September 27, 2005
Three weeks are up.
Tonight, my glass will once again be half full.

And so will this one. And this one. And the next one.

There isn't a bottle of Chardonnay in the District, Virginia, and even Maryland that can hide from me now. Cheers, friends.

No cookie rookie
As many of you know, I spent a few days in Long Beach last week. Seahorse/blowfish/overpriced-gift-store-plush junkie that I am, I headed straight from the 757 to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Bah. Hundreds of drooling infants/toddlers/Siamese twins stood in the line between me and my beloved sea creatures, so I decided to grab grub until the post-Happy meal coma overtook the Gremlin spawn. Hmm. Where can I partake of some truly local So Cal cuisine? I thought. Why, P.F. Changs, of course!

I wasn’t disappointed. The food was quite tasty (for a Mom and Pop joint, they pull off that "unique combination of Chinese cuisine, attentive service, wine, and tempting desserts all served in a stylish, high-energy bistro" pretty well, you know?) and they even gave me a fortune cookie. Oooooh, the anticipation. What fortune lies ahead for the world traveler on her snazzy business trip? Extra mini-bottles of conditioning shampoo? A chance meeting with Matthew McConaughey or other sweaty, orange L.A. citizen? Free hotel p*rn?

These were not to be.

Make your given talents shine to your advantage.

Come again?

I’m sorry, I must have confused my post-Lo Mein-al fortune with my Franklin Covey to do list. Since when did fortune cookies start instructing us on how best to influence our future? I’d call my mom or my guidance counselor if I was a quart low on advice. Shouldn’t they just bestow good fortune upon my lazy ass just as cookies of old did?

Not to worry; Family Guy will return in just a few seasons with ten percent less potty humor and pounds more Meg bashing.

You won’t look quite as hideous when those braces and headgear are removed later . . . this decade.

You will stop feeling as sorry for Pat Sajak as you do for old people dining alone at Sizzler.

He will most definitely not be elected for a second term.

Lifetime will eventually screen a movie about a woman empowered by something other than financial/emotional/parental abandonment, fire, or amputation.

That picture of a n*ked Hasselhoff cuddling pug puppies will turn out to be a dream, just like that entire season of Dallas.

Or maybe those are just the fortunes I wish I’d gotten.

September 25, 2005
Sunday confessional: Locke and Lamisil
I spent more time obsessing over this week's episode of Lost than I did considering candidates for all local elections since I reached voting age.

Although I know I shouldn't feel this way, I was on the verge of becoming physically ill when watching that animated toenail fungus commercial. Sorry to those of you with dermatophytes.

And your confession?

Personality-exposing meme
Tag, I'm it! Poppy and Oregano have team tagged me. Let's see what we get.

1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

This is a good one. And let's you know just a little bit about me. Or perhaps most everything you need to know.

For much of the last half of the trip I played the role of cruise director, wandering the 747 with a smile and making idle inflight conversation.
Read the rest at your own peril here.

September 23, 2005
My one clean joke (remember, you asked for it)
A lonely man sat in his dark, small apartment, in dire need of some company. I’ll buy a pet, he thought.

The teenage cashier at Pet-O-Rama showed him all kinds of pets. Dogs. Don’t have a place to walk ‘em. Cats. Allergic. Rats. The apartment already has them.

The man decided on a caterpillar. Just the right size, he thought.

He took the caterpillar home and placed it in a tiny, darkened aquarium in the bathroom. All was quiet.

“Caterpillar,” the man said, knocking on the aquarium glass. “I’m going to get some dinner, do you want to go with me?”

Silence. I’ll come back in a few minutes just in case he’s sleeping.

The man returned a few minutes later and knocked on the glass once again. “Caterpillar, I’m going for Chinese food down the street. Lots of leafy greens! Wanna come?”

Silence. Maybe he doesn’t like Chinese.

The man decided he would go back again in five minutes. But this was the last straw. “Caterpillar!” he said, raising his voice. “I’m going to dinner now, with or without you!” Had he gotten this tiny friend for nothing?

