Saturday, November 01, 2008
To assist me in my literary journey, I bought an iPod touch. It is much cheaper than a laptop or an iPhone, and I need to replace my old iPod anyway. It has almost changed my life. When I went to sleep on the first night I had it, I cuddled with it. For the first time in nearly two years I did not feel the intense yearning for human companionship as this little miracle device had satisfied that need.
Those last two sentences are completely fictional.
I don't know why NaNoWriMo chose November. It's the beginning of the holiday season, so people are naturally immensely busy. I foresee this being a very stressful month, being that I have numerous projects at work, several social events, several family events (including a Thanksgiving/birthday party in which there will be 87 attendees), and several other little personal projects to attend to (like getting my first date in nearly two years).
All that said, I think I can do it. I perform very well under stress. There has only been a few times when I nearly fall off the edge, but then something miraculous happens, and I'm pulled back into the true wonders of reality. Something like this happened just the other day.
I walk the same route to work every morning. I enjoy walking to work because it gives me time to listen to music and think about my life, though they may not be the most pleasant of thoughts. Each day I walk across the same bridge, and on this same bridge is always the same homeless man. Most homeless people in this area are very transient, but not this one. Everyday he lifts his cup of change in my direction, and everyday I ignore him. At first, I ignored him because I never had any change on me. Now I ignore him no matter what is in my pocket.
Lately I've been seeing a shriveled old homeless woman walking around this same area. At first I didn't know she was homeless, she just looked slightly disheveled. Then as days passed I noticed that she never changed clothes and she was always in hanging around the same general area. Also, she always wore a thick, dirty winter coat, no matter what the weather was like. The coat was similar to one I had back in the 80s, when I was nine. I never see this woman beg, but I have seen her foraging through trash.
On Friday morning I was in a particular funk. I hadn't been feeling well lately, and I was thinking about the utter misery that is my nonexistent love life. I was really feeling horrible, and as I came upon the bridge I secretly wished that the homeless man weren't there so I wouldn't have to deal with him. As I started crossing the bridge, I noticed that homeless woman was standing in front of the seated homeless man and bending down towards him. She was talking to him, and he was stoically listening. Then something astounding happened.
As the woman was talking, the man reached into a cup, pulled out a fistful of change and handed it to her. Her body still bent, she shoved the money into her coat pocket. Just before she straightened, I saw a single but large tear drop from her eye.
I felt sick with myself. I just saw and extreme act of pure human kindness, and only moments before I was wallowing in self pity. I wanted to pour everything out of my pockets and shower it on these people. I wanted to buy them a feast every day for the rest of their lives. I wanted to put them a castle in the sky, with huge fireplaces and silky soft beds so that they may never sleep in the cold or lie on the pavement ever again. But my pockets were empty and I had not a scrap of food on me. I also felt that this was a private moment, something that neither one wanted anyone to witness. But I felt I was meant to witness this. I felt some force had propelled me to this occurrence so I could see that even most degraded person has goodness within them.
Next time I see either one of them, I will buy them some food, maybe give the some money. I will ask them their names. I will say hello each time I see them.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I had about four billion pictures of my cat, but this one was the cutest:
I found this note stuck in a bible at church on Christmas Eve last year:
This what my car looked like after the accident:
These next two pictures are from my indoor garden (an eggplant and a strawberry, respectively):
Because I have a really juvenile sense of humor, I had to take these next two photos. The first one I took at metro station and the second one at a grocery store:
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the world's gayest doughnut:
Now this following picture represents the pinnacle of assholery:
I posted this picture on craiglist, along with his license plate number and a short description of how I saw the driver rape a nun while giving the finger to the American flag.
This picture of an incredibly useful and insightful poster was taken at a warehouse bathroom:
Once upon a time I got really bored at a meeting, so I drew a picture of my cat with a black belt in karate, nunchucks, and a beer:
This is what my cat looks like in real life:
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
-working on a proposal
-vacationing in a place with no Internet access
-working on another proposal (almost nonstop for three weeks)
-traveling to deliver said proposal
-getting into a car accident
-taking vacation to recover from said car accident, again in a place with no Internet access
-finding out that muscle relaxers cause me to drool profusely while sleeping
-taking more vacation, again in a place with no Internet access, sharing said muscle relaxers with friends
I've been planning to write an entry that was about my text messaging habits, but my phone (which I would need for reference) is currently dead. So instead I've decided to write a list of things that have not, and never will, live up to the hype that the general public gives them:
1) Moulin Rouge. If you take away the hackneyed covers and the cliche story, you'd find that this movie is nothing but a turd with some pink glitter on it.
