Friday, 30 July 2010

Excuse me, do these effectively hide my thunder?


Dear Bluths,

Annyong. How've you been? The other day, Joe and I were watching Veronica Mars (season comment) and at one point, Veronica took a woman to the jail to pick up her boyfriend from the drunk tank. After some talky talk, the woman hugged her boyfriend and Sheriff Lamb yelled, "HEY. No touching!" I was all, "Arrested Development!" and Joe was all, "Coincidence!" but I chose to believe it was an AD shoutout and he can shut his facehole.

Maybe I was reaching (YEAH RIGHT). It's just because I miss your faces. I miss the chicken dance (cawcawcaw-CAW CAW). I miss the segway. I miss GOB's illusions (a trick is something a whore does for money...or candy). I miss Michael's disapproving looks. I miss Buster's hook (I'M A MONSTER).

I miss George Michael and Maebe and the love that dare not speak its name. I miss STEVE HOLT (!) and Ann Veal (her?) and her mayoneggs.

I miss Mrs. Featherbottom (who'd like a banger in the mouth?) and I could use some advice from Dr. Tobias Funke, Anal-rapist. I miss Bob Loblaw and his Law Blog.

I want Lucille to insult me. I'd consider it a great honor, actually. And then I'd like to commiserate with Lindsay and maybe we could go shopping with the Bluth Company credit card or something. And then we'd go visit George Sr. in jail and maybe Barry Zuckercorn would be there and we could all hang out and tell inappropriate jokes.

I miss it all, Bluths, why did you go away? I got very upset. Like, probably inappropriately upset but can you blame me? We had such good times. Sometimes I want to take a forget-me-now so it's like none of this ever happened. It'll be just like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Maybe we could hang out with Mark Ruffalo! And Frodo!

Anyway. I don't really want to forget. Then I wouldn't have any moments like the one below in my brain AND WHERE WOULD I BE THEN*?

I'll just hang out with the Always Sunny crew until your movie comes out.



Thursday, 29 July 2010

like throwing arms round yesterday

Dear Fictional Personage,

It feels so strange to be in this place once again, writing you letters you’ll never see. I thought I’d left all this behind but after M---- mentioned your name a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to get you out of my head. Before I knew what was good for me I went back and read pages upon pages because, God, how I miss you. You’re everything again, where here I thought you were gone for good.

And now it’s the way it used to be; sometimes I think you’re a disease, a creeping brain cloud, slowly sinking into every cell until I find myself wondering whether I’m not more you than me. If only that were true. You are a smart, compassionate, talented, talented man, and if I could be just a tenth of what you are I couldn’t consider my life a waste. I’d be like you, fighting the good fight, protecting my family, facing my fears when it is far, far easier to rabbit run run run.

But you’re gone now, and I don’t know where to. And though it’s been so long since first you went, I miss you now like I did then. You are adored, and wherever you may be on your next great adventure I hope you can feel how much we -- I -- still love you.


P.S. My mother talks to snakes and they do what she says. Told you I should have been sorted into Slytherin.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Neal's smart and you know how much I like smart.

AbsDearest Neal Caffrey,

You know how I feel about men who steal things and you know how I feel about Bryce Larkin.

So when you traipsed into my Tuesdsay nights via Amy via Heather, I had no choice but to watch all the episodes I had missed in one day, and then find the White Collar forums to see what other people thought about the cliffhanger. Where was the music box? Was Peter bad? Was Kate good?

Neal, you are the sweetest thing and the cutest thing. You are both the right side and wrong side of the law, you are good cop bad cop, good criminal bad criminal.

Not only that, your abs are made of bronze and your smile is a butterfly, hovering on the edge of a summer's morn.

Other shows have come along on Tuesday nights, but I still watch you first. For the reasons I said and for one of my favorite ships, the friendship.

Neal Caffrey, you are a wizard. Don't stop.

Love, Schilbo

Ashley, how does that feel? Jealous much? Then STAY AWAY FROM CHUCK BARTOWSKI.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

You know what? I would save the receptionist. Just wanted to clear that up.


Dearest Joe (of Jennie & Joe),

This week's Collective topic is to engage in correspondence with a fictional character. I had it in mind to write a letter to one Mr. Scott Pilgrim, but when the post arrived yesterday afternoon -- and with it the invitation to your wedding -- I knew it was my duty to write to you instead.