A voice finally came from behind the aquarium glass. “I heard you the first time!” the caterpillar belted. “I’m still putting on my shoes!”


September 21, 2005
John, Paul, George, Ringo and Oprah

Long Beach was bitchin'. That said . . .

Did anyone happen to catch the 20th-season premiere of Oprah earlier this week? The audience members were like screaming, crying rabid dogs. Do any of you remember those old-school dog food commercials in which nutrient-deprived canines were set loose on six pounds of broth-slathered chuck on live TV?

Well that was this pack of women, and Oprah was their Alpo.

Thanks DC Grrrls for the find!

September 20, 2005
Why can't we be friends? (But just on Tuesdays?)
Sometimes I don't want to be around people. Actually, a good bit of the time. It is therefore alarmingly clear that my life has the potential to become that of the every-woman who arrives solo to weddings, knows not what to give at a baby shower at age 50, and screens all of her calls, whether they come from blood relatives or blood-thirsty telemarketers.

At present I embody that special paradox of being both the socialite and the recluse. I love to entertain you with stories over wine and carefully-chosen cheeses, but please vacate the premises early enough so I can finish off said wine while folding my laundry and soaking in the silence. I energize by being around people, but the act of dinner or happy hour leaves me taxed - thanks for the great time and ample writing fodder and that wild story about karaoke-ing Baby Got Back at your work holiday party, but I really must go. If need be, I will even make up excuses to flee the scene of a social gathering. I forgot that I have a bag of donated blood in the car. Must get it to a fridge, STAT! or the ever-clever My parents' diabetic llama needs an insulin shot and I'm the only one he'll allow near him. See ya!

It is for this reason that I have no idea how couples are able to exist contently under the same roof. I fantasize about a living arrangement in Dynasty-like accommodations. I, Kris Carrington, live in one wing tending to my Westies and achieving the perfect feathered hairstyle, free to blog and watch crime shows and nap until once again it's time to tame my tresses. The beau resides in the East Wing, drinking unlimited Smithwicks and watching baseball, football, soccer and the luge on 14 widescreen TVs.

We meet up for all the beautiful relationship amenities: movies watched on the couch while intertwined like braided licorice, an impromptu make-out session while awake crafting a middle-of-the-night snack. Friends visit, but not too often and never unannounced. They call, but the phone only rings when I am in social mode. And no one, not even the cats, is allowed in my sacred den, where I write essays, read Jack the Ripper biographies, conquer the People crossword in record time, and make and devour pans of baked ziti (also in record time).

But I must be the exception to the rule, just as I feel I am on an infinite number of other issues. I don't want children, I hated Seinfeld, I fear carnival rides, and I despise Fritos. Now this? I plan on adding this oddity to my growing collection, right after happy hour and Dalai the llama's 9 am injection.

September 18, 2005
Sunday Confessional: hypocrisy and hygiene
Forgive me bloggers for I have sinned. Again.

I posted a comment anonymously on a site I regularly visit because I just didn't feel like dealing.
This weekend, I also inadvertently left a manhole cover in place for 29 hours. Should toxic shock syndrome ultimately overtake me, I leave my blog to you, as these days the cats are finding it increasingly difficult to type.

Edit: To give you a little background on the manhole cover reference (as if you wanted more), my aunt used to have code names for all of these things so she could talk about them in public. For her annual ob/gyn visit, the nickname was "getting my oil changed." That way, when she referred to them, people didn't catch on so quickly. So there you go: manhole doesn't hold even the tiniest bit of vulgarity that you'd hoped.

And come to think of it, she probably would have gotten more questions about manhole covers on her shopping list than if she had just written tampons . . .

September 16, 2005
Commence purge
Sweet Britney, I am so full of bad thoughts. They haunt me all week and I stuff them down, sit on them, and go to great lengths to ensure that they don’t bubble up into actual statements. Why is it so difficult to say what you’ve always wanted to say? Those things you’d say behind their backs? In this week alone, I have filled my social vat to the brim with un-niceties that, immediately upon you reading them, will be cryogenically preserved for possible later use.

