Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Next Time I'll Just Ask For A Beer

Most people are amused by my lack of sophistication in regards to wine. Most, but not all. To wit:

StereoNinja*: Do you want some wine?

Me: Sure

StereoNinja: OK, white or red?

Me: Whichever one tastes the most like candy.

StereoNinja: Neither, this is not fucking sangria.

*StereoNinja, like MrBalls, is a blog name that is barely (if at all) related to the person it is meant to indicate, due mainly to the fact that I decided to post something about him at a time when he was unavailable to discuss what he'd like to be called. I googled "bad fake superhero names" and this is what I got. He is not an actual ninja**. Or a stereo.


Friday, December 16, 2011

More Holiday Earhole Joyousness

I haven't been feeling well at all lately, and that is the excuse I am using for backdating this post to Friday when I'm actually sitting here writing it on Tuesday. It's not because I forgot to do it until just now. Nope. Not at all. Behold, your funny/cheesy/classic Christmas songs that don't suck of the week:

Rudolph and Gang - "Here Comes Fatty Claus": I have no idea whether this is a real band or a made up one just for the sake of this song, but googling it seems to indicate the latter. The only place I have ever seen it is on the John Waters Christmas album, and you should probably just go ahead and buy the whole thing because John Waters picked all the songs, which virtually guarantees there's something slightly insane about all of them. If that doesn't sell it, then let me inform you that the first line of this song is "Here comes fatty with his sack of shit". Yeah, thought so.

Chris Isaac - "Christmas on TV": Ok, this isn't exactly a cheesy song, but I am categorizing it as such because I got yelled at last month for owning anything by Chris Isaac at all (suck it, Simon). It does start out as a cheesy song (a guy missing his lady on Christmas because she's far away) but somewhere in the middle it takes a hard left turn and becomes one of the most depressing Christmas songs I've ever heard (it's his ex-wife and she's really just around the corner living in his old house with her rich new boyfriend). And since I am a horrible person it makes me laugh every time.

The Beach Boys - "Little Saint Nick": You know you love it. Stop pretending like you don't. No one is fooled.

Friday, December 09, 2011

40 Days Friday Music Update

Ok, so I was so wrapped up in my public nudity event, I completely forgot to blog y'all some holiday music on Friday, so I'm going to cheat and backdate this post I'm writing to Friday (it's Monday night) and also meet the funny song/cheesy song/classic song criteria all in one song because I'm too lazy to pick three songs out. So here it is:

"Santa Claus and His Old Lady" - Cheech and Chong: My dad has very one dimensional taste in music. As in the only band he likes is Led Zeppelin, much to the chagrin of my step mother. In fact, there's only two songs I've ever heard him listen to on purpose that aren't Led Zeppelin songs: Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" on Thanksgiving, and "Santa Claus and His Old Lady" at Christmas time. This is a stoner Christmas masterpiece (such a stoner masterpiece that I'm suddenly wondering why he let us listen to this all the time when we were little). Recession, repression - it's all the same thing, man.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

This Is A Totally Normal Conversation In My World

The gorilla texted me in the middle of the fucking night on Monday to find out what I was doing this week.

Me: Just now realizing I forgot to respond to your text because I was half asleep when I got it. Pretty busy doing things involving nail polish and nipple tape from now until showtime on Saturday night. Next week I should be less busy, other than adding MORE TREES to my dwelling.

The gorilla: How can I not buy into the "nipple tape" excuse?
Of course, I am off to zee Germany next Monday evening, and will gone some days...but I will make something work. I want a tour of the Christmas forest.

Me: Forest will be up at least until the new year, no worries.
Nipple tape - for the discerning stripper who's not quite ready to go full frontal.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Once Again, Here's Some Stuff To Listen To

It's Friday, and therefore time for another installment of holiday tunage you (probably) won't hate. I'll follow my funny song/cheesy song/modern classic format that I just realized I accidentally set forth in the first two posts.

The Clydesdale - "Imo Shoot Me A Reindeer": The Clydesdale is an alt country/rockabilly band based in Las Vegas, and this song can be found on the absolute masterpiece of a compilation MERRY X-MAS DAMMIT From The Double Down Saloon. It is far and away my favorite Christmas song to sing. As if the rest of the song isn't good enough, the interlude in the middle of it when the singer's neighbor asks her "What in the name of my beer can Christmas tree do you think you're about to do over there with that rifle?" really sells it.

They Might Be Giants - "Santa's Beard": I love TMBG so suck it. This is classic Giants, in true Giants style. Originally on their second album Lincoln from 1988, it can also be found on their Christmas EP, Holidayland.

The Ramones - "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)": The Ramones, I said. Own it or you're stupid.

Amber And Heather: Food "Lovers"

H-town: i have no motivation left today

me: yeah, i feel you dawg

H-town: if you worked in DC, we could just leave and go drink a beer

me: totes. or if you worked in chicago

H-town: mm hmm

me: beer...and tacos. TACOS

H-town: i had a huge burrito for lunch
chipotle, she is my weakness

me: she is a cruel mistress
who can resist the lime cilantro rice? who?

H-town: those 30lb burritos! OH!

me: i want to say no, but every time she holds her finger to my lips and says "sshhhhh, no one has to know. let me show you what i can do with my sour cream."

for me, it's the guac that costs $2 extra
"Sshhhhh, you'll want me."

me: it's like, at that point you've already fucked it all up. you might as well go all in

H-town: yup

Or Too Early To Help With The Next One?

The mutineer (on his Facebook status): .... FUCK. I dont remember how I got home last night.

Me: Well done, sir.

One hour later

The mutineer: I just woke up... again. I have a boner and I think im still drunk
did i just say that out loud?

Me: No, you typed it. With one hand, I assume.

Four hours later

Friend of the mutineer:  I appear to have come across this conversation four hours too late

The mutineer:  It's not too late for your input, [friend] ;-)

Me: probably too late to help with the boner situation though.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 30 And We Made It, Dammit, We Made It

I would like to have written something brilliantly profound or hilarious for the last day of NaBloPoMo, but unfortunately I went to Victoria's Secret at lunch because I needed a nice nightie and robe for my show.

I don't know if it's like this at every Victoria's Secret, but the one on Michigan Avenue has some crazy-attentive sales associates. Five, count them, FIVE different people came up to me inside the first five minutes I was there. It was an insane parade of helpfulness that was not helpful at all. "Zomigod, hi! Welcome to Victoria's Secret! Can I help you find something? Did you know this whole thing right here is on sale? Do you know what size you are? I can totally measure your boobs right now in the middle of the store! We have a new perfume! All of our whatever-the-shit collection is buy two get one free! Do you want to get discounts in your e-mail because we will totally send you coupons! How about a new bra? Do you need a new bra? Because we TOTALLY sell bras here!" The thing they all seemed the most excited about was this t-shirt* they were "giving" away: "If you spend $75 in the store today you get this free t-shirt THAT PREMIERED AT OUR FASHION SHOW!" Four out of five helpful associates pointed this out. I ended up getting one because let's face it, you buy a lipstick in there it's going to cost you $75. It is awful. It is some kind of slate color and has metallic/sparkly writing on it that says something like "HOLY FUCK WE HAD A FASHION SHOW AGAIN". It's as thin as a piece of paper, has a seam up the middle of the back (ok I don't know a lot about clothes, but I do know that is not how you sew a t-shirt) and they only had mediums left, which is interesting because the medium could fit on an elephant.

I came back to the office and rushed into BrownsFan's office to show her my new underpants (as I'm sure you do with coworkers at your job, right?) and also try to pawn off the train wreck of a shirt on her. She didn't bite, though she did sit there helping me make fun of it and pointing out other problems with it I hadn't even noticed, like how the neck is all stretched out weird and it has some sort of bizarre flap hanging down in the back. And that is when she showed me the link to the fine gentlemen over at Project Rungay who have kindly reviewed the Victoria's Secret Fashion show, starting with the brilliant line "Your heterosexual mating rituals are just so darn hilarious and confusing to us." This entire blog post is really just a set up to the link for their two part review, which you can find here and here. Enjoy.

Thus ends NaBloPoMo 2011.

*I wanted to put a link here to this absolute piece of shit of a shirt, but I can't find it on the VS website anywhere, not even under "Supermodel Essentials", a heading that pissed me off in a major way, in large part because it's a bunch of fucking sweatpants. In fact, the whole website seems like it's designed to make me angry. There's a section called "Very Sexy Seduction" which I guess is as opposed to the other kind of seduction that isn't sexy at all. Also, underneath a giant banner ad for free slippers is a note that reads "Watch the supermodel slipper video, then meet the matching pajamas" (emphasis mine). Meet them? MEET the pajamas? Oh my god, go fuck yourself, I am not watching a video of goddamn slippers and I certainly don't want to have a fucking conversation with any pajamas. What is wrong with you, seriously?

UPDATE: BrownsFan read that I couldn't find the shirt on the website and thought to herself "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!" It's this one, except mine is grey rather than black. This piece of crap apparently retails for 45 real fucking American dollars. They have got to be kidding.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 29 And I'm A Star! (A Little)

I'm just now back from dance rehersal for the group burlesque number at the student show at Martyr's on December 10th and I am very excited about it, despite the fact that everything hurts right now because double rehersals suck bowls full of dick and my abs, good lord, the pain. So. Much. Pain.

I'm trying not to read too much into it, but the lines have been set and I am in the front row just stage right of center, despite being taller than many of the girls behind me. There's a possibility that this is because our instructor thinks I'm one of the better dancers. It could also not mean that, and merely be an indication that I've got the choreography down more than some of the others. And, of course, they don't really know me all that well, but there's a slim chance they've sensed what kind of not-a-lady I am and have put me in the front row because they know I will not be nervous about taking off all my clothes as opposed to some of the women who have specifically requested to be in the back row. All I know is I didn't make a request for any specific row, I was just told to go stand in front so I did.

