Wednesday, August 31, 2005


so i got tagged by guyana gyal. the general consensus is bad on these things, but i'm willing to come out and admit that i secretly enjoy them. especially when the questions are specific. this one was tricky because i had to work a bit to make sure i'm not repeating a lot from my other meme answers or The hundred. and although i know everyone loves reading them, i'm aware that everyone hates doing them. i would have tagged a bunch of people, like andy or lou and most definitely jon to get back at him for being m.i.a., but i don't want to piss anyone off and i'm getting used to chilling in his hall of fame, so i don't want to do anything that would get me blacklisted, so i'll restrain myself.

before i die i plan to:

1) have a job that doesn't feel like work
2) look back on my life without regret
3) be proud of my children
4) be able to read literature in my mother tongue (not just kindergarten workbooks)
5) successfully do a headspin
6) cook as well as my mother
7) put some of the paintings i see in my head actually down on canvas

i can:

1) do cartwheels, a badass L kick and a halfass backspin
2) analyze an evening/conversation/glance/songlyrics/movie to excess
3) waste time like nobody's business -- the more i'm putting off, the better i am at procrastinating
4) dance till five in the morning in four-inch heels
5) make chapatis that actually puff up
6) throw down if necessary
7) drive like a very skilled maniac

i can't:

1) respect those who don't own up to their actions
2) openly admit that although i profess to hate bananas, sometimes i have a taste for them (my pride won't allow me to indulge)
3) take my own advice
4) stay up all night and not behave as though i'm intoxicated the next day
5) make a decision easily
6) tear myself away from a good book
7) enjoy life when someone i love is really hurting

say most:

1) dude
2) thank you
3) no, really, i'm awake
4) sorry, i have to work that day
5) ohmygod
6) how do i get to (asking directions)
7) jiggawhat?

attract me to someone:

1) eyes i think i can look into for the rest of my life
2) warmth of smile
3) sense of humor
4) sense of respect
5) endearing quirkiness
6) willingness to do dishes

celeb crushes:

*i can't say that i don't have celebrity crushes, but i've recently discovered that whoever i happen to like in real life i tend to equate with a celebrity who might not necessarily look like the person in most people's eyes, but somehow still reminds me of them.

so in the spirit of that, let me say that some of mine have been:

1) tom cruise (but not so much now that he's certifiably nuts)
2) grant hill
3) arjun rampal
4) the bass player from Lucky Boys Confusion
5) david gahan (depeche mode; no one can work a crowd like this guy)
6) kermit the frog (he was always so laid back and sweet)
7) paul mccartney (my cello teacher was a dead ringer for him and i swear it made me practice more)

Monday, August 29, 2005

don't make me have to smack you

'ohmygod you won't believe what just happened! that guy over there just slapped my ass!'

'WHAT? who!? where is he? you just show me which one. the one in the stripedy shirt? uh-uh, because he's not going to get away with that shit without hearing a thing or two.'

'excuse me, did you just happen to slap my friend over here on the ass?'

'um, yeah. but i apologized RIGHT afterward!'

'you're lucky mister! that i've been drinking! or else i'd really have to f you up! yeah! you heard me!'

'hang on, honey, let me just talk to him. where the hell did you get the idea to do that?'

'well, she was shaking it... and it was just so... tempting. so i thought i'd give it a little smack. i thought she'd like it! really!'

'where the hell do you get off!? what, do you think you can walk around and put your hands on any person within ten feet of you? who the hell do you think you are!?'

'i didn't know she'd get mad! i said i apologized right after!'

'let me tell you something, guy. NO girl likes being touched by a strange man, especially in that manner! what a crock of crap, 'i thought she'd like it.' you know, you give [shared ethnicity] a bad name! keep your damn hands to yourself!'


'yeah, that's right, you take your grabby friend and get him out of here! AND MAYBE TEACH HIM A FEW MANNERS WHILE YOU'RE AT IT!'

