Friday, April 24, 2009

Plan… C? D? #11?

The online matchmaking thing is a bust, and I officially wash my hands of it. (yes, again. And shut up.) I just couldn’t face spending another pile of money given the crap that has crossed my radar. Also I didn’t like the way it had me wondering if the reason that I kept getting matches of crap was because that’s my type: crap. Wouldn’t be the first time I wondered that, (and if you’d ever met my one long-time relationship you’d be thinking the VERY SAME THING.) but it’s still a bummer thought.

So moving on! Moving on to… ummmmm… yeah….

Ok, so this is the part of the plan that I’ve not really worked out in detail. Specifically the “plan” part. I guess to call this a “plan” is overly optimistic. It’s more of a general hope, or specifically-focused level of enthusiasm. Know what I mean? I’m not so much following a plan now as I am not following the OLD plan and, instead, hoping that the universe is done messing with me and will pony up the awesome match all on its own.

You can see why I’m so very optimistic. Really, how could this fail? Totally. Fool. Proof.

I have opened up my radar to a wider sweep (check me and my cool military references, courtesy of months of watching NCIS reruns. My GOD I am a catch!) by informing a few more folks that should they stumble upon that most rare and fictional of creatures (the single, decent, employed and washed single man my age) they should feel free to let me know. Or send him my way. Or hog-tie him and keep him in the trunk of their car until I get there. (I don’t want to limit their problem-solving skills, so I leave a lot to their imagination.) I sort of hate admitting to folks that I’m even remotely giving a crap, but I also hate irony. And the “not telling people” option increases the odds of me meeting Mr. Right at his wedding after another friend of mine fixed him up. To not me. Nobody needs that much irony in their life.

This change of strategy partially came around when I had not one, but two friends (one of which was the Queen, thank you very much!) tell me that they secretly never expected the online thing to work and that they think the only way I’ll find a partner is by making a connection with someone in a 1-on-1 interaction. I totally think they’re right. As one friend put it, “you’re gonna be somewhere and make one of your jokes and some guy’s going to get that joke and you’ll know HE’S the guy! Because HE got YOUR joke!”

My E-Melody profile should apparently have always said “Wanted: someone who will get my jokes.” Wakka, wakka, wakka.

So now, with this new plan, the only problem I have to worry about is being places where there are people with whom I could have that magical 1:1 interaction. And the good news THERE is that I have an active social life, doing stuff all the dang time with crowds of people! Huzzah! Never mind that every single gathering that I go to is full of married guys. Or that most of the parties I attend are all members of my family. Basically the only way this is gonna work is if I can get my entire family to move to the South and loosen their moral boundaries a whole bunch.

Man, what a girl will go through for wove. Wish me luck on the new plan goal hope general optimistic direction!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A different kind of bad influence

OK, so despite the dozens of polar bears who no doubt drowned to death last week with all the driving that I did to work I NORMALLY am a bicycle commuter. Even with my new wheels I’ll bike my ass to work every day. I hop on my super-cool bike (and it is officially super-cool. I’ve had totally random strangers compliment me on my bike. So it’s official. Super-cool. Go ahead and envy me – you’re allowed.) and peddle to and from work twice a day.

My bike-commuting gear in inclement weather normally includes big broccoli rubber bands around my pant legs, a big, shapeless, bread-pudding of a coat (but warm), a muffler so long that even if I wrap it around my neck 6 times it will still poke out the bottom of my shapeless dessert coat, earmuffs and clear work goggles with a mirror hanging off one stem.

But no helmet.

Before I have a record number of comments ever for one post (which I want, but not on this post) let me state for the record:

1) I have no doubts that helmets are safer than no helmets
2) I would never, in a million years, encourage someone else to not wear one
3) I totally get that my arguments sound absurd
4) If I DO smash my brains I’ll blame nobody but me.

