Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Help Not Hinder

It occured to me sometime last week in a haze of wellbeing and harmony that when i am at work with my family i feel ...
... at peace. 'the hell.

we're making a stepping stone pathway... which has been taken on in distracted ill-timed spurts. the path reaches the back porch of the garage but should continue around it and behind. thus the reason that we're still working on it. (and if truth be told we want these stones to take over the patio too. so who can say when 'finished' is finished.) as i scooped the concrete into the teardrop molds, my mother mashing it in and my father smoothing it out... it seemed natural, somewhat comforting: befuddling that it felt nostolgic. an easy unionized routine to fall into. this is my job, this is yours- we are working to the task together.

i paused to wipe cement mixer spatter off my cheek when it occured to me- i've been programmed to be productive. weekend after weekend, all my life of nothing but projects. clearing property, hauling yards and yards of rot, lumber, cleaning out houses, hauling lumber, constructing things, crawling around cars, pushing them this way and that, stacking parts, turning the dirt, planting, painting, spackling, hammering... project after project. i feel completely compelled to put aside my painting, my reading for the purpose of renovation. true it has my own artistic hand in what i do but it's like getting back to the word: labor.

and how much it's become a part of me, and how much i find an intrinsic value in the work of my hands with my family. rather sentimentally laboring together for something beautiful, purposeful- something: done. no matter how strenuous or grit inducing i feel filled. it's when we're at our best, fulfilling a function and a role, unconfused, communicative and inspired. when i can appreciate my father's skill, my mothers mind...

and well anyway there's a certain obligation that comes to it too, which is why with chagrin i was helping to chop wood this weekend: unload from f150, parents go get wood chopper, help shlepp logs onto splitter, stack high, clear space in backyard for the winters fuel, decide to reoraganize- get rid of tool shed, make frame for wood to sit in, clean clean clean, finally by myself haul all the wood into the back, stack stack stack... stand back with satisfaction, think: beautiful. think: well done... though as the following shows... i've never been grossed out by wood before.. but as my friend sarah says we may have accidentally chopped up an Ent... brings a whole new term to "living things"... the sap was as red as blood (repellent and inspiring) and it will burn hot, go up into smoke, return from whence it came... and my whole body is sore and tired, and the work, never done- makes me wonder when there will be a time when i will have someone to labor with- hand to foot, minds clear and quiet, raising life or making it better. possibly? bcs my parents will vanish and i feel the hint of them not being there with me, side by side working in familiar unison for all of my life and it makes me ache to know it will leave me.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


For the moment I've given up trying to hook up my (cooler, sans cookie issues) computer to the wireless network, because the problem looms large, and I don't know how much longer it will take to solve. I can't strap mendacious with the hassle of posting my posts forever. I'm scattered and only have some random things to offer at the moment:

1) Last night I updated my ipod and wanted to listen to Lily Allen before bed. Here I am in a fairly quiet bedroom, earbuds in place, half asleep anyway, and the thing starts up at volume: MAX. Literally, I felt like I was going to puke for a good half hour from the jolt of it. It was a scary loud, a complete accident that rocked me down to my tippy toes. I couldn't listen to Lily right away, my senses being so assaulted, and so opted for Sarah Harmer instead. Was disappointed to discover that I accidentally did not load her first album onto pod, despite intentions.

2) Went on a brief road trip this weekend to RDU, and on Saturday had lovely night to myself at surprise party for friend. Party truly was surprise, as his bday was two months prior, but it was pulled off so well. After a mid-party lull, we played a round of Cranium, which my team totally rocked, as well as Imaginiff. I heart party games.

3) I'm still pregnant. I know! I already can't wear jeans because it feels like I'm squishing the baby. Okay, the baby is smaller than a pencil eraser at this point, and it's not like my jeans don't actually fit, but there's some squishing going on. It's absurd. And if it turns out to be twins... mendacious will hear my gasp clear across the country. Because then we will have to purchase a minivan, a cruel reality I am not at present prepared to face.

4) I want to talk about Grey's Anatomy with anyone who will talk about it with me. And also, Friday Night Lights. Anyone who claims TV is a cesspool for society has not watched (and subsequently become addicted to) these brilliant productions. Currently, am sort of in love with Kyle Chandler and his irritated silences, his piercing gaze. Bonus, he was on BOTH shows last week. Here's why I love Grey's: unlike most shows, when a character throws out a declarative statement such as, "George, your marriage is a mistake," the statement is not necessarily prophetic and then fact. Characters fight back against the so-called "truth," i.e. Callie tells Izzy, "Actually, no, I'm here to stay, so get used to that." And Friday Night Lights? You so do not have to be a fan of football. The acting, writing, and camera work on this show all speaks for itself. So FANTASTIC.