'did you tell him? i wasn't even dancing by him! i was dancing over there! i can't believe he did that! you know, i could really have f-ed him up. i would have, too.'

'i know sweetie. but it was pretty funny how you were all up in his face yelling. it was kind of cute, actually.'

'what!? i wasn't trying to be cute! i was trying to be menacing! menacing, i tell you!'

'don't worry; i think i saw fear in his eyes.'

'damn right.'

Friday, August 26, 2005

no such thing as napping

the worst lie you can possibly tell yourself:

'if i just lie down for ten minutes, i'll be rested enough to focus. no, i don't need to set an alarm. i'll wake up, no problem.'

ticket bast*rd -- reformed

so i'm thinking maybe people at work know about the blog. or maybe i'm just paranoid.

because the ticket guy comes up to me today and says he's pretty much given up on getting recompense from the ballclub, even though it was their mistake, but he feels bad about inconveniencing me. so he offers me two tickets to cubs/cards series in september at face value for my trouble. i tell him it's okay because my brother is already gone, which i think made him feel bad, but it's the truth. but maybe i will take him up on it. unfortunately i'm working both of those days, so i couldn't make a day of it, but i'm wondering if i should just go anyway before work (it'd be over before i have to start, but i wouldn't be able to completely relax or even hang out afterward.)

i had thought he was too nice to screw me over on purpose, and i know that he's too smart.

i'm feeling a little guilty about talking smack. but the offer has redeemed him.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

tear jerks

you know that feeling you get when you're watching tv and your friend/brother/roommate/dog has gone to the other room during a commercial break to get a snack/answer the phone/go to the bathroom only to come back and catch you sniffling/choked up/wiping away tears?

yeah, that's when you know you've been suckered by a commercial.

we've all been there, denial or not. it doesn't happen to me often, but when it does, i'm stunned. today i was watching one about a girl getting ready for her wedding. some not-bette-midler was cooing 'wind beneath my wings' over the montage, which kept switching from the girl and her father in present day (her fussing with her hair, him hanging lamps in the banquet tent) to them when she was young (him picking her up in the back yard). At first i was like, eiw cheesy, especially during the 'did you ever know that you're my hero' part. but dammit, that freaking commercial got to me. i guess it was something about how the little girl's long hair was just a little bit messy and blowing around in the wind and how the dad took her hand as they walked. if those people were brown it could have easily been taken from a shot in our family photo album.

but even then i was still okay. right until the moment when the girl is dancing with her husband at the reception and sees her dad, then comes over to ask him to dance. but as they're getting up and walking to the dance floor, instead of showing them in present day, they show the little girl and her daddy again. suddenly, my vision was blurry.

freaking advertising. but the thing is, it works. i remember perfectly well that the daddy paid for his little girl's wedding through Chase Financial. who knows about that company. all i know is that their ad agency is good.

some other adverts that get to me?

* the lifesavers one from long ago where the kid proposes to the girl and she says, 'where's my ring? a lifesaver?' and he says, 'don't worry; we can live with my mother.' no tears, but that's just so damn sweet. and honest.

* the gap commercial from a few years back where ballet dancer Will Kemp is jumping around in jeans. seriously, there wasn't anything overly complex in the dancing, but for some reason, whenever that commercial was on, i found myself unable to tear my eyes off the screen. not even for the phone. (which is shocking for 2002.)

* and the one that hands-down takes the cake -- the deBeers new year's eve spot. they're in crowded Times Square, but as the ball is dropping, parts of the crowd keep vanishing until they're all alone at midnight, when he opens that velvet box.

no wonder, as a profession, advertising can boast one of the highest stress rates. there's got to be a lot of pressure coming up with this stuff.

but hey, when it works, it works.

Monday, August 22, 2005

sixth sense

'hey, what's up? are you working?'

'no, i'm off, but i just woke up.'

'dude, it's SEVEN p.m.'

'i know. hey, when i say i'm nocturnal, do you think i'm kidding?'