I've had a number of people tentatively ask me if I wanted people to come, or if I'd prefer they didn't because of concerns it might be easier to take my clothes off in front of strangers rather than people I actually know. If you're one of the people who has been wondering this but hasn't asked me, here's what I told everyone else: I have no problem with anyone coming to see me in this show, but I am not going to ask anyone to go. This is not because I don't want you there, it's because I'm part of a group number that is a part of a student show. I'm going to be onstage for less than three minutes with 16 other girls and I'm not comfortable asking people to spend $15 and sit through tons of other numbers in order to witness my three minutes of shared fame. But you're more than welcome to do that if you'd like. All the other numbers will involve girls getting undressed as well, which is pretty cool. It's not like you'd be sitting through an entire Star Trek convention to catch a brief glimpse of my ass. Tickets are available here if you want them.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 28 And It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like They Shouldn't Have Given Me An Office

The CEO came in my office last week asking where all the Christmas decorations were. I told him it would be a motherfucking Christmas wonderland in here if it were up to me, but that if I started decorating the office before Thanksgiving there is a good chance that someone might stab me. He agreed that this was a legitimate concern.

Today, though, it is officially the first office day after Thanksgiving, so my first order of business was to start setting up the few things I already had left over from my Cave of Wonders days (this is what I called my cubicle at the old office space, but only in my head - they know I am crazy but it's fun to keep them guessing just how much): little felt stockings were tacked to the wall, my somewhat sparse Christmas village was arranged on top of my overhead cabinets and three wire trees covered in glitter were placed on a shelf (and now everything in my office is covered in glitter because glitter is the herpes of craft supplies). It wasn't nearly enough crap. Emergency decoration shopping was in order.

The nearest place where I knew there to be Christmas swag was downstairs at the CVS, so I headed down and grabbed the first few random things I saw, bagged them up and came back upstairs. COO and BrownsFan were sitting in the conference room when I came in, so I stopped to show BrownsFan what I'd gotten - a nutcracker, an old style German Santa, and a mealy little two foot "lighted" (in quotes, because lighted usually means the lights are already on the tree when you buy it. Not this time, they were just shoved in the box with the tree and a bunch of shitty plastic ornaments, but what do you want for $9?) tree. BrownsFan and I then briefly discussed potential wiring configurations for the various things I was planning to set up that would require a flow of electricity. This was the point at which COO finally realized what was actually happening. "Wait, so some of those things are going in your office?" he asked me, gesturing to the two GIANT bags I was struggling not to drop.

"What do you mean 'some'? ALL OF THESE THINGS are going in my office. Plus more things. I'm going to turn the air vent into a giant candy cane, and an office that size needs at least two trees. This is just what I managed to find at CVS."

BrownsFan turned to the now gaping at me in shock COO and told him what she'd known in her heart all along: "We never should have given her so much space."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 27 And Bob Costas Puts The Smack Down

When Cap and I were growing up, our father had a very succinct way of explaining the right way to demonstrate sportsmanship. "Act like you've been there before," he told us, and I like to think that we grew up to be people who are gracious in both victory and defeat.

In case you missed it, Bob Costas went on a rant of Andy Rooney proportions at halftime tonight, and it was one of the best halftime segments in recent memory. I wholly and entirely concur with his assessment. End zone celebrations have now become a dick swinging contest of who can act like the biggest egotistical asshole and it's probably too late to put that genie back in the bottle, but if you absolutely have to act like a complete fucktard, you should at least be able to draw the line ahead of the point where you cost your team a penalty and valuable yardage.

Having said that, if Stevie Johnson had ended his Plaxico thigh shooting pantomime by Tebowing, I would have pissed myself laughing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 26 And I've Learned My Lesson

Look, I admit it. It's entirely my fault. I shouldn't have gotten cocky - Han Solo knows best, after all.

You may recall sometime last week that the bartender and I were complaining about a lack of creativity in sitcom writing as far as Thanksgiving episodes, and my specific complaint that holiday cooking disasters are simply not that frequent (exclusive of those who wind up burning the house down via deep frying the turkey and by the way, America, this is why you're fat). I've long felt this way, but it was only last week that I was compelled to write it down and thereby ensure a near disaster in my own kitchen this Thanksgiving.

Of course, I can't really take all the blame here. Roasting a turkey requires a roasting pan. We don't own a real roasting pan, owing to the bartender arguing that they are a bitch to wash afterward (which is a ridiculous point given that he's not the one who winds up having to wash it, but whatever) (and in fairness, we don't actually have room for one in our kitchen right now anyway). Instead, he goes out and buys me a crappy disposable one every year, and even though it's crappy, I'm not going to pretend I don't like having one less dish I need to wash. Point being, I roast turkeys in a flimsy piece of aluminum. This has never been a problem in the past, but as stated before, this is because I've never bragged about how it's never been a problem in the past either. Turns out, this would be the year.

All was going along according to my meticulously well laid out plans, as always. An hour before the turkey should have been done, I opened up the oven to put the stuffing in. I'd put the roasting pan in sideways earlier because that was easiest, but now the stuffing wasn't going to fit next to it, so I picked it up slightly and spun it sideways to make room, put the stuffing and the parsnips in next to it, closed the oven and walked away. Ten minutes later the bartender came into the living room and asked me "Why is there smoke pouring out of the oven?"

I went to check. He was not fucking kidding, smoke was absolutely billowing out of the fucker, and when I opened it I instantly saw why: when I spun the shitty roasting pan sideways it had ripped slightly. The drippings had leaked out of the pan into the bottom of the oven and ignited. "MOTHERFUCK." That was me. Less because my oven was on fire than because it was obvious my hubris was the cause of my downfall.

The thing is, you can actually look at this another way. I immediately went into crisis mode: I shut the gas off, pulled the turkey out of the oven, siphoned off as much of the juice as I could of what was left, reinforced the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil and put the whole thing on top of a cookie sheet, turned the oven back on after the fire was out and put the turkey back in. The ruination of Thanksgiving dinner was almost entirely averted. The turkey and the stuffing were unharmed and I'd even saved just enough of the drippings for the bartender to make some spec-fucking-tacular gravy. The only thing we lost were the parsnips, and as much as I love parsnips, I'm unlikely to complain about not getting to eat a vegetable (and anyway, there was corn). So my original point still stands, and may even be reinforced: it's NOT that hard to cook Thanksgiving dinner even if your oven catches fire and fills your entire apartment with smoke.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 25 And It's Another Christmas Music Installment

I was about to start writing a post about Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, but then I remembered that it's Friday so it's time to give you another three suggestions for Christmas songs that you might be able to get behind. To wit:

Richard Cheese - "Christmas In Las Vegas": In case you're not familiar with Richard Cheese, he is primarily known for covering popular songs in lounge music style, a la Frank Sinatra (Nirvana's "Rape Me" and Metallica's "Enter Sandman" are a couple of my faves). He has very few original songs, but this is one of them, and it's hilarious - Santa sells his sleigh for gambling money, and Mary gets a suite comped at the Wynn, which beats the shit out of a filthy stable any day of the week.

Barenaked Ladies - "Elf's Lament": To reiterate from last week's second selection, the rules of music listening do not apply to Christmas music, so there's no need to worry that I may have become a huge Barenaked Ladies fan when no one was looking. They have a brilliant Christmas album though, including this song in which the elves get fed up with working for shit wages and decide to start a union.

Run DMC - "Christmas in Hollis": Look, there are other rap Christmas songs. Hell, there are other rap Christmas songs by Run DMC for that matter. You can just go ahead and ignore all of those. This classic from 1987 is the only one you'll ever need. Trust me.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 24 And There's Nothing To Watch

The gorilla: Is it me or is there nothing on tv?

Me: It's fucking ridiculous. This is Thanksgiving. Shouldn't Star Wars be on, line, five channels right now?

The gorilla: I would even watch Phantom Menace right now. I am calling TBS. I am going to give those motherfuckers an earful.

Me: Excellent. While you're at it can you mention that their "Very Funny" lineup is not remotely funny? Thanks, you're a peach.

The gorilla: They hung up on me.

Me: I'm not surprised. You really should stop starting conversations with "Listen, you cunt"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 23 And The Gorilla Is Kind Of A Dick

The gorilla: I made my cousin cry cause I told her I think she may be a midget. Why is honesty not appreciated?

Me: ha ha ha ha ha you are my favorite

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22 And Irresponsible Spending Month Has Started A Bit Early

I poked my head in at Claire's this morning to see what they had because I'm a girl now and I'm told that one of the things girls do is accessorize. And wouldn't you know it? The place is filled with Christmas trinkets AS THOUGH THEY WERE EXPECTING ME. So I went in and pretended to mull over the things I wanted to purchase, even though I pretty much knew that in the end I was going to be like "One of each, please". When I went to the counter with all 7,000 or so small shiny objects, the salesgirl made what for anyone else would have been a pretty sound assumption. "Oh! Are you having a Christmas party?" she asked me.

"Nope, I'm just crazy," I replied with absolute honesty.

Anyway, long story even longer, I'm now sat at my desk in my office dressed in completely normal office attire* with the exception of a tiny black sequin fascinator top hat with glitter covered holly on it. This is significant, because as BrownsFan can attest, I think fascinators are the stupidest fashion trend pretty much ever. Oh, hey ladies! Hows about we all start wearing hats that are nowhere near big enough to fit on our heads? Because that's what hats are for, not making sure your head is covered! WHAT A GREAT FUCKING IDEA! It isn't. At all. But if you stick a piece of holly on it and add some glitter, well then I am ALL IN, MOFOS.

