Archive for the ‘Observations’ Category

A Lincoln for Your Thoughts

December 23, 2008

Did you know that cash money is the number-one carrier of pink eye? (Who just told me that? Someone just told me that recently. Matt Newell? I think so). Money is filthy! And it makes sense, because all God’s children are passing it around all day, from hand to grubby hand, in and out of sweaty pockets, dropped on bathroom floors and picked up again, and whatever else you can imagine; if a place is gross, I’ll bet money has been there.

That said, if you’re too grossed out to keep your cash now and want to get rid of it, I’ll be more than happy to take it off your hands — then you can go wash those hands immediately. You’re welcome.

Today I went to the big, pretty central library, which I’ve been frequenting ever since I started working up the street from it. Those sillies got all mixed up about my fines. I had a fine of $3.60, which I paid on Dec. 1, then checked out 3 more books, which I also let get overdue. I renewed them online on the 15th, and owed a 90-cent fine. Well, they were trying to tell me that I had paid the 90 cents and still owed the $3.60! I made the woman get her manager, and the manager kept saying the same thing over and over: “It shows that you paid the 90 cents but not the $3.60.” Which is physically impossible, because I hadn’t been to the library since I checked out the books that eventually cost me the 90 cents. And even more illogical, you can’t check out books when you have fines, and clearly I checked out 3 more books on the 1st, so clearly I must have paid my fines. Sigh. Sometimes people do not use their brains.

Despite the fact that the difference we’re talking about here was $2.70, it’s the principle of the whole thing. You can’t just take my (filthy) cash and forget about it and tell me I didn’t pay it, because I did, by George. And I stood there and pointed out the logic of my thinking and non-logic of hers until she waived the $3.60. But the whole time she acted like she was doing me some huge favor, like it was somehow my fault that they don’t securely fasten their thinking caps. Sigh again. In any case, I was proud of myself for sticking to my guns. And by the by, I paid my correct 90-cent fine and made sure to get a receipt.

So after that happened, I went into the library gift shop, which has become a favorite spot of mine to buy gifts due to its selection of generally awesome and delightful things. Awesome and delightful, but not particularly cheap. I ended up dropping a cool hundy on a handful of gifts for others (and two calendars for myself). As my break ended and I walked back inside and up to my desk, I was contemplating this “cool hundy” and wondering about other “hip” ways to say that I just spent a hundred dollars that I hadn’t expected to spend, because somehow if I say it in a different way it makes me feel a little better about the whistling sound of wind blowing through the sparsely populated tundra of my bank account. And the other way to refer to a hundred is, of course, as a Benjamin, but at that moment I couldn’t remember if old Benny Boy Franklin is on the hundred or the twenty. So I came back to my desk and looked it up, and here’s what I found out: (Thanks,

U.S. paper currency and presidents (Faces) on the bills (note: some of Faces on dollar bills were not presidents)
President on $1 one dollar bill: George Washington
President on $2 two dollar bill: Thomas Jefferson
President on $5 five dollar bill: Abraham Lincoln
Face on $10 Ten dollar bill: Alexander Hamilton
President on $20 twenty dollar bill: Andrew Jackson
President on $50 fifty dollar bill: U.S. Grant
Face on $100 One hundred dollar bill: Benjamin Franklin
President on $500 five hundred dollar bill: William McKinley
President on $1,000 one thousand dollar bill: Grover Cleveland
President on $5,000 five thousand dollar bill: James Madison
Face on $10,000 Ten thousand dollar bill: Salmon P. Chase
President on $100,000 one hundred thousand dollar bill: Woodrow Wilson

I’m thinking I want to start referring to all paper solely by the first name of the man whose face is on it, or a nickname where appropriate, and all coins by last names only. “Do you have change for an Andy?” I’ll ask. “One Alex, an Honest Abe, and five Georges would be good. Thanks!” Or, “Can I get four Washingtons for a George?” Sometimes I’ll call one-dollar bills “Jorge”s, to acknowledge the increasingly significant Latin American influence here in the U.S. And I always get excited to see Toms, because you just don’t see them very often.

Has anyone ever seen a Woodrow Wilson, or a “Woody”? (ahem). I know I sure haven’t — but life’s not over yet! I did one time hold fourteen crisp Grovers in my hand when my dad was about to buy a car with cash, and that was a nice feeling indeed. It would have been even nicer if the Grovers were mine, but still.

