Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Talkin’ Bout a Revolution

I like being here to inform you people of exciting things that are happening in the world that you might not be aware of because you do not shop solely in the frozen food aisle. Yesterday I gave you a heads up on Eyeball Push Pops but today we will discuss something REVOLUTIONARY! I know. It’s exciting stuff.

Apparently this frozen sandwich thing can be grilled in the microwave. And apparently this warrants the use of the word “Revolutionary”. It also warrants getting a trademark. Cause that worst thing IN THE WORLD would be if someone else made a grilling tray and tried to call IT Revolutionary, when in fact the revolution was well under way.

Now, this product actually lives up to it’s pitch and it amazingly is able to toast my bread and make a little sandwich thing. This is all well and good. But I don’t know if the word “Revolutionary” should be just thrown around willy nilly. Isn’t that kinda a big word? Isn’t this thing kinda not worth such a big word?

But the people at Lean Cuisine do not agree with me and are so damned excited about their revolution that they have chosen to mention it quite a few times on the packaging.

I guess once you go through all the trouble of trademarking something you might as well us the phrase, cause you are the only one who is legally able to.

And just in case you’re wondering - yes, taking pictures of my food is DEFINITELY a good way to spend time when I am supposed to be writing an entire book. Thanks for asking.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Push Pop

No time to write tonight. On deadline for next New York Times Best Seller. (Hoping that New York Times only requires my mom and two friends to buy a copy in order to list me on Best Seller list.)

Instead of writing I offer you this picture I took at the grocery store the other night:

What the? Fear Factor Push Pops? With EYE BALLS coming out of them? Who the HELL is working in the “New Product” department of these damn companies? I mean really. I’m all for cross promoting things. I get that Shrek needs to be stenciled on even frozen chicken when he has a new movie coming out. Sure he is a big oger, but he’s also somewhat cute and has a fun accent. So I don’t mind that he turns the inside of my Twinkies green for a few months. But I really think there is better entertainment programming from which to draw food than Fear Factor. What marketing genius sat around watching Fear Factor and said, “Hey, you know what would make an awesome tie-in with this show about people being forced to eat disgusting things like insects and testicles? Perhaps a push-pop.”

Whenever I see something this horrible in theory and in execution I always think of the amount of people who had to say, “Yes! Best idea EVER!” in order for this product to actually get made. I mean, there were MEETINGS about this. There were probably a variety of different designs for the cover, not to mention countless goings back and forth about what would actually push out of the pop, “Intestines!” “How bout an eye!” “No, testicles!”

If the whole writing thing doesn’t work out at least I know there are always jobs in marketing departments.

Friday, May 26, 2006


I think I missed a day of blogging. I’m ever so sorry. I do so hope y’all survived without the details of my exciting life to keep you warm. Tragically you are going to remain cold, as I don’t have many details to share. Sadly, since pawning off the child my life has not been filled with the standard good times and debauchery that is supposed to follow such abandonment of responsibilities and impressionable children. It seems that I was driven away by more than merely my discomfort with the child’s sleeping patterns - it seems as though there is also that pesky work thing that needs to be attended to.

Can I just tell you how many things I’ve made pretty this week? So many things. That’s what I do you know, I make things pretty. So that people might actually want to look at the piece of propaganda that is being sent to them. “Oh look! Pretty colors! I bet this is something worth investigating further! Because it’s so pretty! And bright! And symmetric!” Yeah. I might be a little delusional about my ability to turn junk mail into art. But whatever.

So that’s what I’ve been doing this week, trying to sway the voters of nearby districts. You know what I realized? I bought a condo in a city where we have quite a few political clients...which means I am effectively going to be bombarding MYSELF with junk mail. Oh cruel irony!

In keeping with today’s pointless political theme I present you with the Best Lawn Sign Ever:

One of the things I do for my political peeps is design lawn signs. How did I never think to do away with all these silly computers and printers and laminator/sign thingys and simply recommend that the client grab some old manila folders and some spray paint and make their effective marketing tools themselves? I love this so much, you really have no idea. Do you see the sign behind it? That is a regular lawn sign. But this guy decided to go against the grain (and good judgement) and make his own signs. No one will accuse this guy of frivolous spending, this I know for sure. Do you know why I know this for sure? Cause if you look closely you can see that he is actually using USED manila folders. I. LOVE. IT.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Worst Mom Ever

I’m officially the worst mom ever. It has been made very apparent that I cannot take care of a child. Perhaps I need a nanny.

My main graphics job is for a political consulting business, I do all that political mail that comes in the mailbox and is immediately thrown away by people. It’s quite a rewarding job. And as you can imagine it is quite a seasonal job, what with there only being a couple times a year that things get voted on. One of those times of year? In two weeks. 3344564 pieces of mail? Need to be designed this week. Time the kid is home from school? 3:30. Oy. I’ve yet to beat her home. She calls me every day when she gets home to remind me that she is alive and I’ve committed to taking care of her, yet I am not at the home to make sure that she is alive.

Yesterday I was still at work when she got home so she called to inquire as to when I might be making an appearance. I told her that she might have to go down the street to a nice neighbor lady’s house who had offered to watch her if I needed help. The child was not thrilled with this plan. I then called the neighbor-lady and she said that she had planned on going to a tea party, but that the child could come with her. I then called the child back and braced myself for the onslaught that was sure to come when I told her she had to go to a tea party with an elderly woman because I couldn’t make it home in time.

