123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

'Coming' to a Web Site Near You. But Not on You. Unless You Like That Sort of Thing.

Sitting in the gynecologist's office today for my annual exam, I had a genius thought. They should make the Project Runway kids design a paper gown that is not only elegant, but allows for quick and easy access to boobies and nunus.

When you're up on a table showing your business to God and everybody, you tend to think of ANYTHING to forget the fact that 4 pounds of KY Jelly and a stranger's fingers have just been shoved inside you.

Truthfully, for any of you reading out there who've never had an annual exam, and I hope this only applies to you boyfriends m'kay, it's really not that bad. You get felt up, which is always nice, and the actual vaginal exam only takes about 30 seconds of cold metal things poking around in you. I tell you what; knowing what I know now, I would take a Pap smear over some of the sexual encounters I've had over the years. At least the doctor remembered my name and asked if I was comfortable before diving in.

The annual exam brought me a chance to focus on my naked parts and sexual history that COULD NOT HAVE come at a better time. I have some good news, my pretties!

A very smart man named Will (Hi Will!) realized that I'm the perfect person to help write articles, product reviews and general hot stuff for his new adult product Web site, the G Spot Clique. How perfect is that? So, if you thought I talked about sex a lot before, hold onto your panties, kids. No, seriously, your elastic is slipping a little.

The Web site will be up and running around October, so in the meantime, we're going to stockpile as much funny, informative and sexually-charged content as we can. There's a special goody box of products headed to me as we speak. I'll also be helping out with some education, such as "How to Clean Come Off of Suede." Or something like that.

No. Probably nothing like that.

I love to have sex and all of the fun things that go along with it, and I've built up a pretty impressive sexual vocabulary thanks to an ex-boyfriend's love of the dirty talk. But keep in mind, kids, that I'm only one kinky person in a world of billions. As time goes on, if there's a question or an area that you might like addressed, don't be shy. Ya'll know where to find me.

In the meantime, I know you might be desperately worried that I'm going to quit my day job. Don't fret. Why would I give up the exciting world of investing publications to write about something like boring old sex? There's still a whole lot more financially stock market goodness coming your way.

Huh huh. I said "coming."

In the Comments section, tell me a funny sexual word or phrase that you like. I enjoy "trunk butt," which I'm told refers to the trunk-like state a gay man's anus takes on after years of anal sex. I suppose this could occur to women, as well. There's always the favorite, Dirty Sanchez, and his good pal, Helen Keller. The winner gets 4 pounds of KY Jelly.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

You Gotta Have Friends (Or the One In Which I Get Kind of Emotional)

My friend Hannah Banana is gearing up for brain surgery on Thursday. Yes. Surgery of the brain. Doctors are going into her wonderful little head and removing some pieces parts that are misbehaving, namely a tumor on her pituitary gland. An anatomical eviction, like a roommate gone awry.

"Tumor, sit down. We need to talk. I'm sorry, but I need you to move out by the 31st. It's just not working out. You're a mooch and a slob and you're starting to take up most of the apartment. The neighbors are complaining. Mrs. Pituitary downstairs says you're keeping her up all hours of the night with your hoodlum friends coming over, drinking beer and smoking the pot. You ain't got to go home, but you gotta get the hell outta here."

I won't pretend to understand the medical intricacies of how or why, but I do know one thing for certain: Hannah Banana is going to be just fine.

The surgery will help restore some of Hannah Banana's energy and light, which is boggling to me, because she already has a tremendous amount of energy and light. She's like a human fireworks display. I may have to purchase eclipse glasses just to hang out with her now.

Hannah Banana's challenges and the way she meets them with grace and faith really got me thinking that I'm so glad I have come to know her over the past months. And I started to express my gratitude to the universe that Megan Jane introduced me to her via the D.C. Sisterhood. Then I thanked the universe for Megan Jane. And then I began to send up my gratitude for all of my dear friends, which got me thinking about the ways you all have come into my life.

We moved around a lot when I was younger, and I kept up that pattern as I grew up. So, many of my best friends don't even know each other. I met all of you at different points and some of the stories are sad, most are funny. Some are just plain weird.

Adelka Ann, remember the first day I walked into Mr. Grossen's English class? I still had a trace of my Cakalaky accent and said, "Hey, ya'll." I give your plaid polyester pants all of the credit for our friendship. I thought your name was O'dell, and it was weeks before I realized that your parents were not a bunch of far-out hippies. Ha! I still remember a twirling Adelka Ann declaring, "Jack Daniels is my best friend!" Thank you for fixing my hair when my sister made me look like a Marine, and thank you for fixing my soul so many times over the years.

Allison Evans! The original D.C. Sisterhood Sista! Jewelry artist, astrology enthusiast and all-around phenomenal woman. Your welcoming words and virtual hugs were just what I needed when we met. I'm so glad to have someone else to star gaze with. I'd eat your melon balls any time, my dear.

Double A, you came to me via Brent when you needed a place to crash so you could commute to Canton. I gladly opened up my tiny basement apartment to the handsome pilots. You two sprawled out on the air mattress in the "dining room" and the couch, though I tried desperately to get one of you to cuddle with me in bed. Aw, Alex Adams, you were there when I first began my scary trek into performing my music.

Amber, we were two Cleveland girls stuck in Dayton, Ohio. Paired with two other nutso girls to live in a dorm room the size of a tortilla chip. Bunk beds a-go-go. You taught me that being myself is okay, even if I was slightly wack. You had Will's baby and then disappeared, but I'm sure you're doing fine.

April was Jesse's girl, that's how we met. I knew I liked you from the first moment we met because when I poured you a ridiculously large glass of chardonnay, you didn't protest, "Oh, no. No, I couldn't possibly." You just did. That's what I love about you--you're up for anything. Sometimes that means making mosaics and decopauging and sometimes that means killer margaritas and sexy school girl uniforms. Dickies and Nog 2006!

Autumn, I met you when your cat Ebony sneaked into our garage. I took one look at your permed poodle hair and homemade M.C. Hammer pants, and knew I HAD to be your friend or I would die. We spent a lot of time up in the trees and at the Dairy Mart buying your Mom's cigarettes and candy. I'm sorry that we've lost touch, but we're still connected. Fry Club Forever.

Bridget, you were the best roommate a girl could ask for! Your Mom was nuts, but she did buy us a lot of groceries. We worked endless shifts at Rock-Ola together, then spent countless hours talking about those endless shifts and the boys who populated them. You are a smart, smart cookie.

Bon Bons, for months, I got you confused with Brandy. I was afraid to talk to you because I couldn't figure out which one you were. My fraulein, I always wanted to see you in lederhosen because you reminded me of a Germanic princess, even while trying to shove chocolate chip cookies down the faces of Cantonians. Your art inspires me every day. God bless Joe's and the dirty things we wrote about ourselves on the bathroom walls.

Camie Chili Bowls, dear heart, we were so mean to you. So very, very mean. I don't know why you put up with us, but I'm glad you did because your Mom let us run around the dance studio topless to Paula Abdul. You were such a sweet, graceful girl, but goddamn, you could be really annoying. I hope that, wherever you are in this world, you are happy.

Cathy, oh honey, I hated you with a passion when our parents got married. As two little girls who were used to being the baby of the family, you and I had some fierce fights. I still have a bald spot from you. But, between knock-down drag-em outs, we managed to put on fashion shows to Milli Vanilli and log in endless hours of playing school--until both Ben Frese and Will Markley decided they loved you, not ME. You were the third-grade heart-breaker. I'm so glad we've grown up to love each other, because sweet pea, you were a raging brat back then.