Someday I hope to have a Woody’s worth of cash and more. But for now I’d be thrilled if I could drum up a Salmon or two and a couple Jimmys. And if they’re crawling with Pink Eye, that’s just a sacrifice I’ll have to make.

People Are Sheep. Sheeple!

October 15, 2008

For the past several weeks I’ve been interning at an improv comedy theatre, and one of my jobs is to hand out flyers as people are leaving the shows. The other night I noticed that it goes in waves, like traffic when you’re trying to take a left onto a busy road. A big chunk of people will all take flyers, then someone says “No thanks,” and 5 or 6 more people in a row say no. Then some trailblazer renegade takes one again, and the 10 people behind him or her all take one, too. People just want to do what other people are doing! We’re copycats, sheep, and a little bit puppets. Sheepuppycats. Copuppyysheep. Copysheepets.

Hypothetical Question:

May 18, 2008

How many spiders do you reckon come in a litter? A litter? Is that the correct term? or a batch, maybe? Like, if a mommy spider lays eggs, how many baby spiders generally do you think will be in that batch?

I ask because, well, I was about to wash my face just now and I happened to look up and see a teeny, tiny adorable spider dangling from the ceiling. And look, there was another one, hanging beside it! How cute! I thought. They’re dangling together and it looks like they’re about to kiss each other. Isn’t that sweet? Boy, are they tiny. Oh, look… there’s another one on the wall… and two more up higher… and three or four more on the ceiling… Wait a minute…

I don’t usually kill spiders, even when they’re in my room, unless they’re all chunky and gross and all up in my grill & stuff. We kind of have a live and let live policy, spiders and me. I like them because they kill other bugs, and I don’t really feel threatened by them unless they’re like huge with colorful patterns on their backs or something. Sometimes I put them outside — The daddy longlegs I used to just grab by a leg and hang them out the window until they latched onto the window box or a tree, but then one time I accidentally pulled off the leg and felt bad. If they’re really in my way (like in my shower when I’m about to get in), I try to get them to crawl onto a piece of paper, then put them outside. If they’re not in my way, we both just give each other a respectful nod and go about our business.

However: Sorry dudes, but I can’t have an entire army legion of spiders living in my bathroom. While I hold nothing against them, I can’t say I relish the idea of having four or five of them trapezing over my head while I brush my teeth.

So this is why I killed as many as I could reach just now, and this is why I probably should figure out how many more I will likely have to contend with. OK, here goes nothing:


OK! So… bad news! After Googling “How many spiders in a litter” and “How many spiders in a batch,” and coming up empty, I tried the simple and straightforward “spider eggs,” and found out from that “Female spiders produce either one egg sac containing several to a thousand eggs or several egg sacs each with successively fewer eggs.” I’m sorry. Did you guys see the word “thousand,” because I’m pretty sure I just read something that said there could be A THOUSAND BABY SPIDERS LIVING IN MY BATHROOM. I’m so scared to go back in there right now and see swarms of tiny arachnids gallavanting around, using up all the toilet paper, taking long showers, using my toothbrush, and generally acting like they own the place. Y’all, what am I going to do? First of all, how am I going to wash my face tonight, and secondly, what if I go to sleep and they run out and attack me in the night? Now I’m feeling all itchy and am pretty sure they’re biting me right now as I’m typing this!


To be continued… if I live through the night!


August 28, 2007

Yesterday I was in line at the post office, and there was a 5-year-old kid with his mom in front of me. He was SO excited about everything, especially stamps. He was running back and forth and shouting at twice the normal speed, “We’ll get two stamps! One for you and one for me! Mom, we’ll get two stamps!” Then he started singing this song: “Stamps! Stamps! Staaaaaaaaamps! Stamps. Stamps. Staaaaaaaaaaamps!”

A minute later he said, “Mom, can you just buy me a sticker? Mom, can you just buy me a sticker? Just buy me a sticker, OK?”

“They’re not stickers, they’re stamps,” she says.

very tiny pause.

“Can you just buy me a stamp?”