Jennie has an intensely vivid imagination, as I'm sure you know, seeing as how she conjured you from its depths. For a long while, my favorite of her imaginary friends was Figment the purple dinosaur and his rocket ship (DUH!). And then you came along. We (The Collective) had a nickname for you in the very beginning, something out of a Roald Dahl book because we all love Roald Dahl very much, and you seemed as warm and whimsical and tall as one of his very best characters.

You were well-read, Jennie told us. We nodded. You were extra-ordinary in matters of intelligence, Jennie told us. We smiled. You enjoyed all the best TV shows, Jennie told us. We golf-clapped. You had the heart of a superhero, Jennie told us. We applauded wildly. You got her. You really got her, and the more she got you, the more she loved you. We wiped a tear from our eye.

One night, under the influence of alcohol, Jennie Collective-Tweeted and said that on your very worst day, you were better than Jim Halpert and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy combined on their very best days. That, my darling Joe, is when we had to slam on the breaks.

Could it be that our sweet Jennie had actually found a real-life person who was better in every way than the fictional characters she loved so dearly?

No, certainly not!

It was then that we began to suspect that you -- like Figment -- were, well, a figment of her imagination. Oh, but the lengths she went to to convince us that you were real: The fake blog where you are funny and insightful and astute; the fake Google Reader where you share all the best hero news and webcomics; the fake actual comic book you created that made us cry; the fake Blogger account where you comment here at this very Collective and make us swoon. And, of course, the fake email address where you have shared so much passion and wit with me about books and TV and comics. How you have wooed us, sweetest Joe! Oh, how you have wooed us!

Now, it seems, Jennie thinks she is going to marry you. (Her imaginary friend!) (The invitations are perfect, by the way -- drawn by you, of course.)

So here is my plea, loveliest Joe: Please leave Jennie's imagination alone. You can't be real. You're too good to be real. We love our Jennie so very much, and we know she would never choose to spend her life with anyone who isn't magic. And magic is only in books.

It has been nice knowing you, imaginary Joe.


P.S. If you actually are real, I can't wait to meet you at your wedding. I'll be the one doing the reading of Evil Summer. You'll be the one marrying the most beautiful girl in the whole world.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Phone it in Friday: Take us with you!

Happy Friday, Internets! I hope you're not all melting from the hot hot heat. But if you ARE melting, I have just the thing to take your minds off of it: tell us where you'd go with an unlimited travel budget.

I would just like to add that after I was done at Hogwarts, I'd go to Jurassic Park. Thanks, Ashley.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Hogwarts, a History


Me: I hope no one picks the Harry Potter's Wizarding World of Wonder or whatever it's called for their post this week.
Joe: Why?
Me: Because that's what I want to do.
Joe: What's the topic this week?
Me: Where you'd go with an unlimited travel budget.
Joe: Wouldn't you go to real Hogwarts?
Me: I don't know how to get there. I'm all Muggle-y and don't know where Platform 9 3/4 is.
Joe: Heather Anne could show you, she's magic.
Me: You're such a suck up.
Joe: Why?
Me: You just want me to put that in my post and then Heather will be like, "I love Joe, he's the greetest!"
Joe: ...So?

There are lots of places I'd go with an unlimited travel budget, especially assuming that since I HAVE an unlimited travel budget, I don't have to work anymore which is awesome because working is for suckers. Or for people who like to live, like, inside and not in an alley somewhere. I am one of those people. But I digress.

My first trip would be to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter OBVIOUSLY and I'd use my unlimited travel funds to pay for you all to go, too. Because it wouldn't be as fun without you.

We'd start in Hogsmeade, naturally, because first we need wands. Real wands for real magic. And before we can do real magic, we'll need a pick-me-up, so we'll go to Honeydukes for some Chocolate Frogs, Cauldron Cakes, and Fizzing Whizzbees. If we're feeling adventurous (and of course we are), we'll try some Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.

Next we'll hit up Zonko's and load our pockets with Extendable Ears, Puking Pastilles, and Fever Fudge. Don't forget to pick up a Sneakoscope, every good wizard needs one. Then we'll go to Dervish and Banges and we'll all get Firebolts. Don't worry about the cost. Unlimited budget, you see.

We'll probably be a bit tired at this point so we'll need to go to the Three Broomsticks for some Butterbeer. Don't drink too much firewhisky, though, we've got lots to do still.

