Why am I here?

How I Met My Boyfriend in a Liquor Store, Version 1

As I will be on the road, and have limited access to the internet, I will leave you with something from the 'chives.

My friend Eric thinks that this is the funniest thing I've written. I'm not sure why. It's mostly one big inside joke. But about 90% of it is actually true.

I met my boyfriend in a liquor store. I swear I only went in for liquor. By no means did I consider I might be in store for Something Else. This place has bars on the windows for chrissake.

Nevertheless, in an alcoholic desperation for beer and Jack Daniels, I pulled into the gravel lot. Outside, around a giant, smoke- belching barbeque pit, a slew of men stood menacingly, one of them with only one eye. Eh, they were no match for me, tiny-miniskirted, tight-shirted, slide-shod me (it was still light outside). I marched (as well as slides allow one to march) right inside (after asking permission).

A large, Teutonic, steel-toed-blue eyed man, and a no-toothed, but-smiling black man stood ready for my order.

"Bud Light--No! Wait." The Teutonic man growled low. "Guinness bottles, please."

"ACHTUNG!" said the big guy to the black guy who hadn't stopped smiling.


"Vat else you vant!" demanded the Teuton.

"J-jack D-daniels."

"Viskey trinker? Bah! Real man trink schnapps!" I hesitated to point out that I was no real man and quite happy about that.

And the Teuton poured me a large apple schnapps. "Trink! Trink! You trink t'at, maybe I feed you. Barbeque very succulent," he said invitingly, nodding toward the barbeque pit. By now, the menacing men from the sidewalk have congregated at the stainless-steel counter.

"Trink! Mein Gott, Voman, Trink!"

I picked up the plastic cup of bile green liquid and quaffed. I nearly made it. Dribbles of schnapps dripped down my chin.

"NO FOOD FOR YOU!" Instead the Teuton made me hop onto the counter which resulted in my flashing the menacing men and the no-toothed, but-smiling black man my green panties. "You sit here," he commanded in a tone I took to mean my other alternative was an iron maiden in the back. I sat.

"Are you Irish?" the one-eyed man asked. I nodded. "Well, then," he said, "How about a Guinness for an Irishman?" Seeing his eyes drift toward my six-pack, I lunged.

"No!" I said, "You don't understand. I only want to go home. I don't want to be kidnapped here. I don't want to eat succulent pork barbeque. I have an oyster grinder and blood pudding in the car."

"Blood pudding!" the Teuton screamed. "She t'ink we haff no blood pudding!"

"Bread. Bread pudding," I wailed.

"Ja wohl, and we haff succulent pork barbeque! Ah hahahahahahahahaha."

And he poured me more schnapps. And he fed me barbeque. And he made me hang out with homeless people. "Don't get too attached," he warned me intimately, "dey around only very short time. Dey yust come for barbeque."

"Why am I here?" I wailed.

"I try to decide if I like you. Trink schnapps."

Later he said, "Time to valk dog!" He led me upstairs to a warren of rooms with sparse furniture and propaganda on the walls. From a closed door, somewhere in the dark, I heard the growling of a very large animal. "Utz!" commanded the Teuton, "Sitz." He confided to me, "Utz kicked out of police academy. Too mean." Not for the first time, I felt true evil emanating, though the source continued to elude me.

And then I was tackled by a very large, very loud, very strong German Shephard. I passed out in fear. I came to, the Teuton crouching above me, his large Teutonic head looming. "Utz likes you. I like you. Now we make out."

I'm sick of people

There are certain people that I am finding especially irritating today, though to be fair, these are the same people that I find irritating nearly every day, but today I am especially annoyed.

First, here are the things I try to avoid in my life (I'm not always successful, but I do try):

1) Being a hypocrite

2) Giving unsolicited advice

3) Keeping my word

I have no tolerance for Jasmine live girls who do not also try to avoid these things. Please note that I do not avoid being intolerant. I've tried that. I'm not good at it. It's better to concentrate on those goals that are attainable.

