Tuesday, August 31, 2004

What I did on my summer vacation.

I helped my parents give Molly the Satanic Dog a bath. True to form, Molly hates baths...probably because cleanliness is next to godliness. Anyway, here's her before and after pics.

Before (Notice how she looks so smug and superior...what a little princess)

After (This is the part where she wishes she had thumbs so she could strangle us all in our sleep)

Get your gmail right here. Nudie pictures appreciated but not required.

I have had two takers on Gmail accounts. On a suggestion from Mister DA, I am going to donate the rest of my invites to Gmail For Troops if no one emails me and asks for them in the next day or so. Just a heads up...I still have 4 invites left since somehow I got refilled overnight even after I gave a couple out.


This story about Rochester, NY not allowing the annual Muscular Dystrophy Fill-The-Boot Campaign is kind of interesting (although I hardly think firefighters doing an annual charity drive could be classified as "aggressive panhandling"), especially because the firefighters were out here a couple days ago, waving their boots and asking for cash.

As we drove through town, there were about five firefighters out in the street, dressed in full fireman regalia, waving their big rubber boots and handing out stickers to people that donated. So, my mom tells me to get a dollar out of her purse and give it to them...the only problem being that all she has are a couple of $20 bills. She goes "Well, just give them $20, they're out here in the heat and they deserve it." So, I hand the guy the $20 and he goes NUTS. He's like "THESE LADIES JUST GAVE US A TWENTY! TWENTY DOLLARS!!" My mom is blushing, the firefighter is grinning...and what am I doing? I'm being snarky, as always. So, the fireman says "Thanks" about twenty more times and gives us one of these little stickers that say "I support firefighters" or something...and I lean over to my mom and say "Gee, for $20 I expect them to take off their shirts or give me a lapdance or something" and then turn around...just in time to see Mr. Sticker-hander-outer Fireman leaning in the window to give us a second sticker, presumably for me...little Ms. Big Mouth. So, he blushes, my mom blushes, I try not to laugh and we all pretend he didn't hear it.

Just another example of me being a class act in public.

Monday, August 30, 2004

I feel faint...but at least I won't escape.

Go here. But only if you want to laugh your ass off.

What would you do for a Klondike Bar?

I have 4 Gmail invitations that I am willing to give out to deserving readers. And by "deserving" I mean anyone willing to be my Cabana Boy or move my furniture while wearing a kilt, cute boys with accents (especially if they either live in or near TVPNM and/or send naked pictures), people of either gender willing to buy me a drinky-poo or twelve, and/or the first four people that send me an email and ask (it doesn't hurt to throw in an "Oh ES, you're SOOOO funny").

PS: I added little email envelope thingies onto the blog, so now you can send a post to all your friends. I have no idea why you would want to do that, but it looked fun, so there you go.

PS (pt 2): Go over to Soupie's place and vote for Maggie in the Just Because: Catfight. C'mon, she let James Spader, my future husband and current boyfriend (in my head) spank her. A lot. And I mean that in a good way.

New email...

I got a new email account for the blog...

espatula AT gmail DOT com

You can also still use the "Email Me" link on the right.

I also changed the comments template. It's been a day filled with technological triumphs, so I am going to go watch Dr. Phil and have a celebratory Diet Coke.

So you're gonna tell me that you don't have no black cats, no roman candles, or screaming mimis?

Today, in a flight of fancy, I went to the local Farm Store (seriously, it's called the Back 40 or something like that) to place a reservation for a U-haul for my trip back up to TVPNM. Now, this Farm Store place is essentially the ONLY place in this tiny town that rents U-hauls, the nearest big city (defined as: City with 2-gate Airport and a Target) is about 50 miles away, so the choices for moving van rental are pretty limited. And I was going to rent off the internet, but I NEVER see any U-haul trucks outside this place and thought maybe I ought to just stop in and ask how the whole thing works.

So, first thing when I walk in is that there are pictures of 4-H farm animals everywhere with these little notes from 4-H kids..."Thank youu verry mush four bying my hog afterr the fare this yeer. I am gladd you bot my hog. Yor stor is verry nice two buy my hog." I can't make this stuff up. And, of course, you know what happens to poor Mr. Hog...Mmmmmm...Bacon.

Then the lady asks if she can help me, I give her my song and dance about moving up to TVPNM and how I need a U-haul and everything and here's the conversation.

Me: "Well, I need a 10-foot U-haul to move my stuff up to TVPNM"
Farm Store Lady: "Well, you see here, we can take your reservation but we can't guarantee a truck on the day you need it"
Me: "Ummm...isn't that why it's called a reservation? What am I reserving if you can't promise me what I need?"
FSL: "Well, see, this is about supply and demand"
Me: (puzzled) "Yes, I understand that...and so that's why I'm giving you several hundred dollars and you're providing me with a truck...right??"
FSL: "But, we can't guarantee someone will turn in one that's the size you need by the day you need it...so if they didn't you might have to go somewhere else"
Me: "You mean, you would refer me to someone that has the truck? Where?"
FSL: "Oh, you know...around here"
Me: "Where around here? In Nearest Big City? We're pretty much in the middle of nowhere here!"
FSL: "Oh, I don't really know. Do you want to make a reservation or not?"
Me: "WHAT AM I RESERVING? The opportunity to have my entire move effed up by your store and U-haul's apparently ridiculous policies?"
FSL: "Well, at least if we know you have a truck reserved, if someone brings one in then we can hold it for you"
Me: "OK, so if someone brings one in like next week sometime you'll hold it until the 10th?"
FSL: "No. We'll only hold it for one day. And you know, we don't get too many trucks coming in here because it's such a small town, so we can't guarantee you'll get the truck you need/want"
Me: "Oh my god, are you kidding me...have we just made a full conversational circle?"

This went on and on for about 20 minutes, until I finally gave her my credit card and driver's license and just pinned my hopes for getting a truck on all the good karma I racked up during the conversation by not pulling her over the counter and twisting her head until it popped off.

Went to the sparkly rock store today too...gonna have to save that story for later. It was owned by a woman who I AM SURE has at least 47 cats in her home. I guarantee it.

What she needs is a good Cabana Boy!

Sexually Frustrated Chimp Takes Up Smoking

Sexual frustration has turned a Chinese chimpanzee from a mild-mannered
simian into a problem primate who smokes cigarettes and spits at visitors, the
Xinhua news agency says.

But, Liu said, the root cause of Feili's transformation from a "gentle
girl" into a "shrew" lay with the inability to find her a satisfactory mate.

A male chimpanzee at the zoo has failed to live up to Feili's sexual
demands, and she has snubbed other potential suitors.

I have to say, I kind of admire her persistence, but sometimes you just have to let one guy go and try to train up a new one and see if it works out any better. Painful, yes...but ultimately, sometimes a better choice.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Good news of the sparkly variety.

The bike shop my dad works at just bought a new building so they can expand their business, and guess what? The new building is currently a gem and mineral shop. And guess what else? Tomorrow I'm going down to said gem and mineral shop to indulge all my sparkly desires for damn near free as they sell off their inventory in preparation for closing their business. Oh yeah, I am going to buy tons of sparkly, shiny, beautiful rocks and gems and whatnot even if all I ever do with them is put them in a big jar and stare at them like a demented crow. This is the best news I've had since Diet Coke went on sale at Albertsons, 4 cases for $10. I think my mood over this news can best be described as gleeful. And giddy. I love sparklies.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

It looks like somebody's got a case of the MONDAYS!

Well...not really. I'm still feeling a bit angst-ridden but I've been drinking boat loads of Diet Coke, listening to Jimmy Buffett, and trying not to think about school starting...so that's all helping. Also, Reign of Fire was on TV this afternoon...yummy sweaty hot boys, sometimes with no shirts. Damn, why haven't I hired a Cabana Boy yet? I would make him go in the backyard, take his shirt off, and dig me a nice big hole, just to watch him sweat. Isn't that sick?! No wonder I haven't had any takers.

Anyway, I found out yesterday that I can move into my new place on September 10th, so I'll be heading back up to TVPNM two weeks from today to try to get all moved in and whatnot. I looked at Craigslist this morning to see if I could possibly find someone to help me unload my furniture and stuff and there is a guy who swears that for $20/hr he will come unload your furniture IN A KILT...and he says he's really Scottish. I'm such a sucker for an accent, and honestly, if he'd really wear the kilt I'd pay the $20 just to have him prance around and say cute things with an accent, but alas, my practical side says that while $20 might buy you some manual labor, letting a strange man into your home means the rape and murder are probably thrown in for free. Sigh. Whatever happened to being able to ogle without fear?

Friday, August 27, 2004

What a day.

Without going into particulars, let me first say that I am REALLY missing the Air Force today. Sometimes it's just nice to have your friends around and know that no matter what, they're with you 100%.

Also, I don't really know how to articulate how I feel about this, but one of the interns I worked with in D.C., and one of only two that I became close friends with, emailed me to tell me that he decided to quit law school. Just like that.