Charles, we met as you were getting fired from Michael's Restaurant and I was getting hired. Had I known, better, I would have followed you out of the door. But, we were meant to be together anyway. You gave me some of the loveliest months of my life, and if I hadn't been such an idiot, you would have stayed under the Love heading and not Dear Friends category. But, such is life, and I'm glad to have you at all.

Corina, Corina. Little darling, where you been so long? You're not likely to ever read this, but you mean more to me than I ever let you know. We survived Theodopholous Kolomandos and his sauté-pan throwing rages. We survived boys and stupid jobs and that stinky little house on Belle Street. I hope we can survive Chip.

Goodness Glynnis, I have to admit that I was a little intimidated to meet you. Pause. But, while you have such an uncontained electricity that scared me a bit at first, I can't imagine not knowing your energy now. I am beyond grateful to know you and I recognize the positive presence you have on me and so many others. You know what I think of when you run across my mind, "All I wanna do is zoom-a-zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom - JUST SHAKE YA RUMP." Memories.

Har Har Harwell, dear boy, when I first met you at Car Pool through James, I was impressed by your turtleneck sweater and your quiet confidence, but oddly for me, completely void of ANY sexual attraction despite your undeniable good looks. Now I know it's because you were meant for Megan Jane. Despite the ugly incident in the car, you have shown yourself to be an intuitive, honest and downright awesome man. I mean Awesome. I love your music, and I'm so glad you love mine.

Janeé. Oh, Janeé. A lovely bonus to my soured friendship with your sister. A delightful consolation price, you are. I'm sorry I'm such a fuckup sometimes.

Jessica Dutcher, I haven't seen you since I was five, but you were my first best friend, and you set the standard very high. You always let me play with the Peaches 'N Cream Barbie. You never laughed when I got too scared to climb the ladder to your tree house. I was very sad when you moved to Texas when your parents divorced.

Jerome, we became friends because of one of your girlfriends, we stayed friends because you had a lot of guys that became my boyfriends, and we stopped being friends because you got a new girlfriend. I'm glad, several years later, we picked up where we left off. You are the only dude friend I know who would willingly go to a Tori Amos concert with me. Granted, you got high as a flipping kite.

Kirstin. I'm sorry that I called you Kristen for the first two weeks we were friends. My little scrapper--I knew you were someone I wanted on my side at M&E. Little did I know that you carry the same loyalty and fierceness over to your friendships. We might have been a little sloppy at your bachelorette party, but you were still one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen. You are an even more beautiful divorcee.

Kristina McKenzie Hot Pants Fried Mac 'n Cheese Bitch Ass Polumsky. You are the one thing I can sincerely thank Kent State University for. You are worth my entire $25,000 student loan debt. Lady, we got the Judge's Fuckin' Choice, okay? We won that flipping contest! Thank you Shaft. Thank you Kevin Sharp. No thank you, Stefinately. You were there when things were hardest with my Mamma, and I'm sorry that you know only all too well how I was feeling.

#1Laura! Oh! You are the sole reason I have survived work. You are a beacon of light and support and I love that you, too, can eat lunch at 9:30 in the morning. You're the One-Woman Welcome Wagon. Your optimism and drive motivate me to keep pursuing better things. Like hot boyfriends and glamorous jobs.

Lura Knight, we started out as neighbors and ended up as cousins. We had so much fun bopping around the neighborhood, having wrestling matches as Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan and having Mummy Dinners. When my Dad married your Aunt Oretha, I was glad that we were cousins but sad we had to move away to Cambridge. But, then I met Autumn and Megan Jane and replaced wrestling with crotch-kicking, so it all works out, I suppose.

Mark, girl. You didn't like me when we first met at Coppers. Remember that? You said I was, "Too nice. Too perky. That girl is fake." Well, little did you know that I AM that nice. I AM that perky. And only the hair color is fake. God bless you for sharing the hooch in the back hallway and for always adding drama to every thing. And for you pork chops. Girl, they are to die for.

Matt Ellis, when I moved to North Carolina from Ohio, you made fun of me mercilessly. Now I know it's because you loved me, but back then, I just thought you were an ass. Well, you were, but a darling none the less. I'm sorry I was never quite in the same spot as you, but you always provided me with endless insight into the male psyche. It still hurts that you picked a girlfriend over our friendship, but she was pretty cute, so I understand.

Megan Jane, what can I say that I haven't already blathered on about here? Friends since the fourth-grade when Autumn and I developed girl crushes on you and Camie, you have more dirt on me than the FBI. You know that deep down, I'm not always really that nice. I'm not always really that perky, but you make me feel okay about it. Plus, you chose Danny Wood as your favorite New Kid, thus sparing the rest of us getting stuck with him by default. The Fry Club keeps expanding, and, if I had a dollar for every one of your friends that I have adopted as my own, I would have about $86.50.

Megan Pope! Oh my, we had some fun in two double ooohhhh. Thanks to Davey and Boys, we drank a lot of screwdrivers and made out! Such a bright heart you are. Superwoman and the first grown up hamster afficionado I knew. I miss you.

Scotty, it's so funny that as kids we were neighbors and now as adults we find ourselves, well, not exactly neighbors, but close enough. Who knew that after you spent years crushing on my sister Susie, I'd be the one you get stuck with? "Keep smiling. Keep shining, knowing you can always count on me. For sure. That's what friends are for."

Sean P.K. you get a spot here, too. Even though I met you years ago at Westminster when I visited Megan Jane, it took the second time around before I got the full effect. I appreciate your honesty, even though it often borders on saltiness. Swamp ass ain't nothing to be ashamed of—you've gotten more D.C. Sisterhood play than Nintendo, yo. Thanks for being my editor and for giving me a comfortable place to play my music.

Terri B! There's not much in my life that I thank the Catholic church for, but you are a true blessing. We made it through Mrs. Metzger's eighth-grade class. Do you remember when she dressed up as the Easter Bunny? What the hell was that about? You convinced nearly every one that you were bad ass, but not me. You helped teach me about all of the important things in life like sex, drinking, three-legged dogs and how cool it is for girls to play the guitar.

I told ya'll this blog was about self-indulgence, and today I indulged in my wonderful memories of each of you and so many more. I know there are a lot people I forgot. Maybe I'll just keep updating this as time goes on.

For now, keep Hannah Banana in your prayers for an easy surgery and a quick recovery. And send up a prayer of thanks for the friends in your life who know all of your secrets and haven't told anyone.

In the Comments section, tell me about a friend you've lost touch with. Maybe someone who reads this will know where to find them. That's how serendipity works, kids.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Taking It on the Chin

Yesterday at the grocery store, I rang myself through the self checkout. (I love those! You can buy all of the embarrassing stuff like condoms and tampons and marshmallow peeps without anyone finding out!)

But, I realized I left my wallet at home. Dammit 123Valerie!

So, I said to the Overseer of the Self Checkout Lanes, "Excuse me, sir." (Why did I call him sir? He was all of 17.) "I left my wallet at home. I'm going to run and get it, and I'll be right back, okay?"

"Whatever," said Brian, who I know puts me as his highest priority because his name tag said so. "Just go to the customer service desk."

