Monday, May 30, 2005


sometimes i'll get a random name stuck in my head. it may be a semi-celebrity or just something i heard over the p.a. at the airport or in junior high. most usually it's a person whom i have never seen or can't remember. something whose existence revolves almost completely around the sound of its name. like jeff gillooly.

it'll show up and stay in the background. in between thoughts, it'll pop in, on the off chance i had forgotten.

ron hornbaker!

once in awhile i'll try to say it over and over to get it out of my head, you know like playing a song you've got stuck so that it'll exit when you hear the ending?

annika sorenstam annika sorenstam annika sorenstam annika sorenstam annika sorenstam annika sorenstam annika sorenstam annika sorenstam

that only has about a 25% success rate.

other times, i'll think i've gotten rid of it and then, as i'm staring at the contents of the refrigerator trying to decide what to take, it'll sneak up on me again.

daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamon lindelhof!

and then there are those horrible times when i'm trying to listen to someone important explain a new work policy or give directions, their sentences are peppered with the name of the moment.

'see, it's all very simple. bo bice! when you see the gas station on the right, you just bo bice! and then make a right at the bo bice! it's the fourth house on the left. got it?'


this doesn't happen enough to be a problem, just often enough to annoy me. maybe it's karmic justice for my unending scrutiny of local birth announcements. but i'm sorry, giving your child a five-letter name when only one of those is a traditional vowel should be a crime, Alxys' mom and dad. and i'm not even talking about it in the they-won't-be-able-to-find-a-keychain-or-mug-with-their-name-on-it sense. honestly, people. the child will have to live with that name for LIFE. and i refuse to back down. so if i have to deal with a little idle brain torture in exchange, so be it.

jeff gillooly!

Friday, May 27, 2005


two days ago three people my age from our family friend circle were killed in an automobile accident.

a fourth person barely came out of it alive, and is now charged with reckless homicide. he had been behind the wheel. they found alcohol in his system. he could get 28 years in prison. he has no criminal record.

their car didn't make it around a curve on a backwoods road. after hitting a few trees it was found, mangled and literally split in half, by a jogger.

i heard the news and felt bad, even worse when the names sounded familiar. our families used to hang out at religious functions back in the day. i'm sure i've had more than one dinner indian-style on the floor off styrofoam plates in somebody's basement with these people at some point in my life.

you hear about stuff like this every day, and you shake your head and say 'what a tragedy.' but then things like getting to work on time or finding a tape to record the season finale of your show get in the way.

we have a small but close community. when something bad happens, people come out en masse, filling up waiting rooms with bodies and refrigerators with tupperware. i had to work, but my parents visited one of the victims' parents and the crash site. nearly a hundred people were there: people we've known over the years all walking around, shaking their heads and rehashing the details over and over. the folks came back and told me about how the parents were doing (not well), how all they have left are the diplomas, trophies and hopes that will never be fulfilled, how the father didn't cry at all until a relative handed him his son's glasses -- found in the bushes by the side of the road.

all that stuff brought on tears. especially from watching my mother cry while she was saying it.

but what made it very real was logging onto one of those networking sites. some sadistic impulse made me type in one of the names. there was a photo of the guy -- at a turntable, earphones half on his head.

he's single.
he's 27.
he's a cancer.
his last logon was thursday may 12.

and on his links list: the other victims.

this guy's never going to log on again. he'll never have the chance to get an ego boost from the number of times his profile has been viewed since the beginning of the month.

he'll never know that some girl, who probably stood behind him in the buffet line at some 25th anniversary party or graduation celebration years ago, has been thinking about him nonstop for two days. thinking about how she most likely would have had to hear about his upcoming wedding and probably would comment on his cute children in a few years. thinking about how if her family still went to that church, she'd probably be friends with him. and if she hadn't been working, she might have been at the barbeque they were coming home from, and if she wasn't thinking, she might have accepted that ride home because she lives nearby. and maybe that would be her father on the tv, heartbroken. maybe the people telling the media what good kids they were would be the people who watched her grow up. maybe it would be her friend who will recover to face prison and a lifetime's worth of guilt because of one impaired, reckless, stupid, irreversible decision.

it's too short, people. let's not waste it being miserable.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

victory for my subconscious vibe

guy in the cubicle across from mine to woman in the cubicle next to mine:

'they bandied about that project idea for, like, 2 days.'


