-Do style to impress anyone I would know at the affair. Three hours later, after stopping thrice for directions, being sent once to a mall THAT NO LONGER EXISTED, settling for a MasterCuts styling that was surprisingly fashionable, and having the BF berate me for telling her she looked beautiful in the first green halter dress, we were on our way. (Note to readers: MapQuest clearly outperforms the Sandwich Artist at the Subway close to Milwaukee Avenue. We should get a lifetime of free Wow chips for the world of driving hurt experienced after stopping for his input.)

As expected, the wedding was beautiful. I was struck by how grown-up my ex looked, standing there in a tuxedo that I wondered if the bride had been forced to pick out for him due to his indecision. Family members I hadn’t seen for years had grown up or just grown older. The minister talked at length of the shared interests of the bride and groom – their love for the outdoors and playing sports and living life to its somehow uncliched fullest. Despite the heat, the bride exuded beauty and the groom made it through the whole ceremony without passing out. If two people could achieve it, this is what happiness must look like.

And as expected, the reception was fantastic. Friends from California, Hawaii and closer down the street made their way to witness the union and partake of a really nice open bar. I drank. Others drank. Both fogies and young bucks danced and my last-minute Parade of Shoes purchases managed to stay with me. At some point in the night I stumbled my way through a drunk rendition of The Gambler with two friends and a thankfully very sober band (sorry, pictures still unavailable at press time). We giggled ourselves silly as we smoked more social cigarettes, clapped for the breakdancing stylings of a five-year old nephew, and hugged both lifetime friends and those we had only just met while avoiding the bouquet toss.

And then I cried. Not the chest-beating, “Stella!” kind of crying. But I sat quietly, listening to his brother’s toast for the happy couple, and the tears just came. I didn’t cry because I wanted him back. I didn’t cry because I want the white picket fence. I didn’t even cry because I had to wear a “This ain’t your mama’s” shaping garment under my dress. Well, maybe that last one was part of it.

I cried because I just don’t know him anymore. It struck me as sad that I was familiar with the first pictures of the slide show and only the initial references made in the best man’s speech. I cried because I gave several years of love and friendship (and work, God damn it!) to a relationship that for all intents and purposes no longer exists. I cried because I know that I’ll never know him again. We’ve both moved on to lives with different scripts and supporting casts, and neither of us really plans to watch those reruns again for any reason other than nostalgia.

I eventually stopped crying. I also stopped counting at five glasses of white.

I really should stop drinking at weddings.


August 11, 2005
Ryder?!? I don’t even know her!
I have officially moved!

I still can’t find my John Stamos autograph collection, all of my underwear, or my 2nd edition of Blogging for Dummies. I even “misplaced” my cat for a few minutes. Well, a few hours. Thankfully, this didn't translate into forever; I ultimately found him in the lining of the mattress box spring. (No, no. You read it correctly.)

So I’m in. Yesterday I watched the washer go through an entire permanent press cycle. Just. because. I could. Don’t even get me started on the dishwasher.

In other news, it’s been fun checking your blogs on my cell phone these past few days. And by fun, I mean fun like a surprise trip to the ob/gyn.

File this entry under: Too much information.

August 8, 2005
With deepest apologies to those readers named Velma or Cletus.
I have the fortune of living in one of the most trafficked cities on the East Coast. Each year, millions visit the city I call home, boarding open-air tour trams en masse with visors cocked close to 90 degrees. Denying the warnings of tram transportation experts the world round, children hang like monkeys from these people movers, pointing excitedly to city-zens carrying out the most mundane of everyday errands. Hauling groceries while perspiring excessively is apparently an extremely foreign activity, evidenced by the fact that more than once an eager visitor has snapped a photo of me taking my cat litter, toilet paper, and hot dogs back to my car. Who knew I looked so thoroughly exotic in my sweatpants, licking Dorito dust from my hands in the Safeway parking lot?

Other than the increase in traffic during the summertime, the general distraction and occasional pileup caused by the amphibious tour bus shaped like a duck, and the defiant refusal of many to move to the right while standing on the Metro escalator, tourists are a pleasure. Their genuine passion for your city reminds you to take a closer look at the monuments and moneymakers that have become a part of the everyday. There are however, those visitors who make you wish that a written test was required for entrance into the city. And, whether it be on public transportation or at my favorite restaurant, these kittens usually end up right next to me.

Inappropriate Couple I sat down behind me on a brutally hot day in July. The air-conditioned Metro car provided relief for professionals on lunch breaks and museum-goers alike. Stretching my toes out in my sandals, pulling my hot skin off the vinyl seat, and grinning, I lowered my head to rest the twenty minutes until my final stop.

They soon broke the silence.

