Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Trivia Stuff, Cat Problems

I have updated this blog as much as I liked to. I have been focusing a lot of my energy on getting The Trivia Exchange off the ground. Right now it isn't generating very much traffic.

I woke up yesterday morning to find that my poor cat's right eye had swollen up and was leaking this milky discharge. I made a vet appointment and took him over during a late lunch break. I now have to administer both oral antibiotics and eyedrops. As sweet as he is, my cat does not like being forced to take medication. I have some puncture wounds on my hand to prove it. I get slightly mad, but then I realize that he doesn't know what I'm doing to him.

I have to take him again on Thursday to make sure the sure the eyedrops are working.

Paying for these vet visits made me think of how much it costs to take care of my cat. I don't think of him as a financial burden. I was just wondering in case something happened to me. For instance, in my hypothetical will I bequeath my cat to someone, say my brother. How much extra should I bequeath my brother to cover Joey's expenses?

He eats a very expensive diet food which costs $33 for 10 pounds. It is literally called the "CATkins diet." The vet even called it that. I was flabbergasted by this. I hate trend diets. But I later read that since cats are carnivores, a diet like this works realistically. Still, the name makes the diet sound really lame.

I usually buy a 10 pound bag at a time. That amount lasts him for exactly 100 days. So his food budget is somewhere in the vicinity of $106 per year. His litter costs $10 a month, or about $120 dollars a year. Vet visits (regular checkups and sickness visits) average around $200 per year. A scratching post, catnip and toys don't add up to more than 50 bucks a year. So I spend around 500 bucks a year to fully care for my cat.

That seems like a lot, but people pay the same for gym memberships that they never use. A two pack a day smoker spends 4 times that amount per annum on cigarettes. Raising a child is 55 times more expensive.

While the yearly expenses are minimal when spread out, sometimes they can all pile-up at once. I save some money every month just in case of such a pile-up.

I am still working on my New York City photo essay. It's going to be so long; I'm not quite sure if this blog can handle it. I might have a site that supports photo essays, if only for this one time. I would love to be able to do something that looks like Slate's Interactive Essays. I'm sure there is something like that out there. Hopefully it will be free.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Augusten Burroughs

Yesterday I went to an Augusten Burroughs' lecture at the Smithsonian Ripley Center. It was very low key; the room didn't seat more than 300 people. He read an essay from his new book, then answered a ton of audience questions. I asked him if he still kept in contact with anyone from the family he grew up with. He said no.

Afterwards there was a book signing. I managed to be one of the first people in line. He signed my book with an Artist-Formerly-Known-as-Prince-like insignia, and I told him to enjoy DC. He was incredibly polite, and I was astounded by this. I always feel in these situations that I'm imposing on people I respect, and therefore I expect some curtness. So as much as I wanted to sit and chat, I just paid him a pleasantry. However, he seemed to enjoy every moment. I had to respect him even more for that.

Even though I want to be a successful writer, I feel that I would be a giant jerk to my fans. Well, maybe I wouldn't. I would want to help those that are struggling to make it, cause that is where I am now. But at the same time, if I had his popularity, I feel that there would be a lot of imposers. By this I mean people who are overzealous and think that there are no other fans but them.

Before the lecture started I asked the staff about the book signing. They said that due to time constraints, he would not be doing personal signings. When I sat down, I heard the woman next to me talking about all the things she was going to have him sign (tickets, all her books, etc). I told her that he would not be doing personal signings. She gave me a look of disdain. "Oh I can make him, " she said. "I drove all the way from Whereversville to see this!" She really was expecting him to personally sign all her paraphenalia, forgetting the fact that there were 200 other people waiting to get their book signed. It would also probably put Augusten and his people behind schedule. But she didn't care. It was as if he was there just for her.

I kind of hope he told her to screw off. But I bet he did what she wanted, only slightly begrudgingly. I hope she was the last person in line. I also hope that she fell down and open manhole upon exiting the Ripley Center.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

For Trivia Buffs

I started a trivia blog!

Please visit and participate.

Right now there is a "Test" round posted. This is to give participants a taste of what the quizzes will be like.

The first real round will feature a real (but modest) prize to be announced after the test round is over.

Good Luck!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Aunt's (and my) Favorite Clothing Catalogue

A few years back I was over at my Aunt's house for dinner. We were making casual conversation, and at some point the discussion of male clothing came up. I believe one of my cousins said, "have you seen the catalogue that mom gets in the mail?"

