Thursday, December 30, 2004

Walking David Sedaris

I am not a big fan of David Sedaris. *collective gasp from the peanut gallery* The one book of his I've read is Naked, and that experience solidified that he and I do not share a sense of humor. In Naked, Sedaris describes a trip he took to Greece when he was a teenager, to attend Greek Orthodox summer camp. Apparently he'd never had to share a bathroom before that trip, and the idea of pooping around others horrified him so much that he just ... didn't. The man did not poop for the entire month he was in Greece.

Apparently, my dog is the canine incarnation of David Sedaris. When I picked him up from the boarding kennel Tuesday evening, his abdomen was VISIBLY BLOATED with packed-in poo. Every walk since then, there have been VOLUMES of poo. Were it not for the scores of poo baggies I carry with me on walks, our neighborhood would be awash with the tidal wave of Buster's poo.

Two Christmas gifts

Little Children, originally uploaded by *Karo*.
I'd like to take a moment to share two extremes of Christmas giving with you, dear readers. The first extreme you see above. I have a friend who looked at my wish list and saw that I wanted Litte Children by Tom Perrotta. Apparently this friend had Mr. Perrotta as a professor at Yale and also babysat his kids, so she contacted him and had him mail me a SIGNED copy of the book, DEDICATED TO ME. I wish I had a recording of the voicemail I left this friend after I opened the package the book came in, because I have a feeling I was very amusing in my babbling shriekiness. Thank you again, dear friend.

The other extreme of Christmas giving you see below. It was given to BK by my father and his wife, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to keep referring to it as "it" because we have no idea what the hell it is. I can only imagine my father saw what he thought were manicure scissors and thought he was giving poor BK a personal grooming kit, but JESUS CHRIST DAD. The evil-looking pliers! The copious amount of lengthy tweezers! THE PLIERS ON THE FAR RIGHT THAT CONTAIN MATTER WHICH INDICATES A DISTURBING LEVEL OF PREVIOUS USE!

Readers, help us. What the hell is this? Our guesses are a DIY Surgery Starter Pack or a They Won't Be Keeping Those Secrets Long Torture Kit.

What is it?, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

Stay tuned for the next Slav installment, wherein I describe the Neo-Nazi Polish Cult my father has fallen in with in Toronto!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Next time we fly direct

Before I delve into the many delights that was Christmas with the Stanimal, I just have to say that I've been up for 13 hours. AND IT'S ONLY 3:30!!! Our flight from Toronto was at 6:15 this morning (Priceline, natch), so we hauled our butts out of bed at 3:25 a.m. Eastern time. We checked in at the airport, no problem, and then sat in line for 45 minutes waiting for US Customs to open at 5:00 a.m. We got on the plane, and learned it was apparently being used as a cannibalistic crockpot, cause I swear to baby jesus that it got so fucking hot in there before we started moving that I was about to start weeping. We had to wait for people clearing customs late, taxied to the runway, taxied back to be de-iced, taxied BACK to the runway, and took off an hour late. Thank god I don't carry a concealed weapon because if I had one I would have shot the man behind us squaw in the middle of his forehead. The fucker would not. shut. up. His gravelly, Pittsburgh-accented hamburgery voice CLAWED at my brain until he finally fell asleep and started snoring. Actually, I shouldn't say "snoring" as it was more like "waking the dead." FINALLY we arrived in Pittsburgh and hauled ass to our connecting flight that was about to leave. The whole time we're powerwalking to the terminal I'm all, "Our luggage isn't going to make it, our luggage isn't going to make it." Luckily, WE make it but then sat on the plane for 30 minutes waiting for people who were checked in but stuck in the security line. Every time one would appear he would be half-trotting, looking a little sweaty and worse for the wear from the jog across the terminal, blotting at the Christmas turkey grease that was beading up on his forehead. The flight to Dallas was relatively painless, and three hours later we're standing in the middle of the circus that is U.S. Airways baggage claim. Round and round goes the conveyor belt, with no sign of our bags. I gave up ten seconds after the belt stopped moving and left BK standing there with all the other chumps who were gazing hopefully into the luggage maw. FOOLS! I knew the belt wasn't going to start up again. So I parked myself in the lost luggage line and was rewarded with the knowledge that our bags indeed did not make it on the plane to DFW. So we filed all the paperwork and went to go stand outside to wait for the EXPRESS parking van. EXPRESS. Well, apparently EXPRESS does not mean what we all think it means because we stood there at the curb for thrity minutes while FIVE Express North parking vans went by and THREE remote parking buses came and went before an Express South showed up. We finally made it to the car and started driving home, absolutely exhausted and starving. We decided we're going to stop at Schlotzsky's for lunch, oh-wonderous spiced meat delights, and as we exit and pull up we realize that