Then there's the rest of this stuff that is still in the bag next to me, such as ornament shaped earrings (earrings? When have you ever seen me voluntarily wear earrings?), a hair clip with a mini santa hat on it (santa hat fascinator? Whatever, I don't care),  candy cane striped braces (suspenders, ya tools) and the crowning jewel: false eyelashes WITH TINY CHRISTMAS BOWS ATTACHED TO THEM. I don't even know who thought of this. I've never woken up in the morning thinking "You know what I need? Bows for my eyelashes." But as soon as I saw them I knew I'd needed them all along. And I've just recently learned how to apply false eyelashes! It's like a sign! Seriously, how could I NOT buy them?

Anywhore, I will now be accessorized like a proper girl for a while. A proper girl who is CHRISTMAS AS FUCK.

*Normal for me. There's not actually anyone else walking around in here wearing Chuck Taylors and a hoodie from a band called Dead To Me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 21 And I'm Still Having Gender Issues

Me: I learned how to curl my hair yesterday. Like a girl.

CEO: (laughing (probably more at me than with me)) I'll just leave that one alone, dear.

I took a class in how to do your own hair in pin-up style yesterday, partly because it's something I should learn what with the burlesque and all, and partly because it was being taught by the amazing Sara Jean, who styled my hair for both of my photo shoots at Vavoom Pinups and it looked AWESOME. Also she is super cool. She's a good teacher (way better, in fact, than she thinks she is), but even so my hair looks a shit ton better when she does it than when I do it. It's hard to do on yourself anyway, but when you add in my left handedness and my complete lack of fine motor skills/ hand-eye coordination, you end up with weird crooked curls and burnt fingertips. At any rate, in addition to actual make up, I now also own a curling iron and hair spray. This is going to take some getting used to.

By the way, I did find out what a teasing comb is. It's actually just a really skinny brush with a pointy tail on the end, and it did not make fun of me. To my face anyway.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20 And I Illustrate A Few Commercials That Don't Suck

"Are there any commercials that you actually like?" asked BrownsFan the other day when I was complaining about the one where the guy gets a good deal on a messaging plan and new phones and his cuntrag of a wife responds by tell him she should have married someone else because apparently advertisers think that we think it's fucking hilarious when a perfectly nice guy is married to a verbally abusive cuntrag (it isn't. Stop doing this).

As a matter of fact, there are several, particularly the overwhelming majority of promos for anything on ESPN. The one I'm liking right now is the College Game Day Man Satchel promo, but honestly, except for the ones where they desperately try to convince me that NASCAR is interesting, they rarely mess things up (speaking of screw ups, did anyone else see Lee Corson say "Aw, fuck it" on live television yesterday? Because it. Was. Awesome.).

I also love, and have always loved, The Most Interesting Man in the World. There's not a bad one in the bunch. In fact, even when he says nothing at all, it is still some of the best advertising on television.

See? It can be done!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19 And Surprise! The Television Is Upsetting Me

The bartender pointed something out the other night while we were watching New Girl, and as much as I am loathe to criticize anything Zooey Deschanel is involved with because I want to kiss her whole face, I have to admit he has a point. Every single sitcom, every year, has an episode that revolves around making a disaster out of trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner. They are never funny, ever, and the reason why is this: It's not actually that hard to cook Thanksgiving dinner. It just isn't.

I know this because I've done it a number of times. And I really can't figure out how people think that putting a roast in the oven and leaving it there for hours is at all difficult. There is almost nothing you need to do with a turkey as far as roasting it, other than to remember to defrost the thing in time, but even if you forget that, there are completely thawed turkeys at the store and you can run out and get one if the one you bought isn't ready by the day before.

The most difficult part of making Thanksgiving dinner is getting the timing right, but even that isn't really that hard if you make a schedule. It's simple really, you work backwards: figure out what time you want to have dinner, figure out how long each individual dish takes to cook, subtract that from what time you want to serve dinner and write it all down in chronological order. You don't even need to factor in the prep work most of the time. You can bake the pumpkin pie a day or two ahead of time, cube bread for the stuffing and chop onion/celery/apples/whatever you put in your stuffing the night before, peel the potatoes and the parsnips when you wake up in the morning. Even making homemade gravy shouldn't really throw you that much if you want to try it, because you need to let the turkey sit for half an hour anyway so the juices have time to redistribute (FYI, if you are carving up your turkey immediately after pulling it out of the oven and it comes out dry, this is the reason), which is more than enough time for gravy making.

Sitcom writers: this cliche is getting really, really old. If it's that hard to come up with an idea for a Thanksgiving episode, don't worry about it. You can skip it and I promise you no one will miss it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 18 And I'm Still Cramming Christmas Down Your Throat

I was casting about today for something to write about because NaBloPoMo is seriously hard, especially when your life consists mainly of things you can't or don't want to talk about anyway (though there are hints about it on my twitter feed sometimes). BrownsFan suggested that since I posted something on the internets someplace else that should count for NaBloPoMo, but that actually happened yesterday and anyway, most of you aren't even supposed to know about that.

Instead, I remembered that I'd said in an earlier post I would profile a Christmas song every day for the whole 40 Days of Christmas. It occurred to me shortly afterwards that such a series might get really boring for everyone but me really fast, so in lieu of that, I'm instead going to do one every Friday. This would be that post.

Eric Idle - "Fuck Christmas": Let's face it, I'm going to buy anything with Eric Idle and Christmas in the same sentence, but it's wholly worth it even if you're not obsessed with Monty Python (though if that's true, you probably have no soul). You could also make an excellent drinking game out of it - if you drink every time he says "fuck" you'll be wasted in under two minutes.

Straight No Chaser - "12 Days": Ok, number one, SHUT UP - the rules of what music it is or isn't ok to own DO NOT apply to Christmas music, ever, with the possible exception of Justin Bieber because I simply have no tolerance for that kid for some reason. As long as I don't have any non-Christmas music by these people then I have not committed any errors by owning things like Barenaked Ladies or Dan Hicks (or Chris Isaac. Kiss my ass, Simon). Number two, yes, I KNOW this is the single most irritating Christmas song ever penned, but that's what makes it so great: they skip verses, incorporate other songs (including the "Boar's Head Carol" which I've never heard anywhere else other than the Madrigal Dinner at church growing up) and other funny things that I don't want to say because it would ruin the surprise.

The Pogues - "Fairytale of New York" - You are honestly an idiot if you don't own this song. I shouldn't even need to talk it up - it's a classic, often cited as the best Christmas song of all time, and it's the fucking Pogues for Pete's sake.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17 And I Have An Announcement To Make

The e-mail I'd been waiting on tenterhooks to get for over a month showed up in my inbox at 8:32 p.m. last night. I'll be performing in my first burlesque show, the "TEASE! The Season" Student Showcase, at Martyr's on December 10th. Immediately following that show, the Chicago Starlets will be performing their own show, "BrrrrLESQUE!", which will be amazing if the last show I went to was any indication. Thank god I don't have to follow them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 16 And It's The Best Day Yet

Hey, do you know who wore a tartan plaid skirt, white blouse, red fencenet stockings, gold sequin ballet slippers, a white fur hat, snowflake earrings and 25 (I counted them) red and green bracelets to the office today? This girl:

FYI, that's me.

BrownsFan caught a glimpse of me when I walked past her office this morning and demanded that I come back and show her what I was wearing, as if this was something I needed to be told. "It's the first day!" I announced, even though everyone knew from my outfit what day it was. Everyone but one person, that is. "It's the first day of the 40 Days of Christmas!"

"The 40 Days of Christmas?" asked the new guy incredulously. "It seems like it's early for that. It's not even Thanksgiving."

"It isn't. It's the 40 Days. It's a real thing. I didn't even make it up."

"There's a website," BrownsFan added.

At this point, COO looked up from his desk at me, so I curtsied. He shook his head at me and addressed new guy. "I'm glad you're getting to see this now, before you've had a chance to work together," he said. "I don't want you to think that you caused it somehow. She's always like this."

BrownsFan went on to explain to him that soon I would start dressing in appliqued corduroy dresses with snowmen on them like a kindergarten teacher and needlework shirts that I designed and stitched myself because I'm fucking crafty like that (she did not say "because she's fucking crafty like that."). He looked slightly baffled. There is no way he's prepared.

I need to go tree shopping for my office this weekend. I think I can probably keep it down to two trees if I choose the ornaments carefully and fill in the blank spaces on the countertop with nutcrackers and Santas, maybe a little train. And a wreath, my door will need a wreath, certainly. Oh and some thick red ribbon I can wrap around that weird diagonal airvent to make it look like a massive candy cane. They really should never have given me so much space.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 15 And I Am Preparing For My Next Class On How To Be A Girl

YOU GUYS. Did you know that there's a difference between a bobby pin and a hair pin? NEITHER DID I. I totally thought that was two different names for the same thing. Apparently it's not, as evidenced by the fact they are listed as two separate things on the list of supplies I'll need on Sunday for the workshop I'm taking in how to do pin up hair. Also seemingly two different things: "clips to hold larger sections of hair" and "box of single prong clips". In addition I have NO IDEA what a teasing comb is. It's probably a comb that's going to make fun of me for not knowing anything about hair.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 14 And I Recap Kelly's Wedding

I was going to do another "Bizzybiz Wedding Awards" thingy, like I did for her sister's wedding, but really, a lot of the categories don't apply so much here outside of Best Kept Secret (Kelly, for successfully hiding a purple wedding dress), Best Use of the Union Jack at an American Wedding (which was the same as last time, except that we knew it was coming this time, so we prepared ahead of time and followed it with an Ohio Smackdown by O-H-I-Oing to the McCoy's "Hang On Sloopy" because my family are fucking rock stars) and Furthest Distance Traveled, which would have been the folks who came from Poland, but I don't know their names and really everyone traveled pretty far with the exception of Kelly and Michael. My point is I'm not doing that. I'm just going to chronologically hit the highlights.

