Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The White Rabbit

Happy Halloween!!!

My friend Garrett

Yesterday I had my car state-inspected at my local Honda dealership, where I always go for any type of car maintenance. The reason I remain a loyal customer, aside from my (stupidly) pre-paid oil changes, is that Stevenson Honda truly does have fantastic customer service, and I value that. I totally sound like a commercial, and I don't even have the annoying charm of Pat and Ashley and their unwitty banter. But it's true.
Very occasionally, I feel slightly ripped off at Honda, and when I say ripped off, I mean that relatively, because pretty much I always feel ripped off with any type of car maintenance--you pour thousands of dollars into this *thing* that depreciates the second you drive it off the lot, and the least it should do is go for like, 10 years. But I digress. When I say I feel ripped off by the car dealership service department, I only mean that the "labor" charges seem a bit much, and I might have gotten the part or whatever cheaper had I the time, energy, and know-how to shop around. Which I don't, at least for the know-how. Anyway, though, I couldn't be happier with "my" car place. Largely, this is due to the guy who works there, Garrett, who totally and unequivocally knows what he's doing. And, he's polite. Like, unfailingly. Garrett is so polite that yesterday, when I was a good 20 feet from the Service Entrance door with K.Lo and her stroller, and Garrett was about to go in the Employee Entrance door, he changed his route just so he could hold the door open for us. That is so...nice.

Always calm and personable, Garrett's always on top of whatever's going on, even when no one else has a clue. It's kind of amazing, overall, and I just wonder--why is that so hard? I mean, in most of the service jobs I have had, the systems were either too complicated, too uninteresting, or both, and I can't say I always knew what I was doing. In fact, at Verizon Wireless, I rarely knew what I was doing, which is a whole 'nother ball of wax. But I always tried to be... decent. Nice. Everyone has their moods, it's true, but it's kind of too bad overall that Garrett is, more than anything, a rare bird.

Monday, October 30, 2006

day 9- it's really time

time to get the hell out of dodge.
supplies like: apple, cheese, nuts, and cash
tripping over cracks
pulling 50+pounds
catching the bus
running thru film: stripped socks, red leaves, and me
waiting, reading, guzzling water
the broken diet to the golden arches
squealing children and wide eyes
flipping thru pages,
a short runway jolts
the book ends.

Penelope in Wonderland

This weekend I drove up to Raleigh for a Halloween party where I dressed up as Alice in Wonderland, with K.Lo as the White Rabbit. And in light of my recent foray into the uncomfortable world of speeding tickets, I, in true penelope fashion, have been engaged in a little bit of self-punishment for my crimes. So, the real Wonderland was on the road to and from, where I discovered the alternate reality of going the speed limit. It's an interesting universe with its own set of rules and, surprisingly, relief from certain tensions. For instance, BEFORE, getting stuck behind a Buick would really, really enrage me, because it is a law both of nature and car mechanics that Buicks cannot maintain a speed higher than 5 below the speed limit. But now, AFTER, I realize that should you be so lucky to get "stuck" behind a Buick, you will also never get in trouble with the law, at least not for speeding. Also, should you choose, as I did, to drive back from RDU to ILM with cruise control set exactly at the speed limit, rather than 6 mph over, the trip is only a mere 10 minutes longer, and you use approximately one-quarter tank of gas as opposed to nearly a half a tank. Mysterious, but true.

When driving in Wonderland, one must also accept that pretty much every driver on the Interstate will pass you. But in accepting this truth, you are also able to let go of the aggravation in having some drivers pass you, but not others, and then you have to pass a car, and then someone else is riding your tail, and so forth. You can easily free yourself of all this nonsense. When driving the speed limit, there you are, just S L O W. Occasionally, you will find yourself behind a car traveling well below the speed limit, in which case it is no problem to cruise right on ahead with the same speed setting. For the most part, however, there you are in your meandering little world, deaf to the bewildered/cursing drivers shooshing past, singing along to track 5 of John Mayer's Continuum on indefinite repeat until you feel like you might cry. Out of happiness, of course. Ahem. It's the Heart of Life, man.

And in other news, I should report that I have something like a cold, a card that I'm playing to excuse my recent lack of posting, commenting, and emailing. And dusting, cooking, snarking, and basically doing anything other than eating chocolate and watching Season 1 of Big Love. Because other than that I appear to be useless.

Oh, and I think I hate October. More soon on that? Possibly.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

day 8- wait, what are we doing again?

this day started with cancelled plans to yoga, despite the fact that we got an extra hour- C did not want to, nor did i in the face of it, and i noted the promised quiche was not coming, so i decided to get us on a boat tour asap. which was beautiful and too short- she sat inside and i sat outside. paying for us was her idea of being able to sit where she wanted, truly i didn't want her to freeze so i wasn't going to complain. we ate at heaven on 7 which is a fantastic cajun place- i got the crabcakes i should've gotten last time... and some gumbo... and the conversation was sort of back to normal except it perhaps strayed to the morbid. c's fam is rife with cancer and a # of other ailments... which meant more than likely she would get cancer, and then she said, wait this is getting depressing, and i said, well if you're going to get cancer we should start talking about it now... we managed also to talk about other things.

so when i said i was going to meet amber and amy she hesitated for unknown reasons to walk me 3 blocks, said she didnt' want to go to the aquarium with us (which she'd decided last night)- that she was going to clean and take a bath (which she'd decided probably a few hours before)... it did not help to change my mind that she did in fact NOT want to spend time with me or that once again spending time with herself was more important- but i pondered that in the face of working all the time, having a perpetual roommate who is always home, and 1 house guest after the next you sorely grasp at the time you see available and i was sacrificed. it smarts a bit, but i see it- and in someway sympathize.

i told her to leave me and i waited for A/A alone for the 3rd time in the argo tea cafe... with a tasty but overpriced chai/tea/soy/latte... reading monsters. they finally came and after waiting for the bus then deciding to take the train i realized we'd never make it to the aquarium in time and said, guys planB. it's just not worth it. planB was the dark and brooding "Presitge"... which gave us no credit and was rather obvious though suspensful and anxiety producing. i love david bowie as nikola tesla. that was enough of a horror story so after dinner we did not go to the sanitorium for ghost stories or to the glassner house for a ghost tour... butnext time...

i reluctantly went back to spend time with c. which seemed unnatural and stilted... i had the impression she wanted me home, but she didn't think to invite a/a over for dinner... and so far it showed no promise for friend bonding. . . but it can't always be perfect- and i could not think of another thing to say but "you're going to bed?"... yes... "okay... goodbye." bcs she left early for work and i would not be up. and i finished watching southpark- satan and his sweet 16. and as i started to pack i----- came home and we proceeded to have a couple hour conversation on philosophy which he's getting his p'hd in and religion and a host of things where i was tired and incoherently blathering but found what he had to say more interesting even if i didn't agree with some of it... so goodnight, sleeptight and don't miss your plane on the morrow.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

day 7- a week in one

7 am- wake, go back to sleep
8am- wake, figure i've got to go- remember dreaming of buying furniture for an apt. for cheap- twas a deal except my dad was there and i was driving a very old pick up truck.
9am- picked up by amber.
910- walk ridiculously long time to washington mutual when we could've driven, walk further to see if there's restaurants that take credit card... get to wamu... keep walking... walk back... end up eating at the
10am- golden angel- have the best sausage in recent memory- am elated.
11am- do canoe research, meet with scant results. group of amy and amber bullying me passive aggressively into relenting.
12pm- somewhere in btw we have driven up to devon, randomly popped into a beauty salon and asked where i could get henna- to say they have some and offer me a very offical and 'authentically hand-made' tube... for $5. i cannot say no!
1242- disgruntled my friend amber, who by this time rallied unbelievably bcs she was the one i called on the 5th... remembers why i'm in need of 'special handling' ... so does not complain too much about all the traffic she is now in.
1pm- still stuck in traffic hell.
120- get gas, back to traffic hell.
140- get more cash, get film, halloween candy.
200- get 'lost', find our way back onto the interstate.
220pm- regrettably stop at mc'donalds for lunch. it was 'okay'... vow to get back to healthy eating on monday.
3ish- arrive at CORN MAZE!!!
3:06pm- start cornmaze!
4:31: solve cornmaze- get gold star certificates, buy kettle corn and plan our next place.
445: find canoe "launch"
5:08: after asking for directions find a state park- get info on horseback riding, camping, and go out onto a really beautiful lake and dock while the sun is setting- somewhat satisified but am lacking the glory of leaves changing- decide, can't have it all but you know NEXT TIME.
6pm- at DairyQueen. regret food choices again and am bullied into having a large cone- chocolate, chocolate dipped. really really am going back to the eating right plan when iget back... decide young blonde girl who works there and old man are right out of a movie like 'go'... or 'something oriented in a dark comedy.
808- finally home- check $ balance. stable. low but stable, watch the last 10min of american dreamz.
9pm- apply henna to c---, i---- and myself. have so much i cannot stop except my hand is cramping.
1125pm- still applying henna. must stop- put leftovers away... vow to try again tomorrow if it's still good. . . ditch yoga for sleeping in... write enormously long blog... go to bed having spent a lifetime here already... am beginning to get homesick... but smile when friends rally tomorrow for a boat ride and aquarium visit respectively. more to follow... after sleep.

henna is SO rad.
xo, M.