At least once every minute since I've been at work I have had to repress the urge to say to someone "Just get over yourself already." When I sat down to write this I did so with the intention of actually naming those people. And then I decided that 1) these people probably don't care what I think of them any more than I care what they think of me and 2) they probably already know who they are and 3) if they don't know who they are then they NEED TO GET OVER THEMSELVES ALREADY.

Jeez Louise

However, here are just some general thoughts for your amusement or irritation. (Hey, no one else seems to care)

1) Judge not, lest ye be judged. Meaning, if you dish it out make sure you've done two important things: looked inward and determine that you can take it right back. And it's a good ploy to let your audience know that you know. Otherwise people will think you are a fuckwad.

2) While I find it hard to take someone's argument seriously if they do not know how to use a comma, I realize that a lack of commas are not vital to one's argument. However, I find it very jejune, puerile and yes, even juvenile to attack someone's argument by noting bad grammar, spelling mistakes, etc.

3) Semantics. Learn it. Live it. Love it. You KNOW what I mean.

4) No matter what is happening in your life, it is likely that other people have dealt with the same issues. Especially things like divorce, marriage and birth. First-time pregnant women drive me nuts. We've had eleventy million pregnancies in my office this past year and each one of the first-timers act like they are the only people who have ever given birth. No whining unless your pregnancy is extraordinary in some way--like you're having quadruplets, or you're a man.

5) Don't assume that the person nearest the copy machine also knows how the copy machine works. Figure it out yourself because I'm going to shut the door in your face. I hate to be rude, but break your own damned fingernails digging out the wad of jammed paper because you forgot to remove the staple.

6) You are the secretary. You set up the meeting. Thank you, and here's my availability.

7) Name calling is only appropriate in order to start an argument; you must never call someone a fuckwad in the middle of an argument because it's very jejune, puerile and yes, even juvenile.

8) Don't expect other people to change because you've made them angry. For instance, I don't expect this list to change the way anyone does anything. I just had a lot of pent up annoyance and wanted to get rid of it. Also, my lorazepam is kicking in, so I'm not as irritatable as before.

9) Stop taking yourself so damned seriously. You aren't the first person to be 25 or the first person to be 30. Age is only a number. For instance, I have no fucking clue how old Leesa is even though we've been jasminlive friends and officemates since November. And now I know (because I asked her) and wow, she's getting OLD.

10) There is another pregnant person in my office; fortunately this is not her first , unfortunately I expect her to whine about it anyway.

11) One's musical taste is one's own. If it doesn't happen to match yours it does not mean that the other person is a fuckwad. Unless he has a mullet. Everyone thinks his taste in music surpasses everyone else's. I am no exception to this rule.

12) The only thing wrong with Sean Combs is that I never know what to call him.

13) Even Gwar has a merit or two

14) But Yo-Yo RULZ, MAN

15) If you are a person with whom I carry on a relationship in my head, do not give your estranged wife my business card and tell her to call me to see if I have the names of some kind of doctor or another. Uh, yeah, I've had your husband's tongue in my mouth, how may I help YOU?

16) Give it a break. And see #9. And stop it with the conspiracy theories. Unless they are super cool and involve one or more of the following elements: crop circles, chocolate chips, the impeachment of George Bush the Fuckwad, or Elvis.

17) The best Secret of Life I've ever heard was on the series finale of "Father Knows Best": Be true to yourself, try not to hurt other people and hope you fall in love.

18) Go to Snopes before posting, emailing incredulous stories...nothing annoys me more than someone reporting a tired tale of undetermined origin years after I first heard it.

19) JUST ADDED: Blocking people's IP address because you don't like what they have to say is (come on, now, say it with me): jejune, puerile, and yes even juvenile.