I arrived later on Wednesday night than I should have because I was stupid enough to fly United and they broke our plane, as they do. The gorilla has promised to punch me in the face if I ever try to fly United again. Anywhore, Kelly and Michael picked me up and drove me to the hotel, where Kelly's family had arrived from England and were drinking in the hotel bar. By the time I'd set down my stuff and gone down to say hello, the bar had closed, which led to much complaining since hotel bars in the U.K. never close until the last person drinking gives up. We stayed for a little while while they finished beers and the discussion revolved around the couch from Friends and whether anyone had ever watched the show for reasons I will never be able to sufficiently explain.

Thursday night was girls night out, which was planned, and boys night out, which was apparently not planned, but went more along the lines of "The girls are going out? Oh, we should probably do that too." We went to a restaurant for a lovely meal, I drank a sangria because I had asked for the wine that tastes the most like candy, and then we all dressed up in Mardi Gras beads and went down to a bar in Venice that used to be Kelly's local. Immediately on walking in, we encountered two young gentlemen who showed us their muscles in exchange for beads. The both immediately started hitting on Kelly's grandmother. Come to think of it, all kinds of men were hitting Kelly's grandmother all weekend long. One of the guys also noticed that Kelly's friend Chuck was with us and observed "You must be gay." He is. There was much rejoicing.

By this time we were winding down because we are actually pretty old. Boys night had already been wrapped up, and Kelly's dad had come to pick a few of us up in the van. On arriving back at the hotel, I discovered the English boys and the very charming Franklin (a friend of Michael's who was a groomsman and also my aisle-walking partner because I win) had solved the bar closing problem of the night before by buying out the entire stock of beer from the sundry and drinking it sitting in the lobby. Obviously, I joined them. Everyone else went to bed. We did too, but not until 3 a.m. and certainly not before I'd had a chance to rant about how The History Channel is a complete failure at showing programs that involve any actual history, Ghosthunters is the stupidest show on television, Nostradamus accurately predicted precisely jack shit and the Mayans probably just ran out of paper, an observation that Franklin the history teacher found particularly amusing.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at a place called Vito's and if it is not a front for the Los Angeles mafia it fucking well should be. Eating at Vito's is not so much having a meal as it is having an experience. Courses get served one at a time with long breaks in between during which massive amounts of wine are consumed - we ate dinner for 3 1/2 hours. I sat with my aunt and uncle recapping the more hilarious parts of the actual rehearsal and drinking iced tea (the deleterious effects of drinking with Englishmen still fresh in my memory from my trip in September, I was wise enough to skip a day). I ate so much I was genuinely concerned about fitting into my dress the next day.

The actual wedding was quite possibly the most hilarious ceremony I've ever been to. Kelly and Michael both struggled to repeat their vows (the really were very long sentences) and Kelly actually interrupted hers because she was laughing so hard at the tiny bug that was crawling around on Michael's collar. I managed to keep my composure while Franklin read the poem he'd written for them, but only because I'd heard it the night before. I barely held my shit together when Kelly's uncle read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit.

I split the rest of the evening fairly evenly between dancing and a series of conversations with Franklin, Simon, Jo and a girl called Jen who was actually working there in a fancy room that had an actual name, but that I kept calling "the hookah room" because it seemed like a room that should have one. At one point, Simmy ran up to me and yelled "Bridesmaid shot!", so the four bridesmaids linked arms and ran up to the bar where I screamed "WE NEED A SHOT FOR GIRLS!"

When the night had wound down, I said a tearful goodbye to Jen (I was convinced we were real friends at that point) and took one of the shuttles back to the hotel, a trip that consisted of my brother yelling a lot, Simon being embarrassed by his father, and someone stupidly handing me a camera to take photos for them, which obviously led to me convincing Simon to take a photo down my shirt so that someone I don't know could be surprised by a photo of my boobs the next day. Also, Simon kept repeating how he couldn't believe that Cap and I were brother and sister, being as we're so different and he is so loud, which was met with hysterical laughter when I told the family about it the next day. It's funny because it's true.

Congratulations Kelly and Michael!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Spiders. There were massive fuck off spiders the size of my fist in the garden at the wedding and apparently that is TOTALLY FUCKING NORMAL IN LOS ANGELES AND NOBODY WARNED ME. By the way, fuck all of you for not warning me.

I noticed this while standing outside waiting to have photos of the wedding party taken in this gazeboish thingy. I was standing with the boys because, hi, it's me, and we were all near some sort of fruit tree. When I gave it a closer look I realized the entire thing was covered in spider webs. "Um. You guys. There's, like, a million spider webs in that tree." They turned to look.

"HOLY SHIT look at that spider!" In the tree in a spot I mercifully couldn't see, the boys had found a spider so massive that even they were grossed out by it and everyone moved away from the tree. But for me it was too late. Because upon encountering a spider, my brain goes into overdrive and then I can't stop. I looked around and realized I was fucking surrounded - they were in the tree, the bushes, hanging from the power lines. Someone suggested I might calm down if I stopped looking for them, but that's not how it works. Once I know where they are I can't STOP looking at them, because if I look away and then they move, I'm then faced with knowing there IS a spider but NOT knowing how close it is to me which is completely unacceptable.

I maneuvered myself to be as close to the middle of the patio as possible and crouched down on the ground, mumbling insanely and trying desperately to convince everyone around me that my life was in great peril. Whenever this happens I get so hysterical and say such madly ridiculous things that unless they already know me very well, most people assume I'm just exaggerating for effect and/or trying to be funny. The only person around who knew otherwise was Simmy, who blessedly started waving people off when they came over trying to make jokes about about the possibility of spiders getting ON ME or tell me stories about the biggest spider they'd ever seen.

I held it together long enough to make it through the photos and then sprinted (in five inch heels) back into the house where I immediately encountered my father and burst into tears. I sobbed on his shoulder for a good 10 minutes while he led me to go sit with my family who obviously wanted to know what was wrong with me and needed no further explanation from my dad other than "There were spiders." It was my uncle who had the magic words which finally calmed me down enough to stop crying, shaking and eventually go enjoy the wedding. Which I did, and will tell you about tomorrow.

The good news is that I finally feel a feeling about Los Angeles, which is that it can take its fist sized spiders and shove them up its ass.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day Twelve And I'm A Bit Busy For This Today

This afternoon my fake cousin Kelly will be married to Michael, and with any luck, I will be drunk before dark.

More importantly, today marks two months until my birthday.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Day Eleven And I Had Someone Else Write My Post For Me

Today is Veteran's Day. Go find some veterans and hug them, but try not to do it in a creepy way - you're supposed to be thanking them.

Normally I would write a post that just said thank you, or list out the people in my life who have served their country, or something along those lines. This year I've decide to give everyone a gift. Below is a true story as told by my amazing and beautiful friend Erin, who is a veteran of the U.S. Army and who is also super awesome. Thanks to all the veterans everywhere!

The Bird Story

 I joined the Army on September 10, 2001 because I have magnificent timing. "What could go wrong?" Yep. Anyway, I became an Engineer in the Army and ended up getting stationed in Germany. Incidentally, I was the only female engineer in my company for nine months straight. Please remind me in the future to tell you about the initial hilarity/eventual nightmare that this entailed.


I got to Germany right about the time when George W. was busy pissing off all of Europe with his stupid WMD bullshit about Iraq-- he *especially* had pissed off the French and the German people. Fantastic. We were not very welcome in Germany. I remember being on Guard Duty (standing at the entrance of the base, fully armed and prepared to blow away anybody who posed a threat) and an elderly German man rode past on his bicycle, giving me the finger and yelling, "Go back to your own country!" I completely agreed with him. Anyway, bad things started to happen-- people yelling at us on the street, bar fights and eventually a stabbing at the local pub. We were put on Base Restriction for our own protection.

There were exactly four things to do on base: go to the movies, rent movies, bowl and get drunk. Usually, the first three activities involved the fourth.

One night, after going bowling (while drinking), coming back to the barracks and watching a movie with some friends (while drinking) and then finally settling in alone in my room (while drinking), I decided that I was not quite drunk enough. Mind you, in the course of four hours, I had consumed three giant German beers and one... it's not a pint, and it's not a fifth-- it's the one in between-- let's call it a fish bowl-- so, I had consumed three giant German beers and one fishbowl of tequila. But I wasn't drunk enough, so I went to the base liquor store and bought another fish bowl of tequila, went back to my room and popped in another movie. I got about halfway through my second fish bowl and... I started to not feel so good.

Are you familiar with the stage of inebriation when you know you're going to be sick but you *really* think that you can prevent it from happening? This stage usually involves food.

It was around one in the morning at this point and everything on base was closed. The only food I had in my room: bread and peanut butter. Score. Peanut butter sandwiches. I made myself a stack of peanut butter sandwiches, maybe 5 or 6 of them, and started happily munching away at them. Halfway into the second sandwich, I realized that I did indeed feel better...but I was so thirsty from the peanut butter. I didn't feel like going *all the way* down the hall to get some water, and after all, I had that half-bottle of tequila sitting right there next to me, and I *was* feeling better, soooo... I washed all 5 or 6 sandwiches down with the rest of that bottle of tequila.