FOR THE LOVE, quit griping! You complain incessantly and I simply cannot stand to listen to it anymore! Get a muzzle, get over it, or make a change for yourself, drama queen.

No, I don’t think he really likes you. And after your three weeks is up, you probably won’t ever see him again.

Hot damn that feels good. Now wouldn’t it be freeing to just get it all out on the table? To be a no-holds-barred communicator?

I won’t bother you with a really lame excuse; I just don’t want to hang out with you tonight.

No, I’m sorry, but that baby with the red face and shrunken head just really isn’t cute.

To go to bed with no baggage because you spoke the truth.

No, no. Stop right now. You told me that story last week.

Would you mind not coming with us?

To hell with the niceties.

You’re right, your hair did look better longer. And blonde. And thick.

You’re pronouncing that word incorrectly. No, really. You are.

Ohhh, yes. It’s like catnip for the soul.

I think your perception is right on target. Not a person at that table thought your idea was a good one.

Honestly, I didn’t even hear what you just said. I smiled and laughed like I did, but I have no earthly idea what you were talking about.

It’s like an Herbal Essences commercial!

I think your cologne might kill me or at the very least cause my ovaries to wilt.

Let’s not pretend that we’ll be getting together for dinner. You and I both know I’ll avoid your calls until they stop.

Now doesn’t that feel better? Unite! and let’s say it like it is. You know, when no one is around to hear it.


September 15, 2005
I'm a genie in a flush valve, baby
Before my alarm so rudely jarred me awake this morning, I was enjoying every moment of berating Christina Aguilera for installing my toilet improperly.

I really should start drinking again.

September 13, 2005
And what if you one of you ends up being like Ross?
Increasingly, I have noted that bloggers are breaking down the walls of Internet anonymity and meeting up face to face. For example, DC bloggers are known to gather for regular blogger happy hours in downtown haunts. This in and of itself doesn't really faze me. I have one good outfit for such occasions, can carry on a semi-entertaining conversation even during my bout of sobriety, and generally do not fear that those with whom I cyber-interact are true stalker material. But I do worry about one simple thing: Would I really like you guys in person?

This concern is not without basis. My beau has a set rule about people saying "You must meet so-and-so's friend. You two are going to get along so well!" Said well-intentioned folk then detail all the ways in which the two men are similar. Same senses of humor, a love for sports, travel, and all-you-can-eat MD crabs. Enter the curse, the surefire way to ensure that the two will not be braiding each other's hair at future sleepovers. Eventually the meeting takes place. And the beau invariably hates him. The same sense of humor ends up being content similar but with a caustic delivery, the love of sports a comparable passion but for opposing teams. Lesson one that sometimes all you are on paper does not translate well in person.

I once met a fellow teen with whom I instantly connected on a high-school retreat. He was warm, intelligent and quirky in the good way. We vowed to keep in touch after our week of bonding. And unlike so many other teens, we followed through. I was overjoyed when his first letter arrived in the mail, written on notebook paper with the fringes still intact. But he sounded different in his letters. Somebody had taken a class in creepy (read: let's talk about guns and the evils of authority and assorted other strangeness) after I waved goodbye from the bus on our last day. And this somebody had gotten an A+. Lesson one that sometimes all you are in person does not translate well on paper.

Oh, don't think I assume that you'll like me. I nap too much, am cranky as all get up when I don't have Diet Coke, and frequently tune out during conversations. I give the evil eye to kids when they make noise in public places (like the park playground). I write a good game but I am not nearly as affable or fun in person. My close friends, family, colleagues, my cats, post office clerks, the ice cream man, the 7-11 cashier, and the kid who wouldn't type in my check card numbers even though I KNOW THE MACHINE WILL TAKE IT can vouch for that.

That said, should we all meet for drinks sometime in October, say, in Kansas?


