Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Alcohol Inspires...Insomnia!

Why am I awake at midnight? Why am I watching "Flower Drum Song?" Why can't I live inside the set designer's head? Why don't I enjoy being a girl?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rough Days Require...Alcohol!

Well, it's been a rough couple of days. I've been trying to get my townhouse on the market (3 floors, lofted bedroom, 1500 square feet--it's very sexy, you know you want it) and everything is just happening slower than I would like (mostly because I'm a big fat procrastinator and I would like everything to be done a month ago).

The latest thing is that I called a repairman in to look at my stove. Apparently the stove has something called an F1 error (insert your own F1 joke here) and it requires a ludicrously expensive part to become a real oven again. Well, bollocks to that. The estimate to repair the stove was $450, so I just hied myself down to Sears and bought a brand new flat-top range (for less, thank you very much--and they're taking the old F1'd cooker away with them). On Thursday I get an actual working oven that I can use for two whole weeks until I move. I bet it boils water just dandy.

To celebrate that (and the repeated pillaging of my personal financial information by random New York landlords--if my identity is stolen, I'm coming after you, suckas) I have just reached the bottom of a bottle of Baileys. This means that I have finished an entire bottle of alcohol on my own in about two and a half years, and for me, this represents a personal best (not counting beers). I'll try to improve upon that record in the coming days and weeks (I have a bottle of Herradura and a bottle of raspberry vodka, and I don't want to pack 'em).

Now I'm hurling increasingly bitter commentary at last week's episode of "Ugly Betty." (Come on, Betty, you knew Henry's girlfriend wouldn't be a bitch. FIRST rule of being the also-ran is that you ALWAYS like the girlfriend. It sucks. Oooooh. Alexis has a hamburger. You know what'd be GREAT? In-n-Out burger. Oh, damn, I'm too drunk to drive to In-n-Out burger.) Okay, so it's stream-of-consciousness bitter ranting. And THIS is why I don't drink.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why, Who's That?

I do believe it's Nathan Fillion in a preview for a Fox show that I would never, ever watch. Oh, Fox, you crafty devils. But I've outsmarted them, because there's a strong possibility that I won't have a television in April. That's right. Who's crafty now?

Don't answer that.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

More Internet Wandering

This is the sort of thing that happens to me. I am so spoiled by my Tivo that I can't stand to watch a commercial. But I've been so sick that I've watched everything it's recorded for me. So tonight I was watching *GASP* live TV. And there was a commercial. And my mind immediately sought refuge from the Cialis ad, so I picked up my laptop and began surfing the internet.

I was looking for good science fiction recommendations for my realtor's boyfriend, who's looking for something better than Dune. As someone who has only seen the movie, I am tempted to ask, "How hard could it be?" But I've heard the books are way better. One can only hope.

At any rate, I recommended a few things and I thought, wouldn't it be cool if I could find him a totally awesome blog that would provide him with savvy recommendations? So I did that, and then I wandered around some more, finding a creepy site devoted to forensic psychology (yikes), a site devoted to cartoons based on the subject lines of spam e-mails (I know--it sounds promising, doesn't it? But I'm not linking to it, because promising and amusing don't always line up), and finally this charming site, "How to Learn Swedish in 1000 Difficult Lessons."

Love it, love it, love it. How could you not be charmed? I dare you. Read about a random 67-year-old woman who kept eleven swans in her apartment. Read about the official uniform of trendy men in Stockholm. (Don't you fret--there's an official uniform right here in Scottsdale, too. Dare to be different, I say.) Read about a man who is almost as bad at having his blood drawn as I am. Read about what I totally want to do to telemarketers.

Check out his links, too. I think e is my favorite.

NUMB3RS has been paused for well over an hour now. I think it's safe to resume watching.