Anyway, this is what I bought

I spent approximately 30 minutes in the middle of my workday at Barnes and Noble. Do I feel guilty? Not a whit. Why? Because I don't smoke. If I did smoke, I would likely spend that much time outside smoking. Smoking is bad for you. I work for the Cancer Center, it looks bad to be smoking whilst wearing a nametag that declares you work for the Cancer Center. Reading books, on the other hand, is good for you. Usually. Unless you are reading Dr. Kevorkian's quick-life fixes or something, but if you're looking to euthanize yourself it's probably because you are dying of lung cancer or some vicious head and neck cancer caused by smoking. If you'd thought about the book-break-thing earlier, you wouldn't have to resort to Dr. K.

(a list):

In Her Shoes--Jennifer Weiner (so, Snogs, if you haven't read it yet, you can borry it when I'm done)

Invisible Monsters--Chuck Palahniuk (I hope it is as good as Lullabye and isn't stupid like Choke)

The Patron Saint of Liars--Ann Patchett

Neverwhere--Neil Gaiman

The Color of Magic--Terry Pratchett (the first Discworld book)

Coffee & Kung Fu--Karen Bichoux (so, Ko, if you really want to read this and haven't, you can borry it when I'm done).

Plus at home I have Animal Dreams--Barbara Kingsolver and I'm re-reading The Robber Bride--Margaret Atwood. That should keep me for the weekend.

I thought I bought this book, but I didn't. But speaking of books titled Summerland, read Michael Chabon's. It's worth it

Well, though originally I entertained the idea of Sorkin for President, I think I've found a more realistic candidate to support...I'm all about the Dean. He's about as close to Jed Bartlet or Andrew Shepherd as I'm going to get, I think. Plus, the internetty-grassroots thing has me intrigued. There's even an "official blog." Or two. And Meetups. He has satisfied my minimal requirements: his position on abortion, his position on gay rights. Some of the other stuff like health care, gun "control" and foreign policy are just the proverbial icing on the cake for me. I haven't voted in a presidential election since I voted for Dukakis (which was also my first; and I did it via absentee ballot. Quite frankly, it was the only time I've ever voted for anything--don't hurt me, yell at me, lecture me--voting is a RIGHT, not a compulsory act--that's about the last great thing about America) but if Dean runs, I may struggle my way to the polls for the first time (I am NOW registered; believe it or not, I was strongarmed into THAT by Ken Ortmann, who, upon hearing that I was not registered, calmly, but immediately, handed me an application and a pen. His wife, Pat, mailed it in. That's what you get, I suppose, when you hang out in buildings owned by politicians).

You know, the phrase "the proverbial......." in its attempt to uncliche a cliche has become a cliche itself. Weird how that works. I'm also, though this is unrelated to any of the above, always fascinated by the juxtaposition of the trash bag and the box it came in when I'm using the last one. First, the trash bag was in the box and it was the last thing in the box; now the box is in the bag and it's the first thing in the bag.

This is no book review

Don't think it is. You will be disappointed. Also, if you plan to read You Shall Know Our Velocity!, don't read this.

You Shall Know Our Velocity! Admittedly, I initially was not as fond of this book as I was HWoSG. Greg Jonnson said something of the recent Chaturbate flashmob event in St. Louis: "The secretive nature of the mob and the detailed instructions given to participants belies the purposelessness of the event." This reminded me of my initial impression of YSKOV! as I began reading it. Will and Hand decided to travel around the world in a week, randomly giving away a majority of Will's recent windfall, a windfall about which, for some reason, he feels guilty. However, the machinations necessary to pull of this endeavor, negated much of the randomness. So, at the beginning, I waited for some meaning to all of this, the answers to some questions, like WHY does Will feel guilty about having this money, WHAT's going to happen. Because for the first 2/3 of the book, it was 2 guys in airports and cars, constantly changing money, eschewing those who are like them, eschewing, eventually, those who are not like them. Meanwhile, Will's mother has Altzheimers, Will and Hand's best friend has recently died and Will had an encounter with a couple of Wisconsin thugs that left his face in some vague condition that causes people to double-take, avert eyes or stare openly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great, Dave, I thought, this is SOOOOO much fun.

