Archive for the ‘ How I Ruin Everything ’ Category

Georgia Rules.

I literally read this headline thinking that it was about the peril facing the home of a famous lady painter. On second look, I realized I am just kind of stupid and should look at things more closely.

Fires threaten Georgia’s Okefenokee refuge

I know she lived in the Southwest but really, maybe Georgia O’Keeffe had a sense of humor. It’s entirely possible that she named a second home Georgia’s Okefenokee.

Right, painting-as-metaphor-for-lady-business?


I’m sorry, co-worker

I said hi to a co-worker of mine today who I don’t know that well and for some reason, instead of just seeing her (literally at the office water cooler) and walking past her to say a quick hello, I stopped to chat despite never chatting with her before. I don’t know why, I guess I figured I’d appear rude if I did a fast “hello” walk-by. Turns out I didn’t have to worry about appearing rude, crazy was more like it. After making small talk about what a busy week she was having, she told me she was from Midland, Texas, to which I replied without even thinking “That’s where Baby Jessica is from!”

Why I know that, I don’t know, but it came from the same brain cells that lie dormant 99.9% of the time and suddenly spring alive so that I can correctly yell out “What is the Pompidou Center?” during Jeopardy! despite having zero education about the Pompidou Center but I know I read something somewhere at some point in my life about it.

Like everyone in America in 1987, I knew the story of Baby Jessica and watched the made for TV movie about her too but if you asked me out of nowhere “Where is Baby Jessica from?” I wouldn’t know. But when I heard “Midland”, brain cells that were happily not firing all of a sudden exploded in a frenzy and forced me to blurt out to a near-total stranger “BABY JESSICA” so that I would appear to have a Tourette’s like problem where instead of swearing, I shock people with my irrelevant, tv-news-magazine-loving references.

“Oh, yeah…I guess so,” she replied politely. And you’d think I would have ended it right there. She was clearly not going to elaborate on Baby J. What normal person would? Who would continue to talk about a baby stuck in a well 20 years ago and admit that it’s something worth getting into? Well, I would. Because uncontrollably, even though my heart was saying “What are you doing? You should just WALK. AWAY. Get out while you can!” my mouth said “Ok, good luck this week and have fun with Baby Jessica!”

baby j

Why? Why?! What does that even mean? Why are some people blessed with the ability to perform miracle surgery or hit high notes and my only skill is social ineptitude with a touch of confounding those around me? Have fun with Baby Jessica? More like “I’m sorry I subjected you to my pop-culture-diarrhea-of-the-mouth, I hope this doesn’t make things awkward the next time we have to work together on a Powerpoint presentation.”

This kind of thing happens to me a lot, this “Why did I just say that?” feeling and it makes me think of a saying (that Google attributes to Abe Lincoln but who knows): “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.

In other words, if I act more mime-like, my worries will be less about people’s opinions about me and my “thinking outside the box”, and more about actually getting out of the box.


I hate MySpace but I’m obsessed with it’s consequences.

I barely have 8 friends in the first place, but apparently you can have a Top 20 now instead of a Top 8. Is that new? A top 20! Seriously, who has 20 favorite friends? There are barely 20 people in this world that I find tolerable. But in New York Magazine a while back, someone wrote a letter to the editor saying that kids in school today come in all upset over the fact that they have been removed from their “friend’s” top 8 or top 20. Here’s a tip though, that’s not the internet’s fault. High school kids, and especially high school girls, will take anything personally, especially something that has to do with fragile teenage friendships. And I should know because I still have the emotional maturity of a 15 year old. Kids get all their crap done online now instead of late at night while whispering into their Swatch phones about how someone is taking someone else’s coveted crush to a dance and that’s a knife in the back but ohcrapIgottagomymom’scomingupthestairs! Or whatever. Not like I’d know.

The other thing I can’t understand about MySpace is people who use comments as a way to have a dialogue with their friends. A “comment” is like “I love your new picture!”. But on so many pages I see one-sided conversations like “I’ll keep you posted! We wont find out about it till tomorrow!” I’m not trying to be nosy, but if you’re posting that publicly, you better give us more information, vague commenter. What will we find out about? If you can go to camp, or the sex of your baby? What is it!?

I was looking up an old acquaintance from college who I’ve lost touch with but secretly stalk and found some of the post prolific yet vague comments on her page. One of her friends wrote “i contacted the D.A.’s office last monday to get those assault charges rollin…so far i just have to wait for them to call me back to get more info. i was told its probably best to wait until there is a guilty plea on the case before i move forward with suing the club for negligence and liability. then that way i have a more solid case against them. gawd!!! what a mess…”
What a mess indeed. It’s a mess that I don’t know more!!

Katina and I started posting intentionally vague comments to each other like “No, I know what you mean!” so that maybe we will catch the eye of someone nosy (like me) and throw them for a loop.
A food loop. (Roommate Jeff was in a Food Loop commercial once. Other than that there is no relevance.)

