Friday, 29 August 2008

Phone it in Friday: Vote!

Let's have another round of applause for our guest posters this week!

[wild applause!]



Most of you buggers are out celebrating Labor Day early, we'll bet. But for those of you who aren't, please phone it in today by voting for Abigail!'s blog-o-spondent video for Southwest Airlines.

Vote here! And have a great Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Guest Post . . . Tam!

Jennie Today's guest post is from my good friend, Tamara, who threw the best wedding EVER. There were sparklers. And Reese's Pieces. Yeah. Enough said. And now . . . I present . . . Tam . . .

I must say, this week’s guest posts were a hard act to follow – Apple pie cancer? Eating the remains of a Ped Egg while on the date from hell? What is this world coming to? This is my humble attempt at making my seemingly perfect life sound bad.

Five worst things about being a newlywed.

I must preface this by saying I was married on July 4th and I ADORE my husband. He really, really is the “man of my dreams,” cliché I know, but I did have a lot of dreams about him before we got hitched. He killed me in one of them.

1. The presents eventually stop coming

As soon as you drop the invitations in the mailbox, the presents start rolling in. Your front door is stacked to the ceiling every day with Crate and Barrel boxes. The best part is when someone doesn’t come to your wedding and they just send a present instead. Double-bonus because you get the present AND don’t have to pay for their meal. People you’ve never even met send you gifts and money. Even after the wedding, the presents keep coming. But, eventually you run out of people who forgot to send you a present and even though you run to the door every time the doorbell rings with hopes of seeing a burly UPS man, it’s probably just an Asian boy scout trying to pressure you into buying some damn popcorn.

2. People ask you intangible questions about your marriage that you are obligated to respond to.

“How does it feel to be married?” This inevitable question asked by people I barely know DRIVES ME CRAZY. Whatever happened to statements like, “Congratulations!” Instead, they ask you to regurgitate a “feeling.” I am tempted to respond, “Well, most of the time I’m warm “down there,” full at night and during the day I’m so completely in love I can barely focus on driving.” Instead I my generic answer is this: “It feels the same as being engaged.” Sometimes I add, “…and now there are more repercussions if he dies.”

3. You have to act and think like a wife

Earlier this week, during an internal dialog session, I was bitching about how my husband NEVER sorts his laundry and wondering why it is MY job to finger through his stinky socks. I then slapped myself for thinking like a wife. My inner fembot rallied my independent former-self to ask me why it is now MY RESPONSIBILITY to make sure he has clean under things.

Then yesterday, I was in the waiting room at the doctor’s office paging through the August 2008 Oprah magazine and I happened upon a one-page story called, The Bride and The Broom. Tagline: Enjoy the honeymoon, honey, because you’re going to have seven extra hours of housework…

According to research at the University of Michigan [boo!], having a husband adds seven extra hours of chores a week; the lucky man loses an hour’s worth of cooking and cleaning.

Come to think of it, my equality-touting spouse hasn’t cooked or cleaned a
single thing in two weeks. They didn’t tell me this before I got married. Yet
another reason to HATE Michigan.

4. You change your name and the process makes you realize mankind is regressing

These days’ people change their name to all kinds of stuff [Crap Bag]. This was a HUGE decision for me and other bra burning feminists and I must say the process puts the Kreb cycle to shame. After much deliberation, I changed my name to (original first name) (my last name) (his last name). No hyphens ---, one last name, shut up. I started getting credit cards in the mail (my first name)(my old middle name)(my last name)(his last name) Who puts that many names on a credit card? My work kept my middle name and added a hyphen [even though I provided them with a new SS card] I guess the HR lady didn’t like my new name choice. And THIS was the conversation I had with the bank:

Me: Hi, you changed my name wrong. I got married and dropped my old middle name and my old LAST name is my NEW middle name.

Connie, the teller: You can’t do that.

Me: Um, yes I can.

Connie, the teller: Not without court papers. Do you have court papers?

Me: No, but I have a new SS card. That’s pretty official.

Connie, the teller: Nope, I must have court documents. You can’t just go and drop a name like that; you have to go through the court system.

Me: What do you think people do when they get married…THEY DROP THEIR LAST NAME! I just dropped a different name. Trust me it’s legal.

Connie, the teller: I have never heard of something like this. That is why, in the system, I added two last names.

Me: Change it.

5. And lastly [and perhaps even more important than your new social security card…]

You have to change your Facebook status from “looking for men” to “married” or else people will talk about you.

Within one week of my wedding I had messages on “my wall” that said, “So are you ever going to change your status?” My husband joined Facebook last week and the funniest part about it is when you change your status to ‘married’ to another person on Facebook, they have to ‘confirm’ your marriage request [I guess they started this after Jennie! tried to Facebook-claim she was married to John Krasinski].

Best part: on your ‘profile edit page’ under the ‘married’ status, it gives you the option to ‘delete relationship’ – apparently, according to Facebook, it’s just that easy.


(my first name)(my last name)(his last name)
Hey! You guys! Go vote for Abigail! (Please?)

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Guest Post: Network Geek!

Today's guest post is from a blogger you may not know very well, but we've known each other for, gosh, a billion years. And after our recent shoe shopping excursion, (and also after I found out he's a Freemason. An actual, honest-to-God FREEMASON!) I knew there was no one on the internets I'd rather have take over for my blog-posting duties than my friend, Network Geek.

Ladies and germs, today Network Geek presents The Five Worst Things About Surviving Cancer.