I'm torn because on one hand he is exactly the kind of person that I think should become a lawyer. He abides absolutely no bullshit. He works hard and plays hard and is a straight shooter...in so many ways I think it's tragic that the prententious assholes of the world seem to always manage to scoot through law school unscathed while the people who could actually do some good, in a solid, practical way, are so put off by the experience that they quit and find other things to do where they feel more comfortable and useful. And I say all this as someone that has come close to quitting law school, in all seriousness, at least twice.

On the other hand, as sad as I am to see him quit, I respect his decision so much. I think that it's very brave to quit something that is not making you happy, irregardless of what other people think, and take some time to figure out what does make you happy. Life is too short to toil away in misery, hoping tomorrow will be better. I've found that there is this general belief in law school that if you quit something horrible will happen...your life will be ruined FOREVER, or you will somehow become unemployable in any field, FOREVER.

So, what does this all mean to me? I don't really know. I've thought so many times about quitting. I don't think I ever will just because I have a strong belief that there is something on the other side of the crappy law school experience that I will be good at and that will drive me, a place where I can make a difference...even if it's not practicing law but in some other, tangentially related to law, field.

It's also making me think about the fact that I have yet to find my niche at school. I've made friends and joined clubs and done all the things I'm supposed to do, but I still feel like an outsider, and I think it's because I just can't embrace the law school party line..."Be scared, work yourself to death, be wary of others, feed the paranoia, drive yourself crazy wondering what the other guy is doing/having/accomplishing."

I have yet to become vested in the legal education process and doubt that I will anytime in the next two years, so I guess what I'm thinking about now is how to get through the next two years in a way that is productive and healthy and not detrimental to who I think I am as a person. Like Charlie Brown, I just want to be one of the gang...I want to find a place to belong, not just in my legal education, but as I try to decide what I want to be when I grow up...so I guess I'm hoping that this year will bring some clarity to my life.

At the risk of really rambling on here without much of a point, I am going to feed my existential angst some cookies and Diet Coke, and if I can come up with some even remotely coherent thoughts, perhaps I will have more to say about this another day.

But, if my friend is reading, I want him to know that I think what he's doing is so awesome and I hope he finds his path and discovers much happiness along the way.

I can see it's dangerous for you, but if the government trusts me, maybe you could.

It's Friday, the weather is beautiful, and I'm going hiking, but I'll leave you with the fact that I just got finished putting up my answers to Milbarge's questions over at BTQ...so if you were ever even remotely curious about how I feel about blogging, why I started this blog, or which bloggers I would like to have a beer with if given the chance, head on over there and take a look.

Just Because TGIF: Stifler

Just Because: Seann William Scott

Alright, I promised an extra one this week...both for being late on Wednesday, and for leaving a few people less than wowed over my choice of Antonio Banderas. Hopefully this one will go over better...I personally think Mr. Scott is very, very, very acceptable as a JB hottie, and after all, I am the one slaving away looking at pictures of half-naked men hour after hour searching for just the right tasty bit of manflesh to display on my very sophisticated and classy blog!

P.S. Both suggestions on Wednesday were duly noted and are being worked on.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

You come in here with a skull full of mush and you leave thinking like a lawyer.

A while back I promised at least one post about something related to law school. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) the quarter system means that I don't actually start school for about 5 more weeks, so not a lot is going on. But, here's what's coming up...and as these things get closer I'm sure I'll have a lot to say.

(1) I signed up to be a peer mentor, so as the new class comes in and starts Orientation and stuff I guess it's my job to get them totally drunk and pry their deepest, darkest secrets out of them...er...I mean help them adjust to the rigors of law school.

(2) OCI results came out yesterday and I have three interviews in late Sept./early Oct. It might not sound like much, but I only applied to three places so I'm pretty happy. Because I'm primarily looking at public interest jobs I didn't really get too into OCI, and so I'm sort of on the self-directed find-your-own-damn-job program which in turn means that Career Services, as always, is sending me notifications to apply for jobs whose application periods have already passed and directing me to very helpful databases of government jobs that need passwords which nobody seems to have. And, as always, I am so thankful I'm paying for all of this.

(3) I think I've mentioned before I am an officer in the Military Law Association, so I've been spending some time plotting...uh, I mean planning, how we can better use our organization's money for more...ummmm...social events. Last year we went shooting once, and this year I'd like to get everyone out to the range at least three or four times, and also have some happy hours and things like that. The typical meeting during lunch with free pizza just doesn't work when you only have about 8 people in your club and the rest of the school would rather be boiled in oil than have anything to do with the military.

And as an aside to point #3, let me tell you about my interview experience last fall during our Public Interest Career Fair. I got an interview with a local (local to TVPNM) organization that specializes in the type of law I am interested in, for a job that I am VERY qualified for, perhaps even overqualified considering my masters degree and Air Force experience. AND I had previously met the interviewer at a training I went to that he held for people who wanted to work at his organization doing free clinic work. So, this should have been a pretty easy interview. It went like this.

Interviewer: "So, it says here you were in the Air Force"
Me: Answer affirmatively, give pre-rehearsed spiel on military experience, how valuable it is, all the great stuff I got to do...etc.
Interviewer: "And it also says that you are the secretary for the Military Law Assocation"
Me: "Yes"
Interviewer: "So, does that organization actively support the military?"
Me: "Ummm, well, what we try to do is be a place where current and former military people can meet other people with similar interests, discuss military law, network, etc...we also welcome any member of the school who would like to learn more about the military or just come to the meetings and ask questions or observe."
Interviewer: "So, would you say that you support the military's policies...in general"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Interviewer: "Do you think that your military experience and your current involvement with this organization at school is detrimental to your objectivity?"
Me: "What? What are you talking about?"
Interviewer: "Well, I'm just wondering if, with your background, you can come into an organization like ours and be impartial to the kinds of clients we serve"

And then he ended the interview and I never did find out exactly what types of clients I would be so unable to serve due to my military experience. I can make some assumptions, but I'm not sure how anyone with that big of an issue with the military could EVER look at my resume and decide to interview me unless it was only for the opportunity to try to get me to argue with him or to try to show me up by not giving me the job...as if I would want to work at a place where the boss is that openly hostile about me and my past. The kicker though is that while this person did not offer me a summer position, he left me a voicemail that if I was interested in a position during the year I should call him. Yeah, right. And, so as not to end this post on a sour note, I will say that the vast majority of interviews I've had and people I've talked to have been really supportive and enthusiastic (and sometimes downright impressed) with military experience on a resume, in general. The experience described above was an isolated occurence and the place I ended up working this summer I think really valued my previous work history and had a lot of other former military types working there, so it was also fun for me to be back in that type of atmosphere again.

I guess I got a little sidetracked in this post -- so I'll quit while I'm sort of ahead. I am trying to complete my answers to Milbarge's questions over at BTQ...but some of the other guest bloggers have already posted theirs, so go read what Soupie and Scott had to say, and maybe I'll finish by tomorrow.

Hooray for funnies!

For those of you who don't know...which is probably most of you...I am going to be the new Queen of the Friday Funnies over at Blawg Wisdom. Ambivalent Imbroglio explained it all over there -- so just go look if you want to know more -- as always, he says it better than I ever could.

I'm looking forward to my new job, especially as it means that I get to be the boss of the Friday Funnies, and you should ALL know I love nothing more than getting to be the boss of stuff.

Another Moment of Zen

I've got a few law school related things to talk about...so perhaps I'll get to those later today. In the meantime, in the same spirit as the picture I posted the other day of The Grand Canyon, here's a couple of pictures of my trip to the beach. I heart the Oregon Coast.

Not tonight, I have a headache.

A German dictionary publisher is going to put out a book that it says will translate "woman speak" into something men can understand. The best part about this is that now men can just keep on not listening to anything we say and then blame the book for why they don't know what the hell we're talking about. Awesome.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Just Because: The Franchise

Just Because: Antonio "OH MY GOD LOOK AT THOSE EYES" Banderas

I won't be ignored, Dan!

In yet another example of complete idiocy, MSN has this little gem on its homepage...you know, when you check your email and there are usually like three or four little teaser stories off to the left, and this one is especially good...it's called "Four Signs She's High Maintenance."

Sign #1: High H.B.A. factor. Rookie observers, remember the H.B.A. acronym (which stands for “Health, Beauty & Accessories”). As in, obsessed with H.B.A. Scan the latest trendy store, restaurant or bar and you’ll spot high-maintenance women easily in their natural habitat. Ground zero for the high-maintenance species are beauty salons, malls and occasionally, the health club. (Yes, female gym rats can be high maintenance, although scientists say it’s a rare occurrence.) Is she dressed to the nines at the grocery store? Is she sporting full-tilt makeup and big hair at the health club when other women are in sweats and no makeup? Look closer and you’ll find what constitutes high-maintenance is as varied as her patchwork quilt or designer bag, her intricately painted toenails or her voracious appetite for beauty treatments.