'anyway, did you hear the news?'

'what news? whose news? what's the news? dammit, i always miss everything.'

'oh. nothing.'

'nothing? uh-uh, mister, there's definitely some news. well at least tell me who it's about.'


'phoebe? oh the thing about the car? yeah, she called me from the dealership last night.'

'yeah, the car thing. right. that's it.'

'you know, it's funny. for a second there i thought you were going to tell me that rachel and joshua are engaged or something.'

'what made you think that?'

'i don't know, i just had that feeling. that and she called me like 11 times since 3 a.m. and left several text messages. she even called my parents' house and talked to my dad for quite some time. i have to call her back.'

I'm clairvoyant, people.

but enough about me, any man who can get up in front of a restaurant full of people to sing a song he wrote just for her automatically has my blessing to marry my best friend, anyday -- just so long as i can get the day off. congratulations, i'm so happy for you both. (just keep him away from the dingoes.)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

terminal 3. American.

i just put a throbbing chunk of my heart on a plane.

there was nothing novel about this trip. back to school. far away. same as every year. but i don't know, something was different. for days now i had already begun to miss the little brat. except somehow, he doesn't seem so much like one anymore.

maybe it was the surgery. no, there had been seven of those before, each just as gut-wrenching as the last. but something definitely happened this summer; we wrapped our baby boy in warm blankets and sent him off on a gurney, but when everything was patched up, the kid was suddenly a grown man.

sure, he still rolls his eyes at things i find hilarious, but it's less of oh-my-god-i-can't-believe-we-have-the-same-biological-parents, and more like you-are-such-a-dork-but-i-love-you-anyway. he does things like stop and pick up something to eat when he knows i'm running too late to think about food, or get off the phone so he can talk to me when i get home. granted, that's probably so he can ask me to crack his back or massage the current knot in his neck, but i look forward to hanging out with him every night.

maybe part of it was the attitude. he knew he was going through all the agony to have a better quality of life, so he was much less sullen this time. and even though he didn't notice the difference, as the months went by we could see it. his face was less gaunt; that dimple he gets in his chin when he lies? just a little less prominent. and he made a commitment to get stronger, too -- working out every day, eating well and drinking Muscle Milk shakes. at the risk of endorsing questionable 'vitamin' products, i must say he's gotten noticably more buff, too. (however such plentitude of ice cream in the freezer has done the opposite for me.)

it worked. the doctor said he's only relying on the pacemaker 13% of the time, which allowed them to slow it down enough so that the battery won't need replacing for another 10 years. he has more energy and looks like a whole new guy.

maybe i feel closer to him because the recovery kept him at home more often. even with all this newfound maturity, there was more time to lock each other out of the house or watch old school Dukes of Hazzard episodes on DVD. just like the good old lazy summer mornings when we'd call mom to complain about how bored we were.

but now it's going to be just me and the dvds. nothing but silence to come home to. back to the same old boring routine. no walking through the door to catch him laughing at the end of Conan or Jimmy or an old bears playoff game on vhs. no listening to him talk in his sleep in the other room while i comment on the internet. no hearing, when i'm late for work and scrambling to find shoes, smartass remarks at defendants on 'the people's court.' (he'd watch that show three times a day if he could.) sigh.

he might have flown away, but thanksgiving is not too far off. and besides, i have him on speed dial. you never know when i'm going to need to remember Gary Fencik's jersey number (45) or a surefire way to make mom smile when she's irritated.

Friday, August 19, 2005

ticketbast*rd: Update on the update

so the guy comes up to me today and says he checked with the team and they had only refunded those four tickets back in february. and that ALL THE REST of the tickets he had for THE ENTIRE season seemed to be just fine. sure, guy. whatever.

something about that smells a little fishy. especially his matter-of-fact way of telling me. that, and the stark neglect of another apology nor any effort whatsoever to make it up to me beyond giving my check back. he obviously thinks it's the ballclub's problem and doesn't see how i'm the actual victim here. call me biased, but he sold them to me.

this is a man i will not be holding the elevator for.


i miss the dog more than i miss the man

(okay, that's not entirely true, but i really do miss the dog. a lot.)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

the problem with parking -- vol. 6

the problem with parking is that the rare reprieve from gridlock and better luck finding a meter only come with a tradeoff: they're usually during a time when everyone with a life is on vacation and gas prices start off with the number "3".