Yes, you read that right, The Five Worst Things About Surviving Cancer.

When Kat asked me to write a guest post for the Canard Collective, this was the first topic that jumped to mind. Well, actually, to be fully honest, my first thoughts were about how much easier it would be to write about the five best things about, well, almost anything. The five best things about being divorced, for instance, or being unemployed or.... Well, you get the idea. But, then, being the contrarian that I am, I thought about this. You know, people always think when you survive a major illness, or, as I like to say, cheat death, that your troubles are over. But, gentle readers, I'm here to tell you that it is not so. Surviving is just the beginning of the problems.

The first thing that sucks about surviving cancer is that you have to go back to work.

I mean, for weeks and months, they've been treating me like a rock star at the hospital. Seriously. I had room service and a constant stream of people coming to check on my every need. I had chicks in sexy nurse uniforms waking me up in the middle of the night. At one point, I'd had so many transfusions that I'm pretty sure none of the blood in my body was my own. It was like Keith Richards for God's sake! I even had a crew of women who wanted to know every time I ate, took a leak, or had a "bowel movement"! And, after that kind of lavish attention, I'm supposed to go back to work and take care of pathetic users who've lost their Word documents? After being pursued by scrub-adorned groupies, I'm supposed to be worried about the mundanities of checking the server backups?

Oh, seriously, spare me!

Then, the next worst thing about surviving cancer is that the doctors and the hospitals all want to get paid now.

So you go through this whole routine with the medical staff about how they're these great humanitarians and they're all about you and "saving" your "life", then they send the bill. Oh, sure, my insurance paid for a lot of it. Most of it, in fact, but, hey, guess what?! There's a deductible! And, here's the cute, little tidbit they don't share with you, the insurance doesn't cover everything. I mean, even beyond the 20%, up to your maximum, that they expect you to pay out of your own pocket, there are things they just don't think are justified in using to keep you alive, no matter how many of those doctors claim you need them. And, I'm not talking about $20 aspirin tablets or anything like that. No, I mean medicine with Latin names even the pharmacist can't pronounce that counteract the radioactive, chemically toxic sludge that they've been poisoning you with for the past God-knows how many days or months which are $300 a pop. This is stuff that five people who claim not to know each other have all independently insisted is essential to your continued survival and that you must have. If you can afford it.

So, you pay it off, $250 or more a month, like a credit card with a high balance and a bad interest rate. You pay it off because all you can think of is that guy at work who was talking about his cousin Manny who got his car repossessed because he wasn't making the payments. Because you lay awake at night trying not to picture that nurse who went to school at the University of Moscow on a KGB scholarship coming in the middle of the night to repossess your health. Because you still have to face those doctors and you're sure they know that you haven't paid all their bills yet and you're afraid they won't keep telling you that the cancer hasn't come back. Or worse, that if it does come back, they'll stop letting you in the door to the clinic.

The third worst thing about surviving cancer is that everyone seems to have a something to tell you about cancer.

Everyone has an opinion about cancer, cancer treatment and the fact that you survived. And, they all want to share that with you. At great length. At very great length. Well, except for the people who you disappointed by beating the cancer. I know I have plenty of those folks who would really have been just as happy if I'd not made it, like my ex-wife and her current victim, er, fourth husband. Or like everybody I've ever screwed out of a promotion at work. I'm sure they'd all be happier if I'd died from it. Oh, and of course, the people who would gladly trade my life for the life of their loved one who died of cancer. Not that I hear from those folks, mostly. But they beat every one else who wants to talk at length with me about cancer.

And if they don't have a story about their favorite uncle, or cousin, or whatever, who had cancer or who has cancer, then they have questions. What am I, the Shell answer man? I have a medical degree that I should know the answer to your questions about cancer? Look for all I know that lump you found in your armpit is an old Milk-dud you lost in a drunken stupor last weekend. That cough could just be a cough. And I have no idea what your chances of survival are for some obscure form of pancreatic cancer that's migrated to your left big toe. Honest. And if I did, I'd charge you to tell you about it because, well, see my second point. If I were an expert, I'd be getting paid, G-Money.

Besides, all I know about is the kind of cancer I got, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. And, honestly, I know just what I couldn't forget in spite of trying to forget the hours of doctors droning on and on about all the crazy things that I can't do anymore, or at least while taking chemotherapy, because they're "bad" for me. Riddle me this, Riddler, how can fresh fruit be bad for me when my Second Grade Teacher harped on how we needed to eat fruits and vegetables four times a day by order of the government food pyramid police?

Look, I care about cancer the same way I'm a dog lover. Mainly, I care about and love my dog. Apply that to any way your body has betrayed you. Thanks.

The fourth worst thing about surviving cancer is that your friends are always checking on you and your health.

Just because they stayed with you that first night you got chemotherapy and were afraid you were going to choke to death on your own vomit like a rock star, now all your friends think they can monitor your diet and exercise and tell you what to do. Every time I cough more than two days in a row, they're suggesting I need to see a doctor. Every time I have a third slice of apple pie, because, you know, it might "be my last", they're all getting up in my business. Look, when I was on chemo and dropping weight like a bad habit, my doctors wanted me to eat anything that wasn't nailed down. They thought it was a great idea for me to eat sticks of butter like Popsicles. Now, it's a little hard to just stop that kind of consumption cold turkey. And, it's not made any easier when your oncologist's nurse flirts with you by saying that she's always liked her men with a little something to grab onto. And, besides, it's not like most of the people I know who are getting all critical about my health habits couldn't stand to make a few changes themselves, you know? Sure, I could stand to hit the gym a little more, or at least walk around the block a couple times a week. I'll grant you that. And I'll start doing that just as soon as the people telling me that I need to "eat healthy" and "get more exercise" start leaving work on time, stop hitting the buffet line at the local men's club and take up jogging. Promise.

