Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fact.

Guitar Hero III offers a person the fastest and most entertaining way to become a pathetic loser.

I should know.

Duck Hunt came close in the 1980s with its "sporting rifle" that looked like it should shoot lasers. It wasn't exactly the most entertaining, however, given the fact that most people learned to sit inches from the TV to increase their score. Games are quickly ruined when your eyes start to burn. But if as an 8-year-old you happened to slip into conversation that you enjoyed clay shooting, well, then it was fully successful in turning you into a tool box. To this day I'm still tempted to write "skeet shooting" when asked to list my hobbies/casual interests regardless of the fact that I've never actually held a gun that didn't have a cord.

The Power Pad was pretty great and "World Class Track Meet" filled the track star void for kids who say, skipped (not as in skipping, but as in faking a major illness) the mile-run every year for gym class. But one soon learns that people only care about track athletes once every four summers, so the Power Pad lost its cool. Dance Dance Revolution is a variation on its theme, but I'll argue that if you need a computer to tell you where to put your feet, you're not dancing. That'd be like saying you can spin records after playing a few rounds of Simon.

I never had the Power Glove, but I saw a kid wearing one on the train once and I thought that was basically awesome.

But back to the cold hard fact. Guitar Hero III puts every other game to shame. Christmas Day my cousin brought over all of his games to my grandma's house, and 9 hours later--really--the guitar had to be ripped from my hands. My little cousin Julia is amazing and during her perfect version of Metallica's One, she goes, "Grandma, aren't you proud that all of your grandchildren are so good at Guitar Hero?"

That single question might keep me from ever playing again.

But probably not.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree, Ugh Christmas Tree.

Vanessa's birthday is around Christmastime so growing up, the tree was always setup in the living room by the time she had her party. One year, she might have been in fifth grade, I forget, her friends came over for a birthday slumber party. The tree that year was huge, and as a result every possible ornament was used. Smaller trees often require that some ornaments won't make the cut. Hallmark Santa? You're in. Jessica's preschool macaroni framed picture on a hook? Maybe next year, slugger.

So Nessa and her friends laid out their sleeping bags right by the tree (because there's something so cozy about the glow from strings of indoor/outdoor lighting) and went to sleep. Cut to like 3 in the morning and we hear a loud thud. I was in my room and just assumed it was somebody doing a back handspring (why did people always want to do gymnastics at sleepovers?) but it wasn't. The tree had fallen over and onto one of her friends. I remember hearing my mom screaming, "Heather! Can you hear me?!" and then screaming for my dad to come lift the tree off of this poor girl. Heather was fine, but because my mother is worry wort supreme, she called her parents to let them know what happened. I always have my mom retell that conversation because I think it's hilarious.

Me: So you called them in the middle of the night?
Mom: I had to!
Me: And what did you say?
Mom: I just said, 'Mrs. Jennejohn, this is Debbie Martin. Heather is fine, but I wanted to let you know that our tree fell on her.'
Me: And what did she say?
Mom: Thanks for calling.

So my dad picked the tree up, put a sofa in front of it and everybody went back to sleep. But since that year, every time we set up the tree it's always with instructions to make sure it doesn't Jennejohn.

This is the first time in four years I've been home in time to go out and find the tree and help set it up. It was a lapse in memory to think this would be an enjoyable process.

A farming friend of my father's grows Christmas Trees and insists that we take the biggest tree off the lot every year. He's honestly such a nice guy but always yells at my dad in this overly enthusiastic tone and gets all up in his face when he's talking to him. However, my dad invented close talking, and speaks to everyone he meets in an overly enthusiastic tone, so he doesn't even notice what this other guy is doing. Honestly, seconds after getting out of my dad's truck, Joe came running over to us.

Joe (Standing just ridiculously close to my dad): STEVIE!!! What's it gonna be this year, Stevie? What are ya thinking? Fraser Fir, Stevie? Wanna go with a Douglas Fir?

Dad (Standing just ridiculously close to Joe, yelling back in his face): Oh, I don't know Joey, what do you think? They look good this year, real nice, Joe.

I looked over to my mom with a confused face. It was like a bizarro world or something. These two guys, screaming at each other through huge smiles, moments away from what looked like an embrace.

So picking out the tree was a treat. But then tonight, trying to keep the tree upright proved to be worse. The trunk simply wouldn't fit in the stand. Screws went in from one angle, but then not through another. Just when I thought it was stable it would lean horribly to one side. My mom insisted on stringing lights around it while I was still trying to make sure it wasn't going to Jennejohn, and thus ensued a yelling match of blame. You're doing this, stop with that, why not try this, why not give this defected tree back to Joey.

After an hour, seriously, the tree finally stood on its own. All it needed was a Tupperware dish shoved between the stand and the trunk, and about 8ft of twine attached from the branches to a twenty-pound free weight sitting on the floor.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Movie Night! I'll Make Popcorn Lung.

Reading the newspaper daily is a surefire way to become a killjoy. Debbie Downer wasn't necessarily a bad person, she just knew too much. With information thrown around throughout the day, one learns that almost anything enjoyable is also bad for you, wrong for the Earth, or the result of the exploitation of Chinese people. Those Barbies are "toxic." Don't "put them in your mouth." Wrestling wildlife might "kill you." "Don't burn tires for fun." But I ask you, is nothing sacred? I read today that a pulmonary specialist has released findings that suggest our lungs are in danger due to the buttery flavor fumes released by microwave popcorn. The condition is known as Popcorn Lung.
This is for real.

Apparently, the microwave popcorn industry already knew of the lung damage caused by fumes because factory workers have complained of ailments.

A quick aside: How horrible must it be to leave work everyday and have to explain to everyone you run into that you haven't just come from the movies? Or worse, every time you enter a room have to hear, "Hey, it smells like popcorn!" Did you ever notice that people can't help but say, "Smells like popcorn!" when they smell popcorn? And they're always so pleased with themselves like they've cracked some impossible case of mystery smell. (sniff sniff) "Popcorn!" Go make some popcorn, [wear a mask] and then wait for someone to come in. If they don't say "popcorn", I'll give you $100. But I digress.

This recent study focused on the consumer, after someone developed lung disease from making several bags of microwave popcorn everyday for several years. I had to read that part twice. It seems this man reeeally enjoyed the popcorn button feature on his microwave and was making bags of the stuff daily, for years. OK, so clearly, this is weird. But the poor bastard probably just loved popcorn and had no clue it was hurting him. Orville Redenbacher's respiratory system seemed fine.

Aside from being just about the most random thing I've read in recent weeks, this story is pretty annoying. Few things match the simple perfection of a movie night.
Couch--good.
DVD's-good.
Waiting to see who says "popcorn" first--good.

Why modern medicine and research? Why did you have to ruin something so good? I hate to think that a chill Friday night will now have to include some sort of SARS guard. Or that Philip Morris will release a low tar butter-flavored cigarette with a label that reads, "These still kill, but at least you won't die fat."
I guess until all of this is straightened out, let's just stick with Junior Mints.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You, uhh, Got Any Gum?

It must be nice to do whatever the hell you want and know the people around you will love you more because of it. Dogs have this distinct honor. Extremely good looking people come in a close second, but a wink and a toothy grin will do little to help the hottie who, say, takes a shit on the floor. People will forgive their dogs anything. The greater the offense, the deeper the love. "You ate my entire sofa! How did you manage to do that? You're superdog, that's who you are!"

New parents always think their children are the best and dog owners are the same way with their pets. Benchmark moments like feedings, potty training and new tricks are all shared with such enthusiasm. And the silly things a baby does are recounted with such pride. Only, parents eventually stop sharing these stories because what was once cute becomes embarrassing. They don't want you to know that their son is now 20 and still dropping his keys in the toilet. But a dog? A dog can be a lifetime idiot and still seem like something to brag about.
I love that about dogs.

My sister's dog, Stella, adds all new descriptions to the definition of cute. It's really ridiculous. My phone conversations with Nessa almost always start or end with, "Can you put me on speakerphone?" But since I just start cooing, "Stelllla, hi Stella!" without exception, Vanessa refuses to do it.

This morning she called to share that Stella had gotten into an entire pack of Winterfresh and described what she looked like trying to chew the gum. Head tilted, trying to figure out what was going on, a huge wad of gum and foil wrappers hanging out of her mouth, gum on her front paws causing sheets of paper to stick to her wherever she walked. Nessa said, "Listen, if you've never seen a dog chew gum, sprint to a pet store with a pack of Eclipse."
I wish more of my days would start with such great sentences.

Ever since seeing "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" as a child, I've wanted all animals to walk on their hind legs. It's been a hard wish to shake. I've basically narrowed it down to only really wanting domestic cats to walk on two legs at all times (and wear pants). But now the visual of a dog standing up, walking down the street chewing gum is something I think could happen.

Small, reasonable goals. That's how I approach life.

Friday, August 17, 2007

These Are Getting Old.

Remember when you realized Kristen Schaal is the funniest person on the planet?

That was an important day.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Alas, A Lapse.

Remember when i said i was going to have "Remember When Fridays?"
Well, I forgot about it. Ha.

Anyway, remember when R. Kelly and Usher were dating the same girl, even though the girl was the love of R. Kelly's life and his potential wife?

Yeah, I remember that too.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Um.

A woman in Arkansas just gave birth to her 17th child.
Read that sentence again.
And now go back and read it one more time.
I thought I would have 1,000 different things to say about this, but I guess I don't.