September 11, 2005
One woman's snapshot
I have often heard avid readers claim that films based on books never truly capture the words as the reader first experienced them. And so it was for me on 9/11. With limited access to television, I listened to NPR while driving on an empty highway as the day's events unfolded.

It is amazing how even more hideous the witness' cries were to hear than to see the planes slicing into both towers. I covered my mouth while listening to an on-site doctor tell of crouching under a car as dust consumed his oxygen; on television, the story was reduced to gray smoke. As sirens whined and multiple voices shouted conflicting orders, I could feel the chaos. Rumors of bound flight attendants still strapped in their seats were more horrific delivered by voice than by an update ticker on the bottom of the television screen.

Sometimes I wish now I had first watched everything on television. The painful imagery still seems more salient because I listened to it happening.

September 8, 2005
Waiting for Merlot
I'm quitting drinking. For 21 days, at least. Yes, not yet a girl, not ever to be a wino will not be consuming the alcoholic beverages for the next three weeks. I have made a pact with the beau, as part of our seemingly never-ending and ever unsuccessful attempts to better ourselves Oprah style, to stop drinking. This ban includes the consumption of boxed, bottled, cooking and Communion wines, beer, gooey chocolates with liqueur centers, the notorious Zima, frat boys, as well as an assortment of colorful cough syrups and mouthwashes. In return, the beau is giving up bread and potatoes, which he says is rumored to be life threatening to an Irishman like himself.

But damn it, I love to drink! I savor the wonderful feeling of being tipsy in a black dress, my hair actually tinted the correct color for once and my heels the only comfortable pair I own. I love the feeling of a mild beer buzz while watching football in the fall; the wings taste better and losing a game is just that little bit easier. Wine livens conversations and encourages laughter. Meals are taken to a new level; even a house red livens pasta and bread and makes your cannoli that much sweeter. And frankly, I love to sit with a glass (or a few) of white wine at my computer, writing about my day and laughing at all of yours.

If only drinking didn't cause so many problems. It is truly a shame that the centers of my brain responsible for intoxication and hunger never fully developed independent of one another; repeated clinical trials at Kris Laboratories in Washington, DC have shown that within seconds of consuming any one of the aforementioned alcoholic nectars, I must devour all things within a five-foot radius. (The cats have even developed a Pavlovian running response to me simply reaching for the wine glass.) I simply cannot be trusted to make good nutritional decisions while I have been drinking. And frankly, the chins and I have decided that we aren't going to take it anymore.

Not to mention how awful I sometimes feel. I have been blessed with being one of those highly-irritating people who loves the morning and seizing the day and all of that crap. But at the ripe old age of 31, it is harder and harder to wake up feeling kissed by the doves and the dew when eight hours earlier you've downed the better part of a 750 ml bottle of corner store wine. I've reached a point where my weekend consumption of Advil alone warrants a considerable stock purchase in the pain killer market. Not to mention that drinking makes me accost unsuspecting old people leaving 7-11 for the reward a single cigarette, leaving my lungs and my head in a partnership of pain.

And then there's the issue of dialing. I don't just drunk dial, I first glass dial, I tipsy dial, and I pass out dial. I call parents, friends, and friends' parents. I have purposely not programmed my boss' number into my cell and am on the very verge of removing all blood relatives from the directory hopper. While drinking, I have what are reportedly full and lively conversations about weddings and promotions and funerals and bake sales and leave them without any recollection. At the time, I am (once again, reportedly) perfectly coherent. But even a glass or two of alcohol, coupled with my "strange-it's-so-bad-as-there-isn't-evidence-of-a-head-trauma" memory, and I lose the ability to recapture conversations and bold statements. You know, ones like, "Baby, I've reconsidered. I really do think I want to have your babies right now."

So yes, I'm quitting drinking. For now. But stand by, world. At the end of September 2005, I will once again resume my spot as both the most fun and forgetful woman on the planet.