Though the despair did cause us to consider walking into I-35 oncoming traffic just to make this day go away, we instead settled on a burger and came home. And then BK repacked and left for DFW again. He's got a business trip in New Orleans, don'cha know.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Holidays from Toronto

bulb reflect, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The lights are turned way down low

Dallas snow 2, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

I brought some corn for popping

young squire, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

Those of us in the DFW metroplex, as well as those of us about to spend 5 days in Toronto, can all agree that we'd much rather be floating around in a pool in St. Thomas than venturing out into the cold.

Monday, December 20, 2004

With a taste of poison paradise

Saturday afternoon I spent a couple hours wrapping all the gifties BK and I will be taking to Toronto at the end of the week (assuming our trip is not cancelled as a result of the Stanimal's wife having bronchitis, but let's leave that for another post). One of the items I wrapped was a box of fancy chocolates. Once I finished, I packed everything into a large Samsonite duffel bag I'll be checking, and then left the Samsonite sitting on the dining room floor, partially zipped up.

Big mistake.

We left the house at 6:30 and got back at 11:00. At 11:01 we realized that Buster had gotten into the duffel back, gnawed on some other boxes until he got to the chocolates, which he then brought over to his dog bed (which some of you may call "the couch"). Buster then apparently chewed off all the Christmas wrapping, gnawed through the cellophane wrapping, savaged open the box, and ate all 12.2 ounces of delicious chocolate truffles.


So I call the emergency vet clinic, and they ask me how many ounces he ate. I say 12. They ask if it was dark or milk chocolate. Out of six chocolate types, four were dark chocolate, so 2/3 dark, or eight ounces (the box top had luckily escaped the jaws of terror). Only not eight ounces of chocolate, but eight ounces of chocolates with creamy fillings. After much chocolate math, we decided that since Buster didn't seem any worse for the wear, we would opt out of spending $600 to put him on an IV drip for 24 hours.

That night, every time one of us would get up to pee, we'd shuffle into his room, turn on the light, and peer into his crate to ascertain if he was still alive. Every time the answer would be yes, so we'd shuffle back to bed with the victorious knowledge that we had not killed our dog with a loving combination of frugality and inertia.


The dog was completely apeshit yesterday. It was harmless bouncing off the walls until he actually attempted to MAUL Joshua Wanat. There was very scary real barking and biting and oh it was just awful. Joshua Wanat now has a SCRATCHED EYEBALL and puffs up to cougar size when Buster get near him. Buster, on the other hand, has been banished to his crate for the day, where he will hopefully work on a) Thinking About What He Has Done and b) digesting the remaining sugar and caffeine.

BK, however, is bidding on an electroshock collar on eBay. Buster doesn't know it yet, but the times, they are a-changing.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Out of the mouths of babes

death to frosty, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

It was a kid-filled weekend here at the Slav household. Friday night we helped chaperone a birthday party at the movies (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events was surprisingly boring). Here's a picture of one of the boys mercilessly abusing the inflatable snowman in the front yard. Please allow me to take this opportunity to say that, as a country, I think we need to rethink this whole inflatable holiday cheer kick we're currently on.

social butterfly, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

Saturday night we drove to Waxahachie to celebrate the birthday of a high school friend. His niece was also visiting, and here she is pictured with their dachshund puppy, Harley. Yes, her t-shirt says "Social Butterfly." Yes, her necklace is made out of candy. Yes, my camera lens almost shattered from the cuteness. Too bad it didn't; it would have been the perfect opportunity to buy that digital SLR I've been wanting.

