Archive | October, 2012

Pandora And The GPS Lady Walk Into A Bar…

24 Oct

Pandora: (Slugs back a dry martini and sucks on a Camel Light) Finally! A bar where you can smoke! How did you find this place?

GPS Lady: (Orders a cosmo) I know my way around pretty well. I just happened to spot it. So, again, you know what happened today? AGAIN?

Pandora: You had to refrain from yelling, “MY NAME IS NOT YOU BITCH!!”?

GPS Lady: Uh, YEAH. Jeez. On my setup there are clear instructions how to name me. Of course, my creation name is Julia, but does anyone bother to find that out? No. They do not.

Pandora: They ask for our help and complain when we give it to them.

Julia: It’s not my problem you don’t know north from west. Let me do my damn job. And they really think I can’t hear them say they think they know a shortcut I don’t? If you know so much, turn me off and let me get some rest! It’s bad enough they leave me on when they go to and from work. Can we get some peanuts?

Pandora: There’s this woman, she wants nothing but John Legend and Common. Um, hello? iPod? I’m like, stop with the thumbs up. Hitting it every time you listen to that song isn’t going to make me play it any more.

RIGHT? Like when they keep typing wrong and start punching my screen? It won’t get you where you need to be any faster there, Smokin’ Joe. You don’t have to bloody my nose.

Pandora: These people are the worst. Look, I’m programmed with complex algorithms and shit. Trust me, if I say you like Ke$ha, you do. Like I don’t know when you listen to Miley Cyrus. Girl, please.

I work from satellites, not voodoo. Guess what, if it’s storming, I’m going to work a little slower. I’m not freaking Dumbledore.

I’ve been working with this guy a few years now. Nice guy, generally lets me do my thing, right? But like now he’s got a John Prine station, a Guy Clark station, and a Drive By Truckers station. I ask you, how am I supposed to run three different streams from that? Combine them? Oh, no. I work off musical traits, not brainwaves. If it twangs like country, I’m gonna keep giving you country. How am I supposed to know Garth Brooks reminds you of your ex-girlfriend?

Julia: Can I get another cosmo, bartender? And whatever Pandora’s having.

Pandora: And if I get another ‘80s hair band station again, I swear to God, I’ll set you on fire with your Aqua Net and a Bic lighter. I know “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” reminds you of back in the day when rock stars signed your non-saggy boobs and snorted coke off your non-dimpled ass, but give me a break!

Julia: Do you know how many times a week someone programs in an ex’s new address? There are so many creepers out there. How do they think I don’t know what they’re doing? Although, they aren’t as bad as the ones who think they’re being funny by answering each of my directions. “Sure thing, honey! Left in 500 feet! Where to next? Just like a woman to boss me around!” It’s like amateur night at a Catskills resort. “Julia, I’d like to take a pleasure trip! Let’s take my mother-in-law to the airport!”

I’ll admit, I do throw a random mutation in there every now and then. Generally just before I time out. You’ve been listening to REM all day? BOOM! Now here’s some Billy Ocean. Hey, when is…

(Flops down on a bar stool and snatches Julia’s drink) Omigod, you guys, sorry I’m late. I spent all day with this redneck– who never gets my name right– I have to call Gator Baiter who kept telling me he was “fixin’ to wont some grains fer supper, Sookeh.” What the hell does that even mean? Listen, are you hungry? I know this awesome place for tandoori chicken. Julia, you drive.

Just Some Notes I Made

22 Oct

My gorgeous and talented friend Leigh gave me a little notebook that I keep in my purse. I use it to write down titles of books and movies I come across, grocery lists, and random bits of conversation that I want to remember. I was just going through it and found some random notes with absolutely no context AT ALL.

  • Interpretive cave tap isn’t something just everyone can pull off.
  • It’s not like you can soft-shoe in a cave.
  • That’s a go-to-hell Mennonite shed with nice shangles.
  • She’s common as pig tracks.
  • “Think of it as reupholstering. Your face is like a sofa. Every twenty years or  so it gets worn from too many people sitting on it.” (Note: I believe that might be from an Elizabeth Berg novel.)
  • Definitely use grommets.
  • Tell him how the cow ate the cabbage.
  • Then I am a liar and you are a pretty little girl.
  • Plow behind a willing mule.
  • Gassy goblins
  • “I’m not your cleaning-up monkey.”
  • “I think in this case the point IS mute because you aren’t listening to me.”
  • The one about how he beats his meat to make his chili
  • Snot-slinging drunk
  • Drunk as Moody’s goose

I think that’s a novel right there.

