Wednesday, December 29, 2010

you know...something light.

My anxiety runneth over and is completely seeping out of the contained space in my life and into everything I attempt and every interaction I make, yet ironically enough its my dog that is on Prozac. [Tangent: Yep. Newman is officially a pill popper. He has shown signs of being a mini beast and they are hoping it will cut down on his aggression. I am not the biggest fan of giving my dog substances to stifle his emotional outbursts, but I promise its only temporary.  The pharmaceutical route seems to be working...given that today is the first day he has actually slept on his doggy bed instead pushing it into something to hump away at.]
Newman not boning his bone bed...its a rarity.
Since I don't have a Prozac perscription, and because I think its highly despicable to steal drugs from your 9 month old Chiweenie- I have sought out alternate sources of solace. Only trouble being that I am terrible at deeming what is an appropriate mood lifter, given that I thought classic Russian literature would somehow be the ultimate upper. I was mistaken. Reading Notes from the Underground at 1 AM made me even more downtrodden. Word to the wise- when you are feeling the weight of the world pressing on your shoulders, pick something moderately escapist and not something that, albeit really great, just highlights each negative crevice of society...the very ones you are trying to keep off your mind. [Tangent: I am making a conscious effort to try to read more actual classics. (Although I think Chelsea Handler is a new classic, many literary critics would dispute that.) This resolution sounds like I am an intellectual bitch, but the catalyst for rediscovering these old tales boils down to economics. I like to read in bed on my cell phone's kindle application. Classics are free to buy on amazon.com, hence I am more inclined to read them. The cheap shall inherit the earth.] Unfortunately a story about a paranoid, depressed beggar living in the Russian underground was probably the best of all my options. The other books I have in my Kindle basket are:

I realize Poe is the king of dark, twisty and depressing, but I love him. Always have. Pretty sure as a 12 year old given the option to select any poem to memorize, I picked Annabelle Lea. Me and ol' EAP have a good history so I thought he would be a good companion in lieu of sleep...I was wrong.

"It was the best of times...it was the..." Dammit. Apparently this is not the upbeat read I had hoped for.


 Next time I am moonlighting as an insomniac, I will just pop in something lighthearted. I have heard good things about Hotel Rwanda. If not, I will just buy one of those baby white noise machines and sleep the day away.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I don't want to be a NYRP



New Years Eve is 3 days away, and I am counting down the hours, minutes and seconds until the clock strikes 11:59:59 on December 31, 2010. [Tangent: Although my plans aren't super glam,  I have warned some of my fellow party goers that I will likely either kiss everyone and everything in the room and/or break down in tears...so to be prepared for both potential ball drop reactions.] I am more than ready for a clean slate and fresh changes, or if nothing else a fresh and non cynical outlook. [Tangent: In my mind the calendar page will flip and the black cloud that has resided over my household will dissappear and be replaced with huge puffy cumulus clouds that may or may not rain skittles.] Theoretically this new beginning could have happened anytime, but I feel that if all of humanity is on the same page as me, it can only help keep me in the spirit of reformation.

As a former YMCA rat, I used to be familiar with individuals possessing little to no stick-to-it-iveness: the people who came to the YMCA on January 1st in their brand new, finely pressed warm-up suits and sweat bands. These fashion plates were even given an acronym amid the staff- NYRPs [New Years Resolution People.]. Their membership would generally become stagnant by March, when their resolve began to dissolve.

In addition to the NYRP's propensity to resist workouts, I am not so different than these people. Ever the queen of good intentions, I kinda suck with the follow through...hence why I have been writing a book for 5 years and am not using my degree in my current job.

To keep from being that NYRPy kinda individual, I have decided to make a list of things I want to do. I don't really desire to be held to this list, I just want to put it on paper (errr...computer screen?). After looking at it It's obvious I am including way too many new "activities" which is specifically what my medical professionals say I need to cut down on. Somehow, I will look for that happy medium. [Tangent: In the past I have resolved to read more books or make live music a bigger part of my life. Both of these lifestyle changes have completely shape shifted how I spend my free time, and in the long run- my mentality and overall well being.]

My To- Do list for 2011.
  • Learn to play the mandolin at least one song.
    • Being born with a Yoko Ono singing voice, I long to have some form of musical talent and have dreamed of being a bluegrass mandolin goddess for about 8 years. Why not a guitar? Well, that's just too mainstream. Plus, I'm a petite gal and a guitar seems too overwhelming for my 4'11, 85 lb frame- whereas the gorgeous whiny sounding stringed instrument suits me perfectly. Additionally, I look absolutely adorable in boots and a prairie skirt and need a mandolin to accompany my Americana look. 
  •  Visit my friends who live in other states.
    • I am REALLY bad about this. For years, one of my dearest friends has lived in DC and been begging me to come out and see her. I have never seen our nation's capital and would love to. Seems like an open and shut case. WRONG! Being a wheelchair chick, air travel is a pain in the arse, and not only that- I also have to find someone to accompany me to help with all my day to day fun stuff. All my friends are broke and have busy lives, so it throws a definite kink in my ability to hop on a plane at the drop of a hat. 
  •  Paint. 
    • I have all the supplies and the know-how, so no expense will need to be spared. The attention I direct towards my artwork has just evaporated. That needs to be remedied STAT. 
  • Stay Healthy.
      • This goes without saying.  I love bacon laiden foods and high fructose corn syrup, but I will try to tweak my intake a little more to keep myself in fighting shape.
  • Go swimming at least once a month, if not more. 
  • See, despite the crooked bangs- I look happy poolside.
    • To conquer this goal I have considered joining an old lady water aerobics class at the rec center.  I will definitely need a skirted 1920s style bathing suit and zero modesty when being nude in the changing room to fit in with my new potential classmates- but I will cross those hurdles later. The real first step is getting in the water and seeing if I can sink or swim. Pun shamelessly intended. [Tangent: When I was in middle and high school, I would swim 3 times a week religiously, getting up early on Saturday mornings to do so. Dump me outta my chair and into the over chlorinated water and I began swimming laps and treading water for 10 minutes independently. I was a swimming beast before all these gross lung difficulties. When I was in college, I got back into a disabled water aerobics class and had a panic attack the first time I got into the water because I could barely stay afloat. It was upsetting to see that my water skills were failing me. Waaahh Waaaaaaaah. Cue the sad trombone.]  
  • Make step towards independence.
    • This one is perhaps the scariest yet most important of all. I want my own space...I want my own things. I have run out of ways to decorate my room. I want a home to decorate and live in and entertain in and to have Newman chew up. Its the dream. We'll see how that shakes down.