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

ticketbast*rd: update

today i had my little showdown with the guy who sold me those bogus baseball tickets.

after much rehearsing and discussion, i decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and ask questions before kicking his ass.

as i walked up to him, he smiled and asked how the game was. granted, at this point, it took a lot of restraint to very curtly say 'not so good' and ask where he got the tickets. he said he'd bought them and then i explained what happened.

he was appalled. at first i thought it was an act, but then i was thinking, how stupid would he have to be to take a person for that kind of ride when he knew he'd have to deal with her on a daily basis for the rest of his tenure at this establishment? and he's very good at his job, so he's obviously no dummy.

he apologized several times, got the photocopy i had of the tickets, got my phone number and resolved to get this matter straightened out. he also gave me back my check, which he hadn't cashed.

by the end of the transaction, i was convinced he didn't do it on purpose. i got my money back and he's going to find out what happened.

but i didn't thank him for the disappointment. or the hassle.

Monday, August 15, 2005

party line

'where are you?'

'just getting off the highway. are they on their way?'

'yeah, she said she's picking me up. i guess they're taking me to some secret place and you are meeting us. where is it?

'i don't know what you're talking about.'

'c'mon, at least tell me wha--hang on, i think it's her.'

'hello? i just joined you guys on three-way.'

'what's up. where are you?'

'getting off the highway. you're on your way over to pick her up, right? i'll just go straight to the undisclosed location and meet you guys, so we won't waste any more time.'

'wait, what undisclosed location?

'you know, the location that hasn't been disclosed?'

'huh? oh you mean Quincy's?'

'hahah! that's awesome! i knew that's where you guys were taking me! i haven't been there in forever.'


'oh. well i thought undisclosed was like 'not yet decided' or something. i don't know, i just wanted to make sure.'

Sunday, August 14, 2005

rebuilding year

at first i was trying to figure out a very symbolic way of writing this without boring or losing most of you. i had it all worked out in a convoluted sports metaphor with me as either a player or a team that's in a rebuilding year. i was going to substitute the job change with switching teams or getting a new stadium, the crazy hours that leave me with no social life like tearing my ACL and being benched, trying to find a place to live in the city like looking for a contract, and the big breakup like dumping a goodfornothing agent. (let me be honest. i really just wanted to say he was trying to pull a jerry maguire -- focusing all his energy on the wrong thing -- but that i didn't want to wait around until Cush screwed his sorry ass over before he realized where the golden ticket really was.)

i consulted my own personal sports guru, who shot holes through my logic and told me the idea was just one big jumbled up mixed metaphor. he was having too much fun messing with me by telling me the only believeable injury i could cast myself with is was a torn groin. partially, i think, because he doubted i'd actually put it up here. (so take that, sucker, there it is. the real reason i was reluctant was because good old gymnastics taught me those kinds of injuries hurt like a mf. i don’t need that kind of karma.)

yeah, so i scrapped that whole idea and decided, it's my day -- i'm going to inflict a whole bunch of rambling on the unsuspecting public (more than usual). yes, this past year, my world turned upside-down. i've even glimpsed the darker side of hell; it's true. but i'm still kicking. and i accept the fact that it could have been much worse. i'm thankful it wasn't.

that's not necessarily going to keep me from complaining on a daily basis -- that's who i am. but i will take a moment to share a few nuggets of wisdom i picked up on route 26:

* it's possible to be in paradise and yet be completely miserable.
* always remember to eat. even if you feel like you're going to puke with every bite.
* you can only soak up so many boxes of kleenex before the pity party gets played out.
* no one but you can tell you what to feel. or think, for that matter.
* everyone has their own crap to take care of. you landed on this earth alone, you're going to leave it alone, so why not learn how to fly solo in between? think of your copilots as bonuses.
* the accuracy of horoscopes can be very scary.
* nothing puts your troubles in perspective faster than someone you can't live without going under the knife.
* free alcohol is the most expensive drink. ever. (i saw that at
* no matter what you do to try and straighten it, at the end of the day a pig's tail is always going to be curly (okay, i stole that from my mother).
* there is a grave difference between what you want and what you need.
* your true peeps will somehow be there for you. maybe not right away, maybe not how you'd want them to, but they will stand up when you need them. and sometimes, who they end up being will surprise you.
* if you hit CTRL S in blogger, it will automatically publish whatever you have on screen.
* anything worth anything is going to be hella hard.
* once-in-a-lifetime opportunities will nearly ALWAYS come up at the worst possible moment. it is a test of your merit and you will either thank your lucky stars or have to shoulder that regret till you're 83.
* it's time for a change when cable isn't exciting anymore.
* sometimes you have to suck it up and do something you're afraid of because you don't know what'll happen. and what may happen may just be what you needed afterall. but chickenshits would never have found out.
* and most importantly, ALWAYS listen to the little duende in your gut that starts pulling on your intestines like a shirt sleeve at the first sign of trouble. that little goblin will never steer you wrong, but if your ego/heart/logic is yapping too loudly, you’ll never hear what it has to say.

here's to the rebuilding year. see you in the pennant race.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


my brother is a huge cubs fan. his girlfriend is from st. louis. so i bought two tickets for him to the cubs/cardinals series this weekend. he decided to take me as his date.

i got them from a guy at work. also a huge baseball fan. he seems nice enough. but then he's like, 'i have to charge you a little over face value.' i was like, fine, i promised the little bro. then i found out i had to fork over 100 smackers.

last night i got off work at 4 a.m. the tickets were for today's game at 12:30. bleacher seats = get there early. we live in suburbia, so that meant my brother was shaking me awake at 8 a.m. hoping to get into the city by 10 so we could catch some express bus. needless to say, i move at reverse warp speed in the morning (especially when i've only gotten 2 hours' sleep). we didn't make it. but we did get there early. parked in a lot, took the elevated train, heckled a whole bunch of cardinal fans, and got into line.

oh, by the way, despite illinois being in the middle of a severe drought this summer. THIS was the day mother nature decided to play catch up. we were caught in a monsoon.

so there we are, standing in line at the stadium. it's 11 a.m. and there are at least 100 people in front of us, who obviously got there yesterday to stand in line. we're listening to these 40-year-old men rip on each other for their team affiliations as if they were in line to buy clearasil at the drugstore for the big eighth grade dance this weekend. it was sad. but they were drunk.

we get up to the ticketperson, who fidgets around with them awhile before she tells us our tickets aren't registering in the machine. jiggawhat? my bro and i look at each other in dismay. then the woman -- who had the best front-tooth gold outline i have seen in a really long time -- tells us that these tickets are bogus; that the person who had purchased them at the window had canceled his order and that his credit card had been refunded that same day he had bought them. in february. however, the tickets had already been printed and mailed out. the woman had already confiscated the other two out of the four that were bad. the bossman felt bad for us, a pair of wet rats who weren't going to see the big show afterall. he said they were all sold out, even of standing room by that point, but if we took a walk down the street, we might just find something. (that was kind, considering he's not supposed to endorse scalping.)

but i was livid. i f-ing got up at the bootycrack of dawn. for WHAT? to get rejected at the door while dodging the cats and dogs falling from the sky? uh-uh. i don't THINK so. after much discussion we realized that in order to get into the game, we'd have to part with the better part of $300. my bro was pretty bummed. he goes back to school far away next week.