Friday, July 20, 2007

This Is A Nice Find.

I'm on the farm with Deb and Steve during perhaps the most inopportune time of the year. My mother goes through phases where she thinks she hosts a show on Home and Garden Television and as a result 3,000 random projects ensue simultaneously. I'm reminded of her scrapbooking/stenciling summer in the early 90's. Half of the pictures from our childhood were cut and pasted to the pages of "Footprints In The Sands of Time" (her scrapbook's actual title) and all of our bathrooms had seashell borders.

This summer will be remembered as "The Clearing." She must have gotten her hands on some books about Minimalist design because I swear she is determined to wipe out the contents of the home. Everyday there's a carload of things to be dropped off at the Volunteers of America and every night my father asks what has been thrown away. "Debbie, where did the table by the door go?" And my mom's eyes grow wide as she sort of shakes her head to say, "oh I don't know." But we all know she knows.

The other day she went through each cabinet in the kitchen and basically threw away everything. To be fair, so much was not needed. She had a crystal deviled egg tray with actual grooved out little place holders for deviled eggs. This is not necessary in life. How often do people make deviled eggs that a tray made specifically for that food would be warranted? And she kept pulling out tons of stuff like this. In fact, so much random stuff that my sister and I had no choice but to play "Antiques Roadshow."

If you've never seen Antiques Roadshow, a part of my soul weeps for that incomplete part of your soul. But for those of you who have, you must agree that the best part of the show is when people bring something they think is valuable only to learn it's worth 11 cents. Anyway, Nessa and I took turns playing owner and appraiser and would have to tell the story of how we acquired the item or share the actual history of the item. Note to reader: This is instant fun.
We must have spent an hour making up fake stories about strainers (Viking helmet), metal kebab skewers (ancient Korean sword), and a lemonade pitcher with "Happy Holidays" written on it (lemonade pitcher with "Happy Holidays" written on it).

When my mother emerged from the basement with a bag of stuff to be given away she found me standing over a pile of ice cube trays giving a detailed account of their history as Ness listened intently. We ignored the random thing she was doing, she ignored ours.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bobby, You'll Be Tree Number 4.

I saw an article online that said a man robbed a bank in New Hampshire dressed as a tree. I can't help but love everything about this story. I love thinking about his mindset going into the robbery, I love the cartoon nature of the disguise and I love imagining what the other people in line at the bank thought as a tree waited patiently to make a transaction. Crime is wrong, obviously, but if someone demanded my wallet dressed as some sort of shrubbery (or anything really) I think I'd go along with the whole thing. Yes, I'd be out some cash, but just think of how many times I could mention that I was robbed by a pencil (or cat, or spruce). You can't put a price on that.

For anyone who has ever seen The Bushman at Fisherman's Wharf in SF, you have to appreciate how hilarious this story is. I hate Fisherman's Wharf, but 5 minutes of watching this guy scare people was worth getting stuck behind slow-walking tourists. The Bushman is brilliant for 2 reasons.
1) Watching startled people jump and scream is one of life's simple pleasures.
2) People are actually surprised someone is behind a random group of branches sprouting out of nothing on a city sidewalk.

I like to think the Tree-Man in NH had the Bushman in mind when he robbed the bank. "I'll just move slowly along, la de da, I'm just a tree, nothing to see here, and then when they least expect it, 'Give me all your money!'' The more I started to think about the whole thing, the more I started to really like this guy. How sad is that? I just can't help but smile when I imagine him breaking twigs off the trees in his yard. "Oh, this one is good! I am so going to look like a tree."

But all of this raises the question, why? Why would a grown man think dressing as a tree and robbing a bank would work? Or, not even work, but why would he think this was a good idea? Or, not even a good idea, why would he even think it? I know little (read: nothing) about the origins of the criminal mind but I'd say the source is a childhood trauma. For this man in New Hampshire, it's quite clear to me that he played a tree in one too many an elementary school play.

Do you remember elementary school plays? The quiet kids were ALWAYS trees. It was the only way to get Shy Sally on stage so her parents could get a picture and she wouldn't feel left out. But even when I was in first grade it amazed me that these kids didn't tell the teachers to fuck off. Trees never had lines, they literally stood there, and I swear to you, I remember one kid being a tree that didn't even have a hole for his face. He was literally behind the tree, holding it up. That kid is without a doubt in jail right now. Telling a child to be a tree (particularly during aquatic scenes) does very little to build his sense of self and establishes within him the idea that he won't be noticed. Enter Tree-Man, stage right.

I like to think that if he'd been given a few lines in a play as a kid, he might have done something more sophisticated than robbing a bank dressed as a tree. Maybe a soft soliloquy delivered at the ATM.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Existential Crisis On A Bun.

Today I watched the Nathan's Hot dog Eating Contest for the first time ever. I've seen enough highlight footage to get the gist, but I thought I owed it to myself to actually witness the full 12 minutes. I tried to go into it with an open mind. I thought, perhaps it isn't the worst display of gluttony the world has ever known. Perhaps there's a level of sportsmanship that trumps the blatant disregard for millions of starving people. Maybe it's just really fun to watch.

It turns out, the answers to those thoughts are as follows:
1)Yes it is.
2) No there's not.
3) Are you effing kidding me?

Around 3 minutes into the event (which is of course, an eating competition but also,"The World's Biggest Dumbass" contest) I grew predictably nauseous. If there is anything more disgusting than consuming mass quanities of hot dogs, it's eating wet hot dogs. The dipping of the buns into water caused me to dry-heave in a manner that is usually reserved for finding hair in food. But the eating wasn't necessarily the main source of my discomfort. I think it was the spectacle.

The announcers introduced each competitor with a laundry list of their achievements. World record holder in oysters! World record holder in cheesecake! Birthday cake! Fried Asparagus! Chicken Wings! Ribs! Shoo-Fly Pie Champion of the World! This man ate his own baby! And with each name announced the crowd roared with enthusiasm. Roaring crowds for people who eat. "Hey! I eat food too! But you eat waaay more food than me so I painted your name on my face! I love you! I love the way, you know, you eat food... and stuff."
I don't understand the cheering. If you've ever been to a buffet and noticed the gross guy who keeps going up with the same plate, you might not be inclined to clap so hard.

And I'd like to think the announcers weren't being 100% serious with their commentary but it was honestly hard to tell. When introducing the American hopeful Joey Chestnut one commentator said that some American heroes people think about on Independence Day are "Abe Lincoln, Neil Armstrong, Taylor Hicks, and Joey Chestnut." Normally I'd find this comical. But coming from a man who is paid to moderate a hot dog contest, I'm not so sure what to think.

Events like this, where there seems to great excitement over something I don't understand on any level, send me into introspective overdrive. People could be cheering or dressing up or taking pictures and I'm left in a slight panic questioning what the hell is going on. So as each minute ticked off the clock, and 30, then 40, then 50 hot dogs were devoured by each eater, I heard my inner Alvy Singer grow louder and louder. The universe is expanding and these idiots are eating 60 hot dogs.

It was impossible for me to make it through the 12-minute gorging without questioning our collective purpose. And maybe, that's what this whole thing was about. Nihilism, solipsism syndrome, and the meaning of life all called into question outside of Nathan's on Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Or maybe it was about eating hot dogs really fast.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Broker's Fee (Fie Foe Fum).

Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!
I smell the blood of a renter in a desperate situation
Be she live, or be she dead
I'm going to charge 10% of annual rent because I can, and you'll pay it, because this space is really nice and you can't have it until you give me my money first. Sorry, It's just sort of how the industry works.

Note: This is an actual excerpt from an actual Real Estate Marketing Fairy Tale, "Jack and the Two Bedroom, One Bath, Quiet Tree-Lined Street Close to Shops Beanstalk." It's not great. It has this really annoying ending where it turns out that heat and hot water aren't included and jack just decides to live in his sister's living room until he's 30.

So I'm going crazy. Looking for an apartment in NY is basically the worst thing in the world. Some people might enjoy it. Those people might also enjoy soft rock, mystery smells on a crowded train or watching strangers eat corn on the cob. Different strokes. I for one, would prefer not to spend the vast majority of my weekends walking around Brooklyn in intense heat looking at places that either A) Scare me in a, "Will a bug eat my face off when i sleep?" kind of way
or
B) Are so amazing I can't believe I can afford to live there, and then the Broker chimes in with a ps--I can't.

The whole process is frustrating, and that's why people should really limit it to looking at one or two places a day. But you can't do that because everyone is telling you that the great spaces will be picked by noon and that good apartments won't last longer than the day they're posted. But no pressure. Just get out there and have fun with it!

Do you know how painful it is to spend hours a day looking at apartment listings on Craigslist? Do you?! It's a modern day cilice. Craig Newmark lived in my neighborhood in SF and I always ran into him when grabbing a coffee at Reverie. I never thought to look for a hairshirt, but I'm quite certain he was wearing one.

Saturday was a real treat. I woke up early to search open-houses, made some calls, and Vanessa and I set out. Long story short, by 11AMi was delirious and sweating like some sort of sweaty animal (pig, i guess? are there others?) because of the heat and the billionth floor walk ups. Note: Be leery of "Views." An ad that reads, "Nice View" just means that by the time you reach the top floor, you'll be very dizzy and start hallucinating that you're dancing on a giant cupcake (if it's giant i guess it would just be a cake) and a pony walks up to you and says, "Hi, I'm Buttons."
That's all "Nice View" means when you have a budget.