And then, 2/3 of the way in the book, Hand includes his own interlude. Written after the adventure is over and from some place in New Zealand. He models his interlude after Will's narrative...Monday, Tuesday, etc. and informs the reader that he has NO idea why Will has written what he has written (Will, at this point, is dead). For instance, Mom died long before the time of the narrative, they never had another friend, he never died. All the bullshit about the funeral and going to the dead friend's storage shed (where Will was beaten) never happened. There's more. Hand takes a stab at explaining the discrepencies, why Will must have altered the narrative, what must have been going through his head, but at the same time, he's a little disappointed.

This device (the Interlude) changed the book completely for me. If I hadn't promised it to Ko, I would have read it again immediately. What I thought was genius, was the placement of the Interlude. At the end it would not have had the same impact. Placed where it was impacted the ending--I would have read the last 3rd of the book much differently without the Interlude. Anyway, I thought it was just genius.

This is getting exciting. I log on and new and exciting things have happened to my blog in the meantime. Bloghorn, people, Bloghorn. Of course, I think to some extent it was self serving, but hey! I wouldn't have been able to do it myself...

Now that he has finished reading Dave Eggers' You Shall Know Our Velocity! I wish he'd read Life of Pi because that's another book I'd like to talk about, but can't because there's is/isn't? a bit of a twist in that one as well.

Instead: I read Seabiscuit over the weekend. I fell in love with Red and George and Seabiscuit and horse racing. I want to be a jockey, but I think it's too late. Maybe I can get a part-time job at Fairmount as a hotwalker or something.

I am driving across Illinois with my parents on Friday. It is just as nutty as it sounds.

Another piece from the Casa Archives

Arch-May Adness-May

We all got up to dance,

But we never got the chance-Don McLean

I spent a lot of time this week watching basketball. In person. This is not something that I do normally, but I enjoy college basketball tournaments and was able to score many free tickets to this past week's Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

I'm a Saluki fan. This is because I graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and for no other reason. I suspect that if I'd gone to Creighton, I would be a Blue Jay fan. So, it seems like splitting hairs to be all jacked up over the fact that we (that is the Salukis) took a beating last night. Nevertheless, it was dismal.

It was dismal from the beginning. Creighton was 10 points into the game and die-hard Saluki fans were still standing, blocking my view, waiting for Southern (that's what we Salukis call it) to score our first point. "Little Dudes In Front," I said, "Whatever Mojo you think you're sending to the team by staying on your feet Does Not Seem to be Working."

They stared at me blankly. I'm pretty sure that all they knew from Mojo was that she made it to the Final Four on Joe Millionaire.

In the middle of the first-half groaning, the Saluki to my right suggested that Coach Weber was employing the Sean Astin strategy. "See, he's going to trick Coach Altman into putting in all his Rudys and then we are going to KICK ASS." I suggested that this might also be called the Corey Haim strategy, but that I hoped Coach Weber would employ something far more workable and predictable, like the Adam Sandler strategy, because the only way it looked like SIU was going to win is if the team had a secret-weapon Waterboy hanging out in the locker room.

Like I said, I only watch basketball during tournament time. Once, for the NCAA tournament I considered getting a T-shirt made that said, "Don't ask me the score...I'm only here to watch boys watch boys play basketball." But, by then, I'd found a boyfriend, and he thought the T-shirt was a bad idea. Of course, I met him in a liquor store, so I'm not entirely sure this idea could be worse. Instead, he made sure the tournament maintained my interest by betting huge amounts of money on teams so I would have someone to root for. Or, in most cases, just a score to root for, since he wagered a lot of over-unders.

One of the reasons I enjoy the NCAA tournament is the tree. It's very big, with lots of branches. Every year when the brackets are published, I tear it out of the newspaper and diligently fill it out. I prefer those trees with numbers of games lost and won in parentheses, even though I rarely rely on them. Then, I hang my tree in a prominent place and if I can, enter it into a pool. I'm always for the underdog. Which is a good thing. Unless you live in North Carolina and your number one pick beats Carolina in the first round and you walk into your local barbeque joint and say, "How 'bout that Weber State?"