i, of course, couldn't go home because i had to work tonight. so we rode the train up and down a few times to hide from the rain and dry out a little. it didn't really work.) we went out for hamburgers and prayed the game would get rained out as poetic justice. it was delayed (and i would have had to leave at inning 4 had we even gotten inside, so i was secretly happy about that). we perused the mall, and my brother bought me a very snazzy new handbag because he was feeling generous. it didn't turn out to be such a horrid day, afterall.

come tuesday, i wouldn't want to be that chump who took me for 100 for broke-ass tickets.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

talk show boasts

all i can say is that Dr. Phil is a made-for-tv movie just waiting to happen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

mojo of marriage

monday night after a dance workshop, the copychief, our girl rayray and i went out for a drink. (ray is the one who had the unfortunate incident with the jetski, but is on the mend and recuperating nicely.) she hasn't been able to dance yet, and we've missed her. so despite the embarassment, it was great to have her heckle us from the sidelines. that girl needs to bottle her energy and positive attitude and sell it. then we could all lounge around on a sailboat in the caribbean.

so there we were, walking into the corner bar, cc and i stanky and sweaty from working our tails off. we must have brought in a dancefloor aroma, because as we entered, every single person at the bar turned around. i know for a fact that i was a spectacle, because it was humid, so the top layer of my hair was fanned out in a halo around my entire head in tiny curls and i was sporting a raggedy t-shirt that said 'car wash '78.'(hey, it's class, what's the point of fancy gear?) the other two, of course, still looked human -- if anything a little rosy. we sat down.

'can i start you ladies off with something to drink?'

we're buried in the menus, trying to decide if we should get a snack, too. CC's dying of thirst and orders a lemonade and ray and i are trying to decide whether we should get alcohol and if so what and how much. no one has noticed that our server is extremely attractive -- think tall, lithe, blondish simon rex from his days on 'what i like about you.' we place our orders and get back to gossiping.

when the server comes out with the drinks, he walks all the way around the table to place CC's lemonade in front of her. he puts down my and ray's drinks and gets them mixed up, but doesn't bother to notice.

S: were you guys in a class at the school? [nods his head toward the street where the studio is.]

R: yeah, we were at dance.

S: oh? what kind? salsa?

CC: no. hiphop.

S: very cool. i take a class too. salsa.

i perk up, because i looove salsa.

Cadiz: really? at the school? i didn't think they offered that.

S: no, it's at xyz studio. you know, salsa is really a very intimate, sensual dance.

ray and i look at each other. he pretty much just directed that at CC. what audacity. i look at her hand and remember she tends to take off her engagement and wedding rings for class so they don't get beat up from floorwork.

Cadiz: wow. so do you need a partner before you sign up?

S: no, you pretty much find someone there. but you have to be lucky to get a good one. [obviously my interest in his dance studio is taking a back seat to his interest in my friend. he turns to her] so hip hop, huh? you guys must be pretty good.

Cadiz: these two especially. (ray's been dancing her whole life and cc just got accepted into a troupe)

R: [points to cc] she's awesome.

S: i believe it, you're so cute.

at this point, my jaw drops to the table. i've seen pickup moves, but that's BOLD, man. and i let it hang there, too, because my back was to him. i was thinking too hard about closing my mouth, so i didn't hear how she recovered. (most likely by telling him she was married; she's always very quick to point that out). he went away.

as soon as he was out of earshot, it was on.

R: ohmygod, cc, he was SOO HITTING ON YOU!

Cadiz: no shit! and he's hott, girl. you still got it.

R: but seriously, Salsa is very sensual?!

Cadiz: i know. dude, he's got it bad.

CC:[blushing] shut up, guys.