“I’m not going.”
“You have to go.”
“I’m not going. I’ll be fine here. I’ve stayed home alone before. I’m fine.”
“What if something happens to you?”
“Dawn, I have a phone, I’ll call someone if something happens. I’m not going to a friggin’ tea party. I thought tea parties were for little girls, why is an old woman going?”
“It’s a social thing.”
“I don’t feel social.”

Fine. I let her stay home and then I rushed through work and rushed home and rushed in to make sure she was still alive. She just barely survived. You never know what tragedies could have befallen her while she was coloring and cutting construction paper. Scissors are not a toy! When I arrived she asked, “Can we go to the pet store and get a new fish?” Well-played child, well-played. Knowing that I was bursting with guilt over abandoning her she put in a request for something, because everyone knows that parental guilt usually gets you at least one trip to one store.

We bought the damn fish. Yet another fish will meet its demise because I couldn’t make it home in time from work. The circle of life.

So my mom is coming today and watching the kid for the rest of the week. I am up to my ass in work and I have a big deadline for the book on Monday. I’ve thrown up the white flag, I need the reserves to be brought in. I am officially the worst mom ever. But everyone knows - it takes a village. Or it at least takes one retired person who can be here when the kid gets home.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Child Labor

This being a mom stuff is quite time consuming. It is not good when you are left in charge of someone who has just as many social engagements as you do. She is putting quite a cramp in my schedule. The most noticeable cramp is the fact that I’m up at 8:30 in the morning. This can’t be healthy, it really can’t.

Unfortunately for the kid I seem to be cramping her schedule a little more than she is cramping mine. She spent Sunday afternoon hunkered under a blanket in the rain while I played soccer and yesterday was forced to sit in my office while I attempted to get 3265 things done in what is one of the busiest times of year at work. When she left for school yesterday she said she hated school, I said it was better than working, she said she didn’t think so, then when we were at my office she said, “You were right, this sucks.” Then we had a hug and music swelled, just like on Full House. I’m such a lesson-teacher.

As far as actually taking care of the kid, she doesn’t take much. She’s ten years old for gods sake, she’s pretty self-reliant. I go to make her breakfast and she pushes me out of the way and starts cooking (children have such great instincts about things). I got up the other day and she had cleaned my devastated work area as well as the dishes that were in the sink. She even makes coffee in the morning. She normally gets $5 as an allowance every week. I offered to double her salary if she came and worked for me at my house. Hell, she could even bring that horrible recorder if she cleans my dishes. Screw illegal immigrants, I think children are the cheap labor of the future. I’m very forward-thinking.

Monday, May 22, 2006


These are my “ears”. They go in my real ears and make it so I can hear. Who knew miracles could come is such small packages? I did. Cause I went many a year without them, in a miracle-free time. A quiet time too, as it were.

The thing with hearing aides is they help you hear what you otherwise could not. But see, there are like three pitches of sound that I can hear fine without hearing aides. And whenever that pitch is made audible I am basically just a person with microphones in her ears, trying desperately to unplug them before her eardrums explode. If you are interested in knowing what pitches I can hear you do not have to consult any of my medical files. You only have to look here:

Oh dear lord.

The child I am tending to this week just LOVES her this instrument. If you can call it that. Cause instruments make music, this thing does not. And I don’t think it’s just because the child has the musical talent of a drunk walrus, I don’t think this “instrument” could EVER make a pleasant sound. And believe me, it’s had plenty of chances to come through with one or two pleasant sounds this weekend. It was unable to perform.

Have you ever wondered what “Mary Had a Little Lamb” would sound like if sung by a cat in heat that was being sawed in half? Cause I actually have a frame of reference on that.

The word “Fun” may in fact be the overstatement of the millennium.

You know what is fun? This:

You know when I took this picture? During a lovely performance of “Mary Had a Sawed In Half Cat”. Do you notice where the ears are? Not in my ears. And there you have the real miracle of the hearing aides: Just as they bring the world into my ears they can just as quickly make the world go very quiet. Hearing impairment makes parenting a lot easier, everyone should try it.

In other impairment news:

The child apparently has a Keeping Fish Alive impairment. It afflicts many a child. This fish tank was the home of a fish with a fro just a short while ago. And now nothing but bubbles remain. So very sad. I will have you know that the fish died before I came on duty and therefore nothing has perished on my watch. Yet.

The instrument may take an unfortunate tumble while I’m here though...

Friday, May 19, 2006


Bad News: It’s 8 a.m.
Worse News: I’ve been up for over an hour.

What the?

My aunt has left the country and left me in charge of a child. My aunt is a misguided person.

I’ve had the child for over 12 hours and she is still alive, which I think is commendable. I’ve provided her with the major meals and the occasional hug. I even watched some quality television with her. It’s all quite exciting.

Less exciting? The fact that children get up before 7 a.m. Lord in heaven this is not good. Thankfully this child knows better than to wake me up before 7 a.m., but still, it just ain’t right. And then there is this whole long drawn out process of getting off to school. She gets ready, we cook breakfast, she eats (very slowly), we play with the dog, she puts on her shoes (even slower), and then I wave goodbye as she rides away on her bike. I yelled, “Don’t do drugs!” as she rode away, cause that’s what parents do, right? She yelled back, “I’ll try not to!”

My usual morning routine is very different from the one I just experienced. First of all it takes place in the afternoon. Second of all it takes all of about 15 minutes and usually involves me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. There is no leisurely pace, there is only trying to sleep in as long as humanly possible, and then trying to get out the door in record time. There definitely isn’t time for things like eating while sitting down and jovial conversation.