Well, gosh...guess I better quit painting my toenails and putting on makeup before I go out...I don't want some asshat scamming on me to think I'm high-maintenance. I'll just bet that I can't live up the high standards of a guy who picks up women at the grocery store or has rules about what women should and shouldn't wear out of their house to the gym. My favorite part about Sign #1 is the ambiguity...She spends too much time on herself? She's high-maintenance...She doesn't take care of herself? She's a slob. No woman will ever meet my exact standards, because I am Typical American Male, a god among men. Yeah Right.

I mean, what kind of woman takes time out of her busy schedule to go to the spa for beauty treatments? A selfish bitch that oughtta be home making her man a pot pie, that's who!

Sign #2: Emotional insecurity. High maintenance women can be as insecure as a lost toddler. They can freak out if you even so much as give an extended glance at another woman, among other indicators of emotional neediness. Her neediness often requires her to control and direct your behavior.

No, seriously, stare at other women as much as you want, even if it is right in front of me...it totally doesn't make me feel like an insignificant piece of crap. I would hate to stifle your freedom just to feed into controlling and high-maintenance values like love, respect, and dignity.

Sign #3: Controlling. Is she always instructing you to call her or sets rules around things? (Example: “Call me at work tomorrow at 2 p.m.”) Worse yet, she might express anger or manipulate you to get you to do what she wants. A range of ploys such as her demands to call frequently, fix-it items, and transportation needs (“Can you pick me up?”) are all ways to keep you on a short leash or otherwise attempt to control your behavior.

Please do not come pick me up, no matter how dire the situation. I will hitchhike home in the dark with a stranger with prison tattoos and one glass eye all in the name of not demanding any of your precious, non-controlled-by-me time.

Don't you want to meet the nice guy that gave me a ride home? His name is Ted, Ted Bundy, he drives a real neat VW Bug...although, there wasn't a handle on the inside of the passenger door, I had a real hard time getting out....weird, huh?

Sign #4: Communications. Guys, if she talks like this, run: “Like, oh my God, I was on the way to the mall and…” (At your own risk, remind her that “Valleyspeak” went out in the 1990s with Frank Zappa.) Pay attention to what she talks about for it’s the critical indicator of what might – or might not be – going on in her brain. Is it all about her, shopping and her friends? Chances are you have a high-maintenance girl on your hands. I say “girl” because rarely are mature women really that high maintenance. If they are, they may be limited to the divorcĂ©e set, who brandish fake dark tans, fake body parts, overprocessed hair and enough bling-bling to make you squint.

Well, I'm a divorcee and I say "like" quite a bit, but I didn't realize that automatically relegated me to the high-maintenance category. If I had the money I would DEFINITELY be wearing as much shiny stuff as I could get on my body and still walk upright, but hey, I guess when you're a man trying to figure out if a woman...er...excuse me, girl, is high-maintenance, the snap judgment is your best friend.

As for the rest of it, I won't even get into whether or not I think the author of this story has EVER said to himself, "Hey self, let's pass up this high-maintenance woman with the fake tan and the fake boobs and head over there, to that girl with the pale skin and average body...yeah, that's right, the one reading a book and forming complete sentences."

The Picnic Test: If you have doubts about her high-maintenance level, put it to the test. See how she handles an impromptu picnic. Suggest casual food from the deli, a cookout, or wine, bread and cheese. Then, gauge her reactions carefully. Dirk, a Minneapolis marketing manager, didn’t discover he was dating a high-maintenance woman until it was too late. When he was in his early thirties, he dated twentysomething Jodi for a couple of years. “On our way to a picnic, we had to stop so she could buy a new outfit, out of my pocket of course, because the one she took an hour to pick out on her own wasn’t good enough for the picnic.”

That was the first “picnic incident.” The second one was even sadder. The couple had spontaneously decided to go on a picnic, so they stopped by a deli at a grocery store near a nice lake area. “When the clerk weighed each of our salads, hers weighed more. She stormed out saying that I made her look like a pig because I wasn’t eating as much as she was. Kinda nuts,huh?”

These women aren't high maintenance, they're psychotic ungrateful shrews. A picnic? Are you frigging kidding me...I was married and got ball bearings for my rollerblades for my birthday...still in the Target bag with a price sticker on it...I would have KILLED for a picnic. Any picnic, even in the backyard with Boone's Farm wine and cheese sandwiches from 7-11. No joke. But, I'm just a high-maintenance divorcee with communication and control issues...so don't listen to me. Oh my god, I have to quit reading this crap.

On a completely different note...I will be gone until Wednesday afternoon, so the JB boy might be a little late. However, I am willing to make up for it with a special Friday Just Because: I Went To The Coast And Left You All Without A Timely Bit Of Manflesh boy, I'm taking suggestions.

A nice long list of stuff you're probably not interested in.

In my inaugural post for Begging the Question, I thought I would follow in the footsteps of Milbarge and have an "Energy Spatula At Large" post. So, here we go. (As an afterthought...does anyone have an opinion of this small font over my usual HUGE font? I'm going to change my template when I get back to TVPNM but until then, I kind of like the small but don't want to hurt anyone's eyes).

What I'm Doing At Work: Ooooh...this one is easy. I don't actually have a job, but we'll count school as my job and talk about that. I am actively procrastinating finishing up my resume and sending it out by working on this post. Most of the government agencies are just now opening up their application processes for next summer, so my plan is to hit the ones that accept resumes via email first, and then try to get motivated to go buy some nice paper and start sending out packages to the others. I thought about enclosing money or something in the envelopes as sort of a bribe, but I don't have enough to make it worthwhile (I don't think a half roll of pennies to each place would do the trick...). Hey, do you think they would take those McDonald's coupons you can buy in a book at Christmas-time? I think I have some left over that my grandparents gave me last year. So, I guess that's what I'm doing at work, trying to find a job that can be swayed to hire me by the receipt of $1 off a quarter pounder with cheese. Anybody have any ideas?

What I'm Doing at Home: STILL going through my stuff and trying to force myself to get rid of some of it. My things have been in storage since April of last year which is when I went on terminal leave from the Air Force. I lived in Glorified Graduate Student Dorm last year, so I only took a small percentage of my things with me...but now that I found my own place it all has to go back with me. And I love opening all the boxes and seeing my things again, it's like my birthday every day -- all these great things I haven't seen in a year and a half. I don't WANT to get rid of anything, even though I know I probably don't need that talking cookie jar anymore...or the Magic 8-ball collection (I have 6...seriously). So, I'm trying to be disciplined about it, but not really succeeding. I think in the end most of the junk will end up in my new apartment and I will be complaining about this next time I move. Won't that be fun for all of us?

What I'm Listening To: In an homage to the more emotionally fragile years of my adolescence, I am listening to
Maroon 5. And I mean, it's on rapid rotation and I can't stop listening to it, and I might even be mooning just a little bit. I'm also listening to the Jimmy Buffett box set here and there, especially Boats, but I'm in a bit of an obsessive Maroon 5 rut right now.

What I'm Reading: Trashy romances. I am especially addicted to the kind where there is some mystery or murder going on, and then the big strong man comes and solves the mystery and also falls in love with the heroine who is inevitably not at all what he expected. I know it's ridiculous, but I can't help it. The series of choice right now is by
Elizabeth Lowell and chronicles this family of brothers (the Donovans, if you care) all involved in different aspects of the gem and mineral trade and they are all big and tough and dangerous (but in a nice, sexy way) and they solve murders and inevitably fall in love by the end of each book. Sigh. This is sadly about as highbrow as I get when it comes to literature.

What I'm Thinking About: Going to the coast. We leave tomorrow for a couple of days out on the
coast of Oregon...gonna do some hiking and biking and hopefully spend some time collecting seashells and watching seals and other nice relaxing activities that don't involve me going through boxes in a storage unit. I love the coast, so this is a big treat for me...we try to go a couple of times a year, and with school and everything, it is especially nice to get away whenever I can (and frankly, whenever my parents are willing to pay).

Also putting some thought into when Jimmy is going to announce his West Coast tour dates, whether or not I need to buy another pink throw rug to replace the one my roommates demolished last year, where I can get some nice bowls that match the pink plates I already have that are decorated with starfish and other sea creatures, and whether or not I should replace the
clip-on reading light that I accidentally broke when I stepped on it the other day. I like to read before bed, so the clip on light is a must...there is nothing worse than getting all settled in and then having to get up to turn off the overhead light...blech.

What I'm Not Thinking About: School starting next month. Looking for a job (OK, I'm thinking about this one a little bit). Registration. Financial Aid. In-state vs. Out-of-state tuition. Keeping my scholarship. Grants. GI Bill. Moving (yeah, thinking about this one a bit as well). Packing. Unpacking. Paying bills. The election. Anything without rhinestones.

What I'll Be Doing Tomorrow At This Time: Trying to maintain my dignity while being forced to play the Alphabet Game on the two hour drive to the coast. For those of you that have sane parents, this a game where you have to find all the letters of the alphabet, in order, on signs and semi-trucks and whatnot. This is made all the more unappealing by the fact that (a) I am almost 30 years old, (b) my mom LOVES to play and won't take no for an answer, and (c) she changes the rules pretty much every 3 seconds in order to make the game LONGER (NO, it has to be the FIRST letter of the first word of the second sentence and only on green signs...that's the way it's played...IT IS!!!). It's just so fun that she never wants it to end. Yeah.