(and no, he doesn't know about jugglethis)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

no place like mine

my brother came home today. finally free of tubes, ivs and beeping, pulsing, annoying-as-hell monitors.

the first place he headed for was the bathroom. i guess there's something about being on your own throne that makes things a little easier.

my mother on the other hand, a woman who has been sleeping upright at best for two weeks, showering in locker rooms and eating crap cafeteria food or lukewarm takeout, didn't stop to rest. she busted into the kitchen and made a comfort food buffet. only after we'd all eaten did she relax.

for me, very little on this planet beats that feeling of crawling into your own bed after being away for a long time. not to be overly dramatic, but it's a mellow sort of ecstasy.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Eri come l’oro…ora sei come loro

i think i blew out one of the speakers in my ride today.

dammit tiziano, you lured me to destruction with your loungy, poppy ways.

update: the kid will most likely come home tomorrow. as of 11 p.m. sunday he was free of all protruding wires, needles and tubes not secured with tape.

and 'old friend' now is up to 208.


Friday, May 20, 2005

savoring it

i just checked my messages and had gotten one from my mother.

it gave me great joy.

this morning she had asked me to cook some motherland food because she's getting tired of hospital cafeteria cuisine and take out. this wouldn't normally be such a daunting challenge, but my mother is sort of a food snob because she, my grandmother and my aunts are all fantabulous chefs.

so i sucked it up and did my best. one item was pretty easy, but also pretty easy to mess up, which i thought i had. the other item was much more tricky and i haven't made it in a long time. i crossed my fingers and handed it over to her, but she didn't taste it till i had already left.

in her message, she ACTUALLY used the words, 'flying colors.'

oh! my! God!

to date, the best compliment i had gotten from her was, 'okay. your family won't starve.'

thank goodness she's been eating crap for two weeks. it probably made my stuff look even better.

sith's revenge

let's recap the highlights of today:

* sleep was bad:

in the middle of my much-needed rest, i woke up, possessed. i shot out of bed and was running around the house in a frenzy -- only about 13% awake -- getting stuff together and trying to convince people i was having surgery and needed to get ready for it.

* waking up was bad:

after i was reassured and led back to my bed, i fell into such a deep sleep that i managed to turn off the alarm across the room without waking up -- until three hours past when i needed to. i didn't even make it to the hospital before work.

in an attempt to multitask, i left my lunch unattended. boiling noodles in the microwave may seem harmless to the average person, but the average person probably has not come back 15 minutes later to find her lunch bloated and bulging out from the bowl. ramen is absolutely inedible when overcooked, and looks disgusting in the garbage disposal as well.

* traffic was bad:

this message is for mr. gray infiniti.
sunday driving is never an acceptable method of travel in the left lane during rush hour. in fact, it is unacceptable on sundays and every other day of the week, for that matter. i also suggest you go back to your drivers' education facility and slap someone for not explaining that the rear-view mirror is a means to know WHEN TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY. people, such as ambulances or nissans, are trying to get to their gd destinations.

this message is for mr. blue-green corsica.
you motherf*cker. what ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH made you think that trapping someone who is trying to get around gray infiniti grandpa by driving alongside them and slowing down when they slow down was funny? especially when the coast is completely clear all around? you just bought yourself a one-way ticket to hell, pal. and the first thing they are gonna do is cut off that fugly ponytail and MAKE YOU EAT IT.

on top of that, in the patch of bad traffic i looked down to see yet another one of my pants have been rendered unwearable. there is some kind of hole on the outside of the right leg. more like a tear. ugh. now i'm really going to have to go shopping.

* parking was bad:

i made 11 (got that? E-LEV-EN) loops around the 8-block vicinity of the office, trying to find a space. what made it worse was there were several lovely meters taunting me by having f-ing CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT in front of them. however, after 45 minutes i managed to cram my car between a dumpster and an escalade without tripping the alarm on either. (jon, you would have been proud.) needless to say, i was a little late.

* dinner was bad:

i was desperate. so when we got to Popeyes, ten minutes before it closed, i ordered mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. the mac was very obviously from the very bottom of the tray, scraped together and compacted beyond the limits of physics into my tiny bowl. yeah, it wasn't good. i should have learned my noodle lesson this afternoon.

