my new best friend
so i breed thicker skin and let my lustrous coat fill in and i'll never admit that i loved you...

my left eye

still hurts. plus, i'm having one of those weekends. i don't feel like doing anything and no one is returning my calls and i wrote a check for the rent and realized that the pay i don't even have yet is already half spent for the entire new month. i have no idea what it is that i need, but i need something. i've convinced myself that what i need is a raise that what i need is a new job what i need is to move to seattle or boston need to move to d.c. or maybe bite the bullet and look into nyc for a few years. if i had more friends, they would've informed me of how fucking rad deathcab for cutie is, but i stumbled upon the newest album myself as a result of falling head over heels for the new postal service and i dug deep in the stack at tower records where i found one that they forgot to take the sale sticker off of. i know that it's pretty horrendous to end a sentence with a preposition, but you've seen the travesties i just now performed a few lines ago, so... my advice for the new year so far is to not go to a tower records that has a ticketmaster booth inside on a day when prince tickets go on sale. also, when you're waiting in line at jambajuice and the cute guy in front of you goes out of his way to step out of line and help another customer find the straws, at least make eye contact and smile. when you catch him glancing at you out of the corner of your eye, open your fucking mouth and say something. why is that the hardest part of anything why is just starting something always the fucking hardest and still the part you miss the most once the starting part has finally happened and you look back with fierce nostalgia now that the thing has started and still you feel like you've not got what you wanted and you wonder if you should have never started in the first place no matter how high it felt?


i went to a strip club last night. it was only the second time ever. the first time was at the stroke of midnight as i turned 21, so it was a long time ago. and it was in the middle of nowhere in northern wisconsin, so you can imagine that the, um, talent was not as impressive as it was in the ellay area.

it was brought up as a joke by my happy hour buddy. after three discounted tall vodka tonics, i responded with a resounding "huh...alright." it'd been a while since i'd thrown myself into a new strange environment, and the hustler club didn't disappoint. i felt strange for about five minutes, and then it started feeling kind of like being in a gay bar. good music, good people watching, and none of the guys were interested in me. which is fine by me, because i'm trying to steer clear of boys right now.

i knew that my buddy had a penchant for strip clubs, but he confessed last night that he worries that it might be a bit of an addiction. in fact, he had came to happy hour with multiple Cs in his pocket in preparation for hitting the club on his way home. he said he was glad i had come along, because he'd save money compared to how much he usually spends. he got a total of five lapdances as it was, so i do wonder how much money he is capable of spending when he's alone. but, you know, everybody's got their thing, so i don't judge.

he asked me if i wanted one. i thought about it for a minute. i visualized it. then it hit me. "oh my god," i told him. "but you can't touch 'em." i mean, shit, i'm not all that into chicks, but with half a buzz on and some skin waving in my face, how does one NOT reach out and want to grab? i gained a new appreciation for the torture that men will spend money to put themselves through.

i also realized how prevalent the small-of-the-back tribalish tattoo is. i probably saw 15 to 20 girls almost naked on stage, and towards the end there was a girl that seemed kind of strange to me. it took me half the song to figure it out. she had not a stitch of ink on her anywhere, and she stood out in an extreme way.

now i must get back to nursing my hangover. happy hour got a little carried away from me. but i wasn't driving and no one got hurt, so fuck it. my cold's kinda pissed at me, though. and i scratched at my left eye an hour ago and ended up pulling the skin in a weird way and now i think my eye's broken. if it's possible to strain an eye organ, i've done it. ouch. cough. goodnight.

almost two years later...


it's about freakin' time.

mozambique! (at least it has a Q in it. i like Qs.)


You're Mozambique!

You're tired of fighting with yourself. For years, you fought battles with yourself over every little thing you could, but now it's finally time to move on. Just forgetting about it looks like the best way to move on, though you really like graphic representations of machine guns for some reason. Rebuilding yourself is going to be a challenge, but with the inner peace you feel now, it's looking like a possibility. Just take the machine gun off your flag.

Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

the new babysitters

when did walmart and movie theatres and tower records become personally responsible for what kids are exposed to? i just read some blurb on msn.com about new fcc fines for indecency and it got me thinking about a few run-ins i've had at the above-mentioned entertainment suppliers.

i spent my high school years working part time at a local movie theatre. when fifteen year-olds would come in and buy a ticket for 'the lion king', i knew exactly what was going on. i'd get in trouble with my coworkers for not stopping the kids when they clearly headed towards whatever r-rated movie we happened to be showing at the same time as 'the lion king'. why should i stop them? they bought a legitimate ticket. i'm not the police. and, more importantly, i'm not their parents.

if mom and dad want to drop off jonny and his friends for an afternoon at the movie theatre, that's cool by me. but if mom and dad expect me to monitor what little jonny and his friends are doing while they're in the theatre, fuck that. pay me some babysitting money, maybe. otherwise, frankly, it's not my fucking problem.

a few years ago, me and a friend were at a checkout in walmart. the only thing i was purchasing was a cd, and when it was our turn in line, the woman behind the counter asked for i.d. i laughed. she glared. this is serious stuff, i guess. if the cd's got the parental warning on the front, then no one under 18 can buy it. i'm all for the stickers and ratings that give some guidance in deciding age appropriateness. and i realize that walmart has decided on their own to monitor what their young shoppers are purchasing.

i think what got to me most was when we were leaving the store and i started soapboxing to my friend about friggin' walmart carding me. "i think it's a great idea," she said. "it really helps parents out." it was all i could do not to rage directly at her. help parents? what the fuck? if i had been a minor, and my parents turned me loose in walmart with my allowance, so be it. if my parents don't think it necessary to keep an eye on my purchases, then that's their problem. not walmart's.

tower records pulled the same shit with me once. bastards. what's this country coming to when not only do parents deem it necessary for business establishments to give them a hand in raising their kids, but the establishments are completely willing to do it. there may be some unseen pressure from lawmakers that i'm not aware of. but as far as i can tell, these stores/theatres monitor kids as a kind of favor to the community.

favor to the community, my ass. you set your kids loose in an environment where they might be exposed to some foul language or dirty images, that's your deal. especially now that there ARE warnings and ratings on practically everything nowadays. get control of your kids if you give a shit what they see/hear. don't point a finger at the environment you set them loose in after the fact. fuckin' walmart. fuckin' movie theatres.

(and fuckin' cold medicine. i'm not coughing anymore, but i'm kinda high and can't concentrate anymore.)

sand animation

if you've got ten minutes to kill and a high-speed connection, i highly recommend checking this out. it's pretty fucking rad.

cough cough

does anyone remember back when i said that i'd prefer a head cold over a chest cold any day? yeah, i remember that fine day, too. that was the day before this cold decided to spread to my head. so now i've got phlegm clogging up EVERYwhere. i've never had a cold start out kinda bad, then convince me it's okay to go to work, then come back in for the smackdown.

so i'm home from work today. i was pretty much ordered to stay home. i think that my officemates caught on to how many tissues i was going through and how much stuff was draining from my head and they're smart enough to know that there's no way i'm keeping ALL that stuff to myself. i could sense them tallying every doorknob and phone i'd touched. at the end of the day, the office manager was probably snaking through every doorway, a can of lysol in hand.

i do like curling up in a ball at home when i'm ill, but man do i hate burning a sick day.

half an hour ago, i decided to drag my sorry ass into the bathtub. i decided that a nice hot bath would make me feel a little better, a lot cleaner. but i turned the knob, and no water. i turned another knob, no water. i stormed to the front door, unlocked and opened it, and pulled the xeroxed note off of it that i knew i would find there.

buildings A and B had a water main break. AGAIN. usually this happens while i'm at work, so i don't give a shit. but now i'm at home and they've turned off all the water while they deal with their water main problem. and i am very dirty and very sick and i want to soap myself off and i CAN'T. and i don't understand why my D building has to be affected at all. don't they have more than one valve coming into this forsaken place? can't they kill A and B's water without forcing ME to bear a greasy ponytail into the afternoon? doesn't anyone fucking CARE?

pah. if my water's not back on soon, i may resort to shampooing my hair in the toilet.