Friday, October 27, 2006

day 6- backtrack

(it'll come back is all i can say. . .)

today i slept in late and was positively lazy about my journey downtown. i took the redline- am reading a book called monsters- which is really fantastic, about the curse of frankenstein and the real lives of mary shelley, percy, byron, her sister, her parents and all the rest... and really how compromising your morals for the sake of radical philosophy leaves misery and death in your wake! excellent.

got off downtown and walked my way over to greektown- quite a few blocks, overheated in the down coat a few times but made it to the best lunch fair- called ARTOPOLIS- over indulged and had an artopita which is a delicate flaky pastry stuffed with chicken and cheese, followed by a mediterranian salad with a generous helping of feta and dill... and then fancied it all up with some 'blackberry sage' iced tea. ooo. so GOOD. this is one of my most favorite places- and i immediately became centered again with good vibes and good feelings and a positive outlook...

then i meandered back into town to a promitory on the lake called the museum campus- where i again connected with my wayward friend and saw a planteriam show - could only for a while think of that southpark episode where they brainwashed people into loving the plan-EH-tarium... so that when my space show started i duly noted that i would not be suseptible to their death rays... i learned that both gold and iron came from space. far out man. far-out.... also i took a little poll while there- the following questions were: 1.) do you think pluto should be a planet (yes, why not i said) 2.) do you feel bad for pluto? (YES!) 3.) which is your favorite planet (Venus, bcs it reminds me of zsa zsa gabor)...

now next i was trapped on a bus for an hour- typical of chicago. empty when i entered and then proceeded to be packed to the hilt by tourists. 2 spastic children and a couple in an argument later- they moved on and a very delightful austrailian girl of 6 began to talk to me- for about 30 minutes.... and she talked and talked and talked about where ever she'd been and visiting auntie and uncle in windsor and how they had a car but then didn't so it was good auntie and uncle had their car and that there were ever so many things to play with on the plane but mostly it was a very boring place and how they disturbed her ever so much by offering her things all the time. and then near the end she said, "what have you done? i probably shan't understand you but you should tell me anyway." (HA!)... the mom asked if i regretted my choice- but i can say though she was a chatter box- absolutely was one of the most memorable moments thus far- by the end we both got off at the same spot, she went with auntie and uncle and i turned back she was staring sadly in my direction- it was a good thing i turned back to wave- bcs she smiled and waved back. awww.

anyway what awaited me next was the horror that i'd not heard my phone or bother to check it-bcs there were about 5 messages from C--- and had i consulted my schedule i would've realized she got off at 4 not 5... so she was a bit panicked looking everywhere for me. and i felt bad, and checked myself that it wasn't out of a vindictive spirit- but perhaps a bit too careless bcs of the previous day- but i know how it is to be forgotten so i really would never do it intentionally.

so after we had a decent meal at the cheesecake factory... followed by horrible $5 tea at the top of the john hancock... and then a long bus ride, and a $10 old navy shirt later and i was watching wicked. quite a flashy musical i must say- and since there was actual dialogue, and it was wonderfully coherent... i enjoyed myself much more and felt myself not at all critical even since i'd read the book... and well the happy ending was a bit hard to swallow but nevermind.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

day 5- no really (rant)

i was being less than optimistic in my post yesterday which i wrote this morning bcs suddenly it started raining and wouldn't stop. and i had a pang in the chest twice at the thought of being unemployed again, and my friend continues to set unattainable goals which she pretends are realistic then when you expect them she rationalizes her way out of them, thereby crushing your spirit and making you cry, which leaves you alone at 12am eating m n'ms and writing a blog while she's in her bedroom having a conversation with her 'husband', even though earlier she complains that she'll be getting no sleep at all... bcs i see her "hurrying" to bed. right.keep in mind i see her maybe once a year and she treats this week as if i see her everyday or am some sort of roommate who she can chose to ignore or engage depending on a whim. am i an attention whore? it makes me wonder. but i would never treat my guests so horribly- i mean there's one thing such as personal space and independence then there's just a disconnect-for instance- this whole day was suppose to be an "us" day- you know what i mean when friends term it that. Her words, not mine. there's a certain understanding that the day will encompass all of what the two of you are TOGETHER. keep in mind this whole week i've spent whole days wandering the city by myself- and really it's thrilling. i love alone time but then the scale starts to tip and i'm in moody, depressive, i'm ALONE, zone. and yes as much as i love chicago- i do not want to comment on the shennanigans of otters to myself. "oh miss, did you say something?" "yes, to my IMAGINARY FRIENDS!" my bad. i thought i'd have more to occupy me. but i am not fucking spending $25 on looking at king tuts mask and a dagger. so clearly this was not the time to suddenly decide that it's all about you. first she says although it's her day off, which she said she specifically took so we could spend the day together- she needs to go into work... her choice. but that i won't even notice bcs she's going in early. then i call her and she says she doesn't feel good and no longer wants to go to the restaurant i want to go to. i complain- since she feels this way bcs who can survive on a banana for breakfast and not feel dizzy... anyway by the time i get there she's now okay with the restaurant choice but then lets it slip - like "depending on what you're going to do" i might go home. the hell?! what I"M GOING TO DO!!bcs she got up at 5 bcs she had to work- and we're going to be spending 2 nights out past 12 (bcs she had to buy us tickets to 2 musicals- when really the musicals are about her- musicals. that's what i say- but bcs i know she enjoys them i'm going to go and not complain and i inturn have a goodtime.) and she just really needs a nap and doesn't now want to walk around the city with me in the rain (even though i'd already given up hope of a boat tour but that wasnt enough of a sacrifice) and if i can't suggest something then (even though we were going to go shopping for her)... and then she gets mad when i start giving her crap about it- and the day never recovers primarily bcs then during lunch she tries to rally, half-heartedly and says well maybe a movie- except i can't see the one movie i alone suggested to you prior to your coming, bcs i HAVE to see it with I----. you know how insignificant that phrase makes me feel- very, very, very small. it may seem nothing but i see her once a year and she can't even concede to seeing a movie with me. bcs it has to be with the man she's spent the last 6 years of her life with, 24/7, 7 days a week. thanks.i spend 9 minutes on the phone ROAMING to vent to my 2nd friend who assumed i wouldn't be spending so much time alone- and i had previously asked her and been denied, to take if not a full day, a 1/2 day off- just for kicks. like, well i'm going here and i love being alone so much i almost didn't bother to ask you.fucking fuck.so i spent 4 hours+ in a movie theatre- reading, then watching the beautiful but god awfully fucking vapid marie antoinette- which actually matched my mood perfectly- just brooding ennui the whole movie and all i could think was her poor kid dies alone in a jail cell @ 5 of TB or something fucking god awful that i mightve as well seen blooddripping down all the walls of versailles as you knew the horror literally awaiting them and to see them hopelessly not "getting it"... and then only to meet my friend for her to ask if i've found a restaurant- yes. yes, i walked around in the rain so we could fucking find a place even though i asked you to find one for us on the internet- and after a torturously long dinner, it was a good thing she was chatty, we had to sit thru 2+ hours of a fucking pirate queen musical, which lacked the heart of ireland and the grit of piracy... i mean do i get to see Rent? or maybe Spamalot?... NO. could the day have gotten any worse. i can ONLY hope tomorrow i recover from the vileness that was today- and finish my vacation on a high note. and VOW never to visit friends again on this premise again. ever. like maybe when i go to chicago IF i come back to chicago again- i "might" let them know... might. bcs why expect to spend time with people when they cleary care more about themselves in that moment than your friendship.M.fucking.OUT.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dear God,

It's me, Penelope. As you know, I have been driving for 12 years now, and--I no longer need to knock on wood, but--I hadn't until today ever been pulled over. Never been pulled over, much less ticketed. That's not to say that I've never sped, or sort-of-accidentally run a red light, or done something else worthy of the law's attention. However, for the most part I am quite careful. I set my cruise control for exactly 6 miles over the speed limit on road trips. I wait approximately 4 seconds after the green light now before proceeding. And most importantly (I feel), I always keep up with the flow of traffic. So, even if I am going over the speed limit, such as on I-40 in the RDU area, all the yahoos around me are going 80 in a 65, too. Basically, I try at all costs when driving to avoid a) creating a threat to the driving community at large and b) getting a ticket. Because, as you also know, God, I don't have a lot of money. I mean, I'm not destitute, but I don't have money to burn on useless crap like traffic tickets and raised insurance rates. I would rather spend my money at Target, on things like baby food, and hair products, and the occasional CD, or a box of wine.

Anyway. You also know that throughout much of my driving career, I have owned a vehicle. I am currently on my second, a lovely Honda by the name of Rufus. Rufus has, hanging by a string on his rearview mirror, a Catholic medal, similar to--but notably not the same as--the one pictured. The medal's purpose is to protect the car and the car's driver (me, Penelope) in travel. And so far, despite any other of my track records regarding religion, I have never once doubted the medal's power. This is not to say that stupid errors in judgment have not occurred under its watch, such as the Western Boulevard Ice Incident of 1999. But, to the medal's credit--though the tow job was especially involved and cost a cool $80, there wasn't a bit of damage to the car, or to me, or to my passenger. I say with conviction that the medal has kept me and my car(s) from both damage and notice over the years.

So today, when I conversed with a friend about the medal, and we pondered which saint exactly was pictured on it? (And I'm still not sure--St. Christopher is the patron saint of travel, but I don't believe it's him.) I really, truly wasn't sure, and I'm still not, why the medal says "The Matrix." But you have to believe that I was being silly, not at all rude or mocking, when I suggested that it was really Keanu Reeves pictured on the medal. Or Laurence Fishburne. I was totally, 100% just using my sense of humor, which I thought was one of the gifts? Perhaps it was in poor taste, and if so, I take it back. So not funny. The medal does work, has worked, and not because it has an attractive star from a badass movie on it.

After 12 clean years of driving, I can only imagine that getting pulled over today while in the slow lane, the last in a line of cars, keeping up with the flow of traffic and approaching a red light was, according to the laws of chance, bound (and overdue) to happen. I am still sort of speechless over the whole thing; in a moment when I was moseying along and minding my own business, the last thing I expected was to get pulled over and ticketed for 15 over in a school zone. I honestly feel like I just pulled a crap card in a board game, that's life, and I just have to pay the fines. But I just want to make sure, from now on, that we're straight: medal jokes=not cool=something Penelope won't do ever again. In the meantime, I have full faith that the medal will continue to protect as usual.