By 2:00 we had walked so far away from anything we knew that we were searching for any establishment that served or sold food. Where the hell do people eat in random parts of Brooklyn?! We ended up getting a sandwich at a convenient store with one aisle--(complete contents of aisle included: Fantastic spray cleaner, a 6pk of Sam Adams, beef jerky, and kotex products--that IS convenient!) A woman who looked like she was about to die, walked to the back of the aisle and started coughing violently. I was so punch-drunk by this point I go to Ness, "Clean up on aisle...aisle." and literally burst into tears laughing.

The whole process is unhealthy.
Looked at a few no-fee apartments yesterday and fell in love with one, but when I spoke with the guy today it turns out there is a broker's fee. Well, sure. It's only fair. I mean, he did unlock the doors for us, and then he had to lock them back up when we left. Makes sense that I should give him a few thousand dollars.

Foe Fum.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Could You Spell That Please?

The Scripps National Spelling Bee might be the last genuine bit of programming on television. It's not puffed up with lights and celebrity (it's at the Hyatt), it's galaxies away from the influence of fashion (ah, the white polo t-shirt!), it lacks a plot created in an editing suite, and is basically a huge bore. Only, it's not a bore at all. And that's why it's so fascinating. The Spelling Bee has the potential to be worse than watching Charlie Rose on mute, but whenever it's on, I'm glued.

And It's not about the spelling. Well, not entirely. No one needs to know how to spell anymore--that's common knowledge. So i guess there's a strange fascination with these little kids who have spent the better parts of their youth memorizing words no one uses. Spell check Peggy! Now go out and play! But it's this strange art almost. This awkward, brilliant, performance art and ESPN is smart enough to let us all in on it. Spelling words is the excuse to see how the brain works. To actually view the process of the left brain churning and then to witness it link up with the right when the bell either dings, or doesn't. It's the most advanced form of people watching on TV. Some of these kids have already perfected their poker faces at 11-years old, and that's pretty sad. But the kids who react as if playing "emotion charades" are the best. Their relief, or surprise, or frustration, or sadness is loud in their expressions. It's so real you have to think hard about the last time you might have seen something so honest.

But let's not build it up too much. Some of the kids are really annoying, asking questions for the full 2-minutes they're allowed. "Could you use it in a sentence?" "Could you repeat that sentence?" "Language of origin please?" "What was the word again?" "Is there another pronunciation?" Ok, Jimmy, spell or leave. They repeat the word over and over, and the announcer repeats the word back to them.
"Reseau."
"Reseau."
"Reseau."
"Reseau? Is that right?"
"Sounds right. Reseau."
"Reseau?"
"Reseau."
"Reseau."
And then you feel like you want to punch someone.

A few years ago I came up with the "Lord of the Rings" Drinking Game. Basically, anytime a character in the movie stared into the distance, you had to drink. 15-minutes into each movie, everyone was wasted. The National Spelling Bee Drinking Game might beat that. Every time the word is said out loud, take a drink. It's probably not a great idea at the actual event, but for people viewing at home, it could be a good time. If by next year the event is called the "Miller High Life National Spelling Bee," you owe me a dollar.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

God's Weird Birthday Party.

If you happen to watch Fox News you know that God's Birthday falls on May 23, or, whatever day of the year the American Idol Finale airs. And to celebrate, God enjoys throwing a little party. It's called, the American Idol Finale. It's actually pretty convenient how that all works out. But then, why wouldn't it be?

I don't watch Fox News, so I didn't know about this whole birthday thing. But after seeing the show last night, it became quite clear that only an omniscient being could have put that little get-together together. Party hats and streamers do not a God birthday make. One needs the most interesting people, one needs Ryan Seacrest, one needs lots of music, and one needs an ice cream cake. (It was in the back of the auditorium, the camera never showed it but it was there). Last night's finale at the Kodak Theatre was the most bizarre grouping of humans in one space--ever. It was obvious that God had made the guest list in hopes of outdoing last year's party, which He so carefully planned with a twist ending, "Um, and then i want the 'Soul Patrol' guy to win. He's funny."

Let's discuss that guest-list, shall we? In no particular order, these are some faces I saw in the crowd.
-Jerry Springer
-Jeff Foxworthy
-Rebecca from Full House and some young boys who were definitely not Nicky and Alex
-Constantine "I'll stare into every camera i see" Maroulis
-Denise Richards
-Jennifer Hudson
-Madonna
-Jack Bauer
-Helen Thomas
-The Shah of Iran. Or, I think it was the Shah's cousin.
-Popeye
Just to name a few.

For such an esteemed list of attendees, the performances had to be spot on. Hot artists of the now such as Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson.
A Pretenders cover by Carrie Underwood.
A set with Smokey Robinson and the fat kid with the horrible hair.
Gladys Night. (Because nothing sets off a party quite like a woman named Gladys.)
A piece in which Blake and Doug E. Fresh worked the stage together, ensuring that everyone in America would try for at least 15 seconds to beatbox.
Oh, and then Bette Midler showed up out of nowhere to sing "Wind Beneath My Wings." You know, because it was relevant.
I enjoyed watching Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul dry-hump each other while doing the Angels in the Outfield arm movements to that song. It was appropriate. PS. Randy, the man who is making your suits is pulling a tragically successful joke on you. Fire him dog, the suits really didn't work for me. Particularly that suit with sailing rope all over it. I wasn't feeling it dog.

The entire night was just about as weird as you could want. But just to make sure there were no doubts about that, this lady showed up.
Maybe next year, I don't know, perhaps just a small dinner party? A few close friends, the ice cream cake, maybe make a cool little party shuffle on your playlist? Just a thought.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Enough Already.

Enrique Iglesias sang "Hero" on Dancing With the Stars tonight and it occurred to me that the song could easily be 35 years old. Still with the Hero Enrique?? Really?!

My problem with the song is trifold:
1) It's horrible. (Did I even need to mention that?)
2) It's a song comprised almost entirely of questions and that's really annoying.
3) Still singing this song is like the inventor of the crimp iron still walking around and saying, "Hey, you know the crimp iron? That was me. Should we make out now, or later?"

With every question he asks in the song I grow more and more frustrated. Who the hell is he talking to? And hasn't he figured out after all these years that they're not going to answer?

It's a random rant. I'm just not a fan.
And at one point during the show I was pretty sure Enrique was tap dancing. That turned out not to be the case. Either way, it was lame.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Remember When Fridays!

The blog has taken a backseat to a few things as of late. (Thanks for still reading grandma.) In an effort to keep things interesting, and guarantee a post a week, I am proud to introduce "Remember When" Friday.

There's no way for you to know this, but an old Asian man wearing a baseball cap that reads, "Whatever." just blew on one of those blowout party favors into my face. He was hired to do so. I'm going all out for these "Remember When" Fridays, people.

Please feel free to contribute pieces of garbage stuck in your mind to Remember When postings on Fridays. It'll be a fun. Or, it won't. But I can promise you, it will be one of the two.

So, without further ado. Ah-hem.

Remember when DJ Tanner was invited to a Kimmy's pool party but felt bad about her body in a bathing suit and tried to lose weight by starving herself and eventually passing out on a StairMaster?

Yeah, I remember that one too.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'll Pencil That In.

When I arrived in New York, Sabrina told me it was imperative that I buy a planner. She said that people living here have too many things going on and that if I ever wanted to see anyone, I'd have to plan weeks in advance. That's fine. It's so not me, but you know, when in Rome.

But here's the problem with planners for people who don't have "jobs." They're really silly. No, I mean like seven-year old kid scheduling you into their Blackberry silly. When people ask me my plans for 2 weeks from now, I can say with great confidence that I'll be free. But part of me wants to flip through my imaginary planner anyway and look over the blank pages with great care. "I have nothing going on the 20th, that'll be perfect. Oh, you said the 21st? Shoot, let me check. Hmm, OK, that's also looking very good."

I suppose all of this will change when I decide to actively look for gainful employment. But that's not scheduled until June. The other day I interrupted Vanessa in the middle of a story to tell her about a commercial contest for Heinz 57. Describing my idea for the commercial I want to submit, and then wondering about all of the rules for the contest, I jumped up to grab my computer and started searching online for the fine print. While reading the official rules aloud, I looked up to Vanessa's judging look.
"What?"
"Oh, nothing. I just like how instead of looking for a job, you're running to read the rules for a ketchup contest."

It was a good point.

Anyway, the no job/open schedule combo is not a total bust. On the contrary, it's awesome! Sabrina and her old roommate Justin have all these great tickets, and because normal people have things going on at 2 in the afternoon, I am able to take in fantastic shows, free of charge. It's nice. Justin called the other day saying he had an extra ticket to a Tarzan matinee. Brina covered the phone and goes, "You don't want to see Tarzan tomorrow, do you?" And I was like, "Um, yes I do. Thank You."

I had to take Vanessa in to her first day of work yesterday because she hasn't figured out the train yet and on the ride in we discussed my plans for the day.

-Well let's see. I'm riding on a train with you this morning and then walking you to work like the first day of school. Then I have to return a pair of pants, and then i have Tarzan at 2:00.

Brina was right. People living here just have too much going on.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I'd Clap But I Have A Beverage.

I was at a concert with Ashley and the music was fantastic. We were both holding beers and she looked over and said, "This is really great. I'd clap, but i have a beverage." I thought it was such a funny line. I want it to be a track on my fake band's album. That and "Baby, It's my Latin Temper." Those will be two hot tracks. Anyway, Ashley's line was sort of a theme for the graduation weekend. More pics.