And, so help me, if one more person suggests that I need to get a juice machine or follow some ancient Icelandic, anti-aging, cancer preventative diet, I'm going to see if the urban legend that no cannibal has ever been diagnosed with cancer is actually true.

Finally, the absolute worst thing about surviving cancer is that it's not ever over.

Officially, my lymphoma is in remission. Full remission. But, I'm still going to get poked and prodded and scanned once a year for the rest of my life because it might come back. Every day I have to deal with the idea that my body could be quietly growing another monster tumor that will send me through all this again. Because, until it comes back, or I finally die, it's not over.

It's never, ever over.

So, you can see, having cancer might not be any damn fun, but surviving hasn't exactly been a picnic, either.

Bonsoir, Canard.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Guest post: Heather Nicole!

Heather Nicole writes I Heart Heather (comment here to be added), a blog that she doesn't update enough.

I'm going to blame the fact that this post is mostly YouTube clips on the cast of The Hills, who own my soul on Monday nights. And also on laziness, which owns my soul all the time, every day.

5. Worst commercial
The first time I saw a commercial for the Ped Egg, I thought it was a joke on account of in the commercial, a lady actually dumps a container full of her dried foot skin onto the floor. And then she just keeps talking, like she had not just sprinkled her savory foot shavings all over the code of acceptable human behavior. Remember that chapter in "A Clockwork Orange" when they show Alex a "movie" that is just scene after scene of gruesome torture to condition him to get sick when he witnesses violence? THAT IS THIS COMMERCIAL, only murder is significantly more palatable than what you're about to see:

4. Worst werewolf transformation
This clip is from a show called Destination Truth. I don't normally watch shows like this, but I happened to be flipping through channels right when an Argentinian man was proving to the show's host that he is, in fact, "El Lobizon," which is Argentina's version of the werewolf. Clearly I had to watch. Not only is it the most deliciously awful performance ever, the host's response is so awesome that it almost makes up for the fact that he is an adult, with a brain, in Argentina looking for werewolves:

3. Worst musical
A few years back, the producers of Broadway show Jekyll and Hyde were all Who should we hire to play the lead role in our musical? and somehow landed on David Hasselhoff. How much would I love to have been a fly on the crack pipe responsible for that decision? SO MUCH. My mom gave me the DVD for Christmas because she hates me, and my sister and I watched it that night. Toward the middle of this scene, when he rips off his shirt, I actually had to get up and sprint to the bathroom because for the first time since Cody Myer's fourth birthday party, I peed my pants:


I am going to leave you with one last story, the one that first came to mind when I started thinking about "worsts." It is going to count for two worsts because a) it is so long and b) Spencer Pratt is not going to watch himself be a douchebag.

2, 1. The worst date ever
A few months ago I came to work and there was a new, really hot guy working in the back. So hot that I agreed to go out with him even though he had been to prison for stealing a car. (Also I should mention that I live in a really small town called Weed and when someone with the majority of their original teeth intact asks you out, YOU GO, even if they've spent a few months in the slammer.) Anyway. We agree to meet in this parking lot (sketchy) and when I'm getting ready to leave my house, he calls to tell me he might be late because he's got these handcuffs on and he doesn't have the key.

Me: Uh, did the POLICE put the handcuffs on you?
Him: No my friend did.
Me: By "friend" do you mean "naked girl"?
Him: No.
Me: Cool, call me when you lose the 'cuffs.

I know you're judging me, but remember the HOTNESS and the TEETH. So we end up meeting later in the parking lot, and he gets into my car (he couldn't drive, on account of it would violate his parole) holding a beer can. I think he saw me giving him a judgy look because he quickly assures me that he isn't drinking - the can is for spitting. UH HUH. A man has spit tobacco into a beer can IN MY CAR. Put some stretch pants on me and stick a baggie of meth in my pocket 'cause I DONE GONNA BE ON COPS. He apparently doesn't notice that I'm in the thralls of an anxiety attack because he directs me to drive to the grocery store, where he's gonna borrow money from his friend to finance our romantic evening together, which included a movie, two hours at his friend's house smoking pot and him trying to convince me to make out with him on a couch six inches away from his friend's passed-out body. If that is not the worst thing you have ever heard ... you know what, I cannot even finish that sentence because there is NO WAY THAT IS NOT THE WORST THING YOU'VE EVER HEARD.

Please still like me.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Guest Post: Kerri Anne!

heather Tired of hearing the ol' Collective drone on and on week after week? Tired of the same ol' song and dance? Tired of hearing about Michael Phelps when there were so many other talented Olympians like, say, Lisa Leslie, four-time gold medal winner in women's basketball? No? You're just tired because it's Monday? OK, then. Either way, we've got a treat for you this week: GUEST POSTS! Because we like to spice it up every now and then. Please welcome Kerri Anne to The Collective. Spectacular middle name, no? And she's cute too.

[Wild applause!]