Strangely enough, shortly after, I started to feel not so good again. And again, I thought I could fix the problem. "I'm just hot. I should take my clothes off." So I did, and that helped a little, but I was still not feeling so good. "The window," I thought, "I need to open the window." And I did. These were old Nazi barracks (I'm not kidding, seriously, they used to be Nazi barracks), and they had the giant windows that went all the way to the ceiling. So, three in the morning, wintertime in Germany, I am naked, relishing the cold winter air on my naked body. After a minute, I felt okay and I left the window open and slipped into bed. As soon as my head hit the pillow, the room started spinning out of control and I shot right back up, stumbled over to the open window and proceeded to vomit for what seemed like an eternity. Remember, I'm 5'7" and weigh all of 120 pounds and I've consumed three giant beers, two fish bowls of tequila and 5 or 6 peanut butter sandwiches, all of which were brewing in my stomach the whole night. Drunk as I was, I can still remember thinking-- as I was puking-- "Jesus, this is taking FOREVER." At some point, I stopped and made it back to bed.

I woke up the next morning cold and confused. "It's freezing in here! Why is the window open? Why am I naked? What did I DO last night?" It all came back to me when I went to close the window and saw that I had not *quite* cleared the ledge all the way while I was puking my guts out the night before, as there was a huge, frozen mound of tequila/peanut butter sandwich vomit right outside my window. Fuck. Me.

One of the many things that blow about the military is something called Base Inspection, and this usually involves the Commander of the base strolling around and seeing what's fucked up. It can happen at any time. Knowing this, I went outside to see what the damage looked like from the ground. This is when I discovered the 15-foot long puke-cicle stretching from my window to the ground along the side of the building, with another little frozen mound of puke at the bottom. "I'm too hung-over for this. I'll deal with this tomorrow and hope for the best."

There was no inspection that day, thank goodness.

The next morning, I woke up unpleasantly early to sound of 10,000 birds chirping right outside my window. "What the fuck!" I opened my curtains to find that the puke mound was gone, and all sorts of birds were hanging out on my ledge, pecking away at what was left of it. "That's disgusting." I immediately went outside to see what was still left on the side of the building, and holy shit, it was ALL gone. All of it, the mound on my ledge, the puke-cicle, the mound on the ground, all of it. "Oh my god, thank goodness, I really didn't want to clean that up. But that's fucking disgusting." Relieved, I went back inside and didn't think much of it again.

Yes, at least not for a day or two when I started seeing dead birds around base. And not just one or two, but a whole mess of them. The first dead bird: "Aww, a dead bird." The second: "Huh, that's weird, I just saw a dead bird." The third: "What's with all the dead birds?" The fourth, fifth and so on and so on... "Wait a minute. Oh, fuck." I finally realized that all the dead birds on base were right next to buildings. I looked up at some point and that's when I discovered what clearly appeared to be a bird splat mark on one of the building windows. The birds, who were completely shitfaced on my tequila vomit, were drunkenly flying into windows and accidentally killing themselves.

I never harmed a single human being when I served. But I think I killed a shit-ton of birds.

In conclusion, birds are gross.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day Ten And...

I'm in Los Angeles.

I've never been here before because I had always assumed that I would hate it. Kelly has been trying to get me to come out here for years, insisting that I would love it. I resisted as long as I could, because I was certain of the opposite. Then she decided to get married and forced my hand. I haven't been here a whole day yet, but the preliminary verdict is already in: I don't hate it.

I nothing it. I have never in my life been in a place I felt more indifferent about. Everywhere else I've had some sort of feeling about either way: 

Chicago - Immediately felt like home, so I made it my home
Baltimore - Hilariously scary
St. Louis - Fun except for their bullshit cheese
Cleveland - Please fucking kill me
Los Angeles - 

My theory is that this is because everything about Los Angeles seems to be things that I simply don't care about. We've discussed recently how much of a fuck I don't give about celebrities. Similarly, I don't understand fashion, never have, never will, and will wear jeans and a t-shirt every single day if left to my own devices. I have zero interest in going to the beach. The only time I see movies is when my roommate comes into the living room and puts them on for me - if you leave the DVD sitting right next to the DVD player, I still can't be arsed to walk over and put it in. It's not that I hate any of these things, I just have so much better shit I could be doing. And Los Angeles is the embodiment of all these things I'm incapable of caring about.

Who knows, I'm here another couple of days and I suppose it's possible I'll develop some sort of opinion other than "meh". For now I'm just happy to report that I was wrong, but so was Kelly.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Day Nine And I Am Saved By An Anonymous Reader

An anonymous reader commented on this post this morning to the effect of "Okay, if you know so much about Christmas music, maybe you should suggest some for the rest of us." Your timing is perfect, anonymous, as I had no idea what to write today, having cheated already by writing yesterday's post today and backdating it (which was just a link to someone else's videos anyway). So below are a small handful of suggestions of Christmas albums you might want to pick up in the event that Bing and Frank just aren't doing it for you. In no particular order:

The Vandals - Oi To The World! - This absolute fucking gem of an album was released in 1996 and then re-released in 2000 and is among my favorite Christmas albums of all time. Songs such as "My First Christmas (As A Woman)", "Thanks For Nothing" and "Oi To The World" (which was also excellently covered by No Doubt) stand on their own as punk songs regardless of the season.

The Yobs - The Worst of The Yobs - This band is actually The Boys, but recorded all their Christmas music under the name The Yobs. It contains the single most inappropriate/offensive Christmas song I have ever heard, "C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S./Gloria" (which is also covered on the aforementioned Vandals album), as well as "Oy Santa" in which they ask Santa "What do you call this fucking pile of shit, you cunt?" and "There's No Santa Claus" about a father's lame attempt at pretending to be Santa.

Destructors 666 - Bah Humbug - Rounding out a trilogy of punk rock albums, Bah Humbug tells you where you can "stick that fucking mistletoe" in "Merry Christmas and Fuck Off" and lists all the reasons to hate the season in "Xmas Xmas (Bah Humbug)".

Lest you start to think I may not love Christmas as much as I claim, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's Everything You Want For Christmas is always at the top of my Christmas album list, not the least of which because of their cover of "Mr. Heatmiser" from the 1974 claymation classic The Year Without Santa Claus (do the bartender and I have matching Heatmiser and Snowmiser bobbleheads on display in our living room all year round? Yes. Yes we do). There is also the fantastic "Last Night (I Went Out with Santa Claus)" which I triple dog dare you to try not to dance to, and "A Party For Santa" in which we are reminded we should all make sure Santa comes more than once a year.

While the cheese factor might be a bit high for some, I absolutely love A Twisted Christmas by Twisted Sister. It's mostly covers of classic Christmas songs done over in Twisted style, but they also sneak in a few tributes to other bands (i.e. The Ramones (Ho, ho ho! Let's go!)) and even their own song "We're Not Gonna Take It" which it turns out is basically the same riff as "O Come All Ye Faithful".

The Fleshtones - Stocking Stuffer - If you like surf rock bands from Queens, and I assure you that you do, then this is the Christmas album for you. Songs such as "Christmas With Bazooka Joe" and "Super Rock Santa" are virtually impossible not to love. Better still is their amazing cover of "Hooray For Santa Claus", which for the uninitiated is the theme song of what is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (yes, of course I own it, what a ridiculous question) - it's bad enough that it appeared on an episode of MST3K.

There are also a number of individual songs that deserve recognition as "must have" songs on any Christmas playlist I'm likely to come up with, but I think I'll save those and post one a day through the 40 Days of Christmas (some of which may or may not count as NaBloPoMo posts, depending on how lazy I get).

So there you have it, six Christmas albums that you can rock out to whether you love Christmas or hate it. By no means, mind you, is this even CLOSE to a comprehensive list of my Christmas collection. If I tried that we'd be here for years discussing it and trust me, you don't want that. It should be enough to get you started, though, and there will definitely be more suggestions coming in about a week(!).

Thanks, anonymous, and also my apologies as I suspect you probably had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Day Eight And I'm Now Just Posting Links To Other Things

The one drawback to living in Chicago is that it's rare to be able to watch an entire Browns game. However, after Sunday's abysmal performance, this may actually be a blessing.

Witness here Cleveland area comedian Mike Polk Jr. (the same guy who did the Cleveland tourism videos) speaking out on behalf of Browns fans everywhere.

I'll see you Sunday.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Day Seven And I've Started Complaining About Commercials Again

As I started writing this post, I had to look up what company this was actually a commercial for - I dislike it so much I forgot to make note of who was even doing the advertising, thus negating the point of spending money to advertise at all.

AT&T is introducing its new 4G LTE service and I honestly want to throw my television out the window every time this commercial comes on. It consists of two guys sitting in a parking lot, ostensibly tailgating, while barely looking up from their smart phones other than to tell tell their friends how far behind the curve they are by not being glued to phones themselves. They are the embodiment of all those things that I hate - the people who ruin every single damn conversation by whipping out their iPhone to get the information that will give them the last word, the hipsters that constantly tell you how much better they are than you because they've heard of something first, the fucking morons who are so afraid of being offline that they don't bother to interact with real people anymore at all. "That's so 12 seconds ago" is an actual line in this commercial, and it is repeated twice more with varying times of how late everyone else is on some trivial piece of information, none of which are over a minute. I want to take both of their phones and throw them on the ground, smash them to pieces with a bat and use the shards to stab these guys in the throat. SHUT THE FUCK UP. YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE AND I AM NEVER INVITING YOU TO TAILGATE AGAIN.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Day Six And I Don't Even Know Who I Am Anymore

As it turns out, I'm taking this burlesque thing pretty seriously: I have a stage name picked out, I'm hoping to do my first show in December, I'm obsessing over choreography, and I practice my shimmy when I walk down the street (this is easier when you assume everyone is already looking at you like you're a crazy person anyway). Which is why I spent two hours at the studio today learning how to put pin up make up on my own face.

