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I'm going to make my fortune opening a school for receptionists.

The following exchange is an exact account of a real event.  The scene opens in a small but tastefully decorated office, and I've just placed a call . . .

Receptionist (played by a moron): “Dewey, Cheatem and Howe.”

Me: “Good morning. Is Dick Cheatem available?”

TM: “He’s not in the office.”


(See, this is the place where the moron answering the phone should offer me options, like voice mail or taking a message. BUT SHE DOESN’T. SHE JUST SITS THERE LIKE THE MORON SHE IS. I picture her drooling at her desk while I wait to see what she will do next.)

*if you can believe it, more crickets*

(I’ve been through this routine so many times that I revel in the uncomfortable silence. Usually they can’t take it and say something but this one was particularly thick-headed. I finally break.)

Me: “Okay.  What are my options?”

TM, all snotty now: “He’s out of the country.”

Me: “I get it.  He's not available. Are there alternatives to speaking with him?”

(What I really wanted to say: “Look you fucking moron, taking a message or offering me voice mail is your fucking job, and it isn’t a hard one. Your employer probably didn’t run off to parts unknown assuming that everyone who called his business while he was gone would be turned away.”)

TM: “Hold on.”

(This is where I whisper that she’s a fucking idiot while I’m on hold and hope that she hasn’t sneakily put me on speaker phone.)

TM, still snotty: “If you’re calling about a case you can talk to one of his associates.”

Me: “Now THAT’S an option. Yes, I would like that, please.”

And you know, I wouldn't have devoted 20 minutes of my life to writing out this little exchange and posting it here WITH ALL CAPS PARTS if this were an isolated incident.  It happens ALL THE TIME.  Really, how fucking hard is it to answer a phone, pleasantly communicate with the public, and helpfully transfer calls and take messages?  I assert that it is not hard at all and that exchanges like this should happen much less often than they do, if at all.

*shakes head and clicks publish*

So this is the way it's going to be, is it?

My office recently moved from way the hell out in the suburbs to downtown so I started taking the bus to work again.  I like it.  It's easy and cheap.  And it gets me closer to the building than if I drove and paid for parking.  Bonus.

So last Tuesday on my way home I got into a touch of a scuffle with a particular driver.  I was standing at the stop and he blew right past me.  Didn't stop.  Didn't even pretend he might slow down.  Thankfully, the next stop is a busy one - lots of people on and off - so I was able to run and catch it.  While I was paying my fare I made sure he knew what he had done.  As I walked away he hollered after me that the stop I was at is a multi-bus stop and I should have raised my hand to indicate I wanted him to stop.  Now this is utter bull.  No other driver does it this way.  I argued that the stop is on his route and if there are people there, he needs to stop.  He told me that my attitude would get me kicked off.  I gave him a dismissive hand wave and we all moved on.  So I thought.

He was driving again tonight, first time I've seen him since.  I could tell it was him from down the street.  To be safe, I raised my hand to indicate I wanted him to stop.  He was all sunshine and giggles when I got on.  He actually laughed and was quite pleased with himself for "winning." Whatever.  I have no problem doing things your way when refusing will be a detriment to me.  Besides, I said my piece.

But.  You knew there was a but, right?  When he stopped to let me off the bus tonight?  The bastard made sure he stopped juuuust right so that I had to step into a pile of sand the exact width of the door to get off the bus.  

I hope he feels like a big man now.  And gets crabs.

Moving the outdated political rant down the page

Thanks, SkyDad! You're the cutest.

I only have this to say.

I arrived home late yesterday afternoon from a long-weekend road trip to the Nashville area exhausted.  I did my level best to stay awake, enjoying the serenity of my home and catching up on the TV I missed while away, but lost the battle with my eyelids and fell asleep on the couch at about 10 pm.  I woke at 3 am to find that US Navy Seals, at the direction of our President, had located and eliminated Osama Bin Laden.  While I understood my countrymen's jubilation, I was uncomfortable with some of the very ugly things that were being said and done.  My emotions were conflicting: pride, relief, joy, concern, sadness, disgust, shame.