The reason I have had no helmet so far starts with “my god, how is it possible that we have made it possible for golf, the lamest of all the sports, to be played on the moon and yet still bike helmets are both dorky looking AND uncomfortable???” and then rolls over into “it costs HOW MUCH???” territory before landing gracefully at “I have to work all day with whatever hair I have when I get to the other end. If that hair is lame I get to look lame. At work. Every day.” I understand that none of these things are as important as not splashing my shiny, shiny brains all over the ground, but so far (knock on wood) I’ve not had (knock on a bunch of wood) any brain-splashing problems (seriously, where do they keep the wood on this danged internet???) and the other problems happen 100% of the helmet-wearing time. In other words: I MIGHT get hurt, but I’ll DEFINITELY look dorky on the road, be uncomfortable, spend a bunch of money and have lame helmet hair at work.

So for these reasons I’ve been helmetless. And by the way? I’m totally not alone. Here in Hippyville, which is a danged bike-riding mecca, there are people all around me sporting caps and hoods and other head-gear designed to keep heads warm or dry (or super-snazzy!) but not so much smash-free. And we are all in our own little club. When someone on a bike without a helmet passes someone else without a helmet we nod like “Yeah, you understand. Your hair will look super when you get where you’re going, and how much do you really use those brains anyway, right?”


Anyway, here’s the deal: yesterday I was biking to work and there’s this one place where I go flying down an inclined road as fast as I can, letting inertia be my jetpack, and when I get to the bottom of this little hill I zoom through this little open space next to a big hinged car-gate-thing. I do this every day, twice a day, just like clockwork. And let me add that I am FLYING when I get down to this part. And also I go over this little hillock thing as I go through the space, so I’m generally not touching the ground for that moment. (it is AWESOME.) And this morning was like all other mornings.


Except that someone had opened the car-gate-thing (which never happens!) over the weekend and left it standing open. Standing open in such a way that you can’t really see that it’s open until you’re right on top of it. Standing open also in such a way that it was now completely blocking the space through which I usually fly. So this morning it was more like this: “Zoom, zoom, zoom… what the-?... HOLY CRAP, I IS DEAD!!!!!”

At the last possible section I turned slightly to the left and went through the open gate instead of the usually-open space. And I was fine! Huzzah! Oh sure, I peed myself and vomited up my heart from the racing of it. But 100% of my death was avoided!

But I’ll admit that it occurred to me that had I NOT noticed the blocked space when I did I would have most likely mashed my something, and brains was a fair guess. And so I guess this was the universe’s way of saying “Seriously, how long do you expect us to let you keep tempting irony this way?” to which I say “Fair enough.” I’m going to go ahead and get a helmet. (Actually I’m going to put it on my birthday list so that my sister can get it for me, which I know she will do because whenever she hears that I’m still not wearing a helmet she wails that I’m a terrible influence on her three kids, at which point I have to remind her that I’ve already schooled them on properly flipping the bird, not to mention offering to take them to get their first tattoos. The helmet thing is the least of her worries.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

I’m That Good



A car.

(OK, so technically I already owned a car, but it was a broken car. And now I also own a car that is NOT broken. But it sounded way cooler to say “I own a car” then it would have to say “I own two cars, and the new one is also very not broken.”)

I waged battle in the car-buying wars today and I emerged MIGHTY AND VICTORIOUS! Not only did I successfully hunt down the prey of my choice (more on her in a second) but I did it for a SONG!* I went to my cartoonish car dealer friend Ali and said to him “I will have your car sir.” And he was all “Good! How much will you give me? I want $6000” and I was all “I will give you a kick in the shins and a rude hand gesture! And you will like it!” and he bowed down before me and thanked me for the experience!

OK, so some of that is kind of… lies.

I did go to my cartoonish car dealer friend to talk dollars. I already knew that there would be negotiating, because that’s how this car buying stuff goes. And I was feeling pretty good about my chances of making a good deal. My confidence was based on three things:

1. The car had been on craigs list for a few weeks

2. I’m a pretty good negotiator most of the time

3. yesterday I had this conversation with Ali:

Him: “How much did I list this car for again?” (and of course you should hear these words in a fabulous Persian accent)

Me: “$6,000.”