I ran home. Well, I drove home very quickly, returned to Giant and quickly got in line to claim my supplies for a roasted chicken dinner. I was talking to Megan Jane at the time and regret to inform you that I am that person. On the cell phone. Ugh.

The Counter Boy behind the desk could tell by my harried look that I was the dumbass that came to the grocery store without her wallet, whose groceries he had to babysit for 15 minutes. And the very same person that talked incessantly to Megan Jane on the cell phone since arriving about important issues like leftover Peruvian chicken.

"Megan Jane, can you hold on? Hi. Um. I forgot my wa..."

"Yeah. I know who you are. $10.08." I think he snarled at me.

"Okay." Then, feeling about two inches tall, I did the old swipe-a-roo with the debit card.

"It says invalid pin," Counter Boy informed me.

"Oh, okay. Let me try again. Yeah, sorry Megan Jane, I put in the wrong pin number. Snort." Beep. Bope. Beep. Bap. Bope. Beep. Enter. Green button for Okay. Yes. No Cash Back. Green button for Okay one more time.

"It says invalid pin again."

Clearly, I do not posses the faculties to talk and push buttons at the same time. "Megan Jane, can I call you back?"

Our Giant customer service Counter Boy found it a good time to highlight my dumbassness to tell me that maybe I'm pressing too many numbers. "Most pins are only 4 digits long."

"Well, mine is six. I don't know why. I didn't choose it. Damn you Bank of America. Why couldn't I just have four measly little digits? Let me try again. Please? I swear this time I won't fuck it up. Please? Please? The raw chicken is developing deadly salmonella spores as we speak. Please, for the love of God, let me try to enter my debit pin again! I swear I'll do it right!" By this time, I was sweating and shaking under the wrathful gaze of the counter boy and the people behind me in line.

Beep. Bope. Boop. Bap. Beep. Beep. I waited with bated breath. Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please work. Success!

I walked away with my bags, much to the relief of the folks behind me. Sorry guys! My bad!

At home I unloaded the first bag, and thought, "Hmm? I don't remember buying whole wheat penne. Or a 3-pound block of cheddar. Or Italian seasoning. Hmm?"

Then, the realization smacked me in the face! (On the chin, more precisely, but I will get to that.) Counter Boy accidentally gave me someone else's package, and charged me the much lower price for my roasted chicken dinner supplies. Oh boy. Dilemma. Capital D. What should I do?

I had an in-depth ethical debate with myself.

"Okay, 123Valerie. I am fairly broke and I like whole wheat penne, big blocks of cheese and Italian seasoning. If I get creative, I can make a meal out of only these items."

"Yes, but they're not mine. I didn't pay for them. I don't even need whole wheat penne, a big block of cheese or Italian seasoning."

"Well, that's true, but I frequently overpay at the self checkout because I inadvertently ring up the organic produce and, rather than cause 17-year-old Brian strife and test that I am, in fact, his top priority, I just accept that I have paid double for the added benefit of carcinogenic pesticides."

"I have a point."

"Yeah, I know. And Counter Boy was mean to me, and I know that if I return with the extra bag of stuff, he'll somehow turn it around and blame me for talking on my cell phone like one of those people.

"Well, if I hadn't been talking on the cell phone, I probably would have caught that he gave me an extra bag."

"Maybe. But maybe this is God's way of saying that He loves me."

I made my decision. I kept the bag and did not return to the Giant to tell them they undercharged me for my order.

But, I found out that while God may love me, my skin does not. Remember that gigundous blemish I ranted about in the last post? The one on my chin that is going to have to start paying property tax? (Part of me wants you all to say, "Yes, of course, 123Valerie. We were captivated by your tales of dermatological woe." The other part of me would just feel sad if you did, so let's keep that a rhetorical question, okay my pretties?

It has grown a full head of hair and some teeth, like the abnormal growths our friend's Mom, Bernice, told us about when Megan Jane and I were little. Bernice was a nurse, and she KNEW about these things. I always imagined they looked kind of like this:
Eek! Look at the split ends on this thing. Someone get some deep conditioner STAT!

Bernice also continually told us that men in white jackets would come take us away if we didn't STOP ALL THE GODDAMN SCREAMING. We called her Bernice the Furnace.

She also told us that power tools are the only thing a woman needs to be happy. It took me some years before I understood the full extent of her advice. My parents just laughed when an 11-year-old 123Valerie came home one day and said, "Today, Bernice told us that power tools are the only thing a woman needs. Can I have a drill for my birthday?"

But, the point is that the once-gigundous blemish has grown to ridiculous proportions. They're giving the damn thing it's own holiday in Spain. It's so big, I'm going to have to start styling its hair and brushing its teeth.

Karma, folks. Karma. Was my facial deformity worth an extra bag of groceries? No.

Well, maybe the big block of cheese.

Tell me something embarassing about your self in the Comments section so that I can feel better about my blemish. The winner gets a kiss from my growth.

Special Shout Out to my darling Alex Adams for swinging by the 'ol blog. Double A is a hot, hotty, hot Pilot Pants who rocks out in Charlotte, NC, and sometimes Miami, F-L-A. Say a special prayer that his Mamma and Daddy don't get blown away by Ernesto. Though, rumor has it that Double A might like to get blown by Ernesto. Oooohhh. No you didn't.

Yes, I did.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Up and Down Like the Toilet Seat at a Mixed Party

So, I was practicing my Roger Rabbit in the elevator on the way up to my office this morning because, well . . . why not?

Megan Jane can verify that I couldn't do the Roger Rabbit back in 1989 when it was cool, and I have spent the last 17 years trying to get it down. I mostly just jerk my head and arms back and forth while stepping backwards, but I feel like I'm getting a little closer every day. If there's ever a Club MTV reunion show, I will be ready.

Anyway. The elevator lurched to my floor, stopped and then bounced. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. Down. It finally settled, but it was very disconcerting and I should have taken it as a sign of the day to come.

567Devin called, so now I don't have to cap his ass. Up! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

"Um, I heard you might have been a little upset that we didn't invite you to the party."

"Yeah. I was pretty het up for a minute. I 85'd you. You were almost 86'd. But, I'm okay now. My objectivity prevailed, and I know it was a small gathering, you had just gotten home from family vacation, the party sort of got planned around you and it just happened to be at your house. It's cool," I said. And I really, really think I meant it.

"Good, cause I didn't mean it as an exclusionary kind of thing. It's just that people might have thought we were dating and that would be weird."


"But, I still want to get together with you, 123Valerie."

Up! Up!!!

"But, we'll be in Virginia all weekend for Brad's Mom's funeral." (Ya'll remember that--keep the prayers a-comin').

Double Down.

Friends first, of course, but 567Devin is a traditional sort who believes that dates should take place on Saturday evenings. Not ski-ball on Tuesday nights. Not lunch on Thursday. Not Friday happy hours with hot wings and beer. Not brunch on Sundays. Saturday nights. Dinner. Movie. Heavy petting. No exceptions. (Well, the heavy petting is my standard. If he can have strictures, so can I.)

"Okay," I said, "We'll put our actual first date off yet another week, making it nearly one month since I've seen you naked. Whatevs. I understand." (Which is girlspeak for, "I don't understand one whit, but if I play all nice and accepting now, then you will relax and I can more effectively sink my pink-polished claws into you later.") Bye bye.

