November 30, 2005
I generally keep to a no-talking-about-work rule, but I'm going to have to break it today. Seven of the 10 people in my department will be let go this afternoon as my division steadily dissolves. More at another time on how this will affect me. For now, I will go to a bagel breakfast where we will say goodbyes and a happy hour that will be full of wine and little happiness. A preemptive apology to my DC blogger friends - next happy hour, I promise.

November 29, 2005
This entry will self destruct in 22 hours, or when the Biggest Loser finale is over, whichever comes first
Have I mentioned how much I can't stand it when someone says, "Let me axe you a question?" or "He excaped from jail!" FTLOG.

November 27, 2005
I took piano lessons for 10 years as a youngster and youngster adult. Every week my mother would cart my sister and me five whole blocks to Mrs. Emmel's home. She and her husband were virtually consumed by music and "perfect pitch" and "Julliard" were words used freely to illustrate the prowess of her two sons (who I don't recall seeing in the ten years that I invaded her home on a weekly basis). She had a school-marm air about her, a Cloris-Leachman-like presence that brings me ample comfort even today, if only because I can be entirely certain that she would not waste precious practice time reading anything posted on the information superhighway.

Inappropriate piano lesson story #1:

"Good. You'll notice in this next stanza that we have a key change. Do you remember what a key change is called?"

I thought. I considered my options. A-tion, I thought. I know there's an a-tion at the end.

Mrs. Emmel waited impatiently for my response. Had we not just discussed this a few weeks ago? I breathed deeply and thought for a few more seconds.

My consideration had paid off. I was pretty sure I remembered the correct answer.


I'm still pretty sure that wasn't right.

Inappropriate piano lesson story #2:

My best friend Karen came with us to lessons that day. My sister took the second lesson, so Karen and I waited for her in the downstairs tv room (although looking back, I'm quite sure these folks didn't even own a television) and looked at New Yorker magazines and other items of interest that were of course of no interest to fourth graders.

Karen was funny. Karen was mischievous. She once did a cartwheel in my basement and knocked a wood cabinet door off its hinges. My mom was so furious she didn't speak to Karen for three weeks. How cool was that? On this particular day, Karen must have been at the height of her hilarity. And I began to laugh harder than I had in years. And of course, given that it was likely the most inappropriate thing that could have happened at that particular moment, I therefore peed more than I had in years.

I couldn't control the flow. It soaked my pants. It soaked Mrs. Emmel's minimalist-inspired couch. Saturating the couch cushions, the flood sought release and began dripping from the cloth to the floor, which of course only made Karen laugh more heartily.

Finally empty, I panicked and did what every girl scout would. I stripped my clothes off and began sopping up urine with every conceivable bit of available fabric. Karen joined the effort and even used her mittens to soak up the pool that had darkened the carpet. We did our best until my sister played her last notes, and I then regrettably redressed myself. First the damp sweater, then the spotted mittens, and finally - shudder - the scarf.

As I left the family room I turned to see that the large dark spot on the couch remained. As did the matching circle on the carpet below. At least it had stopped dripping.

Mrs. Emmel never mentioned my indiscretion, which after years of college experience I'm convinced could not have gone unnoticed. Like a true best friend, Karen never spoke of the incident above a whisper. And like a ten year old without control over her own laundry, she probably wore those same mittens and scarf for at least a few weeks. Trouper.


November 24, 2005
Dear bloggers,
I AM SO THANKFUL FOR EACH OF YOU! Thanks for being the Stove Top stuffing of my otherwise flavorless days.


November 21, 2005
Got it BAD
Inspired by Megarita who brought the possibility of such a disorder to my attention.

Diagnostic criteria for Blog Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

A. Either (1) or (2):
(1) Six (or likely more, if you're honest with yourself) of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for the duration of your time in the blogosphere, to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with the developmental level of other 32 year olds not living at home or working at the post office.