So, I'll be back Wednesday night...maybe with funny stories, maybe traumatized from the Alphabet Game, but back nonetheless. Don't forget to leave the light on.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Here we are...your moment of zen.

I have been going through a bunch of pictures that have been in storage for the past year and a half and came across this one taken by M. and I during our cross country road trip last summer. We went to the Grand Canyon and spent a whole day there hiking and avoiding bubonic plague infested squirrels and panicking (OK, only I panicked...I hate the steep ledges...SCARY!). Anyway, we took some cool pics but I like this one the best. We visited one year ago this week.

I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful it is there. Everyone should go. There are no words to describe it, you just have to go see for yourself.

Sometimes I think that I don't know that much but MATH SUX.

Daddy Spatula is out climbing a mountain today and tomorrow (need QuickTime to view the panorama from the top of the mountain)...so as always in his adventures, we wish him luck. I am, of course, glad to be home in the A/C with cookies, Diet Coke, and 900 channels of satellite TV. And let's not forget the X-box either...and with my dad gone, it's basically all mine, although my mom is working her way through Myst 3...but s l o w l y.

In other news I went shopping today and bought some stuff for the new place...it's fun to start buying all that good "I live alone in my own apartment" stuff again...candles, dishes that I don't have to worry about roommates breaking, rose scented linen spray...god I love being a spoiled little princess! I also bought this little white bowl with purple flowers on it that I can put on my dresser to hold earrings and stuff...I have no idea why I continue to buy stuff like this, I just can't help it. It's so pretty and flowery and purple. Sigh. I heart girly stuff.

Lastly, and in my only even tangentially related to law school bit of news, I think I finally worked out my fall quarter schedule.

International Legal Processes
Family Law
Basic Income Tax

It probably doesn't seem like many classes -- but remember that the hideous quarter system means that I have three sets of classes during the school year instead of two. So, this is actually 17 hours worth of classes -- but only goes from the last week of September until mid-December. Anyhoo. I'm REALLY looking forward to International Legal Processes as it's taught by a very hard core retired Coast Guard officer who is also the faculty advisor for the Military Law Association, which I am the admin officer of (like a secretary...only in military speak, and I get to organize trips to the gun range instead of lame socials). I respect him so much, and I've heard the class is tough...which is exciting because overall I haven't been so impressed with the intellectual rigor of law school so far...I mean, it's REALLY busy a lot of the time, but it's not difficult per se (most of the time). It's more of an experiment in time, stress, and anger management. Anyway, I'll quit while I'm ahead on this one, suffice it to say that I'm excited about that one class and dreading Basic Income Tax because I know it will have math...I can just feel it coming.

Friday, August 20, 2004

A little lesson in creative pronunciation.

So, as I was watching the Olympics tonight with my parents I had two sort of major surprises.

First, there is an Olympic sport where you just jump up and down on a trampoline and do tricks. Really.

Second, the reigning world champion and silver medalist in trampoline from tonight is a Canadian woman named Karen Cockburn. Really.

The announcers were very careful to pronounce it "Coburn" but I think we all know that this girl was teased mercilessly...and honestly we already know I am totally immature, so I'll come right out and admit that the news story was all the more amusing to me as they refer to her as "Cockburn" throughout the entire thing and I was definitely not pronouncing it "Coburn" in my head.

Team Natural Selection Rides Again

This guy was apparently selling military ordnance on Ebay -- and got a little too cozy with a live shell. Oops.

Best quote: "Carlos Baixauli, an ATFE spokesman, said it appeared the round exploded when Macleod was trying to make the 20mm shell safe by drilling into it and removing the charge."

Yeah, nothing renders a shell safe faster than a good drilling.

Other best quote: "While waiting for the Army bomb experts to arrive, Sarasota authorities probed a 3-foot-long cardboard package on the lawn."

Heh heh...probed.

Final and last best quote: "Baixauli said bomb squad members tried to X-ray the package but it appeared to be shielded by something. Authorities then remotely fired a shotgun at the package, twice, in an attempt to open it and reduce the chances it would go off."

Kind of like the drilling...I'm not certain the "shoot it and see if it blows up" method is necessarily best here. But hey, I'm no expert. I normally only shoot at things I'm relatively certain aren't bombs. But that's just me.

More from the Soapbox...

This link, via Inter Alia, totally gets me all riled up again about the plastic surgery in the military thing. The story is essentially this:

A group supporting natural breasts staged a small street protest in Hollywood on Wednesday against a U.S. military policy offering free breast implants to female soldiers. The group, led by porn star and former California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey, said the military should spend its money on "bullets, not boobs."

The protest was organized by porn impresario Mark Kulkis, president of Kick Ass Pictures, the company for whom Carey stars. It follows recent news stories about the military offering free plastic surgery, including breast enhancements, to soldiers and their families so military doctors can practice their skills.

Kulkis said he opposed military breast implants because they are an unwise expenditure of tax money and because he does not like fake breasts.

"We support our military 100 percent. Part of the reason we're protesting is that we think these tax dollars would be much better spent on essentials (for soldiers)," Kulkis said.

Yeah, I'm sure these assholes have put a lot of thought into where their tax dollars are going...I know the natural vs. fake boob debate really gets me going too...I mean, who needs to worry about health care, wartime expenditures, child care, unemployment or any other weighty matter when we could be settling the "Which are better, fake or natural?" question?

Since I've already addressed this in a post called "Soapbox Alert" I will quit now. But I am going to feel pissy about this all day. This really is my soapbox, these men and women (and most of my really close friends) are willing to risk their lives every day to defend this country, and rest assured, they aren't doing it for the free plastic surgery...but they are doing it so jackasses like these can have the right to say whatever they want or have a protest about something this asinine in front of the Army recruiting office in order to gain notoriety and publicity for themselves while claiming to care about this country's Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

Friday Odds-N-Ends

This website, Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About (link via Lonestar Expat) is SO funny. I thought about making a list of things my ex-husband and I argued about, but I'm not sure there's enough room left on the internet for a list that long.

And, in a case of what can happen when an argument goes really, really bad, here's another "My crazy ass wife ran me over with the family car" story.

Also, I finally figured out both why I'm bad at math, and why I look nothing like my parents...clearly I am adopted...I hope my real mom is a tribal Princess.

Finally, in a total twist of irony, German police are investigating a play for being too racy...it boggles the mind what it must take to be too obscene to be shown in Germany.

I plan to spend what promises be a very hot day (100+) out in my non-climate controlled, concrete and steel, 10x10 storage unit, culling through my belongings so that I have less to move up to TVPNM next month...but I am NOT getting rid of any of my collection of sparkly picture frames. I'm just not. So there.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Gee, Kent, and we were going to make you King of the Winter Carnival!

Over at Tex-Lex, the author asks whether it's more efficient to spend time preparing for class, or whether it's better to prepare for class, but spend the majority of study time reviewing after the fact. In response, and because I am in rural Oregon living with my parents and my satanic dog (who tried to eat a steak off the counter this morning right in front of me)...here is my schedule for how I divided my day during 1L year. Suffice it to say that this started pretty much about 4 days after Orientation, got worse throughout the year, and is not applicable during exams, which is the only time I applied myself at all.

A Day In The Life Of Energy Spatula -- Girl Slacker.

7:30: Wake up for first time. Convince self that there is no need to spend time on looking good before school, therefore taking 20 minutes off of total “get ready” time. Reset alarm.

8:00: Wake up again. Consider trying to get someone to take notes for me so I can skip class. Remember that I don’t take notes. Get up and head to class still essentially asleep.

8:30: Begin 5 block uphill hike to school. In the rain. Buy 1-liter Diet Coke and think about how bad I want to drink it all the way to school. Worry about whether all the jostling in my backpack will make it flat. Rearrange books so Diet Coke is properly cradled in between Property and CivPro books. Wonder why I haven’t opened either one of them. Have panicked moment before I realize that I remembered to bring my electronic Yahtzee game.

9:00: First class of the day. Can’t remember where I’m at. Ask someone what we were supposed to read last night. Skim reading to figure out which cases are included. Download case briefs quickly off internet while teacher opens up class just in case I get called on.

9:05: Sign into blog. Start looking for funny stories. Read other blogs to make sure everyone made it through the night OK. Spend 23 minutes Googling stuff that has nothing to do with law school, for example: “Diet Coke” and “Handsome Bachelor”

9:50: Get 20oz Diet Coke from machine in student lunchroom…The 1-liter is long gone and I’m not even close to being awake yet. Still have no idea what class I just sat through.

10:00: Next class. Go upstairs to locker for CivPro book, get back just in time to realize I’m in Property. Damn. And I still didn’t read. Back to the ‘net for more case briefs after asking friend what we read. Think a lot about chocolate croissants. Long for a chocolate croissant. Have low-fat yogurt instead. Feel angry.