Then, thank you Mother Nature, I found out that I am not pregnant this month. Up! Not so much a concern lately given that it would have to have been a divine conception, but I don't know any single woman in similar shoes who isn't glad to get the reassurance.

But, with the good news came a big facial blemish. Down. Down, as is in, "Swelling, please go Down now!" Seriously. It's huge. The city of Gaithersburg had to get a restraining order against it. JennyJenny8675309 said I was welcome to stay, but she didn't think she could spare the room for my zit. Ugh.

A lot of cover up, and I jumped into work only to remember that today was Recognition Day at my office, which means free pizza.


And also endless speeches from people who are celebrating anniversaries with the company and the quarterly report from our accounting department about how we may not get our bonuses if newsletter sales don't accelerate.


But, also raffles for tickets and gift cards and cash.


But, you can only win if you wear hideous company pin and/or hideous flag pin to show your support of America and, more importantly, the Republicans who control it.

Down. Down like the morale of our overseas troops.

Still, free pizza. After pizza, my friend #1Laura (who wants a number next to her name, but I can't figure out one that rhymes, so she will be #1Laura) stopped by my office. #1Laura has been telling me about her hot friend, Vermont Chris, who is moving down from . . . New Hampshire. Gotcha. Laura has been excited for us to meet for months - MONTHS, folks - and he'll finally be here on Tuesday.


So, #1Laura told him, "I have a friend that I want you to marry." That's why I love #1Laura. A date and a relationship are not good enough. She wants a commitment and a cake.

"Great," said Vermont Chris. "Can she move heavy things?"


While I get to meet hot Vermont Chris (Up!), our first encounter will be moving heavy stuff into his apartment (Down). It's very hard to be cute in moving-appropriate attire, but I will try. I am playing the card of plucky modern woman who is happy to pitch in and belly up to "man's work," but who also has a nice rack.

I also got to leave work early today (Up!), but had return later (late) this evening. Down.

In between, though, I visited Scotty at the hospital. Up! because Scotty is fun and funny, but Down, because, well, he's in the hospital with menengitis. He did, however, offer to give me his grape juice and we made fun of stuff in the gift shop. And he didn't puke or fall over once, though he threatened to both simultaneously. So, overall Up!

All in all, between the good and bad, today canceled itself out, which means it is really Saturday. And Saturdays were made for dancing. And dancing means the Roger Rabbit. Hey! Hey, Downtown Julie Brown, what do you think of my Roger Rabbit? Do my biker shorts with suspenders and black fedora accentuate my body's natural rhythm?

Ow. I think I just gave myself whiplash.

Tell me the craziest thing that's ever happened to you in an elevator via the Comments section. I will help the winner move heavy stuff into their apartment.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Word Up: Eeeeeeeeeh-Mail Style

Day Two of "567Devin Betta Watch His Ass" Watch, and I still haven't received any word from him about the dire mistake he made by not inviting me to the party or how he plans to make that slight up to me with a nice dinner and a mustache ride.

While there's been no word from 567Devin, I have received an inordinate amount of words from other people via e-mail today. I wanted to share them with you to prove that you don't have to take things out of context for them to be weird or funny, but it helps.

Here goes:

From JennyJenny8675309:

"Wiggle it. Just a little bit."
Replying to my concern that I couldn't get the key to turn the deadbolt. She didn't realize she was channeling early 1990s techno/dance group 2 In A Room.

From The People Who Send Out Messages About Broken Bathrooms at Work:

"Update: The bathrooms will be out of order until tomorrow morning."
Oh crap. Well, I guess not really.

From Our Very Nice HR Lady at Work:

"15 Minute Warning: Ice cream."
The friendly reminder that EVERY Thursday my office buys us all ice cream from the Good Humor ice cream man. Isn't that nice? Makes the "no bathroom" thing a little easier to tolerate.

From Roommate Jeremy:

"Yo, your porn bill came in from the cable company. You owe me $64.95."
It's true. I like naked people.

From Louie, One of the Very Rich Financial Guys I Work For:

"I only have $3.5 billion in assets, not $4.5 billion."
Responding to my question about his company's assets for an update to his profile. Oh, is that all? Loser.

From My Darling Sister Maryann:

"Sam just had a blue poop."
Explaining that my nephew Sam had, in fact, a blue poop. We think because of a popsicle. Either that or antifreeze. We'll know in a little bit.

While we're speaking of blue poop, some of you have asked for a photo of me:

Hi. I'm 123Valerie. How do you do?

In the Comments section, tell me about something blue that you saw today and I will give the writer of the best story a popsicle. Or some antifreeze. Your choice.

Special shout out to Bonnie "Bonita Bon-Bon Miss B. Bonqueatha" Stipe for popping in. Miss B, send me some digital photos of your art kiddo, and we'll decorate the ol' blog with 'em.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


567Devin is about to be 86'd.

567Devin and his roommates, John and Shea, (also my friends, by the way) are hosting a dinner party for a boy who is moving to Asia. A small event, given that it is a school night, so the guest list was kept at a minimum--6 or 7 folks and each person was invited to bring a guest. A casual evening of merriment and feasting.

Guess who will not be attending this soiree?

I'll give you some hints. She likes to behave as though she were a natural redhead, there are the numbers 1,2 and 3 in her name, and she is currently writing this post.

567Devin has opted not to bring me as his date. Nee--he opted to not even mention the party to me. Grrr. Megan Jane called to see if I was going.

"Going? Going where, Megan Jane?"

"Shit. 567Devin is a prick. I can't believe he didn't invite you."

"No. He did not."

So, Megan Jane is going to defend my honor and plant the seed that I have a super-hot date with an Australian millionaire male model rockstar tonight and couldn't possibly even think about coming to a cruddy little goodbye party for a boy who is moving to China, anyway. So there.

What the F? I have met the soon-to-be ex-patriot on a number of social occasions and know everyone else in attendance; many, in fact, are very good friends (or, so I thought). Besides that, I make a fantastic spinach dip and have been told on no less than 12 occasions that I posses a sparkling personality.

Does 567Devin think that I am unable to meet the social requirements for his party, despite outstanding performances of wit and conversation at previous engagements? Is he worried I will embarrass him? Maybe he simply doesn't like me. Or, folks, maybe I am perpetually attracted to men who lack passion and compassion.

Whatever the case, I am taking Alice's advice. I am hurt. I am disappointed. I am confused. I feel lik


I feel like a big baby. Megan Jane, just this moment, sent me a message that our friend Brad's Mom died after a long battle with cancer. This makes me realize there are far worse things in this world than not being invited to a party.

Say a prayer for Brad and his family, then, in the Comments section, tell me some fun things I can do tonight instead of going to a stupid party and hanging out with a dud like 567Devin. I didn't even like his beard all that much, anyway. Whoever's idea I end up using gets a batch of my very fabulous spinach dip.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I go to therapy on Tuesdays. Mostly for the whole Mom dying thing and partly to overcome my stagefright, but generally because I have a hard time getting my feelings out. Apparently, I am emotionally constipated.

My therapist's name is Alice, and she is a lovely older Jewish woman whom I would very much like to befriend, but I'm told that such things are discouraged. So, instead, I just tell her about how much I drink and how sometimes I like to kiss girls and how I'm mad that when I try to talk to my Mom in heaven, she doesn't always answer because I believe she is too busy bowling with her best friend Judy. (Remind me to tell you about Judy one day.)