Him: (thinking about it.) “Hmmm, yah… I think we might have to go-“

Now at this point I’m thinking “Here we go, this is when it all goes to crap because he’s totally going to bait-and-switch the listed price and so now I gotta be ready to counter and I better get on my game face and BRING IT ON, CAR SALESMAN GUY!!!!”.

Him: “…lower…”

(I’m sorry, what?)

Him: “It would be really good to sell the car. I could really use the money.”


So when I came to him today ready to talk details I was… oh, let’s say “confident.” (the right word would be at least “cocky” and probably even more accurately would be “ballsy as all get out!” but I’m classy, so we’ll go with “confident.”) He talked his numbers, and I talked mine, and when all the dust settled (and his office was a dusty place, my friends!) I walked away with my fancy, schmancy car for $4750 PLUS he’s taking away my old, broken car too!

There is not a humble bone in my entire body right now. I’m overflowing with hubris and ego and all kinds of “I AM THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!” Later, when I’m done being ridiculously pleased with myself, I’ll tell you the fabulousness of my new (used) car. It’s ever so fabulous. (like me)

*Note: no actual songs were exchanged for this fabulous car.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Bad Boy...

So once again I’m totally in love with a new (used) car. And once again I know better than to let myself fall in love, but I’m still doing it.

I suspect this one is a bad boy. (oooh. Bad boys. So tempting!) It’s hot and has many features that I’d been dreaming about but never thought I’d actually find. It’s an automatic, but it’s ALSO a manual!

“Wait, how could that be?”

“I’ll tell you.”

“Tell me, tell me! I think you may be feverish with autolove!”

“But NO, it’s TRUE!”


“You are.”

“No, YOU are!”

…sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, right! The fancy transmission! This car, a sexy 6 cylinder beast with bedroom eyes, is a 5-speed Automatic, but there’s this swanky little slot at the end of the gearshift that you can pop the shifter into, and in this mode you control the ups and downs of the transmission. Just like a real car!!! (sorry, should have warned you that there was transmission snobbery comin’ up. There could be more)

Also it’s NOT RED! And it’s NOT WHITE! Every car that I’ve taken for a test drive so far (1/2 dozen at least) have been either WHITE or RED. I don’t really want a WHITE car, nor do I want a RED car, although I won’t say no to a good car deal due to the color. Except yellow! I’m not driving a yellow car! I draw the line at Y-E-L-L-O-W! But this little honey of a vehicle is a lovely blooooooo. I heart it.

In the category of “stupid things that I shouldn’t care about, and should even shun as being silly and frivolous, but that I really actually do want and in fact makes me go all giggly school girl” this car has a sunroof, a digital compass incorporated in the rear view mirror and a woofer built into the space-saver spare in the back. SWOON!!!


So now you should be asking the same thing I was asking: why the heck has this car been on Craig’s List for almost a month?

It’s a bad boy.

This car is being sold from this funky “lot” in a remote, farmy area north of our actual town by a guy who probably makes extra scratch playing “random Persian terrorist number 3” on the show 24. We’ll call him “Ali” (and we’ll only be exchanging one classic Mideast name for another because his real name is just like that.). Ali tells me that this car was “abandoned”, that it came to him with no wheels or tires. (uh oh.) Also no keys. (Yeesh!) And no title. (Danger, Will Robinson! Abort, abort!) From some other state entirely. (and now I fall over dead from too much bad news)

Now this could all be totally true! This could be a car that was abandoned and then had it’s fancy wheels pinched and whatever. But most folks will tell you that this car was probably STOLEN from the owner in the other state, its fancy wheels pinched and then the rest of the car transported to a whole other state to be… “disposed of” Still, because it is SO sexy and SO exactly what I want, for the actual dollars I can spend, I’m totally gonna keep wooing this car.

But fear not – I’m not STUPID.

I’ve been checking the VIN on every website that will check VINs and so far she’s all clean, cap’n. Tomorrow we schlep the car to my mechanic to give it a good going over, as well as to verify that the VIN from the other places on the car are the same number as the one on the block itself. The dealer had it registered over the weekend, which means the good people at our DMV are doing a title search right this dang second. All of these are good things. I’m focusing right now on the good things.

