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fangirl says what

It's a thankless job...

...but I've got a lot of karma to burn off.

As one door closes...
Crayola FTW
...another opens. A new chapter in my life starts here and that means new digs, in both the literal and figurative sense. Join me if you wish over at suicideginger as I chronicle my next great adventure.

Ten Things I Did Not Know I Could Love This Much a Year Ago Today:
Impudent Strumpet
1. The sound my Sun Chips make when they hit the bottom of the vending machine. It’s like they’re cheering for me.

2. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

3. Jackie MoonCollapse ).

4. Rian Johnson.

5. Waking up back-to-back with J. It's very ironic that the day I decided I was going to marry this guyCollapse ), I was holding hands with THIS guyCollapse ) on a bus on the way home from Lincoln... of course, this was 22 years ago, but it still rather amuses me.

6. This place.

7. The smell of Gain laundry detergent.

8. Colorado Bulldogs, which sound disgusting, but oddly… are not.

9. The River North Marriott Residence Inn on State Street in Chicago.

10. Matt Nathanson

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Please excuse the digression...
fangirl says what
...but allow me to slip into a former skin for a moment and say...

Really, NBC? REALLY?

You didn't see this coming? Here's a thought... if you're going to be a network executive, WATCH TELEVISION. 'Cause I bet Joe the Plumber could have told you that while Jay Leno is the best thing on at 10:30, he is decidedly NOT the best thing on at 9:00. In fact, it's really not even close. The only reason that we watch him at 10:30 is because TBS's Law & Order du jour (it's Law & Order: SVU on Mondays and Tuesdays - this I know for sure) started at 10:00 while we were watching the news and is already halfway over, and if we're going to watch Sam Waterston getting all blustery in a courtroom, we're goddamn sure gonna know what it's all about. But there's just no way that "Jaywalking" (which was, admittedly, quite funny on those happy-hour-got-a-little-long-tonight nights where you only have to stay up late enough to finish an entire bottle of water so that you have a prayer of dragging your ass out of bed in the morning despite french-kissing a Ketel One bottle and bumming a couple of unfiltered Camels off the office manager) can compete with Two and a Half Men or The Big Bang Theory or Criminal Minds or Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy... but you get the picture, and if you don't, rest assured that I could continue in that manner until you did.

Not that I'm implying that Joe the Plumber watches Grey's Anatomy. But his sister might.

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As George Carlin said, "I don't have pet peeves... I have major psychotic hatreds."
Accio Brain
Airport security gives me a headache because people are stupid. And it’s not the TSA that irks me, either – generally speaking, they’re just as fed up with stupid people as I am. I’m also not talking about the people who know and acknowledge their own shortcomings in the air travel realm. I have no problem with Aunt Betty wheeling Grandma through the A terminal searching for a B gate. There are people that work at the airport specifically for that purpose. What I’m talking about is the people that mistakenly assume that if they’ve ever boarded an aircraft, or even just visited an airport, they’re qualified as “expert travelers.”

There is a security lane at Midway International Airport (my secondary address) here in Chicago that’s designated “Expert Travelers Only”. Expert travelers know better than to use it, because it’s clogged with these folks, prattling on loudly about last year’s vacation to Disneyland while hauling two oversized carry-ons and kicking a brand-spankin’-new roll-aboard bag with cruise line luggage tags in front of them because their other hand is maneuvering the stroller. These people have nowhere to be, and therefore assume that no one in the airport on a Monday afternoon has anyplace to be. They’ve inevitably packed full-sized butane candle lighters in their shoulder bags and are wondering out loud if toothpaste is a liquid. Just thinking about them raises my tension level a couple of notches.

I think I’m going to write a book… in the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy’s once funny and now woefully overexposed “…you might be a redneck” quips, I’m going to call this one, “…you’re not an ‘expert traveler.’” Of course, it won’t be funny… it will be painful. But at least it’s a familiar template. For instance:

1. If you are traveling with a child under the age of 15, or any two dependent children regardless of age… you’re not an expert traveler.

2. If a TSA agent has to use the word ‘and’ more than TWICE when reminding you what you’ve forgotten to remove for screening… you’re not an expert traveler.

3. If you do not know without being verbally instructed what can or cannot be carried, worn, or dragged through an airport metal detector… you’re not an expert traveler.

4. If you – yes, you personally – cannot carry what you deem to be “carry-on luggage”… you’re not an expert traveler.

5. If you cannot carry what you deem to be “carry-on luggage” because you have a fresh venti latte in your hand, you should be summarily shot… and you’re not an expert traveler.

6. If you are wearing shoes that you have to sit down to take off, see the above about summary execution and… you’re not an expert traveler.

7. If you do not know how to operate the bag in which your laptop is traveling… you’re not an expert traveler.

I could go on for hours about this. The list is never-ending, and I pick up a few new ones every time I fly. But I don’t have time because eventually I have to get through security at Midway.

While I'm waiting... George Carlin on airport security. Enjoy.