5. Finally, finally watched Jesus Camp yesterday. It was one of those movies I lusted after in the Netflix queue for so long, and once it finally got here, I had no desire to watch a documentary. What I really want to watch is Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, even though I didn't really like it the first time around. But, Jesus is going back today. It scared me, just like I thought it would. Frankly, on the whole I felt like there was a little something missing from the production, like maybe a little more framework would have been nice, or some added points of view? But the camp director properly horrified me with the statement that Harry Potter, had he been in the Bible, would have been put to death. Because Warlocks are the Devil. I think she's in cahoots with Voldemort, I really do.

This week: still on a closet-cleaning tear. Hope to: clean fridge, dust here and there, purchase brilliant presents for March birthdays (not including my own), figure out the beaded bracelets, spend minimal amounts of money, not totally give up on working out. Tamilee, you continue to slay me. And, ANTM is starting, wahoo!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

dear blog,

hi, i'm cool. i had a good weekend...i think? watched science of sleep, step into liqued... completely stepped off the exercise and eating right bandwagon... said, fuck it, and i'll see you next week. tomorrow. goes perfectly with shaving and showering... folding laundry like i did just now: (tired of moving the piles from the bed to the floor and back again) doesn't so much go with watching little miss and eating pizza- on my 4th dietcoke of the day- hauled firewood, and leveled dirt, got tired and stared into space, hummingbirds zooming past, patches of blue sky disappearing fast, and the wind picked up and it got cold to contemplate wearing a hat, or going inside and calling it quits. (rhett just said he didn't give a damn and scarlet said there was always tomorrow.) john lee says he's in the mood for love and so am i. trying to find away out of scraping pennies and bad papercuts liqued bandaid won't fix. and taxes... maybe get myself a refund if i could, ever, check, them, off, my, list: whalewatching, clean artroom, buy a volleyball net... i've got the ball and everything and just need people to play... uh, huh... and unfinished... unfinished... we're those weekend project people... won't quit until the sun goes down or the weather turns wrong, maybe just this once, quit, cuz you feel tired... and say there is always tomorrow.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What about Brian's hair, continued

Hee hee. I like to think that Barry Watson read my letter. It's not great, but it's much better. I'm taking credit.

Friday, February 23, 2007

psa: dwight k. schrute

In case you missed the commercials, or *gasp* forgot, be sure to watch SNL this Saturday, as it will be hosted by Rainn Wilson, aka Dwight K. Schrute. He is indeed everywhere. I personally hope for the inclusion of a digital short, and perhaps a skit with Rainn and Will Forte's character Andy, the Customer Service Rep. Ohhhhh noooooo!


a scint week for blogging... so much too say. so filled with laziness... but perhaps this weekend... dare to dream... after all it's actually blessedly friday.

irritated by:
haven't heard from 2nd interview
laundry piled up in corner
canvases to be worked on
lack of quality programming

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


okay so this is seriously gross. i was attacked by a tick. but like i don't know when. all i know is that i brushed my left arm this AM and it was there- attached to my upper left arm. i pulled it out and killed it and could not stop saying GROSS all day. i'm saying it right now. GROSS. is all i can say. damn off trail hiking. the more disturbing is when it mightve latched onto me... i shudder to think it'd been on me all day into the morning... bcs that was the last time i went off trail... that's what i get for offtrail hiking. GROSS. when i found it i was in a conversation with my inv. manager and so grossed out was i that i could not even say a word to her, as i brushed my arm- nor anyone lest they know that i'd been infected... i possibly concluded that i will wake up tomorrow taken over. it's so so unpleasant. hopefully no redlines will spread up my arm. for fucks sake. it's so GROSS.

Monday, February 19, 2007

dear wardrobe,

It's time we have a serious chat. As you well know, we haven't been getting along for quite some time. Not that we're fighting exactly; I would just call the relationship "unharmonious." You have a few pieces that I regularly hang out with, take to lunch, and what have you. But the majority of your numbers have been on strike for awhile now. It's finally sinking in that we need to face our issues and if needed, part ways. Because... I'm thinking, now that I'm prego, it's going to be quite a long time before I can even think about trying to wear those shirts and pants that I'm still not able to wear as a result of the first go around. I feel like it's more of a shape issue, in the end--that it's not so much the weight hanging on, but that your body just forever changes shape. And I've got to stop denying...