Monday, December 27, 2010

No Fear? Vol 2: holiday edition

watch out lady...this is gonna end badly.

In the past, I have not shied away from the fact that although I pretend to be a badass, I am really just a scared little weenie of a girl. Giant needles? Heights? Car accidents? Violent crime?  No fear whatsoever. Although these things are real threats, I remain overly cautious of ridiculous things that will never hurt me.

Well, this Christmas was a white one for Tennessee, our first Christmastime snow in over 10 years, and for some reason after the initial "Oooooh pretty snow! Weeeeeeeeee!"... the crazy in my psyche was shaken awake with a vengeance and my inner irrational fear machine had a field day. [Important sidenote: Speaking of vengeance and snow, the picture above is from a little documentary about a murderous snowman that is called Jack Frost. Please don't confuse this Jack Frost with the lighthearted very family friendly Micheal Keaton snowman movie or the claymation TV special from the 70s. Its a fish of another color altogether. Apparently the Chiller Network didn't realize that. On Christmas day, Dish Network put the info from the Michael Keaton movie under the movie playing, which was the one about a murderous ex con snow monster that pillages through the fine folk of Snowmonton with his weapons of choice... icicles and carrot noses. Merry Christmas kiddies. Your present is horror and confusion.]


Scenario A:

As I was departing  my house this morning en route to work, I saw the following hanging right above my noggin:



I blame Grey's Anatomy for turning me into Captain Worst Case Scenario on the icicle front...I immediately envisioned it loosening and plummeting into my head. [Tangent: The clip below was one of the myriad of reasons I stopped watching Grey's. Then Izzy started knocking boots with the ghost of her dead fiance...and I was outta there...McDreamin' of when it was watchable.] 





Scenario B: 

As I was driving to work, I was freezing cold because my drive to work is not long enough for my car to heat up, so I had this weird vision of my fingers getting frostbite and falling off. [Tangent: Yeah...weird, I know. You have every right to X out of this screen post haste.] I think at some point in my childhood I watched some Monday night movie [Tangent: They really don't make Monday night movies anymore, but they are the equivalent of a Lifetime movie in the 90s...in fact many of them went on to be Lifetime movies...because perhaps only the fairer sex were watching anyway.] about a mother, father and baby driving somewhere for Christmas and getting stuck in a snowdrift for days on end...they all got frostbite and I believe one of them had to get toes removed. Its a legitimate fear. Its just not a legitimate one for me, given my commute to work is 7 minutes (tops) on main roads...and given I was only in about an inch of melted permafrost.

Friday, December 24, 2010

...and that's why I don't shop at walmart


Until yesterday I hadn't set wheel inside a Wal-Mart for over a year (its been roughly 2 years since I have made a purchase within one.) that these stores get their "always" low prices from being completely morally corrupt. I've seen The High Cost of Low Prices...I know what's up and agree completely with it. However, that's not entirely why I've lost that lovin' feeling for the superstore. The store gives me anxiety and makes me insane with discomfort. It always has. [Tangent: Plus it doesn't have Icee's in its mini food court. HUGE DRAWBACK!]

I don't know if its the lack of organization, poor lighting, surly sales associates or the fact that every section has at least 1 or 2 items emblazoned with Tinkerbell or Scooby Doo...It's really hard to narrow it down. Probably the biggest issue is that I can never find anything...ever. If I finally do find the jumbo sized George Foreman Grill I am looking for, there is a 50/50 shot that the price will be clearly defined or that the packaging will be in tact or covered in an ambiguous sticky substance.

Because its Christmas time and "should all acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind" and all that jazz, I decided to go to ol' Wally World with my mother and sister because that is where they desired to do their last minute shopping. Soon after passing through the sliding doors behind some gents in jorts and elf hats...I knew I had made a mistake. Generally I am the type to go with the flow, but that store really makes me uncomfortable [Tangent: Damn my advertising degree and knowledge of marketing and branding. To say the least, product merchandising is not Wal-Mart's strong suit, whereas  placing things on industrial palettes and partially blocking aisle ways is.]

After becoming exasperated with me and my deer in the headlights demeanor, my sister soon started to see my point. And these are just a couple reasons why I don't shop at Wal-Mart...

Although these sweatshirts were a steal at $5, something was amiss.

A belted tube top in December! Hot look!
I only wish I would've started my photo expose earlier to reveal the wide selection of Designer Imposters fragrance gift sets [Tangent: "If you love Obsession- you'll love confess." Wait, who loves Obsession?]
Hold up...is that fragrance called Ninja?

Confession: I did discover that I really enjoyed the exclusive Miley Cyrus line of clothing. Who woulda thunk it? But, this is not enough reason for my to become an avid Wal-Mart shopper.  It's not that I'm better than the store, because I'm clearly not. I just am willing to pay a few dollars more to retain my sanity. Although its getting expensive, thank heavens for Target.
...see...look how happy she looks.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

once disabled...always disabled.


Right now I am sitting in my den watching I am Sam on Starz. [Confession: I have seen this movie maybe 53 times, and I have purchased the soundtrack twice, but everytime it brings be to tears. To say I get a little involved in my shows/movies is like saying Hanibal Lecter was just kind of a serial killer.] I love this film. Sean Penn's performance is heartbreaking and spot on...so spot on that I can't imagine that he is not mentally disabled in his day to day life. In fact, in every movie he has starred in since, I get really confused because I will periodically think, "Wow, this guy with a mental disability is doing a great job in Mystic River." I wish I could say this was an isolated incident of my inability to separate an actor from their disabled role, but its not.