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Do drama queens get crowns? 'Cause I've always wanted a crown.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you.
Okay, so I may or may not be a drama queen. In any case, I am emoting in spades (my therapist thought it was a good idea) and if that makes me overly dramatic, it's probably because I'm still learning to express in appropriate amounts instead of spewing like a garden hose. Patience with the new kid.

Given the previous bit of information, I will try to be as stoic as possible when I announce that Phil has passed away. My first-gen direct-USB iPod Shuffle, the last remaining material piece of my former life, has breathed his last. I know, I've said that I thought he was on his way out before, but this time there's no mistaking that he's gone. I can't help but feel a little responsible... I was very rough with him on Sunday - unceremoniously pitched him into J's backseat as a matter of fact, and I did it with intent, too - I was pissed. BUT... if I look on the bright side, I can confirm without a doubt that Phil's last earthly act was to play 'Come On, Get Higher', J and I sharing earbuds at 70mph on my second favorite stretch of highway in the whole wide world. Which is not overly dramatic because it really is my second favorite stretch of highway in the whole wide world.

In fact, now that I think about it... I'm not overly dramatic. I'm hopelessly romantic. There's a huge, gaping chasm of difference between the two, carved out by the flowing waters of intent.

There... THAT was overly dramatic. Hey, it works well on paper.

Of course, all that I need to do to return to being firmly grounded in sad, sad reality is to remember that I read Stephen King's latest short story collection, Just After Sunset, on my travels to and from home this weekend. And because I found the best parts of the book, unequivocally, to be the introduction and the story notes at the end, I am forced to admit that it is as I feared... I have outgrown Steve's writing. Make no mistake, I will always love Steve for the wonderful gifts he's given me, not the least of which is my love of writing... it's just that since the accident he writes like it must feel to breathe through soggy oatmeal. It's tedious to read. I find myself looking ahead not to see what happens as I used to do, but to see how many more pages I have to endure. (Though I must admit, 'A Very Tight Place' hit the mark - total gross-out, just ew - he still managed to disappoint me by pussing out on the end... it was like the old Steve went half-way, got tired, and stopped.) C'est la vie. Things change. People grow up, I guess.

And speaking of growing and changing, you can teach an old dog new tricks. I have proof.

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Life is a fluid thing... and it changes so fast...
Crayola FTW
Mike Dooley's free "Notes from the Universe" daily emails make it a little more zen. You can subscribe here...


You are living in the light of a new day.
Existing problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.
Spread your wings in a new direction.

Always at your side,
The Universe

What a gift you've been "given".
Another sunrise,
another day,
another evening,
and a night to rest.
Not everyone will get all these today.
Millions will go another way,
as trillions and trillions have gone before.

Make it count,
The Universe

The peachy thing about uncertainty,
is that when everything else is equal,
the cards are still heavily stacked in your favor.

In other words,
when all things are considered,
including uncertainty,
they are not equal,
and vigilantly remembering this can make all the difference.

Got it?
The Universe

You see, life isn't supposed to be all "cakewalk" and no "baking."
Especially not for those who like to experiment, take risks, and be surprised.

Please pass the sparklers,
The Universe

When "bad" things happen to "good" people,
it's often because they want to become even better teachers, guides, and helpers to those precious souls who will one day need them to be their rock.

Plus, today's bad is always tomorrow's boon,
no matter who you are,
no matter what has happened,
and no matter how weak the coffee was.

We Are The World,
The Universe

It has been a rough morning, and as always... "the universe" seems to know exactly what I need. What a fascinating spiritual journey all of this has been... and how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to continue to explore.

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K and J attempt a holiday. (Or: The blue line from O'Hare at 9pm on Sunday night reeks of vomit.)
Hostage Stuff - Alice
So. It's that time of year. We all know how I feel about that time of year. There is absolutely no reason to expound upon the angst that crushes my soul between Halloween and Valentine's Day. This year, however... well, no, this year would be no different except that this year J and I will attempt our first holiday alone together as our own little family unit. And that's a brilliant, wonderful thing, and I would want it no other way, and I am just a small bit frightened. Not about the spending a holiday together as our own little family - that's not a problem at all. The problem is that instead of spending that holiday at home where it's warm and comfy and there is carpet and a kitchen that I can actually use for things with directions more complicated than "mix with water," we are spending it in Chicago... where it is cold, and the floor is cold, and the new leather couch is far colder than I expected it would be, and it's generally just uncomfortable all the time because it's really, really cold (until 4am when the radiators kick on for their one use a day, at which time it gets really, really hot - enough so that I sweat while I'm blow-drying my hair - and then it gets cold again). Regardless, though... we're going to get through this. I have donned my holiday battle-armor with the grim determination of a kamikaze pilot (as Ron White says, "I don't want to limp away from this wreck") and I've already made what I make best for dinner (reservations). We will spend the weekend doing touristy things. Or we will spend the weekend hiding from the holiday in bed. Either way, it's the beginning of a new era because either way... I'm looking forward to it.