Hi! I'm Kerri Anne and I watch a lot of movies. "A lot" as in "probably too many, but if you judge me I'll throw my popcorn in your hair." When Heather Anne asked me to guest post this week, it literally took me two weeks just to narrow down my preferred list of "5 Worst," mostly because do you know how many 5 Worst lists one can compile based solely on movies and movie-watching alone?

I won't bore you with the mathematical statistics, but rest assured the lists, they could fill an entire theatre, leaving standing-room only. I did finally, after much weeping and gnashing of teeth, choose my favorite 5 Worst, and thus, without further adieu, I invite you to cozy up in front-row seats of your choosing for this, the world premier of Kerri's 5 Worst Ways To Die, Cinematically Speaking Of Course:

5. Being impaled by an enormous piece of flying steel, while you and your technology-thieving boss are being carried up up and away by a Tornado you were just chasing.

Perhaps if he would have channeled his inner Westley Cary Elwes' character would have escaped such a horrible cinematic fate. Oh, and that's Cary Elwes' favorite cronie on the right, being impaled while still driving the tornado chasing truck. See also: yikes.

4. Being eaten alive by a new-age T-Rex, while you were attempting to hide from the pre-historic madness in the nearest rest-room facilities.

Three minutes after Martin Ferrero's character abandons the kiddos in his Jurassic Park tour truck and hightails it toward the nearest restroom, we find him sitting on a toilet while a hungry T-Rex looks down upon him quizzically. Two seconds later the T-Rex eats him, of course. Were the writers trying to teach us a lesson about Karma? Probably. In any event, I image it to be mighty unsettling: one minute you're (fake) going to the bathroom, and the next, you're in the belly of one of the Jurassic period's most highly renowned predators.

3. Accidentally stepping on a mine just as you are about to finally escape dangerous mercenaries, while the love of your life is standing not one-hundred yards away, gazing back at you without any idea why you suddenly stopped running.

Hi, depressing much? This is how Angelina Jolie's character in Beyond Borders perishes, which has to be the most horribly realist portrayal of what would probably happen if you really did have to flee to safety through an unmarked mine field. The moral of the story: steer clear of the mines. No, really.

2. Being torn in half and eaten by a genetically engineered "super shark," just minutes after celebrating an experiment gone right.

Enter 1999's "thriller" Deep Blue Sea, starring A Pretty Mad Scientist, The Shark Whisperer, Samuel L. Jackson and--wait for it--LL Cool J. Samuel L. Jackson is in this movie all of ten minutes, which makes it doubly hilariously horrible that his character is the one who is eaten by the shark that--according to the very high-tech computer screens in the lab--has been successfully genetically altered to be smarter than any other living creature, past or present. The premise of the movie proves its point rather nicely in positioning Samuel L. directly in front of an open ocean pool wherein he proceeds to deliver what is to be his final soliloquy. By the end of the scene there remains no doubt that the shark, and arguably a stick, is smarter than Samuel L. Jackson's character (and Samuel L. Jackson's agent).

1. In a freak gasoline fight with your two best friends.

OK, so I admittedly saved this tragic movie moment for last, as this number one of the 5 Worst could also arguably be the best way to die cinematically, which only serves to further illustrate the beauty and the duality, the cinematic complexity that is Zoolander.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Phone It In Friday: Video Games!

Is it just us or has this week sucked donkey balls? Not you lot, of course. You are the apple of our eyes, the sunshine in the storm, the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. Without you, the cruel, nasty world might've eaten us this week. But it did not. So here we are. To talk about video games. Or, rather, to listen to you talk about video games.

Tell us something good.

Don't be a bad apple.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

the Super Mario Bros. song is my ringtone, does that count?

Jennie When I saw that this week's topic was video games, I thought, "oh noetry," because, you guys? I suck at video games. I'm just awful. The only video game I have ever successfully completed was The Legend of Zelda on Super Nintendo, but only because I spent an entire summer playing it, and every day I'd frantically call my dad (at work) and be all, "Hey, dad . . . I'm in the castle and I'm supposed to kill these things that stomp around in a circle but they keep breaking out of the circle and stomping on me! They stomp and stomp and stomp and my sword does NOTHING," and then he'd be like, "Jennie, remember how you have a bow and shitload of arrows? How about you try that and let me get back to work."

Whenever I try to play video games that require any amount of skill, I fail miserably and do what I usually do when I'm not automatically good at something: I quit. Or I play the easiest world of Super Mario Brothers over and over because I can actually make it through that one.

Most of the time.

I had a bit more luck when the Wii came out, because now you actually had to move the controllers to make the game do anything. Something I had been doing for years with no result. I can bowl and play tennis. I can milk a pig and shoot UFOs and ride a cow. I cannot, however, race a boar around a racetrack or ride a bird and corral pigs.

I never really cared that I was terrible at video games. If others were playing, I'd just be like, "oh, my thumb hurts," or "I'm too drunk to see the screen," and no one thought anything of it. And then Rock Band came along.

Rock Band. The video game of all video games. I could play Rock Band for hours. I HAVE played Rock Band for hours. And hours. And some more hours. And I'm not even that terrible! Well, I'm pretty terrible at the drums. But I'm adequate on the guitar and the bass and I got an 89% on Don't Look Back in Anger ON EXPERT so I think I'm OK at the vocals. None of it matters, though. I love this game. Even if I failed every instrument five notes into the song and pissed everyone else off because they really, really wanted to rock out on Black Hole Sun, I wouldn't care. Instead, I would play Rock Band until my hands fell off, and then I'd get new, robot hands and play some more.

