Thursday, September 30, 2004

She bangs, she bangs!

I may soon regret my decision to go with the longish, swept to the side trendy bangs cause the hair in my eyes is driving me a little bonkers. You know what ELSE drives Mizz A bonkers, class? The fact that all the stylists at the hair salon kept referring to that hairular area as a "fringe," though none of them were remotely British.

Aw, I just realized that I'm no longer Mizz A. Poo.

It's officially fall! And you know what that means: a new purse! Here's what I have selected as my Official Fall Purse on The thought of going shopping at a real-live, honest-to-goodness store makes me want to stick dooce's hot forks of displeasure in my eyeballs. It's just not the same when I don't get to go to Loehmann's with C. And they closed the fucking Dallas Loehmann's the week after we moved here! BARBARIANS!

So! Tomorrow I start work at UTD. I went in today and filled out my social security number on approximately 193 forms, so I guess that means I'm official and shit. I'm so not looking forward to getting up at the crack of ass from now on, which is a must since a) all good UTD employees report to work at 8:00 a.m., and b) the campus is many, many miles away. My options are LBJ and Central (see: hot forks of displeasure), or Walnut Hill and Hillcrest (hot spoons, I guess). Either way, I'm going to be seeing the six-o'clock hour for the first time on a regular basis since my days at West Baltimore Middle School -- "Someplace Special." Ah, the Teach For America days of yore ...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Time to buy some paper

wedding joy, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

Honestly, if time flew by any faster I'd have to wire my eyelids open cause I'd miss everything if I blinked. I can't believe that it's almost been a year since OSD (Our Special Day ™). Now I gotta come up with something to buy BK's ass. GODDAMIT. What the hell do you buy for a man whose hobbies include comic books and nekkid ladies? Suggestions?

In other news, I'm getting the dreaded First Haircut in a New City tomorrow, which, as we all know, could end with disasterous results. Let's not forget the "I'd like the Rachel, please" incident of 1995, which culminated in me sobbing under the comforter in my dorm room with something not unlike a mullet sitting on top of my head. Luckily, old age has made me not so much for the trendy, so really my only requirements for tomorrow are a) cover my I'm-in-my-fucking-20s-and-I-shouldn't-have-to-deal-with-gray-hair grays and b) a new, shorter, bouncy haircut that immediately transforms me into Dallas' new It Girl. Easy peasy!

Hopefully my first Dallas haircut will go better than my second Dallas eyebrow wax, which occurred last week. The "technician" (and I use the term loosely for reasons about to be very clear) made my brows initially uneven and remedied the problem by rewaxing my left eyebrow. Why I allowed this woman to reapply hot wax to an area that had already had hot waxed spread on it and then viciously ripped off, I'm not sure; perhaps I was really drunk and just didn't know it. Regardless, I didn't think too much of it that day -- it hurt, but you know, it always hurts. Then that night my left eyelid sorta hurt when I would put my face on my SOFT COTTON PILLOWCASE. Huh. By the time we got to New Orleans, the offending area had SCABBED OVER. Nice. Nothing like looking like you've got some sort of skin disease hanging out right over your eye to make your vacation. On the bright side, my eyebrows look GREAT.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Next vacation, five months

Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Which is when I'll have enough vacation days accrued from the state of Texas to take a week off. In the meantime, I can wistful sigh over my New Orleans photos, which include this shot of a ubiquitous Crescent City donkey? mule? ASS? peeking around the corner on Bourbon Street.

Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Here's a shot of an old-timey Coke sign overhanging a street on which an old-timey station wagon is parked. Note the equally old-timey horse-head horse parking stick-thing in the foreground. Three different eras of old-timeyness in one shot! Good stuff, huh?

Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Just in cases you doubted my chops as a suryous photographer, I present to you this shot of some extremely blue shutters that I thought were pretty.

Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
And lastly, we have what can only be referred to as Art. Check it: antique shop store window! New Orleans balconies reflected in the window! AND I waited until a damn donkey went by to take the shot. The things that I do for my craft ...

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Acme oyster house

acme oyster house
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Here's a photo I took yesterday while waiting to eat some yummy oysters at Acme. It's been good times in New Orleans so far -- we've been to art galleries, Mr. B's Bistro, Harrah's, Rick's Cabaret (naughty!), and the Palace Cafe for a very disappointing creme-brulee-shouldn't-have-the-consistency-of-cheesecake brunch.