I know its wrong to assume that just because a person is disabled on screen that they really were born with a different number of chromosomes or with the inability to ambulate...but it happens to me regardless...ALL THE TIME  [Tangent: This would be more understandable if I was a dumb girl, but I'm not...so your guess is as good as mine why Dustin Hoffman is forever Rain Main despite having a prolific acting career.] It all started when I was little and going through the "Kimmie wants to be in show business" phase and was watching this rarely thought of or remembered Jason Priestley series, Sister Kate. [Tangent: The shows intro is the first one featured on the youtube clip below. It's slightly weird that someone took the time to make a reel of their favorite show intros from 1989...and that that person wasn't ME... but I digress.]




The show was about a sassy nun who presided over a ragtag group group of misfits at an orphanage. As shown in the clip, in the spirit of appeasing all minority groups, one of the orphan girls is in a wheelchair. As an annoying youth- I thought, "WOW! That girl's in a chair and is on tv...I wanna go to there."

However, a few episodes into the series, after a dream sequence where the character was walking, I realized that the actress was only faking her sedentary status. My dreams of child stardom [minus the drug problem and middle aged comeback] were dashed. A non-disabled actress is much more marketable that a disabled one, and they generally get rewarded with Academy Awards for their brave performances - whereas I would have just gotten a blank stare from a casting director.  I am glad that the actress didn't go on to do great things, because in every consecutive role, I would be stricken with this inability to grasp her as an able bodied person.

I think the worst example of this pigeonholing is rap superstar, Drake. Unbeknownst to many of his fans, Drake didn't exactly come from a hardcore inner city thug life kinda environment, unless you  consider starring in a Canadian teen melodrama gangsta. Drake (or as I know him, Aubrey Graham) starred as Jimmy Brooks, Degrassi Community School's biggest basketball star who was paralyzed due to a school shooting at the hands of troubled teen, Rick, on The Teen Nick series, Degrassi: The Next Generation.
sooooo thugtastic.



[Tangent: I wish I could say that I found all that info on a fan site or the show's IMDB page, but that would be a falsity. I have watched religiously a show aimed at 14-year-olds for the last several years. What can I say? I love a teen drama. Blame for  my Degrassi obsession can be directed at sister, who teaches 7th grade and gets many pop culture tips from her students. Degrassi's tagline is "it goes there" and it totally does. When was the last time you saw Two and a Half Men or The Good Wife deal with the tough topics, like throat Gonorrhea or BJ bracelets. These are things that Degrassi brings to the forefront.] Drake is now up for a Grammy award and sings songs about making girl's nether regions whistle "like the Andy Griffith theme song." [Not joking.] Meanwhile, I just sit perplexed and giggling because wheelchair kid, Jimmy Brooks, is walking again all the while dropping the P word like a greased turnip.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

blame it all on my roots...

ahhh...memories.

It's been an eventful week...to put it very mildly [Tangent: Why whenever I use the term mild do I envision a tiny golden packet of Taco Bell sauce? I swear I am a fat kid inside]. Almost daily since my last blog, I have pulled out the laptop to write, but within minutes, I end up metaphorically crumpling up and throwing away each sentence I have cyber scribbled. Then, yesterday came and punched me in the face with inspiration. In a less than 24 hour span, my best friend and her boyfriend were robbed at gunpoint and aforementioned best friend and I went to see Garth Brooks, which has more or less been a childhood dream for both of us.

Yesterday began semi normal- I rolled into work electrified. My Pandora radio was temporarily taken off the hipster  Dr. Dog radio and switched over to the Garth Brooks station. In addition my favorite songs about "damned ol' rodeos" and "shameless" men,  I was being blasted with 4 gigs of pure nostalgic 90's country awesome [Tangent: Yep...that's right. Deanna Carter, Alabama, Diamond Rio, Colin Raye. All the usual suspects. Ok...I am fully aware how tragically unhip it is to be as hopelessly butt-crazy obsessed with Garth Brooks and terrible mid 90s country as I am, but I don't mind.  It is something I try to not air out and hide within the confines of my eclectic musical tastes, but every once in a while I'll hear a karaoke-er drunkenly garble through American Honky Tonk Bar Association and lose my freakin' mind. FACT: Every native Nashville girl went through a country phase, and I happened to go through mine at the best possible time-  '92-'96 aka the Garth years. If grown-up, jaded, cynical Kimmie heard his songs for the first time, she may have wrecked her car trying to get to the off button. However his songs are to me are synonymous with some of my favorite memories, and evoke only pure warm whiskey-scented fuzziness. See below.] After opening my computer and setting down my lukewarm Dunkin Donuts beverage [Tangent: Once again...I'd like you to introduce you to the fat kid inside me.],  I decided my Garth fueled good mood needed to spill over, so I went to go leak it all over Alicia's desk. Amid me blathering on at length about the cheap tickets I'd bought off ebay, and the great seats and the fact that me and Kristen were going to get our faces turned to country fried mush [or grits?] care of a stout man in wrangler jeans, Alicia stopped me. "So, yeah...what's up with Kristen, how is she doing?"

Once again, I was trumped by facebook. After receiving a blank stare, Alicia told me that the omnipresent social network had informed her earlier that my best friend and her boyfriend, who I love to pieces, had been mugged and shot at.  Wow. A lot to digest. After talking to my best friend, I learned all the scary details. Surreal to say the least, and seemingly reminiscent of a Cold Case storyline, I assessed that my loved ones were vigilante badasses, because the bad guys were caught. With little sleep and a day of talking with the police ahead of her, I wondered if Garth was a good idea, but I knew she needed distraction. This called for a giant distraction, a giant cowboy hat wearin', fiddle accompanied distraction.

Although Kristen was not in the Garthiest of moods, [Tangent: She had a good time, don't get that wrong...she just had some palpable pent up rage. In the friendliest of manners, she did sort of verbally assault a guy who told us to "shut up already" during Garth's slow jam -The Dance. However, he rightfully deserved it given his rudeness and constant glaring. Also, in her defense- she showed great restraint in not bringing up that the reason he was sitting in the handicapped section was because he was too large to fit into a seat. What's country music without a little rowdiness?] I will say I am very glad I got to go, and that I had her by my side. For 2 hours, I was in this strange Utopia where everyone was happy and singing together, all ages and income brackets [Tangent: I can't say races...because I daresay the only black people in attendance worked at the venue or were in the band. Two out of three ain't so bad.], singing along to every word and just glad to be there watching this man sing and entertain his ass off in an oddly sexy way. Yes...oddly sexy. Despite wearing the never popular denim jean/denim shirt homage to a Canadian tuxedo, and making it almost translucent with perspiration- I still think think he is dripping with charm in a strange Kevin James kind of way.

