Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chuck Thursday 3

FYI -- if you're a commentor, I'm moderating them now in an attempt to prevent the Asian viral graffiti from reaching my wall. I assumed blogspot would tell you after you left a comment, but some of you are leaving the same one multiple times, so I'm guessing you think something's wrong. No worries. I'll post everything that isn't an Asian virus. Or from that chick who started fighting with me over the old gay man.

And now, a 757 haiku in the 757:

Comment doesn't bring a laugh
Without asking, Chuck:
"Don't use that one in your act."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Goes Up Must Come Down

We have two single-occupant public restrooms in our lobby and since they're closest to my current temporary office, they're the ones I frequent. I noticed some time ago that the terlets appear to be bolted together through a shared wall. As such, one can get bounced around a little bit if someone else is using the other restroom at the same time. It's similar to a shared booth in a restaurant... If I know someone's in the other restroom, I tend to land on my terlet a little more gracefully, lest they make the same discovery as I.

(And don't get me started on the hovering chicks. Sit your asses down. You're not getting anything from a toilet seat unless you're rubbing your chotch all over it after someone else has rubbed God-knows-what on it. You're far more likely to pick up a disease from a doorknob than a toilet seat!)

Anyhoo, the reason for this charming little tale is that I was just in the restroom and one of my heftier coworkers sat down on the other toilet and nearly launched me across the room like a tiddly-wink! It made me laugh and perhaps it will make you laugh too...

Monday, June 21, 2010

But I Wish I Still Had My Josie & the Pussycats Underoos...

I had no idea that one small portion of my standup gig would speak to so many people. But based on the comments and emails that continue to come in, I really seem to have touched a nerve. Many of us aspire to make a difference in the world and while I'm happy that some are viewing my public service announcement as such, I really had higher hopes for myself. Here's a sample for you; an email I received from an old friend last week:

Just FYI -- cleaning out my dresser tonight and got to my underwear drawer. While contemplating whether or not to keep some of the oldies-but-goodies that have been around forever, I found myself thinking… “Would you want to be caught dead in this underwear?”

And then…on the heels of that… “Would you want to be the victim of a violent crime in THAT???”

In the end, there was quite a respectable pile of trash.

So, as you contemplate those existential questions about your purpose and existence, remember one thing…there is at least one woman out there who will NOT die in bad underwear because of you.

Well done, AJ. I’m always glad to know you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chuck Thursday 2

No more Indian
Last Thursday's nearly killed me
Thai today, safer?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dimpled Butter

Stopped by the Farmers (Farmer's? Farmers'? Does one farmer or do multiple farmers possess said market? No, no they don't. So I guess it's just Farmers...) Market on the way home from work and got my first ears of corn this season! As I was attempting to butter my corn-on-the-cob correctly, with one pat of butter and a butter knife, and struggling ever-so, it occurred to me that I could just run that bad boy through the stick of butter on the counter. Ya know why? 'Cause I live alone. 'Cause it's my house and I can do whatever I want. And that got the wheels spinning...

There are some definite benefits to living alone. Granted, some of these can also be the downside of living without a mate. That accountability thing has its benefits. It's as if some sort of balance between the two would be best. There it is again, that nasty word...balance. :)

Good things about living alone:

1. I can pretty much do whatever I damn well please whenever I damn well please without explaining anything to anyone or asking permission. Except for the dog's. Darn dog still owns me, but you get my drift...

2. Huh. I kind of blew my wad (pardon me) on that first one, didn't I? It encompasses nearly everything else:

~running corn through the butter;
~vegging on the couch and watching TV for so long that my skin begins to adhere to the couch fabric;
~wearing whatever (or not wearing whatever) I want as I be-bop through the house aimlessly;
~using the bathroom with the door open -- and not just for #1...;
~talking to myself ad nauseum (this is bad outside though because my neighbor has caught me once or twice. It's somewhat acceptable now, but once I'm in my 70s, they'll put me away for that);
~sleeping in the middle of the bed;
~sleeping on the couch;
~sleeping in someone else's bed;
~sleeping in the car (that one's for Travis);
~dancing naked through the house listening to whatever genre of music I feel like listening to as loudly or softly as I please...
~I own the remote control.

3. This one stands alone: being able to put as much garlic in or on food as I'd like. I'm not kissing anyone, so pile it on!! (This one has its limitations though. In deference to my friends and not wanting to make them puke, I do limit my garlic if I know I'm going to see someone in the near future).