pageant, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

Sunday was the Christmas pageant at the Unitarian Universalist church we've begun attending here in Dallas. The whole thing made me very weepy in a Linus recitation in A Charlie Brown Christmas sort of way. The pageant was very realistic since there was a real, live baby Jesus who objected to the singing and screamed his head off for most of the play. Good times!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A notice

To those readers who may be visiting chez Slav in the near future:

The management chez Slav would like to offer its sincere apologies for the couch smelling like dog farts. Steps have been taken to remedy the situation; however, those steps will not be enacted until Saturday afternoon. Please accept this clean bath towel in the meantime. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Why I might have raised my voice at my father this evening

Background information you need to know: My father still owns our old apartment in Poland and is selling it. I've legally inherited a share from my mom, and so I had to get a power of attorney notarized. I then had to send to the state of Texas for notary certification. Then I had to send it to the Polish embassy so they could put a $200 stamp on it.

So I get all this done, and every. single. time. I've talked to him since my dad reminds me to bring it with me over Christmas.


I've got that.

So he calls today. For the 3rd day in a row. He's obviously grumpy about something. The first thing out of his mouth is, "You didn't send me that list of drink ingedients you said you'd send yesterday."

(He's become obsessed with BK mixing cocktails while we're in Toronto. Don't ask.)

I said, "BK was supposed to do that. Did he not? I'll remind him."


THEN he says "You need to scan in that power of attorney document and email it to me."

I say, ok, I'll do it at work tomorrow.

"OH NO, do you don't have a scanner at home?"

No dad. No, I don't.

"Ok, well, tomorrow will be ok."

NEXT he says, "I'm also going to need the receipt that they sent you from the embassy for the $200."

At this point I'm ready to shoot myself in the face. The stamped document came back with what looked like a cash register receipt, and I had no idea it would ever be needed. So I threw it away.

OH MY GOD, the stunned silence.

"But wait, you paid with a money order! You have the receipt for that!"


Just when you thought it was over ...

"I talked to the real estate agent today and the guy accepted the counteroffer."

So I say (keep in mind he told me about the original offer yesterday and I expressed my GLADNESS then), "Cool."



Because THEN my father says, after a long pause, in the most accusatory tone possible, "I just don't understand why you're so apathetic about this."

Inadvertent guest column pieced together from an IM conversation

The Crazed and Violent Luby's Child
By Suze

The crazed and violent Luby's child was upsetting - he was screaming and hitting his mom in the head and hitting the Luby's man.

And he was screaming, "Waaaah! Waaaaaah!"

Like, prounouncing the "waaahs" because he wasn't really crying.

He had to have been at least nine.

And I scared JR and Bill because I said if my child acted like that I would want to shoot myself in the head.

And then I said, "No, I would probably just get in the car one day, drive to the beach, and never come back."


Snowbunny in paradise

This morning I got to create a digital holiday card for the provost of the university that employs me. I got to practice all those InDesign skills that I've been highlighting in my Creative Suite for Dummies book. Once I get done highlighting Dummies, I'm going to move on to highlighting Peachpit Press' InDesign book. And then I will be ready to create a program newsletter so illustrative and informative that the gods themselves will weep.

Or something like that.

TOMORROW is a banner day because your friend and mine, Suze, will be rolling into town, on her way to go on a Vail skiing vacation with her new boyfriend's family. I believe she will be meeting them for the first time at the airport! I hope Suze realizes the gravity of this meeting and takes measures to tame her overactive right pit before the handshaking ensues. I also hope she has purchased a pink, fur-trimmed snowsuit and strides up to her departure gate with her snow boots on, skis thrown across her shoulder, and her goggles up on her head, holding back her curls. Because this is how I imagine the parental meeting, AND I DON'T LIKE BEING DISAPPOINTED.

Then again, I also imagine her boyfriend waiting for her at said departure gate with a sports jacket slung across his shoulder, wearing a black cashmere turtleneck and Ray Bans. So my mental picture may not be 100% accurate.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Attack of the appliqué sweater

This afternoon the administration of the university for which I work had its annual "Christmas Pig-Out." I was told that 103 people signed up to either bring a dish or paid $7 (correctly guess which category I was in and you win the satisfaction of being right). Of the 103 people who were there, I would estimate that 85 of them were wearing a Christmas-themed appliqué sweater. The remaining 17 were wearing Christmas-themed appliqué vests.