Yours sincerely,

exhibit C

She loooves the camera, wants to marry it.

exhibit B

K.Lo, sad and bewildered

day 4- blue skies

it's the perfect weather day- and i knew that because chicago is fickle and cruel that the days that i would actually need it to be a warm blue sky day it would be cloudy and or raining and or sleeting. or whatever else it decides. so though i was sitting at navy pier with my carmel apple. coat off. staring into the sparkling blue of the water and the humble yet glorious skyline i knew it wouldn't last. and who was i to comment to about the glorious weather? certainly i sung songs about it to the wee sparrows who flutted and hopped across my path*...? but otherwise sat in solitary amusement. checking things off my list and meditating on the future... sometime later i would end up eating some 'urping chicken tenders from bennigans and a vat of iced tea, similar to the vat of diet coke i had at leonas for lunch. the conversations with actual friends varied from the ordinary to the evil inherent and who could blame me if for the intervening seconds i was panicaking about the possibility of not having a job when i came back or to the deferment on my loans not taking and the like... and so it spirals into a bad weather day. but this is only in hindsight.

*"Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul's
The little old bird woman comes.
In her own special way to the people she calls,
"Come, buy my bags full of crumbs.

Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do.
Their young ones are hungry,
Their nests are so bare;
All it takes is tuppence from you."

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.
"Feed the birds," that's what she cries,
While overhead, her birds fill the skies.

All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can't see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares.

Though her words are simple and few,
Listen, listen, she's calling to you:
"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

my baby DOES take good pictures

exhibit A
So why is it every time we go to get pictures taken someplace, I've got Little Miss Un-shine on my hands? That's all I'm saying. I wish I had a scanner to convey today's results, which were meant to be Christmas gifts. And I guess they still will be. But picture a sad, bewildered little K.Lo, clad in a pink snowman dress and a white bow, sitting under a Christmas tree with a glittery box, her face all Why are you doing this to me?
And that was the best of the bunch. Sigh. Better luck next time?

day 3- bored

The trouble with vacationing in a city where you've been quite a lot is that you've run out of things to do that would amuse you. normally i'm all for adventuring alone but the reality is i'm not going to an aquarium by myself so i can wander thru by myself and comment on the shennanigans of otters to no one by myself. i'm narcissitic but sometimes that requires an audience.

besides shopping is DONE. so done. and the next best option is going to my school-but the thought of seeking out previous teachers is mortifying bcs really- are they going to remember me? so the next best is wandering thru the museum- and i ran into a lot of things i hadn't seen before and proceeded to take pictures of the ones i liked so i didn't have to spend hours gazing at them- time was short(sort of). now the museum was a bit of a trick to get into- mainly because i refuse to give them any money. cath pointed out that why am i so stringent with art museum but am willing to spend money elsewhere- she had an example but i wasn't listening. it's because they caused me to spend all this money on grad school- so i figure that for the rest of my life they should not be the cause of one more cent. so i go only to find out that the "suggested" donation has changed to "fixed"... and there is no longer a free day but some stingy free evenings. as if wandering around art in the dark is whatsoever satisfying. and no i didn't get my alumni card- so the guy barters down to $7 and i hung my head in my most defeated way and said, but i paid so much to go here already- and he gave me the ticket. abject pays. now the next hurtle is that they want me to check my bag... i'm not spending a $1 EACH per item. especially when i'm spoiled by museums like the getty who aren't strapped for cash and adding flashy content in order to make things more "interesting". but anyway i refuse. i take a walk to the backside of the museum where they won't allow anyone to enter except the school children bcs its an unsafe construction zone-why have green growing beautiful things when you could have more museum? why indeed.

so i trapse to the school side- hi clark- and tell the guard i'm alum, and although confused he lets me in which leads me to the corridor that leads me right to the museum. once at the now heavily guarded side entrance i do a columbo whilst searching for my ticket- the guard thinking that i'm a student searching for my i.d. says oh don't worry- and let's me in. score! muhahahaha. i'm victorious.

now you see the lengths that being alone in a familiar place has done to me. it's my only amusement.

Monday, October 23, 2006

day 2- things forgotten

not unlike my girth factor realization was the next obvious factor- food. thinking back on all i ate and ate and ate- it is a wonder i did not gain more pounds. it's a love hate thing really- i loved dining alone. it gave me time to reflect, or write, or stare off into space and just enjoy what was before me with no time limit- but of course that was ALL the time and all the food i wanted- as my credit card would attest... so i come back with a much more cautioned sensibility... today though was a day of closures. first i forgot my hairbrush. which is a ridiculous oversight and might say more than i'd like about how low a priority my gorgeous locks are... but onward.

i took the 22 downtown, stopped off at the NewBalance store bcs who doesn't need new shoes when treading the city (my creditcard isn't safe yet)- had a hearty breakfast and began to see a succession of small changes to the city- for one the place i planned on eating at tonight ceased to exit, another place called the outpost was now a pub and the coffee house at a local university was now a hip-wi/fi tea house. made a great chai latte by/the/way... and then back to failed dinner plans the next runner up called the zephyer closed just yesterday after 27 years... you see thats why people say trite things like, the world is a sudden place- or change is in an instant... bcs it is. who knew.

having been thwarted on a lot of turns today first in my search of casual shoes (as there was none bcs the real large-size shoe event was on the 3rd), to discounted clothes- when 50% was still %50 too much @ macys, to my dinner options out with friends... i just shrugged. and felt proud of myself for not voliti-ly spiraling out of control. although perhaps this frustration will inately come out later... i mainly wandered without expectation and marveled at the changes and how nice people were- nice. everywhere. nice. and thought maybe not being on a timetable, with a silly smile on your face makes you suseptible? to this sort of shennanigans. and i wonder if i ambled around LA with this sort of devil may care posturing if people would bother to interact more. but as i write this- i know- why write it then- well- LA is an isolated place- lots of islands, lots of very busy self-important inhabitants (except the locals bcs we're perfect) and the trouble is everyone is from somewhere else- and that does something- a whole host of disinfranchised people wandering around in search of a dream... where as in chicago i can identify various tourists, southside inhabitants, possible transplants, art students, and many, many- i've lived here all my life types- but it's only been a day so i could be wrong... they might've come from someplace too and forgotten the old self in place of the new... but no one seems to do that in LA, bcs they're all carrying around a story and a place to go back to. which i think is why after 3 years i'd began to sort of become schizophrenic about remaining in chicago too long- bcs at a certain point i'd have to detach from Los Angeles and identify with Chicago- and that is what i don't think i was prepared to do...

till tomorrow.

day1- travel

the plane took off at a vertical pitch- it's the downfall of shortrunways. then it dipped to the right and to the left and by then i was unprepared and breathing heavily- fun ain't it, said the attendant. heh, phew i said. sure. made me remember one can get rusty at flying... for instance- i forgot cash, i walked to the wrong terminal bcs in my mind B follows A and does not precede it so of course B is to the right? wrong. and then i didn't demand a full can of club soda until the 2nd flight, and i became disoriented and couldn't remember where the CTA trains were into Chicago... but it's good to be back in my 2nd home.

once i entered the midwest zone- specifically on my layover in texas a sort of calm normalcy prevaded the environment. i noticed a pick up in sports talk and the boys got bigger. for instance my entire row would've won a "girth" contest... and i smiled at that- aw, my people. it's good to be home. where as in LA- i feel like a freakish giant at 5'9 and over a size 18. but on the plane the entire row of us, one might say, were like an offensive line. the guy next to me was 6'4 and at least 350. then to my right across the aisle wasanother guy over 6'3 skirting the ceiling of the plane when he stood up and then next to him was a guy in the 150-180 rage and next to him a girl mysize but maybe an inch taller. it was a good thing we were centered in the middle of the plane. i wanted to bring it up to my girth group but i thought it in poor taste and went back to reading wings of the dove- which i finally after 4 months finished reading- and i think most surprising was that Kate Croy is a bit of a socio-path- but that's for another post.

after we landed i popped up and told the guys to get out before me bcs i said i was feeling bad for them- and they laughed and i think, appreciated the sympathy... and on the way to baggage i finally began to be excited- like i'm really here- and then i thought- what am i going to do to fill my time.. and how much money do i have in my bank account??

my 3 most immediate- i'm in chicago moments were- ah, mayor daleys name on everything, a street musician, and a homeless guy- on the way in i kept staring at the signs in the train like i'd never left- but had only jumped over from an alternate dimension... the city still feels the same but just a little less desperate and a whole lot more grownup- for instance my friend has granite countertops in her kitchen... and an office. i ponder the strangeness.
pluses though- her cat still hates me and most of my restaurants are waiting for me. of course after i purchase new walking shoes and have a hearty breakfast, review my schedule and pack my day bag... the day awaits.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dear Cookie Monster,

Along with cookies (and now veggies, according to the word on the streets), do you also devour computer cookies? Or do you at least know why such a fantastic word, with the tastiest of connotations, is used in the computer world to describe something really annoying? I just never got cookies. I know the definition, in theory, but the bottom line with computer cookies is, I really don't care what they are. I can't eat them, I know it's a good thing for your firewall to block the bad ones, and I also know that if you block all cookies, your Internet experience is boring, if not pointless and stupid.

Which leads me to my main point. I'm using a different computer these days (long story), and my cookie settings are not what they were on the other machine. COOKIES, or rather the lack thereof? are what's really preventing me from watching Ugly Betty, from seeing all the little icons on the Barnes & Noble website, from viewing my watchlist at meevee.com, AND most recently and irritatingly, from seeing my queue on Netflix. This, all of this, is not acceptable.

So, I don't know--if you have to eat them, or if you could send me some? Whatever will fix the problem with the cookies, because it's driving me batty.