My aunt rolled her eyes and said, "The kids keep making fun of me cause of this catalogue I like to look at. It's a catalogue for men's clothing, and all the men are goodlooking and wearing nice clothes. So naturally the kids think this catalogue is made for homosexuals."

She then got up from the table and went over to her little mail center, picked up the most recent copy she had seen and handed it to me. "Just look through it. You will like it, all the men are gorgeous. I can't believe they think that it's for gays."

The first thing I see when I open the catalogue is this:

I thought I was hallucinating. It was like my brain had projected onto the page one of the images that automatically comes up when I think of "fruity." I shook my head, realizing the image was real. The catalogue labeled it as the "Ultimate Poet's Shirt." I thought a better label would have been "Ultimate (Butt)Pirate's Shirt." Now, I am friends with several gay people. None of them would wear anything resembling this. This type of clothing is a reserved for a special, effeminate group of males, most of whom are probably gay. But, I was still willing to give the benefit of the doubt. I thought perhaps maybe this might have been a joke, a little nod to the pirate shirt episode of Seinfeld. I continued on.

Ok, well, there was a definite 1980s George Michael theme in the next couple of pages. So what, I thought. Freedom 90 is like one of my favorite songs. Besides, a lot of men dressed like this in the 80s. Maybe this catalogue is just a little behind the times.

Well there's just no explaining these, is there?

But hey, every catalogue has got to diversify. It would be boring without a few risque products.

I mean it's not like any of them are wearing tight fitting women's cloth--

Errrrr....... ummmm........hmm.


I had to concede to my cousins. There was something a little fishy about this catalogue. A bit too much lace, and a bit too much ballsac. Even men who are completely comfortable with their heterosexuality would squirm at this.

Not me, however. Be these men gay or straight, masculine or effeminate, I find it all 100 %

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

The (Sort of) Daily Blurb

Sometimes I think that mental illness doesn't really exist. Instead, some people just don't get their own jokes. For instance, lets say I utter the following in passing to freak people out:

My dog controls my thoughts.

Eventually I forget that I was joking, and I wait for directions from my dog.

Then I would think:

What would a dog normally tell me to do? Probably sniff strangers' butts, bark at nothing and eat my own feces. Sounds like fun to me!

Next thing I know, I am in an mental institution. I constantly slobber and I only respond to the word "sit." All because I told a joke.

Of course this can't be true. Mental illness is serious business, and I shouldn't be joking about it. Or am I really joking?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Congratulations to (Enrique)?

Congratulations to e for winning the trivia contest! Even though he was the only one to answer, he still got a very high percentage (3/5)!

Here are the answers:

1) What movie is this screen capture from? Joe Vs the Volcano.

2) What reproductive structure do marsupials lack? A placenta.

3) Name the photographer of this picture. Nick Knight.

4) If you took a Pyrex dish, filled it with vegetable oil, and placed another Pyrex dish in it and filled that with oil, what would happen (other than a possible overflow of oil)? (updated)

It will disappear!

5) In The Da Vinci Code, what were the messages within the cryptex written on? Papyrus.

I will be contacting the winner somehow to give them their lame prize. Another trivia quiz will be posted at a later date. I encourage ALL to participate.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

R.I.P Mike Kennedy

You were a best friend to my cousin. You were a nice guy, but you had your demons. You let them take over you, and you took it out on others. I wish I could grab you and say "Why, Mike, why? My cousin already lost his first best friend (his dad). Now he's lost you. Not only that, you rob two young children of their mother. You should have accepted help. What where you thinking?"

I actually prayed last night. I prayed that God forgives you. I really meant it. I prayed for the soul of the officer's life you took. I prayed for the officer that is still in intensive care. I prayed for their families.

The news sources have inaccurately described you. They interviewed kids that barely knew you. You were fun, you made people laugh. You liked to freak people out as well, so you were misunderstood. You also had many troubles. You snapped. That doesn't really change what you did. But it gives us understanding. It helps us grieve a little better, knowing that you did not willfully commit this act.

Some sources say that you escaped from a mental institution. You should have stayed. You wouldn't have hurt as many people. You wouldn't have hurt yourself. But the fault is not entirely your own. I feel that your parents did you wrong. Hell, the police are even having a hard time contacting them. I also theorize that you got the guns from their personal stash. Never more has my support for gun control been more galvanized.