The uriney smell of the New Orleans streets beckons, so I'm going to tear myself away from the iBook and go have some more goddamned fun.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Doggles and the Big Easy

In a rare burst of spontaneity, I punched $55 into Priceline for a New Orleans 4-star hotel room this weekend and was granted the gift of two nights at the Marriott. BK and I have cashed in our Southwest frequent flyer tickets and will be heading on down on Saturday morning and returning Monday afternoon. There will be booze, and brunch, and beignets, and oysters, and gambling, and strippers, omigod wheeeeee!!!
If you enjoyed Gonads and Strife, you might also enjoy:

Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Lastly, you may also enjoy a photo of a small dog in a backpack carrier wearing "doggles" at the Pecan Street Arts Festival in Austin. I know that I did.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

In case of an incontinent Great Dane ...

Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
This is the industrial-sized tub of vinegar that I found sitting on the kitchen counter of he-with-the-presidential-last-name and someone who we will refer to as "Rowdy."

When I woke up this morning I found that Buster had dragged all of the clothes from the dirty clothes hamper that was sitting by the washing machine onto the couch. It appears as though he then sat on the couch and systematically chewed the crotches out of all of my underpants.

I guess it's a good thing I just got a job, cause I've got some underpants to buy!

Monday, September 20, 2004

The good, the bad, and the questionably sane

peeking pinata
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Let's start with the questionably sane, shall we? I drove down to Austin Saturday to visit with some DC friends who were in town and to see my buddy Suze. Suze, as I told her this week, has a heightened sense of whimsy. Apparently, her law school friends share said sense, as her boyfriend and his roommate, with the help of some other folks, have erected a fort in their living room. Just in case you think you may have misheard, I have photographic evidence of the fort, which includes an atrium, nook, internet workstation, and air conditioning. Feast your eyes on this, boring adult friends. Apparently, we do not know what being truly alive is. Also, we do not have creepy piñatas in viking hats staring out of our front windows.

fort outside
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
The fort is built on a skeleton of PVC piping that was bought for the specific purpose of fort-building at Home Depot. Clothespins and upturned furniture are also used liberally. That's the air-conditioning duct that's prominently visible.

fort inside
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Here's the inside. It's quite spacious. So spacious, in fact, that Suze can hardly believe it.

On to the bad! Many of you have asked about the conclusion of last week's plumbing fiasco. I carefully watched the plumber's eyes when he came inside to survey the damage and was relieved to see that they did not widen in horror. In fact, he assured us that he sees similar cases on a daily basis. Imagine our surprise, then, when 15 minutes later we looked outside to see a ladder and found him up on the roof. I didn't want to question his ability, as it was 9:30 on Friday night and he was our Only Hope, but I yelled up, "Hey, whatchoo doin' up there?" Just to be on the safe side, I followed the question with a hearty, non-confrontational chuckle. People, you will not believe this, but that is indeed how you fix clogged drains. You clambor up on the roof and clear out some vents. $250 and lots of elbow grease later, we have a fully functional and sparkling clean bathroom.

The bad carries quite a hefty price tag, as it also includes the $400 new pool pump motor we had to buy late last week, and the $200 I had to spend today to buy a new tire. Austin drivers, beware the curb outside of Suze's apartment, as it is coated in razor blades and starving baby piranhas. Be particularly careful on Sundays when Volvo dealerships are closed and your car has new-model tires that are not sold ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. Because then you know what happens, Austin drivers? You then have to spend four and a half hours on I-35, on a donut, at 50 mph with your hazard lights on, hands clenched in a death grip around the steering wheel as 18-wheelers descend on your rear bumper and change lanes mere seconds before they flatten you into roadkill.

Almost $1,000 of bad later, it's finally time for the good:
  • Mad props to a certain someone with a very presidential last name, a certain someone who was kind enough to lay down on the dirt on a very hot Austin Sunday afternoon and change my tire. Please email me your address so that I can hustle over to Hickory Farms and purchase you a gift basket, preferably one featuring a three-pound Beef Stick.

  • Only slightly-less-mad props go out to Suze, who let me sleep on her couch, park by her piranha-infested curb, and agreed to go see Bob Schneider Saturday night even though she no longer wants to have his babies. I do, though, Bob. I really do. Seriously. Wait. Where are you going, Bob? WAIT!

  • Last among the good is the fact that I GOT A MOTHERFUCKING JOB. Starting October 1, there will be a cubey with my name on it at UTD. And as if that wasn't good enough, at today's interview, the words, "Why don't you go home tonight and spec out the computer you want and let us know so we can buy it, ok?" were uttered, which may just be the most awesome words ever spoken aloud.
Sweet, sweet 20-inch iMac G5, you will soon be miiiiinnneeeeeee!!!