September 7, 2005
Remedial Psych 101
I have opinions about certain things. About many things. I think hundreds of busses should have been waiting at southern borders ready to move immediately into areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, if not in the area beforehand to remove mandatory evacuees. I believe that no matter how good looking and fit she is, there is a time early in life when a woman needs to stop baring her midriff; for men, there is NEVER a good time to start. I also believe the consumption of lame alcoholic beverages, namely Smirnoff Ice and Zima, should be done in the privacy of your own home, much like removing nose hairs and treating your corns. But there are few things on which I have such firm opinions as I do on narrow-minded views of mental health.

As of late, I’ve been reading an increasing number of fellow blogger (mostly blogette) accounts of struggles with anxiety and depression. Most of these writers have friends, family and significant others who think their problems are simple mind-over-matter issues.

Don’t go on medication for that; it’ll change your personality. Well I sure as hell hope it will. She can’t get out of bed everyday, hasn’t washed her hair in a week, snaps at her loved ones over white vs. wheat bread, and can’t concentrate on her TPS reports at work. I do hope these prescribed meds make her more level headed so she can work on getting back to being the person you knew and loved.

There’s no reason for you to air our dirty laundry. The effectiveness of both “talk” cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychotropic medication has been demonstrated repeatedly in the literature, as have the sometimes-devastating effects of letting these illnesses go untreated. But she does have to talk about what she is experiencing to get help. Besides, your loved one already keeps a blog and tells 300 of us everything about her daily life and yours. You’ll get over her seeing just one doctor.

You should be able to think your way out of this. If you can’t, you are weak. Hear ye, hear ye, people who do not understand the struggle. Asking someone who suffers from a psychological disorder to snap out of it is akin to performing surgery on your own genitals. How is “helping” yourself out of a clinical depression any different than resetting your forearm after it has snapped in half? You could probably do it, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Person, but it sure would be easier if you had someone to help you, wouldn’t it? The very resilient Lance Armstrong didn’t think his multiple cancers away, did he? You wouldn’t direct the people of New Orleans just to swim out of town, would you?

Views such as these take us back to the ill-conceived eras of Bedlam and lobotomies. Instead of empowering the people you love, these opinions – and that is all they are – undermine what efforts those with an illness have made thus far, whether they be telling you they have a problem, or even more difficult, seeking external help for it.

Help in the best way you can. Enlighten yourself by exploring empathy and what the literature says about the many effective treatments now available for those who are suffering. If that doesn’t suit you, it might be best just to hole up with your Zima and keep your opinions to yourself.


September 5, 2005
Now listen hair.

I will so get up in your grill if you give bad service at the Home Depot or the Safeway. I have walked back up to the drive thru window at Wendy’s when mayo has been put on my burger. I have told people off at the Social Security Office and once launched a one-woman campaign against the idiocy of my long-distance phone company. But consistently I have a fear of salon stylists.

I know rationally they can’t be more fragile than others in general, but I won’t give them negative feedback, and my timidity around salon folk has caused me many a bad hair year. A stylist at the Hair Core on Route 10 once convinced me that if she covered my hair in 1.5 inch layers, the whole head would be full of beautiful curls. I agreed, wanting at the time to resemble the sister on Alf. Forty-five minutes later, I looked more like the main character.

I have let them put three unwanted colors of high and lowlights onto my head. I have run up exorbitant bills that forced me to dip into my college funds. Once in my adult life a salon girl gave me a makeup lesson. She started going places I didn’t necessarily want her to – smoky eyes (remember that popular heroin look?), red lips (think Jessica Rabbit) and cartoon brows (again, Alf). But did I say anything? I just let her have her way with my face. I looked so much like a hooker that I had to cancel my lunch date with my father for fear that his fellow committee members might think him running around on my mother.