I have the child for a little over a week - I may need to do some of those drugs I warned her about.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I Still Don’t Idol

Here we are, once again at the end of another American Idol season. The country is abuzz with Idol chatter and whatnot. And once again, I’ve missed the whole damn season. Every season I think I’m going to get on the Idol bandwagon, I’m going to be a good American and dedicate three nights a week to watching people sing songs from decades past. But then after about two weeks I get bored. Or I get other plans. Or something. I don’t know. But I’ve never watched the Idol all the way through.

You know what’s great about the Idol though? I’ve never watched it and I know who has won every season, and I’d probably be able to identify quite a few of the former contestants. Because during the season they are EVERYWHERE. American’s love some Idol. Me, not so much.

I try, I really do. But first of all I refuse to watch the show live, Fox has a way of taking up at least half the show with pointless things like commercials and background stories. I don’t particularly care about either of these things, so I usually end up Tivo-ing the show and fast forwarding to the songs. But see, I think there is a reason that Fox fills half the time with ads and clip packages, cause if you just listen to the songs? You kinda want to kill yourself after about three.

The singers are just so damn earnest and cheeseball and Hollywood and they are singing these songs that are equally earnest and cheeseball and Hollywood. And don’t even get me started on the weird background video stuff they have going on behind them. I’m thinking people on hallucinogens must LOVE Idol.

Another thing is that I’m not all that impressed with the singers anymore. I used to think being able to sing really well was a really rare talent (cause I didn’t have it, I figured it must be REALLY rare) but after watching 5 or whatever seasons of Idol with roughly 32,000 people performing on it, I’ve come to realize that being able to sing is hardly an extraordinary thing. So frankly the show kinda bores me. Now if we had kids on stage who were performing music THEY’D actually written? I might be a little more impressed. Cause that’s where real music comes from, someone’s heart, not from Kereoke. But then again, I doubt “Songs I Wrote While Considering Suicide” would be a popular Theme Night on Idol.

So there you go, that’s my take on Idol. I can’t tell you how excited I am that next week once again 400 teenagers throughout the land will call Fox 42 million times and decide who will be the next American Idol. Will it be the grey-haired guy or the brunette chick? I’m voting for the grey-haired guy cause he’s kinda a spaz, right? I love how record execs must be freaking out at the possibility of the grey-haired guy winning. The marketing departments alone must be having panic attacks over what the hell they are going to do with this guy when he puts out his CD featuring Ray Charles covers and the occasional epileptic fit captured on tape as he wrestles with his harmonica. Kelly Clarkson this guy is not. And even though he is cheesy I don’t think he even has the “Manilow-ness” that little gay Clay has. Hopefully there is a big harmonica audience out there that is just looking to be tapped.

Do you see how much I just wrote on a show I don’t even watch? Damn Idol.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Today I went to look at the walls of my condo. Well, at the framing of the walls of my condo. Or something. I’m not quite sure why I went to look at the framing of the walls of my condo today, but the lady from the condo place called me and seemed to think that this is what people do when they buy condos - they look at framing of walls. I dunno.

So I called up my retired (bored) parents and we went to look at my walls. I’m still not quite sure why. I did get to wear a cute little pink hard hat though, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Here is my condo:

It is a very open floorplan. I can’t afford actual walls, so they are giving this to me at a discount. At least I have a tub over there on the left hand side, that will be nice. Although it will be lacking in privacy a little bit, what with no walls.

Basically the dude pointed at my outlets and my cable and phone jacks and made sure they were where I wanted them. I said, “Looks good to me.” The only thing I was really concerned with?

This is the wiring for my surround sound in the living room. These are the things that matter to me. He was babbling on about outlets in the kitchen and I’m like, “Look, I’m never going to be in the kitchen, where is my surround sound?”

Here is a picture of me in my office. This is where I will spend about 90% of my time when I’m not enjoying the surround sound. The cool thing about this condo is that it’s got two bedrooms and then this little office space, which means I don’t have to waste my extra room on boring things like desks and computers. What I’m going to do with the spare room, I really don’t know. Maybe make it into a workout room. HA! God I’m a funny person. I’ll get right on making it into a workout room as soon as I get done cooking dinner in the kitchen.

Best thing about the condo? My parents and I walked from my house over to a strip mall thingy next door. In the strip mall? Sushi, Mexican food, Pizza, Starbucks, Togos and the list goes on and on. So I guess the question isn’t really what I’m going to do with the extra room, but what I’m going to do with my kitchen. I wonder if I can get surround sound in there too?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


This is my cousin’s new fish.

She had some old fish, but uh, as she said, “They didn’t work out so well.” So she got this new fish, and can you see from the pictures that this fish has a little fishy fro? He totally does. I tried to take a picture to show you, but fish aren’t so good at sitting still while you are trying to take a picture. They are so uncooperative. And digital cameras? Don’t so much like moving things. So I know the pictures are a little blurry, but can you tell that the fish totally has a fro? This amuses me so.

This fish also reminded me of a fish I once had. (Mom, stop reading right now, I know it’s still hard for you.) I won the fish at a Chinese New Year festival with my Chinese friend. The fish was a goldfish and I called him Julius, cause he was orange. Are there Orange Julius stores all over the country or just here? Cause that name is only witty if you have an Orange Julius store in your mall. If you don’t, well then it’s just a name.