I am well aware that the upcoming rant is based purely on my own urban/European snobbery. HOWEVER.

What the fuck is wrong with the women of America and their goddamn appliqué sweaters?!?!

I understand the desire to be festive during the Holiday Season. Really I do. But must we celebrate with our clothing? Must we don these woven monstrosities heavy with bows and bells and all other manner of adornment that can be adhered using a hot glue gun? MUST there be an unwritten law that one may only wear red or green during the latter half of December? Must there, I ask you? MUST THERE?!?!

Now then. Having thoroughly offended those of you currently sitting at your computers wearing an appliqué sweater, as well as those of you picking up an appliqué sweater from the dry cleaner's after work to wear tomorrow, let me move on and offend the other half.

Let me move on and offend those of you who are guilty of egregious marshmallow overuse.

To me, there are FOUR allowable uses of the marshmallow. The first would be on a stick while camping. The next would be s'mores. Next is in hot chocolate. Finally, I'm throwing in the subsidiary marshmallow product of marshmallow creme, used for making fudge.

You may have noticed that in my list, I have left out all manner of salad. THIS IS INTENTIONAL, PEOPLE. Put the marshmallows DOWN. And while you're at it, you may need to seriously reconsider your use of mayonnaise.

Update: It has been brought to my attention by eagle-eyed reader Twink that Rice Krispie treats take marshmallows. My apologies! Please make that FIVE allowable uses for the marshmallow. Then again, she also mentioned THIS abomination, so perhaps Twink's advice should be taken with a grain of salt:
"Twink special for all nighters": hoagie roll spread with honey, peanut butter, sliced bananas, and then you take the other side of the hoagie roll, put marshmallows on it, nuke it until the mashmallows are big and puffy, and then slap it down on the other side.

The post in which I go off on Jude Law for no particular reason

Just when I thought that Jude Law's cruel reign over the movie theaters of America was going to be over with Martin Scorsese's Leo's-career-isn't-dead-no-really, Oscar-buzz-so-loud-its-deafening, Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, IT'S NOT. It turns out that Jude has managed to dip his weiner into yet another 2004 feature film, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Granted, it's only his mellifluous voice in the role of Lemony Snicket that will be featured in this one, BUT STILL. This man must be stopped! Since he faux-drawled his way onto the big screens this time last year in Cold Mountain, Jude has appeared in I Heart Huckabees, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Alfie, and Closer. With two more movies to go before the year wraps up. You'd think with all that exposure he'd be the one raking in the three Golden Globe nominations, and not Jamie Foxx. Speaking of, I think Mr. Foxx needs to fear the wrath of my poison keyboard next, 'cause the whole Twista-Kanye collaboration was really too much. STICK WITH THE ACTING, JAMIE. It's working for you.

And while I'm at it, SHAQUILLE, STICK WITH THE BASKETBALL. And RON ARTEST, I haven't heard your rap album yet, but I'm willing to bet IT SUCKS, TOO.

The reason I have Lemony Snicket on the brain is, incidentally, because BK and I have been volunteered to help chaperone a nine-year-old's birthday party this Friday, the central event of which will be the movie. So really, with THAT looming in my future, the blog entry possibilities are truly mind-boggling.

Monday, December 13, 2004

"Spices We Have" -- where irony comes to die

Ok, crazy Asian teen blogs aside, I think I may have stumbled across what is The Lamest Blog in the World.

One of this blog's posts consists of a list of 25 spices the owner has in her apartment. And before you ask, no! There is no irony! Not even a PINCH! (Ha! Get it? Spices? Pinch?)


Also! There is another post in which the author lists items she would like for Christmas. These items include mascara and (!) spices. Also on the list is:
Books - The one by John Stewart of the Daily Show, I think it is called 'America' or something. 'I am Charlotte Simmons', I think the author's name is Wolfe. Some old white guy talking about sexual relationships among young people today.
Now, I am not one to toot my own blogging horn, but lord please let my blog be a better read than whittersco dot blogspot dot com.