Donna Martin Graduates!

Pics from Nessa's graduation weekend.

She got a great job in New York and now I'm in the same city with both of my sisters. It's sort of a huge deal.














Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Clueless "R" I.

My cousin's baby shower is coming up and I've been meaning to stop by a Babies "R" Us, to pick out a gift. Only every time I thought of doing this I became overwhelmed. I'm terrible at picking out gifts for people. And these are people I know. Grown people who can talk and have interests. How do I shop for a newborn? Do infants have hobbies straight out the womb? Is pooping a hobby? An entire level of Babies "R" Us says it is.

Sabrina told me that there were no Babies "R" Us stores in the city so you can imagine my surprise when I saw one whilst walking around Union Square. (I think I'm the first person to ever say, "*%$# YES! Babies R US!") I walked into the store and printed out my cousin's registry, but because I was obviously the last person to buy a gift, the only things left on the list were pacifiers and random cloths. Can we discuss the "cloths" for babies? Is this Capitalism's biggest joke? Burp cloths,wash cloths, cleansing cloths, cloth diapers, and all things terry. And then, to make us feel even dumber for purchasing the same piece of fabric priced differently because some genius at Gerber or Koala Baby gave it a different name, all the cloths are just about the same size as the blankets, receiving or warming, or what have you.

So standing with an arm full of cloths, growing slightly steamed that I was being made a fool of, I kept referring back to the registry to ensure that there was actually a need for these things. I must have had a pained look of confusion on my face because a sales woman approached me.

-Can I help you?
-Um, I think I'm good, thanks.
-Are you shopping for a friend, or?
(Note to self: Stop eating)
-For my cousin's shower.
-Oh, those warming blankets are great.
(Yea? Well I'm glad it was one of 5 things left that this printed list told me to buy.)
-Can I ask you? Is there really a big difference between the function of a warming blanket and say, a burp cloth? I mean, couldn't you basically wipe a baby down or wrap it up with any of these things?

Note to reader: NEVER EVER say that in Babies "R" Us.

The woman gave me a look that told me I was a total ass. I tried to smile it off but she wasn't having it. I walked away to find a unisex pacifier, and left.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

um, hilarious.


Erik (of Gwen Stefani forgery notoriety) sent me this text last night when I landed in NY.

Ball-busting knows no geographic limitation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This Might Fit.

I'm not a great packer. Never have been. I try to subscribe to the rule that you shouldn't pack more than you can sprint with. That if you can't start running with your bags at a moment's notice, you've packed too much.

I took this rule to heart after traveling with Allison, one of my roommates in London. On a trip to Germany, she had obviously packed too much. Cd's IN their cases (who does that?!) snacks, clothes, books, basically everything she owned for a 4-day vacay. So much stuff in fact, that she needed about 9 plastic bags to hold the overflow. Seriously. So cut to the end of our trip. The plastic bags were nearly doubled thanks to all the crap she bought and she stared at everything in the hotel lobby wondering how she might make it to the train. We told her to throw most of it away but she refused, so we offered her a head start and she left 20 minutes before us. I know what you're thinking, that it was mean of us not to help. Whatever. 4 of the bags she refused to throw away were groceries from London. I wasn't about to carry 25 lbs of crisps and her entire music library to a train, I just wasn't. After a leisurely breakfast, Jackie, Robin and I happily threw our backpacks on our shoulders and walked to the train station.

About a mile down the road we saw Allison dragging her luggage, holding 3 large bags and (I need to tell you, this is one hundred percent true) kicking all the rest of her things down the street. All of the plastic bags had ripped, and yet, she still didn't get the hint that perhaps it was too much.

I mention this story only because I've felt a bit like Allison in the past few days. I'm packing up to head back to New York and it's forcing me to evaluate what I really need. It's hard to send the contents of your life across the country. The airline says 2 bags but your life says, what, are you kidding me? I don't want to keep taking junk with me coast to coast but it's hard to part with old t-shirts and pants I have no intention of ever wearing again. Every item of clothing is subjected to the test.
Q: When was the last time you wore this sweater?
A: 2002.
Q: Why are you keeping these pants?
A: Well, I might make them into shorts.
Q: Then why are you keeping all these shorts?
A: Well, I might make those into a blanket.

I kept all of my MUNI passes for 3 years thinking that I was going to do something artistic with them but I never came up with anything. Of course, now that they're gone I think they would have made a sweet pair of shorts. I've saved all the letters I've received (yay pen pals!) while I was out here but those are heavy and have forced me to throw out classic old shirts. People, we have too much crap. Or, I have too much crap. I've had Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady" on repeat while packing to remind me of Allison and force me to cut ties with my favorite useless things.

Truly, I want to throw everything away. The packing is driving me nuts. Speaking of which, can we discuss the Styrofoam peanut for a minute? The Styrofoam peanut is bubble wrap's evil twin. Bubble wrap is sleek, and fun, and practical. Everyone loves bubble wrap. No one likes the nut. The Styrofoam peanut is impossible to arrange once in a box--think trying to shovel a hole in the sand right where the waves hit. Just when you think you have a little space in the box, all the peanuts fall over filling it up. I was actually screaming at a box this morning. I'm not proud of it. Wars should not involve bombs or guns. Planes should simply drop tons of Styrofoam peanuts over cities forcing the bad guys to dig out of it.

So I've been looking at everything I own and thinking about it in terms of shipping costs. Yes, I love that jacket, but it's going to put this bag over the 50 lb mark. Leave the gun, take the cannoli. Or rather, toss the wool, pack the chiffon.

Ha. The idea of me owning chiffon anything made me laugh.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I'd Hate To See The Old Day.

I just read that Celine Dion's Vegas show, "Celine Dion: A New Day," will end it's run at Caesar's Palace in December. The show has been going on for over 4 years and while I haven't seen it, I'll bet you my uterus each show ends with "My heart will go on."
Perhaps more impressive than the ticket sales (over 90% of seats sold at each performance) and far more interesting than Ms. Dion's stamina (she's a robot, everyone knows that, right?) is the fact that there wasn't a repeat episode of Jonestown among the employees at the Coliseum.

The show's creator, Franco Dragone (best name ever) said the performances have varied over the years and that the last show in December will be much different than the opening show years ago.

Sidebar, your honor.
-Celine Dion still sings Celine Dion songs at these shows, correct?
-Well, yes.
-Then I don't care how you spin it Dragon, it's the same day. It's like the worst version of Groundhog Day, with 45 costume changes and heartfelt talks given by Dion to the audience as she flies around on swings.

"You know people-- (rises into air). Whoa! What ees dis that is happening to me? (Flies from one side of the stage to the other). You know, growing up in Canada I used to fly around my house at night because there was no where on the floor to sleep. I have 36 brothers and sisters (Flies into a giant bubble). Hey! Look at me in this bubble! This reminds me of a song. Can I sing dee song for you people? It's called, 'My heart will go on.' It's from a little movie about a boat. I hope you like it."

And while the flying, the bubble, and the song were the essence of the show, it was a New Day, everyday. For $600 a ticket, people could get a sneak preview of Hell.

That's a tough act to follow. The Coliseum, the arena Caesar's built for the show, cost almost $100 million. They'll need to find an artist come December who can:
A) Fill those seats
B) Act semi-human despite actual robot/alien status
C) Keep that Hell on Earth vibe fresh

Michael Bolton comes to mind but even Vegas has standards. My money is on Clay Aiken filling the spot. The show will be called, "Clay Aiken: A Thousand Different Ways" and it will be done the same way every night for 5-years.
You owe me a dollar if it happens

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I'm Sorry.

Did anyone see that sign a fan held up on Idol last night? It said, "Sanjaya is my Papaya."

In related news, REM front man Michael Stipe has been contacted to rewrite the lyrics for "It's the End of The World."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How "Lost" Ends.

Warning: This is a Spoiler. If you watch Lost and don't want to know how it ends, go read somebody else's blog.

I came home last night and Raf was watching Lost. He totally got me hooked the first season, but I became fed up with knowing less and less and annoyed with the additional information thrown at me every week, basically ensuring that I would have no clue what was going on.
OK, in this episode, they're going to find another hatch. And this hatch will have a computer too, and um, they have to push a button every so often and then the others will come, and um, they'll bring a polar bear, and then oh, watch out, there's this black blob thing that could kill you, and this guy says, "brother" a lot, and oh here's a flashback to how the Koreans met and fell in love and isn't this the best show you've ever seen!

NO! The man who shouts, "Big Sky, Montana!" over and over on the bus makes more sense than this show.

Raffi thinks it's brilliant because he believes the writers have known all along how the story will end. I think the writers were shocked that the show lasted this long and have no effing clue what's going on. You know the writing meetings every week are like, "So, any ideas how we could end this believably?" And they all just stare at each other with guilty looks.

Have you ever had a conversation with a child who was lying? They drag the story out including random bits of useless and unrelated information in hopes that they might eventually weave it into something someone would buy. The writers at Lost are about as creative as a 4-year old trying to explain that he didn't sit on his own birthday cake. "And then...and then....and then..."

So I was telling Raffi this and he said I was wrong and I was like, "You know, they could just end it. They'll play that weird music, Mathew Fox will look down a hole and that could be it. You'd never know how it really ended."
"They would never do that."
"But they could. How mad would you be?"
"I would just be mad if the last episode someone woke up and it was all a dream."