11:20: On to next class. It’s ConLaw…awesome…Powerpoint slides and he only calls on three people he likes. For once, I'm glad I am not that likeable (obviously kidding...what's not to love?). Pick up another 20oz Diet Coke. Just in case. You never know when you might need one. Play Bejeweled for entire 50 minutes of class complete with audible hiss when high score is destroyed by anxiety caused when person next to me is called on.

12:30: Thankfully, lunch. Eat something totally heinous and vow to go to the gym. Have another Diet Coke. Wish that I could stop trembling from the caffeine long enough to actually IM properly in afternoon classes.

1:30: Last class of the day. Oh yeah, THIS one is CivPro. Awesome. Love CivPro but still don’t do the reading. B.S. my way through any questions and IM with friends about whether we will go somewhere and drink beer tonight.

2:30: Time to go study. Decide to head home and study there because it’s more comfortable than the library.

3:00: Dr. Phil. Just a short break to rejuvenate. Seriously. It’s only background noise to help me study. Really.

4:00: First episode of Law and Order.

5:00: Second episode of Law and Order.

6:00: Third episode of Law and Order. First beer of the night.

7:00: Decide I really need to do the reading…I’m three weeks behind. Vow to start outlining sometime before the night before the exam. Watch Entertainment Tonight. Think about how much I hate Paris Hilton.

8:00: Prop book up near laptop. IM with friends. Email people. Any people. People I haven’t talked to in 10 years if that’s what it takes to keep me away from the homework.

9:00: Look at book. Highlight some stuff so that if anyone looks they will think I read. Decide that if I download the cases off of Lexis they will be easier to read. Read CNN.com for twenty minutes, IM some more, check email, and then decide to get a snack.

9:30: Second beer of the evening. Complete food pyramid by washing it down with pizza and cookies. Rock on.

10:00: Time to get serious about reading for tomorrow. Turn off TV and disconnect computer. Get on cell phone and talk to M. for thirty minutes about how much we need to find some shoes that are pink and have rhinestones because mine are falling apart.

10:30: I’m exhausted. Not going to get any studying done tonight. Get into pajamas, turn on TV, watch the end of CSI: Miami and hold ConLaw book up until I fall asleep, at which point it will slip out of my hands onto the floor…where I will be sure to forget to bring it to class tomorrow. Should have just left it in the backpack.

11:30: Insomnia starts. Watch Jay Leno, Conan, and the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Finally fall asleep, but despite best efforts to force myself, do not dream about Craig Kilborn. Wake up realizing that law school has ruined even my ability to have good dreams about hot boys. Damnit.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Plausible Deniability = No Pictures. Sorry folks.

Just to make it clear for the nearly 20 people who got to my site today searching for naked pictures of Marian Dragulescu -- believe me folks, if I had 'em I would share. He looked especially handsome tonight during the individual all-around. I am concentrating on not concentrating on the fact that he is probably a good 5 inches shorter than me.

UPDATE: He is indeed 5 inches shorter than me. In my mind he is 6'1". I'm just saying.

Grandparents Rule! (and a few programming notes)

Actual conversation at my Grandpa's house today. (As background, Grandpa Spatula called my dad early this morning and asked him to come over to fix his stove, which was apparently broken. Molly the Satanic Dog and I went along for kicks.)

Grandpa Spatula: "Well, thanks for coming over you guys. You see, I baked a pie last night and only the top got done...so obviously the bottom heating element is broken...we need to pull out the oven, take out the heating element, test the current, and then replace it or the wiring, whichever is broken"
Dad Spatula: "Alright, well, let's pull it out and see what's going on" (Strains to pull gigantic 70's oven away from wall)
GS: "No, I can do it"
DS: ...rolls eyes..."It's OK Dad, let me get it"
GS: "Well, alright but I could have done it"
DS: "I know"
...oven is now away from the wall...
DS: "Let me take all these tiny little screws out, take the back off, and look at the wires and see what goes where"
GS: "I can do that"
DS: "I know, but why don't you let me" (Exasperated sigh)
GS: "Alright...well, according to this wiring diagram, the blue wires connect the heating element to the blah blah blah"
DS: ...Turns wiring diagram over so it's facing right direction...
GS: ...Muttering formula for figuring out currents under his breath...at this point I actually fall asleep for a minute at the breakfast bar...seriously.
...Heating elements are removed, currents are tested, entire oven is taken apart into the smallest possible pieces...
GS: "Say, what does that knob right there say?"
DS: "It says Off, and on one side is Bake and on one side is Broil"
GS: "Which one is on the left?"
DS: "Broil"
GS: "Oh goodness...I think I just turned the knob the wrong way! I guess that's why it only cooked the top"
...At this point my Dad's head actually exploded, much to the delight and amusement of Molly the Satanic Dog....

All in all, an hour well spent. Hah.

Aside from my (clearly) exciting morning, I went for a 10 mile bike ride with my dad in 94 degree heat in the middle of the day, and then since I survived, I went shopping and bought new pajama pants...they are pink and have flamingos on them...as Larry would say, I heart them.

And finally, I am scheduled to begin guest-blogging over at BTQ soon...real soon...as soon as I come up with something interesting to say, which, let's face it, could take a while. I also have to thank L^3 for letting me hang out over there for the past couple months. I promise to get that car on blocks out of your lawn real soon guys -- I'm not sure when I'm gonna be able to pick up the fifteen broken screen doors and nine partially reconstructed engines though...and also I think the cat might be pregnant -- what is this, her fourteenth litter? Sorry about that!

A bear after my own heart...

I've had Ranier beer...and I also prefer it over Busch. You go Mr. Bear! I particularly love the part where they find the bear passed out on the lawn of a resort surrounded by empty cans...I'm not gonna say I've been there...but that bear is clearly a class act, much like yours truly.

Just Because: The Franchise

Just Because: Jared Leto

For a brief history of Just Because: The Franchise...look here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Those nutty Canadians...

I didn't actually see this on the Olympics, but apparently a Canadian with the name of an online gaming site painted on his chest, and wearing a blue tutu, hijacked the Olympic 3-meter springboard for a couple minutes before jumping into the pool and subsequently being apprehended by the Olympic security people. And apparently this isn't the first time he's done this, but of course the online gaming site is disavowing any knowledge...it's all fun and games until you create an international incident at the Olympics I guess.

I swear officer, I only had two beers!

What? I don't get what's wrong with needing 62 liters of vodka to have a good 4-day weekend...sounds about right to me!

Is it wrong?

Is it wrong that I am almost 30-years old and get a totally illicit thrill from listening to filthy rap music when I drive my mom's car around town? I feel like I'm 16 years old again, blaring Nine Inch Nails out the windows of the Mazda MPV minivan...oh yeah, I was a rebel! Oh god, it's so wrong to even hear those words in a car belonging to my sweet innocent mother, and yet, so funny that I still feel like I'm getting away with something, even after all these years.

A quick story...or maybe two.

So, yesterday my mom was a scoring official for the youth golf tournament (15 and under) at my parent's country club. Last night she's telling us about the three teenage boys that she had to walk around with while they played 18-holes, just making sure that they were keeping score correctly, and I think acting as a bit of a chaperone, although the club would never admit it. My dad asked her how the kids did and she said "Well, the two that finished actually did pretty OK" and went on to describe scores and shots and whatnot. And of course, the obvious question is "What happened to the third kid? Why didn't he finish?" This is the best part...he didn't finish because his MOM CALLED and he had to leave early to go to his ORTHODONTIST APPOINTMENT! HAHAHAHAHA. The poor kid is like 14 years old...and everyone at the club is going to remember this forever. I can see it now...little Johnny is out on the 7th tee, just getting ready to make his tee shot and his cell phone rings and it's his MOM! Oh god. Maybe it's not funny now, but last night I was in tears over this.

Also, for the few of you who have met my mom, you will NOT be surprised to hear that now, whenever Molly the Satanic Dog just stares into a corner, or sees a fly and freaks out, my mom goes (in her best imitating Molly's voice if she was a person and could speak) "Mom, I see dead dogs!" And, just so we know that both my parents are equally insane, my dad has developed some sort of weird hetero-crush on Lance Armstrong and wears his yellow Lance Armstrong shirt EVERYWHERE and talks constantly about all the good that Lance does with his charity, etc. His fascination is almost cult-like in its intensity. It's sad when I'm the most normal person in the family, don't you think?

Monday, August 16, 2004

What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?

Alright, I know I promised that I would get something law school related up here soon -- but I don't think it's going to be today. All I'm working on is trying to get my classes finalized and figuring out how to make my resume have subliminal messages (please email me if you know how to do that...I want it to scream "HIRE ME" into the subconscious of everyone who reads it).