This post is sick

Um. There's an ad for this thing on the front page of The text for the ad runs as follows:

It's one sick pogo stick.

Dear lord, just take me now.

Raking and Stuffing, Attorneys-at-Law

Friday night BK went to play poker and be all testosteroney, so I treated myself to Thairiffic (I know, but what can you do?) and the latest gripping Degrassi: The Next Generation episode. That was some heavy shit, yo!

Saturday afternoon involved some shopping, both for Christmas and for myself. See, I've been putting off buying any new clothes since I figured that soon I'd have to start buying horrific elastic-waisted jeans and items of a similar nature, but given the events of last week, fuck it! I bought me some regular pants! With a zipper and everything!

That night was BK's office Christmas party, which sadly did not involve anyone Xeroxing their ass, which was a big disappointment. Really, the only highlights of the night were 1) being recognized by someone who was in the same scholarship program as I was in college (not really that surprising since I now live in Texas and half the state's population went to UT) and 2) BK getting into a political discussion with some poor lawyer's wife and drunkenly offending her Christian sensibilities. Guess we've got some work to do before ol' BK is ready for the political circuit.

Sunday morning was all about the leaves. Piles and piles of leaves that needed to be raked and stuffed into bags. Every bag was dedicated to a different apartment/condo dwelling friend who has not yet bought into the chumpitude that is home ownership. I'd tell you the ugly truth now, but then the homeowning mafia would come and drill holes in our roof and pour sugar in the pool pump while we slept, so suffice it to say SAVE YOURSELVES WHILE YOU STILL CAN. Move to New York City and be fabulous and carefree and ...

Fuck, I gotta go. The roof is leaking.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Because it's my blog and I can so you can suck it

scroodle, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Visions of sugarplums

christmas wrapping 1, originally uploaded by *Karo*.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Following up with fecal matter

Man. One thing I didn't not foresee about Putting It Out There is that it's kinda hard to follow up on. I 'spose the only thing to do in this sitchy-ation is to slowly divert attention from the fact that I am Leaking Baby* and move on to the more mundane topics of yore.

So! How about that episode of Lost last night, huh? Whoo! Was that a kick in the pants or WHAT?

I kid! Lost is still safely ensconsed in the TiVo cause BK got a bug up his ass last night and decided that he needed to watch The Iron Giant RIGHT NOW.

But seriously, thank you to everyone who emailed and/or called. It meant a lot to me. For real, 'do.

Since everything is now Out There, I'd like to share with the viewing public the following email I wrote to a young lady from whom I purchased some baby items on craigslist. See, my first experience with craigslist in Dallas was great -- I scored this doohicky, pretty much brand new with an extra base for $60, and I was all, "Craigslist is DA BOMB. The SAVINGS! The SATISFACTION of screwing the Americans! This one goes out to you, Stan!"

Then I bought some other items from a different person. I am now somewhat disenchanted, and I think my email will show you why:

Thank you for driving halfway to meet my husband. That was very nice of you. I looked forward to him getting home with our new gear, but I have to confess that when he arrived I was very disappointed.

First of all, the child carrier is not a Baby Bjorn. It is an Infantino. I specifically asked if it was a Baby Bjorn and sent you a link to the page. You replied:

"yes, Thats the right baby bjorn"

The Baby Bjorn retails for $89.99 and gets the highest safety and user ratings. The Infantino retails for $19.99 and gets much worse reviews. I did not wish to purchase an Infantino.

There is also the matter of you advertising the products as being in "mint" condition:

"everything is in excellent condition.. no rips or stains..."

This is simply untrue. Perhaps you did not look at the items in bright light, but all are stained. The bouncy chair's fabric seat has what appears to be a fecal matter stain on it. The play mat has a large, visible (urine?) stain on the underside. None of the items appears to have been cleaned at all.

Candice, I am sure you meant well and did not mislead me purposefully, but I feel that I've been had. I've bought and sold on eBay and craigslist for years, and "mint" means that something looks like it's brand new. These items do not look new, and one is simply not what was advertised.