This morning I watched news coverage, read blogs discussing the event, listened to Secretary of State Clinton's address . . . I spent six hours last night and this morning trying to reconcile my feelings and, in the end, posted this to Facebook:
The world breathes a sigh of relief that the foremost terrorist leader has been eliminated, and rightly so, but let's not lose sight of temperance and grace. This is far from over and the actions we take and the words we speak today will color what happens in the future.
Those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks and all of the sundry other world-wide attacks masterminded by Bin Laden have closure, and that is a great thing.  The leadership of this country set a goal and eventually accomplished it.  We should celebrate that.  But terror sects are designed to continue to thrive long after the head of the snake has been cut off.  The world is watching us to see how we react.  Let's do so with reason and compassion.

Other Kick-Ass Gwens


(Also the only ginger that I know of.)

New boots!

Bring it on, Spring.  I'm ready.

You look like Eva Braun.

My friend Peabody came over Sunday afternoon to watch the pre-Oscars red carpet festivities and we began by watching the coverage on E! which was partially hosted by these two clowns.  (On the left, Giuliana Rancic; on the right, Kelly Osbourne.)

Trust me when I tell you that the poor quality of the picture does not make them look any worse than they actually did.

Anyway, later in the show - you know, when the real celebrities arrived - Ryan Seacrest interviewed Helena Bonham Carter.  The entire time Seacrest was doing his thing on the red carpet, Kelly was in the studio gushing profusely about how much she loves Helena: she loves her; she loves her style; she loves that HBC doesn't care what people think.  It was uncomfortable but HBC graciously thanked her and commented, "You've gone blonde."

But what I heard HBC say was, "You look like Eva Braun."  We had to rewind to be sure and I can't tell you how disappointed I was to find out I was wrong.

Headlines tell me what's going on in the world.

I use an app called news360 to keep up with what's happening in the world outside a three-mile radius of my house.  The service does a nice job of collecting stories from all sorts of news sources and making them available in one place that I can peruse before I fall asleep each night.  Plus, their headlines are always paired with a picture.  Every lazy body loves pictures!

The thing is, sometimes the picture doesn't exactly fit the story . . .
Halle Berry is neither Madonna nor James Franco.
But if I was invited to both parties, I'd go to Franco's.

And sometimes, the picture adds a layer of ridiculousness to a very serious story . . .

Nothing says crazy dictator better than an extravagant military uniform.
I want this outfit for our next Curtain Skirt party.

As you can see, I recently figured out how to take a screen shot on my iPhone and I've now collected enough of these things that I've got blog material for weeks.  Whee!

Neighbors:  We will pay you X amount of dollars for this property.
Owners:  Please, sir, I want some more.

Humor me one more time.

I posted pictures at La Vie En Rows.  Just sayin'.

Hey. Whatcha doin'?

I wrote something today but it's over here.

Go look at it.


I mean, really! I've been sitting here all alone, by myself, in the cold quiet of January just waaaaaaaating for one of you to come by HQ and visit. BORED OUT OF MY MIND ALL ALONE SAD.

What'sat ya say? . . .

I'm the one who's been missing? . . .

Since before Christmas?!

*sits up a little taller, squishes face and cocks head to the side, confused*

Nuh uh . . .

No, no, no. It was you! You were the one! . . .

No, wait.

Wait just a minute.

No, you're right. It was me.

Hey, sorry I yelled. I get a little kooky when I'm losing my mind. Heh. January, right? It's a bitch.

They lied about Christmas.

The baby Jesus was actually born in a canoe.
No lie. Seriously. If it's on the Internet, it's true, right?
Well, I just put it on the Internet.

Party like you tricked Santa into believing you belong on The Nice List.

The holidays can be stressful.

This time of year can really take toll on a person - all the food, all the drink, all the family . . . Thankfully, while at the hardware store earlier this week, I found a product that is much less expensive than that therapist you've been seeing twice a week:

You're welcome.

Let me start by saying (ASSCAKES!) I love you . . .

I have a friend who must spend countless hours scouring the In'ernets for amusement because I regularly get emails directing me to his hilarious finds. The most recent of these is a website hosted by a man named Guy who has both Tourette's syndrome and Asberger's syndrome and uses karaoke as therapy.

Now, before anyone gets all pissy with me for posting here about Guy, bear in mind that he makes it clear on his site that he knows what he does is funny. He intentionally records songs on days when his tics are abundant. We're not laughing at Guy; we're laughing with him. Besides, if you spend any amount of time on his site, Tourette's Karaoke, you'll learn quite a bit about what it's like to have these conditions and how Guy copes with them. In addition to being hilarious, it's informative.