Friday, February 09, 2007


This morning I was awakened by NPR airing a little ditty on how flowers and candy are for the birds, and what you really want to do for your girl this Valentine's Day is write her an original love note. Repeatedly, they played "L.O.V.E." during the piece ("`L' is for the way you look at me, `O' is for the only one I see, `V' is very, very extraordinary..."). I realized immediately, to my slight embarrassment, that for me the definitive version of that song is no longer Sinatra or Martin but the exuberant version sung by Craig Ferguson.

Uh-huh. I was as surprised as you are. Or as surprised as you will be when I remind you of who Craig Ferguson is. You know. The host of the Late Late Show. Mr Wick from the Drew Carey Show? He sang the song in a light comedy called "Born Romantic." Bridget Jones it ain't, but the film has a bitter charm--the sort of movie that attempts to make you reach for your hankie when a guy gives his girlfriend the Physician's Desk Reference as a romantic gift. And it has a bit of death in it (because if Love had a boyfriend, we all know who it would be).

Mr. Ferguson goes all out for "L.O.V.E." with my favorite brand of charm (proud, bold unpopularity--a winner every time) and honestly, the song sounds much less sappy-sweet when it's salted with a Glaswegian accent. I may have to give it another listen this Valentine's Day.

Yes, I know you all have better plans. No need to rub it in.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I have GOT to remember...

not to watch Bones while I eat dinner. Any program that's likely to greet you with, "definitely a human foot" is not the one to eat dinner with.

And yet, I'm so hungry that I just don't care.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Locked In

Today I was at work until they locked the doors. I had to have a security guard guide me through a bunch of corridors that let me out a block from my car (which was right by the front door).

I miss the days when I worked at a factory that was open all night long.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Charity Ends at Home

From now on, if you're a charity and I haven't heard of you, you're not getting my money unless I get a personal recommendation and have a chance to check you out. It's nothing personal. It's just that I have limited money for charity, and there are some real jerks out there. I can't afford to run the risk of lining some fraudster's pockets (my money doesn't go far for charity as it is), and so I've decided, hey, I know enough charities that I believe in, and it is okay to say no to the rest of them. If this offends you as a charity, get over it, because abuse happens.

Especially if you hire a professional fundraiser. Here's why. An outfit called "Professional Fundraisers" has been harassing me for the entire time I've lived in Phoenix. They call me several times a week asking for money for various causes (cops, firefighters, and veterans are their favorites). When I tell them no, they become abusive (one night a guy actually swore at me and told me he wept for me if I couldn't even come up with $25 to help the firefighters, and tonight they have hung up on me--twice). Tonight I reported them to the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. I also spoke to a "supervisor," and if they call me ONE more time, I'm reporting them to the FTC for refusing to add me to their organization's "do not call" list. I'm looking forward to it, because I'm absolutely sure they'll call again.

I have nothing against cops, firefighters or veterans. I have gladly given to those charities in the past. But when I called the local firefighters directly and told their charitable donations office about my problem, a really, really nice man told me that they don't mail out their own stuff, that these folks do it for them, and that if I had gotten on their list, he was truly sorry, but he didn't have the list and there was nothing he could do. I feel you, buddy. I really do. And it sucks that there aren't enough volunteers to stuff envelopes for you, because there should be. We take you for granted, and I know it. But I also know you're a nice man, and there is NO WAY you want me to put up with harassment 52 weeks a year (two and three times a WEEK this outfit calls me, TWICE tonight alone) to support your cause.

I'm moving soon, and I plan to circumvent this problem if I can. I'm choosing my 2007 charities now, and anyone else is going on a list for 2008. I'm putting aside some money in my charitable contributions budget in case a friend makes an appeal (like last year, when my friend Jon asked me to sponsor him in the Great Strides program for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) or in case there's a disaster that I can contribute to through the United Way, the Red Cross, or some other verifiable charity.