I bought a very nice mauvey shirt yesterday at Target in the size I would have worn before, though, and it gave me great hope. It made me think that it was possibe to get along with shirts, new shirts that actually fit the right way. Shirts that are long enough, for one, and shirts that could not double as a corset. And as much as it pains me to think about saying sayonara to my red Curious George shirt of yesteryear, I'm kind of thinking that by the time, if ever, I'm the right "size" to wear it, I'm probably not going to want to anymore. First of all, at that point, it will be years old. It's already kind of ratty. Actually, I think it was kind of ratty after the first time I washed it. WHY am I feeling bad that I can't properly wear this thing? Seriously... All these shirts I'm thinking of pink-slipping are on the ratty side, no wonder they don't fit right. Dear lord. Okay, that's IT, we're cutting the cord:

Goodbye to:
red Curious George
yellow UNCW shirt with hanging threads
bright green Tinkerbell with peeling graphics
electric orange Old Navy shirt I haven't even worn since... like, I can't even remember! WHY is it still in my drawer.
John Bender shirt? okay, maybe I'll save that for K.Lo
orange camping shirt with fabric so thin it's falling apart in my hands
brick Bonnie's Snow Lodge shirt, peeling graphics
another red graphic T that was tight and uncomfortable when I bought it 4 years ago, much less after it was washed once--and the seams are totally crooked
black tank-top that always looked terrible on me anyway

And others. There will be many others. And then the pants, and the sweaters, and the long-sleeve T's and jackets. And maybe even the SHOES, just for kicks, hahaha. Look out wardrobe. Management is cracking down.

pen with eyes wide open, now

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Warm Weather

I'm sitting at my desk, scrubs is on in the BG. I'm wearing a burgandy tank top and some basic blue underwear. I sort of like the outfit, though minimal- the colors are perfect. Like I could be in a Dove or Jockey ad. I feel good about it, with my flipflops and grungy hair done up in a band. The air is warm out- over 80, and no ones home. It's an odd sort of quiet. Like I should have a purpose or something to do. It makes me want to leave the house and go on errands- but I think maybe I'll just wander outside, look around at the flowers and come back in. Maybe distractedly pick up a book or watch the Extras Season 1 dvd. Or just stare into space and dream about organizing our junk room. Maybe I could paint. . .

Maybe that's it- it's poised and expectant. And I'm uncomfortable with the lack of definition.

Like it was a full day over. Made more stepping stones, watered plants, watched pinky/brain2, had lunch, helped friend move couch, conversed, more diet pepsi, conversed... the day is full and why ruin it with something else.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Dear Saturday Night Appletini,

Alas, but I cannot partake of you, and it is so sad, because I had such big plans. What to do without your fantastic electric green yumminess, not unlike a sour apple Jolly Rancher. Perhaps a glass of wine, a solitary beer, consumed at a slower-than-snail's pace? What a tease, what torture, to be within a good buzz's reach.

Not that I'm complaining, not really. Okay, maybe a little bit. But only because, how often do I purchase apple martini mix? Like, never. So close I was, and yet so far. See you next year, perhaps? In the meantime, there are friends, and the promise of another Bug.

Adieu for now--not quite sadly,
prego (yowza!) pen

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

version 1.0

I've talked about losing my brain cells several times on the blog, particularly during pregnancy. Or maybe I didn't, and I've lost too many brain cells to remember properly. It wasn't just pregnancy, because I'm still pretty dumb; I really think, at least for me, it's being out of school. Every once in awhile I'll say something that sounds like the old me, the school me, and I'm like... whoa. Did I really just formulate that thought in my brain and express it out loud effectively? Maybe it wasn't even particularly impressive, but at least it wasn't completely daft. The "right" word seems consistently to elude me, and basic facts about the world that I once knew, whether useful, useless, or somehow in-between, seem to be lost forever. Or maybe they're just buried under the rubble of pop-culture fluff and mommyhood that seems to occupy much of my immediate thought bank.

I used to be good at school, like really good. I'm not saying that is the indication that I was once smart, but it can be an indication. I was also a hard worker, but I was genuninely good at school. I don't mean grad school, either, by the way. I mean, I did fine in grad school, the GPA was up there, but for pete's sake, they might as well have graded us on a smiley face/gold star scale, right? Show up to class? Smiley face! Complete all projects? Gold star! But I digress... In both college and grade school, I pulled in almost all A's. I like, knew stuff. All the subjects, too--math, science, language arts. I was better at biology and chemistry than I was at earth science and physics, but I still killed the Regents at the end of the year. They were my mental glory days. God, I hope not. And of course at the time, I thought it would actually get me somewhere. I mean, I'm certainly not complaining about my current life status. (And I'm also not trying to brag about school--it just happened to be a pretty big part of who I was, back then.) But obviously, what we think we're working toward while we're growing up, that glowing reception from the Big World Out There and all the people in it who will recognize our specialness, the big "prize" of a fulfilling, exciting career--it all goes up in a sad puff of smoke the second we graduate. Or maybe not for all people. I won't assume it happened to you. And maybe I'll come back around to it--to writing, I mean. And intelligence?