We'll go to the Dragon Challenge next, now that we've gotten some liquid courage. Better bring your Firebolt, just in cases. After we've mastered the Dragon, we'll head to Hagrid's for a Hippogriff lesson and maybe some tea. Careful Fang doesn't drool on your robes.

We'll be pretty tired at this point, so we should probably head to Hogwarts. We'll visit Dumbledore's office and maybe even the Room of Requirement for Dumbledore's Army training. Check your Marauder's Map for Snape and Filch before we head to the kitchens to swipe some snacks, and then we'll go to the Gryffindor common room for a quick rest.

And, you know, if none of that happens, maybe Heather will take us all to real Hogwarts.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom.

AbsI used to dream of a glamorous job with lots and lots of travel. I dreamed of living from a suitcase, of knowing the TSA agents by name, of having a favorite coffee place in every city.

In my dreams it was a job, because everything in my dreams is a job. I counted down the days to age 16, not because my driver's license, but because I could officially get on a payroll somewhere. I could officially use my time to earn money.

I've had many jobs since the first at age 16, but I've been at my current one for over six years. That's a general life record for me, only outlived by my residency in this great golden state, and the length of some of my greatest friendships. And I love this job so much. I've passed up other things in these years like being an investigatory reporter, but in the end I circle back to my job that I love.

And while I've managed to grab a trip or two a year out of my workplace--hardly enough to get me free business class upgrades--it really did lack this one dream of mine, this travel one, this life of glamor. But I worked harder and I stretched farther and I grew and grew and grew until suddenly one day I was needed in five places at once.

And so it is too hard to answer the question where would I go because my whole map is green and only a wittle bit blue, and instead I'll tell you where I'm going between today and December 1:

Dayton (!)
Washington, D.C. (!)
Atlanta (!)

It might not sound glamorous to you, Witchita and Dallas are rarely green dots, but I have never been there and someone else is paying me to go there and they have coffee there and airports and maybe even business class upgrades. I am living the dream.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Why don't we just forget the "Pig-in-a-Poke" itinerary, and just play it by ear, like normal people?


Looking at a world map is like going to the bookstore: I think I've traveled a lot of places in my 31 years, I think I've read a lot of books — but then I realize there's so much left to see and so much left to read. It kind of makes me want to fall in the floor and have myself a little tantrum because I NEED A TIME-TURNER, DAMMIT! I NEED A TARDIS! I NEED A TIME MACHINE WRAPPED INSIDE A CLEAR TITANIUM BUBBLE. OR A ROCKETSHIP (DUH).

I love to travel. I love everything about it. I love airports and airplanes and trains and buses and taxis. I love living out of a backpack and meeting people and eating weird foods and getting lost and getting found. I love museums and I love National Forests and I love castles and I love cathedrals and I love monuments and I love mountains and I love oceans.

I spend half my life pretending I'm on an episode of Amazing Race, and saying things to my friends and family like, "I know you're hot and tired, but when you snip at me like that, it doesn't make you a very sympathetic contestant."

"A contestant on what?"

"On the Amazing Race?"

"We're not on the goddamn Amazing Race!"

"See, snipping again. America isn't going to root for you."

I went to wherei' this morning to map out, you know, where I've been. And it also gave me the option to say where I want to go. (Also: where I've lived.) So where I've been is blue and where I'm going is green and where I've lived is red.

Now all I gotta do is inherit one gazillion dollars.

And find someone to love this beast while I'm gone.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

I am an annoying asshole. Annyong.

Jennie I am all the time saying I'm an asshole and (most of the time), Joe is all, "no, you're really not," but I think that's because I'm way more of an asshole in my head than I am out loud.

We were in the car on the way home from a wedding on Sunday and I was all, "what should I write for this week's Collective?" because I like to start thinking about the topic a few days in advance. This is so I can run through the first few drafts in my head before I start writing because I'm such a lazy editor, you guys. What I post on the internet is almost always the first written draft that I maybe run through once or twice to make sure I didn't use the wrong form of you're/your or their/there/they're because yes, I still do this sometimes even though I am 28-years-old and a grammar nazi.

Joe asked the topic and when I told him it was the opposite of last week's, which he wrote for me, he asked if I wanted to write about why I am an asshole and against my better judgment, I told him he could help me. This sounds like a bad idea, I know, rife with fighty-fisticuff possibilities but I pretty much know WHY I'm an asshole so I wasn't worried about getting my feelings hurt.