And there it was. Raffi had solved the Lost puzzle. Waste no more Wednesday nights my friends, this is how Lost ends. In the final episode, just as the people of the island are about to have the truth revealed to them, Bob Newhart will wake up and discover that he's just had a very strange dream. There will be clues to this ending next season, when they find another hatch that happens to be a quaint Inn in Vermont.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wind It Up!

Gwen Stefani was the guest coach on Idol this week and truthfully, it was the only reason I watched the whole show. How could you not love her?! She's just about as cool as a human being could hope to be. When her latest cd came out I was like a 13-year old on TRL. "AHHHH! I'm Jess from San FranDisco and at number 3 this is 'yummy!' I DARE you not to dance! AHHH." This kid at work kept making fun of me and repeated, "Wind it up!" about 45 times a day for 2 weeks until he ruined the song for me.

A little while after this, I went into work and ran into Erik who was like, "You'll never believe who stayed here last night. Your girl Gwen."
So I did the Elaine "Get Out!" shove and started flipping asking if he met her, if she was still there, etc. And he was like, "yea, she's cool. and I mentioned that you were a huge fan so I got her to sign something for you."
Cue 13-year old reactions. "You did!?! Let's see!!"
So he gave me this picture of her and I saw her autograph on it and started to jump around before I even read the note. Erik was laughing a little bit and I thought it was because of my reaction but I looked at the note and it said, "To Jess, Wind It Up!" Gwen Stefani.

I stopped jumping and my smile faded away. "Wind it up?!!" And he just burst out laughing.
She was never even there.

I'm keeping it anyway, I don't care.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Just A Thought.

You know what would make Britney Spears a better mother and role model?
A machine gun leg.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Change And a Joke.

Richard Hell wrote a great article for the New York Times when CBGB's closed. (Note: CBGB's has a special place in my heart because a bartender there once threatened to beat me up. Another story, for another time.) The article ended by saying:

"We all know that nothing lasts. But at least we can make a cool and funny exhibit of it. I'm serious. God likes change and a joke. God loves CBGB's."

So i don't know if God caught that whole incident with the bartender, but i love the bit about change and a joke. It's my new mantra because it's so true, right?

I put in official notice at work yesterday, sans the dramatics I had envisioned. No big Jerry Maguire, "Who's coming with me?!" speech. No rants about how questions of beef temperature will suck the soul from your body, or that the only skill I've gained in the last few years is knowing when people will need an extra fork. I have those rants, and if we're drinking together, you'll get to hear them. I have a ketchup diatribe that could easily last all night. But I refrained from any of that, and it felt good. Just a short note typed on company paper, sealed and placed in Karen's mailbox. I really feel like I've grown. The last time I quit I said, "This is my last day, bye." Something on paper is a big step for me.

The crazy thing is, when things end, you really just want to make a cool funny exhibit of it. My job blows my nose, but knowing I'm leaving makes it seem like this hilarious little party I went to everyday. The guys I worked with made me laugh, I got to talk to some cool celebrities about their sandwiches, I learned a lot about food, and even days that I would sit there and stare at the floor seem funny now too. I was able to pay off my student loans staring at the floor. Not many people can say that, outside of maybe a radio contest winner.

A few things I'll take away from this job:

-Japanese people LOVE clam chowder, and will always order it. Always.

-Know how your significant other takes their coffee. There was a couple staying on their honeymoon and the groom ordered coffee for the morning and I was like, "Would you care for any cream or milk on the side?" and he's like, "Oh, I don't know. Babe, do you like milk in your coffee?"
This marriage will not last.

-Always tip more than you have to. Just do it.

-Talking with fake accents on the phone is important for your being.

-Don't ask strangers, "What do I want to eat?" They don't know and you won't listen to their suggestion anyway. Unless your last name is Fujiwara, in which case, you'd like the chowder.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's The SECRET!!!

Have you heard about the secret yet? I watched a whole show on Oprah after the seeing promos about "The Secret" and how it's Oprah's new thing. It was basically her standing in front of her wide-eyed followers shouting, "It's THE SECRET!!!" while they screamed fanatically and some passed out. You know how at some talk shows they'll have signs light up instructing the audience to applaud? At Oprah's show the signs say "Cry" "Have a Seizure" "Scream like Someone's Killing You." Oprah has the cash flow for all three. And even in March, there's a chance it could be Oprah's Favorite Things Show, so everyone freaks out with everything she says, because at any moment, they could be getting 16 cashmere sweaters.

"The Secret" episode had me for like 3 minutes until they finally came out with it and said it all had to do with visualizing success or what you want or whatever. That you had to believe to see. OK, fine. Is that really the secret? Yes. Yes it is. And it's making millions. And millions of people are saying "The Secret" has changed their lives. Look, I'm all for positive thought, I just think it's hilarious that it's actually called "The Secret." You know the author of that whole thing was the same person who at junior high sleep-overs would be like, "You guys, I have a secret" and everyone would want to know what it was, and she wouldn't tell for hours until finally, she sat everyone down in a circle and was like, "OK, here it is. I like fruit cups."
That's not a secret. Idiot.

It's like Lance Armstrong's book, "It's Not About The Bike." Well Lance, you can't really win the Tour without one, so it is kind of about the bike.

But "The Secret" was mentioned yesterday on The View (I have a problem, I know) and it got me thinking. When I first started hearing back from agents, I was visualizing how things would play out and yet, I still hadn't heard back from the original agent who requested my work. So I'm like, "Here's a secret, that thing is lame" and I went for a run. When I got back, I checked my email, and it was from Jenny Bent, the agent I was waiting to hear from. She requested to see my rewrites meaning I'm still in the game with my book.

I called Sabrina to tell her this and she burst out laughing. "It's not the Secret!"
"Dude, I know. But still, it's a little weird, right?"
"Stop."

I really do think that marketing something that people can do for free is uber lame, but positive thought never killed anyone--well besides that poor woman who thought she won a helicopter on Oprah. And I'm not endorsing The Secret-- have you seen that lady?? She wears a bead on her face. All I'm saying is, I'm picturing a pony. And, if a pony happens to arrive at my door, well, then we might have something to talk about.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stop The Madness.

Um, Syracuse not in the NCAA tourney? Are you kidding me? I mean, I'll still watch, but I won't be happy about it. I think I picked Ohio State to win it all last year, and I think I'll do the same again this year.

Is anyone else fascinated by the jump chest bump that guys do to celebrate in sports?? It seems to be the most awkward form of all social interaction. Having to guess which people like hugs/hand shakes/kiss on the cheek greetings sends me into a little bit of a panic, I can't imagine the pressure of the chest bump. I would be that one guy who just jumped into teammates for no reason.
"Dude, what the hell?!"
"Oh, sorry. I thought you were going in for the bump."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

This Is Necessary.

The dish washer at work is this guy named Tri Do and on a point scale, he is 6000 points of hilarious.
Tri highlights include:
Singing classic songs with the wrong lyrics or substituting "Be Da Bo" for the lyrics
Laughing hysterically at nothing
Sitting in the garbage pointing at people saying, "I like you job"
Kicking the air
And basically anything else that would make a normal person furrow their brow.

One of my favorite stories involves Tri standing at a bus stop, a homeless man thinking HE was homeless, and buying him a hamburger at Jack in the Box.
-Did you eat it?
-Yea.
-Why wouldn't you let the homeless man eat it?!
-It smelled good.

Here's the thing. Tri is actually a very successful poker player and does not need a dishwashing job. But as he says, "I work for fun." It's completely true.

The guys have been taping random clips on their phones. It gives you a small taste of what I see on the everyday.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=5uRSOD0VguE

Friday, March 02, 2007

Elevator Love Letter.

Have you ever had that dark moment during a rough bit of turbulence on a plane? Or perhaps while choking on a piece of soft pretzel? That moment you think to yourself, "This is it. This is how I go." And then that thought is followed by, "Are you effing kidding me?! THIS is how i go?!" I'm sure you have. I had one today on an elevator.

If you've seen the opening scene of "Speed" or have ridden The Tower of Terror at Disney, you can understand the panic that sets in when an elevator stops and then drops. Today at work, on my way up to the 37th floor the lift suddenly stopped and then fell down a floor. I stood frozen. And then it dropped again. You know the way small dogs look when they're cold? That was me at this moment. Not wanting to wait to see how many more floors I could drop, I pulled the stop button and a piercing alarm sounded. If it was possible, the alarm set me into more of a panic. Alarms are like that person who points out the obvious during stressful situations. "Whoa, this is really, really scary."
Yes, thank you. Idiot.

I picked up the phone and waited for security to answer. Note: Hotel Security guards are in the same category as cops on bicycles. There's an illusion of protection there, but really, who are we kidding?
-Hotel Security?
(I like how they ask.)
-Hi, I'm in the service elevator and it started to fall so I've stopped it.
-OK, please hold.
-Whoa, whoa, wait a second.
-Yes?
-Um, sorry, I'm a little freaked out. What should I do?
-Stay in the elevator. Please hold.

Stay in the elevator?! Jerkface!

So he placed me on hold and the standard Mandarin Oriental hold song started to play. I HATE this song. It is easily the most annoying song in the history of the world, next to the Grease megamix. It starts with flutes and works into a pipa or some other Chinese string instrument that repeats, Ding dong ding ding ding dong ding da do...forever.

This is when my dark thought entered. This is how I go?! With an alarm deafening my left ear, the hold song flute in my right, thoughts of Keanu Reeves flashing through my mind?! Are you kidding me?