I should have helped you. I notice the signs when I talked to you . You had family problems. You had the same self-hate that I once had. I should have given you a number, anything, for someone to help you.


Monday, May 08, 2006

To the Person who Stole my iPod at King's Dominion

To the person who broke into my car in the King's Dominion parking lot, this message is for you. I'm operating under the assumption that you are a person living in poverty with a family to feed. In this case:

-Thank you for not breaking my window. You must have used a jimmy to undo the lock. I consider this a very polite gesture on your part.

-Thank you for not stealing my car stereo. It looks as if you tried to pull it out, but then thought the better of it. The stereo is not worth much, but it did take a lot of effort to install it and hook it up to my now MIA iPod.

-Thank you for not stealing anything else from my car. I had a garage key card that looks remarkably like a credit card. You did not take this, or perhaps you were to smart to be fooled by it's looks.

-Thank you for not stealing my car.

-Thank you for not popping the trunk and stealing the Toaster Oven that I bought for my cousin for her wedding this Saturday.

-Thank you for the thank you note you probably left. I am assuming it was just blown by the wind.

-Thank you for stealing from me at a family-oriented amusement establishment. I was in a very good mood when I got into my car, therefore the absence of my iPod did not bother me as much.

-Thank you for reminding me that I shouldn't get emotionally attached to inanimate objects. I was with my friends and had a great time and that is what matters.

However, if I come into the knowledge that you are not in fact living in poverty and do not have a starving family to feed, the following shall take place:

I will fuck you.

No I don't mean I will have carnal relations with you, I mean I will fuck your life up.

I will kick your ass so hard that you will only be able to pee through your tear ducts.

I will shove my foot so far up your ass that you will taste last night's dinner again.

I will pull the hairs out of your legs one by one.

I will tape your eyelids open, then pump in droplets of hydrochloric acid into your eyeballs.

I will make you listen to the entire theme song from Friends, twice.

I will coat your ass in honey, then drop an army of fire ants in your crack.

I will rub your chest with a cheese grater, then spray it with a lemon. In fact, I will do all the things to you that Wu-Tang has threatened people with.

I will video tape it all and send it to the Iraqi insurgents, who will then say "dyyyyyyyyam, that bitch is hardcore."

And since the aforementioned iPod was a gift from my boyfriend, I will find your significant other, fuck their shit up, then rob them of 300 bucks for a new iPod.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Trivial Perusal

Eventually I will start an All-Trivia blog elsewhere on Blogger. The problem with having trivia in an Internet forum is that there is a big temptation to cheat. So my questions would have to be framed in such a way that they could not be easily searched for. Here are some sample questions (feel free to answer):

1) What movie is this screen capture from? (Click for larger version)

2) What reproductive structure do marsupials lack?

3) Name the photographer of this picture. (Click for larger version)

4) If you took a Pyrex dish, filled it with vegetable oil, and placed another Pyrex dish in it and filled that with oil, what would happen (other than a possible overflow of oil)? (updated)

5) In The Da Vinci Code, what were the messages within the cryptex written on?

The person who leaves a comment with the most correct answers gets something. If you leave an anonymous comment, please leave your first name so I know who you are.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Civil Wrongs

Yesterday when I was sitting at a stoplight just off of route 7, there was a mack trailor truck in front of me with no back door. It was filled with pieces of firewood. It was also towing another smaller trailor that was also filled with wood. They had pulled out in front of me from the parking lot of a 7-11. It caught my eye because it looked like the firewood greatly outweighed the number of trees that still exist in Tyson's Corner.

I was examining the piles, looking to see if they were tied down with anything, when I noticed a foot. Then two feet, then four. As I peered deeper into the back of the truck, I just made out the images of two Mexican men. I thought maybe I was seeing things (it was pretty dark in the truck), but then I saw one of the men take a sip from a Fanta bottle. They were just chillin' in the back of a huge, doorless truck on a pile of wood.

The truck turned towards the 495 exit just as the light turned red again. I thought they were gone, but when I was 66 I was behind them yet again. They men seemed to be agitated. Maybe they thought I was from the INS or something. I wished someone was in the car with me so I could say "Hey lets play I-Spy. I spy two dead immigrants in a pile of firewood."

I couldn't help but think that just a few days earlier, these men were marching in DC, demanding for their right to sit in the back of a moving truck while tree branches slow slip into their anuses.