I wish I could honestly say that I’m being careful not to let myself fall for this car. I could totally say that, but it would be very much NOT honest. I’m absolutely smitten. I’ve taken to calling it “My Car.” As in “wanna see a picture of my car?” Or “Know what I love the most about my car?” Or “Everybody shut up, I love my car! He’s the only one who understand me!!! Daddy, I LOVE HIM!” That kind of stuff. When I find out for sure that it’s hotter than a three-way between Nathan Fillion, Mal Reynolds and Captain Hammer I’m going to cry. And cry. And CRY.

I think this search for love may be more difficult than the one that should end up with a man.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Synecdoche, New York – a film review

(Note: I am not someone who normally reads, or writes, or enjoys, or supports the right of others to be involved with, film reviews. But a movie I recently… ‘experienced’… was profound enough an occurrence that I could not resist.)

I watched the first hour of Charlie Kaufman’s latest filmatic endeavor Synecdoche, New York, but only because I, like most responsible gun owners, keep the bullets separate from my firearm and I did that classic thing where I forgot where I put them. I checked the closet for rattley shoeboxes, looked in the drawer of my bedside table, the junk drawer in the kitchen, gas tank on the car… And I thought to myself “Isn’t this exactly what the ‘right to arms’ activists are always warning you against? That you’ll finally have an urgent need for your weapon, like to put you out of the misery of watching another painful second of a terrible movie, and you won’t be prepared for the moment?”

Let me say, by the way, that I have very much enjoyed previous Charlie Kaufman movies. Like Adaptation? And also that Spotless Mind one, that was cool, as well as Being John Malkovich. And what was that one… Stranger Than Fiction! I loved that movie! The part where the narrator says “he cursed the heavens” and Harold Crick is all “No, I’m cursing YOU!, you stupid voice!!” Awesome. Anyway, my point is it’s not just that I don’t get from where Charlie Kaufman’s brain comes (or that my not getting it automatically makes me not like the attempt). Sometimes it’s the not getting it that I like the best because it’s like he’s filming a regular story but with the camera turned around like you’re looking through the “out” part of a pair of binoculars! (I checked and he didn’t do Stranger Than Fiction. Someone named Zach Helm did. Who was previously known for nothing I’ve ever heard of. So whatever. That movie was still awesome.)

It’s just that with THIS Charlie Kaufman movie I realized fairly early on (I’m gonna say the 3rd scene?) that there was nobody but NOBODY to like. Or cheer on or even not hate. And yet there was this natural desire to find someone I could cheer on. And if you’re watching Synecdoche, New York (pronounced “Help, I’m trapped in a box of pain and evil and can’t get out!!!”) and you’re trying to find someone to like I will warn you now: don’t do it. You will try and try and it won’t work and in the end you’ll just end up chewing off your face or the face of a friend or loved one in the vicinity. In fact, for the health and welfare of faces everywhere just don’t even watch this movie. Consider this one of those PSA's, and right about now that flying rainbow star-thing will arc across this blog and it will say “The More You Know” or “Now You Know” or “I Know, Right?” or something like that.

After the first hour of Synecdoche, New York (which, by the way, took 13 hours, 27 minutes and 4 seconds to live through) my soul collapsed under its own sad weight and I fell into a deep coma of sorrow and self-loathing. And I also started fast-forwarding through the movie. I’d been told that it was longer than average, but it turned out to be just about 2 hours. It just FEELS much longer than average, by a power of about 12. But having watched the second half at 4-times the normal running speed I realize NOW that it’s actually a short feature, about 30 minutes long (still too long, but better) about a sad, pathetic man who lives a long, painful, life amongst equally terrible and pathetic people and then dies. Or thinks he dies, or he pretends to die, or someone else dies and he really empathizes with them, or something. It was really fast.

Fresh M.E.A.T. anyone?

Just a reminder that the second chapter of Most Excellent Adventure Time (or M.E.A.T. to it's friends) posts today. dying to find out what Steve! and Gladiola will do next? ME TOO! The only way to find out is to jump the link!