(a) often fails to give close attention to TPS reports and other minutiae required by supervisors at paying day job
(b) often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities because of thoughts of those on blogroll (including but not limited to: I bet Jurgen would just love this lip gloss; If I won the lottery, I really would buy Poppy a fountain soda dispenser, I wonder if Neil proposed to Brooke today)
(c) finds self completely unable to read even own 100 things about me post in one sitting
(d) neglects to shower on time at least once a week due to failed promise to stop after reading "just one more blog"
(e) regularly replaces common professional editing marks with LOLs, ROTFLs, and various inappropriate emoticons
(f) often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities (e.g., "Honey, we can heavy pet right after I finish this entry," and/or "The twins know how to use the deep fryer just fine on their own. Just one more minute!")

(2) Six (or more, c'mon, we're among friends) of the following symptoms have persisted for the duration of your time on Blogger, to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with the level present in your other hobby activities, including, but not limited to scrapbooking, fantasy football, online poker, gardening, and masturbation.

(a) often fidgets with hands or feet in meetings, Safeway grocery line, stirrups due to being struck with perfect blog idea
(b) often talks excessively about blogging to friends/family who have no idea what a blog is
(c) often talks excessively about blogging to friends/family who know what a blog is, but who could absolutely not care less
(d) leaves meetings, religious services, movies, ER under guise of restroom use to check on blogs of self and others
(e) at least once a week publishes 1) blog entry with two or more grammatical or spelling errors, or 2) lame, phoned-in entry due to pressure to publish

(f) often comments on blogs prior to finishing entire entry and/or accompanying comments
(g) bypasses reading blog entry for the day due to it grossly exceeding your 350-word-limit processing capacity
(h) interjects inappropriate blogger content into real-world situations (e.g., Spinning Girl would so call that "FABU!" "Oh my gosh, Mogul has been saying the SAME THING about her pregnancy!" "That same thing happened to Sizzle on her last date" and the ever-popular "Hey guys, Jordan so totally got laid!")
(i) lies needlessly about blogging activity so as not to appear consumed by said blogging activity (e.g., "I'm just checking on that Air Jamaica airline strike," "Phew. Looks like that storm in the Himalayas isn't going to hit us!")

B. The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of an evening spent with 750 ml of Chardonnay, a TiVo'd episode of Lost, and a life-sized poster of John Stamos.


November 20, 2005
Joke under review
The beau and I participated in the DC Walk for the Homeless yesterday along with 30,000 of our closest friends. The day was beautiful but the route seemed unusually long for a 5K, and the beau and I were soon complaining of sore lower backs and calf muscles.

For entirely hormonal reasons, my breasts were very tender. I commented on this to the beau.

"Maybe it's because of all of the walking," he offered.

"No," I countered. "I'm pretty sure these boobs were made for walking."

There have to have been worse jokes in the history of the universe, don't there?


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November 17, 2005
Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee
Whenever I feel down and that I'm not contributing to society, I try to remember at least I'm not nbc4's Liz Crenshaw, revealing at 6 & 11 just WHAT IS THE BEST FROZEN PUMPKIN PIE TO THAW AND SCARF DOWN AT THANKSGIVING. This is an excellent followup to last week's hard-hitting investigative report on the best way to rake backyard leaves (which I think all agree is to withhold Mac-donalds and literacy skills from your preschoolers until they assume some responsibility around here).

Next up, Liz exposes cardstock as the red-headed stepchild of the paper industry.

In other news, I am in a blogger meeting frenzy involving smokey joes and Chardonnay and have not fed one of the cats in three weeks as a result. I still feed the cute one.

November 15, 2005
Cat 1: "Bug" 7-year-old Presbyterian tabby searching for his hello kitty. Lost wrestling scholarship to Florida State University after devastating bout of lyme disease. Known to friends as a lover not a fighter, but will lick between nails while making fist to appear tough. Body type: Endomorph. Currently a finalist on Animal Planet's Biggest Loser; on rigorous agility workout plan to drop 1/4 his body weight before next season's Amazing Race. Excessive Bud drinker. Known to peep on unsuspecting females from bedroom window. Despises public displays of affection. Staunch Democrat. Best feature: Eyes. Enjoys excessive pun use. Most recent quote: Look what the cat dragged in. Closest human counterpart: Kevin James.