Gross...see the Knuck tux is never a good choice.

He also knows what this audience wanted to hear. He hit all the check points. All the hits. A video tribute to the Nashville flood on the jumbo-tron. Random cameo from his wife/duet partner/fellow arbiter of 90s country goodness, Miss Trisha Yearwood (who in turn sang She's in Love with the Boy which in turn made me audibly squeal with excitement.) He didn't mess with deep cuts or B sides or covers, he sang his quintessentially Garth songs. Although I do think it would have been the most amazing idea ever to perform one amid the series of 9 fund raising concerts as his alter ego, the flavor saver sporting emo pop star, Chris Gaines- I don't think it would go over well.

Since this will likely be my only post detailing my love of Sir Garth, and given that last night's show will be the biggest page in my hypothetical, but kinda pathetic, Garth Brooks memory book- I wanted to share my favorite memories.

  • My family didn't listen to country music much, when I was growing up. My brothers listened to rap and heavy metal respectively, and my sister and I hadn't much forged our own tastes, but when I went to Muscular Dystrophy camp as a child, someone in my cabin had the No Fences album and opened my ears to the gospel of Garth.  I heard the song- Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House and by the end of the week, it was my new favorite and I knew every word.  Was it the partial shared title with my favorite Bob Sagat sitcom or its unapologetic use of poker puns that I loved so much? Not sure. I will say I respect a man who makes Radio into a five syllable word. I think it paved the way for Rhianna's Umbrella-ella-ella.
  • Garth Brooks: The Hits was the first full length CD I ever bought. 
  • When I was in second grade, we found a turtle in the back yard, which I now know was a terrapin because it had a weird spiny prehistoric tail.  My sister and I were convinced this turtle was somehow a relative of some sort of prehistoric beast...what did we choose to name it- GARTH!
  • I remember making up interpretive dances to Garth songs with Kristen and my sister when we were younger. Admittedly, I did the extremely restrained,low impact version of the Thunder Rolls dance at the concert, but couldn't remember all of the moves for That Summer...but that's probably for the best because they song more or less is about a creepy widow seducing a young farm hand, and taking his virginity. 
  • I remember distinctly taking the Garth Brooks Hits CD (probably the 3rd or 4th copy that I have bought in my lifetime) to Kristen's neighborhood pool when we were in high school. We laid out and sang Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old while likely getting sunburned. At the time, it was just a song...but after this shitstorm of a year, I think truer words were never spoken for the both of us. [God Bless Chris LeDoux.]
Thank you Garth, you're a peach.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

kimmie's kristmas karol kountdown

I am bracing for backlash with the following statement: I am not generally a huge Christmas carol fan. This was not always the case, I used to love them and the warm and fuzzy feelings associated with them [Tangent: To this date...one of the only songs I can remember to play on the piano, after years of lessons, is Up On The Housetop.], but then I worked in retail, and the songs I loved soon became associated with long hours and bitchy customers. Even the most well written tunes, when played on heavy rotation for two months will burn one out on the sounds of jingle bells and drummer boys.

My office mates all think it is some form of blasphemy to not enjoy Christmas music, so they have intervened. One coworker is burning me a box set of Sufjan Steven holiday songs, trying to take the approach that any cheesy carols sound better when indie-fied. Then today, another sent me Neil Diamond's holiday album via email, in hopes that perhaps hearing "the Jewish Elvis" sing songs about Jesus may reawaken my love of Christmas music with its utter ridiculousness.  [Tangent: I must say until you have heard Diamond's cheesetsatic take on Santa Claus is Coming to Town, you haven't celebrated the holidays appropriately.]

I mean...look at this picture. I can't even look at it without giggling. 

It has started getting me thinking about what are the best and worst holiday songs out there,  at least in my humble opinion [Tangent: Granted, my taste is questionable. In addition to the critically acclaimed, I also really like a capella music, hair bands and John Denver.] Because I am a tremendous hack, I am completely ripping off my friend Beth's hilarious blog about this very subject, while of course adding a Kimmie twist. I give you my creme de la creme and poop de la poop of Chrismas music.


The Good.

1. Up on the Housetop




This is the more peppy indie version of the old holiday pageant favorite as sung by Pomplamoose in a Hyundai commercial, but c'mon how is it possible to be cynical when listening to this song. Moreover I've a pushover for the "Click! Click! Click!" part.  Hooray for Onomatopeia!  If I close my eyes I can picture the hand motions hammered into me by every teacher I had in kindergarten through third grade.

2. Carol of the Bells



Aren't all songs more fun when sung in rounds? I think so [Row, Row, Row Your Boat et al.]. Moreover this is the ultimate A capella song, it actually sounds 400x better with no musical accompanyment. Adding a layer of enjoyment is the fact that you are basically shouting at times, making it a great way to release frustration while spreading holiday joy, killing two very different birds with one stone. It may not be as peppy as the previous selection, in fact to me it always feels like it should be sung in a very creepy old church that is kept at a very low temperature, but it will always be a favorite.


3. All I want for Christmas is You (Mariah Carey)





A quality and lasting carol hadn't been penned since people donned top hats and kerchiefs, and then out of left field butterfly loving professional exhibitionist Mariah Carey comes out with an original Christmas song that was actually worthy of being called a "classic." Everytime I hear this song I immediately envision the ending of Love Actually, one of my favorite British movies involving Hugh Grant (either that or a young Mariah Carey prancing around in the snow wearing a slutty Mrs. Claus outfit.)


4. Must Be Santa (as sung by Bob Dylan).




A polka beat with emphatically shouted lyrics like "BEARD THAT'S WHITE! SPECIAL NIGHT!"...instant crowd pleaser. 


The Bad.

1. Do They Know Its Christmas? (by Band Aid)



This song can be be put in the same category as So This is Christmas [Tangent: In fact I get them confused 99% of the time.] as songs that make for real downers at any holiday party. Yes, we are aware that children in Africa are living in terrible circumstances, I am carrying the white man's burden, so don't try to play this while I am shopping for a neck pillow at Brookstone:

Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you

Really, Bono? "Thank God it's them instead of you???" Get off your high horse. I have enough misplaced semi Catholic guilt, please don't add genocide and malaria to the list of things I have no control over, yet feel guilty about.