I digress again, but not really: intelligence. I suppose all those facts I once had in my brain, the knowledge of How to Do Stuff, and what trigonometry means, are all gone because I don't regularly flex those muscles anymore. It always comes back to exercise, doesn't it? J.Lo likes those books that have lots of facts, trivia, etc in them, and for some reason I never got into them. But maybe I should try. Like I should get out Jon Stewart's book about America and learn what really happened. I should pick up the books we do have on our shelves, the factoid ones, and flip through whenever I have a chance, and try to learn or relearn some things. I don't even know why... on one hand, it's like, what's the point? Who is it for? Why, why, and why? It's not going to get me any A's (or gold stars, heh) this time, and I'm not trying to build my resume. But maybe it will give me something else to think about, or give me some interesting things to offer the world, or maybe just make me feel... less dumb. More alive? More like an older (time-wise, not age-wise) version of myself. Hmmm.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


there was, and this was, suppose to be different but i feel consumed by something more assured then a particular consternation.

mostly or so far lately, when i think about what i've been thinking about, a flat lines goes across the screen. at church a friend asked me how i was and nothing flitted across my mind, possibly my bloodsugar level was low, and then when i thought back to maybe a couple hours before there was something possibly heart breaking hovering there, absurd in its correlation to me and to my conclusion about it but nevertheless, but then the day moved on and it was gone- that happens occassionally to me like waking from autopilot and suddenly i feel tired, sad, possibly anxious and i pause mid sip, take a deep breath and engage a mental diagnostic- oh yah, that's right, there it is- a minut? minute. whatever. assemblage of fine points- mine and some from other people that materialize into apprehension, an event, a phrase, a metaphoric turn to the meaning of the thing.

autopilot is good for a lot of things, like the 6min anger delay button. fuming after i'm out of the situation or possibly reticent. it's odd how it takes several occurances to register on the scale, how it coalesces into a thought and then-

it happens occassionally when weight becomes the topic of anyones conversation. i note the features of the person, pros/cons... decide whether they have a right to be complaining, a right to think they look ugly or insecure in a bikini- think within a mili-space that i would "kill" to have such a body, and think them very foolish for such an utter lack of perspective. which i know we're all entitled too. they say healthy but what they mean is less repellant. but as we are all self-consumed, slips are inevitable in regards to how we really feel about ourselves. most always in my life i have never wanted to be anyone but myself- possibly, most defintely a better version, taller, thinner, smaller feet... but when it comes to it, i fought very hard to be happy with me. and i see people betray themselves that when they look at other women they wish they were them, and i think but you're beautiful- why don't they see that they're beautiful... and i think tragic. and it passes to annoyance when in comparison they have very little to do- i'm glad i can be here for perspective, a reality check- i have for instance $77,000 in debt and maybe 80+ to lose... and i scoff at their 20lbs or their $2,000 debt, whatever, i don't want to begrudge them with an eyeroll but i do. it is something possibly very big or insurmountable to them... i do not have a boulder on my back despite it... as a book reminded me, events in themselves aren't significant but what people think of them are, makes me think all those attitude adjustment tapes could work... really, after all. if i wanted them too.

i like my view from here, quietly, raucously going about my business. i am in the water, knowing i should've shaved, lap after lap watching the line and the flags pass on the ceiling, watching the cute old korean couple, the professional girl swimmers, the woman who wears make up into the water, the beautiful and disruptive boys, (much hotter than those body builder types) and my friends and this life i'm in, the skin i'm in has a fit that is wholly mine. and every minute in such naked spaces i have to chase away the chill that says, but you're, and they might, staring, awkward, retreat, dripping wet, inconvinience, betrayal to peace, transforming, blissful flatline of doing what i do because it makes me... happy? the healthy benefits aside. so that when i glance up from a thoughtless space it will not have been about vague apprehension but a rememberance of to whom i belong and to whom i serve- a far more reassuring space then the failure of being someone i am not.

Monday, February 12, 2007

psa: fruits and veggies

Word on the streets is that they're changing (or have already changed?) the 5-a-day slogan for fruit and veggie servies to "Fruits & Veggies--More Matters." As in, don't worry so much about the numbers and measurements, just know that when it comes to fruits and vegetables, more is better. Which, frankly, I find to be a huge relief. I don't know that I've ever had 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies. Especially not fruits. Maybe during strawberry or blueberry seasons, maybe, there is like a day where I eat handfuls and handfuls of the fresh-picked stuff and feel like I can do a little victory dance: got my 5-a-day-wooo! It's not that I'm overly consumed with getting enough... I eat what I eat. We almost always have a veggie side with dinner. We have salads sometimes, and I eat yogurt, which I think has a few berries thrown in. I just feel better now knowing that huge number "5" isn't looming large and neon-y in the sky, floating on a cloud of silent condemnation and guilt. I can just, you know, try for more wherever and however, and that will be all right.