Right now I'm listening to one of my favorite Don and Mike bits on their podcast. It is called "Breaking News," a game where people call in and try to break stuff with as much noise as possible. A lot of people that call have machine guns and glock 9s. It should also be stated that most of these people come from rural areas, since it is illegal to shoot firearms in residential areas.

One guy shot 400 rounds into his girlfriend's car. He won that time.

Awhile ago, if I remember correctly, a contestant wanted to set off a bucket of dynamite by shooting it with an assault rifle. Don and Mike decided to hang up on the guy because they heard his two-year-old daughter babbling in the background.

It's instances like this that make me proud to live beneath the Mason-Dixon line.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Daily Blurb

If dinosaurs were still around today, do you think they would fuel their giant dinosaur cars with the decayed remains of our human ancestors?

Hotness Collages

Here's One For the Ladies:

And Here's One For the Fellas:

Monday, May 01, 2006


Yesterday I went with my Aunt Kathy and my cousin Kimmy to Fair Oaks Mall to shop for clothes to wear at my cousin's wedding. I already have my dress (I am a bridesmaid) but I needed shoes and a bra (I only wear sports bras). Every time I go clothes shopping with my cousin it is a hellish nightmare. She is 15-years-old, so naturally she has taste for somewhat skimpy, showy clothes. Unfortunately, she is also a bit rotund. Dresses almost never fit her, and we often end up with a two-piece outfit, which is usually by definition toned-down.

I have this same problem, but it is concentrated in one area: my feet. I wear size 9 ½ mens. Believe it or not, I am not a man. This means my women's shoe size is 11-12. Since I normally wear sneakers, this isn't an ever-present problem. One time I needed a pair of club boots, so I purchased them from Dream Dresser, a shop in Georgetown that has club boots specifically sized for transvestites. It only becomes a sizeable issue when I'm looking for dress shoes. Especially dress shoes that have to come in a certain color. I tried on this one pair that matched my bridesmaid dress perfectly but it was not to be. As I squeezed in, I quickly thought of my foot as Chris Farley, and the shoe was David Spade's little coat. I ended buying the first pair of plain heels I could find at Payless.

I have found myself spending a lot of time at my Aunt Kathy's house in the past couple weeks. I have a lot of fun there and I enjoy spending time with my cousins. They also have a pool and hot tub. Plus, since she is a single mom, she needs some help with driving the kids to places and doing other minute tasks. Once I even tried to help her grade some papers (she's a special education teacher). I wanted to give them all A's because of their absolutely hilarious answers. Some of the tests went like this:

Q: A dog-groomer needs to buy a 238 dollar air conditioner. She has groomed 12 dogs. What information do we need to know to see if she has enough money for the air conditioner?

(Correct)A: We need to know how much she earned for each dog.

Kids' Answers:
-how many air conditioners there are?
-how big dg is (verbatim)
-238 dollars.

Another Example:

Q: Name two advantages and two disadvantages to fossil fuels.

One kid's answer: they make cars go and they are big. they smell bad and kill animals.

My favorite of the whole bunch:

Q: Why do solar panels need storage cells?

One kid's answer: u can use a pensul charpener. (again verbatim, well I think. The kid's handwriting looked like he was trying to answer while a dog was chewing on his elbow.)

I couldn't finish because I was going through stages of fitful laughter, followed by remorse for laughing at these poor kids. My aunt didn't begrudge me though; she still made me steak, which is the usual Sunday fair. I went there for dinner almost every Sunday in the month of April.

I used to do a similar dinner thing at my mom's house in years previous. I would stop by to visit her and my brother and to get a home-cooked meal. These days, my mom travels almost nonstop. In fact, she is flying in from a conference in France just to go to my cousin's wedding. My brother goes to school at Virginia Tech, and he is really only home for the summers. He might not even be home much this summer if he gets one of the jobs he's trying for. If he doesn't, does anyone have a job for him?

Summer is coming fast and I have a lot of adventures in mind. I will update about those later.

Also, some upcoming updates (mostly to remind myself):
-a review of my favorite mail-in catalogue
-a story about my childhood friend, Andrea
-a photo essay about my trip to NYC (this will be very very long)
-nation's cats protest the depiction of their prophet as a lasagna-eating glutton
-more blurbs.

And finally, last night was my last Sunday layout night for Expulsion. Tonight will be the last meeting for me. I will no longer be a member of the staff. Next weekend I may be going to King's Dominion to celebrate my first free Sunday.