I say "pin up make up" but I actually mean "any kind of make up at all". The whole exercise was a reminder of just how not girly I typically am - there is so much about make up that I don't even know. For example, did you know that applying foundation is not the first step in putting make up on? I had no idea. The very name of it, "foundation", suggests that this is the step upon which the rest of your make up application should be, you know, founded. But it isn't, this is actually step three and comes after moisturizer and a product I had never even fucking heard of, called "foundation primer". I couldn't even grasp the concept at first. The only primer that exists in amberanceland is the stuff that goes on walls before you paint them, and is also a step you can skip if you're working over a wall that has been painted before and you are covering it in a color that is close in both hue and shade to what's already there. You can't, apparently, skip foundation primer, unless you want your make up to slide right off your face.

Similarly, it turns out you're a fool if you try to put on eyeshadow right on top of your foundation. Yes, that's right, there is a primer for that too. Eyeshadow primer, it turns out, comes in many shades, but it is best to use one that is close to what will eventually be the lightest eyeshadow you'll be using that day. You'll be using more than one, FYI, you never use just one shade of eyeshadow at a time. Your eyes will have no depth if you do that. Duh.

I left the studio with a face full of make up, false eyelashes and a list of things I would need to pick up if I wanted to take on this  whole "wearing make up" thing. I'm not entirely sure that I do, but it might be too late to turn back now: I have signed up for a class in pin up hair that will be taught by the amazing Sara Jean, and I recently bought a pair of turquoise shoes that I can wear with exactly one outfit in my closet (FYI, I have never, ever, bought a pair of shoes that I couldn't wear with the majority of clothes that I owned before this pair. It felt dirty in a not good way.) (Also, by closet I mean lingerie drawer. Those shoes don't go with anything I own that can be worn in public in a non-performance setting). If I start to become one of those women who shops, please do us all a favor and tie me to the couch in front of a hockey game until I snap out of it.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Day Five And The "Roll Tide" Promo Is Stuck In My Head

I'm sitting in my living room facing my television watching the highly touted LSU versus Alabama football game on CBS, for free, and laughing out loud at the people who spent in excess of $20,000 on a ticket to see this (regular season, mind you) game live as the Alabama kicker misses his second field goal of the game in a scoreless first quarter.

Who knows, maybe by the end of this game that will turn out to be money well spent.

Update: As I hit the "publish" button, Alabama had their third field goal attempt blocked. Roll Tide.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Day Four And I'm Talking About Christmas Already, Natch

"Did you see the window at Bath & Body Works downstairs?" asked BrownsFan in an incredulous tone earlier this week.

This is one of my favorite times of year - when I am completely ready for Christmas, right on schedule with retail, and everyone else is appalled. H-town was complaining the other day about Sears being the first retailer to air a Christmas commercial on television. This was fully a week after I had been to Sears and purchased several new pairs of Christmas socks (I almost bought a "sexy Santa" apron too, until I remembered I already have, like, five of those).

Truth be told, I've been slowly adding Christmas music to the playlist on my iPod since August. For some reason I had pointed this out to the stranger when I met him in September (I'm not sure what possessed me, especially given that I hadn't told him about this blog until after we'd met in an attempt to keep him from finding out that I'm crazy). Apparently it made an impression, because a week ago he e-mailed me asking for a list of non-traditional, non-cheesy Christmas songs that rock for purposes that were not specified. I was happy to oblige - "Hey, can you help me with some Christmas music?" being up near "Would you like some chocolate?" and "Hey, wanna fuck?" at the top of the list of questions I like to be asked. I'm not sure he was expecting The Vandals to have a Christmas song, let alone a full length album.

The 40 Days of Christmas is less than two weeks away, FYI.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Day Three And I Have Lost All Sense Of Propriety

(not that I had any to begin with)

me: i saw a headline yesterday that Kim K apologized to her fans for her failed marriage
no word on whether she apologized to, you know, HER HUSBAND

H-town: you're expecting normalcy
that does not exist in her world

me: I'm not sure she actually grasps the concept of marriage

H-town: also, isn't she only famous 'cause she has a sex tape?
and then the reality show offer happened?

me: oh also cuz her dad was OJ's attorney and her stepdad is bruce jenner. that's what my brother told me anyway
whatever, i've made a sex tape and i'm not famous. wtf?
that was probably an overshare, my bad :)

H-town: uh oh

me: i need to do a better job of making sex tapes with people who lack discretion, this whole " i respect your privacy" thing is holding me back from fame and fortune
behold, today's nablopomo post

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Day Two And I'm Already Resorting To Chat Convos

Cap: Hold the effing phone...you're going to england in march?
Give me dates

me: oh, yeah. want to come?

Cap: YES
MAN U!!!! Giggs is retiring this year.

me: giggs is retiring every year

Cap: No, this is the first time he's said it
It's always media speculation

me: maybe he'll pull a favre

Cap: I don't want a picture of his dick

me: LOL awesome. you win

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Day One And There Is Already Nothing To Talk About

Attention internets/celebrity gawkers: There is no amount of headlines, hashtags, facebook updates, E! News segments or US Weekly exclusives that will increase the size of the fuck I don't give over the demise of Kim Kardashian's marriage. For the love of Mike, shut the hell up. Now, normally I don't ever post commentary about what celebrities (or in this case "celebrities") are doing. This is because I usually don't know what they are doing because I do not care. In fact, it was just under a year ago on the way to a New Year's Eve party with my brother* that I even found out what the shit a Kardashian was. But this time, there are two things that have caused me to make note of it: I'm being clobbered over the head with stories about it, and it's NaBloPoMo.

I don't know why I do this to myself. I tell myself that if I do it, it will remind me to get back in the habit of writing every day. It never does. Even if that did work, I rarely find things I put up during NaBloPoMo to be "quality" blog posts. They tend to be more like "OMG, Happy Thanksgiving lolz" or "My cat is butthurt because I won't give her any string. Cats - such a mystery." or "MOTHERFUCK! CHRISTMAS IS, LIKE, REALLY SOON" (to be fair, posts on that subject could happen at any time) or, you know, some bullshit about a specific Kardashian that I probably couldn't pick out of a Kardashian line up or roomful of regular large-assed women (she is the one with the badonkadonk, right?). But it does give me a chance to pretend like I'm part of some sort of blogger community for a month, which is nice since I'm usually too anti-social to count as an effective member of any community. Also, right now it is giving me an excuse to tell everyone to shut up about someone else's very short marriage, which I assume ended right about the time the Vegas line on it said it would. So there's that.

*In this same conversation, Cap looked over my fairly conservative outfit and announced, "You look normal. Maybe you won't embarrass me tonight." I obviously took that as a challenge and when we arrived at the party, got the face painter that had been hired to draw a giant blue penis on my face. Amberance for the win.

Monday, October 24, 2011


The zombie 5K was this weekend in Baltimore, and I am proud to announce that I survived. Well, actually I didn't, I died. But I lived through it. I'll explain in a minute.

My training can best be described as "half-assed". Actually, half-assed may be a slight exaggeration. Quarter-assed is a bit more like it. As you may remember from previous posts, I HATE running. And while I started out with the best of intentions, no amount of progress in my abilities was enough to convince me that I liked it. In fact, I think it made me hate running even more. I started to rationalize reasons why I didn't really have to train. "I had dance class on Tuesday, that should count." "I totally did cardio-kickboxing for 10 whole minutes, that's exactly the same as running for 20 minutes." The last couple weeks I didn't bother to train at all, telling myself even more lies: "The adrenaline of being chased will carry me through it." "I should just sit on the couch all week - I need to conserve my energy."

Despite the nagging feeling that I was woefully under-prepared, I was getting very excited. A few days before the race the organizers sent out a tantalizing e-mail. There would be mud, red dye, strobe lights and four feet of standing water. We should "use our best judgement" in the event we had a seizure disorder, or an allergy to latex. Oh, and could we also print out and sign this wavier indicating that we understood we might potentially die? It was starting to sound awesome.

Race day came, and H-town and I got up at the ass crack of dawn to drive out to the race site. There were actually three of us who would be running together: me, with my half- to quarter-assed training, H-Town, who also hates running but had trained diligently, and Callie, who is a maniac and does this sort of running shit all the time. We discussed our training regimens and reactions to it on the shuttle from the parking lot to the race site. I reported my reaction the same way I always do: I am never, EVER running anywhere ever again.

Callie, H-Town and me, blissfully unaware of what lay ahead.

On arrival at the actual race site, we got our race packets, put on our numbers and our flag belts and got in line to check our bags. Each of us was in a different line, but we all had a similar experience of being given tips by people who had already completed the race. We already knew there were two kinds of zombies - "theatrical" zombies who were for show, and "athletic" zombies who would chase you and take your flags (this was the zombies' job. If you finished the race with none of your flags left, you were dead, and weren't eligible to win a prize). We were advised to look out for zombies who looked theatrical, but would turn around and chase you after you'd passed. We were also given advice for the "four feet of water" we'd been warned about, namely that it was way more than four feet deep, it was very cold, and we should grab the ropes to pull ourselves across rather than try to swim it. We all met up at the starting line and compared our notes. And then the race started.

We were not prepared.

Our various levels of training made no difference as we quickly realized that no one had actually trained properly at all. Running at a steady pace on relatively level, always dry, usually concrete surfaces is in no way at all adequate preparations for running through the woods up and down ridiculously steep hills, the surface of which had been reduced to a muddy slop, while being chased by zombies. In hindsight we should have been practicing running up and down various inclines and a fuck ton of suicide sprints.