* the weather was bad:

there was this creepy-ass misting fog rolling around the city today, decapitating most of the skyline. it honestly looked like a scene from the first Batman movie. and when i went outside to move the car into the lot (after the suits go home), it began to pour. as i got into the building, it stopped. of course, for the rest of the night i walked around the building with the very top layer of my hair curly, sticking out in every direction like a halo because of the humidity. (the shop had ran out of my only beauty must-have, anti-frizz leave-in conditioner.)

something about the rain makes people forget the rules of the road. getting wet does NOT give pedestrians the authorization to dart out from between parked cars into oncoming traffic and expect drivers to see them. having windshield wipers on does not make a case for failing to make sure a car isn't coming in the parking lot, especially when you are hiding behind a jeep grand cherokee. people are stupid.

*but this, this was good:

as i came in, dripping from the rain, i bumped into a middleaged coworker whose kooky style and lack of volume control make for hours of entertainment. i asked her what she thought the deal was with the creepy foggy mess outside.

'oh, that?'

she closed her eyes, tipped her head back slowly and replied in a very authoritative voice.

'it's just those star trek people. they've done something to turn every major city into gotham so they can have just the right atmosphere for their premiere.'

Thursday, May 19, 2005

sweet toothache

my father is addicted to sugar. it doesn't matter the form, he has to have it and he has to have it now. if there isn't any dessert, he will get spoonful of the refined stuff straight from the jar. on halloween, he buys candy for the neighbor kids and also a secret stash -- usually three times as big and ten times better quality -- for himself. you can always find three types of candy and at least one cookie variety in his car, and no box of chocolates makes it past a week at the house. one time when i asked him what the hell happened to the fannie may pixies mom brought home the night before, he said with no hint of a smile, 'it must have been the goblins.'

for someone who would spend 24 hours a day watching the news (if we had cable) to invent a scapegoat shows just how far gone he is in his addiction.

tonight he comes home from the hospital, arms full of stuff mom sent home. i had just come home from work.

'hey. how's he doing?'

'he's good; he even walked around a little today. i gave mom a rest and massaged his back for hours.'

'those knots still bothering him?'

'yep. but mom got a good four-hour nap, so that's good. oh, by the way, i had that haagen-dazs ice cream you had brought.'

'oh yeah, did he like it?'

'well, you know, he wasn't really in the mood for sweets today. he was cranky because he can't sleep.'

'uh huh...'

'and your mother said, 'why don't you take it home; we can't keep it in the nurses' fridge forever.' but you know, it probably would have melted on the way home, so i ate some. and then i thought, might as well finish it.'

'dad! so wait, let me get this straight: during all that time you were pressing out the knots in his back, somehow you had a chance to put away an entire pint of ice cream by yourself?'

'well... yeah. i didn't want it to go to waste.'

'so he didn't get to eat any at all, and mom didn't stop you?'

'you know she never lets me have any fun. i just waited until she fell asleep.'

'oh my god... well, do you want anything to eat?'

'are you kidding? i already had dinner. haagen-dazs. vanilla.'

you know you have a problem when you're pilfering goodies from the ailing and don't even feel the slightest bit of remorse.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


you know what phrase i don't use enough?

bandied about.

as in shoot the shit about something. thought i think it would be better if used as a synonym for 'beating around the bush' or 'wasting a hell lot of time'

yeah. i like that. but it only sounds good in the past tense. bandy about sounds like a bratty 4-year-old.

you know what else i like?


i think i need me some of those, too. where can you get some high-grade flunky around here?

(p.s. my bro was moved out of ICU today. maybe it was the 'psychobitch' (his term, not mine) nurse who was measuring out his dr. pepper 8 oz at a time in those teeny medicinal measuring cups you find overturned over nyquil bottles. and she was being generous when she added a few cubes of ice. i happened to catch the tail end of the lecture on how protein accelerates incision healing. on one hand she's treating him like a toddler and on the other she's acting like he's in the geriatric ward. he kept looking over to me and opening his eyes really wide (our code, usually used in parental cases, for ARE YOU HEARING THIS?) i know she was doing her job, but she was being damn annoying about it. and i swear, if he wasn't attached to all that machinery, she would have had to make a run for it.) she drove him out.

i'm heading over there to take over for mom. let's hope he's in a good mood.

careful what you ask for

when i was four, i started harassing my parents for a sibling. what i didn't know was that the cells were dividing as i whined.

i was pretty precocious and extremely chatty. i never wanted to miss anything and i never wanted to sleep. and i was DAMN bossy. unfortunately, when your pals are inanimate objects and imaginary friends don't hang around, even the power of pretend can get old. i needed a playmate.

