Monday, January 31, 2011

a toast for the douchebags

Last night I decided to download some new music. I seriously do this about once a week because I get so tired with my play lists and need to keep things spicy [Tangent: Don't confuse this with me trying to sound super cool...because I'm not. I just need sanity at work, so I rely on my ipod.] Normally these downloads are completely at random. I heard a bunch of old Dire Straits on the radio on I downloaded it. I heard the new Kanye West album actually somewhat redeemed him from being an utter I downloaded it.

The Dire Straits will help me mellow out when I'm in the car, but the Kanye will make me a beast at bill processing and turn me into a cubicle dancing machine. [Tangent: I discovered about a year or two ago that the faster the music, the faster I rap or dancy pop music is ideal, especially in the wee hours when I am trying to get in the swing. A lame discovery to make, but a discovery nonetheless. The downside is I cannot contain my white girl head bob when I listen to it, and its the most pathetic scene you will ever see.] I know Kanye is probably the most erroneously self-important man on planet Earth, but any man that can work the following rhyme into his verse seamlessly hits the jackpot on cool points [Tangent: Lest we forget "Like Kathie Lee need Regis...that's the way I need Jesus."]:

Too many Urkels on your team
That's why your Winslow...

I think I love Kanye because its not like he's living under a delusion, he's completly cognizant of how pretentious and ridiculous his behavior and personae is. He's completely self-aware, which is kind of refreshing.

In my mind his rationale is as follows:

He's like ok, I am gonna rip out all my lower teeth and have them replaced with with diamonds. Why? Because I'm Kanye West.

I think I gonna make an artsy full length video featuring ballerinas and avant garde lighting along with a full orchestra on a song that features the word "douchebag" heavily in its chorus. Why? Because I'm Kanye West. He does because he can. I can't fault least he's honest and not a closeted douche [Tangent: The reclusive closeted douche or douche-in-a-box are a wiley bunch. They seem like sensitive gents and then BLAMMO! Summer's Eve city.]

Don't misunderstand,  I have mad love for an artist that gives back and doesn't care about selling records, that have the music itself as the focus. However, sometimes they are as pretentious as Kanye, in that they are acting holier than the music business itself.
I leave you with my favorite ode to Kanye. I think you will enjoy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

newsflash: i'm big (in germany)

this guy knows what I'm talking about.

Damn the stats page on blogspot. For those bloggers that read this, I know they feel my pain. It's really near impossible not to get caught up in the intricacies of blog traffic and daily readership to a point of obsessiveness. [Tangent: When I talk to my other friends with blogs (like Amber, Beth and Sam), its inevitable that we at least once discuss our latest stats and how many daily hits we are up to, either that or the weirdest search term we have found. It follows "How are you?" and "How's work?" in the natural progression of conversation. Its really beyond dorky and self-indulgent, but it happens. I've made peace with it.]

The day after I post a blog, I generally check to see how it is received by seeing what my hits were for that day and how it falls on the charts. [see...I told you that I was ridiculous. I talk as if I am a Kanye West or something.] On Thursday, I wrote a blog entitled idol chatter and the next day I noticed that I jumped from about 50-75 daily views to nearly 250, and it was charting as my #5 all time most read blog even after just 3 days. I'm not that interesting, so I knew there must be a culprit. 

After a bit of trial and error investigation, I found that the reason my readership had tripled was due to the American Idol contestant, Chris Medina, who auditioned on Wednesday night. His wife was in a wheelchair due to a traumatic brain injury and apparently spurred a lot of the viewers to inquire online about how they could donate to his family. Apparently this was quite a hot topic and was mentioned in articles and on Extra! which is where I come in. Although I didn't even directly speak about him, for those that googled "Idol girl in wheelchair" - I was #1 on google! Let me repeat. I WAS #1 ON GOOGLE! [Tangent: Albeit for something rarely googled, it was still exciting. Momentarily, I felt like Miss America...or at least her nerdy bloggy equivalent.]
This is an approximation of how I felt.
 When the high from that wore off, I decided to use my stats page to check out what countries I was infiltrating en mass [Tangent: I love doing this, mostly because with the exception of Saudi Arabia, and Australia,where I actually have friends that live, the countries where I am popular are very illogical.] All the English speaking ones don't excite me that much. I am more stoked about the ones where I am sure its more the readers are confused and promptly click off thinking, "Aaahhh...silly Americans!"

United States                  
United Kingdom            
Saudi Arabia                  

So judging by these stats, apparently I'm big in Germany! I'M IN! Its also fun knowing I have something in common with David Hasselhoff. [Tangent: Besides the obvious that we both have cars that are part robot and look great running in slow motion.] Because of these finding, I am going to devote the remainder of this blog entry to an homage to The Hoff, in hopes that it will bump Germany on up to at least #3. 