Also, its so clearly of the We Are the World/Hands Across America school of video making. Lump as many current celebrities into one studio at once and shoot it. Extra points for ardent hand motions, closed eyed head nodding and clenched fists.


2. Baby, Its Cold Outside



I have faced some strong opposition whenever I tell people that I think this song is creepy and verges on the date rapey. This tune is one of those songs, not unlike I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, that I thought was all well and good until I started listening closely to the lyrical content. [Tangent: The tipping point is the lyric "Say, what's in this drink." Seriously...how can this not be misconstrued.] Clearly the protagonist woman in the song is trying to come up with any lame excuse to leave, and the relentless male lead will not let her. Clearly she knows its cold, but it seems she is willing to brave it to get away from him. She said repeatedly that she can't stay. Take a hint:  NO MEANS NO, Rapey McRaperson.

[Tangent: I wanted to put up the Zooey Deschanel/Will Ferrell version from Elf, but because I think both of those performers are composed of chocolate and rainbows, I can't hate on their arrangement, so I have submitted the most terrible one I could find on youtube.]


3. Tender Tennessee Christmas (Amy Grant)




This is one of those songs people in other geographical regions are not familiar with, but if you are a native Tennessean and have sung it or heard it sung ad infinitum every year since it was released- you are mildly tired of it at this point. Don't get me wrong, I was a HUGE Amy Grant fan back in the day [Tangent: Heart in Motion was one of my first tapes. Also, I may or may not have done a rythmic ribbon dance from my wheelchair to Every Heartbeat at some point in my elementary school career. I wish I had video evidence of this, but you will have to trust that it was an amazing sight to behold.] and it does make me feel special that she is singing about my home state...but it still gives me hives.


4. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (Dr. Elmo)




This may be the most cringe-worthy of all awful Christmas music offenders. Nothing says holiday spirit like having a beloved family member trampled by a wild beast, right? Upon closer listening, however, you realize this chirpy redneck anthem is more about this drunken grandfather's plotting to kill off the Mrs. and blame it all on Santa. Wow, Dr. Elmo, you are a twisty individual!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

reactions and retractions



Today, I debated about what I should write about,  and I couldn't settle on anything in particular. It seemed obvious to write about the snow or the record breaking cold [Tangent: Yes...its 9 degrees here.], but that seemed completely boring. Have I really come to the point where I am writing about the weather? This is a blog, not an awkward elevator conversation, darnit!

My solution: why not share the greatest parts of my blog, the ones you don't get to see. As previously stated, I think the most entertaining part of blogging is seeing what search terms lead viewers to my page. Below is the latest crop. There are the somewhat logical ones:

  • "girl in wheelchair"
  • "wheelchair girl"
  • "funny wheelchair pictures"
Then there are the ones that hit upon topics that I discuss:

  • "critter calvary non profit animal rescue"
  • "inspector gadget- dr claw"
  • "forever 27"
  • "meth before and after" <---a bit of a stretch, but still I have touched upon the unfortunate nature of "meth face" so it stays.

Then there are others. Please help me understand the connection between the randomness I write about and these queries [Tangent:It would be impossible, even given my depravity, to come up with these on my own...so don't even consider that as an option.]:

  • "homeless people being beaten"
  • "mission accomplished, and now they touch their balls"
  • "crapped her pants" x 2 <----yep, this query has been used twice to  guide people to my page. 

Wow! I am not sure whether to be horrified or impressed by my demographic of googlers and stumblers upon. Apparently, with my little online journal I am the Diane Arbus of blogging...attracting all kinds of freaks.

To add to this hodgepodge of an entry, I thought I would address another loose ends that needs tying. I will start answering some of the comments and questions readers have left. Deep Breath- Here goes.

  • Yes. Jewnicorn is a word I made up. However, I also thought I invented the term jeggings when I bought my first pair a year a half ago, so I could be wrong. 
  • The Neti pot did help my sinus issues, although it made me feel like I was drowning in the ocean. 2 thumbs up, regardless.
  • I think the movie "What About Bob?" may be the most irrational fear I have heard of to date. Kudos, Josh. 
  • Yes, I agree the Nintendo game Punch Out was vaguely racist. Don Flamenco, Great Tiger and my favorite, the drunken Pollack, Soda Popinski all are proof of that theory.

 Comments are like rainbow sprinkles for me, not an absolute necessity. but for some reason make the this whole writing thing so much more enjoyable.  One day, I was having a not particularly great day, pulled up my blog via cell phone...and found this.

"I love your blog, you are hilarious! I'm commenting because I feel like you'd appreciate my story of how I came to be reading your blog at 1:06am.
A friend of mine was telling me about a haunted house he went to and how there was a creepy girl in a wheelchair that followed him and actually scared him. Thinking I'd be funny and post a picture/comment on his Facebook, I googled "haunted house +girl +wheelchair +zombie" and looked at images. Somehow that lead me to your amazing blog, with everything from Full House to WWZ. I've given up trying to find a pic for FB and taken to readying a bunch of your postings.
Love it, keep up the wonderful writing about your adventures. (: "

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I needed a little Christmas...right that very minute


T minus 2 weeks till the jolly holiday that the media keeps enforcing should be a snuggly warm time of year. I am trying to not be cynical and believe the hype.  It is taking every ounce of effort in my body to get all holly jolly, despite the repeated kicks in the groin fate has bestowed upon me week after week in 2010. [Tangent: I have always been Captain Optimism, but Murphy's Law is live and in effect for my family... and I am about ready to find this "Murphy" and give him an old fashioned bitch slap.]