every time i would beg for a baby, they explained that it was entirely up to me. my mother, who has always been a pro at psychological warfare, would smile sweetly and explain my options.

she laid it all out for me. if i wanted a sibling, i'd have to be good -- and not just putting away toys and finishing food -- really good. only deserving kids get baby brothers and sisters. it's a privilege. and a responsibility. she wasn't even sure i could handle it. she had just caught me sneaking into the pantry and taking a swig from aunt jemima. if i were going to have new buddy, i wouldn't be able to sneak stuff; i'd have to share. we're talking EVERYTHING. there is no 'mine' in brothers and sisters; if the baby wanted something, i'd have to give it up, at least for a little while. that includes smelly strawberry shortcake figurines, jump ropes and especially dolls who say 'maaa-mmaa' when you make her sit up. i might even have to share daddy.

after some thought, i was fine with that. going part-time on toys would totally be worth it if i had someone who actually talked back. and dad was cool, but i already had to find my own entertainment during the evening news anyway.

the second round had tougher questions. if it were a girl, could i share my clothes? even the spinny jean skirt that my mother had to wash when i was sleeping? even the jangly bangles my grandmother sent for my birthday? even the shiny shoes with the sparkly laces?

that was an easy one: i'd just ask for a brother. i wasn't giving up the spinny skirt for anybody.

the final challenge was presented with the gravity of a world-saving space mission. should i accept it, there would be no turning back. there are no returns at the baby store. in fact, this kid would be my responsibility. mom and dad would take care of him, but they aren't around all the time. if i wanted this baby so bad, i'd have to watch out for him and make sure he never gets hungry or hurt or sad. ever. all i had to do was pray.

i took this very seriously. i put my hands together every night and asked for a baby brother. i really wanted one. becky next door had just gotten one, and he kept her so busy she couldn't come out and play, even on saturday.

needless to say, my prayers were answered. and i was determined to be in on it all: the holding of bottles, the distracting during changing, the donating of fingers to clasp. i let my mother deal with the noise and the mess, but if i do say myself, i was damn good. i even got to choose his nickname: mickey mouse, even though they shortened it to mickey. i didn't even get that upset when people fawned all over him instead of me; but if they were hogging, they'd hear it. of course he's gorgeous, you think i'd pick an ugly one? hello! dammit, i did all the work to get this kid, i wasn't about to let some auntie leave her nasty lipstick all over him.

after a couple of months, his condition was diagnosed and things got tough. very hard. on all of us. there were long stretches of time when i didn't see my mother. we don't have family here so i stayed with friends. and dad was too busy shuttling back and forth to have too much quality time. i was so upset i got a fever. but mostly because i couldn't be there. who knows what kind of clowns were messing with my baby? do they even know that the brown bear with the embroidered nose is his favorite? that he likes the feel of the soft blue blanket fringe on his cheek? that he can only fall asleep if someone pats a constant rhythm on his back?

it was all good until he got a mind of his own. he obviously didn't understand the whole sharing concept. he only wanted my stuff when i wanted to play with it. once he learned to talk back there has been no reprieve. and GOD did he have our parents wrapped around his little finger. there's a very good reason i called him 'highness' for more than ten years. he. always. gets. his. way.

let's just say that there were a lot of unfair deals at our house.

'c'mon sweetie, you are older. try to understand.'
'you know how he is, once he has his mind set on something, no one can change it.'
'just give in now, please. he'll forget all about it after 15 minutes. it'll be a lot easier on us all. please?'

that was when he was 16 and wrangling for the car.

i had moments of being left out, but i didn't let them completely bring me down. and i can honestly say i've never felt a lack of anything. i learned strategy at an early age. you know, the do-what-they-tell-you-for-all-the-little-bullshit-and-play-that-card-when-you're going-for-something-really-big act. my brother never did grasp that concept and had to earn stuff through sheer will. of which he has plenty. but he's a sportsman -- he's never once played the sick card.

no matter what went on between us, to the outside world, we were united. i could make fun of his dopey haircut all day, but the second some sixth-grader looked at him crooked, she was gonna get a foot in her ass. and that smart mouth has come to my aid many a time when i was mocked by some outsider and left trying to figure out something to say for 20 minutes afterward.

i have never missed a single big test or surgery. when i was barred for being too young, he refused to cooperate until i was allowed into the room. food doesn't taste good until he is able to eat again. and he still always asks for me when he's coming to. (though now i think the girlfriend is gaining on me.)