The MVC tournament doesn't hold quite as many surprises because it is much smaller and everyone gets to play. Creighton always seems to win, but there are often near upsets, like Saturday's Jays Vs. Fighting Trees game. I discovered, because I sat with the former head football coach at Indiana State and his wife that what I always thought were little gold pompons lining the shorts and jerseys of the Fighting Trees' uniforms are really sycamore leaves. Additionally, I learned that the Indiana State mascot is not in anyway supposed to resemble a Fighting Tree, but is actually a fox. One of those legendary Indiana Blue Foxes-vulpes azura-his name is Sycamore Sam. He's very intimidating. Much in the same way that our floppy-haired Salukis are. It is a shame, I think, that it is no longer appropriate to use Indian Chiefs as mascots. Tomahawks are intimidating; I think this is what caused the rash of head shaving among basketball players years ago; subsequently, tomahawks became less intimidating and therefore merely a mockery of Native Americans, which in turn led to Indian Chiefs everywhere getting the axe. Quite frankly, I wish someone would do something about that stupid Wheat Monster from Wichita State. He reminds me of something from a David Lynch movie.

Another thing I learned this year, is foul shot progression (which is a fancy term that I just made up). I didn't realize that after a certain number of team fouls, certain foul shots are given. What a beautiful rule. However, I still received odd looks from fellow basketball patrons when I yelled such things as: "Where's the flag on that play!" or "Man, did you see him recover that fumble?"

Last night's game was humiliating. Or would have been humiliating had I not previously determined that being for one team rather than another was merely a matter of a rash choice made as a high school Junior. Lest you scoff at this, I know at least one person who opted to go to one school in North Carolina over another simply because he thought it was cool to say he was part of the "Wolf Pack." No, what was really humiliating was asking what P3 stood for on the back of the Saluki Booster shirts worn by the marching band (can you call them that, even if they don't march?). "Oh, it's a bar in Carbondale," the young kid behind me said. "Well, that's a bar that didn't exist when I went there," I replied. "Pinch Penny?" he asked, thinking, I'm sure, she can't be THAT old. "Oh, Pinch Penny Pub," I said. I knew Pinch Penny all right. I think I got engaged there once.

Halftime was the highpoint of the game. Specifically, the Frisbee Dogs. Unlike the Salukis, the Frisbee Dogs caught all of their passes. I suggested to my strategy-trading seat mate that we substitute a couple of those dogs for a couple of our Dawgs. The man behind us suggested that the first team to 50 will have statistically won the game. With Creighton up 40-something to 22, I figured we'd take our leave before the end of the game. Especially when neither Adam Sandler nor Turbo the Frisbee Dog made it into the post-half lineup. These same statisticians booed me for leaving early. I explained that if I'd traveled the 100 miles from Carbondale, I would stay, but I live five minutes away and since it was obvious no post-game celebrations would be blossoming at our end of the arena, I could just as easily watch them lose from the comfort of a bar stool.

We watched the rest of the game, sucking dollar drafts, rather than 6 million dollar drafts, at the corner tavern. Having left the same bar in high spirits before the game, my fellow tavern patrons expected to see me dejected. "But why?" I said, "After all we came in SECOND."

No one can imagine how giddy I am over this

The Girl Who Was on Maternity Leave is back!

I'm going to Chicago this weekend to attend the Birthday Party To Which I Was Not Invited. I think. I really need to get my car in shape to return it to the dealership. Plus, 4 days in the far, far reaches of Chicagoland? It is possible that Rich and His Wife Who Hates Me live up near where my brother lives somewhere; but she's pregnant with twins and I think she's ready to deliver at any minute.

Ko has finished the Eggers, so I can talk about it now. However, I need to finish preparing for an "off-the-cuff" presentation for tomorrow, so I will talk about it later.

This post contains absolutely no pertinent or even interesting information, but thanks for stopping by.