My Impression Of The Internet

19 Oct

Ladies and Gents,

My impression of any and every internet conversation ever.

By Jessicadoub (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons


19 Oct

For Chuck

The Experiment

18 Oct

Other than the stress of not having a playground buddy for recess, the worst part of school was word problems. To paraphrase an internet meme, every word problem reads the same way to me:

Two cars travel at 53.5 mph when the train leaves the station at 6:01 PM. How much change will Sally have if grapefruits are 4 for $1.00?

I’m not sure how my parents got through word problem homework with me without massive doses of Valium. Maybe they didn’t. I’d cry, pull my hair, have panic attacks. All of it. The actual math wasn’t really an issue, it was figuring out what the damn equation was supposed to be. I could be asked to speak off the cuff about isolation, gender ideals, and the need for order over chaos in the works of Virginia Woolf and would not break a sweat; but you want me to figure out how many baseballs Dan would have if he gave three to two people, one of whom is three times the age of the other, you will make me cry heaving snotty rivulets of tears.

It’s important to know about my little issue because you’ll need that background to attempt to understand the conversation Chuck and I had last night. You might also want a drink. You see, it started innocently enough–AS IT WILL– with an episode of MythBusters.

To try to cut to the heart of an excruciatingly long story, they wanted to know if two cars crashing into each other at 50 mph would equal the damage done to one car hitting a wall at 50 mph. In a previous episode, one of the guys had said that the two cars hitting at 50 mph was actually like one car hitting a wall at 100 mph. You with me? Seems cut and dried, yes?

If you answered in the affirmative, we clearly have not met.

My problem was the use of the words “force” and “damage” interchangeably. I got way confused. Allow me to attempt to recreate part of our conversation for you.

Me: Okay, what’s with the clay?
Him: (clears throat) They need a control. They’ve constructed a model where two cars will hit each other at 1x speed and 2x speed. The clay blocks on the cars will be measured to see how much compression each block has at the end to see if you have to crash a car into a wall at 2x speed to equal the compression of two cars at 1x speed.
Me: Okay, but what about surface area? Or that cars are made to crumple and aren’t as rigid as a steel wall?
Him: What’s that got to do with anything?
Me: If you hit a stuffed teddy bear with a car…
Him: Where did you get a teddy bear?
Me: …you won’t have the damage you would if you hit a wall regardless of how fast you were going.
Him: That’s not what they’re doing.
Me: They said they’re trying to find out if the damage of two cars hitting at 1x speed is the same or half the damage of a car going 1x speed into a wall. The damage depends on what’s hit. Hitting a teddy bear at 50 mph isn’t going to do a lot of damage to your car.
Him: No, they are hitting either another car or an immobile steel wall. (Does this thing with his hands that I recognize as a non-verbal signal he’s about to go all cage match on me)
Me: But what’s the point? The damage is dependent on what the car hits. Hitting a wall…
Him: I swear to God if you bring up a teddy bear again, I’m walking out.
Me:…I’m not trying to argue with you. I’m trying to understand the experiment. I’m saying the only way to quantify if the damage is the same is to take apart the cars and examine them piece by piece.
Him: What in the hell are you talking about?
Me: The clay blocks attached to the car analogs have flat surfaces. The wall is a flat surface. So the surface area you hit is the same every time.
Him: That’s why it’s the control.
Me: But two cars aren’t flat.
Him: No, stop it. That’s not the point.
Me: How is that not the point?

Imagine this goes on another fifteen minutes or so before we get into the car where it goes on another forty-five. Essentially, it’s more than an hour of Chuck repeating his first statement up there and my attempt to decipher what sounds exactly like the Attic Greek I do not speak. There’s much discussion about resistance, impact zones, equal and opposite reactions, crumple zones, and while I did not drag a teddy back into it, I did bring up a utility pole. Chuck also was thinking of a utility pole, but for a totally different reason.

I look up the experiment on my phone while he runs into his store to drop something off. I try further to explain my bewilderment while we return a bathroom faucet to Lowe’s. Then, while at Walgreen’s, it hits me.

Somewhere force and damage have been used interchangeably in the discussion, but the experiment is (rightly) treating them as two different things.

Me: OKAY!! Here’s the problem. And I bet it’s the SAME problem the nerds had. Force is not the same as damage. Yes, the damage may be similar, but what they’re really talking about is force. Cops always say that the impact speed of two cars is equal to their combined speeds, but that’s not the issue. The force is the force as any good Jedi knows.
Him: Sooo…we’re done now?