but somehow i can't help but think the early childhood brainwashing worked a little too well. i think i subconsciously still believe i'm responsibile for the kid. i have bailed him out of so much trouble: with parents, speeding tickets, bounced checks, phone overages. (but even sisterly love only goes so far. i didn't bring my lunch for six months to pay for leisurely afternoon phone conversations.) i nag him about drinking, but bought him a case for his 21st. i help him with school stuff and listen to his woman troubles. i worry about him more than i'd like to admit and sometimes even sneak in to check on him if he's sleeping a little too silently. i know it's crazy, but it's what i do.

maybe it's because he's far away and i rarely see him. maybe it's because he's all i'll really have when the folks retire to bermuda. but i'd like to think it's because he's going to use his smarts and his skills to get a fat schmoozy job, let me summer at his villa in cinqueterra and put my kids through the colleges of their choice.

hey, every investor hopes for a return.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

old friend

true to form, right about when the sedatives wore off, my brother started making demands.

unfortunately, it's kind of tricky to communicate when you've got a tube about as wide as a jumbo rigatoni and the length of your forearm crammed down your throat and taped to your cheek, pinching your lips into a crooked fishface.

all he could manage was a raspy, whisper-scream, sort of like the wheezy breath of a chain smoker. he emphasized the first syllable.


'yes, honey, what is it? don't try to talk, i'll try to guess. do you want something? are you in pain? are you comfortable?'

shakes his head. 'I WANT..'

'your dad? your sister? what? anything you want me to tell [his girlfriend] m?'

shaking. 'NO! I WANT TEHHHHH! TEHHHHH!' (snorts with frustration)

'huh? sweetheart, i can't understand what you want. i know you're thirsty, but i can't get you anything to drink because of the tube.


'what? i'm not understanding, honey.'

'TEHHHHHHHEEEE, MA, MY TEEEEHHHHEEEE!' (this time he sits up a little, for emphasis.)

'what?' (smirks a little) 'you want teddy?'

he relaxes and nods.

my mother had to turn away and hide her laughter. all that for a raggedy but much-loved bear whose embroidered nose is starting to unravel. teddy has been at my brother's side for 22 years, since his first surgery at 3 months. usually he's overlooked, sitting in some corner or under the a pile of t-shirts and boxers, but he is always present, no matter what zip code my brother is in.

all seemed right with the world when teddy came out of the bag.
he got rid of the tube shortly after and started telling off the staff. he was pretty rude, but in the end, proved he knows his body much better than anyone. if he wasn't this feisty, we'd be worried.

one day after the surgery, i came in, arms full of dr. pepper, iced tea and haagen dasz, to find him sitting up in a chair beside his bed. he's doing really well, and is determined to get out of here as soon as possible.

i'm on night duty, massaging his cramps and watching reruns of 'intervention' on A&E. (he has cable!)

Saturday, May 14, 2005


It’s amazing how exhausted you can get just sitting.

There was no point in going to bed when we had to be at the hospital at 5 a.m. My brother insisted on filling out paperwork without us hovering over him. But when i heard the girl behind the desk giggle, I knew he just didn’t want to lose any cool points by being associated with us. He even managed to charm his pre-op nurse -- though they’re die-hard baseball rivals -- in the first 15 minutes he knew her.

He ended up opting for the entire grueling re-routing procedure, not just the hardware-installation part. We were surprised because all this time we didn’t think he was down with that because of what he may have to give up. It was a rough decision.

4 magazines, 3 talk shows, 2 soap operas, 1 newspaper, 2 head-jerking pseudo naps, 3 trips to the vending machine, 2 trips to the bathroom and 13 hours of sitting in a too-many-times-sat-in chair later, we were told they wheeled him into recovery.

It was just as bad as has always been. And it still makes me suck in my breath. Like I’m seeing a piece of my own heart strapped down to the bed with 15 tubes coming out of every place not covered by a blanket. Even in his complete state of intubated ignorance, the kid was still trying to communicate: mouthing to us that he loved us, asking that the important people in his life knew it, too, and thanking us for being there. He even gestured to the nurse for a pen and paper though he didn’t have the strength to wrap his fingers around them and his eyes were still too swollen to see.