To put it simply, this year the Christmas spirit is not coming naturally. I feel like a Heinz ketchup bottle, I am waiting for the spirit to come, but its being extremely resistant [Tangent: I really hate this, because some of my favorite childhood memories are Christmas focused. I remember when my sister had heel cord surgery a few days before Christmas. My brothers carried me and Kelly, coated from toe to hip in heavy plaster casts, from the bedroom to the den so we could all check out our presents as a united front at the wee hour of 4 am. I remember how my Dad used to always read us 'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve every year. I remember us all piling into the ol wood panelled Jeep Wagoneer the day after Christmas to head to North Carolina, where my Granny Jones would give us the standard issue gift of a tube of toothpaste and a $1 bill.  I remember getting a little girl of the Angel Tree with mom every year. Every year the same conundrum...what ethnicity Barbie? We didn't want be racial in our charitable giving.]  Because of this, I feel the need to give my spirit a wee nudge and/or a swift kick in the ass because something needs to occur before my heart becomes 2 sizes too small.

This weekend, I took the reins [Tangent: Unfortunate pun intended.], and decided...I AM GOING TO HAVE SOME SPIRIT, DAMMIT!

Yesterday I overdosed a bit on Christmas cheer. I started the day going to the Dicken's Christmas festival in a neighboring town. It basically boils down to local vendors selling their goods wearing period costumes. Carols being sung...clydesdales toting children...chestnuts roasting...a man in a top hat and waist coat drinking out of a starbucks cup. Authenticity is not the important part. The important part is that me along with my dear newly heart surgerized mother endured a torrential downpour and a clusterf*** of a parking situation to instill some much needed glee...and it worked. I was starting to see the red and green and jingle bells appear inside.

Then last night I took part in a mini Santa Rampage pub crawl [Tangent: I took part in the rampage with some coworkers last year and its fast becoming a favorite tradition.  Basically a bunch of people get together dressed as Santa and ambush local bars en mass. The key goals: drinking and merriment. This year we staged a mini rampage and descended upon the Cool Springs area and then some of our party went on to join the Nashville festivities...not this lady because I'm old and wanted to be home before midnight. I know...I know. LAME. ] The key to the evening was "spreading joy" whether it be by performing elaborate dance routines to Summer of '69 to a bar full of dumbfounded individuals or by handing out candy canes and condoms to the bar keeps.

2009 Rampage

I was Dr. Santa. Scrubs + boots+ Santa hat + stethoscope.
 Rampage 2010

...and I was Rudolph. I'm prancing, naturally.
Mother nature must have known I needed all the help I could get in removing my inner scrooge, and to help me get a boost she is currently coating my yard with snowflakes. [Tangent: At least as much as it can for Tennessee.] Its the motivation I need to help mom set up the tree, and start blasting the Victoria's Secret: A Very Sexy Christmas CD. [Tangent: Try not to judge..it was $1 and it features Smashing Pumpkins doing carols. Whats not to love?] Thanks Mother Nature, Santa Rampage and Dickension characters in rain ponchos- you are my ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

chicken + corn + gravy + mashed potatoes = magic

Today I was watching TV with mom and we saw a commercial for the KFC bowl. She asked me if I had ever savored its deliciousness. My mind swirled with vivid flashbacks, eventually leading me to a dark path that I promised myself I would never go down again...a path that saw me logging onto my myspace.com page. 

I knew at some point I had written a very thought provoking blog about this very fast food subject, so I thought for journalistic reasons, I should brave the land of glitter graphics and child predators. I give you my findings [Tangent: This blog was written in 2006. To give you historical perspective- Pluto was still a planet, Amy Winehouse's name was only partially ironic, and I had not yet sat through There Will Be Blood  thinking, "Ok...when is there going to be blood?"] :


The KFC Bowl Story

As I type this, I am sitting in the very exciting Days Inn of Raeford, NC. This Days Inn is quite possibly the site of many a 20/20 investigation of hotel mattresses and the various body fluids that inhabit them. I am in NC, or North Cackalacky as I like to call it, for my granny's 100th birthday. [Tangent:I know when I told people that my granny was turning 100, they assumed it was a rounded figure, but truth being she actually was born in 1906. Fancy that!]

I love trips to visit my relatives because when visiting my dad's side of the family I do things I might not do in my everyday life. Some of these things include drinking Busch beer out of can, using the phrase "how are they kin to us?", eating 3-4 desserts after a given meal and lastly eating the cheesy chicken mashed potato bowl from KFC. 

The bowl, as I will refer to it, has been a source of wonder for me for several months, but I have yet to give in to its splendor until this late night craving at the Days Inn. If you have been living under a rock for the last 6 months, you may be unfamiliar with it, so I will give you a preview. It is roughly 3 lbs of mashed potatoes, followed by a layer of sweet corn- then a layer of chicken strips-  then a layer of  gravy and melted cheese that can only be enjoyed via spork. 

Separately, I love all these elements so I thought, what the hell! First off, it smells wretched so it is probably not best enjoyed in an enclosed space with others (like a car or a Days Inn hotel room) Also, it wasn't very visually appealing as it appeared that the corn was swimming in the gravy. Even still, I had a good experience with it. I don't think I would ever order it again...unless I was heavily sedated, but I could wonder no more. After all, trips to NC are made for gluttony. Perhaps on the way home I will tackle the BK's Meatnormous Omelet sandwich.

Monday, December 6, 2010

tis the season for awkward moments.



Yesterday afternoon, my best friend and I decided a weekly Cracker Barrell run was in order...our bodies clearly deficient in sawmill gravy and bacon grease. As we pressed onward though the after church masses (who clearly didn’t listen to a sermon on restaurant etiquette)- an unassuming stranger in a snowman sweater approached me. The elderly woman grabbed my arm and said very earnestly, "bless you."

I had not sneezed, so my immediate response, a polite smile and a, "thanks…happy holidays. " I diverted my attention to some kind of felt santa stocking to bridge the silence.

Kristen looked at me dumbstruck and said, "seriously, why is this happening so frequently? You don't even flinch." Shrugging, I said simply, “well it’s the holidays.”

That is the simple truth. There is a phenomenon that strikes yearly amid the thankuhmas hubbub. People tend to vocalize everything they think, as if there cheerful words are quarters in the Salvation Army Kettle. Don't misunderstand. The woman's intentions were very honorable and very sweet, but awkward nonetheless.

I wish this had been an isolated incident, but Kristen’s assessment was correct. Just the day before, she had bore witness to a similar, yet more bizarre interaction.  I was sitting at the bar, having lunch and keeping Kristen company, as she tended bar. The place was pretty dead, except for a few large Christmas parties going on in the dining room.