Me love you,

Sunday fare

It's a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon, good times all around--J.Lo watching football with the (non-crying!) baby, a potato chips and ranch dip snack, pajama pants--and I thought to myself, what better a day than to discuss my current thoughts on Desperate Housewives. Desperate Housewives, when it first aired in 2004 , was one of those shows I really, really wanted to like, but was just *eh* about. After a few episodes I stopped watching regularly, even though friends and coworkers really seemed to get into it. After the first season ended, I did catch up, watching most of the episodes on tapes borrowed from a friend. The second season, I felt compelled to watch because I was by then sucked in enough to the characters' stories, but I have to admit it was one of the least popular shows on my DVRroll. For a show that aired on Sunday, I always took until at least Friday to watch it, and that was after I had watched everything else. Like, oh, I guess I better watch this ep before the next one airs and I get too behind. There was just no hurry.

The most interesting thing to me about Desperate Housewives is, for as funny and smart as the writing is, I never feel particularly invested in any of the characters' lives. I mean, every once in a great while, like when Gabby fell down the stairs and miscarried, I'll feel a flicker of emotion, like mmm, that's sad. But mostly, I just don't care who is in a relationship with whom, which character is backstabbing another, etc. I watch, and I'm entertained when I watch, enough so that I'll continue to watch. I was thinking that maybe because it's a comedy rather than a drama, that sort of edge-of-your seat tension in all the romantic plotlines just isn't there? But I think about other comedies on TV right now, and I definitely care that Carla and Turk are still married, that Lily and Marshall are currently on the outs, that Jim moved away from Pam even though she broke her engagement with Roy. But which guy Susan on DH is currently involved with? Nope, don't care. Whether Carlos and Gabby really belong together and will work it out in the end? Nope, not really. And I don't know why that is.

I have to say, there is a definite hierachy with the Desperate Housewives ladies--the characters, not the actors--for who is more appealing than whom. Currently, in the third season, it is:
1. Lynette. I more enjoy Lynette not because she's the harried working mom, but more because out of the four ladies, she sees the most likely to exist in the real world. She's levelheaded, sarcastic, more understated than the other four. She also seems to show a soft spot every now and then that's a nice match with her harder edges.
2. Gabby. Gabrielle is a total diva, a super-thin ex-model into luxury, and I totally can't relate to her at all. However, she always fights for what she wants and throws an entertaining fit.
3. Bree. She's so Stepford Wife, and yet, especially lately, she's coming to know her own flaws, particularly with the way she's raised her kids, which makes her super-interesting. Also, there's something so creepily appealing about the hair and the pearls and that knife-wielding smile. This season, too, she's married to Orson, whom I will forever think of as Charlotte's Trey, and they do have that same perfect veneer with a dark undercurrent thing going, although on DH, the darkness is obviously much more disturbing. Orson killed his first wife, and also, for reasons unknown, hit-and-ran Mike. Hmmm.
4. Edie. Edie is bitchy, doesn't quite fit in with the other four, and is underused on the show overall. Sometimes I wonder why they even bother to include her in all the promotional shots, other than that she adds some more blonde to the page. I like her though, and definitely more than-
5. Susan. Eeesh, I really do not enjoy Susan. And I want to. I like Teri Hatcher, she will forever be They're real and they're fabulous from Seinfeld. Or Lois on the Superman with Dean Cain. I can ignore the Radio Shack days, I can. And I don't totally despise her character on DH, but damn, she's such a...dimwit? It's like her character takes the dash of wackiness that should define Desperate Housewives' flavor and instead dumps in the whole jar. Too stupid, too much. I mostly want to kick her in shins. I agree that part of DH's appeal is that the characters are all flawed, and that their actions are many times over-the-top, often what we wish wish we could do rather than what we'd actually do. But the way Susan bounces from Mike to her ex-husband, back to Mike, and then over to this other guy who's waiting for his wife to wake from a coma--and then is just so damn flaky about it all. She's wicked retahded, is all I'm saying.

This season, I have actually been watching my DVR'd ep of DH on Mondays, and I even look forward to it. Maybe I'm interested to see what will happen with Trey, or maybe a lot of weight was lifted off the show now that they've ended that nowhere plot with the mentally ill stalker guy whose mom locked him up in the basement in order to save him from jail. And we haven't really heard too much about Zack and all that crap, which will probably change now that Mike is awake from his coma. I'm definitely enjoying how Edie is choosing to recreate Mike's memories and mess with Susan for the hell of it. Anyway, whatever they're doing this season, it seems to be making up for last year's Emmy slump.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Last Day

I finished my work around 12. I closed the program and began to erase all traces of me from the computer... for free lunch friday we had pizza. i have to say i was saddened to leave on such an unhealthy protein-free note... but i stayed a little bit to watch the boys club play soccer on the community tv. we had our first post meeting too- which came appropriately 4 months too late. the supervisor wasn't even going to mention that it was our last day- until i said, well and they're firing their loggers and he's like oh yah it's their last day, except for that dorito crunching craig, thanks craig-i was fairly sad no one cared. until the story producer thought better of it once the meeting was over and said, it's your last day? well thanks. i said, well you didn't know we were here and now we're leaving. he smiled and said, i knew you were here. somehow that seemed to make it better but it's still a cold cold business. then everyone wheeled their chairs out of our space and i took down my cubicle name plate. i watched the latest episode of ugly betty as the show has grown on me like a fungas and i can't help but like it-i cleaned out my drawers too and am sitting here patiently with 3 1/2 hours to go... next up: reading, a to do list for saturday, and an intinerary... after that all the time in the world.

Suicide, contrary to the popular mash song, is NOT painless

Last night we went to my favorite prime rib place to celebrate my uncle's life, coincidentally on the day of his death. which to me feels like they're going about it all wrong. shouldn't we remember his birthday? like every year my aunt and mom and dad and uncle remember the day he decided to be the most selfish asshole ever, sure he was already locked into the depressive disease it is, but there were many choices before that, he failed to make for the better, i mean if we all agree living is the best possible solution. and my aunt sort of uttered quietly if there was anything "we" could've done. i felt i could appropriately say the answer was no. and i hate to feel that my aunt carries around the burden of "if only" and "what if" because when i told her that suicidal people are inherently self-interested, self-consumed and absorbed she gave me a shocked look, like really? like she'd never thought of it before. but believe me i said to her they are- it's their misery, their pain, their alienation from the world and you can only do so much to convince them otherwise- and she's been carrying this burden and guilt around for 18 years. which bums me out. unfortunately we're always out to dinner when these conversations arise and i don't want to make the whole table cry- but one of these days i'm going to say: now look: free yourself please from this ever present pain. it was never your choice to make, it was his. but of course that doesn't stop me from blaming his parents but even then- he was 30. and you can't be 30 and still blaming your parents for everything. for me 22 is really the cut off and you should spend those intervening years working out your shit and not digging yourself deeper into the hole via alcohol or as mr. mackey says, mari-G-uana... bcs suicide is b-a-d as mr.mackey says: suicide is b-a-d. and lets not add depressants to an already depressed personality- is all i'm saying... sure as my grandma said in a letter to friends- suicide is complicated and there are never easy answers... but my aunt who never gets to talk about this outloud except once a year at dinner in a room full of strangers, feels a part of it is her fault and i think that's horrible. and it's horrible that each of them can trace an action back to the moment of his death whether it was giving him money or having an intervention too late- not one of them pulled the trigger. and maybe if from the beginning we were more honest about each problem, about each stone in the foot on the walk of his life we'd be a little clearer now and maybe he could've been too and his choice would've been different.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Must List by Pen

Taking a page out of Entertainment Weekly, I'd like to present my own Must List, a list of everything I love this week, and that you, of course, should seek out, know, and love, too.

1. TV show crossovers. Lauren Graham on Studio 60? Logan on ANTM? Gilmore is everywhere! And even though the show is still on my shit list, this week wasn't so bad, and in my heart of hearts, I will always feel warm and fuzzy about Gilmore. Ooo, and next week, Lauren Graham will be on Studio 60 again, and Matthew Perry's character gives her his number and says to pass it along to the girl who plays her daughter as well. Hee.

2. Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld. Two and a half years out of school--hopefully for good, and I mean that down to my very tippy toes--I'm rediscovering the joy of reading. It's like, who I am, to read and love books. It's Pen's roots. And prep, which I am almost done with (I read slow, except for Harry Potter), will soon go on my list of favorites. I can't explain all the ways I relate to the main character. And I picked this book because I always judge a book by its cover, and this one, as you can see, looks quite cute, fluffy, and mindless. It's not. It's written by an Iowa workshop grad, and she manages to turn a character, who is seemingly average in every way, into the most readable of voices--just read it. It's really good.

3. The grossly fantastic, or the fantastically gross. Either way, I am drawn, I am compelled. This week on Nip/Tuck, Rosie O'Donnell's character, who by the way I also love, got earjacked and had to have her ear replaced. Her character recently won the Powerball and just buys to buy; for her first set of cosmetic surgeries, she paid four times what she needed to sheerly for the hell of it. Anyway, the ear. Rosie opts for the most expensive ear replacement option, which involves growing a human ear on a host rat using your own cell sample. The rat on the show, whose name was Vincent (ha), was completely bald, and the ear was just there on its back. I shudder, yet cannot look away.

4. EW magazine itself. I am now, again, a subscriber. I was for a year or two, but let the subscription run out last year, not wanting to fork over the $59.99 it would cost to renew. But last month's Labor Day Weekend mod podge session with Kim and Ashley inspired me to later buy EW magazine for a few more timely picture additions, and that issue just happened to be the Fall TV issue, just happened to include not only a cover but several other fine pictures of Patrick Dempsey, i.e. Dr. McDreamy. Sigh. What can I say. EW, I missed you. And this year, it only costs $19.95 for a whole year, and I asked my mommy to buy it for me for Christmas, which she did. Yay.