I know I’m biased, but he’s a class act.

it warms my heart to get all of your kind thoughts and messages. It’s still early, but the doctors sound optimistic and I can’t help but believe your energy helped make that possible.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

good vibes

it seems like it's all systems go for the bro's surgery tomorrow. i'm not sure how much time i'll be spending in the hospital with him, but i'll try and keep people posted.

they won't decide the gravity of the work that needs to be done until they get him on the table, so it's anyone's guess. last time a 1 to 2 hour procedure turned into 8 hours of excruciating waiting.

dammit, i don't even have anything to read.

anyhow, thank you guys so much for your kind words. any good vibes you can direct his way would be greatly appreciated. the kid is really hoping to be well enough to see his girl and hopefully be able to get that internship. but only time will tell.

i guess it's a sick twist of fate that i wasn't the one who has to go through all this; it kills me that i can't step in to relieve some of the suffering. of course, if i didn't know better i'd still be whining about my tender blood donation bruise. and if i would have had to face what this kid has already overcome, i surely would not have made it long enough to write on this blog.

hopefully you'll hear good news from me soon.

staying up

i never know when to go to bed.

like right now. i got home late b/c of a snafu at the end of the workday. i watched the tape of my show, and the end of my yesterday show again (yes, it was that good) and i checked in with my peeps online. there's nothing left to do that won't wake the roomates.

there is no book to finish. there are no projects in progress. there aren't even any netflix to see. i've been yawning like i'm trying to inhale insects all day because i was up for no reason until 6 a.m. this morning.

did i learn my lesson? no.
am i going to pay for it twice as bad tomorrow? hells yes.

it's like driving past a car wreck. i fully comprehend that it's wrong.

but. i. just. can't. stop.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

bring on the leeches

i've been fretting about donating blood for weeks. both the parents have been to the motherland in the last year, so they're out for this round and i'm the only family representative for this surgery (which still may or may not happen on friday).

it's actually been a blessing; it's made me try and have semi-regular eating schedule and remember to take my vitamins. but i was really worried i'd be rejected on a technicality. so paranoid that i fudged one of the questions and my blood pressure dropped to 90/54 (the lowest they accept is 90/50). usually i'm at something like 120/70. my mother says her bp dips when she's nervous, too.

each step was like an obstacle in the gauntlet.
iron level? check
traveling questions? check
personal history questions? check

unfortunately, i found out there's a practical reason for some of the nitpicky questions. when i said 'go ahead and take as much as you legally can' and lied about my weightclass, i didn't realize that would mean that after 3 minutes i'd wilt like an eight-day rose and need to be swathed in icepacks, have a fan on me at full blast and a loud too-many-cigarettes-voiced lady in my face calling, 'just keep your eyes open, honey!'

the blood guy had to cut me off a little early. i felt like i'd let the team down.

but he said i still gave a lot and that it'll help. i really liked his manner. he brought me icepacks and juice and came back during his lunchbreak to see if i was okay. he was just the kind of guy you'd almost tolerate sticking a shovel-sized needle into the crook of your arm.

all in all it was a painless procedure, and i got to wear a sticker all day that says, 'be nice to me, i gave blood.'

but that was just a practice run; next time i'll come out of there like a champ.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

a stranger in the passenger seat

saturday i sucked it up and went to the mall. i hate going to the mall by myself. even if we part ways upon entering, i like to know there's at least someone in the building who can steer me away from a fashion nightmare should i have a lapse in judgement. and i always love the lax pressure of shopping for what other people are looking for.

this week's victim: my brother.

fresh off of finals week he was brimming with attitude.
'ugh, you're going to be there like ALL day. i don't want to have to go to all your lame stores.'

but i had him in a corner. for once i wasn't ready with a spectacular gift for mom that he could squeeze his name onto, and he needed some new clothes for an upcoming interview. he had no car. he had no choice. i hadn't been shopping with him in years. this would be a risk.

on the way there, we went through the regular bickering.