Rock Band!

rocking out

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Game theory.

Despite what the title of this post might suggest, it is not actually about game theory, because while I do know about game theory, I only know enough about game theory to make me a modern jackass, and I am seriously trying to cut down on my modern jackassery. Nope, this post isn't about game theory; it's about me.


Or, rather, Mii. She's a world- and Olympic-record holding javelin thrower, expert skee-baller, and miserable sad sack of a football tosser. She likes to rock the party, and as such, really only comes out on the weekends when the company and the booze are free-flowing and my Wii muscles are appropriately loosened up.

Enter my Nintendo DS Lite. I love my Nintendo DS Lite. It lets me play Mario Kart and Lego Star Wars and all the old Super Mario Bros. games and I can "surf the net" as the young folk say and also draw and send all kinds of funny pictures to whomever else nearby has a Nintendo DS Lite of their own, which is usually just my boyfriend but you should see some of the antics I get into with kids on the Metro.

10 Bucks FTW!

But mostly I use it to solve New York Times crossword puzzles. That ten-hour flight I'm taking in a few days? You'd better believe I'll be making out with this baby the whole way.

My Nintendo DS Lite is white to match my iPod (the phone came later), and unlike Abigail's fancy-schmancy iPod my iPod doesn't play games. My iPod only plays music, and because it's the last black-and-white iPod ever made it doesn't even do that very well anymore. Or rather, it DOES, it just doesn't do it for very LONG, so I have to keep a power cord handy at all times. That ten-hour flight I'm taking in a few days? Had better have an outlet at my seat.

This? This is the end of my post.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Trism is the best game of all the games.


Disclaimer: This game only works on the iPhone/iPod Touch which I realize makes me seem like a TOTAL snob. But it is impossible for this game to operate on any other system (except maybe the Wii) and so cross your fingers that technology will advance to expand this game to more systems or that iPhones will fall like manna from heaven.

Do you Tetris? Do you Bejeweled? Then you need Trism. It blows every other game out of the water.

In fact, says, "This is one of the most high quality games out for the iPod Touch and iPhone, which will make you ponder why you purchased Tetris or Bejeweled for double the price."

First of all, you're creating groupings of three or more of the same color by moving the rows VIA TOUCH. You slide the rows back and forth. Then, you also control how the new pieces fall by tilting the gaming device. And then there are all the fun challenges like bombs to be cleared and locks to unlock and other neat-o achievements like creating a heart-shaped trism or playing for 24 hours straight.

While crafting this half-ass but whole-hearted review, I fell way deep into the Trism forums--a black hole of a website full of wonderful people who are maybe a bit too zealous about gaming but very good at it. In fact, the last time I was in the forums was about four weeks ago and about two weeks after the game had debuted. I was on them because I had reached level 30 and it was no longer advancing levels and lo and behold it was because that was the end of the game. Someone had asked the exact same question two days before and the creator was all, "I never thought anyone would get that far!" Creator, how could you possibly not anticipate us crazies and also, that's right BOOYAH, I was in the top tier of total game-beating nerds.

Now, four weeks later, I am at pretty much the same nerd level I was then while the rest of the gamers have quickly advanced past me and are clamoring for more achievements and levels and challenges. While I look forward to the release of new versions of this game, I'm afraid it will hard and I will wimp out. I like games I can beat, dammit!

So, in conclusion, BEST GAME EVER.

This is not my real post.


In fact, it will disappear soon to be never seen again, until... uh, anthropologists in the future hack computers as a means to find out about their weird ancestors. Greetings, anthropologists! Back in the day when I was alive you guys had to use spades and stuff to get artifacts!

I have a really awesome video game to tell you about, but I just got off an airplane that left at 6:30 IN THE MORNING because I missed my flight last night because I was busy being traumatized. Woe is me. I have to go to a meeting (boring) but after that I think I will slack at my job and blog instead, okay?

How are you?

Monday, 18 August 2008

This is how you phone it in.

heather I intended to post a video of me rocking Guitar Hero III, but see, lightning destroyed my PlayStation. So instead, you're getting the video answer to a question M!G! asked a while ago in the comments.

Q: How do you get 99 extra lives on Mario 3, World 1-2?


(I stayed up all night reading Goblet of Fire; this is the best I could do.)

Friday, 15 August 2008

Remember that time you did something embarrassing?

Two orders of business today:

1) Please tell us an embarrassing story.

2) Please join us in celebrating our little Abigail!'s birthday. (It's on Sunday, but the Internet party is TODAY!)

Thursday, 14 August 2008

my life: a brief history

3rd Grade: Indian Riffle Elementary School, science class

Mr. Counts: And human blood is what color?
Class: Red!
Mr. Counts: Good . . . yes, Jennie?
Jennie: Also, black.
Mr. Counts: . . .
Jennie: My dad told me Vulcans have black blood.
Mr. Counts: Um . . .

5th Grade: Indian Riffle Elementary School, Mrs. Wolfe's class

Mrs. Wolfe: OK, if I said "Golden Gate," what place might I be talking about?
Jennie: Heaven!
Mrs. Wolfe: No, Jennie, those are the Pearly Gates.

6th Grade: Indian Riffle Elementary School, UN Day preparation

Mrs. Morgan: Jennie, this needs warmed up a bit.
Jennie: OK!
[two minutes later, a small explosion]
Mrs. Morgan: What was that?
Jennie: Um, the microwave.
Mrs. Morgan: Jennie, did you put that metal pan in the microwave?
Jennie: . . . is that not OK?