Cat 2: "Cricket" Did bicuriosity kill the cat? Non-conformist female with bulemic tendencies. 2 years old. Employment: Paw model. Likes clubbing all night, Red Bull, and chewing on owner's hair while she is resting peacefully. Removed hairbrush from said owner's handbag last week and yanked all hair out to allow for more uninhibited chewing. Left clump on floor. Risk taker - will scour drain for food remnants whether garbage disposal is running or not. Licks lower belly when unsuspecting, easily-offended dog people are visiting. Social drinker, but known to make sexual advances when intoxicated. Never married. On next season's Oprah, intends to track down her three kittens given up for adoption when she was only 1. Pet peeve: Vets who assume she's an insect. Most recent quote: That's hot. Best Feature: Freckled pink lips. Closest human counterpart: Lindsay Lohan.

Serious inquiries only. No hairless or purebreds.


November 14, 2005
Ode to the beau, or let me count the ways
Dear beau,

Thank you so much. I loved every minute of our weekend (ok, at least a few of them).

The spinach and ricotta ravioli made with two quarts of heavy cream made for a wonderful weekend appetizer. Not to mention the iPod. Finally, a place to put my Stealers Wheel and Christina Aguilera without the Heathers girls catching on.

Watching over me as I ordered just one more beer and a round of lemon drop shots to follow, as at age 32 cheap vodka apparently needs no chaser. The way you promised to nurse me back to health, searching on Saturday morning for the nearest blinds, supreme Dijourno, and all of the ginger ale to be had in the national capitol area. Not to mention the exhorbitant Advil purchase intended to remedy a headache the magnitude of which I hadn't experienced since I last woke up on the Kappa Sig basement floor. My sanity and I both thank you, babe. From behind my smoky hair and the darkest sunglasses you could find, I recall thinking that I couldn't love you more.

That was until tonight. When I heard you in the bathroom, gagging because you had used the highly-pressured aerosol intended to clean out computer keyboards to dislodge a morsel of ham from your teeth, I once again knew we were meant to be.



November 12, 2005
The times, they are a changing
My birthday celecbration with friends was last night.

I am now spending the day in my darkened bedroom with my sunglasses on.

Thank God for the king bed.

November 11, 2005
Merci, mes amis.
French folks, did I write that correctly?

In other news, MANY thanks for your wonderful, creative, effervescent - let's face it, FABU! - messages yesterday, and for indulging my narcissistic twin without question.

Today I have put her back in the closet and will be paying all of that good karma forward. See you at your blog.


November 10, 2005
“I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek!” Times two.
Today is my birthday. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I hope you will find it in your loving heart to leave good wishes (read: may your breasts not continue to sag toward your ankles*, **) to appease the comment/attention/gift/monetary remuneration whore you know I am.

Birthdays tend to go by without much to do for me, but the years they border have always been significant. Age 6. I can’t remember what I did for that birthday, but I recall spending the year attending an American school in London and being reprimanded for planting a kiss on a female classmate’s cheek. Within the year I would first play doctor while at a dinner party, utilizing miniature toy kitchen utensils. An adult walked in on us and I stood there incredulous while my patient zipped up his Healthtex pants. And thus began my undying quest for booty. (Strangely enough, this early sexual encounter lived well beyond our time as tykes living in England; we ended up attending the same New Jersey high school and frequently ignored each other in gym class, plagued by what could have been . . . )

Age 16. I’m lying. I remember this party well. A surprise that didn’t end up being quite the moment my family had hoped thanks to a freak snowstorm that revealed 30 pairs of teen footprints leading up to my back door. Someone brought a copy of Eddie Murphy RAW to the bash and my mother made an array of disapproving, I-wish-I-was-Catholic-to-smack-down-the-extra-guilt-on-you faces from the kitchen while Eddie talked about $*@!ing hos. We played Billy Joel songs on my Casio keyboard and a few friends played ping pong on the full-size table my parents erected in our den. God, we were dorks.