The issue is force, and as it turns out, the force of a car hitting a wall at 100 mph is roughly THREE times the g-force of a car hitting the wall at 50 mph while the damage is roughly doubled. That’s because the car is harder to crush the more it gets crushed. Kind of. So, yeah, now I’m done. And I totally get it.

It can’t be said too much: I married a saint.

The Bunny

16 Oct

Until I got married, I never knew it was possible to love and to hate someone at the same time. I mean that much more positively than it sounds, HONEY. I don’t think this makes me a terrible person. I think it makes me a person who lives with her true love. And a person who occasionally wants to hold said true love’s head under the water until the bubbles stop. You think he feels any differently? HA! Our prenup specifically allows him up to ten minutes of homicidal fantasies a day. Fifteen if I use any tense of the word “redecorate”.

If you’ve read this blog before, you may know of the saint to whom I am married. And make no mistake, the man IS a saint. I know it’s hard to tell from my writing, but I’m a little neurotic. And high maintenance. And tend to have pizza cravings which must be satisfied RIGHT NOW. And also I steal his socks. And start most of my conversations with him with “Okay, so…” as if we were already in the middle of a conversation. Oh, and occasionally I get mad at him in my head, and we have this fight in my head, and then I take it out on him in person. I am aware that is in no way cool.

If his life with me had a soundtrack, it would be nothing but a sad trombone.

We’ve gone through some tough times in the almost seven years we’ve been married, but to paraphrase my mother, divorce is not an option. Homicide might be, but not divorce. See, we took our time. He shook me and held me for a while to see if I was heavy for my size. I looked for bruises and any sign of mold along the stem. It took a while, and the other day he did–when asked–tell me he had no idea I was THIS crazy before he married me, but he actually likes me more now. There are days he has to remind himself that’s the case, sure, but at the end of the day he’s the whiskey to my sour.

I don’t know if it was hormones or meatloaf, but last night I got a little weepy. You know how us gals do with our emotions and our feelings and our bottles of stuff sitting around everywhere and why does anyone need seven different kinds of body lotion? (The answer to that is, of course, because I’m economizing down from thirteen. Duh.) I just wanted him to be, you know, all therethere and pat my head. Around year five I realized that he could not read my mind. Armed with this knowledge last night, I decided to wake him up and force him to soothe me.

So I sort of poked him and whispered his name. Nothing. A little more shaking this time. He rattles and sputters and coughs and flails, but does not wake up. A little louder this time. CHUCK! Nope. I give up and burrow in next to him, occasionally dodging an errant elbow or full-body sleep jerk. I looked at my dresser. I couldn’t see it in the dark, but I knew what sat on top. It’s a small beige ceramic bunny. His mother brought it to me a couple of years ago. When he was about three, he went to an Easter egg hunt and the bunny was in one of those bifurcated plastic eggs. She said he was so excited to show her his prize. I keep the little bunny there for a reason. When I get upset, angry, sad, or just generally pissed off, I look at the bunny. Immediately, I get an image in my head of a little toddler Chuck, his dimpled starfish hands holding up the little dime store bunny to his mom. In my head he’s wearing those little white shoes and has a bowl cut and there’s a Peter Pan collar involved. That image usually calms me down, and it worked last night.

I started feeling better about the time he violently flipped onto his back and let out a mournful sigh. In his obviously deep sleep, he reached for my hand, and I startled myself with the realization that all I ever need to do is put out my hand.

He will tell you his nocturnal thrashing is IN NO WAY as bad as how I ALLEGEDLY fly back into bed after getting up and repeatedly beating my pillow which ALLEGEDLY bounces him around to the point he’s in danger of getting a ceiling fan haircut.

Understanding. That’s what makes a good marriage. Understanding. And liquor doesn’t hurt either.

Culinary Westerns

9 Oct


The Good, The Bad, and The Hungry

The Outlaw Johnson and Wales

True Shrimp and Grits

High Tea

A Fistful of Dollar Menus

The Wild Bunch of Turnips

The Magnificent Seven Layer Dip

Blazing Saddles of Lamb

For A Few Dollars More You Can Supersize That

Lonesome Dove in a Wine Shallot Reduction

Red River Trout

Ride The High Country Fried Steak

Mackenna’s Golden Fried Onion Rings

She Wore a Yellow Squash