Anyway, the list soon devolved into not so much "Why Jennie Is An Asshole" things but "Why Jennie Is Annoying" things. I don't even remember what the asshole things were but I remember the annoying things because, you guys, I have really annoying habits. Especially if you live with me.

I leave my shoes all over. Like everywhere. At this very moment, I have at least two pair of shoes lying in the bedroom, a pair of sandals by the side door, a pair of sandals under the kitchen table, and the shoes I wore to work are lying in the middle of the living room.

I also leave half full water glasses all over the place. This is unrelated to the shoe thing, I think, and also to aliens. QUESTION: Do I have to boycott Signs now that everyone knows, FOR SURE, that Mel Gibson is a huge twat? Because I love that movie.

According to Joe, I put the toilet paper on the roll upside down. I maintain that there IS no upside down and if he can't figure out how to use toilet paper no matter which way it's put on the roll, that's on him.

I plan EVERYTHING. I plan big things, like weddings and trips and budgets, and I plan little things, like what time I should go to Target or in what order I should go through the grocery store and if it's this exhausting to me, I can't imagine how exhausting it is for anyone who lives with me.

When I like a song or album, I play it over and over and over until I have finally heard ENOUGH. But the problem is, I have to hear the song a lot before it's ENOUGH. Which, I understand, can be annoying to some people and is why Heidi threatened to throw my CD player out the window when Wincing the Night Away came out.

So, yes, I am annoying but I am also an asshole and here is why: I saw a friend at the wedding this weekend that I haven't seen in a while and apparently haven't talked to in a while because YOU GUYS she is six months pregnant and I had no idea. BECAUSE I AM AN ASSHOLE.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I'm An Asshole Vol. 3

Heather and Abigail are assholes because they got other people to write their posts for them this week. I’m an asshole because I am blatantly stealing their idea, only the people I asked to write my post for me all said no. Luckily for me, I am also an asshole because I have a long memory and a very spacious inbox, and so other people are going to write this post for me whether they want to or not.

So, without further ado, I’d like to present the following things my friends have said about me that prove that I am, in fact, an asshole.

“You’re an evil, ugly little troll.”

“A true friend, would have made a greater effort. I don't think I should have to run after you. So now... not only did you blame me ... but then you lied to everyone and tried to blame me and my friends for not including you. How dare you try to manipulate the situation! Talking about me behind my back is hitting an all time low!”

“At the very least, you should have had the decency to treat your friends with a little more respect.”

“Not only am I disgusted with the events of this weekend, but am fed up with the constant lies. Since we are clearing the air.... let me just say....this is not the first time that I have been treated badly by you. You are rude to me so often that I convinced myself to accept it and to turn the other cheek, but that is it. I've had enough! This is where I draw the line and will not take it any more.”

“You definitely aren't the easiest to get along with at times.”

“Trust me, there have been times I've come home crying over something you have said.”

“As for you being a social retard, I can understand that. I feel like you have difficulty being social with women, for whatever reason.”

“Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I am in town, but I don’t want to see you.”

“It’s probably best if you just lost all of my contact information.”

“I really can’t stand you.”

So there you have it! Irrefutable proof that I am indeed an asshole. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Heather! Anne! says: Schilbo! is an asshole


One of the best things about being besties with Abigail is that we are in near-constant agreement about things that suck. (Glee, for example.) And on the flip-side we love almost all the same TV and movies, so we can take turns evangelizing each other about things that are awesome. (I introduced her to her boyfriend, Chuck Bartowski, for example.) Schilbo never gets her TV recommendations wrong, and every time she has suggested a series to me, I always, always, always end up owning it on DVD.

My favorite moment when I watch what she tells me to watch is the ah-ha! when I figure out why she loves what she loves. I know her pretty good, my Abigail M. Schilling, so it's not very hard to crack the code. Like White Collar, which opens up its second season tonight. Here's why she loves it:

(Thank you, Ashely.)

The best recommendation she ever recommended was Veronica Mars, not just 'cause it's AWESOME, but because it's like Schilbo 101. Abigail is Veronica Mars. She's got the inexplicable hots for Logan, yeah, but it's more than that. She also has this unique brand of loyalty and a marshmallow center and a fervent, unquenchable need to know everything about everything.

If I want to know something, I Wackopedia it, skim for my answer, then go about my merry business. If, by some Satanic interference, the answer isn't on Wackopedia, I might Google it. Abigail will read an entire fucking Wackopedia entry and read every link it references and every link the reference links reference. I've watched her go to page eight of Google results, which is just insane. If it's not answerable on the first page of Google, it's unanswerable. Get on with your life.