But you don't visit EILCC to learn things, you come here to be amused and today Guy is the guy who's going to deliver the funny. I chose this particular video because the cursing peppered through the sappy love lyrics is comedy gold.

Take it away, Guy:

I'm especially fond of this one because I'm a child and I love to get you in unconventional ways. Happy Friday, monkeys! Fuck off!

Living Out Loud

Walking into last night's spin class I had no idea that it would be the last one led by my favorite instructor. I was blissfully unaware of the torture I was about to endure. Apparently a full-time job and being a single dad leaves him little time to abuse us twice a week.

I was really sad when he made the announcement because he's the only instructor who motivates me to give it everything I've got. If you don't leave it all on the bike in his class, you're a loser who should attend a different class so someone else who's serious can have a bike in his class.

Halfway through, or what I thought was halfway because we ended up doing an extra 15 minutes, I was regretting having made his last class. We did everything in double-time, at high resistance. There were a couple times I thought I would puke and I was gasping like a fish out of water through the entire thing. He made us do three 1-minute sprints punctuated with 1-count jumps during the second "one last song."

I'm walking like a hooker at the end of Navy Week today, but I'm invigorated by the pain. So often we get bogged down by work and home and family - life in general - that we forget to push ourselves; we become complacent and lazy. I'm not just talking about physical complacency, but social and emotional as well. Last night's work-out not only pushed my body, but my mind.

Today I plan to live out loud: I'm going to be the best employee, friend, daughter, sister, and cousin I can be. I'm going to embrace the day as if it might be my last and refuse to simply go through the motions. I'm going to tackle that work project that's been hanging over my head like a storm cloud. I'm going to drive tonight so a friend who had a tough week can blow off steam. I'm going to do those dishes that have been in the sink since Sunday. I'm going to finish this post even though I keep losing my wi-fi connection. I'm going to . . .

Ooh! There's a Doctor Who marathon stored in my DVR? Never mind. Forget I said anything.

What did you see at The Polling Alley?

This post was originally published 11/03/08 but is still (mostly) relevant.
Don't forget to vote! Enjoy the game!

This election season has been unceasingly tedious. I've actually grown accustomed to being bombarded by it and thinking about it at all times. The theme changes - the candidates, voter registration, the debates, my love/hate relationship with Sarah Palin - you name it, I've considered it.

Today I thought about the voting process itself, things like what I should wear . . . should I take a raincoat since last time I got caught in the rain and had to pee . . . not that taking a raincoat would solve anything if I had to pee . . . should I go in the morning before work (vote, not pee) . . . should I go after work . . . yeah again vote, not pee . . . should I take a book in case the line is long . . . do they allow iPods?. . . I bet not.

This went on for a while and then my feeble mind wandered back to silly things like this image that someone sent me today, a Wal*Mart Bingo Card:

A card that rewards you for witnessing an artificial voicebox and puts the pleasure back into catching the scent of someone with unbearable body odor. (Clicking the image makes it bigger so you can see some of the other fine items you're to spot for the win.)

And then it came to me in a flash - like all my genius ideas do - why not marry the two ideas? The Wal*Mart Bingo card in polling alleys across the nation . . . it's the perfect voting accessory! All you have to do is print up your very own game card and you're all set for "good times in the votin' lines" over there at the [insert where you vote here].

I recommend you print it tonight (now) and put it over there on the table with your voter registration card. That way you won't forget to take it with you and get all mad when the line is long and you've got nothing to do but think about how you wish you'd done what I told you to do.

Also, take a pen.

I'd like to hear back about any egregious sightings. If anyone actually completes a row I might consider giving said person a prize of my choosing.

The Big Wicked Online Pageant

With the exception of free candy from strangers, scary stuff is my favorite part of Halloween: ghosts, goblins, ghouls . . . and pictures from childhood. Earlier this week the lovely and talented Beckeye invited folks to participate in a bit of blog pageantry dubbed The Big Wicked Online Pageant. Not being one to miss an opportunity for public ridicule, I called my mom and asked her to find and scan the evidence.

My mom has gotten much better at framing a shot since then.

Making an educated guess, I'd say this was Halloween of 1984, which would mean I was 15 and my brother was 4. Mom made our costumes. At the time I hated that we were dressed alike; I hated that we were bumblebees; I hated that our costumes were homemade - I was, after all, a teen girl and, therefore, hated everything - but I love this memory and this picture of us. I mean, seriously, how freaking cute was my brother? He was simultaneously the kid you wanted to eat with a spoon and the kid you wanted to beat with a stick.