And I also tell her what a dickwad Roommate Jeremy is. She's very understanding and believes that Roommate Jeremy is, in fact, emotionally fucked up. (My words, not hers). She wants to write him a prescription for a good ass whooping. (Okay, again, my idea, not Alice's.)

In any case, I leave work in the middle of day to go to my session, which is weird because everyone at the office is all, "Hey, 123Valerie. Where ya goin'?"

And I'm all, "Oh, to the doctor."

And they're all, "Not feeling well? I hope you're not sick. Because Gina has that intestinal thing, and she's been out for a week. Coming out of both ends, she said. Lost a dress size, though."

"No, no. I'm fine. Just slightly depressed, disillusioned, malcontent and worried that my fear of intimacy will keep me from ever really having a fulfilling relationship. I'm gonna take some extra vitamin E and see if that helps."

Then I dash off, only to return an hour later slightly less crazy (I hope).

Today was a hard session. Well, they all are, but today we talked about how people get freaked out when I'm not my usual chipper self (i.e. sad).

Case in point: Megan Jane's boyfriend, Jason, who saw me walking down the street one day when I was a bit down and immediately called Megan Jane because he thought I was on drugs. He maintains that my pupils were huge and I had tract marks in my arms and had just given a construction worker a blowjob for $20, but I think it was because I was kind of mopey. (Part of that story is true. You can decide which part. Isn't that fun? It's like those "choose your own adventure" books.)

But, I came back to the office today to find an e-mail and picture from my dear friend Theresa.

This is Theresa the dear friend, Daisy the dog and Sunflower, well, the sunflower.

Isn't that just the best? Terri and her fiancee are glass blowers in Colorado and you should visit their Web site and buy stuff. Because they are getting married in October, and though 123Valerie might be cheap, weddings are NOT, people.

While there is much rejoicing for them, I also have to note that my dear friend Kirstin has decided to get a divorce. Which breaks my heart for her, but also fills me with hope because she is lovely woman who deserves a man on her level and it will be fun to watch her journey to find him. My Mom would tell her, "Pull up your socks and get in there."

She really would, Kirstin, but why your socks are falling down and where exactly you need to go remain a mystery. I think it was her way of saying "Keep fighting the good fight." Or something like that. Maybe.

But, my point is that there's a lot of change in the air. Some of it makes you want to jump up and down with happiness, and some of it makes you want to jump off of a bridge. At the end of the day, I think we can all count our blessings and be thankful that I don't have to put up with Roommate Jeremy any more.

Tell me what you are thankful for in the Comments section. Whoever is filled with the most gratitude wins a date with the hot and newly-single Kirstin.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Jeremiah Was a Bull-Headed Toad

I like it when kids call me "Miss 123Valerie."

I also like that dogs' feet smell like Fritos. Growing up, we called this phenomenon Frito-Feeto.

One thing I don't particularly like these days is Roommate Jeremy. (Oh are we back on him already? Geez, 123Valerie. You already moved out. Get a life.)

Yes, we are back on him, because he provides so much material. He gets an F minus, as my friend Allison would say, as a human being. If he weren't such a douche bag, then I wouldn't have to write that he was such a douche bag, now would I? So, if you don't want to read any more posts about Roommate Jeremy, tell him to quit it.

Until then, the rants will continue.

I returned to his apartment this weekend to clean and paint the room where I spent six months of my life. I kind of got suckered into the painting because, while I did hang several pictures, I was NOT the one responsible for the mystery stain on the wall behind the T.V. That was there when I arrived, but somehow it got blamed on me. The stain had kind of a reddish hue and looked a little bit like a profile of Alfred Hitchcock.
The mystery stain looked kind of like this. It's now covered with Antique White.

Not the point.

The point is that Roommate Jeremy got bent out of shape because I chose Antique White and not Ultra White paint.

"What the fuck? I told you just to get white," Roommate Jeremy interjected.

"Um, I did."

"It's not white. It's off white." Ever the discerning artist, our Roommate Jeremy.

"It's an eighth of a shade different, J. I'm going to paint the whole room. What's the big deal?"

"Well, whatever. Just make sure you do enough coats." Thank you , Bob Villa.

"Go away."

Roommate Jeremy, sensing my aggravation, made a half-hearted offer to help, but quickly abandoned that when he got an invite for street hockey.

"Yo, I'll see you later. Don't steal anything."

Oh, poor disillusioned Roommate Jeremy. "Noted, J. I was planning to take the IKEA coffee table you got for free and your Marlboro points cookbook, but the judicious appeal you made struck a chord in my conscience." Asshat.

"Hey, I paid $10 for that coffee table."

Roommate Jeremy wasn't gone nearly long enough, but I had finished painting by the time he returned.

"Well, J. I guess that's it. JennyJenny8675309 and I are going to have a party sometime soon to welcome me to the neighborhood. I'll send you the details," I said, apparently feeling very generous.

"Yeah, I think I'm gonna be out of town."

"Well, J., we don't even know when the party's going to be," I remarked.

"Yeah, I know. I just think I'm gonna be busy."

Oh. I see. You are a butt-sniff.

I left feeling kind of low, for reasons that I couldn't quite articulate. But, I felt much, much better when I got home and smelled Wonder Dog Bean's feet. Mmmm. Fritos.

For the record, Wonder Dog Bean has yet to get "leid." She's very virtuous, unlike me.

Tell me your best insult for Roommate Jeremy in the Comments section. My favorite entry wins a chance to kick him in the balls.

Did I Ever Tell You About the Magical Time I Got to Wait On Air Supply?

It's true. The wondergroup that created super 80s hits Lost In Love, All Out of Love, The One That You Love and Making Love Out of Nothing At All--I got to be their waitress.

The singing/songwriting magic behind Air Supply, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, the dynamic duo that's almost a palindrome, obviously knew a little something about LOVE. I credit them with helping me develop an understanding of love's complexities and for cultivating a deep appreciation of gay men.

("Mom, is that two men singing together or a man and a woman?" asked a young 123Valerie.

"Two men," said my Mom.

"Oh. Why is the one man telling the other one that he loves him?"

"They're not really singing to each other. They're both sort of singing to the women that they love. Well, that's not true. They are singing to each other. Some men just love other men. But, it's okay because men who love other men are usually really good at decorating or hairstyling or writing love songs.")

A very wise woman, my mother. That is how I have come to place gay men on a crackle-painted pedestal accentuated with silk lilies and white linen, towering far above the rest of us. Because being gay means that they must also possess a talent that makes for a better, sparklier, more beautiful world.

And that just about sums up Air Supply: better, sparklier and more beautiful than you or I.

So, you can imagine my uncontained happiness when I learned that Air Supply was coming to the small Ohio town in which I lived at the time. (Hi Massillon. Please see the movie Go Tigers, and you'll get a full and unsettling picture of all that Massillon is.)

Air Supply was providing a FREE concert! And not only that--the restaurant where I worked was catering the food for their band! OMG!

I eagerly awaited their arrival for months. Then finally, the boys, Russell and Graham, pulled into town on a warm Wednesday afternoon. I remember it like it was two-and-a-half years ago. Because it was. The concert was scheduled for Thursday evening, and they were staying at the hotel across the street from our restaurant.

I was working a Wednesday lunch shift behind the bar, and I will never forget when I saw Russell's lavender rhinestone-studded cowboy boots float across the floor. The bleach-blonde hair. The billowy white shirt opened to reveal the smooth chest of a well-groomed mature man. Oh, if only I were a young gay Adonis! Why did I have to be born a woman?