So anyways, Julius was the best fish. If you put your finger in the water he would come up and kiss it. Now that I think about it maybe Julius was just underfed and not cute. But either way, I did enjoy that fish. But what I didn’t enjoy was cleaning his bowl. So the bowl got dirty a lot, and mom got angry about it a lot. One day mom got tired of looking at the moldy bowl and she cleaned it herself, she even added new rocks, cause his old rocks were so gross. This cleaning was the beginning of the end for old Julius.

He started getting a little sluggish, and I wondered what was wrong with him, cause he was usually such a happy little fish. After a few days of Julius barely moving in the water mom realized that she had put some sort of weird rocks in the bowl that had some sort of chlorine or something on them. Future reference: Fish and chlorine don’t mix well.

Mom felt horrible. But not as bad as Julius. Even after we put him in a new bowl he continued his swim towards the bright light. One day mom and I were walking in from outside, her in front of me, and she stopped dead in her tracks and whipped around to face me. By the look on her face I thought perhaps the house was on fire or our whole family lay dead in the living room. But no. “Honey, go back outside, I’ll take care of it.” “What?” “It’s Julius. I’m sorry.” To which I said, “Mom, I’m 17 years old. I think I’m going to be okay about the fish.”

Poor mom, she never quite forgave herself for killing that little fish. But he was a goldfish I won at a street fair and he was alive for over a year. I think little Julius had a great run. And given the track record of my cousin and fish, Julius is going to have a fro’ed friend up in the big bowl in the sky real soon.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Dia de Madre

So it was Mother’s Day this weekend. Didja remember your mothers? I certainly hope so. I remembered mine by planning a trip to Reno for the weekend. Well, actually I planned a trip to Tahoe, cause that’s where I thought we were going.

“I’m taking you and dad to Tahoe for the weekend.”
“What, why?”
“We are going to see Bill Cosby.”
“He’s in Reno.”
“No he’s not, he’s at the Silver Legacy.”
“Yeah, the Silver Legacy is in Reno.”
“Are you serious?”
“Has it always been?”
“Pretty much.”
“Oh, well then it’s a good thing I didn’t get a cheaper room in Tahoe as some random motel, like I was thinking of doing.”
“That would have been bad planning.”

So we went to Reno. Because apparently that is where I made reservations. Details are things that slide right past me quite frequently.

My mom didn’t want me to take them to Reno, because she said I need to save my money, because I’m going to be a homeowner. She said, “You don’t have any money to be taking me places.” I said, “Uh, no, see you’re wrong. Right now I have PLENTY of money. In two months? Not so much. So why not enjoy it while it’s still here, right?”

This philosophy worries my mother a little bit, but it makes sense to me. I’ve been living quite comfortably for quite some time and that time is about to end with the introduction of a mortgage payment. So yes, it is a BAD idea to spend money right now, but it’s also not FORECLOSURE/BANKRUPTCY/FINANCIAL RUIN BAD, which it will be in a few short months. So I’m kinda having my last hurrah right now. And in essence so is mom. Mother’s Day is going to be one (picked) flower and a (handmade) card from here on out. It’s the (extremely poor) thought that counts, right? Right.

So we went and saw Bill Cosby and he’s still funny and we laughed and all that. But then the real reason for our trip kicked in. Mom enjoys the gambling. Those crazy ladies who are working like three slot machines at once, a blind fury of coins and cherries and spinning wheels? Yeah, that would be my mother. Most people don’t think to take their moms to a town full of debauchery and drunkenness as a celebration of her maternal sacrifice. But I know that Reno is much better than some silly champagne brunch for my mom.

While mom was off on her gambling bender I had to busy myself and her dollar slots were a little too rich for my blood. As was mentioned earlier, I am trying (rather unsuccessfully) to conserve money. And while I have no problem blindly throwing my cash at entertainment and food and travel, I do draw the line at gambling. I simply have THE WORST luck ever when it comes to gambling, so I usually try not to put out more than $40 or so in the entire night. It’s sad how quickly $40 can go though. But not if you know the trick - The Nickel Slots. Seriously. How much do I love the nickels slots? So much. They make little to no sense, but make up for the lack of logic with a plethora of blinking lights and loud noises. My favorite of the nickel slots is Wheel of Fortune. You can pick up to like 9 lines of play and these things pop up and you really have no idea what they are or what they mean and then every once in awhile you get to spin the wheel and the crowd cheers. It’s awesome.

Last night some lady sat down next to me and actually tried to figure out the game. Lady. It’s nickel slots, details are unimportant. She said, “How do I do this?” I said, “Push the button.” She said, “How do I know what wins?” I said, “When the credit amount goes up.” She said, “But like what do I do?” I said, “Uh, it doesn’t matter, it’s just for fun, it will make noises and blink lights and things move around on the screen, it makes no sense, but that’s okay.” She looked at me blankly and then finally understood and I could see a calm fall over her face. She was now one of us. The Nickel Slot People. We are usually around 95 years old and have both our oxygen tank and our cigarettes nearby at all times. We are a hoot, let me tell you.

The best part was when another lady sat down next to my student and asked my student how to play. My student said, “Just push the button, don’t try to figure it out.” Ahhhhh. The Circle of Life. Reno style.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I’m Here to Enighten

Part 1

I like to enlighten you people, so I am here to tell you about one of the great times in life. I hope that you all embrace these times whenever you have the opportunity. These times are times spent assembling things with other people. Anything really. As long as it comes with directions and some screws and various parts and lots of metal and/or fake wood product. Yes. That’s all you need to really make a good time. If you ask me.