The hold song broke.
-Hello?
-Hi.
-This is security, can I help you?
-Um, it's still me. The girl in the elevator, remember?
-OK, please hold.

GAH!!

So by this point the small space, the fear of falling 30 floors, the annoying sounds, and the genius from security had formed a panic combo supreme. I didn't have my cell phone on me but thought of who I'd call. I tried to think of things I should have done in life, but that's hard to do when your legs feel like they're made out of jell-o cups.

Ding Dong Ding Da Do Do Dee Da Do...
-Hi, Jessica?
-Oh, just one minute, I'll get her for you.
-Wait, who is this?
-It's Jessica! I'm the only one in here!!

So the voice on the other end was this lady from HR who is fantastic and I apologized immediately for yelling and explained that I was going a little crazy in there. She was cool and stayed on the line talking about everything/nothing (my 2 favorite topics) until the elevator guys arrived. So Nice! What's an appropriate thank you gift for that?

3 Things I learned from near death on an elevator:
1) When it's your time to go, try to avoid the sound of a flute.
2) Always carry something to read.
3) There is no tunnel, and there is no light. Just a vision of Keanu Reeves reaching for your hand through a ceiling panel.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Martin Luck.

The parentals were here this past week, and my younger sister flew in for the first few days of their trip. Thinking a quick run to Vegas would be a good idea (nothing says family time quite like gambling and overpriced drinks) Vanessa and I rented a car at the airport before picking Deb and Steve up at baggage claim.

The woman at the Rental company set us up with wheels and casually slipped into conversation, "And just so you know, the car is not allowed to leave the state of California, and there is a fine if that happens..." to which Ness and I gave each other a fast glance. So she went on to mention this California clause three more times and had me initial the part of the contract that said it again while asking, "Where will you be traveling?" To which I said, "Um, Southern California." Basically taking a bat and beating Jiminy off my shoulder.

So we got Deb and Steve, repeated "Vegas Baby" a few hundred times, and drove through the night to arrive at the strip.
It wasn't the best idea we've ever had.
My father doesn't believe in easy money and prefers to stand to the side of whoever is gambling and ask them, "Do you really want to do that?" My mother has a strange fascination with slot machines but won't bet more than $2 at a time. So when that runs out--usually after 2 pushes of a button--she sits and stares at the machine. I won $350 on a $10 roulette bet and refused to gamble for the rest of the trip, and Nessa made up for all our high-roller shortcomings by losing everything she had on her. It was nice. Vegas really is evil though. It takes hope and greed and pumps them full of oxygen bringing out a sick combination in people. But it also has great food, so, it's a toss.

My dad was fed up with the whole thing. When my mom used the ATM it said there was a $4 fee and he hovered over the machine asking, "I just spent $4 on that?!" To which I explained, "Dad, relax. She's not playing the ATM."

We decided to stop gambling and went to a piano bar, which was insanely fun, but quickly ruined. My father loves to sing and dance. On the car ride down to Vegas he goes, "Turn this louder! This is my song!" "Breathe, by Anna Nalick? That's your song?" In retrospect, we shouldn't have taken him to the piano bar. He sang along so loudly that at one point my mom had her entire face covered with her hands. On the chorus of "Highway to Hell" he was at least three beats behind the crowd and shouting, "Heeeeeellllll" long after people had finished, causing most of the bar to turn in our direction. The height of our collective embarrassment was reached during Bryan Adam's "Summer of '69".
You don't know social awkwardness until your father is sitting in a large group of people shouting 69.

When I went to use my credit card that night it was declined. Hmm, weird. I pride myself on good credit so I called to see what the problem was. After talking to a woman on the phone she explained that there had been a mysterious $1600 charge to my card and that they had frozen the account to investigate. I grew nervous replaying the initial marks I had made on the rental contract agreeing to a fine if we left CA.
Bank Lady: Well, this charge is for an airline service. Have you flown anywhere or purchased a ticket to fly?
Me: Well, I rented a car at the airport, could that be it?
Bank Lady: Well, this is saying airline, but it's possible. I need to put you on hold.
Me: (Heart sinking) Oh. OK.

While on hold with her I explained to my parents the entire situation. That my card number had been stolen and someone bought a plane ticket with it...OR...the 3-day car rental was going to cost $1600.

Bank Lady: OK, Ms. Martin, it appears you've been a victim of identity theft so we're going to cancel this account blah blah.

When I got off the phone with her, there was a collective sigh of relief.  It's OK!! It's just identity theft!!!!

When we returned the car there was no additional charge. It was the biggest win of the trip.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Chill Cycle.

Since all of my underwear was nearly stolen a few months ago, I've taken to waiting in the laundromat while my clothes spin around. Today was clothes AND bedding day, which is really just too much. Carrying a large bag of laundry, an oversized jug of detergent, and my huge comforter creates all sorts of Three Stooges moments trying to fit through doors. Only, it's just me--a single stooge.

After moving everything from the washers to the dryers, I had some time to kill. I had nothing to read and was too lazy to walk back to my apartment, so I thought I'd take the time to settle. My parents are coming out here this weekend so I figured it would be appropriate to center myself before their arrival. And the pleasant smell of color-safe spring coupled with the rhythmic spin of my sheets created a nice little environment to clear my mind.

There's a large mural of a jungle scene in my neighborhood laundromat. I'm confused as to why. I guess it would make sense if the name of the place was called, "Wild Wash" or "Amazon Rinse and Fold," but it's called Doug's Suds. I like to think Doug's son is an artist who paints jungle murals exclusively. He had a tough time finding work (jungle murals are so rarely needed these days--outsourcing) so when Doug opened up the business his son was like, "Hey dad, I have an idea for a mural for the laundromat."
I thought about Doug and his fictional son for about 5 minutes before trying to achieve inner peace.

I have to say, a jungle scene doesn't do much to settle the nerves. Raffi once hung a picture of a snake above our TV for about 5 minutes before I asked him to take it down. I couldn't sit and veg without thinking a giant cobra was on me. So while the mural is really not that convincing (i think there's a sea otter in it) I found it hard to relax while staring at it. So I closed my eyes for about 20 minutes until I heard the dryers buzz and I went to check on my stuff. Everything was still wet. I dumped a few more quarters in and went home. In my heightened state of awareness I figured, if someone really wanted my wet comforter, they could have it. Plus, the jungle scene was really tripping me out.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Don't Recommend The Duck.

There's a woman at work who is genuinely very sweet, but I can't bear to listen to her speak. Every time I see her she insists on telling me insanely long stories with tragic endings that leave me upset for the rest of the day. She's the Chinese Debbie Downer. But like I said, she's very sweet. So I listen with concern, trying to guess which horrible way each story will end.

She just returned to work after a 3-week vacation in Hong Kong. Cornered in the office, I asked how her trip was. This single question set off a detailed account of each day as it related to the progression of an illness that started upon her arrival. (I've mentioned before that when people talk about illness I start to feel sick. So by the time she hit week two of her rundown, I'm quite sure I had a rash or some sort.)
Knowing that the story wouldn't end with her death I asked, "Did you go to the hospital?"
She replied in the affirmative like I'd just spoiled a big part of her story. Pressing on she said, "The doctor said to wait two days and if I still felt sick, they would test me for H5N1."
I did the cartoon double-take and waited for the punch line, but Chinese Debbie Downer doesn't have punch lines, and I started to freak out.
"Bird Flu?!!"
"Yea."
"Wait, so did they test you for bird flu?!"
She stood there giving me a dirty look that said, "If you'd wait five seconds I'd get to that."
I gave her a look that said, "Dude, if you've got the bird flu you best flap the wings and fly because I'm about to flip."
I don't know what the symptoms of bird flu are but I started rubbing my throat with a real panic that a gobbler might start to grow.
She laughed and said it was just food poisoning. And then I got to hear about how horrible that can be.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cause: Unknown.

In an effort to get the word out about my book, I'm organizing a full-blown campaign.  I get that it's hard to market a book when the author lacks a following.  That's why I'm launching a three-step plan to create some buzz around Jessica Martin (that's me! bzzz), author of "Open Eyed Sneeze" (oh, you mean that book I keep hearing about? bzzz).
My plan consists of wristbands, a scandal, and rehab. It's the trifecta of American notoriety.

Step One: Wristbands.
Wristbands are so five minutes ago that they're actually ten minutes ago. And bringing back something that's ten minutes ago is cool is an ironic way--like mustaches. So I'll be asking guys in skinny jeans or girls with skinny ties to wear "Open Eyed Sneeze" wristbands and spread the word through aloof looks and trendy hair.

Step Two: The Scandal.
This is tricky. How can I get the attention of the focused and disciplined media? Astronuts , Anna Nicole, naked Britney Spears--I mean, this is the news we're talking about. How can I compete with the news? OK, I think I have something. I'll arrange to get tickets for "The View" in New York and just as Rosie is introducing the hot topics I'll jump up out of my seat and start shouting, "Open Eyed Sneeze! At blogspot! Dot Coooooom!"
Rosie will be annoyed, a feud will ensue, and I'll be a hot topic for 3-4 weeks.
The Donald will start to wear my wristband.

Step Three: Rehab.
Rosie and I will be cool after I agree to attend rehab for my 3-step campaign addiction. Rehab will consist of throwing away the wristbands while in a nice resort in Arizona. People will hear of my struggle and be moved to follow me--whatever that means.

It seems like a lot. But from what i hear, it's easier than trying to market the work of an unknown writer.

Tell your friends.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Well, sure.