Age 22. My parents moved overseas. My sister and I regularly shared holidays huddled alone like orphans and comforted ourselves by eating heartily at hotel buffets. Upon moving in to my first home in the area, I immediately drove my 1987 LeBaron around the block five times because I couldn’t believe you could see the Washington Monument from the top of my street. I had sex one day and didn’t think much of it; clearly I didn’t know it would be four years before I’d do it again. (Don’t obsess over it; it’s a whole other post and you’ll be thankful to know that the streak is long over.)

Age 28. My first cat found me at a dive restaurant in rural Florida and I became a life-long dog person now bordering on feline obsession. He peed in the back of my ex’s Subaru and I got a teeny bit of gratification from it. I took Benadryl for the first time at my friend Kim’s house and passed out so hard I had to be carried to the car. I defended my thesis, left Florida, and Mom and Dad became my roommates for the first time in a decade. I had sex in a twin bed. Several times.

Ages 29, 30, 31. I drank my first Irish Car Bomb. I had a dream about marrying Dave Grohl and moving to rural Virginia, however the bubble popped when I realized I am vehemently opposed to both polygamy and rustic living. I fully embraced my love of crappy pop music by buying my first Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson CDs. I was promoted. In a drunken Caps game moment I introduced my soon-to-be beau to my ex by saying, “This is Ronny. We used to have sex.” My best friend scared the crap out of me by going out and getting herself some blood clots. I saw a real mountain, mountain, went to California, and blogged for the first time. I told the beau I loved him for the first time in the feminine hygiene aisle of the CVS. I revealed my irrational fear of cyborgs to a coworker and she covered my Sentra with pictures of the Terminator and other metallic men. I didn’t see the borg on the side mirror until I was on the highway driving home. I almost ended up in the Potomac when I discovered it. (Sweet Jesus, I’m still a dork.)

Age 32. I’ll keep you posted.

*(Asterisk courtesy of Jordan Baker) Unacceptable birthday comments include, “Gee, you don’t smell a bit like Betty White!” and, “Are you 29 AGAIN?” and don’t forget about, “How did you used to celebrate birthdays without electricity?” or the ever-popular, “You shouldn’t take your osteoporosis pills with so much wine, should you?”

**Extra points will be awarded for any message involving crickets and/or a pun, cat humping, Shakespeare, haiku, New Jersey, your dog, Chardonnay, Democrats winning in VA, a movie involving a Jennifer Aniston we've never seen, the crisis of Christmas music starting right after Thanksgiving, or pizza.


November 7, 2005
I smell dead people.
I can smell everything. The beau's medicine-y choice of mouthwash sends me into a tizzy, at times even before he steps into the apartment. I brush twice every morning to erase any trace of socks on my teeth. I occasionally even have to scoop the cat's litter just to go to sleep at night.

But as of late, my neurosis has transcended into obsession. I have noted that the problem has ruined nearly every sports movie with a romantic slant. I could hardly make it through Varsity Blues, waiting for that requisite he's-gonna-make-a-touchdown-in-the-final-seconds ending, only to be topped off (with whipped cream and a cherry) when the sweaty jock approaches his virginal love and makes out hard core on her. The audience cheers, but we all know full well he smells like a paste of Gold Bond and artichokes.

Two weeks ago I went to see Flight Plan at Union Station, and not even the murmurings of the homeless man behind me could distract me from my olfactory musings. Ms. Foster, after a two-hour nap breathing circulated air at 35,000 feet, frantically searches each and every cargo hold and restroom for her young daughter. She eventually returns to the row the two shared, and breathing heavily upon the plane window, reveals in the condensation a heart the young girl drew prior to takeoff from Europe. The music crescendos - finally, proof that the young one is ALIVE! And all I can think is how awful Jodie's breath smells bouncing back off of that plexiglass.