8th Grade: Mrs. Kehl's English Class, end of day

[bell rings, everyone starts to leave, Jennie accidentally dumps contents of bookbag on floor]
Mrs. Kehl: Tammy, I need to talk to you.
Tammy: SIGH.
[Mrs. Kehl and Tammy begin conversation, Jennie finishes gathering contents of book bag and walks to the front of the classroom, where she proceeds to wipe out, slide across the floor, and ram into the side of the filing cabinet; Tammy and Mrs. Kehl look on in horror]
Mrs. Kehl: Um.
Jennie: I'm OK!
Mrs. Kehl: Good.
[Mrs. Kehl and Tammy go back to conversation.]

11th Grade: First driving lesson

Driving Instructor: OK, there's a red light up there. Turn left.
Jennie: Do I have to stop?
Driving Instructor: What?


Driving Instructor: Turn right at the next street.
Jennie: Up there?
Driving Instructor: Yes, up there.
Jennie: OK.
Driving Instructor: You're gonna want to slow down . . . yep, a little slower. OH GOD SLOW DOWN.
Jennie: Sorry! (should I leave them a note?)

12th grade: last day of classes, mini-golfing - 18th hole

Jennie: I'm gonna hit this ball as hard as I can!
Friends: Um . . .
Jennie: Here I go!
[Jennie hits ball, ball ricochets off of a rock]
Friends: Um . . .
Crowd of parents and kids: Le gasp!

College: very early Saturday morning, walking home from bar

Jennie: I'm going to call Erin . . . ring ring . . . it's ringing!
Voice: Hello?
Jennie: Erin?
Voice: Jennie?
Jennie: . . . yeeeeeeeeah? Who is this?
Voice: Jennie, this is your mother.
Jennie: Oh . . . hi, Mom!

Age 24

Jennie: I like you.
Boy: I just want to be friends.
Jennie: OUCH.

August 2007:

Goose: HONK!
Jennie: HONK!
Neighbor: [startled]

Last Tuesday:

Jennie: Hey, it's the episode of The Office with the bat! I love this one!
Joe: It is a good one.
Joe: WOW.
Jennie: I'm afraid of bats and I'll tell you why . . .
Joe: OK.
Jennie: This one time, when I was 5 or 6, I was staying at my aunt and uncle's house and I was lying on my back with my eyes closed? And when I opened my eyes, a bat was sitting on my chest! And so I screamed? And the bat flew away.
Joe: Wait. The bat was standing on your chest? I thought they just hung from things.
Jennie: They have feet, they can stand.
Joe: OK. And it was staring at you?
Jennie: No, it was just sitting there.
Joe: Where'd it go?
Jennie: . . . I don't know? Back to wherever it came from?
Joe: But . . . how did it get out?

Also, there was that time I fell into the men's room.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

This one time, at band camp....

Like Heather Anne, I am not easily embarrassed. And also like Heather Anne, I really should be. Because I'm loud and crass and I absolutely hate it when anyone tries to tell me my business. Seriously, don't tell me my business.


Last weekend my boyfriend and I were checking out a condo in a converted mansion in Shaw, and while I was in the back bedroom I heard the real estate agent whisper, "What is your wife's name again?" And in a panicked murmur I heard my terrified boyfriend reply, "Shhhh! We're not married, and if my girlfriend hears that you called her my wife she'll break up with me." Ultimately he was wrong, but his instincts were right, and any normal human being would probably be mortified to be talked of thusly.


Oy, do I get myself in these situations absurdly frequently. At a barbecue recently I was asked if I ever thought I'd get married and I went on and on and on and oooonnnn about how I am far too intelligent for THAT particular brand of complete idiocy, all the while standing next to the fiancee of my newly engaged friend. She looked at me like I had three heads and when I STILL wouldn't shut up she just shook her head and walked away. Oops.

Also there was that time I sang karaoke on my birthday a few weeks back and I forgot how to read. But I was drunk so whatever. Alsoalso, Abigail said this: I just found a blog called Testes123. Me thinks you have something to do with it. She was right.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

My first "resume" ever...


[sic the whole thing]

I have a lot of hobbies! I like to make things. Even when I was little I created mudpies and paper mache messes. Once I even tried to grow ice! I guess one of the reasons I like creating things is because my mom was an art teacher.

In the past years I've tried lots of different things including a bookmark business in 6th grade, but the ones that I have really enjoyed are creating things with clay, making jewelry, and designing stuff on the computer.

I make all sorts of stuff out of clay from custimized beads to name plaques and figures. For Christmas, I gave many of my friends jars with decorated lids with their name or things they liked on them. I have also made "tooth fairy boxes" for small children and miniture wizards for aspiring magicians.

I also make many kinds of jewelry. I've made earings, and bracelets but mostly I just make hemp necklaces. I get ceramic and metallic beads from a bead store and weave them in. I have sold many hemp necklaces to friends and family.

My latest endevor is my desktop publishing business, Design Works. I make flyers, banners, letterhead, logos and business cards and also type papers. I enjoy creating these things on my computer and have made a lot of money from this.

I am an entrepeneurer and also have another business with a friend. We are party servers and we come before a party to cook the food and get the house ready, serve the food the party so the host may enjoy his or herself. After the party we stay til the house and kitchen are clean.