i am

almost out of cheese curds. if you've ever had them, you will feel my pain. if you haven't, you will think i'm ridiculous. and to that i say, "wait till you try some one day! THEN you will feel my pain!" you will also feel the midwest bloat and constipation that comes with killing 3/4 of a pound of cheese curds, but that's besides the point.

the early-30s bachelor


when i re-entered the dating world about a year ago, i was naive and assumed single life would be the same as i had left it six years prior.

as it turns out, my peers grew up and gained experience during my offtime. last time i remembered, i was 22 or 23 and boys were still so grateful just to be getting lucky that they were not often interested in casting judgment. i'm sure there were/are plenty of very experienced 22-year-old men out there, but the ones who crossed my path were usually the sort who had only gotten busy with long term high school/college loves and weren't fully aware of the power of sex yet. to be honest, most of them didn't really know a whole lot about the sex act itself, and were easily impressed with anything outside the dead-fish, missionary genre.

in these cases, it wasn't necessarily a strike against a girl if she gave in to the prodding advances at the end of a great first or second date. perhaps it was even a strike in a girl's favor. what young man in their twenties wants to waste all that time, money, and energy on a woman who won't give it up?

then i hit the dating scene at 28. wholly unprepared for the skills and plays that my new men had learned while i was busy playing domestic. all of the sudden, i am faced with men who are willing to blow a girl away with words they don't actually mean. [i should clarify that these new experiences are in the majority, but don't apply to all the men i've crossed paths with this last year. there are still some genuine guys out there.] men who have years of porn-watching and sex-doing experience behind them. men willing to poke and prod until you agree that it is indeed time for the sex, only to discover that they are somehow disappointed in your decision the next day. and, as a result, they cast judgment and you are suddenly unworthy of any future contact.

it matters not how well you got along before the sex. i don't even think it matters if the sex was fantastic. anything said before the clothes came off isn't exactly a lie, but eraseable and unrepeatable. those words, those conversations, don't carry any weight anymore. they weren't real. those words occurred during the early magic moments--moments which don't carry any weight themselves.

when i was 22, i believed in the magic moment. that it set the stage. that it allowed for the open possibility of non-double-standard physicality. now that i've dipped my toe back into the dating pool, i realize these magic moments are sometimes completely fabricated. i'm just ignorant enough to go along for the ride. i refuse to become so jaded that i block out any and all of these bursts of joy, be they fake or real. but i'm learning.

i'm learning that the world didn't stop when i got married. i'm slowly learning to protect the parts of me that need protecting without walling up completely. and, as mtv-rote as it sounds, i'm trying not to hate the player, but to hate the game. i just hope i don't have to eventually play into this particular game. it doesn't interest me. i've even considered dating a woman as one way around this game. but people are people, and i'm sure the chicks would play just as rough as the guys.

talking heads


has anyone else noticed that, ever since the success of "i love the 70s/80s", vh1 is no longer capable of airing any kind of segmented show without talking heads popping up to weigh in on what you're watching on the screen? their weekly countdown is littered with p.i.p. heads. i imagine it's a result of our current website/dvd culture, but it'd be nice if a bunch of c-listers and unknowns could back off the countdown. unless they want to ask me to do it. then i'd totally think it was the greatest idea ever.

i have the ol' salary talk with the boss on monday. i've been putting it off for weeks, ever since he agreed to open negotiations. the place has been in a pay freeze for almost two years now, so i'm kind of carrying the whole company into the meeting with me. those that know about my request are behind me because they realize that if i get what i want, maybe the door will be open for them to approach the boss. on the other hand, if i REALLY get what i want, there may be no money left for them. then they'll probably be mad. but i'll finally be out of the paycheck-to-paycheck existence i've been living, so i won't be too concerned about them.

my cold has completely reared its ugly head. and settled on my chest. i hate heavy-lunged, coughing colds the most. give me a good clogged-sinus cold any day. coughing sucks.

cough. cough.


fuzzy snakes


last night, i had a dream that i went to hard's house. he and his roommate had gotten rid of the couch and installed a ceiling-to-floor arrangement of aquariums. i admired the fish, then hard told me to check out his roommate's new snake. the snake was shaped like a snake, but was covered in fur like a cat. in fact, it was colored just like one of my cats. i tried to hold it, and it kept trying to bite me. just like my cat. then, out of nowhere, hard says, "yeah, and it gives birth to feathered young."