 Ok, is the only German I know to show my appreciation. Das es gut. Volkswagon.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

idol chatter

I may try to remain partially "hip" and "with it" [Tangent: The fact that I just said that proves that I'm not. Further reinforcing this point is that I spent last Friday night watching Shallow Hal on cable with my parents.], but every January for the last 10 years, my true inner lame ass comes shining from the winter duldrums. It's American Idol Season, kids which means things in my life are about to get tragically lame (at least until mid May).

In ten years, I have never missed an episode. I have DVR'd, VHS'd, youtube'd Hulu'd and had my mother take notes for me on occasion so I would not miss anything pivotal. I love it. [Tangent: I love it so much that in college I raced home from some kind of social gathering because Elton John was guest mentoring on Idol, and my last VHS tape had been used on something important like the Dawson's Creek finale. It was possibly the gayest thing a non-homosexual has ever done.]

My love is illogical. Have I ever purchased a debut album by an American Idol winner? No. Do I turn the station when their songs come on? Sometimes.  Did I vote 25 times for Taylor Hicks? Absolutely. 

Because I am such a loyal viewer, I was a bit unsettled when the series decided to have a little makeover so late into their tenure [Tangent: Not to use a cliche, but when I heard Cowell was bowing out, I could practically hear the splash from Idol jumping the shark.]. I was admittedly nervous during the premiere. No Simon? New judges? A new logo and title sequence!?!? (Gasp!) Its all a lot to take in, but so far the transition has been non-traumatic, even given that I am not a huge J. Lo fan. 

Despite the changes, the root of the show is the same. Randy Jackson still makes me want to punch babies due to his incoherency. [Tangent: I mean I know he was in the band Journey in the 80s (high-top fade and all), but sometimes I wonder if he has passed the second grade. His vocabulary is terrible.]  

They still humiliate people that I suspect have Asperger's. 

The producers still are able to squeeze a sob story out of anyone, even if they are very upper middle class lottery winners/Mensa scholars.   [Tangent: This last feature is one that I take some issue with and have some mixed feeling about. On occasion, they skew a little exploitative, which makes me uncomfortable. I don't think that makes me a calloused individual; I think it makes me the polar opposite. This Entertainment Weekly article from today on that very topic is actually pretty interesting, and will assuredly stir up some interesting conversation.] 

Try as they might- none of these elements deter me.  Unfortunately American Idol is my drug of choice. I just can't quit it. I will roll with it till my wheels fall off.  I know...I know. I'm lame.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

bling your thing.

Disclaimer: I apologize to those who read my blog who hold me in any kind of esteem or on any kind of pedestal, because I am about to smash it. PS. I will miss the view. Also, I apologize that I can't show more pictures to illustrate my point, but that would require to open my site up to hordes of pervs. I have been encouraged to write on this topic and am thus giving the people what they want. So I'm sorry and you're welcome in advance.

Several months ago, I got the following facebook message from my friend Katie, who reads my blog regularly:
slight request for the blog. I would love to hear your comments on vagazzling.
It's the new.... Uhm... Body beautification.

Love it!! (your blog not the vagazzle) and check it daily.
At the time I thought, "The time is not right. The time for a Vajazzle-centric blog will come." Well, apparently today is the day to address this pressing issue.  The impetus for vajazzling came knocking at my inbox when a friend forwarded me an email sent to them by a local salon. The email was to hype up their Valentine Vajazzle Special [Tangent: I am sure at least 50% of you reading this are currently thinking, "I think I know what Vajazzle is...but surely my assumption isn't correct...because that's too ridiculous to be an actual salon service." Unfortunately, its exactly as bad as it sounds. Little sparkly swarofski crystals are affixed to your lady business with something akin to nail glue to give you that extra oomph. Especially if that oomph you desire is a bedazzled crotch.  Self Vajazzle kits are also available on the web for those crafty ones. Celebs (?) like Jennifer Love Hewitt are big fans of the trend, which should be reason enough to do it, right?] 

Personally when I first heard of vajazzling, I was kind of puzzled, even though I worked at a lingerie store for years and should be accustomed to the bizarre means people have to melt their butter, it seemed silly and not at all sexy. People like fringe and edible sparkles and lingerie that look like Icecapades costumes (at least according to what sold around Valentine's Day every year.) It should not shocking that women would want to glitz up every square inch of their bodies, but it is.  Even though I love Lady Gaga, I feel she is partially to blame.

It's nothing new. Since Cleopatra's time, embellishment has been encouraged, and I have drawers and drawers of makeup, so I cannot hate on people for wanting to beautify.  I just think if you have the money and time to do this and maintain it, I am probably not affiliated with you, thus it fascinates me [Tangent: Similar to the way I am fascinated by Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives franchises, I am always baffled by things that are completely removed from my life...i.e. vagina jewels.] . Imagine how frustrating it is to lose an earring or a think about losing a woozie sparkle. Now explain looking for that on the subway or in a Wendy's bathroom.  Awkward.