I don’t do anything else on MySpace except for make fun of people I don’t know, as you can see. It’s like a natural extension of myself. Look for my screenplay about it all soon….Mean g://URLs.

Offbeaten to a pulp

Thank God for’s Offbeat News section. As if the CNN website wasn’t laughable enough with its lack of spell-checking, fact-checking and news-checking, they created a category that consolidates all the world’s most ridiculous stories in one easy location. This week features a story about a a man who returned a book to a library – only the book’s due date was in 1960! And of course, where do you think I found the Virgin Birth Gorilla story? It’s chock full o’ nuts, that page. Stupid, unnecessary nuts.

Today I noticed an excellent story about how Muslim-Australian women have developed “Burkinis”, modest swimwear that still covers the head and body, but is body skimming enough to allow for swimming and even surfing. Women who once could only go to the beach and spectate can now go in the water in a “full-length lycra suit with hijab head-covering [that] is not too figure hugging to embarrass, but is tight enough to allow its wearer to swim freely. ”

Coming soon to the Offbeat section…and in-depth look at boxer-brieferhosen, die Ãœnderpants that are taking Germany by storm, Kimonoveralls, for the Japanese girl who works on the farm, and the Kilteedo, for the Scotsman who wants to display his tartan in a banana hammock while competitively swimming.

Poops of Grass

Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there’s a peephole in the door, and my keeper’s eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me. —GŸnter Grass, The Tin Drum

This is the quote that faces me at work. Over the course of the past year, my office has undergone renovations to make the company seem cooler: every floor is color coded, my copy room is covered in astroturf, and we have “chat rooms” that are giant tents of plastic with words and famous quotes cut out to make us seem very literary. The chat rooms have names like “Hurston” and “Mishima” to make us seem not only literary but like, English majory. The chat room I sit near is named “Grass” which, honestly I thought was because it is green, not because the quote installed on it is by a man named Grass. I was not an English major.

The thing about the cut out words though is that, as anyone who has tried to cut letters out of paper knows, when you cut the holes out of say, lowercase e’s or g’s, the center part falls out. So an “e” might end up looking like an “o”. If you were to cut out the word “peep” it would end up looking like “poop”. Which is endlessly amusing to me.


A closer look?

Just another way that the cosmos completely gets me. And don’t think I don’t love the fact that “poop hole” is followed 2 lines down with “shade of brown”.

Liz and her poop jokes: 1, People who take literature seriously: 0.

Ho Ho Ho!!

In response to the question “What’s a gal with too much time on her hands, some watercolors , and a pack of Worst Case Scenario Handbook postcards to do, anyway?” The answer is “Make Christmas cards.”

If I had a line of real cards, I might call them Seasonally Affected Cards or something else hilarious…but since I don’t, you can consider these an offshoot of my unconventional sense of whimsy. Or something.

And so, lucky friends, if your kiss is on my list you will be lucky enough to get one of the very special, very circa ’99 cards I have made this year.





A Really Convenient Truth.

I went to a preview for an amazing show at Ars Nova called Truth last night. No, wait. Let me say first that My Theatre Companion is a saint who gets dragged around as my plus-one to all sorts of events, most of which are too bad to sit through yet don’t offer an intermission to silently slip out during. Those events are the low points in our relationship, the things that are held against me or used as barter that I apparently still need to pay back. On top of that terrible track record, Truth was our second theatrical event in one day. And when we got there they said it was two hours with no intermission. At this point, I started feeling guilty, not because I thought it would be unbearable, just because that’s my natural reaction whenever he and I become members of an audience. The theatre is the place where I gamble with my relationship and I am about one Fringe Festival away from losing it all.

Truth was the show that won him back, friends. My Theatre Companion and I sat there for two hours but it felt like ten minutes, it was so good. Mike Daisey is a writer and monologuist, a word that I’m still not sure has a hard “G” sound or not. I kept thinking during his show “Wow, this guy is like The New Yorker meets Gawker”, come to find out, every bit of press he gets describes him as “a cross between __ and __” or “so-and-so meets whatshisface” so hooray for unoriginal thinking! But of all the press he’s gotten, my description of him is like what The Seattle Times said about him mixed with what the Village Voice thinks of him.

In part of his show, he describes some students in a storytelling class he taught as having a need to wrap their stories up neatly at the end. The whole “That was the summer I learned the meaning of true friendship” kind of ending that most elementary school book reports end with, but that you should try to avoid as a grown-up. So to prove that I learned something from his show, I’m not going to end this the way I normally would. You know, by writing something like “This show was great and that’s the Truth” or “Truth be told. . .Thursdays and Saturdays in October!”. Everyone, but writers and solo performers especially, should see this show. It makes me want to not write crap. If everyone sees it, maybe we’ll all be inspired to not write crap and, in some small way, that will make the world a better place.

And that’s really how I’m ending it. It’s killing me, but it’s how I’m ending it.