i'm getting sick. i am not pleased. i hate it when sicknesses hit on a friday. monday, tuesday...but not FRIDAY.

i'm rereading a favorite book of mine, and here are some passages i like:

I fear she has been taken from me before I could win her, before I could make her believe that what is between us is ever so much closer to the core of things, to her true nature, and that a summer spent temping in the attorney's office or learning German will, in the end, bring little to her life, but a summer swapping trickery with me would change her forever. As one day turns to two, panic takes over and I curse myself, damn, damn, and damn. I will never answer a letter again. I will not allow myself to be put in this position, this begging pose. They have no idea of how important they are to us, they do not feel the power we allow them, do not recognize that with so small a gesture they are in our lives. No one realizes how little there is.
What do I care that she plays with the boy, learns a trick or two off him? What do I care? I must be crazy, half-gone. I must be. It matters. It matters so much to me.

Shut eyes. Clench jaw. Hold tight. The din, the warble. Roar. I will not be awake. I will not stay for this.

recently, a man who broke my heart about a year ago tried to convince me to let him back in. i told him that i highly doubted he would ever be want i wanted.

"so what do you want?" he asked.

i paused and said, "eh. i guess it doesn't matter exactly. once i've got it, i won't want it anymore."

cough, cough, cough. i really hate being ill on a weekend.

lastly, i think that, if they haven't already seen it, hard and kev will be particularly interested in this:

little green butterfly man


i hate it when i'm waiting for an email from someone so instead of logging into hotmail every ten minutes i take the risk of opening up msn messenger so that i can more easily access my hotmail account but i've turned off the bleeps and bloops and flags that tell you who the email is from and everytime i get a new email i get a little excited until i actually look at who it's from and it's from like astrology.com or someone who thinks i need i bigger penis.

it's on...

i've decided that the gloves are coming off. i've decided that i'm getting back to the boring roots of this site. back when i didn't have comments. back before i knew that other people read other people's blogs. back when what i posted was bullshit work complaints and weepy bad poetry. it's on, mother fuckers. and when comments go to zero and my hits go back to three a day (all me, all from my work computer), i will know i have succeeded.

(two quick things: 1) i'm pretty sure i spelled succeeded right, but it looks all fucked up to me right now, even when i cover one eye so that i'm not seeing double [it's okay, i didn't do any driving. and anyone who's watched the last few episodes of season five buffy will understand.] 2) the postal service just came on the radio station that i'm totally queer over. and still, it makes me die a little. sometimes, just the lyrics get me. other times, like right now, the weird guitar riff kicks in halfway through, slaying the rest of the manufactured sounds, and i start chair dancing.)

and finally, though i realize how unoriginal the song itself sounds, it's the first song that completely NAILS why i like long road trips all by my little self:

there is
something exciting about leaving everything behind
there is something deep and pulling
leaving everything behind
something about having everything
you think you’ll ever need
sitting in the seat next to you...

and i watch...

another white dash-
another white dash-
another white dash-
fly beside us....
and i watch
another white dash-
another white dash-
another white dash -
fly beneath us... away away.

there is
yelling of an engine
a constant rattling door
there is serious- deep and mumbled-
a conversation i’m not in.
flickering lights-
shadows of trees
makes me blink my eyes-
makes the land
appear like a really old movie

and i watch...

i've got a heart full of rubberbands
that keep getting caught on things.

and i count
another white dash-
another white dash-
another white dash
i drift off at eighty something

and i count
another white dash-
another white dash-
another white dash
out of time with the music

something exciting about leaving everything behind
there is something deep and pulling
leaving everything behind
something about having everything
you think you’ll ever need
sitting in the seat next to you

tomorrow: boring work stuff and truncated life stuff. be prepared.

standing still


yesterday i was ultra-relieved to have a moment to myself. in my apartment, with my stuff, with the cats. after my whirlwind few weeks of constant travel, it's nice to put the suitcases away and catch up with laundry. i even washed the car (inside and out) AND cleaned the apartment. these are two activities that heretofore have never occurred within the same 24 hour period.