Also, is it something you maintain...or is it a one shot deal? Is there a male equivalent? What is that called?  This has really opened the floodgates of vajazzle-related inquiries.

Although I am not a fan of the act of the vajazzling,  the word is just so fun to say that it might wear me down. Vajazzle! it just sounds so magical, as if it should be accompanied by a chime and multiple exclamation points. It may rival jeggings as my favorite hybrid word. 
Conan + Jeggings = my head exploding
[Mega Tangent: Unlike jeggings, I didn't make the word Vajazzling up. Yes, you heard correctly. I made up the term jeggings. No. I'm not delusional.  About a year and a half ago, I read in a magazine that denim leggings were becoming en vogue again. [Sub-tangent: I say "again" because I had an acid-washed, lace-hemmed pair in 4th grade, so they are nothing new.] Since I sit down all day, and skinny jeans are hell for someone in that position- I opted for anything with a stretchy waistband that I could wear with cute boots.  You can ask anyone I work with or know in any capacity because I called them jeggings for months, to the point of great annoyance. Then last January, my boss put an article on my desk, written by an LA syndicated writer. It was a piece all about 'jeggings' that was run in The Tennessean, which made it seem as this woman in California coined the phrase. I was convinced my brother or his fiance, who live in the LA area were to blame for this leak of my term to the West coast.  I shared the splendor of jeggings with them at Christmastime; it seemed rather convenient. Now Jeggings are everywhere, and every time I see the word emblazoned on a window display or hear it mentioned on The View, there is a great deal of fist shaking on my behalf.]

I feel like for every person that is completely disgusted by vajazzling after reading this blog, there is going to be another person that says, "ooh I want that!" [Tangent: Probably because they are easily led to shiny objects.], so I will offer up some alternative ways you can be flashy without resorting to making your junk glitzy. 
This seems like it would hurt your hand, but if your thirst for embellishment is great, quench it by any means necessary.

Smart phones need sparkle too.

Why do disco tranny cat suits seem more logical than vajazzles?

This seems impractical, but should be something you try instead of vajazzling.   

If all else fails, get a gem sweater.  They go great with jeggings.

Its official, I have no shame...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

skate party usa

I want to see this film.

Yesterday morning while brunching at Cracker Barrel with my mom [Tangent: I confess that I ate there as well today, but made sure to go to a different location, lest management gets wise to my addiction of hashbrown casserole and greasy meats.], I looked over and noticed the little girl at the table next to me was not at all impressed with the magic of Cracker Barrel. Ear buds in, she was intently watching a movie on her parent's Ipad [Tangent: At least, I hope it was her not her own. My best friend's 8 year old niece has an Ipod touch, so I guess anything is possible.] as her dad and mom ate their meal, which was something tragically off the "low carb offerings" portion of the brown paper menu.  It made me extremely sad. When I was young, I would have intently colored my childrens' menu or played the peg game for the entirity of my meal; no outside media necessary. Not to sound like an old woman, but were kids today really that different from kids when we were young?
I didn't take this picture, but found it online and think it fit a bit too perfectly.
Luckily, within 8 hrs, I got a partial answer to my question. For my friend Jessica's birthday, about 15 people who are pushing 30, with a little too much wine fueled enthusiasm, descended upon The Brentwood Skate Center. [Tangent: This was the site of so many happy childhood memories, birthday parties and field trips. I texted my sister from the party, and her nostalgia was immediate in her response: "Once Jonathan from Who's The Boss was going to make an appearance there. I had to miss it because I was at softball practice. I'm still bitter."] To my circa 1991 delight, the place I remembered so fondly was completely unchanged from the last time I had been inside over 15 years ago. [Tangent: When I pulled up,  I momentarily got irritated that the skate center only had one handicapped space, then the realization came that it was indeed "the skate center," and since I wouldn't be paying the $11 skate rental fee- I probably didn't need to bitch about it.]  The awkward roller skate themed carpeting, the sock vending machine, the video games, the smell of popcorn and dust and even the skates themselves- everything was frozen in time. The skate center workers were still creepy and the kids all seemed genuinely happy to be spending their Saturday night skating in the same direction for hours at a time. I loved it.
These are the same skates my sister wore in 1989 at her 9th birthday party.
The only thing was now Snow's The Informer and The Bodyguard Soundtrack had been replaced by Ke$ha dance remixes. I felt old only when some teeniebopper in a trucker hat, who had lost the skate races due to the fact that she had to update her facebook status mid-race, got off the floor yelling, "this is my song!" and I realized I had no idea what the song was. 