2) Tofu. People say you can make tofu taste like anything. This is because tofu has no taste. You may be able to change the taste, but it will always have the texture of wet boogers.
3) Chipotle. Seriously folks? Seriously?
4) Robaxin. This is the muscle relaxer my doctor prescribed me. It sucks ass.
5) Cars. Mine was just totaled. Now that I don't have one, I realized what a life-sucking money pit it was.
6) Quentin Tarantino movies. All of them.
7) The Da Vinci Code.
8) Revenge of the Sith. This movie got 80 percent on rottentomatoes.com. For shame.
9) Jack Black. The art of making fat + manic= funny died with Chris Farley.
10) Most anime.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
To entertain you in the meantime, here is a series of random Garfield frames that I spliced together:
Friday, May 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sometimes I find myself saying this phrase aloud at times when I find the current conversation boring. Most of the time the lifeless communal “dialog” is due to only one person. Everyone knows this type of person. This is the friend that everyone has; the person who absorbs conversations so that it wraps completely around them. It’s the friend that gushes about every meaningless detail of his or her existence. You are only friends with the person because you have no reason to truly hate them. They just bore you. They’ll trail on about the new socks they found at the Gap. They’ll deliver manifestos about how much they love bagels. They’ll present an oral thesis on how good their gas mileage is. The other people that might be “engaged” in this conversation are either too bored or not creative enough to protest the wasted words. They are just awake enough to feign interest.
When I utter these five words, a ripple effect quickly spreads throughout the room. It’s as if every person has just received his or her first breath of air while simultaneously receiving an electric shock. These brightening expressions give me a brief feeling of self-satisfaction. Even more so, I always find the expression from the brainless babbler supremely arousing. Call it petty, but I believe the energy-sucking prattler should be put in his or her place. I see it as a public service. I’m not saying that I’m a terribly interesting person. However, I do know what is and isn’t interesting. I know this story is supremely interesting for one simple reason: it is, unabashedly, true.
It is next impossible to tell this story without first explaining some my family dynamics. My mother is an incredibly successful businesswoman. She is fantastically smart, sharply organized, and shrewdly ambitious. What is so off-kilter is that, thanks to these attributes, she has overcome one major flaw. My mother has a secret, but powerful handicap: she is the world’s worst decision-maker.
“Heather, don’t you think it would be a fun idea to visit Ocean City next month?”
“You mean during Christmas? Mom, you want to spend Christmas at a summer resort?”
“Well, yes indeedy! I think it would be fun! There will be plenty of stuff to do!”
“But mom, everything there is closed in the winter.”
“DON’T ARGUE WITH ME YOUNG LADY!”
Every year we would leave early due to mind-boggling boredom.
She repeated this mistake for several years, until finally her mind was set straight when she got into a car accident (in my car) and the local police officer treated her like a bowl of seagull shit. I have inherited a diminished version of this flaw. Instead of trips to the beach, my mistakes involve trips to the grocery store. About once a year I will buy soy-based mayonnaise and try to convince myself it will taste just like the real thing. Someday, hopefully, I will learn that I can’t outwit my taste buds.
One of the pinnacles of my mother’s lack of decision-making prowess was reached on a brisk August night. We were driving home from our family’s timeshare on Bryce Mountain in the Shenandoah Valley. My mother as looking at the map, and she noticed that we were very close to the location of her company’s team building event that was to be held the following week. It was to be held in wooded plot of land in the middle of Fredericksburg; a town whose human population is very closely rivaled by its cattle population. So my mother decided that the best thing to do at 10 o’clock at night was to drive into the uncharted territory of Nowheresville, USA.
We got off the highway and ended up on an unlit back-country road whose asphalt paving was the only sign that it had been visited in the past fifty years. After twenty miles or so, my mother, brother, and I were all hit by the exact same urge at the exact same time. We all had to, at that very moment, take the biggest leaks of our lives. It was as if the urine fairy gave us all a tap at the same time with her three yellow wands. My mother pulled off on to a tiny dirt road, and she and my brother shot off into the dark woods. I, however, was way more timid, and decided I would try to hold it until we got back to civilization. My mother, with her aforementioned flaw, came to a different conclusion.
“Get your ass out of the car,” she exclaimed while zipping up her trousers.
“It may be a helluva long time before you get to piss again, so get out and pop a squat!”