 As I picked at my baked potato, I got completely caught off guard by a disheveled looking woman exiting the bathroom. Her face glowing, she caressed my arm and said, “oh my goodness! It’s so good to see you out. “ I scanned her face trying to make some correlation between my life and this lady in the Scottie dog holiday jumper, assuming that it was maybe a coworker of my mother or friend of my father’s. [Tangent: “I’m glad to see you out” is something I have heard repeatedly since I got out of the hospital. I have even run into people that took care of me in the ER who said the same thing, so that simple phrase was not an indicator of awkward conversation to come.]  

But then the floodgates opened and verbal diarrhea began to pour out of her mouth, commending me on my bravery for dining in public. I quickly realized I had no idea who this woman was. Instead of distant acquaintance, she was just some weird random woman, attending a holiday party for a Scottie Dog Rescue Society. I daresay she was never schooled on tact.

 This simple conversation would not have been so bad had she not used the same intonation reserved for poodles or infants.[Tangent: I was waiting for her to say “that’s a good girl,” at any moment.]. She also refused to take a hint that I was uncomfortable with her misguided compliments. She just stared at me, awestruck as if my genitals were exposed.


Who do I place at blame for this weird holiday trend? TINY TIM. That ass really ruined it for the rest of us around this time of year.  It seems he really set the standard.
 *This Tiny Tim...not this one... 


I feel like you would never go up to a black person or a gay person and tell them they are really remarkable for being out among “the regular folk.” You would get slapped. [Tangent: I don’t have the physical reach to get a good punch in, anyway.]

Why is it ok to have those thoughts, much less vocalize them towards someone that is disabled? While I appreciate the kind thoughts, I feel like they put me in a weird spot. Despite making the giver feel like they are doing a good deed, they make me uncomfortable. A simple smile really would have done the trick so much better.

There really isn't much else to say, but...I guess...God bless us everyone.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a festival of lights...and awesome.



When I was in college, I invented an unnerving past time, which has single-handedly  ruined many songs for those I  have shared it with, because now they can no longer hear their favorite tunes without also hearing my lyrical tweak. The trick: Take any song that says the word "You" in the title (or heavily peppered throughout the chorus) and change it to "Jew." [Tangent: It sounds stupid, but as in life, a  schmeckle of Hebrew-ana makes all things more palatable.] It all started when that Jessica Simpson song "With You" was really popular and basically has continued on ever since.

To prove my theory, I filtered my itunes with the word "You" and these were just a few of the results:
  • I and Love and Jew
  • Girl, I wanna lay Jew down
  • Mad about Jew
  • All I want is Jew
  • Say Jew, Say Me
  • Without Jew
  • I Turn to Jew
  • Do Jew Realize? 
  • Stay, I missed Jew
  • I wanna Sex Jew up

With that out of the way, I thought why not blog about one of my favorite unturned stones, Jewish culture, especially being that today is the first day of Chanukkah! [Tangent: I had to double check how to spell the holiday, knowing well that there are about 77 different ways to spell it...is it just me or does the silent C make it sound extra Heb-centric? ]

Being that I have a little crushy crushy on any guy that looks like Jesus, I have  said for years I will likely marry a Jewish fella, and now it is the running joke in my friend groups. I hypothesize my Bible belt upbringing has only fueled my Jewcentricity. I never really knew any growing up so to me they were like mythical creatures, Jewnicorns if you will.  [Tangent: A shrink might say that I seek to further marginalize myself but making myself a super minority...because the epitome of Hebrew Hotness in my book would be a black Jewish person. Yum...Lenny Kravitz. (I bet you thought I was gonna say Sammy Davis, Jr., you were incorrect ] As someone that really enjoys heritage and cultural identity,  I also like the idea of being a part of some kind of group that wears jaunty hats and uses fun yiddish phrases. Oy vey, the idea of celebrating Chris-makuh is also ridiculously appealing. There really is no downside in my book. 


*See...he and I clearly share a love of scarves, 
although that just looks like a ratty t-shirt McGuyver'd into neckwear. Whatever.


Darn Semi-Catholicism for getting in the way of my fun. Would it help to say that I'm almost positive I am at least a little Jewish? My mom is a Pollack after all...and how would one explain my strange fear of the Holocaust.

Well, hopefully I have significantly horrified all of you for the evening...so I will leave you with this link, which my friend Beth shared with me today: 8 Jewish Hunks: One For Every Night Of Hannukah

L'chaim.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hoard Fest



It may have been Thanksgiving last weekend, but I feel my sister's real reason for a homecoming was to help me clean? Am I capable of cleaning on my own. Yes. Will I do a thorough job? Absolutely not. You see, I am genetically inclined to be a bit of a hoarder and will find asinine reasons why I might need things. [Tangent:  I am not to the point where you pick up a sweater and there is a dead cat under it,  mostly because I hate cats, but also because I am not insane.]



Point is, sentimentality lurks in every corner of my bedroom, and I have formed an unnecessary attachment to many undeserving items in my life [Tangent: This also occurs in other areas of my life if you are familiar with my TFLY vol 1, vol 2 and vol 3.]. I look to my sister, Kelly, as my less abrasive and more Caucasian version of Niecy Nash because she is unafraid to call out my "foolishness."

Examples I found of this foolishness:

  • In my bottom night stand drawer, I used to have a collection of VHS tapes. Why? No idea, I don't even own my own VCR [Tangent: However, my dad owns three. The hoarding apple doesn't fall far from the tree.]  Among these gems was a home videotaped soccer tournament that my brother played in roughly 20 years ago (likely taped over with Ghost Dad) and a circa 1988 shoddily taped off HBO copy of Airplane 2.
  • The metal rods that were removed during a back surgery 15 years ago. 
  • A large manilla envelope of old get well/birthday cards
  • About 15 projects from my college 3-D design class
  • Some floppy disks from my college computer literacy class (none of the house's 2 computers house a floppy disk drive). 
  • A free sampler cassette tape for a young Britney Spears...yes,there was a time when Britney was not a star.   
  • A Hello Kitty rubber stamper with my sister's name on it.
  • About 10 CD cases for CDs that have long ago been lost. 
  • The fact that I have about 12 purses that I no longer use, and each of them had a lip gloss and for some inexplicable reason about 5 batteries inside. 
  • A green velveteen vest.
  • The fact that I was easily able to compile enough garments to fill a giant rubbermaid costume box [Tangent: Clearly, I am 5.]
Well, you can rest easily, that all of these items are no longer cluttering my living space. They have been bagged up and dropped off at the goodwill. [Tangent: All except for the velveteen vest...its been added to the costume box.]