it occurs to me today, though, that now i've got to BE here. i have no trips to unpack from or prepare for. now my days are going to go back to just being days. this is probably a good thing, because i need to get back to saving money. and i need to get back to purging my closets of the 15 year old t-shirts that i never wear. purging can be so exhausting.

it has also occurred to me that i haven't really posted anything recently with any substance. i guess there's nothing wrong with that, but i think i used to kinda bare my soul on this flippin' thing.

the insubstantial posts may be due to the fact that i know that both my ex-boyfriend and my mother read this.

it was one thing to be honest about everything while we were dating (the boyfriend, not the mom), but now that we've broken up, i've become very aware of what sorts of things that he might read that may hurt him. i've done enough of a bang-up job of hurting him without squeezing lemon juice in the wound.

my mother didn't know until two paragraphs ago that i know that she reads this. i'm not sure how she stumbled across this blog, and it doesn't really matter. it's an odd feeling... i worry about writing things that may upset her or the family. also, i like to have my secrets, especially from the parents. but a friend of mine told me that "if you're gonna be sneaky about reading something that you know you probably shouldn't be reading, you've pretty much given up your right to be angry about what you find there." i agree. but still, it IS my mom. (and mom, if you're reading this, i'd like to continue the game where we pretend that you don't know i keep a blog and i pretend i don't know that you read it. because i definitely do not want to have a conversation about it. also, i hope you're having fun in hawaii.)

so it's going to take me a little while to get back in the swing of things, but i've decided that it's time to get back to writing the nitty gritty. this is my blog after all. i started it for me. i've thought about starting a separate "secret" blog, and even tried it out for a bit, but it just seems a tad ridiculous. what, keep up both blogs, one with safe "hey, i just got back from wisconsin" bullshit, and the other one meant to air my dirty laundry? i don't even know how long i could keep that up, nevermind the fact that eventually someone would stumble across that one as well.

my new best friend, i'm gonna do my best to treat you like i had originally intended: as a sounding board for the things that i felt i couldn't talk to a "real" person about. sometimes it's because it's stupid writing that i'm embarrassed to share, sometimes it's because it's a random thought about lameass jessica simpson, and sometimes it's because i'm splatting my heart electronically all over this webpage. this is my journal, and i've decided to try and take it back. wish me luck. my powers of honesty have grown rusty.

vegas, mallard style


i just returned from a five-day stint in vegas. i now know beyond a doubt that i will never babysit a convention booth ever ever again. but, it was almost worth it to score a holiday on a day that most other people have a holiday but me and my coworkers don't. rushing back tonight, when the company thinks tomorrow is the travel day, gives me the chance to celebrate presidents' day proper--by sitting on my ass in my pajamas all day long. god bless america.

vegas is surreal enough without going to an outdoor/hunting-oriented tradeshow. there i am, in business clothes, trying in vain to ignore what feels like a thousand broken bones in my feet. we got lucky (blech) and scored an endcap booth on the main thoroughfare. so i'm smiling and greeting every face i see (there were an estimated 50,000 attendees a day covering just over half a million square feet of floor space--BLECH). i can feel the hum of halogen burning a hole in my retinas, my circulation system, and possibly my pituitary gland. the air is continually punctuated by the sound of duck calls and elk bugles. people are walking around wearing cowboy hats and carrying rifles. other people are walking around in poorly tailored suits trying to sell me things by showing me their business card. my boss is being annoying. he seems to believe that i should have an endless supply of cheeriness. i informed him that if he wants me to smile at every single potential customer and advertiser, there's not a chance in kentucky that he's going to get one, too.

then, on the last day, an acquaintence from a party a few nights back stopped by our booth. and handed me a camo-colored duck call of my very own. he also gave one to a coworker that attended the party with me. we immediately strung them about our necks. from the other side of a tradeshow display, i would sometimes hear her call to me: wuak, woo, ACK. i would not hesitate in replying back: wak WOOACK. who would've thought mimicking a mallard could bring such joy?

inevitably, someone in tight jeans and a multi-tool on their belt would look our way and tell us, very seriously, that we would never attract any ducks; that we clearly needed to practice.

like that was point.