The most embarrassing part? I wrote this when I was fourteen. FOURTEEN. Little Schilbo? Get a life.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune.

heather When I told Amy that this week's Collective topic was to share an embarrassing story about myself, she said, "Seriously, just the one?" Because while I am not easily embarrassed, I really should be. And here are ten reasons why:

1) I own every Amanda Bynes movie, and 2) I love them all. 3) I hate spending money on anything that isn't books or plane tickets or polar bears, so for the last 5 years I have been sleeping under the blanket that was on Amy's college dorm room bed. 4) I can say every line ever spoken by Helen or Nikki on the UK soap Bad Girls, and 5) I can do it in their respective accents. 6) If I find a Jelly Belly sour jelly bean anywhere, I'll eat it. 7) I own a Harry Potter lunch box, 8) which I carry. 9) I am so terrified of vampires that 10) even at 30 years of age, I make Amy answer the door on Halloween for fear that I will see a little kid dressed up as one.

But the embarrassing story I want to tell goes like this:

The last time I tried to flirt with someone I accidentally blew a booger right out of my nose.

Aaaaand, there's no follow up to that.


Heather Anne

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Dear broccoli, if you touch my mashed potatoes again, I will kill you so hard. Love, Jennie

Jennie I'm with Kat on the whole making a list thing but when I started listing neuroses, I realized I don't really NEED to tell them you about all of them, for you see, you could just go HERE (see also: this) and read all about them yourself. Don't be lazy.

I decided to focus just on food. Because, food neuroses, I have them. I blame my father, who cannot eat a sandwich if he puts the ingredients on it in the wrong order. I have not picked up this affliction (yet), but I'm well on my way.

I am so particular about food, that I have had some version of the following conversation with quite a few people:

Me: Ugh, my food is touching.
Them: So?
Them: . . . OK.
Me: I can't stand it when my food touches.
Them: What about mashed potatoes and gravy?
Me: Shut up, that obviously doesn't count.
Them: . . . OK.
Me: Sometimes if my food touches, I can't eat it. Like, one time, my cookie got mustard on it and I couldn't eat it.
Them: . . . OK.
Me: And when I eat chips? I have to eat the broken ones first. Same thing with pretzels. And, french fries? I eat the mushiest fries first, then the smallest fries, then the big fries.
Them: . . . OK.
Me: And I have to eat my lunch in the same order every day.
Them: . . . OK.
Me: Because I have to eat the food in the order I like it. The other night, I was having green beans, mashed potatoes, and chicken and I had to eat it in this order: green beans, chicken, mashed potatoes.
Them: . . . OK.
Me: And when I make a sandwich, I have to cut it in unequal halves because I have to eat the smaller half first.
Them: . . . um.
Me: And when I eat the sandwich, I eat the crusts first because I want the last bite to be from the middle part of the sandwich because that's the best part of the sandwich.
Them: Just . . . WOW.

Sometimes I stop before the sandwich thing, though. Because the reaction I get is always JUST LIKE the above, only there's also a YIKES face attached and I can only handle so many YIKES faces in any given day. I get this face a lot, is what I'm saying.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

(1) I make lists.

No, I make a lot of lists. At any given moment, I have five lists at the office, two on the refrigerator, eight in Google Docs, and eleven in my PDA. (This, among many other gems, comes from the list labeled Horses: "In the Belmont, bet on all Nick Zito long-shots to win. And I mean ALL.") So, naturally, when contemplating showing you all my neuroses, I started with a list.

And boy howdy, was that list long. Like, so long.* It was so long, in fact, that I got all self-conscious (5) and decided not to post it after all for fear that I might scare you off (1492) and then you wouldn't want to be my friend anymore. And if there's one thing in this world that I want, it's to be your friend (851).

Oh, sure, I could limit this post to the detailed discussion of just a single one of my many neuroses, but the fact of the matter is that I wouldn't know which one to pick, so debilitatingly indecisive I am (324). I could talk about how I need the branches on my sheets to be pointing towards the head of the bed so that it looks like they're growing from the foot (27), or I could talk about how the milk needs to be in the back right-hand corner of the second shelf in the fridge (61). I could even talk about how every morning I follow the same shampoo-conditioner-shave-body wash-face wash-rinse conditioner routine in the shower (125). Small potatoes, all.

I could take the easy way out and show you my obsessive compulsion to document the growth of my Aerogarden (982):

But I'm already worried about how often I seem to take the easy way out (33). I could challenge you to also start off every morning with WaPo's daily crossword (3) and sudoku (460). Heck, I could go on for days about how I won't eat an omelet unless my boyfriend is the one who cooked it (665). But I won't do any of that. Instead, I'll tell you a story (124).

Halfway through my second year of law school, my crazy ex-roommate gave me a week's notice that she had gone certifiable and was moving back in with her parents. This week's notice was in the middle of finals. And our lease was month-to-month. So I had a week in the middle of finals to either find a new roommate or find a new place to live, and I ended up last minute finding a new place to live: I moved in with two very messy boys.

Long story short, I'm a lot better than I used to be.

* TWSS (759).

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Let's be honest, this is really Kat's turf.


I could only think of two things.

Hang on my pants are on fire. Okay, I thought of four things, but I forgot two of them.

In my quest to find my neuroses to show you I stumbled across many a thing that aren't neurotic, but do make me weird. Like all the reasons why I'm an asshole, and how everyone annoys me, and how I'm impatient and lazy. But besides that, I am SO BREEZY.

Except about my laundry.