Friday, November 26, 2010

black friday, I'm not in love...

The economy is in a shambles, and I wish I could say I had the fortitude to help my friend B. Rock (that's my nickname for Obama) turn things around by shopping today, but I don't. Participating in all these doorbusting deals just does not appeal to me in the very least, especially when I could sleep in and sit by the fire instead.

I worked the black Friday sale day for 3 consecutive years (although at my former place of employment, they called it pink Friday...how clever.), and didn't like being there, even when I was getting paid to do so. Donning a very warm and itchy pink Santa hat, I would be quarantined to my little corner handing out shopping bags and listening to frantic updates on my headset. I bounced from screaming over the crowds, "Can I help you find anything today?" and being screamed at if we were out of one of the cheaply-made tote bags you got for spending $50. [Tangent: I never quite understood why people went so bat shit crazy for these bags, but they talked about them as if they contained a cure for AIDS. Instead they just packed some tiny travel sizes of perfume and lip gloss. The look in the eyes of these customers was as if they were a crackhead on day 2 of detox. MUST. HAVE. PLASTIC-Y. TOTE. OF. BEAUTY. PRODUCTS. STAT.]



However, all this sitting idle was getting to me, so I, along with my sister and mother,  braved the hordes to go see Love & Other Drugs, or as mom refers to it..."that naked movie." Yes, there was a lot of boobage and boy thigh, but not so much that it would drive me out of the theater, as it did the people adjacent to us. Were they really shocked by all the "sexy time?" The film's marketing campaign was pretty clear cut with the adult themes.  I guess those patrons were expecting something produced by Kirk Cameron.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

cream of thanksgiving

At some point while I was in elementary school, our grade put on a play all about the magic of Thanksgiving. I remember very little about the plot specifics, but because I was a little attention whore, of course I had a part. [Tangent: Among these scant specifics that I can recall are the fact that I played the personification of "Opportunity" and for some reason I was having a Thanksgiving day feast with other personified values like "Justice" and "Freedom"....maybe Pilgrims or Indians were present, I don't recollect. Its all a bit fuzzed out at this point.  However I do remember on Opportunity's role description it said, "Opportunity should wear a 'jaunty' hat." Why? I have no idea, but it was the first time I heard the term, and each subsequent time I've heard "jaunty" I think of my rad electric blue Nike cap covered in buttons.] I also remember at some point we sang a song about all the things we were thankful for...from our friends and families to panned pizzas. I guess 9-year-olds are easy to please.


It goes without saying that this beast of a year, I am definitely thankful for my friends and family and my health. It may sound biased, but I truly believe I have the best and most supportive inner circle, so I don't feel the need to hyperinflate their egos anymore.

However, I do think its important to take inventory of all the little things and count your blessings and all that jazz. Because I love a good cliche and because I cannot think of anything more seasonally appropriate to blog about, I give you the things that I am thankful for on this lovely cream of Thanksgiving (I am positive I am the only American doing this today...completely original, right?).

I'm thankful for...


Breathing. 

Yes, its simple yet pivotal. I am especially thankful that I am not inhibited by bulky machinery to keep me oxygenated. My little lungs have certainly earned their stripes after being ruptured, surrounded by fluid and/or filled with blood just a few months ago. High five.  Keep up the good work.

Tea. 


In the last few months my taste buds and sense of smell have been highjacked, and I have lost my love for coffee and chocolate. It's traumatic, especially on cold mornings when I have to frogger across the parking lot to get into work only to be overwhelmed when I enter the breakroom, bombarded with a once-loved scent warped into the scent of dirty burnt plastic.  Luckily my old friend tea is still there to warm me in the morning like its caffeinated cousin coffee used to.  Two tea bags. Two Splendas. Perfection. Thank you for being a friend.

Cell phone time wasters. 

How did I lull myself to sleep each night or kill time on long car rides before I had a smart phone? I sincerely have no idea. However, I do know that I want to give a uncomfortably long hug to Angry Birds, Bejeweled and WordFeud.


Pandora.
I more or less want to marry whoever invented Pandora radio. I am not sure how it works and hypothesize that it somehow violates the Patriot Act because it knows me so well. I like to believe a little wizard is imbedded in its radio waves that worms its way inside my head and deciphers what I want to hear. Thanks, Pandora, you have gotten me through many a slow day at work. Round of applause.

Pssssst.


Disclaimer: This is going to make me seem completely disgusting, but as I have previously shown I don't care. I don't love washing my hair everyday or every other day...it's just not healthy, so thank heavens for Pssst! dry shampoo. [Tangent: I am not sure why it is named Psssst...if its referencing the sound it makes when you spray it, or if it means "Psssst...wanna hear a secret...I don't like to bathe." It's your call.] I will say I'm working through my third can this year, so its good stuff and helps support my filthy lifestyle. Kudos.


Van Only Parking Spaces. 


There's nothing more refreshing than seeing a roomy handicapped space free of runoff puddles and/or abandoned shopping carts. Everytime I see one of these rarities in a crowded parking lot, angels come down singing "Happy Happy Joy Joy." I never saw their importance until I started driving and realized without them, I run the risk of letting my ramp down ripping the paint job off of a nearby car or getting completely stuck on the mount/dismount. [Tangent: Thanks to the random stranger at Target the other day who helped me backup into my car when the parking lot designer gods decided to frown upon me.]

Green Bean Casserole. 


Since it's the holidays, I thought I would give a special recognition to my favorite autumnal side dish. Theoretically, cream of mushroom soup, french cut green beans and french fried onions don't seem like a culinary delight, but for some reason it's the thing I look forward to most on this day of many casseroles. Thank you, I will be savoring you again tomorrow thanks to my sister's forethought to make a double recipe. You're the gift that keeps on giving. 
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