I'm sure there are a million more, but that's all I've got for now. Feel free to tack some on. Oh, and don't forget the flatulence. I can't actually fart in front of another person, so my digestive tract is much more relaxed when I live alone. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

All in the Delivery

I had no intention of writing tonight, but the collective consciousness had other plans. In the briefest of explanations, a friend posted an album recommendation on Facebook for a band named Visqueen that included comments by her and a story that inspired their music. I'm going to close with the story, for fear that I'll lose you along the way if I post it first.

The story and Sara's comments seemed well-timed. Within the last week or so I came to a rather embarrassing conclusion about myself -- I only really start to plan my future when I envision it with someone else. I have no "5 year plan." I've never had a 5 year plan. Nearly anything I've accomplished was done so because I said I would do it and was loathe to humiliate myself by not coming through. I'm not entirely sure who I am, what I enjoy, or what I want from life. But here's the lightbulb moment for me: I am the only person who I will have for the rest of my life. So simple, yes? So why on earth am I not making plans with myself?!

One of my friends has raised her daughters with the following question: "Who's your best friend?" The only acceptable answer? "I am." I've heard her say it a million times and I understood the concept, but was never able to apply it to myself.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

As much as I appreciate all the help I've received along the way, I have to accept and understand and KNOW that I ultimately am all I have. Which doesn't mean I'm an island. I still want to love and be loved, but must first start with myself.

On to Sara. I'm guilty of not delivering in the truest sense of the story. I still deliver at work, but not above-and-beyond like I used to. I'm good at what I do, but it doesn't make me leap out of bed in the morning. But that's coming, I can feel it. I must deliver to myself first and foremost. And deliver to those I've committed to -- professionally and personally.

Thanks, Sara. You make my head hurt in a good way. :)

Longish story short (and from the band's website):

"A Message To Garcia" is an essay written in 1899 by Elbert Hubbard inspired by the Spanish American War. The story celebrates the initiative of a soldier who is assigned and accomplishes a daunting mission. He asks no questions, makes no objections, requests no help, but gets the job done. Voracious reader as [Visqueen's front-woman] Rachel's dad was, this is the only time he physically handed her something to read rather than just suggest it. Visqueen toured America in a van for months after their first record, King Me came out, and again with their follow up rocker, Sunset On Dateland.

Focused and determined to make a go of the impossible, Rachel would call her Dad from the road each day. He'd ask if she was "delivering it". She knew exactly what he meant. And the only answer was "yes".

Herewith, "A Message to Garcia" by Elbert Hubbard

In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba- no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.

What to do!

Some one said to the President, "There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can."

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, & in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing- "Carry a message to Garcia!"

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.

No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man- the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, & half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, & sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office- six clerks are within call.

Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio".

Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?

On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:

Who was he?

Which encyclopedia?

Where is the encyclopedia?

Was I hired for that?

Don’t you mean Bismarck?

What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?

Is he dead?

Is there any hurry?

Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?

What do you want to know for?

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia- and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.

Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.

And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first-mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night, holds many a worker to his place.

Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply, can neither spell nor punctuate- and do not think it necessary to.

Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?

"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.

"Yes, what about him?"

"Well he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."

Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," & with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer- but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go.

It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best- those who can carry a message to Garcia.

I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders; and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself."

Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular fire-brand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot.

Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slip-shod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude, which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry & homeless.

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds- the man who, against great odds has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes.

I have carried a dinner pail & worked for day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; & all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets "laid off," nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chuck Thursdays

Had to log in to delete yet another Asian virus comment from ye olde blogge. Was lamenting inadequate time for blog posting, especially on kickball Thursdays, to some friends recently. Chuck follows my blog but will only read if it's less than one phone screen length. So, Chuck Thursdays will kill two birds with one stone. Short and sweet. 757 haikus, perhaps?

Each radio song I hear
Karaoke gold?
Which means it must be Thursday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sex and the City 2 Review

I'll get to my eagerly awaited (by no one) review of Sex and the City 2 in just a sec. First, I'd like to announce for the record that I may have broken my dog. I'm going to make light of it in an effort to hide the fact that I'm a little worried and feel terrible that I did this to her.