But, in a fortuitous twist of fate, there is a newspaper article this morning in the Wall Street Journal Online about one of my favorite subjects to rant about, online dating. You've already heard me say all of this here before, but let me say it again. I don't think there is anything wrong with internet dating per se. As a matter of fact, I think that there is a lot of potential there for two people with the same interests to find each other and have a very nice relationship. However, I'm a true romantic at heart. I refuse to believe that as an almost 30-year old single woman my only choice for finding men outside of bars is to either write some really ridiculous ad extolling my hidden virtues...so hidden that apparently the men I meet in person can't find and/or appreciate them, or alternatively, to read ads written by men who come across as trite, whiny, self-involved egomaniacs with fifth grade educations, and then try to decide which wonderful guy to pay $24.95 a month to respond to.

I've perused the ads on Match.com (admit it people, so have you...) and read many blogs by people who seem to enjoy the online dating thing, and in general I see a lot of men REALLY worried about whether women are being truthful about their weight and/or appearance (this must be a big problem...because the guys harp on it constantly and let's face it, if you're trolling for chicks online you totally have the leverage to demand that she look like a supermodel, right?), and a lot of women writing fanciful ads about how they've basically had their hearts trampled nine thousand times before and are now, once again, looking for Prince Charming (because for sure this time it will be different...uh-huh). PUH-LEAZE. However, in the interest of fairness -- I would love to hear stories about people who use (or have used) online dating services and had luck with them.

I'm not against meeting people online at all -- but I am against turning online dating into the exact same superficial nonsense that in-person dating has become. Where you are constantly afraid to say what you think in case the other person takes it the wrong way, and where you haul out your perfectly practiced stories for the staged amusement of your date. Dating for me is like torture -- it's where I try really hard to repress the outer limits of my personality in an attempt to convince someone that any craziness that slips through during the appointed date-time is a fluke..."No, really, I usually never have five beers and then tell dirty jokes (and I mean really filthy) and throw darts at the sign on the men's room door...seriously...I usually sit at home cross-stitching samplers of Bible verses...really, I mean it....quit laughing."

And, finally, I've been trying for WEEKS (since before I left D.C.) to write about something I read over at Tequila Mockingbird that I thought was just wonderfully eloquent and told exactly the story about how I usually feel about dating and finding someone, especially as I start to (horrors) get close to my 30's (ick). I wrote and rewrote and edited and erased a long post regarding her beautiful story and I just never quite got it right. So, I will leave out the commentary (mostly) and just direct you to her post, and to a couple of comments (Scheherazade and Anthony) , and say what I should have said all along..."Yeah, what she said."

Sorry for the rambling nature of all of this...but this is a subject that I've sort of wanted to comment on for awhile and just haven't known what I want to say -- and I still don't, hence the rambling. I guess in the end I think whatever makes people happy is cool, but I wish that what made people happy was more about being themselves and just accepting their goofiness and imperfections and letting those little offbeat traits help them find someone who truly complements them.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Just Because: A Request

A commenter to the Just Because Olympics edition below asks: Where's Alexei Nemov? He's hotter than a thousand suns! Although, again, short.

And, because this is a full service blog, and frankly, I don't REALLY mind spending hours online searching for pics of hot spandex encased man-flesh, I'm here for you. Don't say I never gave you anything, Mr./Ms. Anonymous. And let's face it...who really notices the stature issue when a guy can do this?!

Alexei Nemov (Russia)

UPDATE: Tomorrow I promise to post something without pictures...just in case I have readers who actually come here for something BESIDES the JB Boys. Doubtful I know. But, just in case.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Just Because: The Olympics

Just Because: I watched Men's Gymnastics all day (and yes, I know they are all probably 5 inches shorter than me...but seriously, look at those arms!!!).

Blaine Wilson (U.S.)

Marian Dragulescu (Romania)

Alexei Bondarenko (Russia)

Jason Gatson (U.S.)

Team Natural Selection: Evolutionary Olympic Hopefuls

For some reason, there's a WHOLE lot of idiots running around out there in the news the past couple days, and as always, I'm here to help you keep up to date. Plus, I have to take my bike down to my dad's shop and get it all fixed up for the coming school year and then my grandfather is coming over for a barbecue...so no blogging today, except for these wonderful news gems.

1. Let's see, the police are pursuing you and you drive your car into a lake...what's the first thing you do? Try to escape? Nope, light up your crack pipe and get loaded...priorities people!

2. If you stick your head out the window of a moving bus, strike a tree, and get killed...what's left for your family to do? Sue, of course. Best part of the story? The school is at fault because it didn't warn the kid about the dangers of sticking your head out the window of a moving bus. Yeah.

3. Nothing says I love you better than spelling out "Happy Birthday" in your native language in rolled up clothing, dousing the "letters" with lamp oil, and starting a four alarm fire. Surprisingly, the girl wasn't so impressed.

4. If you agitate the bees, they will be unhappy. Please quit agitating the bees.

That's all for now. I have to start my next summer job hunt in earnest soon, so that should lead to some posts that actually talk about law school occasionally, seeing as how this is supposed to be a law student blog. But, we'll see...my motivation level is low and my procrastination level is high. It could go either way at this point.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I am a huge dork.

I went by the bike shop where my dad works today to take him a Diet Coke (it's a family affair as far as the Diet Coke goes) and it was the first time I've been in there since "the incident." As background information, or for those people who have better things to do than keep up with every minute detail of my life on this blog, my dad is a retired Air Force pilot and now works at a mountain bike shop. We would never have guessed that he would love it so much, but he does...I guess in part because he does mountain bike marathons and whatnot and just totally digs talking to people about bikes and bike riding. Anyway, the shop is his home away from home...to the point that my mom often makes remarks like "Gee honey, should we sell the house and move closer to the shop so in case there's a bike emergency you can get there faster?" And then my dad goes "Why is that funny. That's not even funny." And of course my mom and I laugh and he gets on his bike and rides to work. So, when I'm home I often hang around the shop or am called on to bring things to him during the day that he needs, like Diet Coke.

So, over Spring Break I came home and was called to the shop to bring my dad his cell phone so he could make a call to his other job (he also subcontracts for a big defense firm on occasion). I slipped on these gardening shoes my mom had sitting by the door, thinking "Well, I'm just gonna be driving, and it's only a short trip." Of course, my mom forgot to tell me that she bought these shoes at like Crappy Shoes R Us and they were totally unstable and even a normal (read: not incredibly klutzy like me) person could barely stay upright on them.

So, I get to the shop, grab the cell phone, and hop out of the car to just run it in to my dad. I notice there is an ambulance parked in the lot outside the shop, but you know, it's a small town in the mountains, and everyone bikes, so it's not that unusual to see all sorts of people in the shop on their lunch breaks and whatnot. I walk in, hand over the phone, and notice there are TWO very nice looking paramedics in the shop perusing the mountain bike selection. So, of course, I take stock of my situation. I'm still in my pajama pants, a t-shirt from a brewery (Flying Dog), and these stupid gardening clog things. I decide to high tail it out of there before they spot me in full frump, and just as I get to the door, I fall down. Spectacularly. I mean, arms and legs everywhere, purse flung across the floor...etc. My dad is outside using the cell phone, which means it's just me and these paramedics. They of course run over and help me up, and the cuter of the two (it always works that way) goes, "Oh my god, are you OK??" to which I answer "I'm wearing my mom's shoes." And then I run out the door and drive home in pure embarrassment.

The first thing my dad said when he came home that night was "What did you say to those paramedics? Right after you left they just about ran out the door...and they were laughing."

Yeah. I am so smooth. It's a wonder I'm still single, huh?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Oh. My. God.

This story is beyond bizarre. This woman was 4'10" and weighed 480 pounds...the rescue workers couldn't peel her off the couch because she was FUSED to it and had to take her AND the couch on a trailer to the hospital. She was fused to the couch. Just let that soak in for a minute. Her "husband" says that she hadn't actually gotten off the couch in SIX years.

Here's a few choice excerpts:

Unable to separate the skin of the 39-year-old woman from her sofa, 12 Martin County Fire-Rescue workers slid both onto a trailer and hauled her behind a pickup to Martin Memorial Hospital South. She died a short time later.

Workers wore protective clothing and installed large air handling hoses to ventilate the horrendous odor emitting from the home while trying to figure out how to get the woman and her couch to the hospital.

The street in front of the row of duplex apartments turned into a makeshift construction site as rescue crews used hammers and chain saws to build a large wooden stretcher with handles cut around the perimeter so firefighters could lift the woman and the couch, Martin County Fire-Rescue District Chief Jim Loffredo said.

After several failed attempts, including building one plywood plank that was too small to hold her, workers removed sliding glass patio doors at the back of the home, leaving a 6-foot opening large enough to get her out.

You have to read the whole story to appreciate how truly strange it is. Also, how could no one know about this woman? Where were Oprah and Maury and Jerry? This is the kind of stuff they live for.

I love all alcohol, so I must be even MORE EVOLVED!