Between taking bets on the 9-year-olds in the skate races and wishing that they sold alcohol at the snack bar, [Tangent: At one point, they announced that the prize for one of the games was a free drink. Our ears all perked up until we realized it was a likely a small Coca-Cola.], we found the highlight of the evening was people watching. Question of the night: what was sadder- to be the guy that DJs at the skating rink? OR to be the guy in his early 40's who comes there solo to pick up single moms and work on his skate choreography? [Tangent: Would it make the decision easier to tell you that the latter killed at the skate races and brought his own sweat rag so he could towel off mid roller skate sow cow?] We dubbed him 'Rollin' Rodney' and he became my friend Courtney's skate center boyfriend; mine was a single dad would had brought his own UT skates to match his UT polo shirt. Clearly, at the Brentwood Skate Center, your options are limited for finding love.

I am eternally grateful to Jessica for choosing this as her birthday party destination, thus reminding me how ridiculous my friends are capable of being. Seeing my friends, now married, circle the dance floor holding hands in the ever important "slow skates" alongside a bunch of 12-year-olds reminded me that maybe things haven't changed so much after all, and I am not as much as an old lady as I claim to be.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I've got wheels of polished steal...I've got tires that grab the road...

...hell...that's where.

Sometimes I think Mother Nature is a sweet natured old lady baking pies, yet other times I think she's a cranky old bitchy cat lady. Yesterday it was the latter. Despite every weatherman in Nashville and many frantic texts from friends trying to deter me from venturing out in the slush, I was on a mission...a mission to go see Cake at the Ryman. [Tangent: My brother Mikey gave me tickets to Cake for Christmas based possibly solely on the fact that Never There is my ringback tone, and he knows that my love of 90s music, and live 90s music at that, is great. He's very good at context clues.] I knew that it may not be the best idea to be the driver given that I have very little experience with snow driving under my belt, and the term black ice was being tossed around like a water balloon. However, I have a very powerful sense of misguided security; I felt the brown beast and I were ready to tango with Mother Nature.

Despite driving for about 8 miles with a fogged up windshield, losing control of the car, not being able to see the lane demarkations and possibly shaving a year or two off my copilot's life- the ride went well and I got myself and my two friends to the show and home in tact. [Tangent: Maybe in my head I was singing my favorite Cake song (and in general, my favorite song about the devil and automotives), which incidentally they didn't play in concert, but I will share with you below.]

From beginning to end the Cake show was everything I had dreamed: oddly fantastic. I will even go out on a shaky branch and say that the lead singer, John McCrea, is a powerful breed of sexy. [Tangent: Amid my concert going posse, composed of Beth and Alicia, I was definitely alone in thinking this. They agreed with me that his voice is ridiculously hot, but I was onboard for the whole enchilada. Any assholey fella with a false sense of self importance, who can break a crowd into a boys vs. girls lyrical shouting match like a middle school pep rally, is cool peeps in my book. Also, at some point, he gave away a sapling to the person who could correctly identify that it was a buckeye tree. Who doesn't love a botany enthusiast?] Amid his ramblings and showmanship, I have become fascinated with a new instrument that I'm sure I could rock the stuffing out of...the vibraslap.
meow. I love a man in Mickey Mouse gloves (and yes he wore those at the Ryman for two songs before melodramatically tossing them into the front row.).
As with most shows I have been to, the best entertainment is usually in the audience, and Cake did not disappoint. Luckily, a mixed crowd is my favorite kind. No matter the concert, there is always a couple people that appear to not know what they are about to see as if they were given tickets on the street. These people were in front of us. One gentleman, whose go-to move was the air hump, was in his mid 60s and looked slightly perplexed by the goings on onstage. Alicia hypothesized that maybe he was a baker and was thinking a literal Cake show was being held at the Ryman.

Another group in the pew in front of us seemed to be auditioning for Pretty Woman 2 (straight to DVD). In other words- I think these two gentleman brought a 'tute to a Cake show. I could be way off, but the lady was wearing a micro mini, white girl cornrows and thigh high patent boots- all the makings of a lady of the night. [Tangent: I'd like to take this opportunity to reiterate that it was snowing outside.] She also may or may not have rubbed up on security and had her butt played like a bongo drum at some point in the show, which leads me to think my speculation is correct.

Ok. That's all for now...Go dig out your old Cake CD...I have a vibraslap to purchase.

I'll leave you with my other potential blog titles:

  • Cake is better with Frosting [terrible pun of the night, care of Beth.]
  • "Is this a laser lights show?"
  • How do I afford my rock and roll lifestyle?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm sporty...I promise.