Me, I wasn’t planning on buying stamps, but after all that hype, how could I resist? Clearly, stamps are the hottest thing since sliced bread! Yeah, I bought a sheet, what? You jealous?

Alllllll You, Darlene.

August 22, 2007

I was in line today waiting to order some lunch at a fast food dining establishment, and I saw the girl at one register look and point at the woman at the other register… and I wish I could draw a picture here of what her face looked like, but if looks could talk, hers would have said, “Alllll you.” And the woman she was pointing at, whom I assume was the manager or some type of senior-type employee, and whom we’ll call Darlene, went over to this customer man who was positively FUMING, like so angry he was about to cry. He looked like someone might look if they had just stumbled out of a burning, flipped-over car in the bottom of a ravine.

He says, through clenched jaw, “I wanted an extra-large Coke, but you’re out of the cups, and I don’t see why I should have to pay more to get…” something, blah blah, and she just says, “Limited time only. Those were limited time only,” and walks back to her register. Oh, Snap, Darlene! That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

And he shouts after her, “OK, FINE! WHATEVER!” And I had to bite my tongue, because the smart-alec in me was very tempted to helpfully suggest that perhaps he was dehydrated from all those extra-large Cokes, which are really very bad for him, and maybe that’s why he was so irritable.

But I was pretty sure he would lunge at me, fists flying, and then his head would explode, so instead I just shared a commiserating chuckle and head-shake with Darlene. A few minutes later I snuck a peek at him, and he was still staring wildly ahead and breathing all raggedy.

I just have to stop… and point out… that this guy really wanted an extra-large Coke.

Friends, large was just not large enough for this gentleman.

Large was just… not… large… … enough.

This Is Where I Am

June 4, 2007

My back and neck are so painfully tight, and I have such an unrelenting tension headache, that if a bum walked up to me with visible scabies and offered me a massage, I would take it.

Kids These Days!

May 30, 2007

Sunday night I went to a party with my friend Brennan. I should have known this would be an eventful night, because the last time I went to a party with him we ended up chauffering a group of dressy young adults we didn’t know up to a castle on top of a mountain, where the valet yelled at us. Then at the party Brennan spent most of his time gone to get ice and trying to find a parking spot once he got back. Then when he finally did, and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if that ice wasn’t melted anyway, the police came and the host got mad and started yelling at everyone, and it was raining and I kept slippy-sliding down the hill on our way back to the car. But that is neither here nor there.

At this particular party, the one on Sunday, we walked up, all unsuspecting and innocent (read: dummies who never learn), and were greeted by a crowd of people out in the yard all listening to a band. As we approached and I was able to see this band, my first instinct was, “awwww,” because it was one kid that was probably about ten or eleven, and one kid that couldn’t have been more than six. The ten-year-old was lead singing and guitar playing (The little one was kind of doing nothing, although you may get away with calling him “backup vocals”), and starts in on “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” except instead of Heaven’s door he was knocking on Satan’s door, and throughout the song he was swearing up a storm, to the point that any sailor in the audience may very well have blushed.

Brennan and I stood there for a minute trying to process this incongruous situation, and then we just looked at each other like, “ummmmmmmmmmm… ” I kept glancing around expecting the kid’s mom to march up and stick a bar of soap in his mouth.

At one point? He started singing about things he would do to a woman that are, um, very sexual in nature and involve, you know, um, a mouth and a, um, a… hoo-hoo, if you will. And I’m like, holy mother of pearl, where are this kid’s parents?! And here’s the part where I start to sound like your granddad who says when he was your age a bottle of Coca-Cola was a nickel… but when I was this kid’s age I had no idea what any of that “sex” stuff was, and if you were a fly on the wall, you may have even overheard me saying, “I don’t get why kissing lying down is so much worse than kissing standing up! Like, why does my dad always stand in front of the TV when people start kissing in bed? I don’t get it.” In fact, when my friend and I were twelve and discovered her uncle’s collection of cheesy romance novels and I read something about oral sex, I was completely traumatized. “He put his tongue WHERE????”

I mean, maybe I had an unusually wholesome upbringing, but Brennan was equally as shocked… although I do have to hand it to the kid… he was totally badass. He could shred that guitar, and later in the night he actually shot a bottle of red bull, like how you’d shoot a beer by puncturing the side of it. As though he were practicing for the real thing. I have to admit that although I did get caught in the crossfire and sprinkled with red bull, I was a little bit impressed.