If you live on Earth, you've most likely heard the story about love-crazed Astronaut, Lisa Nowak, and her attempt to kill a woman over a man they both apparently loved. Even if you don't live on Earth but have read any Shakespeare, you know this story. It's classic.

Woman falls in love with man.
Woman suspects another woman is interested in man.
Woman drives from Texas to Florida wearing diapers to kill her romantic rival.
Everyone involved is an Astronaut.

This story has all the elements of a tale that will be told throughout the ages in that it's universally (snap) relatable. Love triangles, jealousy, NASA, diapers--these are just timeless themes. Yes, "diapers" is a theme.

This was the gift of the century for news outlets. What young reporter doesn't sit in journalism school dreaming about an attempted murder story involving pepper spray, a BB-gun, a steel mallet, knife and some rubber tubing? This is the "get" they talk about on your first day of journalism school.
Note: Look for the Lisa Nowak Edition of the board game Clue in stores soon. "Ms. Crazy Space Lady, in the diaper, with the rubber tubing"

The News really stressed the diaper thing, saying she wanted to kill this other woman so badly that she wore the diaper so she wouldn't have to stop. But it's a 900 mile trip. I don't care how badly you want to get anywhere, you're going to need to stop for gas. The papers never even touched on that. So it's very likely that while pulled over at the Citgo station, steps away from the restroom, she decided, nah, i'll just pee right here.

She's back in Texas now, having been released on bail. I like to think that she's snapped back into reality and realized maybe her feelings for that guy were a little too strong. Wanting to meet someone new, she posted this ad on Craigslist:

"White Female, 5'6/125, crazy, looking for a man who likes long drives, role play, and incontinence. NO ASTRONAUTS!"

Little Things.

The train I rode home from work had "CALM" scratched into the glass of a window. An obvious act of vandalism, but one of the nicer ones I've seen.
Waiting for the doors to open at my stop I saw that someone else had scribbled with a Sharpie on the lighting panel, "Go fuck yourself."
Oddly relaxed, this one made me smile too.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hey, Nice Jeans.

According to the pictures I've seen and the stories I've been told, my dad used to be quite the dresser back in the day. It's been verified by my mother who would always chime in with, "Oh, your father had impeccable taste. Very sharp, very sharp." And my dad would nod in full agreement, "I was sharp, boy. Very sharp." And this would be followed by him running to his closet to bring out some of his old jackets.
-Yea, that's a nice jacket.
-You bet it is!
And then he would wear it around the house for a few hours.

But with the limited fashion opportunities a life on a farm affords, his sense of style disappeared. I love the guy but on more than one occasion I've literally been embarrassed by his choices. One summer day before my buddy Matt Thompson came over to chill my dad came out to the living room wearing swim shorts and a polo.
Asking him to change, he said it was fine. So when Matt came in he goes,
-uuh, is your dad in his underwear?
-they're swim trunks.
-did you guys get a pool?
-no.

Another time when I was in college, they came to visit and when they walked in my apartment, I burst out laughing at his jeans. They were HORRIBLE.
-DAD! what are you wearing?! Those don't even fit!
-I don't know, they were in my closet.
-You need to change, immediately. Go buy pants.
It turns out they were my mom's jeans. I swear to you.

OK, so yesterday, my mom calls from the mall. They're coming out here in a few weeks and wanted some new gear so she took him to Express for men for some jeans. My mom always describes these things with a Ben Stein cadence that I love.
-Your father has tried on about 12 pairs of jeans. Each time he comes out of the dressing room he tests them.
-How do you test jeans?
-He's doing lunges around Express.
-No.
-Yes.
He's found one pair he likes, oh, he's coming out. (Those look nice Steve, take those too.) Ok, and he's back on the floor.

Sharp. Very, very sharp.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Did I catch a Niner?

Something is happening at work involving a new floor being put in and it has caused all these additional headaches and created extra jobs that need to be done. It's completely stressful. I mean, I haven't actually been involved in any of it, but it looks stressful. Truth be told, I have no clue what's going on. All I heard was "new floor" and when I went in yesterday everything had been moved around so it took me like 20 minutes to find the cereal--and that folded some unnecessary drama into my day. So yea, I guess if I was asked, I would say it's been a stressful endeavor.
My boss Karen, who hates me, walked me through everything and I tried to fake listen as best I could while looking for the damn granola. After she left my Asst. Manager Tony gave me a walkie talkie and explained that we'd be using them to communicate from the 37th floor to the main kitchen on the 2nd floor.
Need I say more than walkie talkie?!
I don't care how old you are-- people get excited when using walkie talkies. If you don't immediately start shouting, "Bravo Bravo, Roger Victor" or something of the like, well, then, we have nothing in common.

Tony is tech-genius golden boy so he takes these things very seriously.
I like pressing buttons to talk.
He went down to the second floor to test out the range, I stayed on 37.

-Tony to Jessica, do you read?
-Copy that Tony, I LOVE to read.
-Jessica, stop. Can you hear me?
-Bring it on over flatbed.
-What?
-I don't know, it's trucker talk. Can you give me the WD-40 on the granola whereabouts?
-Come on!
-Sorry, over and out.
-Don't say over and out until we're totally done! (he was getting a little mad here)
-uhh, sorry Tony. Don't use these things on the daily, over...and out.
-Stop!

We had three different tests like this last night. It was so much fun. I'm using them today for real though and I'm not sure why. Guess I should have been paying attention. cchchhhch.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Eldredge B.

Heard the name Eldredge last night and it made me laugh. Here's why.

About four or five years ago I was in an antique shop with my mom and found this amazing wooden box that I sort of loved for some reason. It had "Eldredge B" inscribed on the front and I liked to think that personalized it and gave it this air of historical mystery. I was about to buy it but the price was way too much for a box, mystery or not.
So cut to the holiday season of that year. We were in the dining room wrapping gifts and my mom pulls this ridiculously scary porcelain doll out of a bag. I have random fears but clowns and porcelain dolls lead the pack. I hate hate hate porcelain dolls. OK, so that point is made.
Completely freaked out, I asked her why she would ever buy such a scary looking doll. She explained that it was a free gift with a perfume purchase and thought that someone might like it. I begged her to throw it away and she shoved it back into the bag and took it out of the room.
Right, so cut to Christmas. We're all sitting around opening gifts and my mom brings out this large present with excitement.
"This one is a surprise!"
My parents know I really don't get into the whole gift exchange thing and that any "surprise" gift will most likely be given away to whoever is sitting closest to me. So I fought an eye roll and unwrapped it. It was the Eldredge B box, and truly, I was so happy. We had seen it months before and that my mother had remembered how much I liked it meant a lot.
I had my picture taken with it, smiling wide, while Vanessa and Sabrina made fun of me.
-That thing is scary!
-It looks like a baby coffin.
-Stop! No it doesn't!
But after they said it, the thought was planted. It was this horrible small coffin and now I hated it.
Mom: Girls, that is a terrible thing to say.
Ness: And Eldredge B was her name.
Me: Stop!
So they laughed and my mother finally conceded that it might have been a pet coffin.

Everyone moved to the kitchen for food and I stared at this mystery box, which I now wished I had never seen. Running my fingers over the inscription with the hesitant touch used for Ouija boards, I squinted with fear and thought of ways I could throw it away without hurting my mom's feelings.
Finally, I said, this is silly. It's a nice box and a nice gift. Nothing to be afraid of.
Thinking of what I could store in it and wondering how much it would hold, I opened the top, looked inside, and was nearly scared to death. No, seriously. Because waiting for me, inside the box, was the porcelain doll.

People, I have never in all my life screamed as loudly or at such a high pitch as I did at that moment.
Everyone came running back into the living room laughing hysterically.
I sat there shaking.

I can laugh about it now--that my near death by free gift with purchase was funny to them. It's fine.
The Eldredge B box has since that day, been in the back of a closet at my parent's house. That's where it will stay.

Monday, January 22, 2007

In It To Win It.

After numerous interviews and TV appearances in which she coyly skirted questions of candidacy, Hillary, the Notorious HRC, has thrown her hat into the ring-- metaphorically, because she looks silly in hats, most politicians do. Even though this was expected, her candidacy is still big news. But here's why most politicians aren't naturally hilarious: they fail to realize that timing...beat...pause...wait for it...is everything.
Politicians are politicians because they fail to understand anything about timing. Government in general tends to be a work in progress so everyone involved has this, "OK, we'll get there when we get there" attitude. Think about it. Think about the Post Office. Think about road repairs. Think about Bill from that Schoolhouse Rock song and all his sitting on Capitol Hill. There's never a rush, unless it's absolutely necessary on a personal level to rush.
Can't you tell when someone is paying for parking at the airport? The greetings are somewhat shorter, bags are pounced upon at baggage claim, and conversation is pushed along with yeah's, uh-huh's, and tell me in the car's.
Enter Hil.
Barack Obama beat her to the punch last week by announcing his plans to run, showing that he knows something about timing. And for each second that passed without Hillary saying anything, that was money out the door. Again, politicians are totally cool with delays that cost money, just as long as it's not their campaign contribution money. Hillary realized her free 30-minute short-term parking had expired so she was all, oh snap, get your effing bags and let's roll.
She posted an announcement on her website that said, "Im in. And I'm in to win."
Whoa, that's strong!
I love the confidence! I love the certainty! I love...how it rhymes.
Now honestly, do you think she actually said this? Do you think she thought it would sit in the same row as historically famous Presidential quotes? I'm in to win? Hillary, this is leader of the free world, not your office Super Bowl pool.
I ran for 8th grade Student Council Treasurer with the slogan, "Jessica for Treasurer. It makes cents." I think I lost, but I would have received more votes that Hillary Rodham and her "In to win" posters had she also run.
But here's my beef with, "And I'm in to win." Who isn't? The lists of declared and potential candidates are huge. And I bet everyone in Congress has dreams of one day being President. "I'm in to win" is America's mantra. Everybody is in to win, duh. Watch 5 seconds of American Idol.
I'm in no position to judge, but some people should add just a little reality to their morning routine and grasp that they might be in it for a bumper sticker keepsake. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is a declared Presidential Candidate. Sorry, but with a name like Mitt, you're not in it for anything. Who are we kidding, bro? Just go get your car. They charge by the hour.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Earth Menopause.