My guy friends always make fun for my lack of know how on a regular basis. For a girl that is not super girly and will cuss like a sailor if prevoked, they are usually pissed that I can't be a total boy with them and keep up with sports [Tangent: The 10% are the olympics and some hockey and baseball games]. Sports are on my periphery, but I have more pressing issues like American Idol's new format/judges and the upcoming Oscar nominations. I enjoy sports. I promise... I do, but it has to be a big game or a game I am actually watching live for me to care who wins or loses. If a game is being watched in a social setting,  I usually pick a side based on something arbitrary like the font they use in their logo or if their mascots could actually beat each other in a cage match scenario. [Ex: A bear could certainly dominate a packer...hence I would root for 'da bears (and don't pretend that wouldn't be fun to watch). baseball I always root against The Washington Nationals if they are playing, because their logo is identical to the "W" in Walgreen's . Drugstores generally don't scream macho. ]

This just makes me want to go pick up my prescriptions...not eat hot dog.

The other day I was sitting at the bar to see my best friend and get out of the house for a while. In between chit chat, I got distracted by the Jets/Patriots game on one of the TVs. Since I was staring so intently [Tangent: This is probably on account of the fact that I am still wearing an ancient eyeglass prescription and couldn't tell entirely what was on the screen.], one of my fellow familiar faces asked me who I was rooting for. I immediately said, "I guess the Jets. Really anyone but the Patriots.  I can't stand Tom Brady."

This strongly worded statement would make it appear that I am a enormous fan of pro football, and thankfully didn't warrant any follow up questions.  The truth is, I know nothing of the Patriots. I don't like Tom Brady [...and thus the New England Patriots] for the following reasons:

  • Tom Brady was terrible when he hosted Saturday Night Live...not funny at all.  I would say this is the curse of all athletes who can't hack it on improvisational live TV...but Peyton Manning and Charles Barkley were hilarious. That argument no longer holds water. [Tangent: I used to really dislike Peyton Manning because I am nearly always a backer of the underdog, and I felt he won too much. Then he hosted SNL, and actually pulled it off. My perception changed immediately.]
  • Tom Brady is ridiculously attractive and is married to a Victoria's Secret model who also fits that description. I don't think he needs another super bowl victory to add to make his life even more awesome. People shouldn't have it all. You can't be drop dead handsome and a superhuman athlete with bushels of endorsement deals. PICK ONE, TOMMY BOY!  [Tangent: I happen to know he has won MVP at least a couple times because the Super Bowl is one of the handful of games that I actually watch...don't be fooled.]
I am not alone in my assessment of Mr. Brady. If you type, "Why is Tom Brady such a Douche?" in Yahoo answers, you will see 23 computer chair quarterbacks are currently debating this same topic.

Amid my Brady bashing, my best friend interrupted me from the bar, "Um, you just like the Jets because you love West Side Story?" 

I would have been truly offended had she not been at least partially correct. Foiled again. I can't pull off sporty, but I can pull of jazz hands. I're shocked.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I'm aware that if you read my blog and don't know me, you may write me off as "silly" due to my frequent allusions to Full House episodes and Cracker Barrell breakfasts, but I am not a stranger to what's going on in the world. When I decided to write this blog, I wanted to "keep it light" and try to be edgy without getting political unless it somehow can relate to the message I am trying to send [Tangent: Wow...that made me sound like a pretentious bitch, but I have no idea how to reword it to remedy it stays.] . My feelings on politics are strong, and once you uncork that bottle it spews everywhere. As with champagne, I save it for special occasions. Besides, the world is a dark, dark place and sometimes I just want to throw glitter on it to catch some light instead of wallowing in the dark too long.

Like everyone in our country, I have been brought to a bit of a standstill by the events in Arizona that took place but 10 days ago. Its not my job to speculate what the gunman's motives were. Everyone's hypothesizing and creating intricate plots and reasons. That's all fine and good, but despite all the chatter, it doesn't make it better or go away. It happened. People died needlessly in terrifying manner that in no way should have happened. [Tangent: Those that know me in any capacity know my feelings about guns, and that they are not positive, but that is not what this post is about.]

This post is about the news I heard last night- that Gabrielle Gifford's was upgraded again and this post is to praise the amazing strides that medicine is capable of making to virtually bring someone back from the blinding light. It has upset me for days that she is still on the vent. Every time the congresswoman was addressed on the nightly news,  I hoped she would be extubated soon and be able to draw breath on her own terms.

Vents have been my arch enemy and my saving grace... this summer I spent over 20 days on one, either by tube or trach. They are not fun, but they have their purpose and do not equal a death sentence. In order to make the jump to independent breathing, Gifford's family and doctors made the decision for her to get a tracheotomy procedure so she could join the many people that walk or sit among us with neck scars or permanent trachs. [Tangent: I too made this decision a few months back. Albeit not an easy one, and a decision that was made after buckets of tears and opposition and Adavan, it was the right one.]