Friday, September 17, 2004

The most awful thing in the world

clean bathroom
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
This is what our master bathroom is supposed to look like. This is what it looked like before the most awful thing in the world happened.

It seemed like a regular Friday afternoon. Buster had gotten a rawhide bone to chew on this morning, so he'd vomited two times earlier in the afternoon. You know, the usual. I took a shower, because BK and I had a hot date of dinner and a movie this evening. As I was showering, I noticed that the drain seemed to be a little blocked up, and I made a mental note to buy some Drano. When I stepped out of the shower to towel off, there were still a few inches of standing water. Ok, not ideal, but no big deal.

Then I made a big mistake. I decided to pee.

When I flushed, time stopped. The world stood still as the toilet began to violently overflow, gallons and gallons of nastiness spilling out over the tile floor, making a mad rush for the legs of the wooden armoire we'd recently bought. That was when I began to officially Freak Out, sprinting naked to the other bathroom to get the plunger, sprinting back and wildly plunging away at the cackling toilet that was still burping up the funk of 50 thousand years onto our floor.

That, my friends, was not, as Seinfeld would say, good naked.

Eventually the toilet stopped. I threw on some clothes and gathered up an armful of old towels and walked back into the bathroom to begin mopping up the mess. That's when I saw it. The most horrifying thing I've even seen. A cloud of blackness erupting from the shower drain, slowly spreading out in the standing water. I Freaked Out More and began plunging the shower drain to no avail. All I succeeded in doing was mixing the cloud with the standing water, reaching this effect:

unreal bathroom
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
This is what our master bathroom now looks like. This is what it looks like after the most awful thing in the world happened.

I left BK many Freaked Out voicemails. He turned out to be on his way home. When he got here, he patted me on the back and changed into his swim trunks, assuring me it was just a little blocked drain, nothing to worry about. He valiantly plunged the toilet until the black muck started flowing out of it as well, then bravely waded into the swamp that used to be our shower and plunged away at that until I Freaked Out the Most Ever, squatted on the floor and emitted a kind of low keening sound as I cried and laughed hysterically at the same time.

There is a plumber coming. This man will charge us $108 for the first 30 minutes of his services, and $30 for each additional 15 minutes. We don't care. We will pay anything to make this nightmare go away. We are quivering with fear as we wait in the living room watching Barbara Walters bid a fond adieu to 20/20. Some giant pipe must be broken! A root is overtaking things! We think there is a wet spot in the hallway under the carpet. There will be excavations! And drillings! There will be thousands and thousands of dollars spent, all to punish us for the unpardonable sin of moving the Dallas. This house hates us, wants us to go away and give it back to James and Doug. They can have it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I'm a forty-three percenter

When I was in school and assigned a book to read, I used to love to stop reading and figure out what percentage I had completed. Sadly, I think this speaks volumes about my personality, as did my love of playing "bank" by myself using withdrawl and deposit slips I pilfered from the actual bank when I would go with my mom. Ah, the good old days when people still went into banks and when my mother was still alive.

Nostalgia and current foul mood aside, I have read 43% of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I am somewhat disgusted with myself that I don't love it as much as I should. Being a person of weak mental fiber, I think I prefer plot-driven books, where lots of stuff happens and amuses my simple brain. This sucker's big on tangential storytelling but lean on actual advancement of the plot.

Buster just farted. I turned around to see what the cat thought about that and I swear to God his little kitty mouth is scrunched up in a very obvious moue of distaste.

Using the technological marvels of TiVo I was able to discern that those spots on the walls that The N fuzzes out in Degrassi are safe sex posters. The fucking Puritans have America by the balls and it makes me sad and embarrassed.

In keeping with the percentage theme, I guess I'll go ahead and report that UTD has finally posted the job that I've been waiting for. Complete with a very enticing 37%, or $18,000, pay cut for ME! YAY! (You do the math. I dare you.) I went ahead and applied since a) I'm really not showering as often as I should be these days and b) I'd get to work on a Mac. That's worth at least $5k a year, right?

Monday, September 13, 2004

3 days of Dixie

My cannonization should be in just a few more days. I have done it. I hauled my butt down 8 hours of highway and 8 hours back. I have made the most fascinating small talk in the world. I was pleasant until my cheeks felt numb, and, sweet mother of all that is good and kind in this world, I went antique shopping with BK's mother. HOURS of stores CRAMMED full of old, expensive SHIT. But I did it! Not only did I emerge on the other side relatively unscathed, I emerged holding an antique bread tray for our new dining room table. It's really something.