“But moooooom, we have no idea where we are. I could be pissing in some guy’s rose garden for all I know. I can’t see my hand in front of my face!” My logic seemed lost on her.
“Get out of the goddamned car right now! If it’s too dark for you, just piss somewhere in the light of the headlights.”
Most mothers seem to have no concept of privacy when it comes to their children. My mother is not exempt from this. When we are shopping for clothes, she opens the door to my dressing room without knocking, and often leaves the door wide-open.
“I’m not pissing in front of you and Chris! Fine, I’ll just find a spot in those things that look like bushes.”
I walked deeper into the woods to where I could not be heard or seen by my mother. As I walked through the brush I debated whether or not I should fake taking a leak and hold it until we reached a fast food restaurant.
What happened in the next few seconds totally negated any decision that I was about to make.
As I reached for my belt buckle, I heard a very loud pop. I dismissed it immediately as someone’s tire blowing out in the distance. But then I heard it again. And again. And again, again, again. Then I felt a sharp gust of wind and heard a sound that can only be described as a ptwang. I heard the ptwang sound again, and a leaf just above my head exploded. I realized that someone was firing bullets at me.
I crouched to the ground and ran as fast as I could (not very fast when you are crouching). As I scuffled over the car, my mother rolled down the window, and asked (in a very matter-of-factly tone) “Heather, are you being shot at?”
“FUCKING YES I AM, FUCK, SHIT, AHHHHHHHHHH!”
And then my mother proceeded to drive off. Without me.
I was running at full speed now. I caught up to the car and banged wildly on the windows. My mother slowed the car down, but did not come to a full stop. I tried to open the door. It. Was. Locked. My mother took a moment or two to unlock the door. I half-expected the handle to come off in my hand. Finally, the door was open and I dove into the car.
“DRIVE WOMAN! DRIVE!” And we took off into the night.
My mother laughed the whole way home.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
My friend Holly's initial bachelorette party took place on a weekend when almost everyone was out of town. Her turnout was so low that she had to combine her party with her soon-to-be husband's bachelor party. They went to dinner at the Melting Pot, a restaurant where you pay through the nose to cook your own food. Afterwards they went to a lame bar or two, got tired, and went home early. She's a good friend, and she's in a good marriage where no jealousy issues are involved, so I knew throwing a make-up bachelorette party was in order. The event occurred this past Saturday, and with this experience I've compiled a list of must-haves for the ultimate make-up bachelorette party.
1) Human excrement. Try to find a steaming pile about the size of a small mountain outside one of D.C.'s finer nightclubs. Bonus points if you save one of your intoxicated friends from slipping in it.
2) Enough alcohol to kill a bison. Split between six small women, of course.
3) Lots of public sex. Don't know where to find this? I suggest some of D.C.'s "higher-end" (pun intended) clubs, mostly because at these clubs, you will find that many of the women are...
4) Prostitutes. Preferably a spectrum of them, from the high-class call girl to the crack-smoking junkie whore. Some of the lower end ones could even qualify for...
5) World's Ugliest Transvestite. Make sure some of your very drunk friends dance with this shemale, not knowing she is sporting a raging hard-on. Also, make sure the transvestite's dancing style resembles the motions of a dummy in a slow-motion crash test video.
Monday, February 25, 2008
About four months ago, my mother offered to take me on one of her business trips. A PR firm was holding its annual nutrition-centered conference in Budapest in mid-February, and she offered to let me tag along as sort of a late Christmas/early birthday present. Surprisingly, it took a bit of convincing to get me to come. I don't know why I was so apprehensive at the time. It might have been because the most recent trip I had taken with my mother had not turned out quite as well as I had expected. It also might have been because I, like so many of my contemporaries, had very little knowledge of Budapest.
Around Christmas time, something in my brain snapped. I remember thinking "What am I thinking? It's a FREE trip to a European city for christsake!"
I left a voicemail for my mom early one morning saying I would be happy to join. I was biting my nails the rest of the day, hoping to God that it wasn’t too late. I got a call from her later that day and she told she was trying to secure a ticket for me. Ironically enough, I was in a Barnes and Noble at the time waiting in line to purchase a travel book on Budapest. As luck would have it, she was able to cash in her frequent flyer miles for my ticket, and the PR firm allowed the invitees to bring guests for a small fee. So my hotel and plane ticket were practically free. When I returned home from Barnes and Noble that night I read the book nearly cover to cover.