5. Intensely creepy documentation relating to the Evangelical Christian movement in America. For example, Jesus Camp. Or the book I've checked out to read after prep, called Kingdom Coming. I've said before and I'll say it again that I generally don't like to *go there* when it comes to politics or religion, in life or on the blog. But dude, I look at these, and I'm scared. Real scared. Watch the documentary trailer yourself and see.

6. BravoTV reality shows. Jeffrey won Project Runway! That's cool--any one of the four finalists winning, to me, would have been cool. They certainly all deserved to be there, and I have to say, I haven't been weepy at a television show in quite some time. But the support of all their families, so sweet. Uli's parents, Jeffrey's girlfriend and son and parents, Michael's parents, Laura's husband and parents, all smiling and proud. And Tim Gunn! I think I may be hormonal, but pass me the Kleenex, please.

And then Top Chef! There's no rift between the end of one Bravo show and the beginning of the next! It's just right there, boom. And even though I accidentally saw who was ousted while grabbing this picture, I plan to watch the ep this afternon.

7. 100 Calorie Packs. These have been around for a little bit, I realize, and normally I am not a big fan of diet food, much less diet snack food. But hellllloooo portion control. It's fantastic. And they don't taste like cardboard, there's just less. Also, it seems lately to be the New Wave in snack food, which means that the options are no less than thrilling. Cheetos, cool ranch Doritos, even a Hershey's snack mix. And more! Now, if you happen to eat 12 in a day, that is perhaps a different story, but at least good options are available.

8. Melrose on America's Next Top Model. Yes, I mean it. I don't really like her character, and I kind of hate this picture, but I sort of do like her character a whole lot. I like the twins more, and CariDee, and Anchal, and even that Reese Witherspoon lookalike. More than anything I don't see how Melrose can look around dumbly and say, These girls aren't supporting me, when she blatantly admits that she doesn't care about any of them, either. Like, so why wouldn't they return the non-favor? Also, I kind of found it fascinating, the way they were all heckling her during the red carpet reporter practice session--did they just take it to that level because they know her skin is thick? Or maybe it was just retaliation, maybe in the house she's just that bad that she deserves to be called Smelrose in front of Mark Steines? I don't know. But the fact is, she's confident but not in a hideous, evil way, and she's also quite funny. The Donald Trump picture? Genius. In fact, let me direct you there instead.

P.S. Can we get rid of Jaeda already, put the girl out of her misery? I agree AJ was totally dead this week and deserved to go, but shouldn't there be a limit on how many times in a row you can be Bottom Two and still remain? Four seems a bit much.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


i haven't left yet so you still have time to suggest wonderful indoor things to do in chicago- besides museums of course. that's way too easy... and um shopping. bcs i'm doing that too. right now this guy is crunching his doritos. it's enjoyable to him and i can't blame him and yet each bite constitutes nails down the chalkboard for this neurotic obsessive lass, so i'm listening to the radio online which is clearly rad- but this interferes with actually doing my job- which is why i'm taking a moment to talk you. 2 blogs are running around my head right now- one is on sociopaths and the other is what i did last saturday. luckily they don't coincide.

so SATURDAY: i have a quest to do all things leisure and, i was going to say bad weather, but lets face it, here that equals "drizzle", threatened to deride my kayaking adventure. i left a very mopey message on my friends VM something to the effect that i would die and my hopes would be crushed if we didn't go, so she rallied and we went up the 126 which is this remote farm laden strip on the way to Santa Barbara about 2 hours away... stopped at in/out burger, bought pumpkins, and then of course with time running out got lost on the docks and couldn't find the kayak place. i passed it. she didn't ask anyone. we got misinformation and maybe walked over 1/2 mile being complete lost, no cell phone, no watch-wearing idiots. and luckily- and this is the beautiful thing, besides the sea lions and the pelicans and the glorious weather and the harbor and the earth!, is that we didn't get bitchy with each other- she brought up the amazing race and said we'd be losing and i said, yes, and if we were this behind you know this is when we'd start to fight- and so i pushed her and mocked yelling at her. and it both alleviated our stress and made our irritation with our imperfection a moot point. who knew a reality show could turn us around.

of course after all that we were feeling pretty brave and we strayed a little too far out into the ocean- sure they were only like 3-5ft waves but our laughter only belied the fact that we felt we were going to capsize, get eaten by a shark or hit by a boat... we moved closer into the harbor lest our limits were tested by imminant peril, lateness or low blood sugar again.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


So i was all, happy weekend, then sort of never came back. I'm still pretty 50/50- but hey i only have 4 days left of my job- which yes, surprisingly lasted this long. My current assignment is to think of bad weather alternatives for my trip to chicago (do you guys have any?)- bcs i have all these outdoor fall things to do like canoeing and going to a cornmaze and chicago is never a certain place for weather and my friends are doing that whiny- it's going to be cold. wah. and the funny thing is one friend who wants to go walking around in the cold in the middle of a corn maze will say - hey let's go bike riding by the lake- then i'll tell the other friend and she'll say something about sleet and wind gusts, even though i will be making her go on a boatride... and then i'll tell the first friend, hey if you're up for biking let's go canoeing- then she says it's going to be cold. clearly the signifier "it's cold" means "i don't want to". so how far do i pull- it's my vacation and you biatches will do what i want bcs i'm the one coming to visit? and i don't have an "actual fall" here in LA- though i don't really believe that- but i know for certain i can't get a river surrounded by trees turning to gold and fire and in the midwest i can... and i'd like to embrace it. like last night i was convinced that chicken, stuffing and gravy is for anytime and going to bed with my hair wet made it all wavy... so friends should really support all of my conclusions.

also my computer got eaten by a virus. i'm sitting inmy couch chair on a laptop staring at my walking shoes which i need to put on so i can get up and go workout- but who wants to do that really.

for serious, m.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dear abc.com,

Um, we really have to talk. Three episodes into Ugly Betty, it is safe to say that I am hooked, and seeing as my Thursday night lineup is sadly overfilled by well-established favorites, I have been faithfully watching Ugly Betty episodes online the day after. I'm okay with that. I'm grateful for the service, actually, and don't mind at all that the display box is tiny, and that watching from my computer chair isn't at all as comfortable as my living room. And I'm lucky to even have a broadband connection through Time Warner Cable so that I can effectively stream in the show. I'm willing, for now, to overlook the fact that TWC charges an arm, leg, and an extra pinky toe for a second DVR box, which I would totally have by now if I could, and then none of this would be a problem. Because you see, I'm having issues now with the downloading of Ugly Betty. It just won't work--at all. I've downloaded the proper software, I've closed and reopened browser windows, I've crossed my fingers, blown eyelashes into the wind, and taken hold of my lucky rabbit's foot. And it's not working. Nothing. I am now stuck having seen only two episodes of Ugly Betty, with the idea that I may have to wait it out and Netflix the season later, when it's all out on DVD. Don't you see that this is cruel? Don't you see that this doesn't work for me? It's unacceptable, really. Not being able (mostly in principle) to afford Showtime for the sole purpose of watching Weeds, or HBO for Entourage and Big Love, I'm afraid I can't hold out for another. I'm just saying.

So, in conclusion, if you could go ahead and either fix the website, my computer, or both, or better yet, revise your entire Thursday night lineup for this devoted fan, that would be great. Thanks.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Happy little stress relief

La la la, paint the day away. (Click mouse to change colors.)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Survivor Friday!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
So, they voted out Stephannie because she was pining over some mashed potatoes and gravy. Personally, I do not feel it's fair to persecute a person over a food craving. If this judgmental attitude were to pervade society and take hold, then I would be in big, big trouble. Stephannie was kind of lagging in last week's episode when she (dumbly) took the fall for losing the immunity challenge. But, she reneged, was fully back in the game, and an offhand comment to a fellow tribe member did not warrant her dismissal at Tribal Council.

The bigger issue, at least in terms of what the edited storyline showed, was why in the world did the guys try to shift the vote anyway? Last week's vote for JP left the guys in a minority situation and at the future mercy of the ladies, who effectively bamboozled the strongest guy right out of there. Not sure if that was a wise decision either, but it was what it was. The ladies definitely had the upper hand, and yet this week wanted to vote for Cristina, purely because she was annoying. The guys weren't on the chopping block at all, it wasn't even a question, so why mess with that. I suppose you could argue that Stephannie's mashed potato faux pas, which Nathan totally over-interpreted, was a sign that Stephannie wasn't totally in the game, which could contribute to the Raro tribe's losing streak. But come on, people. Why do they always keep the Annoying One. I don't know how they stand it. Someone's totally getting on their nerves, and then they vote someone else out, keeping Annoying Guy or Girl around for another 3 days. Get rid of Jerri Manthey when you can! I mean, I suppose you'll just vote them out the next time, that it keeps someone else (other than you) as the target, but sheesh. Super-annoying? No soup for you. Besides, who knows how your luck will roll; you might end up voting later on to give that Miss Annoying one million dollars.

Anyway, I would have so been voted off the island when I was pregnant. I loved me some mashed potatoes and gravy.
Other notable moments: when Cao Boi, Flicka, and Ozzy crashed the other tribe's beach while they were out looking for whatever? That was weird. And OMG, Cao Boi just rambling like a crazy man while everyone rolled their eyes and yawned? Aren't those normally cues to like, shut up? Cao Boi's intense. And he's going home soon, I just know it. Oh, and then Jonathan calling Jeff on his bad pun during Reward Challenge. Sweet! More snark from the players, yes!

sO i.