I just picked her up from daycare and while doing so, the world was seemingly ending in a great deluge of rain with mild amounts of thunder. Bodhi, the brave girl that she is, was FUH. LIPPING. OUT. I had plans to perform at an open mic tonight, but when we got home my attention quickly turned to calming my poor girl down. So I gave her a 1/4 tranquilizer pill. This is her normal dose and it usually takes about 2 hours for it to kick in. Well, this one hit her fast. I went to check on her (she was on my bed) about 30 minutes in and she was ZONKED. It was cute because as usual her eyes had become blue -- one blew this way and one blew that way (that one is courtesy of my grandfather). I wasn't terribly worried, but knew the open mic was off -- I could probably leave her, but wouldn't for fear she'd hurt herself in some manner.

I futzed around the house for a few and when I went back in to check on her, she had started leaking. This is one of the not-so-lovely side effects of the tranquilizer -- kinda turns all the valves open. I tried to wake her to get her outside, but she wasn't really having any of it. So I picked her up and put her down on the floor -- and discovered she couldn't stand. Now THAT'S not typical. It happened the very first time I gave her the meds, back when the vet prescribed an entire pill. Through trial and error, I got her down to a 1/4 pill and she can normally stand. I gave up on getting her outside and laid her down on her bed -- as long as she's going to leak all night, may as well be on her bed. :)

And now I'm just staring at her to make sure she's breathing. So far so good. I just dragged her bed (with her atop it) into the living room so I could continue keeping an eye on her. Unsure about sleep for me tonight. Guess I'll see how she's doing in a few hours. In typical AJ-planning-fashion, I just took off my lesbian work uniform (khakis and a golf shirt!) but wondered if I shouldn't keep my bra on in case I have to run her out to the emergency room later. lol.

PS -- the storms have passed. She didn't need to be tranq'd. Fudge.

And now..............................

Sex and the City 2

That's the last bit of excitement you'll get out of me over this movie. I won't be giving any details, so don't fear any "spoilers." But if you're easily influenced by someone else's opinion and want to see the movie, just skip this. I don't want to ruin it for you.

It wasn't a bad movie, but it wasn't a good movie at all. The jokes, especially in the beginning, were delivered at such a slow, forced pace that it felt as if each one was somehow announced: "We're telling a JOKE now..." I don't know if they've decided we've become daft and unable to catch jokes in our old age or if they were given a specific length of movie they were obligated to fill. Either way, I found myself laughing at one out of every 50 jokes -- or so it seemed.

I still love these characters and am happy we had some additional time together. It was akin to a bad night with good friends. They happen every so often. You're disappointed, but you love and like your friends, so you're not going to end the friendship over one bad night.

I've given this review to several friends and they've replied, "Oh, so it's a rental." That's a tough call. The SATC thing has become such an event for so many women that I'd hate for them to stop the party because the entertainment came up short. I guess it depends on how much you liked these ladies before. If you were on the fence, then by all means rent it and save 10 bucks...

So our second date didn't go so well. I'm kind of pulling for a third. I want to give them (Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael Patrick King) a chance to redeem themselves. I just wonder if I'm alone in this. Sometimes a bad second date is just a precursor to a worse third date...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Egg Toss

I awoke in a melancholy sort of mood today. I feel as if I'm coming down from one of the best -- if not THE best -- months of my life. It was full of fun, friends, and foolishness as well as the fulfillment of a lifelong dream -- to do standup comedy -- with a couple goofy birthday celebrations thrown in for good measure. I wound up crapping out towards the very end and blew off a couple Memorial Day weekend social opportunities. I actually wasn't feeling well and was a little wiped out, but as usual when I "miss out" on something, I have a feeling of regret. Where others relax, I regret...

I know the price of wonderful times is knowing that they can't last -- or that there's the inevitable slide down to the default of normalcy. And I know it's OK. There will be other wonderful times. And I also know much of what I'm feeling may be due to PMS. lol. What will I ever blame my off moods on when I run out of eggs? Seems I may find out soon, since things are becoming a little sporadic in the reproductive rejection arena... :)

My thoughts turned briefly to Drama Cow earlier and as I corrected for the many variables I've since discovered and recalculated, resulting in the filing away (once again) of all things Drama Cow, I thought to myself:

"Where is she -- the one for me?"
"You're not ready," came the answer.
"Seriously?" was my petulant reply.
"You still don't love yourself enough," was the final answer.

This was followed by my other favorite, in response to nothing at all: "God won't give you more until you take care of what you already have."

Sigh. And so the juggling continues. Not wanting to miss out on good times with great friends, but needing to take care of me and my job and my house and my dog. Toss, toss, toss...keep the eggs in the air.

Toss the eggs while I still have 'em. Figuratively and literally! ;)