As we journeyed through the house and encountered various characters, we found that the rest of the party was no less strange than the beginning. I had brought a bottle of wine, being the classy broad that I am, and as we unsuccessfully searched around for a corkscrew, someone who had opened his own wine with a knife knocked over a glass (red plastic cup) of it on my shoe. Simultaneously, an awkward dude came around asking everyone for money, because apparently someone had stolen someone’s computer, and this guy was taking donations for, “you know, first of all, to like show appreciation for the party, and also for like, you know, Kevin’s computer.” Although we’d probably been there for a total of twenty minutes, we felt this was as good a time as any to get the H outta there, and we sidled our way to freedom and went up to Birds, which felt a lot more normal.

Normalcy is something I enjoy, although I’ve got to say, experiences like these are what makes the world go ’round — or at least, they make for fun “Remember that time… ” stories. Ahh, life. (shaking my head and giving you a knowing look).

Here are a couple thumbnails (I’ve just decided I hate the word “thumbnails”) of the more normal part of the evening when we went to Birds and met Eric.

May2007_5 005.jpg

I think in the second picture I was trying to make Brennan look at the camera, which he will not do without force, because he thinks he’s picture kryptonite.
May2007_5 006.jpg


April 25, 2007


Steamy Regards, Roger J. Pennywhistle

April 23, 2007

I hate it when people sign letters or emails with “Regards.” I think it started several years ago when someone I was dating was mad at me and signed an email that way instead of the usual sweet & sexy signoff. I replied with an email to the effect of, “WHAT IN PETE’S NAME ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL? REGARDS?????”

I don’t like it because you don’t know where you stand with “regards.” It may be good or it may be bad. “Best Regards” is one thing, because, well, you’re giving someone your very best regards! What could be better? But “Regards” could mean anything! Worst Regards, Hostile Regards, Bored Regards, Condescending Regards, Sinister Regards, Snarky Regards, or any number of unpleasant regards.

At my former job, I mentioned my distaste for the “r” word to my friend Rebecca, and we began signing emails to each other with various types of regards, including, but not limited to, Sleepy, Hungry, Thirsty, Distracted, Sexy, Slutty, Steamy, Delicious, Cantankerous, Ornery, etc.

If I ever send you an email and sign it just “Regards,” know what? You are on my shit list. That’s my way of giving you the finger in written word form. It’s the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” methodology of signing off. If I’m not specific with my regards, you can bet they’re bad ones.

In conclusion, I am tired and don’t know how to end this blentry. Except by saying:

Sticky Regards,


(Don’t know why, just picked “sticky.” Got a problem with it? Fine! I’ll be sending you my regards).

And Tigger, Too

February 8, 2007

One thing I don’t understand, and you don’t see it much in L.A., but I feel like in North Carolina it was/is an epidemic: Why do some pregnant women or women with small children start dressing like small children? Why do they wear Winnie-the-Pooh shirts? I want to say to them, just in case it is unclear, “Ma’am, you are having a baby. You’re not becoming one.”

Winnie the Pooh shirts in adult sizes should not exist. And that goes for Eyeore, Piglet, and any of Pooh’s other friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood, including Christopher Robin; and while we’re at it, what is some adults’ reasoning behind owning Tweety Bird car accessories? Really, now, people.

Ladies, do us all a favor and don’t dress like your babies. It’s embarrassing! It makes me embarrassed for the human race. If aliens came down to observe and probe us and whatnot I would feel the need to apologize for all of you. “It’s the hormones, Sir, we Earthlings give birth to live young, and sometimes it affects people’s brains and makes them do crazy, crazy things like wear pastel shirts with yellow bears frolicking about on the front.”

And the alien would probably say, “Znarf zoot eeep bleep nippy nippy Winnie the Pooh zorf dorf,” which in alien language is, “Well, all these other mammals give birth to live young, and I don’t see them wearing Winnie the Pooh Shirts,” and I would have to just shake my head and shrug, sitcom style, because really, I can’t come up with any other excuses for it.

Riddle Me This:

January 18, 2007

How is it possible that in one single load of laundry, this many socks come out of the dryer without mates?