Her road is made significantly more gravelly due to the nature of her head injury- but I have every hope that she will one day be able to look down at the 1.5 inch scar on her neck and breathe a deep, independent sigh of relief.  Sometimes to get from point A to point B, you need to go by tube.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

some generic junkmail can be good

Note: Last night I spent way too much time redesigning my blog and creating my new masthead. I hope you like. I am not completely happy with it, but the other one irritated me each time I logged on.

Now...on to the bloggin'

Each day, my inbox is cluttered...I mean really, really cluttered. Once every three weeks I may get something personal and not mass produced, but in the meantime I remain right on top of every sale Victoria's Secret/Amazon/Overstock/Big Lots/Barnes and Noble/Borders/B.F Goodwrench happens to be running, and I am up to my eyelashes in facebook notifications. [Tangent: I realize there is a way to turn that off...but apparently it's very low on my priority list.]

Amid all the rubble, I found a hidden junk mail gem. Most people would have deleted it immediately, if it had even avoided their spam folder. However, because of my hoarding tendencies, I got really nostalgic and overly sentimental after clicking on it. Here is the mail in question:


How could I help myself to this email overreaction? I mean, Chevy did send me a stock photo of a birthday cake with their logo on it...and they are right- "Anniversaries ARE about celebration." Ahhh- Chevy, you shouldn't have!  This two years has really flown [Tangent: Two years is somewhat of a misnomer. Its two years since my loan was approved and the car title was in my name, but I didn't get to take my beautiful brown beast home with me until April. Little issues like months of drivers training, adjusting the car to my specifications and having my robot built in another state had to be dealt with.]

see how clean it is...that never happened again.

The wait was completely worth it. I daresay that getting my car was the most life changing thing that has ever happened to me. Having to wait 10 years longer than everyone else made me appreciate my car. I appreciate that I baffle slack-jawed yokels in the mall parking lot who I overhear say, "Who is driving that thing?" I appreciate that I win over every child, who is slightly intimidated by me, by telling them by vehicle is really an autobot. It also made me appreciate mass emails, so much so that I tear up a little.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

whats my sign again?

Damn. Now I want a scorpion wearing a fedora

Good god...not since Chris Brown beat up Rhianna have I had every single conversation I attempt to have somehow evolve into something topical that is permeating the media. This week's culprit- The changing of the astrological signs. It happens everywhere I turn. This topic is broached at every corner: at work, when I am out with friends at the bar or even on facebook, aka my source for news [Tangent: add my blog to that list]. 

All this conversation is sparked mostly because no one fully understands what the hell is going on, and as in most cases, one dill weed forges a crack pot theory and suddenly his word is bond. [Tangent: It's kinda like how everyone swears that their cousin/uncle/grandpa/babysitter/friend with benefits ate at Taco Bell in the 90's and found a cockroach egg in it. These urban legends cause a red scare.] So, is there a new sign? Does it apply to us? Is it only good if you were born after 2009? Does this mean the end is nigh?

I can't act holier than thou, I know nothing about astronomy or astrology. [Tangent: I really love looking at the stars and think they are pretty on a clear night...but I have no concept of the universe and its origins and all that jazz. Although I consider myself to be pretty intelligent, it still seems too big and abstract for me to fully grasp. Oh well. I guess I will go back to watching my Daniel Tosh Standup special.] I do know that I am a Scorpio, and I like my sign because it makes me seem like a passionate bad ass. It also makes me seem very complicated, and I feel as if I am complex as a 10 piece puzzle. On days when I am feeling completely lame, eating hummus while watching Sister Act 2 for the 10,000th time- I need that little reminder of what's at my core.  I do not like the idea of having to be a Libra, not that there's anything wrong with that. I just feel like it would be like living your life feeling like you are part of a superhero family until you are in your late 20's and suddenly finding out that you're adopted.

Not bad...but I don't know that I want to give up the fedora'd scorp for an effeminate set of scales with man boobs.
To clear up this sudden identity crisis, I decided instead of watching experts debate it on MSNBC, I would just look on the internet [Tangent: And not the fancy dancy science sites either, because that only confused me further. Science was never my bag.] I finally found a site that gave me some kind of answer.   Basically to summarize- it said, "False yam what you yam."

Now that that hoopla is over, I can once again feel like I am doing justice to my sun sign. I think its safe to say that we can all get back to what's important- the fact that the golden voiced homeless man is back in rehab.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

a very special episode...

Today I was cleaning off my DVR and amid the episodes of SNL and Ellen, I found a gem that I completely forgot that I'd recorded- E! News Presents Born Different 2. Why am I so obsessed with these "freak of the week" specials showcasing  people with rare or compelling deformities and disabilities as they triumph over adversity? [Tangent: It will most assuredly be rerun, and if you are into that sort of thing, you should give it a try. It was actually really quality- a man with no arms or legs who was a wrestler...the smallest woman in the world who had birthed 3 children with little to no complication.]