The asshole part of her personality comes because of having to know everything about everyone. I have in my possession a journal of hers from when she was in middle school, and I'm telling you, it is a masterwork. She's got the text about her friends and what they're doing and why, and then she's got cross-references ("Refer to the notes in my top desk drawer") and code ("You'll know where to find this information if you remember where the crow crosses paths with the chicken.") and editor's notes ("Jessica's actions one year later are congruent with the assertions I made about her character in sixth grade.").

OK, and that's not asshole-y just by itself. The real asshole-y part comes when she never forgets anything (like ever). And she will pull that shit out and force you to look at it at the most inconvenient time.

Look, sometimes I just want to make a really bad decision. And sometimes I have to lie to myself a little so I can go through with it, but it's impossible to do something stupid when Abigail is watching over you.

"I'm going to have drinks with so and so."

"No, you're not; you'll sleep with her."

"No, I won't; it's just drinks."

"Please note the dates and times of the following Gchat transcripts, AOL chats, emails and mobile phone conversations. In all of them, you went out for "drinks" with this person and ended up in her bed. It's not just drinks."

And it's not like you can make a bad decision and not tell her about it, because she knows when you're being shifty.

"You're being shifty."

"No, I'm not."

"Yes, you are. You've let whatever person wriggle her way back into your life and you knows it's dumb on an epic scale, and if you'll just look at these charts I've made of your previous shifty behavior, you will notice that the time of year, the weather pattern, your haircut and the t-shirt you are wearing are exactly the same. You previous shiftiness proves that you are, in fact, being shifty at present."

The down-side of her assholery? Less making out with people who are bad for you.

The upside of her assholery? Same as Veronica Mars': "If you want to lock horns with me, duck and charge. But if you think I'm gonna let you break Heather's heart for sport you have grossly underestimated my wrath."

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Asshole, revisited (for the third time)


Heather! Anne! note: You can't believe a word of this post. It was written by someone who loves me too much to tell the truth.

Most parents tell their children that they can grow up to be anything. They tell their children that they can do anything they want to do if they just set their minds to it or apply themselves. At some point in our lives, we all realize that isn't true. We all have intellectual limitations, physical limitations, emotional limitations and circumstantial limitations. No one can really do anything they want to do, except for Heather.

Heather is 31 and in her whole life she has never wanted something she didn't get. She has never set a goal she didn't achieve. She has never wanted to do something she found impossible to do. She is good - great actually - at everything she tries. (With one notable exception: She will never be able to dance. It is genetic. Her dad dreams about shooting good dancers in the head.)

I wish I could find a way to explain Heather to you (She does car commercials in Japan. I hear hair is insured for ten thousand dollars.) but she is the one who is gifted with words. Of course, she would never use her own words to describe how she is on the inside. Not really. I tell her that she is not made for this world because she is almost too warm. She is almost too gentle. She is almost too forgiving and too open. She just believes all the best things. She jokes about her third grade teacher ruining her life by telling her there was no Santa Claus, but that really does still bother her because she does believe in magic. Well she believes very deeply in the power of imagination - which is the same thing, she says.

She shares that part of herself a little with her stories and her blog posts, but it's very diluted compared to how intense it is in real life. Everyone she meets falls in love with her - dogs, cats, children, men, women, your own boyfriend or girlfriend. Because her personality is like a forcefield in reverse. It pulls everything and everyone into her.

Dealing with Heather sometimes is like dealing with a genius-child. She'll walk out into the street because she's busy imagining. And if she says she can't do something, it only means she doesn't want to do something. If she says she doesn't know the answer to a question, it is only because she doesn't feel like answering. She knows how to do everything, and if she does not know how to do it, she could learn it in five minutes. If she's in the mood - or if she is drunk - you can ask her any question and she will tell you the answer and it will be the best story you have ever sat through. Ask her to tell Bible stories to you. Ask her to tell you about history.

She talks herself down to everyone and pretends she's mediocre at so many things, but none of it is true. (Except dancing. I tell you, she cannot dance. We call it The Pterodactyl when she tries.)

For every page she writes for work or for her blogs, she writes 50 pages for herself. Sometimes she goes outside in the middle of the afternoon in jeans and a t-shirt. She lies in the grass and it is like the sun is telling her the secrets of the universe because she goes back inside and writes for 20 hours without stopping to even eat.