Graham trailed him, slightly understated in tight black jeans and a polka-dotted shirt with the sleeves rolled up, but also unbuttoned to showcase tan pectorals. His goatee hinted of a rebellious nature.

Graham, Russell--You're the Ones That I Love

Our eyes met, and I felt a connection, but I was shy and quickly looked away. I deflated as they chose to sit in a booth, and some inappreciative server got to bring them their lunches. I was too nervous to say hello, so instead I jumped around the kitchen and shrieked, "Oh my God. Oh my God. Air Supply is out there! And Russell is eating a turkey club! Oh my God! Russell eats turkey clubs! I LOVE turkey and bacon! Eeeeeeeeh!"

They ate, and I freaked, then I got busy and failed to realize they left without my telling them how awesome they were. I was heartbroken. Crushed.

My Very Gay Friend Mark, who worked with me at the time, tried to put it all in perspective. "I don't know why you're so upset about a couple of queens, girl. You have me."

It just wasn't the same, though. Mark did have bleached hair and liked to unbutton his shirts, but there was something mystical about the lavender rhinestone-studded cowboy boots.

I was so dejected that I offered to work a double shift, and rolling into dinner time, I switched over from bartender to waitress. The night was slow-going, typical of a Wednesday, and I had plenty of time to think about what I could have said to my Australian idols.

Then, lo and behold, the doors swung open, and what should I spy? Lavender rhinestone-studded cowboy boots! Thank you, sweet, sweet Jesus! The entire staff, having endured my lamenting all day about my missed opportunity, was happy that I would finally SHUT UP ALREADY.

Russell and Graham sat down in the smoking section (For shame, boys. For shame. To think of what it does to your angelic voices). I pulled myself together, and walked over. (Okay, 123Valerie. Keep it cool. Calm. Collected. You're Every Woman in the World to them. BE COOL!)

"Hi Gentlemen. Very nice to see you again. We're so glad you're here. I've been waiting for months!"

Russell: "Oh, that's very nice of you, thanks. May I have a Pepsi?"

123Valerie: "Of course. And for you Graham?"

Graham: "I'll have a diet, with a lemon, please."

123Valerie: "Certainly."

I literally danced over to the pop machine. I was getting drinks for Air Supply!

Russell ordered the Cajun chicken pasta and a salad with bleu cheese. Graham ordered a Mediterranean chicken dish and a salad with balsamic vinaigrette. They each had two sodas.

I offered desert, and they politely refused. Then, I let it all fly.

"So, I know you guys get this a lot, but I just LOVE your music. I grew up listening to it, and I still listen to it all of the time. You're timeless, and I know that if I ever have kids, they're going to grow up listening to your music. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. I'm sorry. I know you must be tired of blubbering fans, but I'm just so excited!"

"Well, thanks, love. What's your name?" Russell asked.

"123Valerie," I squeaked.

"You're coming to the show tomorrow then?"

"Of course! I've been planning for months.

"Well, stop by afterward and we'll sign your albums." He actually said "albums." How precious is that?

Aside from providing sincere and beautiful music and patiently listening to me blather on, Graham and Russel are very generous tippers. We're talking 40%. My love for them, if possible, had grown even more.

The show was magnificent--there were at least four costume changes and at one point, Graham asked us to visualize floating on a magic carpet to a World of Love. And I totally did. I floated to that special place. I got a bit distracted when someone spilled beer on me, but it was a nice moment, none the less.

Afterward, I stood in line for the meet and greet and tried not to pee myself. I had my Air Supply's Greatest Hits CD and Sharpie ready to go.

I finally moved to the front of the line and Russell stood up, hugged me and and gushed, "Oh! It's the best waitress in the world! Hi 123Valerie. How did you like the show?"

Everything I mumbled from there on was slightly uninteligble and not worth noting, so suffice to say that I walked away with an autograph that read, "My love to you always, Russell," and Graham signed his name under a great big heart. I felt more than a little Lost in Love.

This signed piece of history was one of my most prized possessions until I foolishly lent it to a guy named Tom Peppard because he did not believe that I possessed such a treasure. He never returned it. Tom Peppard, if you're reading this: I'm All Out of Love for you, and I want my autographed Air Supply CD back.

Tell me your best celebrity meeting story in the Comments section. I know it'll be hard to top my Air Supply experience, but give it a try.

Friday, August 18, 2006

He May Not Be a Real Officer, but He's a Gentleman

It's 7:30, and I just got home from work. That fact doesn't bother me so much, considering I didn't come in until 10:00-ish and zoned out for a good hour after that.

What I do hate is that every evening around 6:30, the powers that be shut off the air conditioning in the building. As if working late weren't bad enough, now I have to do it with sweaty pits.

There is one saving grace to staying after: our night security guard. I don't know his name, but his eyes are perpetually red, and he has a lovely, lilting accent that I can't quite place. Somewhere in the Carribean is my guess, but since I never could figure out just where in the world Carmen San Diego was, I'm not the most reliable source.

As I slave away amid the heat and numbers and spreadsheets and stock splits, he faithfully appears every evening that I'm here past the 6:30 mark. He carries a clip board and spends most of his time making the rounds, randomly opening and closing office doors.

He always slinks up to my threshold.

"And how are you dooooing?" (Insert lovely, lilting accent of unknown origins.) "Are youuuuu still here? You are toooo pretty to be working this laaaate."

I'm not sure how my level of attractiveness figures in, but I'm glad for the compliment anyhow.

"Oh, I'll be leaving shortly," I always say, as if wishing it could make it so.

"No, no. You must staaay and keep me coooompany. I am loooooonely, and it makes me happy to have you here."

I never know what to say, because I am suspicious by nature and worry that if I respond positively, he will ask me out on a date for jerk oxtail sandwiches and dancing. I don't like either.

But, if I respond negatively, then maybe he really will be sad. So, I typically mumble something that sounds like, "Oh, ha ha. You'll be . . . uh . . . you know. Hmmm. Take 'er easy. Ha ha."

It's good to know he's here for my safety and my ego, but, there is one thing that my Night Security Guard in Shiny Polyester Uniform can't protect me from. There's an evil plot growing within the walls of my office building, and thy name is Candy Corner.

Some devilish fiend stocked the Candy Corner of Hell with delicious York Peppermint Patties. I love Peppermint Patties. It's chocolate goodness and fresh breath all in one aesthetically pleasing disc. The perfect thing when both the pressure AND the temperature are turned up here at the office.

I, however, find elastic waist bands less than perfect, but if I keep succumbing to the lure of the Peppermint Patty, that will be my only option. What's a girl to do?

Someone needs to get on the ball with chocolate flavored toothpaste, yo. Ya'll can have the idea for free, but I would like first crack at being the spokesperson.

"When I brush my teeth with Min-T-Fudge Toothpaste, I feel like a new woman. Sure it may look like poo coming out of the tube, but it tastes sweet and fresh like a field of organic Oregon mint."

On second thought, maybe I'll just go home and have a cocktail.

Tell me about the crazy people you work with in the Comments section. The person with the best story gets an evening of jerk oxtail and dancing.

Some Like it Hot*

New Roommate Jenny's real name is Jenny. On her birth certificate, I mean. She's not a Jennifer or a Jennette. She's Jenny. Isn't that fun? I imagine her parents must be fun people, too. The kind of folks who wear toboggans with pom-poms and give out full-sized candy bars at Halloween.