Cause if you ask me any time I have ever attempted to put something together with someone I have always ended up laughing so hard I’ve usually started to cry. Well, to be fair the crying could also be the result of the mixture of frustration/annoyance/pain (tools=inevitable pain of some sort). But most of the time the crying is a result of laughing and the laughing is the result of the stupidity of two grown people who can’t follow directions.

My good lord. Could they make directions more incomprehensible? I mean really. If they could do that for me I think I might get to laugh even more.

Tonight I put together a basketball hoop with my aunt. We are two relatively intelligent humans, and you’d swear we were reading German for as much information as we were able to gather from the instruction manual (in all fairness to our intelligence, we were at one point actually reading German, because the instruction manual has many a language. For all those basketball hoops they ship over to Germany, I guess.)

“Where is AB?”
“What is AD?”
“No, AB, not AD.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a screw, it looks like this picture here.”
“They all look like that picture.”
“Well, grab one.”
“That one is not long enough, it doesn’t fit through BB.”
“But it’s definitely AB.”
“Well, grab DE then, it’ll fit.”
“But DE is supposed to be used over with CC in two pages.”
“Well, we’ll deal with that in two pages then, we need to deal with this right now.”
“Seems like that is going to cause problems in two pages though.”
“Seems like I’m having problems right now.”
“Come tighten the screw with your thingamagigger.”
“What size one should I use?”
“I don’t know, but you should test about 25 cause all I’m doing is standing here holding an entire basketball hoop while I wait.”
“This one might work, let me try.”
“I’ll try to hold the other part, oh wait I can’t see that part.”
“I’ll get under the backboard and hold it and then you can screw with the thing while I hold it.”
“You realize you are now under a basketball hoop that I am only holding with my knees.”
“Try not to drop it on my head.”
“I can make no promises.”
“Okay, we did it, the whole thing is put together, lets stand it up.”
“Seems like I read in the instruction manual-”
“OH GOD! It just about took us both out.”
“Yeah, we have to put water in the base or it won’t stand up by itself.”
“Okay, wheel it over to the hose, we’ll fill it up.”
“....................This sure does hold a lot of water.”
“Okay, it’s finally full, man, that tool a good 5 minutes to fill. That thing holds a lot of water. I’m gonna turn off the water then we’ll move it over to the other side of the driveway.”
“Yeah. It’s not so much moving. There is a LOT of water in there.”
“Hmmm. Maybe if we both push....”
“Yeah. No. Not moving.”
“Lets put something rolly under it. Here try to lift it just a little and we’ll put this broom stick under it.”
“Where is the broom part?”
“Dunno. Okay. Here we go. PUUUUUUUSSSSSHHHHH.”
Fifteen minutes later, after we push 12 tons a total of 5 feet:

Kid: “Uh, are you guys almost done?”
Adults: “Blank stare at child”

Part 2

In other enlightenment news I am leading a Habitat for Humanity trip to Louisiana from June 25 - July 1 to help rebuild near New Orleans. We are still looking for team members so if you or anyone you know might be interested they can get more info here:

We are trying to do some fundraising to alleviate some of the costs to volunteers, so hopefully the trip price will go down a little. Volunteers can also fundraise themselves, friends and family love to give money so that they don’t actually have to go get dirty themselves.

As some of you know, I went to Honduras last year with Habitat and found it to be an amazing experience. I’ve been feeling really drawn to the Katrina area the last few months and felt like my next trip should be in this country. It will be a great trip with great people and it will be in an area that could really use the help. We’ll also get a chance to either tour New Orleans one day or possibly go on a swamp tour, depending on what day trip we end up getting assigned. I promise it will be fun, and I also promise you will work your ass off.

Anywho, we’ve got a few spots left on the team and if any of you are interested you can go to that page or drop me a line at Also if you know of any businesses or ridiculously wealthy people who might be interested in sponsoring our team (any amount will help) they can contact me directly as well.

Okay, that is the end of my spiel. I don’t do spiel really well. But I can build the hell out of a basketball hoop while laughing my ass off, so at least I’m skilled in other areas.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I passed two writing deadlines earlier this week and as a result I have no more words left to type. It’s a tragedy really, but I only have so many words and when I have to put so many of them onto paper (or onto screen, as it were) I am left with nothing for the blog world. I do hope you understand. I’ve tried to come up with something to blog about, but damn if I’m not completely void of any thoughts right now. If you want to know what thoughts I had a few days ago, when thoughts were last seen roaming my brain, you can buy my book in December. Until then, you’ll just have to trust me that I did in fact have some thoughts. And they were brilliant. I’m sure of it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Top Secret

I have something top secret to share. After I do I will probably have to kill you all. Just so you know.

My friend, we will call her “Sydney” (after that super top-secret, martial arts chick on Alias), has got a job, we’ll call it “CIA Agent”. In order to fully perform the responsibilities of this job (martial arts and wearing wigs, like on Alias) she has to get security clearance (not everyone can just wear a wig, you know, the federal government has standards). Having known Sydney for quite some time and having traveled in relatively terrorist-free circles during that time I was put on her character reference list. Poor Sydney.

First off. I’m on my cell phone (am I ever NOT on my cell phone?) and I get a call from an unknown number. I’m feeling friendly so I answer it. The person on the other end asks for me by first and last name, which always sends off alerts that this person probably doesn’t know me, as most of my friends are not in the habit of asking for me at all, let alone by first and last name. (As a matter of fact, if you want to have fun with someone sometime, call them up and ask for them in a very professional, federal government sort of way, by first and last name. It’s so much fun to listen to friends become a Professional, Respectable, Articulate Adult in the span of a millisecond, whereas they normally greet you with “Sup.”)