When we were in high school, she joined the track team. She hated it, but she did it because they needed more girl runners. Most people are good at one or two things. You are either good at sprinting or long distances. She was better than everyone at everything. The day of the meets, she just waited to see where the team needed a runner and she ran that event. She always won. But here is what is so Heather about it ... she only ran fast enough to win. She could have probably set state records, but she didn't want to make people feel bad on the other team.

That's why you'll never see those 60 notebooks in her closet, I think. It's why she pretends not to know answers to questions too. Also, I think it's because she's afraid her genius will run out and she won't be able to meet your expectations.

Heather has a lot of annoying habits that mostly have to do with losing stuff. She literally can't keep up with her phone or her car keys. (She's doing better with her wallet now that Abigail bought her one with dinosaurs on it.) But that's only because she has a million things going on in her head, so keys and phone are trivial to her, like eating and sleeping.

The point is that Heather is an asshole because she can actually do anything she wants to do, and because everyone loves her best no matter what. She will always be better than you at everything she does. But unless it's basketball (or sometimes video games) she won't let you know she's better.

She would hug the whole world if she could. She would gather the globe up in her arms and give it a big Hogan squeeze. But she hugs you different if you know her inside. You will know it if it ever happens to you. That's when you know that yeah, she is an asshole, but she's your little asshole. And you would jump in front of a bullet for her. (She's not bullet-proof even though you think she is.) And you'd jump in front of a bear for her too. (She's not bear-proof either - but that you already know.)

Friday, 9 July 2010

I paid Joe five dollars to say nice things about me.


Jennie Is Not An Asshole*, by Joe:

I’m sitting here staring at a blank screen, trying to write Jennie’s post for her (yet again, I think I must be her designated guest-poster, even when it’s not guest-post week), and the problem I’m having is that I’m not sure where to start.

Should I write about how she’s not an asshole to me? I could talk about how she always – always – makes me laugh hysterically at nothing in particular, or about how, when I’m having a bad day, she’s johnny-on-the-spot with piling on the hugs. I could discuss how she occasionally shames me into working out because duh, it’s good for me, and then she’s all ‘I told you so’ when I feel good as a result of said working out, but it’s not in an asshole-way because I know she only says I told you so because she knows it’ll shame me into working out more and that’s pretty much what I need. The general gist of that entry would be that she’s the best thing that ever happened to me and how could she be that if she was an asshole?

But that’s so specific. It might be better to talk about how she’s not an asshole to the general public. Like how she’s super-thoughtful and always writes a thank you note when she receives a gift. Seriously, I’ve never seen this before, but she’ll receive a gift and then, five minutes later, she’ll have the thank you note written and in an envelope with the gift-giver’s address on it. I remember being forced to write thank you notes to relatives when I was younger and what a pain that was (what am I least looking forward to after the wedding?), and she just does it like it’s nothing.** I could get a whole post out of how in awe I am of her and her consideration for others. How she’s a great daughter and an amazingly patient big sister, or how she volunteers her time to help grieving children. I defy anyone to call someone who does that an asshole.

Maybe the best thing to do would be to just write about all of that, but to try to keep it short, as going into full detail on all of those topics would yield quite the hefty tome. There are things I’ll have to leave out, of course, but readers will get the general idea. Maybe I’ll end it with a picture or something that illustrates her not-asshole-ness, like how she always humors me when I have ridiculous ideas, like joint Halloween costumes.

velma scooby charlie brown

Yeah. I think that’ll work.

*am too

**Note: after she read this, Jennie told me that she doesn’t like writing ‘Thank You’ notes. She only writes them for people that she thinks would care about receiving a thank you note. See? So considerate. [editor's note: I still think I am awful about writing Thank You notes, and also sending birthday/Christmas gifts to people on time, and correspondence in general. That's all.]

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

99% of the time I'm a terrible person

This is Molly.

Last week I was driving home from work and it was dark out and Molly was standing the middle of the road. I pulled over, offered her an oreo, and she hopped in my lap. I sat with Molly on the side of the road for an hour trying to find her family. Molly belonged to someone. (No tags though.)

Poor Molly.

Eventually, I scooped her into my car and took her home. I pulled out the dog food and bowls and bed for when Maddie comes to visit and I googled “how to save a dog without calling animal control.” No way was I letting sweet Molly go in the clanker. Especially since it would cost over $200 to adopt her back out.