Day Two of living with new Roommate Jenny, whom I have now deemed JennyJenny8675309, has confirmed my intuition that she is awesome. However, we have a slight problem. Minor, really. Not worth getting worked up about. Move along, people, nothing to see here.

JennyJenny8765309 has an internal body temperature of about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not to say she's cold-hearted, but rather she likes to keep the house toasty. Even in August, the thermostat is set to the tune of 78.

Upon moving in, I realized the house was a bit warm, but I just assumed it was all of the door opening and closing craziness that comes with moving. Not so, my friends. The house is just hot. HAWT.

As a fiery Aries, I am always hot. Roommate Jeremy kept our place like a meat locker because, he is, in fact, cold-hearted. He's a cold-hearted snake. (He's been telling lies. Oh oh. Look into his eyes. He's a lover boy at play, girl. He don't play by rules. Oh oh. Girl don't play the fool. No. Well, too late for that. Where were you when I needed you, Paula?)

In any case, I woke up this morning and there was a cactus growing out of my mouth. Seriously. Buzzard hawks were circling around looking for dead coyote. This intense heat was made infinitely more uncomfortable by the fact that, because of the roasting temperatures, I had gone to sleep sans clothing, and sometime in the night, Wonder Dog Bean nosed open the bedroom door. So, JennyJenny8675309 may have seen a little more of 123Valerie than she bargained for this morning.

"Good morning, JennyJenny8675309. This is my ass. Have a good day!"

We'll see how this plays out; it may very well work to my advantage. I had to sleep with Roommate Jeremy to get naked-in-the-apartment privileges. Maybe JennyJenny8675309 will just give them to me out of pity.

*Thanks for the clever title, Megan Jane. I think you're HAWT.

Tell me your worst roommate experiences in the Comments section. JennyJenny8675309 is nowhere near my worst. That was Marc, who let his cat pee everywhere, but that's for another time.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

This Post Brought to You by the Letters C-R-A-Z-Y and the Numbers 5-6-7

Hey! Guess what? This is not a post about moving! How novel!

Nope. This is a post about a boy. Let's call him 567Devin. See, there's a theme at work here. Go with it, people. This is how I know that we might have a shot at romance, because if his name were Rob or Trevor, then I couldn't add a number in front of it.

Maybe Trevor, but it would have to be exaggerated like, "2-3-4-Trev-oar." Despite what you may think, I am not a big fan of exaggerating. Embellishing, yes. Cheese and crackers I like a lot, too. But, exaggeration, not so much.

So, this 567Devin character, I've known for a while. I met him through my friend James, whom will forever (at least for the duration of this post) be known as Jams. Because that's what we call him. But, you dear reader, would see that and think I just didn't know how to tipe oar spel vary gude. And we can't have that.

Jams is intentional, but I can tell you that my feelings for 567Devin were not. It happened over time, which from what I understand, is how it should work. I've always gone the route of hopping into bed with someone and hoping for the best. Sometimes the best is that they leave. Quickly.

But, usually, the best (take notes here, boyfriends, m'kay?) involves a phone call within a three day window, assurance that I am beautiful and an offer for a shared meal. That's it. Not so hard, is it Adam, Matt, Mike, Nick and Ryan? Bastards.

So, now that you all have verifiable proof that my virtue is in question, let's go back to talking about the boy who has many virtues: 567Devin.

He is handsome and funny and superiorly intelligent and he wears a beard with more sophistication than should be allowed. Seriously. He made me rethink my entire stance on facial hair.

But, because I am often foolhardy and impatient, I let my feelings grow and grow and grow until I was about to burst. Instead of relaying calmly, "Um, 567Devin, I think you're really groovy," I just got drunk and ambushed him while he was sleeping in the after hours of a party at his house.

Granted, he didn't seem to mind so much at the time, but the next day, he was a bit surprised to find the Artist Formerly Known as 567Devin's Platonically Good Pal 123Valerie in bed with him. Without any clothes on.

He's sorting things out in his head and deciding whether or not he can handle a fiery *redheaded* Aries like me. I don't blame him—I have a hard time handling myself most days.

The real issue here, folks, is that he's a Taurus. They take their time with EVERYTHING. They take their time with taking their time. But, because I truly have been working on my patience quotient lately, I am willing to wait. Highly unusual for me. Someone feel my forehead. Do I have a fever?

While I wait, however, there is another letter/number combination that can keep me company.

Colt 45.

(Ha! I'm just kidding! Although, I'd like to make it clear that while I in NO WAY condone drinking Colt 45—please stick to Milwaukee's Best, okay my pretties?—I do like Billy Dee Williams very, very much.)

*Thank you, Loreal Mega Reds Permanent Hair Color*

Tell me about your secret (or not so secret) crush in the Comments section. I want to know all of the juicy details.

Get a Move On

If I ever again decide to move from a fourth-floor apartment, someone please run over my left foot with a lawnmower, because it will serve to remind me how much fun this process has been.

Here's a simple equation: Moving + Middle of August + Heavy Shit THAT I DO NOT NEED ANYWAY x 75 Stairs = A Grumpy 123Valerie.

We can throw another element into the mix. Somewhere between my third trip up the stairs and fourth trip down, a kindly neighbor lady who had too much to drink decided that our stoop was a good place to take a little nap.

I am somewhat ashamed to say that I spied her as I was walking down the stairs with a supremely heavy box of books, and so I dropped those off at the car first. But, to redeem some karmic points, after playing Tetris with my crap, I immediately rushed over to rouse her.

"Ma'am? Are you okay?" I asked as I tapped her shoulder.

Her eyes fluttered open, but like a scared clam, she saw me and her eyelids clamped back down.

"Ma'am? Are you okay?" Surely an intoxicated person with a complete loss of mental and physical control wouldn't ignore me a second time.

Fortunately, her mouth moved, and I could hear her tongue flopping about inside, searching for a little bit of liquid. "What? Carol?" She reached for the empty cordial glass next to her.

"No, ma'am. I'm 123Valerie, and I live upstairs. Are you okay?"

"No," she said. Well, huh. What do I do now?

A little prodding revealed . . . well, not much really. I couldn't understand what she was saying except that yes, she had had too much to drink, and that she missed someone named Carol. Then she started to cry.

I asked her where she lived because I wanted to help get her home, and she said, "I don’t want to live anymore."

I gave her my hand and tried to be as supportive as possible when sitting in a really awkward position on a set of concrete stairs in 98 degree weather with a mountain of crap that desperately needed to get packed into the car.

But, I've recently been exploring my capacity for patience, and so I listened as this poor drunk lady's head bobbed and weaved and she apologized to Carol for indeterminable wrongs. She finally told me that one day Caril ("C-A-R-I-L. Everyone always spelled it wrong." Sorry, drunk lady! My bad!) laid down on the floor and died.

Oh, my.

She began to sob with the last admission, and the snot flowed. She asked for some tissues. Of course, I had already packed the box of tissues, so I felt tacky and silly, but I told her I would get some toilet paper.

I made another trek up the stairs and had a serious ethical debate with myself about the appropriateness of schlepping another box down along with the toilet paper and a glass of water. Decency prevailed and I returned to find an elderly gentleman at her side cleaning up shards of the now-broken cordial glass.