Most of ABC's LOST has been ruined for the very same reason. Kate sensually saddles up next to Jack, and I'm obsessed with what most assuredly must be an overwhelming level of panic-, the Others-, and weeks-sans-proper-hygiene-induced uberstank. Clare entrusts the peanut-butter-producing Charley with her offspring, and ignoring the poignancy of the moment, I obsess instead on the surefire odor combo of his delirium tremems and the sweat caked in his slowly-emerging stubble.

A little known secret is that this neurosis is the primary reason I'm not on the MIR Space Station. The language barrier didn't stop me. I'm pretty sure I could have conquered my fears of both flying and heights. But please consider for one moment the smell that must reside miles above the Earth in a 72.5-sq-ft airtight capsule HOLDING TEN HUMANS FOR FIVE YEARS. That's one hatch I don't care to have opened.

Don't even get me started on those kissing scenes in Shakespeare in Love . . .


November 6, 2005
My entry for JJ's Flash Fiction Friday #15 . . .

The champagne cork was on the floor and in her hand was her trusted cell phone. No new messages, the familiar woman's voice had reported. She wasn't surprised.

It was a shame, though. A new job in a new city and everyone too busy to celebrate or even notice. Well that wasn't really fair. Mother had sent a card, one of the generic ones she kept in her roll-top desk, splattered with ROY G BIV balloons and a Congratulations scrawled in gold. The women in bridge club must just love receiving cards like this one.

She had decided to take the moment upon herself, and had stopped on her first day for a bottle of the stuff she couldn't afford while in law school. None of her boxes unpacked, she bought a plastic glass - actually, 50 of them - from the grocery store. And a potted ivy. Setting down new roots, after all.

She poured another full glass and pulled at her pearl necklace, wondering when she would finally own a strand that wouldn't feel smooth against her teeth. She looked at the cell again and chastized herself for her dependence. Maybe he forgot the start date, she told herself.

She finished the lukewarm champagne and smiled with some satisfaction at her new surroundings.

There was a knock.

"Ms. Jones?" a woman's voice said through the heavy oak.

She straightened her jacket and smoothed her lipstick with her forefinger. "Yes?"

The office door opened. "There's a call for you on line one."

November 5, 2005
Story of my life
thanks to modigli!nardac wins for outting me as not as smart as my 4th grade teacher told me I was (see comments for full exposure)

November 3, 2005
Anyone have something for me to write about? Need a question answered?
Resume/wedding invitation/novel edited?
Child reared?

I'll stop there.

I have answered you. All of you.

And have done so again. Because apparently that's what hip girls do on Saturday nights.

Who am I kidding.

November 2, 2005
Hit me with your best . . . spit
Dear unidentified male,

Good morning. I hope this rant finds you well.

It is such a beautiful day today. The leaves are just turning and as the weather people are prone to say, "it's unseasonably warm." Young tikes are enjoying a sleepy dawn on the playground. Yes, those are cumulus clouds you see. That's right, the ones that look like Mickey. The scene is virtually unblemished, with the exception of one tragic thing: YOUR DISGUSTING AND INEXPLICABLE NEED TO SPIT GLOBS OF MUCOUS ON THE GROUND DESPITE VIRTUALLY EVERY SOCIAL NORM DICTATING TO THE CONTRARY.

I do not enjoy stepping in it.
I do not enjoy gagging as I repeatedly pass it while walking in the park.
I do not enjoy watching said children swirl it around with a stick.

This is not acceptable behavior whether in your suit or workout clothes.
It is only appropriate should you find yourself a) finishing the Tour de France ahead of Lance Armstrong, or b) birthing a child in the street.

And I'm guessing it will be a while before either of those happens for you.

So as the Olsen twins once said as chubby cherubs: CUT. IT. OUT.

In other news, I'm not sure I can take the sexual tension on the Office much longer. I'm either going to have to force those two to make out or start rubbing up against my office copier.