Cadiz: Ray, you have no idea; i can't take this girl ANYWHERE! last month we went to [hoochie-foochie lounge] after the breaking battle and this one gets us out of paying cover because the bouncer liked her smile.

i proceeded to tell ray about the multiple times that CC has gotten us offers for breakfast, breaks in line or out of cover and the time that guy who tours with kanye told her that her husband was blessed. cc rolled her eyes.

needless to say, we were still talking about our adventures into the parking lot. she points out how it's so weird because the honking and whistling only happens when we're either really dressed down or all nasty from class. when we have our A game on, we may as well be furniture.

i admit it -- i am a little jealous of this girl's mojo. three girls, two of which are single, are out for a drink but the one with the ring is the one who gets sweated. of course she's smart and beautiful, but i can only hope there's more to the magic. my scientific hypothesis?

if you are married, then you will be sweated when you go out.

now if wasn't so damn tricky, i would've already gone ahead and done it. for scientific research, of course.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

the key to my heart lies in the mix

i have now made a complete nocturnal transformation, being unable to fall sleep before 6 a.m. for about two weeks. and last night/this morning, i made it 7:30.

i dragged myself out of bed at 3 p.m. after having hit the snooze for two hours. just enough time to eat, shower and hit the road. i was welcomed by the bazillions of people who do not work late into the night on saturdays headed out en masse for food, entertainment and the company of loved ones or potential loved ones.

i could only follow that black suv monstrosity with a catchy-but-forgettable vanity plate for so long, and re-enacted the title sequence of 'office space' -- wherein the main character continually tries to escape the stoppy-lane by merging into an even more stopp-y lane, only to watch the first stoppy lane become un-stopped -- for too long.

i made several phone calls and even took a moment to untangle the godforsaken hands-free device that makes it impossible to hear the other party unless i hold the earpiece against my ear canal. even when the dangly part of the wire is strapped across my face and hooked over my other ear. which makes me look like i'm holding a phone to my head and will probably result in my being stopped and fined at some point, with the amount of time i spent on the godforsaken highway. needless to say, i didn't reach anyone and left convoluted messages, during which i realized i probably shouldn't be infecting people with my nasty mood anyhow.

i reached for my lemonade bottle and knocked it into the floorspace of the passenger seat -- just short of the farthest reach possible while still keeping my foot on the brake. it proceeded to roll under the passenger seat where it will probably remain until the smell of furry mold has me clambering around with a bottle of 409 under there.

things weren't looking so good until i rummaged around and pulled out a cd i hadn't heard in awhile. i popped it in.

'show me that smile again...'

you can't help it. the themesong from 'growing pains' is a perfect opener. this cd, culled together from the soundtrack of my college experience by someone in the know, was just what i needed today. i couldn't help but sing along with madonna, mana, biggie, missy and even the odd stylings of bobby mcferrin's cosby theme. but what really did it for me was rolling all the windows down and sharing 'inspector gadget' with my gridlock counterparts at full volume. sigh. i even threw in the part where Dr. Claw says, 'i'll get you, gadget,' while stroking his evil cat.

so thanks, pal. you really brightened my day.

Friday, August 05, 2005

making history

i was sitting in my meeting, furiously taking notes on the business of the day for about ten minutes straight. i could hardly keep up, but i was using a trusty bic medium point ball point pen. in blue. the cap's stem had been broken off, i'm sure by my pesky little brother. i was hitching along, wondering why the ink was sticking a little. i have always loved these pens -- they're cheap and reliable -- and usually get them in bulk because i inevitably lose them, lend them or otherwise find myself unable to keep track of them.

i took a break from writing to uncramp my hand. then, as i got ready to jot down a few extra essentials, i realized my pen wasn't working. what an inopportune time; this guy wasn't going to repeat himself without being annoyed. i shook the bic and scratched the hell out of my memos, to no avail. then i pulled out the cartridge: bone dry. there weren't even any inky bubbles sticking to the inside of the clear tube.

in 20 years of writing, i have never held on to a writing utensil long enough to have it run out of ink.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

get me to the county line

my brother rented the first season of 'The Dukes of Hazzard' on dvd.