Except that, I was reading a little bit about it on WebMD, and apparently, the fine print of this new More Matters campaign is that generally, adults should be eating more than 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Wha-?! Like, between 7 to 13 cups. Shoveling this much roughage into our bodies on a daily basis is apparently what we need to effectively fight off diabetes, cancer, and all the other terrible things that can happen to us. Car crashes, freak bike accidents, kidnappings in foreign countries...

Well, I'm really screwed. Because in the back of my mind with the 5-a-day thing, I was thinking, I don't know that I eat 5 cups of anything every day. I mean, I'm sure there's at least 5 cups of food if you add it all up, sure, but when I think about those days where I did eat a bunch of blueberries or strawberries and felt a little proud? I also remember feeling a little ill. Like I way overdid it with the berries. My stomach churns to even consider 2 to 8 more cups on top of that. I mean, literally, we would have to start eating at like, sun-up, every day, and continue grazing for hours on our beans, peas, berries, and bananas, all the way to sun-down to get through that amount. Right? It would be like Fear Factor: Fruits and Veggies Edition. It's not that they're gross, but the sheer volume? Ew.

I haven't even touched on cost. And screw variety. You wouldn't have any room left for the other good stuff, like, I don't know... meats, bread, cheese, chocolate. Good grief. Perhaps the produce would do its job in fighting off scary diseases. We would just feel like we're going to vomit all the time.

Frankly, I think I'm going to stick with my old standby: moderaton, and a good multi-vitamin.

Friday, February 9, 2007

today: state of affairs

most stressful moment, totally made blood pressure rise: the light at the corner of College and Wrightsville was blinking. you know, like when it's really late at night and not a lot of traffic, so you just go when you can go? except that it was not late at night, it was in fact 9:30 in the morning, and traffic was heavy. how is one expected to make a left turn here. i did, after several minutes, cursing and praying all the while that the delivery truck across the way wouldn't choose the same moment to make his own move. he didn't, and we lived. but still! feel like contacting wect to report on this deathtrap.

going to watch: Grey's Anatomy

health: do i have a cold, or something? i've been taking vitamin C all week, fighting off whatever's in the air, and yet. there are sniffles, a faraway feeling of fatigue. and while i've been attempting to step up the workout and get hard(er) core about losing that last little bit, i so don't feel like working out today. would that be bad? i did work out 3 days this week, and they were hard workouts, with an entirely too peppy crew. which is a lot to deal with.

the Bug: whiny, out of sorts. clearly going through something, but we are of course not sure what. a new tooth, growing pains, an early-life crisis? putting on a pair socks incites a major meltdown. can be calmed only with the Baby MP3 player, which includes a 16-song set list, performed by jaunty, high-pitched British children. also, she still won't eat her vegetables, but is currently chomping down on crispy snap peas, which are the vegetable, but (I believe) fried. does that take away from its nutritive value? hmmm. yeah, probably, but she's eating something that at least resembles a garden product, so. there's that.

question: do you know the muffin man?
also: baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?

looking forward to: weekend. time with J.Lo, a possible movie marathon. weather too cold to deal with, but blankets, lots of blankets. cooking up steaks with mushrooms and maybe a pot pie. princess diaries book 8, and maybe some crochet? and jesus camp. yikesoid.

p.s.: a note

Due to irritating cookie issues of now-epic proportions, I am unable to actually log in to blogger. Mendacious is kindly posting my posts for me until the problem is resolved, but meanwhile--this is why I haven't been commenting on anyone's blogs, including, for pete's sake, our own. There's just a few more little kinks to work out in our now-wireless setup, but in the meantime, I'm here, I care, and I think you're all real special.

hugs and kisses,
penelope behind cyber-bars

Survivor Friday: The Return!

So, this time we're in Fiji, which I had previously associated with celebrity vacations. Didn't Nick Lachey go there on Newleyweds? And the Real World: Austin cast? They must go to a different island. The Survivors are surrounded by ginormous bats, spiders of terrifying proportions and, on Exile Island, droves and droves of slithery sea snakes. I have to say, it is a cruel, cruel fact of nature that the snakes can slither up so high--there was one in the tower where Sylvia the Architect had to sleep. Although, do we think the camera crew goaded the thing up there for effect? Probably. I don't think Sylvia will last very long, speaking of her. She right away established herself as the smug, bossy sort, which--I know she was trying to be helpful while executing the construction plan for the shelter, but it seemed like she would been a better fit for The Apprentice. All Type A and businesslike. Also--an architect helming the project, really? I thought architects made the drawings and models; they don't actually build the shit, do they? But, everyone else on the island seemed to think that's "what she does every day." Whatever. And also, I feel bad saying this, but when women step up as the leader, why so often do they seem to lack charisma and/or that likability factor that guys have? Not all women, but a lot of them. (And not all male leaders are charismatic and likable.) Is it because they try to ingratiate themselves with too much smiling, to take the edge off of their command? Or if they don't smile enough, it's like they're "bitchy"... it seems like a lose-lose.