Inappropriate Couple Female (we’ll call her Velma) began to mimic the automated Metro voice alerting passengers to station changes as well as the opening and closing of the doors. And she did so loudly. And every time we stopped and started. Inappropriate Couple Man (who shall heretofore be referred to as Cletus) then interjected such choice, grade A phrases such as “git your butt off” to fellow passengers, while the couple snort-giggled like big betters at the dog track.

What had brought this on? Had this twosome not just come from a quiet, enjoyable day touring the monuments, the Mall, the tee-shirt shop at the Hard Rock Café? Maybe Cletus’ excessively robust and tight camera strap was to blame; was it cutting off his circulation, leaving him lightheaded and unaware of his actions? Their enthusiasm for this display stopped just shy of n*ked chest bumping in front of the Brownie troop in our Metro car.

Ah, but if only they had stopped there. Cletus had most likely been preparing the grand finale since deciphering the primary-colored Metro map that morning. When Velma would state the name of their Metro stop, Ballston (and she did so as often as the conversation would allow), the fully denim-clad Cletus would query, “honey, did you say ball sack?” Wow, Cletus. I’m guessing jokes like this one usually kill at the bowling alley bar.

This, my friends, was the epitome of crickets. Commuters buried their faces in books and some riders stared at their reflections uncomfortably in the darkened windows. I quickly lost that grin on my face.

I also seriously contemplated hitting him over the head with his fanny pack. “Ball sack?” This was a 40-something-year-old man out for the day with his wife, in a quiet subway car with legislators, mothers, children, and perhaps worst of all, other tourists. It saddened me to think that an international visitor with even a basic grasp of English slang might have heard him. I’d rather have people think that we’re all McDonald’s gluttons or the Levi-wearing Madonna worshippers (which of course I am) than the abrasive and loud performers before them.

Why can’t the astronaut food-eating kids ever be on my bus? What about the lovingly embarrassing Dads wearing baseball caps emblazoned with bedazzled American flags? (And come on, who doesn’t love the elderly couple in FBI his and her tees – yes! even when they walk in front of your car at .0068 mph on the green light?) Where are those people who remember that we represent more than just ourselves when we’re out exploring our world?

Make your Mom, your kids, your local Brownie troop – or hell – just someone behind you on the Metro proud.

Or be prepared to be smacked with your own fanny pack.


August 5, 2005
Oh, sure. And they call me Lizzie Borden.
I met a man yesterday. I met a man by whom I was at once captivated. I couldn't take my eyes off of him and I felt as if I shouldn't, possibly couldn't, let his handshake go. Was he attractive? Not necessarily. Was he engaging? Not particularly. Did he feign injury and then stuff me in his van only to strangle me later? No, don't be silly. But his name was Ted Bundy.

That's right, funky bunch, not Theodore Bundy, not even Teddy Bundy. A man who actually goes by the name of a serial killer put to death for the murders of women in Utah, Washington, Colorado, and even Tallahassee, Florida (GO NOLES!)

I'm with you friends. WTF?

Note to parents: Naming your child after a serial killer (and yes, this fella would have been born sometime after the spree occurred) is unacceptable. Society can take many a bad name: consider those with two first names (like poor John Johnson) or those simply given awful, unacceptable names (like Ben Dover). But no one wants to go to prom with Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy Dahmer. I can hear it now: Mom, I've met the man I'm going to marry, Ted Kaczynski! He's just a blast! And how many job interviews do you think your beautiful child, Ghengis Khan, will get after sending that resume in?

Note to those of you with names identical to those of established serial killers: Don't you fret about offending your ridiculous parents. They can't help your large nose, your ADHD, or the drinking problem that will strike you in later life, but they could have saved you from this. Feel free to use your middle name liberally (even if it is feminine like Leslie or a strange and burdensome family name like Humphrey). If those don't appeal, please, for the love, MAKE IT UP. All the cool rap kids are doing it. Why shouldn't you be L'il Ted if you are so inclined?

File this under: I shit you not.

August 3, 2005
Must Love Blogs
Dear John,

I’m sorry to do this to you via my blog, but he has been the only source of support for me lately. I need to let you know that I just can’t do this anymore.

I feel like I have been really, really good to you, John. Hell, your mom and I were the only people who watched all three episodes of your sister’s ABC comedy.

But John, I have had it. You knew that things were shaky for us when you signed to make Serendipity, but Must Love Dogs? Christ, John, Dermot Mulroney had more presence in this film than you. Yeah, I said it.

This is worse than Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Worse than America’s Sweethearts. And yes, John, even this is worse than when I caught you at the Whataburger with Ione Skye.

No John. Don’t speak. Put the boom box down. You can’t use that one on me more than once.

I really must go. I’ll always love you, my little Dobler.


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