This story suggests that humans evolved to enjoy alcohol. Of course, they also point out it's a long way from a slightly overripe piece of fruit to full-fledged modern alcoholism...guess they can't quite explain that yet. But hey, whatever. In my ongoing quest to justify drinking massive quantities of beer pretty much whenever I damn well please, this is the perfect justification..."I can't help it, I evolved this way" is so much better than "What? Beer is perfectly acceptable as a coping strategy. It is! SHUT UP!"

There's nothing sadder than a clown without his camel.

Don't you totally hate it when you're a clown, and you're in Germany, and your pet camel jumps in front of a train and gets smashed? Yeah, me too. Right now, while he's real sad, he should get someone to paint his picture on velvet...in full clown regalia of course, complete with smile drawn on in red, directly over his downturned heartbroken clown lips. With a sort of hazy homage in the background to Roccy, the dearly departed camel. That would be so cool.

Leave your mind behind....

Just so we're absolutely clear...the Jimmy Buffett version of Mexico is FAR SUPERIOR to the James Taylor version. My mom agrees, as does Molly the Satanic Dog. That will be all.

Oh the humanity.

My mom followed me to the local airport today to turn in the rental car -- which coincidentally is actually bigger than the majority of the planes flying out of the 3-gate airport that serves this area of the state. She circled around while I turned in the keys and when I got back into her car there was this really awful noise, like thousands of birds chirping. So, because my mom has been known to listen to CD's of birdcalls so she can identify them on her daily hikes, I asked the obvious question..."Is this one of those Audubon Society CD's you listen to? The ones with the bird noises?" To which she goes, "Oh no, this is a CD of a John Denver concert...LIVE! I found it on the internet and downloaded it, I guess he used to play wildlife sounds between songs...isn't it great?" Yeah, great. The best part was when the horrible bird noises stopped and the horrible twangy whine of John Denver started...LIVE! Thank god my mom has discovered music on the internet, it's what made the last hour in the car possible, by which I mean that I am about 4 minutes from a complete John Denver induced nervous breakdown...I'm going to go rejuvenate with a Diet Coke and some Tiger Woods Golf on the X-box. I'm still trying to get my player clothed entirely in pink...which takes time people, time.

UPDATE: I tried to find the post where I talked about my Tiger Woods Golf quest...but I couldn't find it. So, to make a long story short, as you play and get better you win money and get sponsorships and can buy cool stuff for your player. The pink clothes are all really expensive, so I've been slowly outfitting my player all in pink during my vacations at home when I have time to build up tons of cash by playing X-box constantly like a freak. She already wears pink earrings, a pink watch, some pink clothes, and has pink clubs. What can I say, I've got time on my hands and an obsession with the pink and sparkly consumer goods of the world.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Take one and pass them back, just like your I.Q. was normal.*

I got here safe and sound. The weather was gorgeous for the entire drive -- I saw each of the three amazing mountains between TVPNM and here clearly. What a view! The drive was uneventful, except for picking up the car, which went something like this:

Me: "Hi, I'm here to pick up my rental"
Car Lady: "Credit Card."
Me: "OK, here's the card I reserved it with"
CL: "This is a debit card"
Me: "No, it's a checkcard...it can be used as a credit card, no problem...you don't have to put in a pin number or anything"
CL: "It's a debit card"
Me: "No, it's fine...every single other place on the planet accepts it as a credit card"
CL: "Listen, if you want to use this you can go down to Other Car Rental Place, they take debit cards"
Me: "Seriously, the website where I reserved the car took this card. It didn't say anything about needing another card"
CL: (looks me up and down and clearly can sniff the overwhelming stench of consumerism all over me) "So, you're saying you don't have another credit card you can use????"
Me: "THAT'S NOT THE POINT! I rented a car from you, off your website, with this card...and it didn't say I couldn't use it, and now I'm here and you're saying something different!"
CL: "If you would like to go to Other Car Rental Place...."
Me: "Damnit. Here's another credit card"
CL: "Thank you. Please have a nice day and drive safe"

I KNOW she was crossing her fingers under the "Customer Service" counter when she said it too. Apparently "customer service" actually means, drive customers away by being a shrewish bitch even when being assaulted with nothing but kindness and the voice of reason (I'm the voice of reason part by the way, not the bitch part...just wanna keep that straight).

I also spent some time in the car listening to a lot of music I haven't pulled out of the CD case in a while...and coming up with All-Star lists in my head...like the Best R&B Songs To Listen To While Driving All-Star List, and The Best Songs That Don't Go Together Very Well But Are Still Good To Listen To While Driving List. Once I get some sleep and recover from 7 hours of white-line fever through the mountains, I will be posting my feverishly brilliant thoughts. Probably by tomorrow they will seem more like feebly sad and somewhat scary in a disjointed "why doesn't that girl get some sleep" way...but whatever.

So, it's the first day of the rest of my long vacation. Hooray. I'm striking a blow to productive (read: employed) law students everywhere. We'll see who's laughing when I'm unemployed and can't pay off my student loans and have to beg for Diet Coke money in the streets...hey, wait....

*Real Genius. Which you all know is my favorite movie. I realize it has nothing to do with this post, but I like this quote. And I just feel like having it up. So there ya go.

Just Because: God Bless Texas

Just Because: Matthew McConaughey

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I've always wanted to fight a desperate battle, against incredible odds.*

Ex Mea Sententia wants to know what to bring to law school. Here's my list of things not to forget. I consider myself an expert since I have (a) completed one entire year of law school, and (b) was not kicked out (or failed out) despite consistent strong indications that I don't actually belong there.

1. A backpack with a special "flask ready" pocket. (If you don't own a flask, SHAME! This is the one I have, you don't have to choose it necessarily, but for god's sake...you need to have one. This is serious people.)
2. Earplugs. Because nothing says "I'm a friendly, not totally socially awkward in an incredibly painful way law student" like a pair of earplugs on a string worn around your neck and stuffed into your ear canals during every single moment you're not actively engaged in kissing a professor's ass.
3. Fruit roll-ups. The big 500-count box from Costco. This should be self-explanatory.
4. A full-size rolling suitcase used as a rolling backpack. I'm trying to be funny, but no less than five people in my school do this.
5. Highlighters. Blue for plaintiff's argument. Green for defendant's argument. Yellow for holding. Pink for rule. And don't forget to underline. Red for statutes. Black for....
6. Tin foil. To fashion a cap. The last thing you want is other people gaining on you by sucking out your thoughts. Law students are wiley like that.
7. Rum. You're gonna need a lot of rum. I highly recommend Bacardi CoCo. Also, vodka...which should also be self-explanatory, especially for those of you who know me.
8. A book of lawyer jokes. Everyone loves a good lawyer joke. If you get called on and have a bit of Socratic panic, a good lawyer joke will always relax the professor. Trust me. As a fallback, read Threadgill v PCC and throw out "probe" and "hole." It gets them every time.
9. Caramel Hershey's Kisses. Nectar of the Gods. Combine with Diet Coke for maximum ecstasy.
10. A subscription to O Magazine. Remember your spirit people, your spirit.

*From The Last Starfighter...which supplied me with one of my first painful preteen crushes. Alex Rogan, I love you!

Boat drinks...waitress I need two more boat drinks...

I've puzzled lately over what kind of lawyer I want to be...you know, work for the government or work for a corporation? Employment law or criminal law? But, thanks to this article, I finally realize there's a niche I can totally fill! The prerequiste is an uncontrollable drinking problem...which, let's face it, you can learn even in a touchy-feely "we have law classes with meditation" school like mine. From there it's a short descent into getting smashed out of your mind at lunch, giggling uncontrollably in the middle of trial, and assuming the poses of famous 19th Century sculptures for a gaggle of reporters perched outside the courthouse. I think with just a little bit of effort on my part, I've finally found an area of law I can really achieve in...remember kids -- the first step on the road to success is having clear, attainable goals!

(simul-posted at L^3)

See...I told you so....

First and foremost...I have to say Welcome Back to Soupie! My heart was broken when I thought he was leaving, even temporarily, but thankfully he's recognized that blogging isn't what you do, it's who you are! So, he's back. And I'm happy.

Also, I went to the place that I liked today and signed a lease...yay! It's not perfect, but it's perfectly available and is within my price range and I can live with my couch that I love far more than you would think humanly possible, and without a roommate. Awesome. It's pretty big too...over 700 sq/ft and right next to the pool. And the apartment people call the patio the "lanai"...doesn't that sound like a place that needs a margarita machine and some Jimmy Buffett music? Yeah, I thought so too. So, I move in around mid-September which means that I have an ENTIRE MONTH to go to Oregon and just hang around, hiking, biking, rafting, and playing X-box. Life is so good right now. I leave tomorrow for Oregon, and I don't know if I'm more excited to go home, or to rent a car and get to drive...something I rarely get a chance to go these days since I sold my car last summer to move to TVPNM. I have the Jimmy Buffett Box Set, multitudes of 20 oz Diet Cokes, and a box of animal crackers...I'm all set. School doesn't start until Sept. 29th here, and I feel like finally I have enough stuff done that maybe I can actually relax a little bit.