We first realized this when we encountered our first obstacle - giant piles of hay we had to climb over. We reached the top and looked down to find a sea of zombies waiting for us on the other side who were sprinting after people trying to get their flags.

Holy Fuck.

 This would become a theme - go through some arduous task like climbing up a cargo net or clawing your way up a muddy hill, and face the waiting zombies on the other side/at the top. Also, for something that had been billed as a 5K run, there wasn't really a whole lot of actual running. Sprinting away from the zombies used up most of your energy so that when you did get to a zombie-free straightaway, you were usually too spent to run it. Which really didn't matter anyway because those sections were almost all so incredibly muddy you couldn't possibly have run through them without constantly falling. Still, it was pretty cool and we were having a ton of fun.


The water obstacle was to swim across a pond. There were two ropes stretched across it to help in pulling yourself along. We scrambled down the embankment and stepped into water up to our waists. It was stunningly cold, but seemed manageable. For five seconds, until we took another step. We all found ourselves submerged to the neck in 40 degree pond water. There is no way to grasp exactly how cold that is without actually doing it. The shock of the cold hit me like an anvil to the chest. FUCKING HOLY HAIRY NUN TESTICLES, I thought, but didn't say, because I was too stunned to speak. The bottom of the pond was nowhere to be found. We pulled ourselves along the rope hand over completely numb hand, urged along by H-Town, who was the only one with the ability to speak and was channeling her inner Dory - with Tourettes- all the way across. "JUST KEEP FUCKING SWIMMING!" she screamed. "FUCK YOU, NEMO!" I had a sudden moment of clarity remembering the text of the waiver I had signed - I could actually for real die in water that cold if I didn't get out of it as quickly as possible.

Somehow we all managed to get across to the other side and pull ourselves up the steep embankment. With two miles to go we were now cold, tired and soaking wet. Additionally, my saturated hoodie added another 10 pounds of weight for me to try and run with. We got to a very steep downhill that I almost ended up tumbling down, only to be faced at the bottom of it with an even steeper and higher hill that we would need to climb, which was also a river of mud. Climbing it took just about everything out of me, so when the zombie who had been sitting on the ground giving people high fives as they came over the hill suddenly jumped up and snatched away my last flag I barely even reacted. It actually turned out to be more fun once we had no flags left to worry about (it's not like we had any shot of coming in the top 3 anyway). We started deliberately messing with the zombies, trying to hug them and get them to high five us. We also did our good deed for the day and started running interference for the runners who did still have flags, blocking the zombies from being able to reach them, or tricking them into thinking we still had a flag on us somewhere.

The end was now in sight. Cold, wet, exhausted, filthy, lungs on fire, we could see the finish line (chain link fence that you had to crawl, or as H-Town did, slide under), and Callie led the way for the three of us, who were all determined to finish the race actually running. We babbled to one another excitedly while we got our medals, developing the strategies that would have been a lot more useful to us if we'd thought of them during the race. We grabbed our bags so that we could change into the clean and dry clothing we had brought, pausing first to have our photo taken together while we were still a hot mess, and giving the photographer and her friend who had yet to run all the advice we could think of. The shoes we ran in were all destroyed and we threw them away with great ceremony. Then we went off in search of the free beer we had been promised and something to eat.

The beer was like the nectar of heaven. The cheeseburgers H-Town and I procured were the most delicious either of us had ever had in our lives and we ate the crap out of them. We said goodbye to Callie, who is insane and was teaching a yoga class later in the day, and decided to head down near the course to watch some of the next wave. We stood near the first obstacle, the giant piles of hay, with a number of other people who had also finished the race, and watched as the next wave crested the hay and headed into the sea of zombies. We'd been through it before and knew that the direction they needed to run wasn't readily apparent, so the entire spectator gallery began shouting at them and pointing "To the right! THE RIGHT! Head for the trees! Go towards THE TREES!" After the wave passed by us, we went to the section between the maze and the downhill, where a ton of zombies waited in ambush all the way down the hill. Again, we used our knowledge to help the runners. "Wait for a group! Go in a group! There's too many of them, you'll never make it by yourself! Everyone go together and overwhelm them!" Most people took our advice, and a few of them even gathered around a leader who would get them all geared up Braveheart style and then all together make a break for the zombie gauntlet shouting guttural war cries. One who didn't was a guy dressed up as Superman, who actually did manage to get past them all without losing any of his flags, although one of the more enterprising zombies managed to steal his cape.

We drove home in absolute exhaustion, extremely pleased with ourselves for choosing an early heat when we noticed the traffic backed up for miles along the two lane road that led to the race (the traffic turned out to be a  huge problem and quite a few people unfortunately didn't get to run). We got home and spent 15 minutes excitedly relaying to H-Town's lovely wife all the details of our adventure before passing out.

I hate running, you guys. I really, really mean it. But there's just something about being chased by zombies. So despite the fact that I still swear I will never run again, when H-Town turned to me on Sunday afternoon just after we came home from dinner and suggested that we might want to sign up for the zombie run next year in Indianapolis  I agreed that we were kidding ourselves if we thought there was any chance that we won't.

I Might Be A Super Massive Nerd

Search terms that have recently led people to this blog:

"I can't bend my legs in my stormtrooper outfit"

"Can the ton ton make it to the first marker"

It's possible I may need to diversify my hobbies.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Got Three Hours To Kill?

I'm sure you're all sick of me telling you every time I'm on Total Talk Nonsense by now, seeing as I've been on it a lot lately, but this time is different. This week on Episode 234, I am in studio for the second time in order to respond to a listener request that I sing something on the show. So that happens. Additionally we discuss Scott's weekend trip, Riot Fest, the worst songs of the 80's, running, science, an upcoming contest for the listeners, a contest to be judged by the listeners, and when it's ok to go full Marty. But most importantly, to reiterate, I sing live on the show. So, you know, check that out maybe.

I Need To Hang Out With Fancy More Often

In honor of National Coming Out Day today

Me: Wait, "lesbian" is a verb now?

Fancy: Yeah. I lesbian, you lesbian, he/she/it lesbians...

Me: I don't think he lesbians.

Fancy: Well he would if he could.

Monday, October 10, 2011

There's Never A Dull Moment At Riot Fest

Riot Fest was this weekend and the bartender and I attended, as we do every year, because apart from getting to see a whole lot of excellent bands at the one music festival that is indoors, it is also some of the best people watching of the year. This is the same festival where I nearly incited an actual riot by wearing a shirt which read "I should be in the kitchen" last year, and the one where we saw a guy come out of the pit with his eye socket crushed the year before that.

This year we showed up for the last four bands at the Congress on Saturday night. Almost immediately we saw an 18 year old kid walking around in a TSOL shirt and the bartender had his first chance to get his damn-kids-get-off-my-lawn on. "Please, that band broke up before that kid was even born," he lamented (sort of, in that no original members were left after 1990). We headed down to our usual spot (down near the front to the far right of the stage, near the beer and away from the pit, with the rest of the old people) just in time for Strike Anywhere.

Just a note for my friends who don't frequent punk rock shows: the pit is a space generally right in front of the stage where people basically slam into one another on purpose, which is allegedly fun. A circle pit is a space either there or just behind there where these same people frantically run around in a circle while slamming into each other on purpose, and bears a strong resemblance to a stampede of jacked up apes. This is also apparently fun. Anyone can go slam/run around in these spaces BUT it is important to be prepared for the fact that as you are slamming into people, other individuals will also be slamming into you, and you'd better damn well be prepared for it. There are no safe zones in the pit. Those are the rules. This is why I found it hilarious when the weirdo guy with the Santa Claus beard who was standing still in the middle of the circle pit waving his arms like he was directing traffic got noticed by one of the stampeders, who promptly ran directly at him at full speed and knocked him flat on his ass. (Side note to the other people in the circle pit: the reason your circle fell apart is because you started it at the beginning of a four minute long song. No one wants to keep running for four whole minutes. You know the songs. Pick a shorter one next time you assclowns.)

As Leftover Crack took the stage, our safe zone away from the pit was invaded by a lone lunatic, who created a one man pit for himself by pacing back and forth like a lion stalking its prey and intermittently hugging random people while screaming into their face. He was hilarious, but his flailing around reminded me that the bartender hasn't fully recovered from his surgery. Even on the sidelines things can happen, so I took the opportunity to position myself on his left side at a slight angle, so I could be his bodyguard against stray dancers. This came in handy when some girl in a big fucking hurry to get down front decided that she didn't have time to politely slide between people like a normal person and instead came running through the crowd throwing elbows like Kevin fucking Garnett. She got me square in the ribs and I was sore most of the next day.

Suicide Machines were on next (Riot Fest has a history of bands reuniting to play it, which is how I got to see Screeching Weasel a couple years ago) and, while they did rock, they didn't leave us feeling any younger. "Yes, I'm talking to you young lady," the singer said to a girl down front. "ARE YOU READY TO POGO?" Most of the crowd responded by screaming and doing just that. I tested out my readiness for pogoing by bouncing on my toes a little bit. Flakes of rust started falling off my knees and I informed the bartender I was too old to pogo. "Me too," he said, without even bothering to check the status of his knees. He knew.

The headliners of the night were the Descendents, who were absolutely fucking phenomenal. Additionally, I finally felt less decrepit when Milo Aukerman decreed that "Thou shalt not commit adulthood". Given that he bears a remarkable resemblence to my dad I decided to take that to heart.