The deadline is fast approaching but please join in the fun . . . The Rules According to Beckeye are as follows:
  • Scan a photo from your Halloween past. (Ideally, the photos should be from your childhood but we'll take what you've got.)
  • Post it to your blog on Friday, October 29.
  • Once you post your photo, email her the URL to the specific post.
My mom also sent this photo which depicts the first-ever wearing of my infamous Sacajewea costume (also made by my talented madre):

You remember this one, right? From when Whiskeymarie was here the first time? When we fake-pooped in stuff and she woke up wearing this very costume on Sunday morning, a mere 50 minutes before her flight took off? Yeah, that one. Good times. She keeps emailing me telling me how much she misses me. This one's for her. I'd better go email her back or she'll send me rotten eggs and angry wolverines.

Color me confounded

During a smoking lounge discussion yesterday someone used the phrase "shit eating grin" and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. I mean, why would someone be happy about eating shit?

Happy Tuesday, shit eaters. Keep smilin'!

Lazy Monday Post

Peabody on Daddies

My mom has been married several times. I'm not going into the details of it here because that is her private business and not my story to tell. All you need to know of the back story for this post is that I've had multiple dads.

The other day I was telling Peabody about an on-line dating proposition I'd recently received from an older, married man who just wanted to have sex and was willing to buy me things in exchange. She and I were discussing whether having a sugar daddy constitutes prostitution when she interjected, "You know, with all the daddies you've had I'm surprised you haven't had a sugar one."

[You can find other snippets of the unintentional hilarity uttered by my bestie Peabody here and here.]

I really want to show you the big hole in my alley.

A couple months ago I sent a tweet to my city government advising them of an increasingly large sinkhole in the alley behind my house. They replied, advising that a work ticket had been made with the street department who had until August 20 to respond. August 20th came and went without any action. I lost faith in twitter.

About a week later I noticed action had been taken: the street department had placed a flashing-light barricade over the sinkhole. I giggled. Whatever.

This morning, however, I was awakened at the ass-crack of dawn by a jackhammer and I cursed. Really bad words. Ugly stuff.

As I write this, a team of 3-4 guys is using a backhoe to dig a ginormous hole where the sinkhole used to be. Like, so big that they have a dump truck back there to hold all the dirt they're hauling out and I just saw a guy go down in the hole and his whole body disappeared. I can only suppose that they are trying to find, or get to, the cause of the sinking so they can fix it. I really want to go out there to take a picture of the big hole in my alley, but I'm still in my pajamas (no bra) and I've got pink hair dye in my bangs. And bad breath. (I work from home twice a week, shut it.)

Anyway, I plan to run out there to get a picture if the workmen ever walk away from the hole. Stay tuned! It's possible we'll be able to see Chinese people.


Eventually - 45 minutes later, to be exact - I had to get the hair dye out of my bangs so I took a shower (and brushed my teeth) (but did not put on a bra - it's FRIDAY, people) and ventured out to the hole. There are still two guys out there so I had to stay inside the fence and couldn't get the shot I wanted, but this will give you an idea of the depth of the hole in my alley:

There is a man standing down in there that you can't see because he is waaaaay down in there. Plus, he didn't want to be in the picture and I was honor-bound to oblige him. I credit the lack of a bra for the photo-op they did allow. Free Boob Fridays (but no China-men) for all my friends!


I don't intend to keep going on about the sudden popularity of this blog (tres gauche!), but before all this new attention EILCC was just a place where I posted the things that ran through my head for the entertainment of a group of friends, people who had been here a long time. My audience was familiar, like family.

But now? Now I feel like I accidentally ripped a loud fart in the middle of a fancy party during an unexpectedly quiet moment and suddenly every pair of eyes in the room is locked on me. No, worse - like I farted in the middle of a fancy party, the room went dark, a spotlight lit up over my head, and THEN everyone in the room turned to look right at me. I can't decide whether to giggle hysterically or to panic and blame it on the dog.