Before Maury Povich became paternity test central, I used to complain about him having his "special kids episodes." These monstrosities were basically glorified freak shows, where he would make a young man with no arms show how he can still play the harmonica.[Tangent: I never quite understood why one was contingent upon the other. He still has lungs, right? If he had no lungs...then I would be impressed. Situation as it stands- the guy just has a hobby. Shouldn't all people have hobbies? ].  The audience would clap. Maury would tear up. I would gag.

With that being said, it seems ironic that I am continuously captivated by these TLC/Discovery Health shows that are basically doing the same thing...showing people who are disabled somehow kicking ass in life. Its a bit of a dichotomy. Maybe the absense of Povich is the variable that makes all the difference.

Not to get all serious on you folks [Tangent: Suddenly it's like a middle school dance where they stop playing the Tootsie Roll and start playing Unchained Melody.], but I often think about how I feel about that- being on display as a disabled person first and a person second. Separation vs assimilation. Its a bit of a tightrope walk for many wheelchair users (irony?).

Given the name of this blog, its strange to think that I wouldn't want it emblazoned on my headstone. Frankly, I innumerable other weird qualities that make me different. The wheelchair is pretty low on my list.

When I was little, I had no trouble sticking out like a sore thumb, mostly because I was a disability poster child and was the face of my disability (at least for the middle Tennessee area in 1989, when I was at my hottest!).'s my poster girl headshot. Thank god for orthodontia.
I'm sure I was picked because I was a little attention whore and could truly captivate a fire hall with my gapped teeth and incoherent ramblings telling people why they should donate money to Jerry's Kids.

Then I got a little older and became an insecure angst fest. Suddenly, I became exceedingly paranoid that my mode of transport would define me completely, especially given that, at the time,  I was in disabled swim classes, therapeutic horseback riding and went to Muscular Dystrophy camp every summer; I felt like I was becoming completely alien to the kids in my classes. [Tangent: As if I wasn't only wearing a t-shirt that said "By the way, I'm in a wheelchair" but that the phrase was glow-in-the-dark and I was constantly pointing to it like an A hole.] To balance everything, I subconsciously decided I wouldn't really talk about the chair with my peers.  I had friends in high school and early college that had no idea why I was in a wheelchair until I suggested that we sell shamrocks as a fundraiser in one of the clubs I was in.

These adolescent leftovers still pop up occasionally. In fact, in college, for a couple years I refused to utilize the adaptive technology center. [Tangent: The ADC was a computer lab at MTSU where the tables and printers were all the ADA regulation height and there were always willing people to computers were always available, a rarity in a college library.]. Being that I am a stubborn gal,  I always opted to use the main computer lab, even thought it meant struggling to reach the coin slots on the printers and straining to reach dropped papers. I claimed it was because I didn't "need" to use the ADC. In actuality, I was just trying to blend, even though it made everything 200x harder. Eventually, the lure of computer availability and free access to a color printer dissolved my reservations and separation prevailed, leaving assimilation in the stacks. 

Watching E! Presents Born Different 2 today just kind of reminded me of that struggle to be a person first and an advocate second. Over the years, I have worn in my role as a silent advocate anyway, opting to lead by example. Its important to show society that you can be normal without mentioning it all the time...or wearing a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

frozen creative juices

my mom brought me a snowball...
There is a huge part of me that hates going back on my word, next to lying or enjoying the music of Nickelback, I think it's the worst deed humans are capable of (...oh and murder.).  A few blogs back, I mentioned how I wasn't going to write about cliche subject matter- like the weather...but I really can't help myself. That's all I've had going on in my life lately, and the snow and numbing cold can be entertaining (in some very shut-in circles).

Early Monday morning, as the weather oracles predicted, a "snowpocalypse/snowmageddon" befell our city,  dropping several inches of snow to coat the ground like white chocolate on a wintertime Oreo. [Tangent: Of course, it's Nashville, so any amount of snow, even a slight flurry is catastrophic and needs 24-hour coverage.] Snow and myself have a very love/hate relationship. I love the sight and the smell of snow. I like the weird eerie baby blue color the sky is next to the white horizon. I like listening to music I deem wintery (The National's The Boxer album = wintery) in my car, heat turned up to sauna temperatures with frost framing my windshield.  However, I hate the impracticality of it all.  I hate that my fingers frequently freeze to the point of burning, making their functionality all wonky. And furthermore, I hate the fact that I can't make snow angels (waaahhhh...waaaaaah...).