Another thing that tipped me off was the fact that she mispronounced my last name. I love my last name. No one knows how to say it unless I draw them a diagram of some sort and make up a poem to help them remember it. So basically, if you don’t know how to pronounce my last name? I probably don’t want to be talking to you on the phone. Which is why I said to the caller, “Uh, no she’s not here, can I take a message?” And then she said, “Yes, I’m So and Such and I’m doing a security clearance background check for Sydney, The Chick From Alias.” To which I said, “Oh, hold on.” I went to the other line and asked my friend, “Is it bad that I just lied to the federal government in a mere two second conversation?” Then I go back to So and Such and say, “Uh, you pronounced my name wrong so I figured you were trying to sell me something, but this is actually Dawn.”

That is a fantastic way to begin a relationship with the federal government, I think.

Thank god I was thinking on my feet when So and Such came over to my house to interview me. Just as I was heading to the door I realized where we would be doing the interview: The Kitchen Table. And what is on the kitchen table? The Shit Bitch Bear. Oh my, that would have been a fun conversation starter.

So the actual conversation was pretty uneventful, I basically was made to be Sydney’s biographer and outline her whereabouts every second for the last 11 years or so. Uh, I don’t even really remember what I did last week, let alone what Sydney did in 1999. Whatever.

Can I just tell you how hard it was for me to remain unsarcastic for the entirety of my conversation with the government employee? Well, I almost made it the whole way. “Does Sydney belong to any organizations or groups that you find questionable?” To which I said, “Well, the Christian church, but that’s just me.” Ha! Man, am I funny! Future reference? Federal agents (and friends named Sydney) have NOOOOO sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Step Away from the Laptop

Um yeah. So I’ve spent the past few days holed up in my room writing. Many a writing project. Many a deadline. Many a nervous breakdown.

Tonight, because I was officially over my laptop, I decided to plop myself in front of another electronic device, the TV. What a fun night of TV it was.

First I watched Oprah from the other day. She was talking to people who had been betrayed. You know, women done wrong. In year 20 on Oprah you gotta come up with some really wrong stuff to get on the show. Let me tell you, women are really outdoing themselves for a shot at afternoon fame. I won’t go into details, because there are just too many details to go into, but I will say that if you are seeing your gynecologist 3-4 times A WEEK, then yes, girl, something ain’t right. Apparently like 500 women claimed to have been assaulted or raped by this one gynecologist. And these ladies are like, “Yeah, it seemed weird that I was getting a full exam two times a week, but he was a doctor, so I just went with it.” Ladies. There has got to be a better way to get on Oprah. Really. Write a fake book or something, she likes those. Get the hell out of the stirrups.

Then Prison Break was on. Well, it was on my Tivo. Can I just tell you that I refuse to watch that show in real time? It’s not good for my heart, with all the damn tension. I ended up fast forwarding the last 15 minutes of the show, cause I couldn’t take the suspense. I’d waited a whole season for the Break part of the Prison Break to happen, I wasn’t waiting around for dialogue. But man do I love that show. I wonder if the show will make people less scared to go to prison, as the show doesn’t make it look so bad, what with all the making out with pretty doctors and dressing up in cop uniforms and escaping through the toilet. I have a feeling a lot of guys are going to be very disappointed when they get to the big house and find out they are expected to sit in cells instead of dig holes to freedom all day. Bummer.

Another bummer? “What About Brian?” had its season finale tonight. Uh. I know networks are trying to cut down on budgets, but this show had its season PREMIERE and season FINALE in the course of like a month. Is that even legal?

And then of course there is my main man David Blaine, acting a fool over in his snow globe. Didja all watch him? The dude went up to some chick, took her TEETH OUT OF HER MOUTH and then PUT THEM BACK. Then he told some other people to pick a card and had the card TEXT MESSAGED TO THEIR PHONES. Homeboy is a crazy talented magician. But what did I spend two hours watching tonight? Homeboy floating in a damn fish tank. Please. Someone explain it to me. I’m all about “testing your limits”, but how is this testing anything besides my patience?

And then he was gonna try to break the world record and hold his breath for 9 minutes. Everyone has dreams. So very sad, David could not hold his breath for 9 minutes. Cause it turns out there is a significant reason that humans live on solid ground. It’s much easier to breathe here. Although, it is much more difficult to find high-paying aquatic stunts here, so I guess David isn’t so crazy after all. Do you realize how RICH this guy is for floating in a damn tank for a week? My career plans are tragically off-course, I think. I need to rethink the bathtub as a possible office space. That would not only attract the local media, it would also give me a hell of a story to write about when I get writer’s block. Cause we all know I’m no longer allowed in the kitchen when looking for inspiration...

Monday, May 08, 2006


Don’t have time to write. Deadline tomorrow. I unheart writing books.

You know what happens when I’m trying to write a book? I get blocked. And then you know what happens? CRAZY THINGS. In order to avoid the book writing I will do just about anything. Anything.

Which is why I ventured down to my kitchen and decided to cook some chicken. Was I hungry? Uh, no. But there is chicken! Why not cook it?! What’s bad about having cooked chicken in the house?! Nothing! Let’s cook! The book will just have to wait, I’m cooking! Very important that I cook!

Well then. Turns out that cooking was a good unblocker because once I got back up to my room I started writing like a madwoman. Until the Roommate knocked on my door two hours later, "Uh, are you still cooking down there? Cause it smells weird."