The marvel that is my mother-in-law (let's call her "Dicki Lee," since that's the name on her birth certificate) cannot really be put into words, but I will share with you one story. Dicki and I had gone to see BK's grandfather, a man so whispy and paper-thin that the sneeze of a dust mite would bowl him over and send him spinning through the air and out of this world. On our way home, Dicki was talking about Granddaddy Lee's stepdaughters, and mentioned that one of them ended up getting a divorce from her husband because she wanted to have children and he didn't. "You think that would be something you'd discuss before you get married," she tut-tutted, and then took her eyes off the road, turned her head towards me, and gave me a Very Meaningful Glare that seemed to last about 10 seconds. Apparently, SOMEONE has been telling his mother that SOMEONE ELSE is holding out on the baby-making goods, and A THIRD SOMEONE thinks that that is not Fullfilling One's Wifely Duties. I might have raised my voice a little when I replied, "Don't worry, Dicki, we're going to have kids, I just want to go to Australia first." Although now I don't really want to give Someones Numbers 1 and 3 the satisfaction.

Speaking of babies, let's not forget the reason for my trip, and that was the baby shower. If I could sum up the experience in one word, it would be "blue."

Baby cake
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Now, I am far from being an earnest, attachment-parenting type who thinks that assigning predetermined gender roles to one's child is the Worst Sort of Evil, but even I couldn't help but notice how every single one of the approximately eight trillion items given at this shower was blue, just in case anyone forgot that, GODDAMN IT, THE BABY IS A BOY. The guest of honor seemed a little overwhelmed, but I doubt it was so much the surfeit of blue as it was the labor horror stories that the other guests were sharing with her with great gusto. Merrill does not seem to be subscribing to the same pregnancy preparation course that I am (start researching years before you get pregnant and demonize the process so badly that actual pregnancy and labor seem pleasant by contrast), so you could see the horror growing in her eyes with every additional tale of pooping and tearing. Pooping and Tearing, Attorneys-at-Law!

So here I am, back in the unemployment saddle again, wondering why last night I dreamed that one of my friends bit off his own penis but didn't have health insurance so he stuck it back in his pants and tried to convince everyone that is was fine, just fine, and had reattached itself. I should also add that at his work retreat BK discovered that he likes golf, so I am frightened.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Road trip!

Rowan Oak
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
Buster and I will be hopping in the CR-V tomorrow and making our way down I-30 to Memphis, at which point we'll head an hour south to the picturesque Oxford, Mississippi, hometown of BK and current residence of my in-laws and sister-in-law. Oxford is located in Lafayette (that's "La-fet," natch) County, and is the current home of Ole Miss (Go Rebels!) and the former home of William Faulkner (his home, Rowan Oak, is shown here in a picture I took last Christmas). My sister-in-law is about to have her first baby, whom she and her husband will be naming after BK, no less, so I'm going to be attending her baby shower and presenting her with a ginormous stroller-thing.

BK, meanwhile, will be spending the next four days at a work retreat at a fancy-pants resort outside of Big Bend National Park. I asked him numerous times if I could go and just hang out in his fancy-pants room and go for walks in the desert 'n shit, but I got the ol' smack-down. I HOPE YOU HAVE FUN, YOU RAT BASTARD HUSBAND.

On the bright side, I went to the bookstore yesterday and for the first time in my life spend over $30 on a book, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which has been getting hype l haven't seen since the likes of The Corrections or The Emperor of Ocean Park. I snatched the last copy off the bookshelf (yes, I KNOW they have more in the back but allow me my communist-toilet-paper-fantasy) and scurried with it to the cashier, marveling at the 800 pages of shrink-wrapped goodness. If the hype is to believed, it's Jane Austen meets Harry Potter for adults, and I am here to tell you that the first 51 pages lived up to said hype.

Supreme Cuteness

Supreme Cuteness
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
I know, it's so lame to take picture of your pets being cute, but come on!!! There is no way you've ever seen a dog this cute before in your life.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Weekend roundup

Saddle up, pardners, and fire up that theme to Bonanza that's languishing in your iTunes -- it's time for Karo's Labor Day Weekend Roundup!

First, the interview. Wow, did I ever learn quickly that I do not want to be an assistant to a corporate real estate broker. They wanted me to come back to take a Microsoft Office test (*sigh*), but I opted not to go. I might as well have stuck with the Workplace That Shall Not Be Mentioned were I to work there.

Saturday's highlight was dragging BK to the store and convincing him to buy some new clothes. ("But I HAVE perfectly good clothes.") He refused to buy jeans at The Gap because they weren't electric blue Levi's and therefore were too trendy. ("I'm not in college. I am a LAWYER.") Still, new clothes were bought and the heavens did open up and the angels sang.