Hopefully the more entertaining post of "survivor fridays" will be coming along any minute- so that you'll have some more meat to chew on then my to/do/have/done/will i ever- lists. i mean we didn't even rant about Gilmore or Lost... which both are huge disappointments. Gilmore: who knows you know. I tape it. Just to fastforward thru stuff I can't stand. Lost is a mind-fucking, machivellian, meets George Orwell's 1984 and i hated that fucking book. It's the only one i've ever threw across the room when i've finished it and maintains its presense in my library just so i can glare at it from time to time. Lost is also being fastforwarded thru- although sawyer and kate are pretty badass. Even VeronicaMars which i was so initially excited to see opened with ah EH. and failed to really get us excited about Hearst college and all her stupid new characters like stupid parker who is like it's all your fault...blahblah. I had initially planned on suspending netflix but may not in lieu of a dismal fall tv season. Frankly I got more solid enjoyment out of StickIt. Although Heros may have a chance... that cheerleader is getting on my nerves. And is any one as sad as I am to see Jim getting along so well at the other paper branch... ?

i was going to bother you with some of my to do lists but i won't... bcs we all know i need to apply chapstick, get my nails done, stop eating the fat foods, double my exercise load, rate my netflix movies so they can tailor the onscreen suggestions to me specifically, find work for november, do yardwork, drink more water, win the lottery and sailoff into the sunset (plus all that other stuff).

Have a good weekend guys. M.
(oh and dude, i totally forgot- friday the 13th. muhahahahaha.)

Thursday, October 12, 2006


so i meant to promote myself better to you all who happened to read the blog and live in the LA area. like hey come on out and uh see my stuff. [not obligated to buy just praise and adore.] but i didn't. it was this last weekend. i don't know why i'm so hesitant to be taken seriously but it all seems so laughable. even the idea of making a "store banner" made me snicker and go- well that seems way too legitimate. and there's no way i'm going to be let alone look professional. fuck that. is it like an artist hang up or what? in my defense i do have business cards and a website. that smacks of wanting uh, attention or something right? it's progress.

though looking at these photos i do realize my presentation was somewhat haphazard and chaotic. frankly i had no plans for so much space... and i think even if i owned a store it would look pretty eclectic, busy and possibly overwhelming so it was accurate if not the best. i'll work on it okay. i just hate static presentations and i like the idea of exploration- probably not the best "sales" attitude to have. (the jerk kitty/corner to me got an "honorable mention" for his store- which involved everything framed, hanging neatly on racks. gag. surfer art.] the guy directly across the way came over and gave me a grandpa peptalk- which i appreciated as my one living one is a complete tool and the other is dead- so when he said your stuff is unusual and good and you have to get up there and talk to people about it and be available- i knew it was true and i've said as much to myself before but still i remain resistent at compelling people to "consume" my stuff if they don't get "it" just so i can walk away with more cash~ which is clearly why i shouldn't be selling my own stuff. but in general the response is the same- i know what's "good", the most marketable, the most eye-catching- what draws people in and i won't charge less for it. i know you wanted to know that. i'm such a tool.

anyway, i invited like 45 people and 5 people came- and i term them my real friends or at least well wishers or interested parties. and i appreciate you guys so much!! thank you! it makes me possibly reluctant to include other people in my email lists of the future... bcs i find disinterest possibly more damaging than critiques... and it's just embarrassing. i like airing my dirty laundry to people i don't know- who cares if they hate or don't like my art but you? i can't take it. and don't pity purchase something. you don't have to buy what i'm selling. just sit with me and take up the dead space of people wandering by... have a water and some snacks... and tell me stories that keep me from obsessively wondering why not everyone has a developed palette enough to handle abstract art.

so all in all i had a good time. it was a glorious bluesky warm weekend. i broke even. someone bought one of my neglected oil paintings- for cheap and i'm glad it walked away loved, even at a bargain... a few friends came by and made me smile and in my future attempts to make myself noticed in the silly art world.... communities of communities- i will in future take heart and not be so jaded bywhat could be possibly termed: life.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

OMG my baby flirted with Dan Scott

Okay, she more sort of stared at him openly and charmingly in that sizing-up way she does, and he smiled back. A few times! And said she was cute. And I, totally unrefined around celebrities, tried nonchalantly to sip my maple frappucino and chat with my mom. But really I am so...chalant?

Every time I see an actor from One Tree Hill, I want to run up to them and be like OMG your show sucks!!! But I totally watch it every week!!! Thankfully, I am usually able to restrain myself. Maybe it's because it's filmed here in Wilmywood, that I keep watching. But I didn't watch Surface, at least not after the first episode or so. Really there's no excuse.

What's most entertaining about seeing Dan Scott (i.e. Paul Johansson) in Starbucks working on his laptop, however, is thinking about all the nutso crap I've seen him do on TV. He's mayor of Tree Hill. He shot his brother in cold blood. He abandoned his son Lucas for Lucas' whole life, and favored Nathan, his son born by a different mother about a year later. He was almost burned to death by his now-unhinged ex-wife Deb, when she drugged his drink and set his car dealership on fire. He's suffered a heart attack. He's threatened pretty much everyone he comes in contact with, he's suffered guilty delusions. He's also played nice to certain characters, supposedly experiencing a turnaround--but you're never sure, and usually it's a sham. Most of the time he's ridiculously, almost laughably, evil. Oh and he also used to be on 90210, as John Sears, Steve's frat brother who raped Kelly Taylor.

It's fantastic. And in person, he seems like the nicest guy. The kind of guy who would smile back at your baby. I heart star sightings.

Back To It

So I'm still cruising down river and I see some different colored flags ahead. However, when leaning back to fetch my flag identification chart, i slipped off the seat. The chart caught the wind, and in order to reach after it, i would've had to bound over jesus so i just stared back sadly at it fluttering to the outerbanks. Jesus just gave a quick cough and looked straight ahead.

I check around me: i've got almonds, a lean cuisine, some gum and lard cookies. I have that ball for my hand strengthing exercises, my arm guards, plenty of ice water and hand lotion... I lick my finger and flip the pages of the calendar, check the direction of the wind, the angle of the sun- figure at worst I have 3 days left of work... at best another 7. It seems unlikely. I sit in reluctance- knowing that i can't stay inert forever. I hear some mad cackling of my co-worker down the hall- and realize yes, the job search has to begin again. The to-do lists having been relegated to the weekends must now be pushed to the fore. But all I can think is: tonight: "stick it", contemplate "lost". thurs,fri: workout (chk), watch tv (chk). sat: kayak? badweather? postpone? alternate plans [ dead space ]... sunday: church/lunch w/ friend who is back from taiwan/hangout with other friend... mon-sat:[deadspace]... chicago [full itinerary]... [dead space]... officially begin again November 1st... nothing but static and snow ahead.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Part II: Section A: why do good blogs die

penelope: hola, what's our blog agenda this week. do you feel the energy sliding from all the blogs, or is it just me.
mendacious: oh, except kurt.
penelope: right, except kurt.
mendacious: i think this is the point where they start to realize -it really is a commitment... and that you can’t get by on crap and flashy content all the time.
penelope: it IS a fucking commitment.
mendacious: that's what i say- they really don't "getIT"... wait what are you saying?
penelope: yeah. like videos. i mean, the occasional video is fine, but.
mendacious: i dont' know what it is but i know they really don't.
penelope: we have to make them get it. or maybe we can't. maybe it's impossible...
mendacious: i think it's impossible. or rather i don't know how to make them get it.
penelope: oh, except ours.
mendacious: right, except ours.
[penelope: what the fucking fuck. i gave away that black dress too. dammit! back to the tinkerbell drawing board. ]
penelope: i think they're beyond hope really.
penelope: the guilt worked for a little bit, but actually making them "get" it.
mendacious: exactly- we can't spend all our time needling people to be a part of something if they don't want to.
mendacious: i feel like we spend a lot of our time trying to get people to understand why we blog...
penelope: yeah. it's disappointing though.
mendacious: maybe the subject of our PARTII: why good blogs die... let me look at what we first wrote- in the long long ago in the "before time" for inspiration.
penelope: ooo, hang on i have to check it out.
mendacious: frankly we should just post what we wrote for our first blog- it's true. we're geniuses. [insert hack content here-or as we like to call them FTA’s “from the archives”]
penelope: muahahaha.
penelope: i like it.

Part II: Section B: why do good blogs die

mendacious: but if we can’t/don't/won’t.. we can muse why good blogs die. like johann’s for instance. he's free game.
penelope: i haven't even looked at johann's in a while. that's sad. well, why do good blogs die.
mendacious: well he hasn't posted in uh, more than a month.
penelope: because people think they're not good enough, smart enough, or special enough?
penelope: laziness?
penelope: lack of inspiration.
mendacious: a certain insecurity about what they're going thru?
mendacious: like no one cares?
penelope: a feeling like they're being watched.
mendacious: why do we think things are futile as an artist if no one reads them- appreciates them. Tortured to produce.
penelope: or like people care too much.
penelope: or--they don't want to open up! they're building a giant wall.
mendacious: right- we want attention but not that much attention?! what are we afraid of.
penelope: well, at least we know we appreciate it. i don't know, on my more optimistic days i'd like to think that at least i'm trying to put something out there, even if no one cares.
mendacious: why is it not good enough. i know for me its a treasure chest