Most Excellent Adventure Time this way...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I believe that children are our future...

Being an aunt is not easy, my friends. Oh sure, I didn’t push any watermelon-sized people out my cootch, nor did I have the hemorrhoids or the swollen ankles. (Actually to be fair I DID have both of those things, but I had to keep them to myself because I didn’t have the “I’m making life here! Lay off me!!!” excuse to fall on.)

Still, with all the things that are the responsibility of parents I don’t know that people give the proper due to the jobs that are solely the purvue of the cool aunts and uncles of the world. I take these responsibilities very seriously! Why just the other night my sister was foolish enough to leave town, for MULTIPLE DAYS, and leave her pesky kids behind in the care of myself. Oh sure, there were grandparents there who were really supposed to be keeping an eye on things. But in the end it was all about cool aunt Femtastic and the sharing of the super-awesome knowledge.

We started with high-fives. My sister’s kids (who are very awesome in their own right let me assure you) were rocking some terribly lame high-fives. They didn’t snap, they used flibbidy fingers and NOBODY BUT NOBODY was feeling actual pain at the five’s conclusion. Disappointing. And so I stepped in, because this is just the kind of thing that cool aunts should be in charge of. I schooled them on the need for firm fingers. That a quality high-five should flow THROUGH the air. That a truly GREAT high-five should end with a profound “Yowtch!!!” of pain.

I told them of the greatest single high-five of my life, which was more than 15 years ago. I was living on the whole other side of the nation, and I was attempting to build a waterbed frame using directions printed only in Spanish. One of my favorite relatives, my cousin (we’ll call him Chico de-Coolio), was helping me with this project. When at last we assembled the frame and it actually looked frame-like we cheered and I threw up my silly, girly high-five hand in triumph. And Chico, who had been high-fiving for years with other manly men in manly endeavors, slapped my palm so flat and hard that the sound was heard in dark jungles of Africa, a layer of skin disintegrated on contact and I lost all feeling in my palm for eleven days. I have aspired to such high-fiving skills ever since…

Once the kids were high-fiving with style and grace the conversation shifted, as it would normally due, to the topic of flipping the bird. These kids, ages 11, 13 and 15, had all flipped their own birds, to be sure. But it was a clumsy, difficult-to-watch display. I feared for their very futures.

I explained to them that a quality “disgusting hand gesture” needs to come fast and freely, with confidence and aplomb. You gotta be able to shoot that guy off instantly and it’s gotta look easy. It’s gotta look casual. Your bird has got to say to it’s intended victim “Hey, I show you disrespect, and maybe even actual venom, but I don’t even break a sweat.”

We ran drills, did some spontaneous flip-offs, worked out some crucial finger muscles that don’t really get action any other time. By the time I headed home I felt that these kids were ready for important next milestones: learning how to drive (one handed, of course, to leave the other hand free for… whatever) and sex.

Of course they’re on their own for that one.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Battle of the Bulge – OK, seriously this time

Look, I know I’ve talked a lot about this bulge battling. And I’ve had moments of great intensity – remember those one or two times where I was winning? (And of course you understand that we’re defining “winning” as “the Queen lost 2 lbs and I lost 2 lbs, 1 ounce. And then I did the classy thing, by dancing around all jiggly and pompous and yelling “in your FACE, your heiny!!!” Good times…) But in all honesty I mostly spent all previous attempts at bulge battles resenting that I could only have 2 fudgicles instead of four. (Because really, what kind of communist world have we come to when a serving of fudgicles is only TWO???)

However, something has happened. Something that I swore. SWORE! Would never happen. Something so wrong, so vile and unspeakable and not at all right, that I shudder to give voice to it here. If any of you reading have children in the room please get them elsewhere. Send them to a neighbor’s house or ask your out-of-town relatives to take them far, FAR AWAY! I want no innocents soiled by this.

Are they gone?

My internets, the worst of the worst has happened: my underwear has started to roll down on me. ROLL DOWN. Rolled not by gravity or some unnatural panty-rolling voodoo curse. OH NO! No, my sad, defenseless underwear have been rolling down under the rolling movement of my very own belly.