uscgc alder


this is what i went to wisconsin for. this is the last ship in a line of brand new ships. i was part of the commissioning crew of the first one, the uscgc juniper, back in 1995. if you ever get the chance to see a large ship launched, DO IT. it was so freakin' rad. click on the picture to see a 40 second movie of the launch. RAD.

though i'm not sure why they called this ship alder. i was reading up on the history of the previous alder, and it sank two times and exploded once. maybe that name should be put to rest. it doesn't sound like a very good luck type of name.


oh wisconsin. everytime i go, i am reminded why i love that state, and why i'm glad i don't live there.

because it's mother effin' COLD there. i step outside the green bay airport, to smoke a cigarette and dump my luggage in the rental car before going back in to wait for my friend's flight. and what greets me? 20 degrees, 20 knots, and whipping snow. close to a foot of new snow and still falling. across the way, i see a giant snowplow struggling in the parking lot, its wheels spinning. and i shiver over to the rental car lot, only to see that they haven't quite plowed there yet. so i have to stand knee-deep in a snow drift, tossing my luggage into the trunk. in sneakers.

oh, and the car? BRIGHT yellow. which was a good thing at that point, because it made me laugh. on the drive up to marinette, becky and i kept noticing trucks full of men slowing down and checking us out. it was kinda cool, until we realized they were pointing at the BRIGHT yellow dumbass car. still funny, though.

and i scored an arkansas quarter. which, as it turns out, was released way back in october. in fact, the michigan quarter is already out. my east coast and midwest friends all laughed at my excitement over the arkansas quarter. "what the hell? i get those all the time. that one's OLD."

i'm telling you, something is up with these state quarters. i've lived in hawaii and california ever since they started this thing, and in both places i hardly EVER see the new state quarters. most of my recent scores have happened on trips back east over the last few years. so what's happening? why aren't the quarters circulating west?

i think it's a conspiracy. i haven't figured out the motive of this particular ruse, but i'm sure something dastardly is afoot. i WANT that michigan quarter, dammit. (then my friends have the gall to suggest that i sign up to have the quarters mailed to me four times a year. PAH! like that actually counts.)

i'm off to vegas tomorrow. for a boring trade show. i'm not sure how much internet access i'll have, which makes me kinda sad. but last year, i was able to bullshit my way into the press lounge, which is like heaven compared to what they offer on the show floor for the regular ol' exhibitors. big couches. cold soda. otis spunkmeyer muffins. rows of computers with broadband. on the show floor you get crusty danishes and lukewarm coffee. for an hour at dawn. then they shuttle it away for the next morning.

the per diem check i just got, though. there's nothing boring about that.

(do you know how difficult it was to find an image of the actual arkansas state quarter? seriously, check it out. you get many more hits upfront concerning the fake, jokey, dirty arkansas quarters. poor arkansas. no respect. this, and then the whole paris and nicole thing. poor, poor arkansas. i mean, come on, they have friggin' DIAMONDS there; we could stand to knock down the poking-fun a notch or two, couldn't we?)

i have 8 more states to get to:


create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

thanks to marci for the link.

though, 8 is my favorite number, so maybe i should avoid the rest of these states like the plague. all i have to do now is figure out how to visit mount rushmore without ruining that 8.

p.s. you think that'll be on their quarter?

p.p.s. why haven't i seen a new state quarter yet? i'm obsessed with those freakin' things and i know they take a while to circulate into cali (especially with all the other obsessives snatching them up along the way), but goddamn.

p.p.s. i'm off on a redeye to marinette, wisconsin, tomorrow night. i'm told it's been holding steady at a balmy 20 degree high the last few days. it's gonna be so rad.



the pats won. which means, more importantly, that i win.

so, mad mathias and private guido need to pony up 5 ruples or some shit, and 5 cold hard american dollars, respectively.

(and wtf anyway, mathias. your midwestern self hates yanks more than southerners?)


it's one thing

to realize that you'd rather be at home than any other place.

it's another thing altogether when you want your couch your cats your own surroundings overwhelmingly so, and you're 3,000 miles away.

plus, my plane doesn't leave for another 24 hours. but, you know, with getting there early, and driving to get there, i could be leaving for the airport in as little as 20.