The Descendents alone would have been worth the cost of admission, but the glory of Facebook came through to make this the best Riot Fest ever by informing me of a secret promotion at Taboo Tabou entitling me to 50% off any vibrator in the store with my Riot Fest ticket stub and/or wristband. You better believe I was all over that. I took advantage of the brilliant weather Sunday afternoon and walked down to procure my very first Lelo for the bargain basement price of $80. Worth it? The only reason I'm typing this post is because I'm recharging it already.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Even More Commericals I Hate

Today is not a good day. Yesterday wasn't so hot either. The good news? I watched a lot of television because of it, and in so doing, became aware of a whole new crop of commercials that I hate. Please enjoy my misplaced rage!

It's popcorn chicken time again at KFC! I love this. It is, in fact, the only time I ever voluntarily eat at KFC. This time around, though, their promotional material for this glorious event is suspect. The premise is not so bad - popcorn chicken is really small pieces of actual chicken, whereas nuggets as found in other fast food establishments is some sort of ground up and reconstituted mish-mash of bits. Therefore popcorn chicken is superior to chicken nuggets. Fine, I'm on board with that. What I'm not down with is their expression of this, i.e. "What part of the chicken is 'nugget'?" I don't know, asshole, what part of the chicken is "popcorn"? Popcorn ain't no body part I ever heard of. I agree that your chicken gets the blue ribbon in this contest of mediocrity, but you can't justify that by claiming the competition's chicken isn't a body part and then naming yours something that is ALSO not a body part. That's an easy mistake to fix - just leave your snarky comment out of the commercial and carry on explaining it without resorting to poorly executed sarcasm that makes no fucking sense. Now pass me the honey mustard and fuck off.

As long as we're doing fast food, let's go over the newest offering from Subway, shall we? The promotion they have going on right now is that all of their foot long subs are $5 throughout the month of October. Neat! Cheap shitty food! Loads of it! What shall we call this too-much-bread-barely-any-meat extravaganza? Oooo I know! How about Anytober? How about no, dickface? That is the worst portmanteau I have ever seen. You're replacing "Oc" with "Any"? That's not even the right number of syllables. Did you think real hard on this one, or did you just use the first stupid idea that popped into your head because it fits in with your already nauseating theme song? It's my favorite month of the year but from a television watching perspective I can't wait for it to be over so I don't have to see this commercial ever again. Anytober. Eat shit, Subway, you already serve it to your customers.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled, less rage inducing advertisements.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Sibling Fight (Except It's With My Best Friend's Sibling, Not Mine)

E-Town: how's the runnin?

Me: there is zero chance i will be ready. or ever do this again
zombies and [H-Town], i keep telling myself. zombies and [H-Town]

E-Town: you're tougher than that
just do a slow jog

Me: it's warm enough this week to go running outside again, so that's a bonus

E-Town: that's good
make me proud of ya

Me: still wish you could make it :)

E-Town: yeah, me too
we can kill them in Indy next year
I might try two of them next year

Me: that's crazy talk. I would potentially be a zombie next year though

E-Town: I'd punch your face if you came near me as a zombie

Me: you aren't allowed to hit the zombies
so nah
imma take all your flags
anyway, home go time. have a great night!

E-Town: I'd hit you.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

MrSteve May Know Too Much

MrSteve called Friday morning for a chat, and ended up getting more than he bargained for (don't worry, he's used to it). Specifically, he got some (slightly) greater detail on my encounters with the stranger than I went into on the blog. Which really just confirmed what he'd already assumed, to wit:

"I kind of figured something happened because that's how you shake hands."

I resemble that remark a bit too much to be offended.

Friday, September 30, 2011

England Trip Do Over - Part 4

After a few false starts on Sunday, I finally managed to get out of the hotel and meet the mutineer at the Red Hart for a delicious lunch of various things that had been fried (ordering a meal all on my own the night before had depleted my social bravery reserves, so I got him to order for me in exchange for buying him some chips*). We ate over an intense discussion about playing in bands and the relative superiority of +44 over Angels and Airwaves, which we both agreed was steaming pile of emo horseshit. I also had two Strongbows. I should have realized ahead of time that this would turn out to be a mistake later on, but I was distracted by my delightful company and the onion rings. After lunch we headed back to the hotel where the mutineer kept me company for a few hours until the day's main event.

Steve had been telling me for weeks that he was going to have me tend bar in his pub while I was over. I had been telling him he had no idea what he was saying for just as long. "I think you'd be a natural at it," he told me, despite my repeated explanation of how I already knew that wasn't true: a) I have crippling social phobias and b) I break and/or spill EVERYTHING I touch. When I told the bartender of Steve's plans over dinner one night he dropped his fork in shock and asked if Steve had ever actually met me. Luckily, events transpired that prevented him from implementing this ludicrous idea. Instead, he came to the hotel to pick me up, where I showed off the coils of rope that had been left behind on Saturday before heading down to the car park where we stood in awe for 10 minutes watching a black squirrel frolic by a tree (hey, it's not every day you see a black squirrel).

We headed out to a place called The Rusty Gun, obviously the most appropriate place to take an American visitor to dinner. It's also one of the most appropriate places to take Steve for dinner. As he will be the first to tell you (the comic will be the second), Steve only eats weirdo food. Take him anywhere in the world, and his instinct is to find the most outrageous thing on the entire menu and then order it. He's the exact opposite of me, really. No matter where I go, I pretty much only eat four things - pasta, hamburgers, prawns and dessert. It's because I know I like these things, and I want to make sure I do not starve to death because I ordered something I might potentially hate. Steve, on the other hand, is on a perpetual culinary adventure.

I will now go back on what I just said about myself in the previous paragraph. I order the same things over and over again everywhere, mostly, except that when I'm in England something weird happens to me where I suddenly decide it's time to try some new vegetables. I don't know why this happens - maybe it's because certain things are more common there than here or maybe it's because I'm drunk a lot - but my first trip over to see the comic I ate some parsnips in an attempt to appease his mother (the poor woman nearly short circuited when he told her I didn't eat potatoes and almost gave up on making me a roast dinner altogether. Instead she went overboard and made about twelve sides in the hope that I might like at least one of them) and I have been addicted to them ever since. For starters I had prawns (see?) and Steve ordered the soup of the day, which was celeriac. I'd never heard of it. "It's a root vegetable," he told me. "Try it." I was dubious, owing to the word "vegetable" which typically connotes "horrible things are about to happen in the vicinity of your taste buds" to me. But he wouldn't drop it, so I borrowed his spoon and (after a rambling description of Don Hertzfeldt's animated short Rejected when he gave me the crazy eye for holding it up and shouting "My SPOON is too big!") tentatively tasted the soup. Immediately, Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" began to play. Diamonds rained down from the sky, a pile of kittens appeared out of nowhere and a bevy of angels hovered nearby smiling benevolent smiles at us. Celeriac is DELICIOUS, and I made him write it down for me so I could look it up later and see if we even had it here (we do, but it's called celery root), which he did while I inhaled pretty much all of his soup.

It was at around this point when the trouble started. We'd gotten a beer at the bar before being seated and then ordered a bottle of wine to go with our dinner (me, something that had the word beef in it and seemed safe, him I don't even know what the fuck) which I drank what I felt was more than my fair share of because he kept insisting he was driving. Then our waiter, a charming and ingratiating man who resembled a young Lurch with a shaved head, brought over the dessert menu which had something on it that contained the word "chocolate" three separate times in its description. Obviously I made Steve order it for me, thus giving him the opportunity to order us some dessert wine as well. You may recall I was two ciders into the day before Steve had even shown up. Consequently, by the time we left I was well and truly fucked.

Steve drove me back to the hotel, where clearly the only thing to do was head for the hotel bar and pour more cider down my throat. We phoned Nat the Evil Lesbian to join us, and together we hatched diabolical but hilarious plans for when I return in March. Our laughter seemed to attract the attention of the people at the next table - a nice couple from Lincolnshire who may or may not have been at the wedding the previous day (I asked them but don't remember their answer because I was piss drunk). After Steve left (early, I decided, even though it wasn't. I had gotten the Loud), Nat and I joined them at their table where we regaled them with tales of how we'd met and what we'd done all week and they told us about their grown children (or something, I was drunk). They were genuinely disappointed when we rose to leave and even more so when I explained that my level of drunkenness would most likely prevent me from meeting them for breakfast before they went home in the morning. It did.

I woke up Monday and was not any more English or 20 years old than I had been earlier in the week. I was supposed to have lunch with Felix and Charlie and their progeny. When Felix texted me to let me know something had come up and they couldn't make it, I gratefully went back to bed until the middle of the afternoon. I only got up again in order to collect the stranger from Hitchin station, who had cleared a few hours of his schedule to spend the afternoon with me tying knots in things and showing off some tools he carries around in a very nice pair of cashmere socks. I was starving by the time he left and decided to go out for a delicious roast dinner (no parsnips, sad sad). That accomplished, there was nothing left to do but pack up my things (and my new rope) and try to catch a few hours sleep before catching a bus to the airport for my flight home (I didn't. Instead I called the bartender and had him put the cat on the phone so I could tell her I was on my way home because I am insane).

Even when I've been away somewhere brilliant, and even when I leave somewhere before I really feel ready to go home, I always feel an enormous sense of relief as soon as I'm back on the ground in Chicago - it's how I know I'm in the right place. I was grinning from ear to ear the entire cab ride back to my apartment. When I got there, I discovered that my amazing roommate had bought me two bags of Nacho Cheese Doritos (I do not know what they do to the Doritos in England, but it isn't good), some Reese's peanut butter cups and a huge pumpkin (he would later tell me it's my "practice" pumpkin to help me decide what to carve on my real Halloween pumpkin). Home sweet home.

I'll see you in March, Hitchin.