Oh the horror! THE HORROR!!

All kidding aside… well ok, SOME kidding aside (because really? Who believes I could even DO that?) this for me is a last-straw kind of thing. It freaked me out the first time I was standing next to someone at work and just felt my waistband surrender to the tummy-pressure and just roll down… I felt like everyone who could see me could TELL what had just happened. Like as it was happening they could hear that slide-whistle noise that clowns make? Like my panties rolled down and went “Peeeeuooop!” as they went. And oh, for any of you who have not experienced this yet let me go ahead and give you the benefit of my sad, SAD experience: there is absolutely NO WAY to roll panties back up to your waistline in public. None that a human being should attempt anyway. (and please, for me: don’t be that guy.)

So this weekend I had a serious talk with my mouth and tummy and the kitchen and explained to them that for the benefit of my work reputation we were going to have to stop eating good things for a while, and we will also be fairly hungry pretty much all the time for the next few months. (with the exception of birthday cake this month. Nobody stands between me and birthday cake, ESPECIALLY when it’s my birthday! They’d be safer putting Baby in the Corner.)

I’m also setting a goal. It’s not a pounds goal (because that would require weighing myself, which we just do not do in this house. I’m not putting “bathroom scale” on my birthday list thank you very much!!) or a size goal or a “feeling less tired and with more energy goal” (because that is all LIES AND FALSEHOODS!!!). My goal is simple: to go a whole week without having to reach down my own pants and return my panties waistband to the waist area of my ample girth.




PS: Does anyone want a 1/2-eaten box of Cap’n Crunch? Cheap? It’s got CRUNCH BERRIES!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Something very foolish on April Fools Day!

OK, so you know how I'm rockin' the classic nerd awesomeness that is D&D, right? Well, the only frustration that the King and I have had with our nerd-tivity is that our DM (Dungeon Master, for those of you with lives who sometimes feel the soft touch of a woman, etc.) often drops off the face of the earth for a day or more, leaving us behind wallowing in self-doubt and panic because "Hello? Did my Twin Strike smite the damned hobgoblin or NOT??? Should we send the fighter in for another attack even though he's on death's decorative holiday doormat or is the Ogre at last defeated? HELLO???" He explains it with some nonsense about having a job or a family or a life. Whatever, dude...

Faced with the helplessness of a DM that is AWOL WAY too often his Highness was struck by inspiration, and from the fertile soil of his mushy man brain came Most Excellent Adventure Time, or M.E.A.T.!

The way it works is this: he started an adventure, allowed me to set up a couple of adventurers and produce an introductory scenario. From there it's been a literary, improvisational free-for-all! He writes about 1/2 and I write the other (slightly less funny, but every bit as epic) half. Generally I'm in charge of making the decisions for our 2 heroes and he for all the badguys, soldiers, monsters and other assorted danger-thingies; everything else we try to share equitably. It's fun, and I've been told it's also pretty funny.

So I figured why shouldn't you guys enjoy it too?

Starting this week I'll be posting a chapter a week, probably on Wednesdays. This way I get blogging credit for all the crazy boondoggles that suck up the time I really should be using here. (Femtastic = super-genius!) And with this I present to you, both here and over at M.E.A.T., our epilogue:

You will find this similar to D&D only more excellent and with shorter delay times between actions. {for you readers there will be NO delay times between actions. You're welcome} One writer is controlling a pair of adventurers. Please designate their names, genders, and races.
Adventurer #1: Steve! (exclamation point is included please), male half-elf (with 1/4 irish)
Adventurer #2: Gladiola Dangersword the 2nd, female dragonborne

Rulings and other direction from the M.E.A.T. Master will always be red, italic and underlined. Responses and other comments from Femtastic are blue and italic.

Currently they are both level zero. They have no skills. They are nothing. They have no items. There is nothing special about them. (there is always something special about Steve!.) No, there is nothing special about Steve!.
Steve! and Gladiola awaken to find themselves in a very dark room. Neither can see much farther than the hand in front of their face. What would you like to do?