Global Warming. You know it, Al Gore invented it, we all contribute to it, and it's hot right now. Green is the new black. 22 inch rims does not a sweet ride make-- it's all about the mpg baby. You see a person picking cans out of the garbage and they could be homeless or hipster. You just don't know. That's how fresh the environment beat is right now.
Environmentalists are crying out that "warming" is too soft. They say "global warming" doesn't stress the urgency of the situation, that it makes us feel comfy and toasty like we're a planet in sweat pants cuddling under a blanket. Oh, but global warming is NOT a planet in sweat pants. (I got that question wrong on the quiz) Some experts want to change the name to "Global Heating" (still sounds nice), or "The Earth is on Fire" (70's band, right?) or "You're going to die in 5 years, but not before you have to see all of the polar bears die first, those beautiful, sweet, polar bears, who died so that you could drive your car 2 blocks instead of riding your bike you selfish bastard." (OK, that one has my attention. But it's too long and will never catch on).
Everywhere you look, it's save the Earth, it's too hot. But is it, though? Is it too hot?
I live in California, and yesterday on a morning run, I came across what I thought was glass on the road, but it was not glass, it was ice. Granted, just a bit of ice in the shade, but ice nonetheless. And SF has been so cold this past week that I would swear I was back in Syracuse with the faces people were making as they walked down the street. I always wondered why people seemed to look nicer in cali, and then it occurred to me. Think of people's faces when they're cold. Not particularly pleasant. I'd go as far to say they looked pissed. There's a thin line between pissed and cold.
So i'm on the left coast freezing, while my right coast brethren are laughing to themselves that the winter coat purchase was unnecessary. I'm not amused.
What we have here people is not a case of global warming. It's far more serious than that. It's Global Menopause. Mood swings of what weather should be where, hot flashes in the dead of winter, memory problems in terms of recalling what seasons require which type of precipitation, anxiety and depression that are leaving the masses stressed and depressed about their wardrobe choices. The Earth is not comfy, and it insists on talking about it non-stop. Frankly, I'd like it to shut up.
The number one side effect of Menopause is that you need to talk about Menopause, and that's the real tragedy. When guests at the hotel say that they've just come back from seeing Menopause the Musical and proceed to talk about it, I want to hang up on them. You can't watch the View for more than 5 seconds without Rosie dropping the M-bomb. Please, just don't, OK? I don't want to hear about that. But that the planet seems to be experiencing all the symptoms, means we're going to be dealing with it on the daily. It's the most inconvenient of truths.
If we switch Global Warming to Global Menopause, I guarantee people will start to live more eco-friendly lives. Because honestly, who wants to hear about the Earth's hot sweats? Exactly.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Nice Hat Kim.

I've been saying this forever to anyone who will listen, but Kath & Kim is one of the funniest things you can be watching on television. It's Australian but plays on the BBC channel here, and i literally hold my sides laughing every episode. Just spent the better part of my Sunday morning watching bloopers from the show on youtube. I'm an up and at'em kind of girl.
How much do I love bloopers? Um, a lot. There's something about watching people who don't want to laugh try to shake it off that is one of my favorite things in life. Why is it when you know you shouldn't laugh, you can't seem to stop? There's nothing else like it in the human experience. I'm sort of fascinated by the whole thing. And watching clips of people trying to control the uncontrollable guarantees a laugh on your end.

I read awhile ago that yawning is a universal experience. Scientists think it's an evolutionary clue in that both animals and humans yawn. It's a huge part of basic communication. Truly. And supposedly, a person's sensitivity can be measured by their yawn reaction to another person's yawn. Most people catch a yawn if they see someone else do it. (just typing it has made me yawn) But if you don't, then you're probably not that interested in the people around you. Sorry, just how it is.
But I think laughter ranks right up there with the yawn. If you can watch a blooper reel of people bursting out in fits of laughter, and not smile, check your pulse. I just think it's a common reaction. Think back on a time when you've laughed incredibly hard. Now try to relay this story to someone without smiling. If you can do it, I don't want to be your friend.
yawn.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Five?! Well, Define Essential.

I had some time to kill before catching a movie last night so I decided to hang around Borders for a bit. Picked out a few books to skim through and looked for the audio book aisle. Always make my way to the audio book aisle in bookstores when i just want to read for a minute, because i've never actually seen people buy audio books from a bookstore. It seems to me that you wouldn't go to a bookstore to browse through audio books. If you're looking for a book on tape, you probably know what book you want, right? I don't know people who listen to books, so maybe that's not how it is, but the aisles always seem dead, so you figure it out. I was happy to see one of those stepping stools in the aisle. Don't you love how anything low to the ground is considered seating in a bookstore? Including the ground? A bookstore is the only place outside of a yoga class where you can see 35 adults sitting indian style.
So i'm sitting on the stool reading, and I overhear the people in the Art books aisle talking about their art classes.
student 1: I loooove just drawing squares. you know, like really drawing them.
me (thinking): shut up, please.
student 2: really? i liked our study in white. remember? when we painted in white?
me (thinking): hi, hello there? shush please.
student 1:i wasn't in that class, but i remember you saying.
student 2: oh, it was great. painting white chairs, by white trees with white ornaments, anything.
me (thinking): I would have just left it blank and peaced out early. Suckas.
student 1: yeah, but the squares.
me: frustrated exhale.
Listen, i know bookstores aren't libraries...but audio book aisles kind of are. And I was all comfy on my stool and didn't want to listen to the brain trust for 20 minutes.
So I tried my best to drown them out and went back to reading. The art books spilled over into the audio books section and a man came into the aisle standing painfully close to me. Pretending not to be bothered, I looked up at him completely bothered. Dude, what book could you possibly be looking for? He finally picked up a HUGE book on Goya and caught me giving him a random look.
me (thinking): Right. Like you came to the bookstore specifically for Goya. "I'll be right back honey. Just have to run out for some milk and that book on Goya."
man: I just love Goya.
me (thinking): I love squares. And white. I love white squares.
me: Oh, yea. good stuff.
man: So you know Goya?
me (thinking): oh, please just go away. not to be rude, but i so don't want to talk to you.
me: not personally.
man: (scary laugh.)
me (thinking): scary laugh.
man: What are you reading?
me: audio books.
man: (scary laugh/long pause, still standing too close) I'm always hearing bookstores are great places to meet people.
me (thinking): oh why, why, why...
so he's standing there, i'm sitting 10 inches off the ground, in this really annoying situation that should never take place in this aisle and i'm looking around at the audio books behind me and one was entitled, "5 Essential People Skills," which I thought was hilarious.
Not wanting to be rude with a blunt, dude, i'm gay and you scare me, I got up and said "enjoya the goya" which i thought he would laugh at scarily, but didn't.
People kill me.
Think I might head back to Borders to listen to that book. Could there really be 5? I'm pretty sure hiding from people in empty aisles isn't one of the skills. And I can bet yelling at them in your head to stop talking doesn't make the list either. sigh.

Monday, January 08, 2007

aw, snap.

Friday morning I'm in bed, turning over still in that great fuzzy area between being asleep and awake and I see the alarm says 8:00. I smile a little and close my eyes trying to incorporate 8:00 into the last bit of my dream, thinking, why does 8:00 sound so familiar? In my dream I was at a huge mall and when I looked up the escalators, I saw the hotel and thought, I should probably be there. and then it struck me that no, i should actually be there. I jumped out of bed realizing i was supposed to be at work by 8.
Raf was in the shower and I had to wait so I decided to check some email. I love that point when you're already late so you just say screw it. Looking through my email, I see one with the subject, "OPEN EYED SNEEZE." hmm, weird. So my heart starts to beat a little faster and I open it, trying to remain realistic. I sent out query letters last week and the mailman said they would be to New York by Wednesday. If this email was sent to me on Friday, the agent was probably writing to say pass.
But no. The agent was writing to say, let's see what you got. Actually, the agent's assistant wrote the email, but, semantics. She said that they wanted to see an author's bio, synopsis, and the entire manuscript.
Most of the books I've been reading about finding a literary agent say to expect to wait a while to hear back with news about your queries, thus i was kind of freaking out.
Waiting for the train to go into work I called my dad to share my excitement.
-Hellllllo! Are you sitting down?!
-Hello? I'm in a building and can't hear you. With whom am I speaking?
I just hung up. I was too excited to have to explain to my father who I was.
Later when he called back I told him the news and he goes, "Oh my gosh, Jessica, I can't believe...how balmy it is here!"
Honestly, why I bother speaking with him over the phone is one of the great mysteries of my life.
Just got back from fedex and sent everything off to New York. I'm a realist through and through so I realize she's just reading it. But it's still cool that someone I don't know will read my work.