* the i'm-taking-a-shower-first-you-take-too-long fight,
* the hurry-up-this-train-is-leaving-in-precisely-15-minutes-fight,
* the oh-no-you-don't-it's-my-car-i-pick-the-music fight,
* the you-drive-every-day-let-me/fine-you-can-pick-the-station-but-just-not-any-spanish-crap fight,
* the ugh-fine-you-can-play-your-cd-but-i-don't-want-to-hear-any-honkytonk-shit fight
* the close-the-window-my-hair-is-getting-all-fro-y fight
* the god-why-don't-you-pass-that-grandma-did-you-lose-your-skills fight
* the okay-DAD-why-don't-you-stop-being-such-a-backseat-driver fight

on the way to the mall we actually sang along together with a mix cd. he didn't roll his eyes or say something stupid like 'who sings this song? let's keep it that way.' and he even asked why i didn't have the extended version, after we had rapped along with the themesong to 'fresh prince of bel-air.'

it was really weird. as the day progressed, he sort of stopped being my bratty little brother. his snappy comebacks actually had good timing and made sense, we joked about fugly clothes and mall people. i somehow lost the urge to give him a lecture about anything. it was really strange.

even in the mall, he opened doors for me and actually carried my bags. and when i was trying on 14 pairs of khaki pants, he waited without any nasty comments. when we were in the men's store picking out ties, he didn't make any cracks about my taste, but ended up getting what i suggested. when we were in the shoe store, he actually paid attention to the black heels i was modeling and gave good feedback. and when we split up, he called me to ask if he could get me anything from the food court. then when we were eating, we had like a real conversation that didn't involve making fun of our parents (okay, maybe a little). and when we were negotiating gifts for mom he had viable ideas and even gave me some money.

i was floored. shopping with my brother? a pleasant experience? wha?

at the end of day we had gotten a lot done. i had managed to cover a surprising amount of retail space, considering my companion usually pretty much sticks to the sports store and abercrombie & fitch (where, btw, the women clerks were all some kind of sick crossbreed of paris hilton and ashlee simpson).

on the way home we were pooped. i drove. he played his cd. no bickering.
it was jack johnson. very relaxing. he sang along, and i listened. so odd, i haven't really heard him sing since he serenaded our congregation with 'this little light is mine' solo back in the day. he actually has a really nice voice, now that it's all fully adjusted and whatnot.

i was sort of in a zone, trying to wrap my head around the events of the day. i had to ask.

'so... i actually had a fun time with you today.'

'uh, thanks.'

'when the hell did you become so not all attitudey and decent to be around?

'since i got a girlfriend.'

'ah. remind me to thank her.'


we got home and showed off our new stuff. i was trying to find out which of the old stuff the new stuff would compliment best. i showed him the grass-green halter dress i had bought on a whim. he told me i couldn't wear that out without a sweater. i blew him off with a 'whatever, little boy.'

later he was going out with his friends. he asked to borrow the car and i hassled him.

'fine. then i'll just have to tell dad about that skanky dress you bought. DAAAD!'

and like that, the bubble was broken.

Monday, May 09, 2005

parking lot pranks

okay, so i'm walking from the main office to my car about to drive to the dungeon. it's 11 p.m. it's balmy outside. i'm wearing sandals, jeans and a corduroy jacket (translation: not dressed like a ho. not that it would matter, anyhow).

i pass three security guards in the office on the way out. they wave me goodbye.

as i walk, i see that the car parked three cars before mine has a person sitting in it. i do a double take b/c i'm not used to seeing people sitting in the patches of parking lot shadow at my officeplace. this jackass takes that as an invitation to roll down his window and say, 'hey, you want some p*ssy?'

i thought, JIGGAWHAT? but i said, 'excuse me?'

and he held up his phone and said, 'what's your name?'

i walked faster.

i got in my car and barely had it in gear before i tried to knock down the gate on the way out. that shit creeped me out. so when i got to the maximum-security dungeon, i had them give me the number to the security at the main office. i called, told the person my story and left a number.

i have gotten three calls back.

the first to describe the guy -- didn't really see too much besides his race and haircut. i sort of guessed on age. i'm SO bad at this; i had no idea about the make of the car. just the color and that it was a sedan.

the second to describe me -- he was going back to the tape to find what happened.

the third to describe my car -- so he could try and piece together where this guy was parked.

so this leads me to believe one of three things:

1) the prospect of dungeon duty caused me to hallucinate
2) some jackhole was joking around and will now come after me when he gets some kind of reprimand. i'm sure he saw my license plate, and i'm almost positive there are only about 10 other people in this company who look anything like me. and none of them work these hours.
3) this crazy will now wait for me in the parking lot every night and do more ridiculous things to rattle me.
4) i overreacted and he really was saying 'hey, wanna do the Watusi?' and i'll be the one reprimanded.

i'm mostly afraid of scenario 3. and of course this has put me back into that hotbed of suspicion, from which i had just spent the last 4 months taking baby steps. i am clutching the pepper spray as we speak.