Anyway, the tribes were split, based on the outcome of the challenge, into the Haves and the Have-Nots. The Haves have got a sweet pad, complete with a toilet, a couch, blankets--a ton of amenities that bests even Boston Rob's Survivor: All-Stars shelter. I wonder if they'll get to keep it, or if it will be like The Apprentice, where whoever loses has to live in the jungle ghetto. Character standouts so far are Yau-Man, Papa Smurf, Rocky, and Dreamz. And I'm kind of interested in Erica, too, for whatever reason. Dude, what's up with the names this time. Rocky really does kind of look like Rocky. Papa Smurf totally looks like Papa Smurf. Yau-Man, I'm worried about Yau-Man. He's this skinny little dude who's older, but man is he smart. And not really annoying or otherwise alienating--like if he could pull his weight in challenges, he would really be an asset to have around. I loved the way he smashed the wooden box when all the strong dudes couldn't get it open. He's like, "It's simple physics," and drops the thing on its corner, the weakest point. Love it.

Interestingly, after the race gimmick of last season, this season's set of Survivors is quite varied as far as ethnicity... which, actually, is kind of nice. Although, there's still "types," you just can't avoid (or deny) it. The tribes were split based on Sylvia's choosing, and so far, J.Lo and I are rooting for Moto. Not just because they won, and not just because it's so fun to say "Hello Moto" every time they come on screen. But because... sadly... we feel that we should root for the tribe with Dreamz. Because Dreamz is actually from ILM. I know. It's true. And after reading his bio, I'm sort of endeared to Dreamz because it does sound like he had a hard childhood but is making something of himself, even if he does wear it on his sleeve a little obnoxiously so. And his favorite show is allegedly Seinfeld. But, if he could just shut up a little more. I mean, when you're all dead tired, starved, sleeping out in the open air on wooden slats, all piled up like a litter of puppies--dude. Shut. Up. Shut up, period. But especially shut up instead of ranting loudly, and then asking all the white people to raise their hands. Do we really have to keep count? If a white guy asked all the black guys to raise their hands... it's just rude. Can't we all just get along? In spite of our stupid nicknames?

It's too early to tell who might win this thing, but so far, looks like a fun season ahead. Yowzah!

Thursday, February 8, 2007


my thoughts lately, besides circling around our obvious awesomeness over here at pen and m- are about impatience. i think it has the ability to be paralyzing in our wanting of it- the condition, object to manifest, change or end... so that it becomes like staring at a spot of light on the wall or better a speck of dust. why won't somebody clean it. why is the dust there? just like that? shaped like that. staring at me on this emaculate white surface of my desire...

i have been recklessly escaping all week(s) into a total of 3 books. STP 2,3,4 all have been read and now onto Twilight. But oddly today I got caught actually conversing twice with another inv. person. eye contact was made with me and the manager both times because i saw him looking and taking note... and then worst my manager caught me on the phone in the section... major no. well not unlike reading in my section too. but i digress... it makes me breathe a little better to have these indiscretions and it helps to suppress my itching fingers... bcs stealing time though frowned upon does not require possible police involvement. so i appropriate it for my use and have succeeded in dissipating the restless chants of impatience from my mind. even if it will eventually have consequences...

lately i think 7 hours is theirs, and i steal from it when i can so it's actually less and the other 7 including my lunch break i do have more control over- control over the things on my list, my creativity, all of it- so what's the big? why feel so trapped? bcs i WANT it. i want something else. i want something other than this. today a friend came into encourage me in my waiting. and she said it just takes one person, one connection, one show for it to break- and then it'll be easier, things will change... and being here, knowing what i know about hollywood i found it hard to believe her. but maybe things do break in ways we don't want and sometimes they do- in my cynicism i never imagine the future in a way that i want. i hope for it but i never go to far with it bcs i don't want to be disappointed. i have no faith in things as the way they should be but i am absolutely crushed when it's told to me and it never happens. so i'd rather not hear: things will get better. i need to be okay with now, no matter how much it sucks- bcs really i might be here a while.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

we are winners!

Johann: Okay, I can see both of you via the live feed.
Pen: Am I clear?
Johann: Lovely as ever. (pause) I just wanted to say, I’m so glad to be talking to both of you. It’s really an honor, you’re blog (pause) is a testament to all blogging. (He coughs, sips water.) Since the interview in October we’ve seen a lot of changes to the blog including the controversial name change of ’06, among numerous sidebar changes, color changes and…

M: Is there a question in there?
J: We’re here to talk about your new BEA award, winner of THE MOST TREACHEROUS COMMUTE.
Pen: (cheerful) Right.
M: And…
Pen: (aside) Mendacious, settle down.
M: Sorry. Go ahead Johann.
J: So,
M: I mean, it’s not like we didn’t have that whole beta-not beta thing to deal with. Trauma! New sign-ins, passwords-
Pen: Yes, Johann, we’re very honored to be twice recipients of the Bloggers Excellence Award. It was something really unexpected and thrilling, and we’re just glad to be a part of the community that recognizes the efforts of all blogdom.