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Emmett - Pistol Whip
Dear Omnipresent Metaphysical Powers that Be,

For the sake of everyone else around me, please make those with whom I'm most closely associated (with the exception of my sister, who is particularly good at making people) stop having babies forthwith. Infants are not good for my delicate sensitivities, particularly the "whining" bone, which is more easily fractured the closer I get to menopause.

Also, I'd like to discuss the nutritional content of Coldstone Creamery ice cream. I'd never read the label before this weekend. I wish I'd never read the label. I'm pretty sure it's a typo, though, because you couldn't pack that many calories from fat into a pint sized cardboard container if you actually filled said container with bacon grease. Normally I prefer to take my excess calories in the form of alcohol, and so this deserves consideration. Perhaps we could have a "free day"? Like, one day a year where nothing we eat counts? 'Cause I could pack all Coldstone consumption into twenty-four hours, I think.

One last thing: could you please do something about Marbles: A Brain Store advertising on the train with complicated critical thinking puzzles which apparently have no answer? I feel as though I'm constantly trying to get into the Ravenclaw common room.


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Beecher/Keller icon in honor of the rest of the day's random stupid...
Oz: Beecher Keller (Short)
Feeling much better today, thank you… needed the batteries in my biological clock forcibly replaced, but that – as I’ve learned – only hurts for a second. I continue to be graced with random universal truths, though…

There is no place in this universe or any which might be parallel where a child needs a Blackberry. And by child, I mean anyone under the age of twenty-five. I am aware that as I write this, RIM’s mission statement includes the promise to make “serious phones for serious adults.” I am also aware that most of the “serious adults” with whom I am acquainted only thank the divine universal powers that be for their smartphones when they can use them to harvest cotton in the FarmTown application on FaceBook during meetings. Which makes the whole dilemma a non-sequitur, I know. Regardless, and perhaps it comes from growing up in an age where, heaven forbid, we didn’t have cell phones (or email or social networking or Miley Cyrus), I have this strange… “thing”… about proverbially “paying one’s dues.” And there’s no kid on the planet that has paid enough dues to deserve to have unlimited texting. Hell, I was a 28-year-old married, college-educated, home-owning adult before I had unlimited texting. I believe that one should, at minimum, be able to actually read the phone bill before this becomes attainable.

Speaking of children reminds me that Halloween is right around the corner, which reminds me that I haven’t asked for a while… WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO HALLOWEEN? (Please keep in mind that I am trying to temper my own bitterness over the fact that I will be dressed like a complete goober because I will be wearing a red Nike University of Nebraska t-shirt and with beautiful fairy princess wings and ballet shoes, using my cell phone as an extension of my hand to check the baseball scores, because some brainless, witless moron scheduled Halloween on a Saturday in October.) When I was a kid back in Winchestertonfieldville, this was a big deal, and we took it seriously – Halloween was treated with proper reverence and respect. There really wasn’t much more in the world more important than the costume, unless it was firecrackers under front porches, consumption of upwards of five pounds of various candy in a sitting, or getting to play hide-and-seek around the neighborhood after dark (we called it ‘Ghost in the Graveyard’ – I have no idea why – but it was the mecca of childhood games)… point is, we celebrated the crap out of this holiday, and I’m firmly of the mind that today’s kids just can’t squeeze the sheer hedonistic joy out of it that we could because it’s been completely pussified. I remember being out way past dark – today’s trick or treaters are in bed by eight on some random night that isn’t even October 31st in which they did not, in fact, harass the neighbors for candy but dressed up in half-hearted costumes to go to some suburban mall-based movie-themed “all-ages celebration”. And don’t even get me started on “healthy alternatives to candy”. It’s gotten so bad that yesterday, a friend emailed me her “list of rules for trick or treaters,” including the following:

“I understand that they do make some adorable costumes for babies. However, if I don't know you or your baby, I'm not giving you candy. It's pretty shameful that you're willing to STEAL (that's right, I said steal) candy under the guise of trick or treating for a BABY.”

Seriously, people? Seriously? You’re willing to go through the work it takes to dress up your toddler as a pirate (your toddler doesn’t know what a pirate is, by the way) for a sack full of grubby little Milky Ways that every snot-nosed, swine-flu-riddled kid in the neighborhood has fingered, when you could just invest the same time and resources making a trip to the supermarket to buy candy and then sit on the couch and watch the Yankees bitchslap the Phillies? This needs to be an actual RULE? Someone needs to TELL YOU THIS?!? Apparently the kids aren’t the only one missing something.

In order to improve everyone’s sense of humor regarding this senseless holiday tragedy, a little pick-me-up courtesy of The Onion:

How to Find a Masculine Halloween Costume for Your Effeminate Son

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Pretty much PWNed by the Universe.
Dear Divine Metaphysical Powers That Be,

Although it may be funny in a "ha-ha" kind of way from the outside, and while I may be able to appreciate the humor in the irony, I see, recognize, and have absorbed the lesson. I will, from now on, be more careful what I wish for... and more specific.

Frankly a Little Perturbed,


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