Small price to pay for getting unblocked, is what I say. That chicken gave his life to the good fight.

Friday, May 05, 2006


So I think I might have a mullet. And I’m a little worried about it.

I went to my hairdresser today to get a haircut and my hair dyed. I’m not so good about remembering to go to the hairdresser. My roots? Dangerously close to my earlobes. I don’t know why, but it’s just not something that is high on my list of things to do. I think it falls under the "girl" gene that I was not born with. The same gene that makes women want to go shopping and be emotional, I don’t have that gene. I think instead I doubled up on the sarcastic gene. A much cheaper gene than the girl gene, by the way.

So I go to my hairdresser today and when I walk in his salon I notice it’s a little different. "I bought the place and moved stuff around a little." "Really? Wow, when did you buy it?" "In January." Yes. I haven’t been to my hairdresser since before January. But I’ve been sarcastic as soon as like two minutes ago.

I’m not quite sure why I go to this hairdresser. A friend of mine recommended him, and I don’t hate him or anything. But I also don’t love him. First of all he’s straight. How did I end up with the only straight male hairdresser on the planet? What’s even the point? If the gays are losing footing in the beauty industry they really need to be alarmed. Is all I’m saying.

Since he’s straight he cuts hair like you’d expect a MAN to cut hair. Gets in there, chop chop, dye dye, mess everywhere, and that’s all before the violent rinse. Oh yes. The violent rinse. It is so bad that I think I might actually block it out. That is the only way I can think of that I’d actually return to this assaulter of heads. Now granted, I’m not big on pain and really have quite a low tolerance for it, but come on. Should I really have tears forming in my eyes while my hairdresser is rinsing out my hair? I think no.

It is horrible. Horrible. There is the scrubbing of the scalp, the twisting of the hair, the putting of things on my head that smell and feel like they are literally burning my head. And then. AND THEN. After I have been put through the agony of having my hair washed, of nearly losing all feeling in my head, THEN the guy puts his index finger on my temple and MASSAGES my head. What the? The first time he did this I nearly burst out in laughter. He had just had me sit quietly as he pulled each of my hairs out one by one, and then he thought that MASSAGING my TEMPLE would make it all better. Like I could even still feel my temple.

And today I’m pretty sure he gave me a mullet. I can’t be certain until I turn on Fox News and see a story about the south, so that I can get visual conformation of what a mullet looks like these days. But I’m thinking my head is looking alarmingly similar to Jo from the Facts of Life. I’d take Tootie hair over this.

The worst part is that I have to take pictures in a couple weeks to go along with my book stuff. So it’s not helping when people say the hair looks fine. Normally I don’t give a rat’s petuty what my hair looks like (a fact made evident by my only semi-annual visits to the hairdresser) but there is a difference between not caring what you hair looks like and not caring what your hair looks like on press materials for your first damn book. Something tells me I’m not going to like this hair anymore in December when I have to see it again on a book jacket. Jo played softball, she did not write books.

I’m gonna need much more than a temple massage to get me through this one.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

For My Entertainment

Mom’s are such buzzkills.

We went to go pick out my upgrades for the new condo this morning.

I had a certain amount of money that the builder had given me to spend.

I was just under that number when I saw these:

Remote Control Blinds????!!!!

Oh. My. God.

I want them.

I asked the lady how much they are.

She thinks I’m high.

But she checks anyways.

They are like 3 grand for two windows.

I have considerably more than 2 windows in my condo.

Man do I want these things.

I’d use these a hell of a lot more than the damn stove, maybe I could trade?

My mother says I can’t have the blinds.

I say, "I’m going to be so broke from buying this condo that all I’m going to be able to do is actually sit in the condo, and that’s it. I need things like the remote control blinds to entertain me."

She points out that I can be entertained for far less money.

She might have a point:

For some reason the dog doesn’t have a May outfit.It’s one of life’s mysteries, really.

So mom and I started mismatching.

What we came up with is what looks like a retiree in Florida.

What that has to do with May, I do not know.

But guess what?I’m entertained by it.

So maybe mom has a point.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

On Location

Tonight I am blogging from a remote location. In a place where technology hasn’t quite caught up with modern day. Am I once again traveling the world? Uh, no. I’ve traveled to my mother’s house, where the internet is dial-up and the computer is a snail. A snail without spell check. It very well might be sometime next week before this post actually posts, and there is no telling how many words will actually be spelled correctly. Just so you know.

So why the sleepover at Mom’s? Well, we have an appointment near her house tomorrow in the single-digit A.M. hours and I just thought I might be able to save myself some precious minutes of sleep if I crashed here tonight. I don’t deal with the A.M. hours so well. It’s not in my nature.

So what is our big appointment tomorrow? We are going to pick out stuff for the condo I bought. The builder offered me a bunch of money in upgrades, so it’s gonna be a big morning of tile and carpet and cabinets. Oh yes kids. It’s a big week. In the past week someone gave me a book deal and someone else allowed me to buy a condo. Something is obviously askew in the universe and in the general decision-making skills of people in powerful positions, but I’m trying to make the most of it. Unfortunately the buying of the condo and the book getting published are in no way related. So that leaves me with the small but significant detail of how I plan on paying for said condo. Let me know if you have any ideas.

One idea I had was to use my upgrade incentive money to buy as many sellable items as I can. “Exactly how many refrigerators can I buy for the condo?” “When you say ‘built-in’ desk, is there any possible way you could mean ‘removable for sale’ desk?” I think this is a great idea and it will definitely help out for the first few months of trying to make a mortgage payment. “Someone help me take down this ceiling fan, it’s almost the first of the month.”