J: Where were you when you first found out you won?

Pen: I was at my refrigerator rustling up a jar of pickles when I received the call. The taste of victory was not unlike a Kosher dill spear: crunchy, sharp, and satisfying.
J: I love pickles.
M: (pause) I was looking at job websites.

J: What is it about your commute that you believe made such a strong impression with the judges?

M: Well, distance mainly.
Pen: Exactly--I live in ILM, which is either at the very end or the very beginning of I-40, depending on your perspective and state of mind. There is actually a sign that says something like: Barstow, CA: 2,554 miles. I don't know what Barstow is all about, but I know that once you get there, you have to drive even further to get to mendacious. Now that's commitment.
M: I don’t recommend Barstow, however, and might I suggest cutting over to the 14 instead. Though they have a huge outdoor thermometer that I’d like to see.
Pen: Awww, that's what I love about California people, it's so charming the way the put "the" in front of their major highways. It makes me want to say "the 40," but no one will know what I'm talking about.

J: Where do you plan to keep your award?

M: Well,--
Pen: I'm still waiting for last year's award to be delivered to my home? Maybe there was only one for the team and mendacious took it for herself... That wouldn't be very nice, by the way. But, if I do get this year's award, and can win the cat fight for ownership/possession, I will place it proudly on my desk shelf next to, who else, but Dwight K. Schrute. I might even dust it now and again.
J: I’m sure you both deserve the honor of the award in your homes.
M: (distracted) I love Lucite. The first one is on one of my garden shelves outside. And um, (clears throat) it looks like Pen can put this one uh- you know because I totally thought they sent two!
Pen: (mutters) Likely story...

J: Tony Robbins once said, 'It's not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.' What does your commute mean to you?
Pen: It means free margaritas on Fridays. Mendacious springs for them if I make it out there as promised.
M: God, yes. (awkward pause) Oh, to both. I mean both sound good. Pen coming out, margaritas, all of it. I mean most times I don’t feel like I get to go very far but Pen shows me the distance traveled.
J: What do you draw upon to provide the necessary strength and courage to undertake such a commute?
Pen: Honestly, the cross-country running montage in Forrest Gump--it brings tears to my eyes. Whenever I'm feeling iffy about my next commute, I pop in the movie and fast-forward to those moments. Crazy is as crazy does, man. It's all about seeing the country, meeting the people, and lots and lots of inner reflection. I do not, however, plan to grow a beard.
M: My meta-narrative demands I constantly communicate to the void and to my unsuspecting friends, but you know Jesus mostly.

J: What is your typical reaction to someone whom you've incited into road rage?

M: Mainly it’s laughter, possibly revenge. It depends.
Pen: Delicate vocabulary, eloquent sign language.

J: How do you respond to critics who say your decision to commute like this is reckless and irresponsible?
Pen: Delicate vocabulary, eloquent sign language.
M: (laughter) Nice. I think in order to do what we do we have to put ourselves out there. Sometimes we crash, sometimes we pass go and collect $200. It’s what makes us us. That and we’re possibly really fickle, and really bored.
Pen: Yah, that too. Change is good. Sometimes there’s a transition and other times it comes without warning.
J: Like life. Yes, right. (coughs, sips more water) Oh, hold on a second, I have a text- I’ve got to go- I think I have what I need though- I really appreciate it. (quickly gathering up papers around the computer monitor) Congratulations again on your award Penelope. (pause) And Mendacious. Of course.
M: Right, of course.

J: One last question: The Most Treacherous Commute is an award not to be taken lightly…
M: It’s like being in a Series of Most Unfortunate Events.
J: Because people out there are depending on you now, for content, for insight… what do you think this next year will hold? Do you see yourself in line for a 3rd BEA award?
Pen: It’s too soon to tell! One can only hope people will continue to make the journey with us that or they can just-
M: bite me.
Pen: Yes but never without a salt rim and a slice of lime. I like mine blended.