She drank a ton of water and then crawled into bed with me like a snuggle bunch. She came to work with me the next day. I posted on Craigslist and covered the neighborhood with signs. I thought that surely after the signs went up I would get a call. I mean, I had clearly stolen someone’s dog. Did they not want it back? I worried that she had managed to travel miles before I found her and that her family would never see the signs. I worried about a little girl missing Molly. I worried that I would never learn Molly’s name, that she would never be able to tell me who she was.

Hours passed and I found Molly a permanent home. After consulting various professionals and websites I decided to try to reunite her with her family for three days, and then she would have a new life and a new name and we’d just consider her a blessing.

After 24 hours I finally got a call. I was paranoid that this was just someone trying to steal her. (According to the internet, that happens.) But it was her dog sitter. Her family was on vacation, and the dog sitter only stops by once a day. Molly was just lonely, I guess. Broke the gate, went to find some oreos and friends.

Somebody told me they couldn’t believe I kept her for so long. “Anyone else would have called animal control and she’d be gone.” So I guess I’m not an asshole.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

For who could ever learn to love ... a beast?


This post went through one bazillion incarnations in my head, and the whole time I was trying to plot it out I was like, “It shouldn’t be this hard to think of reasons I’m not an asshole.” Finally, I just gave up and asked people to write reasons for me. Five people. Five reasons. And then I sat at the breakfast table with Amy -- who has known me since we were children -- and watched her wrestle the question for like 15 minutes, tracing and re-tracing the words “Heather Anne is not an asshole because” over and over again. So I scrapped that plan and decided to make a video, which I’m not going to tell you about because I’m still going to make it; I just haven’t had time because of stuffing my face with tasty, tasty America’s Birthday treats.

So now it’s Tuesday morning and I’m staring down a blank page and the number one reason I’m not an asshole is howling at the front door, because somewhere in the next county over, a nut fell off a tree and traveled down the creek until it landed on a bank where it was picked up by a squirrel who carried it up a tree and put it in his nest. And My Freaking Beagle smelled the whole thing. And she’s undone about it.

Why am I not an asshole? Because only the kindest, most patient person on this earth would willingly take in Satan’s own house pet, and fork over hundreds of dollars in veterinary bills every time she eats through a wall.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

If I still had my 2nd grade journal, I'd have shown you my entry about Figment but I don't so SOOOOORRY!

Jennie Oh, you guys. I've been keeping a journal since 2nd grade, I believe, but all evidence of my prolific journaling prior to 6th grade has since been lost or destroyed. Actually, I sort of wish everything after 6th grade had been destroyed, as well.

None of the following entries are related, I don't think, but like you were expecting a cohesive narrative from me anyway. Most of my entries are about various crushes (James, Todd, Brandon, and LATER AND MOST EXCITING, two brothers which...weird) or The X-Files, proving that I recapped TV shows before there was (much of) an internet SO THERE.

1. 1/7/1997

So far all I've done today is clean, shower, and watch The X-Files. I had such a strange dream last night. I was at Erica's and I was looking at her movies. The thing is they weren't regular tapes. They were movies on CDs. Almost like LaserDiscs but they were smaller. Then for some reason I went to get on a bus.

[There's more, but I won't subject you to it. I think this is evidence that I totally dreamed of DVDs before they existed. Wait, when were DVDs invented?]

2. 6/30/1997

I am freaking myself out right now. I just watched Scream and now I'm totally paranoid that some guy in a mask and a black robe. I know I'm being really stupid but I can't help it. I had to go to the dentist [nice segue]. I have a new theory on alien abduction. Its really people having nightmares about the dentist. I mean, the bright light, laying flat, the instruments drilling your teeth and probing your mouth. That little sucking thingy could be what people are thinking suck out their brains.


3. I found an entry dated 4/15/97 and in it I'd written "B.T.W." The best part is that next to it, I'd drawn a little arrow and written, "by the way" in case I didn't know what B.T.W. meant later, I guess.

4. 5/1/1996

Today has been a really bad day. My friend is talking about smoking pot. And I thought I knew her. I keep telling myself that she was kidding, but I don't think she would kid about something like that. It seems like everytime I turn around, another one of my friends is making a huge mistake. I know I should tell someone, and I've always told myself if I was in this situation I would, but I don't know who to tell. I've never been in this serious of a situation before.

[This one is my favorite. Not the pot! Oh no!]