I realize there is nothing I can do now, so mostly I'm writing to let you know that you will most certainly have more upset people on your hands if you continue to sell "mint" items that are in fact, not. If you chose to continue selling on craigslist, please consider being more accurate in your item descriptions.
On the bright side, everything laundered nicely. On the evil wench side, ol' Candy wrote me back, apologizing and asking for our address so she could return the $10 we paid for the "Baby Bjorn." Believe it or not, we haven't seen that $10 yet. I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly ask Craigslist Candice to please kiss my ass.

* We laugh, or else we cry, people.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The post in which I keep it real on your asses

Yesterday evening at 5:30 I had a miscarriage in the handicap stall of my work bathroom.

I had gone to pee before my department's Christmas party and was instead confronted by enormous amounts of blood. It was a very surreal experience. I kept thinking, "I can't believe I'm having a miscarriage in one of the stalls in my work bathroom." I kind of sat there for a while, thinking about what I should do. I finally stuffed some toilet paper in my pants and went back to my cube to get my cell phone and a dime. I came back to a thankfully empty bathroom and stuffed the dime into the Feminine Products Dispenser, which turned out to be broken. Great.

So I locked myself back into my stall and sat some more, alternately staring at the wall and sneaking peaks at what my body was rejecting. I looked down and saw what I assumed to be the sac, floating in the toilet, a little round thing about the size of a fingernail.

I called a friend, I called BK. Yes, it's me. Yes, I'm having a miscarriage. Yes, I'm sure.

I stuffed more toilet paper in my pants and drove over to the drug store. I bought some pads and then asked where the bathroom was. The girl looked at me knowingly. But she didn't know.

I called my doctor's office and left a message. The doctor on call called me back. He said I should still come in for the appointment I had scheduled for Thursday, the 8-week appointment where I was going to hear the heartbeat for the first time. He said that it sounded like I had a blighted ovum (when a fertilized egg implants in your uterus but the resulting embryo either stops developing very early or doesn't form at all).

I've been wavering all day about whether or not to post about this. It feels disingenuous not to. This is real, it happens to so many women. No one talks about it, but the stats are telling -- about 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.

BK and I are bummed. We were both really excited about the July 22 due date. Lots of people are going to be coming through town over the holidays and I was really looking forward to being able to tell them in person. I'd already bought a bunch of baby gear on craigslist (once a kid who likes to play bank, always a kid who likes to play bank). We were so looking forward to watching the Stanimal unwrap the "#1 Grandpa" t-shirt we got him for Christmas, watching him be all "wtf?" until the realization slowly dawned on him and he crapped himself with glee.

How do I feel? I am sad. I am frustrated. However, I am not despondent. I got pregnant our first month trying, so chances are pretty good for cooking up a baby soon. I'm also very thankful that I'm not going to be lying on the examination table tomorrow, completely losing my shit because the technician can't locate the heartbeat.

So long, Embie. See you again soon.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

What does this say about my country?

When I image-googled "Poland," this was one of the top hits. Is this what we are to the rest of the world? Jolly chaps who just love the hell out of sausage kielbasa?

At least there was no traffic

I squinted one eye open in the middle of the night to see a white shape hovering across the bedroom. It turned out to be BK, coming back to bed. "Whaddyadoin," I muttered as I flopped myself over to my other side. "I had to email and call some people," said BK. I laid there falling back asleep for a few seconds before I realized that it was the middle of the night and generally not the time when you call people. So I grunted out something that sounded like, "Wha ... Huh?" BK climbed into bed and said, "It's for work, I had to leave some voicemails, don't worry about it." I promptly fell back asleep.

Next thing I know BK is standing by my side of the bed, fully dressed and tapping me on the shoulder. "I have to go in to work for a little while," he says. "I'll be back soon." I sat up in bed, completely disoriented, and watched his blurry shape float towards the door. (Have I mentioned I have 20/800 vision?) I finally came to and screached, "Have you lost your mind?" after him, but to no avail. I laid back down and heard the door to the garage. I promptly fell back asleep.

So this morning after I finished drying my hair I walked over to the bed and poked BK. "What the fuck?" I asked him. BK grunted and burrowed under the covers. I poked him again. "Did you really go to work in the middle of the night," I asked him. "What time was it?" BK tells me it was 3:30. My husband drove to work at 3:30 a.m. because he knew he was going to be late going in this morning and wanted people to have information about some fax first thing.