Excited, I've spent a lot of time thinking about all of you new people: who you are, what you're like, what you like to do, whether or not the carpet matches the drapes. In fact, I daydreamed about you so much that, without intending to, I crafted a list of statistics about you:
  • As I wrote this, 75 of you were having sex. (High five! after you've washed your hands.)
  • It's even possible that 2 of you were doing it with each other. (It could happen.)
  • 21% of you ride scooters for fun on the weekends. (Helmets, please.)
  • 16% of you are not wearing pants.
  • 4 of you still drink Tang.
  • Of the16% of you not wearing pants, 2% of you are touching yourself inappropriately. (Stop it. You can wait until you've finished reading this post.)
  • 3% of that 2% you are going to want to tell me you really were touching yourself. (Don't.)
  • 100% of me wants to switch the topic.
  • 12% of you are eating some sort of whole grain cereal for dinner. (That's not enough for dinner. Eat a piece of fruit. Monkeys like bananas.)
  • 56% of you like hats.
  • 89% of you also write a blog.
  • One of you is a secret mime and spends too much time thinking about how to use keyboard symbols to make a box in the comments.
  • 3% of you are seriously into Heavy Metal. (\m/)
  • One of you has man hands and keeps Asian teens in your basement. (You know who you are. I miss you.)
  • Three of you attend a monthly LARP event.
  • 30 of you don't like me anymore.
  • 7 of you are using a keyboard missing its "S" key.
  • 63% of you dance it out in the dining room when you have the house to yourself.
  • 24 of you read romance novels but don't admit it.
  • Everybody likes sammiches!
If these stats are accurate, it would surprise the crap outta me I don't think I have any reason to fret: you newbies are really nice, and the alumni are just as weird as you are.

I'd like to thank The Academy . . .

My iPhone chimes, "New mail!" I check it: eight new comments on old posts from strangers.


My iPhone chimes, "New mail!" I check it: four new comments on old posts from strangers.


My iPhone chimes, "New mail!" I check it: five new comments on old posts from strangers.

What the hell is going on?

My iPhone chimes, "New mail!" I check it: two new comments on old posts from strangers, and one of them congratulates me.

What for? Seriously, what the fresh hell is happening to my blog?

This went on all day yesterday. I truly had no idea what was happening and had no time at work to figure it out. It wasn't until about 7:30 last night that I began to understand that this here little hobby of a blog had been chosen by The Blogger Team as the Blog of Note for the day. To say this is an honor is an understatement. I never dreamed this corner lot in Blogaritaville would get this kind of traffic or following. It's like someone built a water park at the end of the street. And if I'm going to be honest, it's a little overwhelming and intimidating.

Hello, all you new people! We here at EILCC HQ are excited to have you but could you please not track internet dust into the lobby? We just had new floors installed. And you? Yeah, you over there sitting on the red couch? Please put your feet on the floor. Thank you.

According to the "Historie and Nature of Blogs of Note" the criteria for selection includes "good writing, good design, or original content or concept, or I just liked the name." This is fairly broad and leaves me wondering, why this one? At one time I'd have said Obscenity Week brought all the boys to the yard, but things have aged and slowed and tamed over here since then. I may never know why this blog was chosen so I'll be grateful rather than trying to analyze it:


I hope I can live up to the hype. I suppose I'll move forward from this moment just being me since that's what got me here, The Land of Infinite Internet Fame and Fortune. My first act of keeping it real will be to go outside and pick up all the poop left in the back yard by these two adorable ruffians when they stayed at EILCC HQ last week:

Hello, Babysitter Lady!
We're the cutest Jehovah's Witnesses to ever visit your door.
Also, you need to paint your porch.

This is even better than bending spoons.

As I write this I am sitting at my home-office desk. My view is of my back yard and a small section of my neighbor's back yard. About an hour ago a team of long-haired dudes showed up to trim my neighbor's very large and overgrown oak tree. Right now one of them is sitting in a chair at the far end of the yard, staring up into the tree. While I am sure there is someone else up in the tree doing the actual cutting, from this perspective - and from the way he is sitting like a swami - it looks like this guy is cutting the limbs with his mind. It's really funny. I wish you were here to see it. That is all. Go back to work now.

The library is stirrin' up more trouble.

About a month ago I posted about how the librarians at the branch of the public library that I frequent periodically (Once a month? Hello, sweet power of deduction.) put together a collection of books based on a theme. See here.

Anyway, my saucy librarians are up to no dang good this time. You will not believe what I my eyes were subjected to when I was there on Saturday:

Banned books. BANNED BOOKS, PEOPLE! I was shocked. And, and, and . . . appalled. My delicate sensi . . . (ahem) . . . My delicate sensibil . . . (hrm) . . . My delicate . . .

Aw, who am I trying to kid? I checked out The Fan Club.