First of all, I have a TON of clothes. Literally. I think you could weigh my clothes and they would total a ton. At least. I love buying clothes more than anything else (I would give up Starbucks for clothes if I had to) and I spend a lot of time going through bargain racks at Old Navy and scouring the internet for deals. I know I should buy less clothes, but I don't want to.

I don't like to wash my clothes very often because did you know the more you wash (and dry) something the more it fades? That is one of the reasons why I have so many clothes. The more I buy the longer they last. It's a miracle! So I painstakingly go through my wardrobe, wearing every single thing at least once to prolong the life of each individual item. And also because I'm a procrastinator.

I can go about six weeks without doing laundry. SIX EFFING WEEKS.

Then, when laundry day comes, dun dun dunnnnnnnnn, I load up the entire trunk of my Explorer with all my dirty laundry and go to the laundromat. Then, I sort everything over a long row of eight washers. I sort by color and shade and water temperature and then I start them all at the same time. When everything is washed, I put two loads in the dryer (sheets, towels, sweatshirts) and take the rest home to air dry. WHO AIR DRIES SIX LOADS OF LAUNDRY? CRAZY PEOPLE, THAT'S WHO.

(I do have that much underwear. I swear.)

The other thing is small and insignificant, but why, WHY, in all of God's green Earth, would anyone choose, CHOOSE, to sort their iTunes in any order other than by album? Now that's crazy talk.

Monday, 4 August 2008

My neuroses: let me show you them

heather I trekked Europe earlier this year, and just yesterday I finally finished unpacking my backpack. (I have been home since the first week of May.) I didn't unpack it because I wanted to get organized or anything. No, I unpacked it because I bought a new Kelty and I wanted to put some things in it and carry it around the house and look awesome. I either have no neuroses because I have no anxiety, or I have no anxiety because I have no neuroses. I'm not sure which.

The only thing in the world that makes me anxious is if my Google apps get out of order. Every day I use Gmail, Google Reader, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. The only PC program I actually run on my computer is Photoshop. I could go three years without cleaning my office, but if I don't keep my Gmail labeled and filtered, or if I don't move my G-Docs to the appropriate folders when I am finished with them, or if my Google Reader starts reaching the hundreds, I get crazy upset. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I have -- quite honestly -- woken up in the middle of the night, logged onto Reader, and CTRL+A'ed the whole thing, because I couldn't deal with that many unread items.

Google apps are like my own personal eating disorder. The world spins madly on, but I'm OK because my email is color-coded!

I recently noticed that I am at 83% of my Gmail capacity. Does anyone know what happenes when Gmail gets full? Is my head going to explode?

Friday, 1 August 2008

Just when you thought you'd had enough Canrdies, MORE CANARDIES!

Our last Canardie of the week is the Finally Starting an Effing Blog Canardie. And it, of course, goes to Sir of etc., etc.

Congratulations, you lazy bastard.

This honor is too much. As unworthy as I feel of such high praise, I’d like to clear up what appears to be a misconception regarding my perceived foot dragging where starting the effing blog is concerned.

Prior to making the decision to take the leap into the high-pressure world of drivel writing, I wanted to get some guidance. Naturally, I sought the assistance of an elderly Asian man, since we all know that elderly Asian men (especially those that look like this) are chock full of both wisdom and the ability to kick Uma Thurman’s ass. Unfortunately, southern states tend to have a rather limited supply of these folks, so I had to settle for the first middle-aged Asian dude I could find. Sitting on a park bench. Next to a dog.

Me: Um. Hi!
Me: Yeah, so I’m thinking about starting a blog and I want to do it right and I was hoping you could maybe hook me up with a little wisdom on how to proceed, y’know, slap some Confucian whatnot on me and…well…stuff?
MAAGSOAPBNTAD: [Hands me a piece of paper] Sign!
Me: Wait, what is this? What …
Me: *scribble*
MAAGSOAPBNTAD: [snatches paper from me]
Me: What did I just do?
Me: Pardon? Hanky pa…
MAAGSOAPBNTAD: Good clog need concentration! Lack of boob help focus!
Me: Blog. B-L-O-G. Lack of … wait. Sex?! For how long?
Me: Find and …what?!?!?
Me: What the hell does …. why do you have a picture of a pu…
Me: No. This is complete bullsh…..
MAAGSOAPBNTAD: [hands me the paper I signed] READ!!!!
Me: [reading] My God. That’s the most flawlessly-worded fine print I’ve ever seen. And you’re a notary.

So, having become a sexless puma-killing vacuum salesman, there was pretty much no way that I wasn’t going to start a blog. As for the delay, trust me when I tell you that finding and killing a puma, wily or otherwise, is no picnic and that rushing such an endeavor will only result in your getting scratched/bitten and the puma fleeing into the cold dark night to possibly kill again.

The duck, however, makes it all worthwhile. I was also gratified to see that said duck has excellent taste in books and enjoys vodka martinis, unlike some non-duck humans who worship Satan prefer gin. In this picture, we’re in the process of bonding over a very simple yet sophisticated Absolut martini (I attempted to add a lemon twist, but the duck was like, ‘DON’T defile my cocktail with fruit, you HEATHEN!’ The duck has spunk.) So, how can I possibly thank The Collective enough? In giving me the gift of a little pink enabler that drinks like a fish and squeaks threats about not fruiting up the liquor, they’ve ensured that I’ll never again drink or bathe alone. And what more can a person ask from life, really?