After reading the guidebook, I decided to set some goals for this trip. I knew that it would be a long time before I would be able to go on a vacation like this again. This trip had potential for some intense isolation and self-discovery, so the goals I made were built around that. I am happy to say that I was able to fulfill most of my goals. They were as follows:
Goal # 1) Take night photographs- Check.
I was able to borrow a tripod so I could test out some night photography.
This was our hotel, Four Seasons Gresham Palace. This hotel was the Four Seasons of Four Seasons.
Detail of the bridge.
This is the Royal Palace in the Castle District. It houses the National Gallery.
This is a statue of Deak Ferencz, an important Hungarian statesman.
Goal # 2) Visit a Turkish bath- Check.
The smart-looking lady is Lisa and the handsome devil to her right is Rob. We met at a lecture about Hungarian food one the first day of the conference. Rob and Lisa were traveling with Rob’s mom. I spent a lot of time with these folks. Lisa was a sweet and enthusiastic individual, and Rob was funny and affable. Lisa and I shared an affinity for all things hippy-like, and Rob and I shared an affinity for a fine glass of scotch. Since both of these of these folks are from California, they both…
…love drinking wine. We had a great time together.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Sandra. She is probably the most delightfully entertaining and interesting person I’ve met in quite awhile. She was traveling with her cousin Keisha, who was also attending the conference.
Goal # 4) Try new foods and eat a lot -
That’s a big check.
Goal # 5) Take at least two pictures that I am very happy with- Check.
Goal # 6) Buy Absinthe- Check.
I bought two small bottles of Pere Kermann's brand. I bought one for me and one for my brother.
Goal # 7) Try palinka.- Check.
I tried some in the hotel bar. Unfortunately, it was too dark to take any pictures. The drink was very similar to grappa, and had the propensity to be just as disgusting.
Goal # 8) Have a one-night stand.
I’ve never had one before, and, to sound ever-so cliché, I’m not getting any younger, therefore, time is running out. Having a no-strings-attached fornication session in a beautiful foreign country with a hot guy who I would never see again seemed like the way to do it. I don’t have pictorial evidence of this, not only because I’m a lady and would never post such things, but also because it didn’t happen. All the good-looking men I saw on this trip were either taken, gay, didn’t speak a word of English, or just didn’t seem interested. So that’s a big UNCHECK.
Accomplishing seven out of the eight goals was awesome. I knew goal # 8 was pretty far-fetched anyway, and I just sort of threw it in half-jokingly. The other seven goals were necessary for a well-rounded cultural experience.
In conclusion, this trip will be remembered as one of the most luxurious and breathtakingly beautiful experiences of my life. I guess what I’ve learned from this voyage is to never, under any circumstances, turn down a free trip to a European city.
If you would like to see more photos from my trip, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/68109917@N00/sets/72157603956509052/show/
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I must say that I am more than a little shocked. The natural things that happen to us seem so unnatural, especially when someone so young is ripped away. It's almost as if, and bear with me on this one, the events that were supposed to happen in a parallel universe got shuffled up and accidentally happened in ours. In this other universe, the talented people of our generation are living long and fruitful lives that almost too slowly fade into the night, whilst in our universe they are extinguished when their light is at its brightest.
It's possible that everyone has a parallel self that is in some way immortal. I take a slight comfort in this theory. Some might call these everliving versions of ourselves merely their twin in different situation. I like to think of them as our souls.
RIP Mr. Ledger.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I jokingly referred to the event as "Diddlefest '04" because I knew that many of us would feel the urge to whip out our lady bits and go to town right there in the theatre. This phrase has now been coined for any movie that A) has two or more famously hot young men and B) has these men doing hot things, possibly together. Since this initial event, several movies have fit this category. Here are some examples by year:
2004-Troy, as mentioned above
2005-Brokeback Mountain, I thought about bringing plastic sheets to this one
2006- This was a shitty year for diddleworthy movies, and a shitty year for movies in general. Bear in mind, however, that I have not seen "The Departed".
And my prediction for Diddlefest '08 is......
THE DARK KNIGHT!
Please let me know if I've missed any movies in the years mentioned above. I know there have been several diddleworthy movies prior to or around 2004. Here are a few that are worth mentioning:
Fight Club (1999)
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)- don't ask
*Edit*- I would like to add that in order for a movie to be diddleworthy, the famously hot men have to look famously hot within that movie. Case in point:
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)- This does not qualify as diddleworthy, despite it starring two very hot men: Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Torro. This is because Benicio Del Torro looks more bloated than a balloon at a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Johnny Depp looks like, well, like Hunter S. Thompson.