The moral of the story is that when he got there at 4:00 a.m., it turns out that the fax had never arrrived. So BK: go-getter or big chump? You decide.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Lessons I learned this weekend

When you go to see Finding Neverland, make sure that you take a box of Kleenex with you. Because there will be a preview for Hotel Rwanda and you will sob all the way through it. Then there will be a preview for A Very Long Engagement and you will cry through that, too. Then you will watch the feature presentation and will need to lend some of your Kleenex out to the mustachioed gentleman to your right who is there with his wife and is sobbing unabashedly.

If your husband takes you out for a Hot Date at Outback Steakhouse (I think Dallas has managed to completely devour my soul) and you order a baked potato, make sure to say, "Oh! What a cute, little, perfectly round potato!" when the waiter brings it to you. Because then he will think that Jabba is Displeased with the meager potato helping and will run to the kitchen and bring you a Whole Nother Potato!

When you are helping with a work event wherein high school students come to campus to interview for the scholarship program you work for, do not expect suits and smiles. Because instead you will see surly people born in 1987 who are sporting scowls that would curdle milk. They will slouch around wearing FLIP-FLOPS (At an interview! In December!) and CAPRI PANTS (At an interview! In December!), acting as though they don't really give two shits if you give them free tuition, a semester abroad, and $53,000.

Finally, a lesson BK learned: When you go Christmas shopping and purchase some clothing-type items for your father-in-law, do not leave the bag sitting on the living room floor. Because then you will leave for a few hours, and when you come back, you will discover that your dog has rooted out all the items and dragged them over to the couch, where he fashioned himself a nest out of one article and used the other as a chew-toy.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Please, no pictures or autographs ...

Earlier this week the morning show I was listening to on the way to work announced it was giving away advance screening passes for Closer. Turns out the place to pick them up was the Mobil station (fancy!) at the next exit, so I decided to GO FOR IT, never mind that I might be five minutes late to work where no one would ever notice since I sit by myself across the hall from the department. (No, I don't smell. Space issues. For real!) I'm not sure what I was expecting at my first radio-station giveaway, but it wasn't a guy sitting in a van with the DJs' faces spray-painted on it, passing out passes by the handful through a barely-cracked window. I can only assume he was cold. So I walked up to him and he shoved a couple of passes at me without so much as a hello, so I quickly muttered "thanks" and scurried back to my car. Not really the celebrity treatment that "advance screening" conjured up in my mind, but hey. Free movie.

The screening was last night -- yet another disappointment since the movie comes out today and how glamorous can you really feel seeing a movie a whole 15 hours before anyone else can? It clearly stated on the pass that they overbook so you have to show up early to get a seat. I got to the theater 40 minutes early and there was already a huge line, but thankfully I now live in Texas ("Where Everything Is Bigger") so that didn't present a problem. When they let us into the theater all the best rows of seats were roped off and marked "Reserved," presumably for the advance screening glitterati, who, before you get too excited, never showed up.

The highlight of the advance screening experience came about 15 minutes before showtime, when the five people in radio station shirts who'd been milling about the front of the theater looking bored and superior announced that people who had a Post-It note or magnet attached to the bottom of their seat would be receiving a PRIZE! I had a magnet! I was in! I was one of the chosen few! But then a very bored, anaemic-looking young man in a SUNNY 97.1 shirt took the microphone and announced that they had enough stuff for everyone. That of course started a mass stampede toward the front of the theater that swept me along with it, where I received a Closer baseball cap and two long-sleeved t-shirts which, oddly enough, though were marked XL, would have barely fit Buster. Being the nice person that I am, I asked if anyone around me wanted them, and the slouchy young gentleman to my right RIPPED them out of my hand before I could finish saying that they were a little on the small side.


Still a little miffed that I did not manage to score a Closer lip balm (I am so not kidding about the lip balm), I sat down next to BK to watch the movie. We first got a preview for a film that might have made me wee myself just a little, as it features two of my favorite things: 1) Will Smith and 2) romantic comedy. February cannot come fast enough, people.