Sunday, February 4, 2007


today we used the close proximity of the neighbors for good not evil.

it was a balmy 78 in the shade and with the windows and doors thrown open after the long winter we heard the cheers and jeers of would be superbowl watchers... with the rain drenching florida, giving us a painful reminder we live in a mediterranean climate and others do not, i was completely conflicted over watching the game... so while Poirot solved crimes on the Biography channel, whenever we heard a punctuated- agghhhhh or yah!!!!! we flipped the channel and watched the instant replay. i have to say it all went really quickly. and it was a pretty good game. after a certain point though, say the 2nd quarter, the Bears did nothing significant but make us cringe, nevertheless it was a good day. we ate the grilled chicken the neighbors brought over, made pizza with spinach and pesto... and capped the night with parfaits and quilt making. the only unfortunate thing, perhaps a Poirot hangover tomorrow might bring, is work... but lets not think about that, let's think about the morning hike we did- and as we walked with the dogs i would punctuate the air with: i am in charge and! i will be dominant! and as we walked thru the pockets of brisk shade and the breathing warmth of the sun and grit i thought: if i only had time and strength to walk the entire mountain.

till tomorrow.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

here we go

the neighbors brought us over a whole grilled chicken, a plate of rice/beans and salad. do we think it's a bribe? yes. is it working? possibly. does the music drumming thru my windows make me want to shoot a gun- absolutely. conflicted? yes. i hate polka music and i fucking hate mexican polka and singers singing in mexican where there is polka involved. i fucking HATE IT. fuck. i need to go to bed right now just so the music will go away. and hopefully not seep into my subconscious. i mean it's january (cripes in a half- february!) for godsake. why the fuck are we being subjected to such a thing. anyway the point of this was to show you desert pics so i'll do that- and you can ignore this angry beginning part... and i'll blog about annoying thin people who constantly complain about dieting and how impatience is paralyzing... so now, onward to the desert.

Friday, February 2, 2007

today's pluses

1. K.Lo's birthday party (the first one, the friends one), is done. Managed to get through with only mild to moderate social retardation. Even though only three people and their babies (out of... a lot more than that) came, it was a nice little group. Tasty food was eaten. Good times were had by all.

2. I paid $2.00 a gallon for gas today. Go, Costco!

3. I'm reading Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants IV, and it's so good. Got it from the library, oh yes. And, friend E just purchased Princess Diaries: Princess on the Brink, and says I can borrow it.

4. Our taxes are done. And, our refund (yes, a refund) will *gasp* almost cover last year's horrifying debacle, months before interest even kicks in. Credit card debt: instantly sliced in half. Only thousands more to go. (But really, it does feel good.)

5. Tomorrow's K.Lo's real b-day, which--wow! And yay! I can't even believe it...

Currently: gray skies
with a peacefully sleeping Bug


It's like, just 40 days until my 29th birthday (yay!), and it's not very often that I get to go nuts and just BUY MYSELF STUFF, so in preparation and pre-celebration, here is my tentative of list of pen purchases.

1. Pre-order Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, to be delivered to my door July 21, 2007.

2. Replace favorite movies that I never watch anymore because they're VHS, and watching VHS is, like, so lame. I'm thinking I'll start with the 80s and toss in a few more if they're as cheap as I've seen them before: The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, Real Genius, Better off Dead, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles... Maybe While You Were Sleeping and You've Got Mail. And Uncle Buck. And The Wedding Planner, even though I don't have the VHS, but it's always el cheapo at Target, and it'll be my birthday, so why not.

3. A new shower caddy, because it will make me calmer.

4. A shirt that fits. Or maybe two. Or three.

5. Grey's Anatomy Season 2? Hmmm, kinda pricey.

6. Some cushions for the dining room chairs. Jumbo-sized, with grippy bottoms instead of ties. I'm thinking taupe.

7. Ceramic snack-sized bowls from Pier1 or similar.

And and and...

By now, I have of course completely exceeded my allotted Birthday Budget, but whatever. In reality, purchases will most likely be limited to a handful of movies, a shirt, and the bowls. What is the point if you can't dream.

Hooray for birthdays! List subject to future revision.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

as promised: pen's lexicon

Synapses misfire, the mouth opens, and pen speaks. Even though she knows it's wrong. Sometimes, not often enough, wine can be blamed. Here's a (totally incomplete) list of verbal retardations:

pugnent: as in, The small, squashy-faced dog, who recently rolled in skunk-stink, smells rather pugnent today.

pohsh: as in, David Beckham married the Spice Girl whose name is Pohsh.

post-bachelorette: as in, Pen went to Chicago for a year to get her post-bachelorette degree in writing. No really, it was in the English language and everything.

Having trouble with just the "p" words? Oh no, not even close. Here are some favorite phrases that give me frequent trouble:

straight and arrow: as in, That guy really needs to shape up, get himself on the straight and arrow. (Because arrows are, like, straight...)

intensive purposes: as in, For all intensive purposes, pen lived twenty-some years before she realized it was "intents and purposes," and to this day, still doesn't really believe or get it.

kitten kaboodle: as in, Is that a box made by the Caboodles company with like, baby cat pictures on it? Caboodles were always in bubble gum colors like pink and purple, so that would totally make sense.

And lastly...

hit-her-to: as in, I read most of The Time Machine in the eighth grade before I realized the word was HITHERTO. No lie.

Okay, enough mortification for now. But I'll share more words and phrases as I remember them, and undoubtedly screw 'em up.