Oh, man am I funny. It would be even more funny if it weren’t a little bit true. Financial ruin isn’t that big of a deal right? Do you think I can take my tile when I go into foreclosure? I’ll check on that tomorrow…

Our Girl Dorthea

I don’t have much time or inclination to write today, but I wanted to share something I found online. Now I know that this falls under the “a little late” category, as this story happened in the 80's but you know, I didn’t have a blog in the 80's. I only had pegged pants.

Today my boss and I were talking about Dorthea Puente, a serial killer lady from Sacramento. I don’t know if she made news anywhere besides here, but she was huge in Sac. She was this little old lady who had a boarding house and basically killed off her tenants, buried them in the backyard, and kept cashing their government assistance checks. She was a planner this Dorthea.

The reason we got to talking about her was because her boarding house is mere blocks from where I live and for some reason this is a perfectly logical subject of conversation while putting off actual work. So then. I was trying to figure out where exactly her house was in relation to mine so I did a Google search on the old hag. I found a bunch of different stories about our hometown hero, but there was one in particular that cracked me up:

“In November 1985, Puente hired Ismael Florez to install some wood paneling in her boardinghouse. Dorothea Puente then asked Florez to do one more thing; build a box 6 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet to store 'books and other items'. She then asked Florez transport the filled, and nailed shut, box to a storage depot. Florez agreed and Puente joined him. On the way, however, she told him to stop while they were on Garden Highway in Sutter County and dump the box in the river bank. Puzzled, Florez questioned why but Puente told him that the contents of the box were just junk.”

Oh Ismael. Dear, sweet, body-disposing Ismael. What are we going to do with you.

Future reference: If someone asks you to oh, just whip up a box that oh, just happens to have the dimensions of oh, a COFFIN and then asks you to oh, THROW IT IN A RIVER, then um, you might want to go ahead and find another gig. Just a thought Ismael.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sports Center

This weekend included quite a bit of writing. Man do I love writing. It is so much fun.

But! A girl also has to get out of the house every once in awhile, or a girl will go insane. And a girl will literally run out of thoughts. Which is not a good thing for a girl to do in week one of Book Writing Bonanza 2006.

So then. The sun is out, the rain has gone away, and the town is once again safe for rec sports. Whether or not my teams are ready for the rec sports? That is still up for debate.

We will start with softball. Oh dear lord. Our team hasn’t played in about a year and that fact was made abundantly clear on Friday night. I think we ended up losing by 6 runs, but I don’t really know how that is possible. It had to be more than that. Cause they just kept scoring, over and over and over again. They kept scoring about as often as we made errors. It’s as if they might be related.

It didn’t help matters that 5 of our regular guys were otherwise engaged on Friday night and couldn’t make it out to the big opening day. This left me calling up random people, “Hey, are you bringing your wife to the game right now?” “Uh, yeah.” “Well, put on some tennis shoes, you are playing.” “Well, I have to change and get ready.” “Dude, it’s softball. There is no getting ready, there is just showing up for an hour and then beer drinking afterwards (for those who are not participating in Book Writing Bonanza 2006).”

It took quite some time for our team to get up to bat, because the other team was up first. And they just kept hitting the ball. And scoring. And scoring some more. When we did finally get up to bat we extended our stellar performance to the offense as well. At least four people pulled major leg muscles and several players looked like they had just taken a shower they were sweating so bad. Uh, this is rec softball. There is no sweating in rec softball. Personally, the highlight of my game was when I was running to first base and the girl playing first dropped the ball on the baseline. Being as though I’m so speedy and unable to stop this bullet of a body I ran smack into her head with my thigh. Sure my thigh is a rock solid piece of muscle, but heads are pretty hard too, as it turns out.

So the game basically included the other team scoring a lot of runs and our team pulling a lot of muscles. In attendance at the big game we had three of the players’ babies and one player dog. This is a group of people I graduated high school with. When we became old, I do not know. But it is alarming.

And then soccer. Soccer ain’t for sissy’s kids, let’s just put that out there. I don’t care how in shape you are, doing 50 yard sprints every other minute for 90 minutes? No bueno. This week we again did not have any girl subs, so I was again forced to play two 45 minute halves. Oy. And that rainy weather we had? It’s gone and has been replaced by discouraging hotness. Spring was a fun season. All three days of it.

So we started off pretty well, in the first half we scored 6 goals. Which was good, cause the odds were very high that we would begin to fall apart at the seams during the second half. And that we did. First of all one of the girls had to leave. Leaving us one girl down. Then one of the girls severely pulled a muscle that she had pulled during softball on Friday (who pulls muscles at softball, seriously). Then one of the guy fullbacks decided to stop a goal by using his hand to bat it down. Apparently that is frowned upon in soccer and he was ejected from the game. So then, if you are keeping track, we were down two players. And the female players we actually had? Very very tired and thirsty. Toward the end of the game we had all but one person playing defense, trying desperately to protect our 5 point lead that had dwindled down to a mere point. You know why there are usually only 4 defenders? Cause it gets a little crowded back there with 7. Who knew?

We actually ended up winning, which is good. But it was not pretty.

And now I’m back at the computer, typing away at my manifesto. Perhaps I should get a shack in the woods to really get into the writing spirit? Sure it was a little off of that Ted Kaczynski to send bombs in the mail. But I think what proved that he was really crazy was the fact that he actually finished such a long piece of writing without the motivation of a publication date. Now that’s crazy...