I realize I have been kind of lazy lately in terms of getting some funny news stories posted, so I promise I will be putting some up once I get home and get settled...I looked back through the blog lately and it was like 20 posts all about me, me, me...something I realize might not be quite as interesting as two kids trying to blow up mailboxes who blow themselves up instead. And of course, tomorrow is Wednesday, and you know what that means! Man-flesh!

What is my heart made of? (Besides sugar and spice and everything nice, obviously).

fire heart
Heart of Fire

What is Your Heart REALLY Made of?
brought to you by Quizilla

Link via Slithery D.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Finally, my squirrel name...

My squirrel name is President Fluffycheeks. That's right folks...now I'll finally get the total respect I so richly deserve. Also, in case any of you are newer readers, you can get my unedited opinions about squirrels here.

P.S. Link from Blonde Justice.

P.S.2. My squirrel name if I use "Energy Spatula" is General Curlyarse. Hell yeah.

Capricorns rock!

From MSN comes my horoscope:

Capricorn: You are ready for some sort of dramatic change in your life, dear Capricorn. It is not that you are dissatisfied with your career or your personal relationships, but rather that you feel that you are missing out on something great. If you only knew what. Be receptive to whatever opportunities come your way today, and explore every one of them. You may find the answers you are looking for through travel or continued education. Bring a buddy with you if you are afraid to do this type of exploring on your own.

This is eerily accurate as I've been feeling lately like there are a few big changes I'd like to make in my life, and have been working on making those happen. I would love to do some traveling, and I guess I've got the education angle covered, but the universe is shifting and I can feel it...I think my upcoming big 3-0 is affecting me more than I had anticipated. Anyway, it says bring a buddy...as always, applications are currently being accepted.

Welcome to some new bloggers, and a very sad temporary (I refuse to believe anything else) goodbye to another.

You will notice that I updated the link list (or maybe you won't) finally...as much as I love blogging, I hate blog upkeep -- it's analogous to my love of material goods and my almost pathological inability to deal with paying bills. And I'm not kidding...I'm just not a detail person and I detest taking care of small little details...we'll talk about why the hell I would choose to subject myself to law school at another time.

Also, I'm incredibly sad to say that Soupie, one of my all-time favorite bloggers and the man who inspired me to launch Just Because: The Franchise, is temporarily (hopefully) hanging up his keyboard. If I had an apartment, and it was on a major street of any type, I would put out a very sad memorial cross made of two paint stirrers nailed together and some plastic flowers ripped off my Parrothead Halloween costume and fashioned into a lovely (and totally waterproof) wreath. Please, please, please come back sometime soon...you'll be missed. Tonight I'm going to a bar that has outdoor Ping-Pong and cheap booze, and I'll be pouring out some for you my man.

Apartment Hunting...from the couch, in front of the TV, with a Diet Coke

So, right this minute I am supposed to be out apartment hunting...only instead, I'm hanging at my friends' apartment drinking massive quantities of Diet Coke and watching TV. See, here's the problem...I am the kind of person that basically makes up my mind about something and then I might dabble a little bit into alternative ideas just for show, but really, I am just going to do what I want anyway in the end. And, the apartment that I already know I like (a friend of ours from school lives there) I am going to see tomorrow...so today all I have to do is go walk around a little bit so people think I made an informed choice...and then go get the one I really want tomorrow.

I'm not sure when this behavior started. I used to actually consider alterntive courses of action, not just pretend to. But in the past couple of years I think I have achieved a level of clarity about what I am and am not willing to live with that allows me to make pretty quick decisions about most things that aren't life or death. The apartment that I like is north of campus in a suburban kind of neighborhood...next door to not one, but TWO grocery stores (important when you don't have a car), near a Blockbuster, has a really awesome gym, a pool and a cool barbeque area. These are things that are important to me. I HAVE to have an apartment where I can feel at home, especially in light of the fact that I used to be a homeowner and I've never really gotten back into apartment living. Second to the hominess factor is the "no-roommate" factor. One of my roommates from last year is awesome, and I am staying with her and her boyfriend this week. But I am almost 30 years old. I just don't think that I should have to have a roommate anymore. It seems wrong. So, the "good" apartment is a place I can afford alone...HOORAY!

I've been told a couple of times recently that I should live more in the city because it has "character"...and it does. And the neighborhood I'm staying in right now is great...I really like it. But, I think sometimes in a place like TVPNM people want you to feel guilty for liking anything mainstream, and that's unfortunate because in many ways, I am a mainstream girl. I shop at Target and eat at chain restaurants and support corporate America in more ways than I can count...and damnit, I like apartments in the suburbs. This is probably one of the main factors underlying why I'm not entirely happy here sometimes...in Texas I felt a little more at home with people who just seemed a bit more grounded and sort of in touch with what it's like to just be a "normal" person. I know it goes back to my childhood, which was of course spent mainly on military bases overseas and in suburban neighborhoods in the States, but deep down inside I consider myself a "typical American."

It's difficult to think about living in a neighborhood, no matter how much character and charm it has, where EVERY SINGLE PERSON considers themselves to be artsy (pseudo-intellectuals abound in TVPNM), politically astute (but of course, only in whatever direction they lean), culturally adept and informed...etc. Where are the people who just sit on their porch and have a beer and listen to Jimmy Buffett and talk about life? And I mean a good beer...and an informed, interesting, intelligent, entertaining discussion. Down to earth people...who have good jobs and enjoy nice things but aren't obsessed with money, or with being the most alternative of all their friends. People who haven't chosen a personality just for show. People who are wickedly funny and straightforward but who aren't ashamed to admit that sometimes homemade margaritas and a game of Trivial Pursuit are where it's at? Where are they? Those are my people...the Lost Tribe of Educated, Funny, Normal, Decent People.

Don't get me wrong, I love the West Coast and like TVPNM quite a bit, but it's odd how I thought by the time I was 30 I would have all this crap figured out...and instead, I'm apartment hunting on a student financial aid budget and trying to fit the lifestyle that I want (or figured I would have by now) with what is actually possible. On that happy note, time to go get lunch...I've got apartments to look at people.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The weather is here...you know the rest.

It's been a long couple of days, I barely made it back yesterday after an adventure filled day with American Airlines, and today my friend who I'm staying with was kind enough to spend her day driving me around looking at neighborhoods and potential places. I'm staggered by the magnitude of this whole "finding a place to live" project...it's been so long since I really had to do this on my own...and this is a HUGE city. But, it was probably the most beautiful day here that I've seen in the last year, and it feels good to be back on the West Coast, soaking in the perfect 74 degree weather...we even stopped by the beach (such as it is) for an hour or so. It was spectacular and clear with a clear view of the TVPN mountain. I'm exhausted...and tomorrow I start the apartment hunt for real, so hopefully I'll find something relatively quickly and be able to start my summer "vacation." There will be more posts (and hopefully at least some of them will be more entertaining than this) upcoming...after at least one good night's sleep and perhaps a nice glass of wine. Sweet, sweet wine. Ahhhhhh.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Bye bye D.C., it's been real...

I got my first piece of honest to god fanmail today...a postcard from a friend of a friend who sent me a joke. The joke is funny, but what's REALLY funny is the postcard. Unfortunately for all of you, I accidentally packed it, so you'll have to wait a couple days for the joke...give you something to look forward to...or builds character...or something. The postcard had Stewie from The Family Guy on it, but I can't remember exactly what it said and I don't want to quote it wrong...because then it won't be funny later.

Yesterday was the last day of work. Uneventful and not too mentally challenging, which is probably good because I stayed out too late the night before and also took my cough medicine with a chaser of 4 beers, so it was a relatively slow to get started day. I'm still feeling a bit under the weather which sucks...I leave this afternoon for TVPNM and would really like to be in top form since I'm meeting "the gang" for drinks directly upon landing. Oh well, God knows somehow I'll muddle through...far be it from me to let a little thing like throat-swollen-shut-plus-plaquelike-symptoms to stop me from having a few drinks...priorities people!

This place in my life feels a little bit like deja vu...last summer I had just gotten out of the Air Force and was awaiting the start of law school while working at a temp agency in Oklahoma City and living with M. There might have been some drinking induced antics as well, but I'll never tell...well, I might...we'll see. This summer I am once again done with my job and waiting for school to start back up, the only difference is I'm not actually doing anything productive that leads to me having money, and there have been far fewer drinking related incidents...which is probably something to be thankful for on some level. I hope to get out to OKC again sometime next month though...so we'll see...it could still happen.

D.C. has been quite an adventure, but I think I'm putting it in the "nice place to visit but wouldn't want to live there"category. More and more I imagine myself staying on the West Coast and trying to actually build a life for once, instead of just moving around every 2 years and never worrying about how long I'll stay. Maybe I'm getting old? (horrors!) At any rate, I have a bunch of appointments lined up for the beginning of next week to look at apartments and I am SOOO excited at the prospect of not having to live in the glorified grad student housing and at having all of my stuff out of storage. Sweet, sweet couch...where have you been?

At any rate, the next post will be from TVPNM...YAY!
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