Closer was good, but very sad and very uncomfortable to watch. There were moments where I was actually squirming in my seat, squirming completely unrelated to the $5 tub of Diet Coke sitting in my cupholder. My only complaint was that it was so obviously originally written for the stage, which is a fine way for a story to make its way to the big screen, but usually works better when the playwright doesn't write the screenplay. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon nailed it when she wrote that, "[the] dialogue [is] so meticulous it bears no resemblance to the way people actually talk, let alone think. 'She has the moronic beauty of youth, but she's sly,' Larry observes of Alice after he meets her for the first time, a playwright's semaphore, maybe, for 'She's kind of cute.'"

Next time, I'm mowing those fuckers down and getting me a lip balm.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Stanimal is a Longhorn dad (sort of)

When I was in college, I bought my father an I AM A LONGHORN DAD burnt-orange bumper sticker in a desperate attempt to be normal. See, our little family of three immigrants didn't do a lot of the things my friends' families did. Things like:
  • drinking beverages in the car
  • throwing away receipts for two-dollar items purchased On the Fly
  • purchasing things On the Fly
  • socializing with other human beings (Except Poles. Poles were ok as long as they were of the intelligentsia and not that trash that comes over to the States to do asbestos work.)
  • watching sitcoms
  • laughing
  • eating foods that are not European in origin
  • reminiscing about the past
  • singing (I don't think I ever heard my mother sing before she died. Note to self: ask the Stanimal to sing over Christmas.)
  • and lastly: using bumper stickers
An I AM A LONGHORN DAD bumper sticker seemed like a very American, wholesome thing to buy. So I did. But I can't say that I was too surprised when, the next time I came home, I saw that my dad had PROPPED the I AM A LONGHORN DAD bumper sticker up against the back windshield of his car for the occasion.

For those of you who don't know me IRL, this seems like the appropriate time to divulge the following fact: I used to play bank with myself when I was little. Go ahead, laugh; all my friends find it spectacularly amusing. I'd get deposit and withdrawl slips when I'd go to the bank with my mom, and I'd come home, organize them, fill them out. I kept a little ledger of transactions. THIS WAS MY FAVORITE CHILDHOOD GAME.

It all makes sense now, doesn't it?

Susan Cannon was the muse for this post.

The controversial nature of acceptance

Have you heard? It's great! CBS and NBC are refusing to air a United Church of Christ television ad welcoming gay and lesbian couples into the church! In case you think thine eyes deceive you or that I smoked a pound of crack in the car on the way to work, here is the story from an actual news source. Also, for your enjoyment, I present to you a letter BK wrote to CBS yesterday:
The CBS network has recently determined that it will not air television advertisements for the United Church of Christ because those advertisements are "too controversial." What's the controversy? That the UCC welcomes homosexuals as members. Here's a link to the story: If this account does not fairly represent CBS' position, I'd welcome hearing your side of it.

It is difficult for me to express without profanity my disgust at the decision of your network. CBS' explanation that the subject is simply too controversial is unconvincing. CBS airs news reports and other programming on a variety of controversial topics. CBS' best known program -- 60 Minutes -- is reknowned for being controversial. One of CBS' most famous sit-coms -- All in the Family -- was also famous for addressing controversial issues. CBS' "too controversial" excuse is pure bullshit.

Congratulations, gay-bashers! Way to go! What a victory for bigots everywhere!

Perhaps CBS as a corporate body really believes homosexuality is evil. This is unlikely, since CBS cares only about making money. More likely, CBS is worried that it has been perceived as "too liberal" because of Dan Rather's liberal reputation and the suprise appearance of Janet Jackson's nipple at the 2004 Super Bowl. I wonder if there's an email at CBS somewhere that reads, "Hey, if people think that we hate gays, then they won't think we're liberal!" If this doesn't work for you, consider programming entitled, "Misunderstood Nazis", "Why Can't the Coloreds Just Keep Quiet", and "CBS REALLY loves Jesus!"

CBS, please tell me, just how good does right-wing conservate ass taste? Personally, I haven't kissed it myself.

Goodbye, CBS. Good luck turning yourself into the PTL network. I won't be around to see how that goes for you, as I won't be watching you any longer.