It means I have to be a bitch to a lot of people who call me looking for money. I hate to resort to this, and it is not my first option, but I have to tell you, there are some real pit bulls out there raising money for charity, and telling them politely that you have a budget or that you don't contribute when people call on the phone does not faze them. Nor does telling them they've contacted you during dinner. Nor does telling them you've already told them no twice this year. Occasionally I have had success by telling them I just lost my job and would like to share my story with them. But that's about it.

Brace yourself, charities of the world. The bitch is answering my phone from now on.

The Bones of Love

Last night my cousin and her fiance had me over to dinner, and her fiance made salmon glazed with a reduction of whiskey and maple syrup. Have I mentioned that he is the bee's knees? He even gave me leftover salmon, which means that even now I am dining on spinach salad (with spinach that they also gave me--I wonder how poor I seem lately?) with salmon. As I broke the salmon into my salad, I found some tiny bones, which are proof that the fish was made with love, as you can clearly see in my all-time favorite episode of "The Simpsons:"
I poached some fish for your trip, Mr. Tanzarian.  They're full of tiny bones,
so I want you to be careful.
-- Agnes Skinner, "The Principal and the Pauper"

My Worst Date Was Not THAT Bad

My dating karma is...patchy. Vying for worst dates ever are:

1) The date who took me to the arcade to watch him play video games.
2) The date I almost missed because I was stuck at a Catholic group hayride, which culminated in an argument over prioritization of dates versus hayrides.

The arcade probably wasn't so bad. I mean, I see the guy's point. Star Wars was still cool (this was long before Lucas sullied it) and he was very, very good at video games. So, you know, I suppose he was sort of playing to his strengths. The hayride thing, well, that was bad. We should have called it quits immediately. Turns out that Catholic hayrides are not good for either one of us (I have hay fever and a crippling terror of organized religion--who knew?). And if you can't get through your first date without hurting each other, I'm sorry, it's just not worth it.

Since then my dating karma has gotten a lot better. Don't get me wrong--it still sucks. I date infrequently. No, seriously. Once every six months is a good year for me. At least one man walked away from me as though I didn't exist when I approached him. One man, in the course of trying to get me to go out with him, argued that "no" can, in fact, mean "yes." (Excuse me, I think I left the gas on in my fortress of solitude. Don't call me. Ever.) But at least when men do finally take me out, I have a really good time. In fact, I think trend analysis shows the dates are getting better and better.

At no point has a date ever ended in murder. Especially not a murder where the defendant pleaded the "whoopsy doodle" defense. (The defense can be paraphrased thus, without losing--well, anything, really: "Whoa. I don't remember shooting anybody. That had to have been an accident.") Dude, what you already did was bad enough. Is it really necessary to employ a "defense" that's a mockery of the law (and also of the collective intelligence of the human race)?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

You Mean I Have to Wait for the Game to End?

I suppose I should be grateful that one of the programs I watch is being supported by the network. And I think James Van Der Beek could make a terrific villain. I just prefer to avoid the superbowl. I know, it's un-American. What can I say?

Should I Let YouTube Waste My Time?

This charms me unreasonably.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Things You'd Like to Say...

Something tells me that man would have ways to deal with people who need remedial instruction on walking and standing.

Last week I stepped outside a bar to answer my phone, and when I wanted to go back inside there was another woman standing outside with her hand on the door handle finishing her phone conversation. All I could think of was that she didn't make a better door than a window. She stood there for a whole thirty seconds, oblivious to my presence, and when I said "Excuse me," she shushed me. I spent more time waiting for her to get out of the way than I spent taking my own phone call, and she didn't move until there was another couple with me waiting to get in.

That was when I wished I could come up with the right word at a moment's notice. All the words I could think of were 4 letters, and not nearly as expressive as I would have liked.

Shoulda Bought a Mini

I actually don't need any more advertising in my life, and knowing me, these billboards would totally escape my notice. But imagining what the billboards would say to my friend Mark if he'd actually done the right thing years ago and bought the Mini...well, that's a good time.