watching them again has become a reenactment of when i fell in love with fast cars, mischievous grins and the idea that girls can outdrive the cops, reassemble a carburetor, kick ass and still be able to enjoy a kicking pair of heels. it's me and my brother during lazy summer mornings, and we both still turn to each other during cool parts with our mouths hanging open.

very few duos have the kind of chemistry that boss hogg and sheriff roscoe p. coltrane have. it's beautiful. aside from the fact that boss eats raw liver for breakfast. makes me want to puke.

prostitution in a motorhome/RV/trailer. that just speaks for itself.

sliding in and out of cars through windows because the doors are welded shut. how the hell do they not impale themselves on the gearshift or dent the hood?

junkyards. i don't think i've ever seen a junkyard in real life.

watching it now, i'm a little enamored with bo duke's slow smile (maybe because some of the faces he makes remind me of a certain farmer i used to know who would speak before realizing what he was saying). but i clearly remember liking luke better back in the day because he was the brains of the operation. bo was pretty, but dumb. just goes to show how things change.

miss daisy duke has nice legs, but honestly not much of a booty. that probably speaks to how our image of what's attractive on a woman has evolved over the years, too. and for that i must say, thank you, jennifer lopez.

waylon jennings. his commentary, especially during the pauses in the action and right before the commercial breaks, made the show.

i could go on, but we're only on the first disc. however, i fear for those who will be sharing the road with me tomorrow. i'm feeling a little inspired.

(p.s. movie remake? what movie remake? knoxville and that kid from american pie can in no way live up to wopat/schneider. do they even know how to hold a bow and arrow? and though jessica simpson looks the part, she just doesn't seem to quick enough to play a firecracker like daisy. that's nine bucks i won't be spending.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

story time

there are so many things i miss about elementary school: recess. no homework. workbooks. multiple-person desks. indoor recess. games like 'around the world' and 'heads up, seven up.' snack trades at lunch. but what i miss the most about those years is story time.

story time was always the most tranquil part of the day. the teacher sat on one of the kid chairs at the front of the room and we gathered around on the carpet at his or her feet. in the younger grades, they'd hold up the book in the hand-cramping, outward facing way so we could see the pictures. that was nice, but our attention spans then were minimal at best and they read very short stories. story time really got good in fourth and fifth grade, when they could branch out to longer books and didn't bother with the pictures.

i've always loved listening to someone read aloud. my mom read to us when we were kids, and there's something very comforting and magical about lying around and imagining what they're describing. and besides, during story time you could always do something else, like have your hair braided in a fancy french braid while the teacher was speaking -- until she looked over and snapped something like, 'this isn't a beauty parlor, girls.'

the most vivid memory i have of the story time is in fifth grade, which seems a little old for gathering on the carpet, but really is a perfect age for this sort of thing. during the other stories, i had been busy weaving the laces of keds sneakers in a cool pattern for all of my friends. but then mrs. huffman announced she was going to read us 'Bridge to Terabithia,' by Katherine Paterson and warned us that she'd make use of the box of tissues she placed down by her feet.

she wasn't kidding. for some reason that story resonated with me so much that even now, 16 years later, i can recall certain scenes with vivid clarity, down to the cinematography, slow motion sequences and the music i imagined would have been playing in the background. i was so caught up in Terabithia that i couldn't even concentrate on shoelaces or even getting the hang of that fishbone braid.

this weekend, as i was driving home from a barbeque and trying not to scratch my mosquito bites, i thought of how much i loved listening to stories. i was flipping the channels and happened to catch (npr) chicago public radio's program, 'Stories on Stage.' i had heard this show before, years ago, probably on some friday night when i was stuck in traffic on my way into the city. (why they always play the best stuff at prime times is beyond me) and i had been so enchanted that i didn't even notice when the gridlock opened up.

basically it's an actor reading someone's story aloud, usually with voices. the one i happened to catch this time was called, 'Harold,' written by Sara Gmitter and read by Kevin Gudahl.

it made me miss an exit on the way home, but it was worth it.