Also I hate that I can't get out in it like I want to. One doesn't need a physics degree [Tangent: Science was never my forte, so I don't even know if that's the appropriate area of study for what I am about to describe,  you be the judge.] to determine that moving a wheelchair through snow is the worst possible substance through which to push a wheeled object, second only to a wheelbarrow through quicksand or big wheel across micro machines. It's something most people don't think about, but unless there's a pathway of some sort I very easily get snowbound.[Tangent: The worst case of this happened about 9 years ago when I was in college, my roommate (also an awesome disabled chick) and I were eating lunch on the polar opposite end of campus from where we lived. Somehow in the hour or so we spent in the commissary, roughly 2 inches of the snowy white stuff accumulated. Because the buses stopped running due to weather, she had to plow me roughly one mile across campus in the snow...her power chair pushing my scooter. At the time, it was funny and completely unnerving. As in most cases, things were 10,000x harder than they had to be.  As I think back, the sight of us was potentially the most adorable showing of handicappedness ever in the history...ok maybe this is...]
this makes me want Newman to get a wheelchair we can match. 

Being snowbound the last few days wasn't as bad as it could be. I wore in my new slipper boots and drank copious amounts of cocoa. Yet, somehow I became several days behind in my blogging. My creative juices are liquid...I guess they froze.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

10,0000 blogs. I know, right?

Last week, with great excitement,  I posted the following on facebook.

My blog just hit 10,000 hits. How should I celebrate such a dorky accomplishment?
Monday at 8:29pm · ·

Ok...that is kind of funny.

Hearing about the issues others had with

Friday, January 7, 2011

going back to cali...cali...cali

Let me start this blog off by saying that earlier this evening, I temporarily doubled my disability and tempted fate by driving home near blind. I blame yesterday's blog. In being lisa loeb,  I very nonchalantly talked about wearing glasses just for fun and poking fun at my failing eyesight. Not 24 hours later, I had to drive roughly 10-15 miles sans glasses or contacts. Yep. my contacts decided to go AWOL on the way to my destination. By the time I reached my spot, Fido, I might as well have been wearing tiny circles of saran wrap on my corneas, so I ditched them in my napkin. Thank allah it was near freezing, and most people frown upon night jogging in that kind of cold- or else I could have been serving time for vehicular homicide right about now. [Tangent: I know I am an idiot...huge huge huge idiot.]

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog...

Lately I've been sideswiped by vortex of unfortunate events that I lovingly refer to as the shitstorm or crapnado. It kind of made me lose track of all time and forget that there were legitimate bright spots on the horizon. For example, my older brother is getting married in little over a month and that means CALI TRIP! I think this is truly what I need, a trip to a sunny (albeit smoggy) locale to celebrate some good family time revolving around our immersion into Armenian culture.

As you may know my soon to be sister-in-law is Armenian. I know little of her culture and am very excited to learn. All I know about an Armenian wedding, aside from what I've absorbed watching episodes of Keeping up With the Kardashians, is that there is lots of food, drinking and dancing. Sounds like absolute Nirvana.  [Tangent: To avoid sounding like to much of an idiotic uncultured female, I try to keep my references of the Kardashian clan to a bare minimum when talking to Kristine, my new sister-in-law. Despite having a "K" name, she is not a fan of them and feels they give her people a bad rep.]

Although I have been to California 1.5 times, [Tangent: The .5 was for a 6 hour layover I had in San Francisco en route home from Hawaii about 12 years ago. I count it because I got to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and eat Ghiradelli  I feel that absolutely counts for something.] seeing the west coast is not old hat to me. Traveling never is. Growing up, my family never rarely took trips via airplane [Tangent: Air travel for 6 is pricey, and we had a Jeep Grand problem solved.], so there is something about air travel that still seems very magical to me, as if I'm riding somewhere aboard Falcor, the dragon from The Neverending Story.
ok...maybe not that magical...but close. 
 My last trip was nearly 2 years ago to visit my brother, who lives outside of LA. It went swimmingly until I decided to get second degree sunburn on my legs, horifying my dermatologist and deserving a few weeks of pain killers and cold compresses. [Tangent: I will remind some of you that didn't get to see it live in effect what that degree of charred flesh looked like...and yes apparently the phrase "too much information" is not a part of my lexicon.]
Further proof that sometimes I make poor decisions. See first paragraph.
This time there will be no skin sizzling. I will not live under some grand delusion that I am a bronzed beach goddess. There will only be happy, adequately sunscreened times. To remind me that happy California times are on the horizon, I wanted to share some of my favorite pics from the first go round. 
No one warned me it was cold in Cali. Years of Saved by the Bell has lied to me.

cliche "I'm a pretty, pretty princess" picture

I love this picture...mostly because Mikey was terrified of the teacups.

Help! I'm in a net.

The first sign I saw after getting out of our car in Hollywood

Mom and I by Elton John's star. We were STOKED!

This was when I obtained aforementioned scorched shins.

The most ingenious business trifecta I have ever seen.

Dodger game...this was clearly post burn. Note the glasses marks.

Showing off my inner fat kid.

San Diego Wild Animal $30 ever spent.

I love this picture of my mama. She looks shocked to see an elephant at a zoo.

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