penelope: yes, i agree with that too. it really does function as an online journal in that respect. except that it takes up no physical space.
penelope: it's something accomplished and thoughts expressed!
mendacious: right- i think i'd like it to take up more physical space... ha. exactly.
mendacious: dammit. so why do good blogs die. it's tragic.
penelope: indeed. it's frustrating, senseless. and totally out of our hands.
mendacious: you know also i hate to say clichéd words at a time like this but DESIRE- plays so heavy a part.
mendacious: we want to chose our methods of success.
penelope: no, that's totally true. in fact, on the subject of clichés, i've been going through a cliché phase. they're clichés for a reason, right? that grain of truth. desire is absolutely vital. if you're going to give up that will, that's a deliberate choice, i feel.
mendacious: i was just telling someone that using Hitler in an argument will lose you debate points and he just didn't get it.
penelope: um, yes. Hitler definitely requires a certain "context."
mendacious: but desire works in the opposite sense too- if it's not exactly the way we envision it- our words, our thoughts... how many people read it... we determine that we're not a success.... but the point is using Hitler to prove an argument is lazy- though fun.
penelope: agree. envisioning can really get you into trouble in life. like "envisioning" the way your child will turn out. it puts a lot of pressure on the kid. let the baby, and the blog, be what it is supposed to be.
mendacious: exactly- just bcs in your mind you don't think "success" is suppose to look like "this" doesn't mean you give up
mendacious: like a doctor or a lawyer... circus clown or barnacle scrapper.
penelope: i think blogs just need to grow organically. of course you always strive for "greatness" as you define it, but--let it be. let it be, let it be, let it be... the beatles are so smart.
mendacious: why can't the blog just like our MFA's be an end in itself.
mendacious: is that a beatles song?
mendacious: i mean let's look at hitler- he didn't get exactly what he wanted and he ended up killing himself in a dark hole.
penelope: is let it be a beatles song?
mendacious: i can imagine them singing it so why not.
mendacious: but maybe not.
penelope: um, it's a beatles song.
penelope: oh my.
penelope: but in hitler's case, he really should have killed himself in a dark hole. that was meant to be.
mendacious: oh i didn't finish that thought- what i meant to say is sometimes we have to reform what our original idea is of whatever it is we're doing...
mendacious: i mean like- hitler once he got rejected from art school should've just tried another art school
mendacious: um.
mendacious: (laughing icon)
mendacious: i'm sorry. pen come back. i didn't mean it.

Part II: Section C: why do good blogs die

penelope: insane.
penelope: (zombie eyes icon)
penelope: (loser symbol icon)
mendacious: uh, i think what i was saying was like - totally valid. okay so back to the question: why do good blogs die...
penelope: sorry. you were saying? good blogs die because their mothers don't love them.
mendacious: or fathers.
penelope: they're neglected and then they starve to death.
penelope: yes, or fathers.
mendacious: indifference. it's cruel- but you know maybe it just doesn't work for them.
mendacious: it's hard to not fight for the good ones though- it's hard to let them go.
penelope: i don't think blog authors fight hard enough to let their blogs live. and i myself am guilty. look at convincing john.
penelope: less than a month--dead.
penelope: but--the only way for cj to work was submissions and interest. it lacked both.
mendacious: yah. that was hard. it's also difficult to realize how much support people need to get things started and stay afloat.
mendacious: hitler didn't have that problem
penelope: yes, and how hard it is to rally! esp when you're not the charismatic cheerleader type.
penelope: no, hitler had a lot of charisma.
mendacious: and minions
mendacious: lots of those.
penelope: and a lot of scared, close-minded people to believe him. but those are not the type of blog followers i would like.
mendacious: no. let's not support those blog-types. i want love, nurturing and a whole lot of snark. but not apathy or blind faith
penelope: me too! are our expectaions too high??
mendacious: yah but we can't compromise even if it means at the end of the day we stand alone in subversive genius
penelope: no. and even though i would love donations, i wouldn't want donations to be because readers believe we are their savior.
penelope: no compromises!
mendacious: right but because they realize we want payment for services rendered... i mean uh bcs they know we have college debt to pay off.
penelope: um, yeah! i'm still waiting for my $40000 check to arrive. thanks. oh, and another $40k for j.lo's loans, that would be great, too. where is the LOVE.
mendacious: wow i'm $7G short of your combined total...
mendacious: thanks SAIC.
mendacious: well who are we kidding here- thanks ME!
penelope: all of life is debt.
penelope: yes, thanks me, too!
mendacious: that's way too existential.
mendacious: working toward something- full of good and evil.
mendacious: deep.
penelope: i guess. but really it's so short, what the hell does it matter. i mean, so long as you're not in over your head or taking advantage. the point is, when you die, no one else is responsible for your debt, it dies with you.
mendacious: well actually i have a couple of- we'll come after your own, break your kneecap type loans- but it's only for like $7G. fucking citiassist.
penelope: i mean, i'm all for being responsible. but i'm also lining some rich motherfucker's pockets with every payment i send. so. that guy's not more deserving than me.
penelope: okay. well, try and take care of that one first. but the others, screw it. i mean, do what you can, but don't sweat it.
mendacious: well that's what we get for dealing with the mafia.
mendacious: it's like that turtle giving a scorpian a ride on his back on a river- it's in their nature... to sting you till we both die.
mendacious: and we knew that going in
penelope: yes, there are some risks.
mendacious: even if they are scamming rich motherfuckers who bleed the middle class dry
penelope: yes--it's like we're worrying ourselves into an early grave trying to pay them back, and yet, the reason why they're so rich is bcs they don't have much of a conscience and have no problems sleeping at night.
penelope: i mean, it's all well and good so long as i a) don't end up homeless b) keep my kneecaps intact and c) try to live according to what I feel is ideal, as a human being.
mendacious: exactly- they don't care. and it's like our blog and other good blogs that die- we can't let it get us down. we have to keep blogging and living and trying to make a difference

**this public service announcement brought to you by...[ ] in conjunction with [ ] all rights services and something something here in...

penelope: tell it, sister.
penelope: but if we do have a sponsor, it would be nice if they could pay us. i'm just saying.
mendacious: yah, just a little something.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Saturday, October 7, 2006

watch it, love it

The Star Wars Kid.
We've all seen this one, but can it ever fail to brighten up our day?
No, no it cannot.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Cheers to Pen & M!

This reporter, having felt for years the oppressive presence of Mendacious and Los Angeles, sought out gentle Penelope in the hills of North Carolina for a different perspective, only to find her full of Snark and living *indeterminately* close to the beach. (Although she did make me cookies, Mendacious would never do that). Grab a glass of wine and reflect with me on their 2 years of blog-ship success….

Johann: They’re delicious. Oh, no than- okay, one more. Ahem, Okay, Mendacious- can you hear us?

M: What’s that loud panting sound? Is that you Johann?

PEN: Bender, Bailey- sit down. Sorry, Mendacious.

Two years, ladies. How does it feel?
PEN: Hmmm...like one of those rain showers on a summer day where you can go out in the yard and spin around barefoot, and not even get bit by mosquitoes. In the distance, a rainbow. Kermit the Frog sits on a log, strums a banjo, and sings.

M: I’d say definitely a cool breeze on a summer day.

[Johann coughs]

After all this time, how do you keep it fresh, each post a new and exciting word adventure?

PEN: I can't speak for mendacious, [M: you can and do! Pen: No I don’t!] Anyway, as for myself, I always make sure to check the expiration date before posting a post. If it's just an hour past, into the trash it goes. You have to trust the Expiration Date Authorities on that one. [Johann coughs.]

Okay, truth: if it doesn't smell too un-post like, I'll post it anyway. That's the real rule of thumb, and so far, I haven't fallen ill or died from an un-fresh post.

M: Good I was worried. For me I’d say “Live It. Tell it.” That’s my motto.

[Johann: Like when “Words Attack” or “When Words Go Awry.”]
[Penelope laughs.]

M: What?

If your blog were alive, and human, it would still be a baby. What sort of things will you do to encourage it, to enhance its developmental years?
PEN: I would take the blog to Story Hour. TV rots the brain. Hee.

M: Let it watch TV, then tell it to go outside.

[Penelope applauds.]

If your blog were alive, and a wolf, it would be fully mature by now. Just something to keep in mind.
PEN: Are you saying that we should be released into the wild? Or that it was just a bad idea from the start to try and domesticate a blog.

M: Well as long as it doesn’t eat small children. I don’t mind.

The name change, it caught many of us off guard. What affect do you think this change has had on your readers? And are you afraid that there might be someone lost out there still trying to make it to the Ivy?
PEN: The word is that readers are coping. Intensive therapy, some involving shock treatments, most involving a Dr. Phil-like, in-your-face, "get a grip on reality" approach, has helped smooth the transition…
[Johann: Can I have some, uh-]
[Penelope: Oh of course, be right back]
[M: Uh, guys- I’m on lunch break. Hello?]

Ahem…If any of our readers do make it to The Ivy someday, I would hope that they would take Mendacious and I along--no matter how bad the seats, we would feel most honored.[M: Yah, being near the bathrooms wasn’t that bad.]… I'll have lobster ravioli and a tea with lemon, please. Thanks. Oh, and also if you're treating, perhaps a garden salad with House dressing, and for dessert, ummmm... crème brulee. Thanks.

M: We hope the change clarifies the dynamic, if not the purpose. Although I admit I was worried about our readership but Pen insists we only have 10 people reading our blog and we know all of them- plus she said it’d discourage the stupid ones. My lawyer was initially against the name change and it involved some heavy contract negotiations but we pushed it through.

Two authors, one blog. Does this ever create a conflict? Surely there are some examples of disagreement you can share, bickerings over blog content or template choices.
PEN: As I'm sure you're aware, Johann, Mendacious is quite the stubborn and tenacious force behind that "La la la, I'm so happy out in the California sun with my flowers and orange trees and two sweet doggies!" facade. I depend on the humidity of the East Coast to keep Mendacious at bay, particularly when I make more controversial blog choices, such as the brief but tumultuous Navy Blue Scandal of Spring 2006. And that is all I can reveal at this time.

M: It’s true. She says, go play outside and I do and whole sidebars have changed. For instance “we love you, you should blog more?”… that was all her- I would never say “I love you.” And then of course there’s the occasional anxiety about who blogs better and has more readers, like Pen’s intimidating East Coast Writers Posse. [Pen: Heh.] I can feel the shift from a pro: mendacious to a pro: pen vote all the time. That’s when I try to be less offensive and start writing posts about sunsets and bunnies. [Pen: Hey!?] See what I mean.