A few months ago, sick of the routine and the bills, I defiantly drove to CVS and picked out a nice shade of blond. This is gonna go down on my terms, I thought. Lesson number one: Brown hair turns orange when your dye costs six bucks (oh yes, once again, think Alf). Lesson number two: lesson number one will require you to dye your hair twice in one day, and it’s likely that the CVS workers will remember you even with that pink hoodie pulled up. Lesson number three: your beau and your colleagues will lie and tell you they really like that “Ashley Simpson black” color you resorted to. Thanks to all of you.

So I’m back to seeing professionals. But there hasn’t been a change. I sat under the hairdryer with a head full of foil this weekend until I was sure my scalp had burned off. And within minutes of leaving, my new blond, expensively-charred head and I told off the metal gas pump because unleaded had hit $3.00.

September 4, 2005
I've been tagged!
I've been tagged for future whale research! They are apparently tracking my whereabouts with this small plastic cow tag they've put on my ear. Thanks Miss Jackson for pointing them to me.

Name as it appears on birth certificate: Same one I was born with. Mama likey does not appear anywhere in the three names.

Nicknames: Kris, Krissy, Boo, That girl is poison (poison! p-p-poison!)

Place of Birth: The Garden State. Should you feel even a remote compulsion to ask me what exit, please stifle yourself immediately.

Favorite food: pizza and most things Italian (with the exception of men).

Ever been to Africa: Yes. I have a very fond memory of riding a camel with my father while we were there. (Keep it clean, please.)

Love someone so much it hurts: Yes. Absolutely. And it hasn't always been a good thing.

Been in a car accident: Yes. I once tapped a car from behind - no damage to either vehicle as we were at a stoplight. They took us to court and got much money from our insurance company. And they had had a similar "accident" earlier that year. Unbelievable.

Croutons or bacon bits: Both. I sometimes eat just croutons and bacon bits with dressing on them. And the latter don't even have to be made of real bacon. I'll take bacon product anyday. Hell, I eat Healthy Choice hot dogs. If they don't scare me . . .

Favorite day of the week: Saturday mornings = the promise of a new beginning. I also love random Tuesday night outings. They'll always get you in trouble.

Favorite restaurant: What I wish I had at this very moment is something spicy from Busara on Wisconsin Avenue.

Favorite sport to watch: Florida State football. Preferably when I can actually be in the stadium.

Favorite drink for summer: Diet Coke fountain soda (independent of season); and by golly, I love me some white wine.

Favorite ice cream: Mint Chocolate Chip, from Friendly's or Baskin Robbins. Also rumored to be scrumptious straight from the black Breyer's box.

Disney or Warner Bros: Oh God. Does this have to do with cartoons? I don't even think I watched them as a child. Is either involved in the production of Family Guy?

Favorite fast food: There is no hesitation. Someday Taco Bell will cater my wedding.

What Color is your bedroom carpet: Same as my parachute.

How many times did you fail your driver's test: None, but my friend Cindy failed three times.

Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail: Last email was from the kick ass woman who is redesigning my blog.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card: Please see response to favorite fast food question.

What do you do most often when you are bored: Sleep and fantasize about someday writing a good blog entry.

What time is Bedtime: 10:00; 7:30 pm on some nights. Usually before the Muppets are over.

Favorite TV shows: ANYTHING that involves true crime, particularly City Confidential (we miss you, Paul), Body of Evidence, The First 48, Forensic Files. Anything in that genre that A&E or Court TV puts out.

Last person/s you went to dinner with: Bug and Cricket and I all ate at the table last night.

Ford or Chevy: What?

What are you listening to right now: A tape that the beau calls my "Prom was the bomb" cassette. Funky Cold Medina is on it. I kid you not.

What is your favorite color: I always wear black. Lately I have loved on some pink. I love it!

Lake, ocean or river: Lakes scare me. Snakes. A river would mean I might have to interact with real nature. Ocean it is!

How many tattoos do you have? None. Unless you count this one of Britney and K Fed that I got out of this month's Teen Beat . . .

Have you ever run out of gas: No, I'm more sensible than Jurgen. Wuh?

September 2, 2005
It's Friday night
It might even be Saturday before you read this.
What do you feel like saying?