i'd like to take a moment to thank the man who made this possible: my high school boyfriend, whose can't-take-no-for-an-answer stalker ways have given me a paranoia that i will carry to my death like the stone around my neck that it is.

thanks, buddy.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


according to a gizoogle link that omar posted, this is what i really meant to say about being back:

'thank you fo` all of yo support dur'n this difficult tizzy keep'n it real yo. i knizzow, this makes me sound like i have no life, but honestly, i do have ta fizzay tha wee hours of tha morn'n wit sum-m sum-m ta do witout going completely insane with my hoes on my side, and my strap on my back.
this is not really like thizzat, but i do feel like all tha bitch'n i did `bout how mah blog wasn't frontin' warrants me ta come up wit sum-m sum-m really coo` ta say. n frankly, i'm just not tizzy interest'n. but i'm up fo` tha challenge."

it really calls attention to the words i choose to use repeatedly.

Friday, May 06, 2005


i have been on the phone with the gd bloodbank all morning. well, actually, my mother and i have a freaking phonetree going on with the bloodbank, doctors office and several other random people who seem to have to be in on this transaction.

my baby brother is scheduled for open-heart surgery next week and we'd like to make sure there's enough blood should he need it. granted, he's 22. it's up to him whether he even has the surgery, and he hasn't yet decided. regardless, someone else can use the blood even if he doesn't.

now the spirit of blood donation is one of giving, helping, sharing life with someone who may be going through a difficult time. WHY THE HELL DO THEY HAVE TO MAKE IT SUCH A F-ING PAIN IN THE ASS?

i get that they need to test the blood ahead of time. i get that they need to do it days in advance. but why do they have to be so freaking RUDE about it? and be so inflexible with their scheduling procedures? people have lives, you know, tv they have to see, commuting they have to do, dungeons they have to sit in, for pete's sake.

but then, when it's not your time of personal need, they call you like every other day trying to get you to give.

makes me wonder if the whole thing is an undercover operation for vampires.

back on the ice

it seems i've served my time in the blog penalty box; blogger has allowed jugglethis to be visible again.

thank you for all of your support during this difficult time. i know, this makes me sound like i have no life, but honestly, i do have to fill the wee hours of the morning with something to do without going completely insane.

but now there's all this pressure. you know, like when you're little and you don't want to share your toy with your little brother. it's not even about playing with it per se, it's just wanting to make sure it's availabe should you feel like it at some point in time. and then after the big altercation and temper tantrum, your mom's like, 'well i don't ever want to see you playing with anything else, missy' and suddenly you're feeling guilty, because you've now spent all that energy; was it even worth it?

this is not really like that, but i do feel like all the bitching i did about how my blog wasn't working warrants me to come up with something really cool to say. and frankly, i'm just not that interesting. but i'm up for the challenge.

don't worry; tonight will be a long night in the dungeon. i won't give up without a fight.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

that's all they really waaaaaaaaaaant

when we're talking about movies, i'm always that person toward whom everyone else turns and in unison says, 'YOU NEVER SAW [insert blockbuster movie made any time before the early '90s here]?!?!?!?!'

this doesn't come to light very often, because when you have a cable-less childhood, you learn to pick up subtle hints in other venues of entertainment. i found out how 'the crying game' ended because of late night talkshows, i picked up the premise of 'ghostbusters' from the radio and you can learn a whole hell of a lot about a movie from a 30-second trailer. (often too much, some say, but because of this, trailers are often my favorite part of the moviegoing experience)

in the last few years i have managed to knock out a few biggies: jaws, beverly hills cop, steel magnolias, footloose, uncle buck, christmas vacation, the godfather, taxi driver and the graduate, to name a few.

but the movie pick for this evening was one i am kicking myself for not seeing when i was a teenager, when i could have truly appreciated it.

'girls just want to have fun'

funky outfits, funky hair, sneaking out of the house for clandestine romance and DANCING. what's not to love?

and good god, does helen hunt look exactly the same. sarahjparker has matured a little, but i spent the movie subconsciously looking for hank azaria in the background walking a dog. it was also fun to see shannen daugherty actually as a snotty prepubescent, instead of just acting like one.

overall, i was very happy with this one. some of these other catchup flicks have been all hype. or too dated to enjoy. i get to the end and think about how i could have better spent 2 hours. but at least i can cross one more off the list.

thank heavens for netflix.
next up: any of the terminators