Saturday we also watched Shaolin Soccer. I don't know about you people, but I just wasn't buying it. Kung Fu? Soccer? IT'S ALL JUST TOO CRAZY! We also forgot to turn off the B speakers out by the pool, so we inadvertently shared the entire film's worth of delightful Chinese-language dialogue with our neighborhood. Oopsie!

Another one of Saturday's highlights was catching "Atlantic City Hookers: It Ain't E-Z Being a Ho" on HBO. I recommend anyone with HBO to check their local listings, as it was truly an eye-opening experience. After watching, we decided to cruise up and down Harry Hines and use our new knowledge to spot hos. We saw some ladies in a strip club parking lot that looked suspect -- it's really the bootie shorts that tip you off. I'm really hoping that Ho Spotting becomes America's New National Past-time and I'm able to somehow cash in.

Sunday the Plano Fletchers dragged us to a friend's Labor Day party in the heart of Plano. Dear God in Heaven, it was horrifying. I have never seen so many Thomas Kinkades in one house. All lovingly framed and displayed as though they were precious works of art and not hideous, mass-produced pieces of shit available for purchase on all major cruise lines. It's a good thing I didn't have a gun with me that night, because I really think I might have shot myself in head from the despair this house caused me. The Bush-Cheney sign prominently displayed in the window! The ivy-patterned wallpaper! The oak entertainment unit bigger than an elephant! THE KNICK-KNACKS!!! Dear God, the knick-knacks!

I really think this weekend might have doubled the size of my file on Why People Suck. At least 2 inches of paperwork are devoted to People Who Bring Toddlers to Inappropriate Adult Movies. For instance, last night we capped off the weekend by going to see Hero. Now, in case you are not familiar with the movie, it's a Hong Kong martial arts feature that is IN CHINESE. With subtitles, people. Yet, sure enough, the people behind us had brought their 3- and 5-year-olds, who were understandably bored out of their tiny little skulls and amused themselves throughout the film by attempting to speak Chinese back to the screen. Now, if there is one thing I have learned about People Who Bring Toddlers to Inappropriate Adult Movies, it is that they are almost always also People Who Make No Effort to Control Their Children in Public, so mom and pop relaxed and enjoyed the movie while the two kids brushed up on their Chinese with Jet Li.

Every time I turned on the tv this weekend I turned into a gloppy, mascara'ed mess. I don't even have the words to describe the horror of the Russian school disaster. Honestly.

What the fuck is wrong with people?!?!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

P. Diddy and his posse

I've finally managed to find a picture of P. Diddy's new hairstyle:

Mr. Combs is shown here on the red carpet of the VMAs with his crew, which seems to include your friendly British maid-slapper/supermodel Naomi Campbell, and, for some reason that I have yet to discern, Bruce Willis. I am sure everyone will agree with me as I note that perhaps artistically draping a diamond bracelet down her hair part was not Naomi's most brilliant idea of the past decade, and poor Bruce's cargo pants indicate that he did not receive the memo about the VMAs being an awards show and are thus, you know, dress-up.

So much time, so little to write about

I am officially tired of being unemployed. So all you potential employers who have been holding back, wanting me to have a few weeks to relax and hang by the pool, you can go ahead and bombard me with emails and phone calls now. I am tan, well-read, and have inexplicably started watching episodes of Degrassi: the Next Generation on The N. Oh yeah. It's time to go back to work.

Speaking of, I have an interview tomorrow with some commercial real estate firm to be an assistant to one of the brokers. I applied on a whim, cause the ad on monster tickled me, i.e. I did not fall asleep while reading it. I'm going on the interview (what else do I have to do, right?), but based on what the woman on the phone told me, I'm not sure they're willing to pay me enough to be bored out of my skull for eight hours a day. Still, seeing as UTD still hasn't put together an actual job opening that I can apply for, it's prolly best to leave my options open.

On the home front, Buster has today been kind enough to bring me not one but two of Joshua Wanat's turds out of the litter box. Hm. Maybe it's not the best idea for him to be licking my foot right now ...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Letter to Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, you make me sad. I honestly did not expect this from you:

Jeff, in case you have not heard, Paris Hilton is a whore. I go to your web site to purchase books and and other stuff that is cool. Paris Hilton is not cool. She is a whore. I do not wish to purchase items that make me more like Paris Hilton. I strive in every way possible to be the opposite of Paris Hilton. Don't be a whore, Jeff. Leaving the Paris-schwag to, oh, I dunno ... Wet Seal, where the whorelettes-in-training shop. Leave as a sanctuary for those of us who like to read, you know, books. Thank you.