When you start a new job, or make a new friend/acquaintance/lover, do you ever tell them that you have a blog? If so, how long do you have to know someone before you mention it? And are you like me, the night before you're prepared to tell them, do you go home and really try to compose a masterpiece, as well as edit and rework four or five of your more recent posts?
[M: I’m not that insecure, Johann.]

PEN: Heehee...

Yeah, I used to tell everyone I knew about the blog until I realized people were actually reading it? After that night in the back alley from whence I emerged beaten, balding, and sporting two black eyes as punishment for a certain knife-wielding post of mine, I realized some people a) can't handle the truth and b) just really hate Survivor. Now, if I do mention the blog, I pretend I don't know the address until the individual has proven him or herself trustworthy AND un-retarded.

M:.I need to employ that rule more- My- “The Devil May Care” attitude does get me into trouble sometimes. And also, if I told them, how else could I write about them. I mean let’s not relive the day that someone told my director about the blog… Brandon was never the same again. Although I trust he’s not reading it now so I can talk about him freely.

In the middle of writing a long post, have you ever thought, 'I could've spent this time volunteering down at the Children's Hospital?'
PEN: Are you saying that (Mis)Adventures fails to assist, enrich, and further the health of all humankind?

M: Well I could say the same of interviewers really.

[PEN: Ooo, burn!]

Right now, I just paused to clean out my belly button. What's the strangest thing you stopped in the middle of blogging to do?
[PEN: Could you not do that again please.]
[Johann: Sorry.]

PEN: I Jedi mind-tricked my Dwight K. Schrute bobblehead into bobbling his head.

M: Work.

PEN: Touche!

If you were a bottle of wine, what would be written on your label?
PEN: A quiet, mellow red wine with more than a hint of snark. May appear shallow at first, but after a few sips, you will see that there is much more to understand, know, and appreciate about this flavor. Best served with tacos, chips and dip, or cheese.

M: A dry but boisterous white wine with a sharp--though notably refreshing--bite. Open, honest, and blunt through and through, this flavor's intrigue lies also in its many hints and not-so-subtleties: sarcasm, generosity, wit, and could it be? Ah, and so it is--an unmistakable drop of romance.
Best served chilled, and in far-off lands.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
PEN: Well kid, we decided not to send you Down South after all.

M: Welcome home.

[PEN: Nice!]

Penelope, for a year and a half, some readers thought you weren't real, that you were merely a figment of Mendacious' warped, delusional mind. Then came baby. Don't you think you took things a little too far to prove your existence?
PEN: And yet on the East Coast, some readers thought that Mendacious wasn't real, that she was merely a figment of my warped, delusional mind.

[Johann erupts into a peal of laughter.]
[M: Asshat.]
[Johann/Penelope: What? We…]
[More laughing.]
[Johann/Penelope: Who was that?]
[Penelope: It’s like voices coming from my mind or something.]

But, seriously, in the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, "You can never go too far." If presented with the opportunity, always try to outwit the snooty maitre d' and get seats at Chez Quis. Or, in this case, have a baby just to prove you exist.

Mendacious, you often ride a bike. Do the recent doping scandals which have stained the cycling world have any effect on you? Have you considered a less controversial way of getting around, such as a scooter?
PEN: M, Vespas are hot. Couldn't you go in the carpool lane with one of those?

M: No comment. And my badass factor would go down by ½. What are you thinking.

I've noticed lately, the inclusion of a poll with your blog. How fun. And yet, there's no limit to how many times a person can vote. Does this at all concern you, knowing your results are scientifically invalid?
PEN: Are you telling me that people would vote more than once? Next you're going to suggest that people choose a different answer every time!!! I am appalled.
M: We have a poll? You see this is exactly what I’m talking about!

[Pen: Ohmygod, I knew she wasn’t voting!]
[Indecipherable grumbling.]
[Pen (loudly): Johann, would you like another cookie? Aren’t they fantastic? Mmmm.]
[Johann, mouth full, mumbles enthusiastic agreement.]

I know I asked this last year, but I'd be interested to see if your views have changed: Why blog?
PEN: Actually, my views have changed. I blog precisely to assist, enrich, and further the health of all humankind, particularly those people who don't yet subscribe to cable TV. The question is, and this is one I struggle with daily: Is it working? Are they listening to me?

M: When my narcissism fails me, at the end of the day, I’m just talking to Penelope, and if that fails me then at the end of the day I’m writing for its ownsake. I recognize its necessity in my life, although I know it doesn’t have to be a blog- it’s turned into something more than we expected and I appreciate that and in turn, when all else fails- I’m going to nurture it and not let it die.

PEN (more applause): Long live the blog!

Mendacious, why seaweed?
[Pen snickers, tries quickly to cover it up.]

M: My obnoxious answer is: why not. My more involved answer is: My friend Danica brought my mom and I an article on the “Victorian Art of Seaweed Pressing”… which led us to several beach expeditions to see what all the fuss was about- and we found they were way more awesome and kick ass then supposed. This last photo series was just a ‘teenth of what I found when camping at Refugio- and didn’t have the means to take them home with me. I strove to capture their beauty and movement without being in a diving suit in the cold dark waters of the Pacific. Also it’s something we never experience and contextually flowers are too easily read and dismissed- hopefully you’ll take the time to reexamine them and see what I’m talking about…

[Johann: uh, Okay.]
[M: Dude! ]
[Pen: Johann, seaweed’s pretty, now. Be nice.]
[Bailey: woof.]

Penelope, you once wrote about not being listened to enough, about a need for importance. I can't remember what else you said, I sort of skimmed the rest [Pen coughs loudly], but I wanted to tell you I recently read a book, 'The Art of Creative Writing' by Lajos Egri. In it, he proposes that all writing grows from the root of the 'importance of being important.' This is a point he stresses throughout, he even concludes Chapter Ten by stating, 'the strangest phenomenon, it seems to me, is the awareness that in all strata of society there's nothing greater in a man's life than the Importance of Being Important. So does this at all provide you any comfort, knowing that yours is a universal struggle, common to all people (except for maybe the people of Dafur)?

PEN: Not really...I wanted to be the only one. Hmph.
[Johann: Could I?]
[Pen: Oh, certainly. Go nuts.]
Seriously, though, it's an interesting issue to ponder. It seems like there is that need in all of us to feel special somehow, and, especially in the time we live in, there comes with that that the need or desire to be noticed by the masses? Perhaps it could be pinpointed as the driving force behind (just as examples) musical superstars and mass murderers alike.

Remember, it's all about choices, people!

In the last year, you both turned 30. Is there anything you'd like to tell, something in the way of an insight into life, for those of us yet to begin our accent to that age plateau?

PEN: I've still got a few years until I hit 30... I did attend a 30th b-day party recently, which may have been confusing. But save that question for me on our 4th anniversary interview. It's a goodie.

M: [Ha.] I don’t know. It’s weird. But I never thought there would be a difference btw me at 30 and me at 26. But there really is. Sometimes it’s tied to age other times not. The thing is not much changes and that’s part of the problem. You still feel you. You feel young and possessed and not unlike Michael York in Logan’s Run when the chip in his hand starts blinking prematurely. I really don’t know what to do with my age. I probably never will. But I can’t help but feel an internal pressure. Usually I’m good at fighting it but I have to say sometimes the Sandman gets me.

I've noticed a recent trend in blogging where people seem to be more focused on the appliance of images and video files, while including very little in the way of words, actual manuscript. Do you think the time of the engaging story blog has passed?
PEN: Hmmm, let me ponder that.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

M: Ha. Seriously. I mean if the lack of comments say anything to some of my essayistic like posts I wonder… usually people have so little patience. It’s less like surfing and more like remote control clicking. Usually I have to make myself stay on the board and ride the wave out-

PEN: Plus, sometimes the pictures amp up the funny, as well as making the post more attractive... I’d have to agree though that on the whole blog readers have little patience, myself included. Maybe it’s just reading on the screen that people get all ADD about. Because a novel or a good CNF book, that I can sit down and read and read and read.

Why do we comment? What is it that motivates readers to tack on their two cents?
PEN: I really feel it's mainly out of a selfish desire to showcase one's own brilliance and wit. At least, that's what motivates me. It's like, look at me, aren't I fancy, too!

M: Which makes me wonder, why more people wouldn’t want to hand a little snark back or funny? But really I do want to encourage dialogue- and why not a little verbal one-upmanship? That’s why I always wonder about the lack of comments. I don’t know if I blog just to hear myself speak but to sometimes gain perspective.

In one thousand years, if a multi-tentacled space person finds this blog and takes the time to read every post, what would you want their impression to be? And does that differ from what their impression will be?
PEN:Hang on, K-Lo just happens to own a multi-tentacled space person puppet, so let me consult...

[Rustling in background.]

PUPPET (talks a little like William Shatner): Greetings, Johann. I declare that should future generations of my people happen upon The (Mis)Adventures of Pen & M, they would be most astounded. They would say, It's impressively better than so many of the blogs from yester-millenium. The humor, the perception, the depth! Schlemeel, schlemazel! If only we could have known them then. Cheers (cue champagne toast) to Men and Pen!

[Johann falls into coughing fit.]
[Pen: would like some water, or--?]

M: Brilliant. That’s why I love puppets. They’re so insightful.
[K-Lo squeals happily, throws a Cheerio.]
PUPPET: Why, thank you, Mendacious. I am your biggest fan.

One last question, at any point in this interview, did you ever think, ''I could've spent this time volunteering at the Children's Hospital?"
M: During this interview? Yes.

PEN: All right, all right. I suppose I could look into candy striping at least, or maybe being a Christmas elf. You really know how to put on the pressure, Johann. But thanks for taking the time to interview us once again: from the bottom of our hearts!