"Do ya'll know each other, sir?" (Please, oh please, oh please, Dear God, let him know this lady and help her get home.)

"Sometimes," he said. Hmm. I understood. "I hope she wasn't any trouble."

"Oh, no. We all have sad days, I guess." I mean, what do you say at a time like this?

He led her up the stairs to their apartment, and I noted the address in case she wondered off again. Roommate Jeremy and I are 416 and she is 218. A good piece of information to have on hand.

The rest of the day's moving came off without a hitch except for an evil attack of the IKEA bookcase that my dear friend Megan Jane and I rescued from the curb. The ungrateful piece of plywood nearly clobbered me on the way down the stairs.

Other than that, I made it to new Roommate Jenny's house with out incident. Once there, however, I confronted Roommate Jenny's old domestic partner, Lea. (That takes on a different meaning when you remove any trace of lesbianism, which makes me sad, because, on the whole, I'm a big fan of lesbianism. But whatever. They were just boring old roommates who, to the best of my knowledge, never made out.)

Hello New House! With 115% More Pets!

Lea is going to medical school in Wisconsin, which is why I get to move in with Roommate Jenny and Wonder Dog Bean. I added the Wonder Dog. Most folks just know her as Bean.

But, while I was moving in, Lea was waiting for a ride.

Lea is what I like to refer to as a "selfish baby incapable of empathy." I don't think that's a clinical term, but once she graduates from med school, I'm sure she'll be in a position to let me know for sure.

The details of why she is a selfish baby incapable of empathy are inconsequential except for the fact that as I moved in stuff, she literally sat and said things like, "Wow. That looks heavy."

Um, yeah. It is.

"Well," said Lea in attempt to help, "I'm going to the pool so I don't get in your way."

And she did, folks. She really did go to the pool. I noted that the bathroom hadn't been cleaned or the room vacuumed, but I assumed after she was done sunning herself, she would attend to these basic items of hygiene and responsibility.

After unloading the first round, I headed back to Roommate Jeremy's for Round 2. Add water. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. No fun, but this time without drunk old ladies. A plus, methinks.

Back at Roommate Jenny's again, I found that Lea vacated in the meantime, but thoughtfully left her soap scum and mystery smudges on the bathroom mirror, as well as a stray flip flop in the bedroom. What? Christmas already?

Roommate Jenny was noticeably upset and apologies were flying everywhere.

"No worries, Roommate Jenny. Not your fault," I said. And I meant it.

It's not her fault that Lea is a selfish baby incapable of empathy. But, Roommate Jenny, being a beacon of awesomeness, deducted two days of rent for 123Valerie, who for reasons still unknown because she helps write newsletters so people can get super rich, has not really acquired any wealth and hasn't yet learned how to behave responsibly with real, actual money. What I'm saying is: 123Valerie is currently a broke ass.

So, after a quick tidying of my room and a sad attempt to make the bed (a memory bed. Yum. Have you tried these? They're nice. It's like sleeping on a pile of pudding.), I cleaned out the bathtub that contained Lea's actual dirtballs, because I needed a soak to recover from the Evil IKEA Bookcase Attack of 2006.

Thank you, Mr. Yuengling for your lager. Thank you Ms. Bath and Body Works for your Eucalyptus and Spearmint bath gel.

It's funny how everything seems better after a beer and a bubble bath.

Tell me about someone in your life, via the Comments section, who is a selfish baby incapable of empathy. If you list their full name and address, we can organize a T.P.ing mob.

Sargent Pepper

World War III erupted over a pepper grinder as I was leaving Roommate Jeremy's apartment for almost the last time (I have to return to clean this weekend).

Said pepper grinder is a verrrrrrry nice cooking implement that I received as part of my uniform when I was bartendressing at Max & Erma's. Aside from the friends I made (Hi Kirstin! Hi Bonnie! Hi Everybody Else!), it really is the only good thing that came out of that job.

My year-and-a-half there gave me bunyons and a nervous tic whenever anyone says "chocolate chip cookies." Ya'll who've been to a Max & Erma's know what I'm talking about, and I won't spoil the surprise for the rest of you.

In any case, I brought this deluxe pepper grinder into Roommate Jeremy's household and fully expected to take it with me when I left. Fair is fair, I always say. Actually, I don't say that very often, but because of this incident I might start.

While Roommate Jeremy was sacked out on the couch watching the national dart championships on ESPN 47, as is his custom, I took one last look around the kitchen for any culinary miscellanea that I overlooked.

Eureka! The Max & Erma's pepper grinder. How could I forget that? Into the box it went.

Roommate Jeremy's dulled senses snapped to life. "What the fuck? You're taking the pepper grinder?"

"Yeah, J. It's mine."

"No, it's not," he deftly countered.

"Yes it is, J. It's from Max & Erma's. I have the carrying case that it came with. We'd clip it to our aprons and offer guests fresh–ground pepper for their salads and pasta. How could I make that up?"

"No way. That was here before you moved in."

"No, it wasn't, J. Do you want me to call up my old manager Dave to verify that this, in fact, is a Max & Erma's original pepper grinder, circa 2005? Because I will."

"You're not taking it. I use it all of the time."

"Well, go get a new one," I said.

"I don't want to." The argumentative skills of this boy are astounding.

"Okay, let's compromise. Removing the fact that this is legally my property, and you have absolutely no right to retain it, how about you keep the moist hot-pack that my Mom made out of rice and a tea towel, the really nice vegetable peeler and the brand new box of butter quarters that I just bought in exchange for the pepper grinder?" I thought it was an entirely generous offer.

"No way."

"Alright, I'll throw in the half-case of Charmin in my bathroom cabinet," I proposed.

I could see his mental scales weigh the economic points of this transaction. A $4 pepper grinder vs. approximately $6 worth of Charmin. I knew I had him.

"Fuck. Alright, but you have to empty it and leave the pepper corns with me," he said.

"Why? What the fuck for?" I asked puzzled.

"Because I am a mean son-of-a-bitch."

(Okay, okay. Roommate Jeremy didn't say that. But, it's the truth. He is, in fact, a mean son-of-a-bitch.)

Tell me the dumbest thing you and your roommate have ever fought about in the Comments section. The best story gets six chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.

Gone to the Dogs

I am moving today. Out of the apartment where I lived with Roommate Jeremy, who decided the first day I arrived that WE WOULD NOT SLEEP TOGETHER NEVER, EVER, EVER because he had principals, dammit. He suddenly changed his mind several months later when he came home to find me baking brownies. Apparently the brownies and I were just what he needed after his marathon day of beer bonging and jet skis.

I imagine that very few people can attribute an orgasm directly to Betty Crocker. Actually, come (har har) to think of it, Mrs. Crocker, your Ultimate Turtle Bars do run a pretty close second to having a handsome man on top of you, but the sex was downright mind blowing, and it gave me permission to walk around the apartment naked henceforth.

However, I am not leaving because things became awkward between Roommate Jeremy and me due to the sex, although they did for a minute. I thought he had feelings for me and that it was more than just sex. He assured me that, yes 123Valerie, it was more than sex: "It was friends fucking." Oh. My mistake.

But, that's all fine and good now. The magic of time has erased my feelings for Roommate Jeremy, and we have returned to a normal routine of sharing some Hamburger Helper and critiquing the Meeting of the Minds that is Flavor of Love. (Flav kept a girl who shit on the floor! OMG. That is keeping it way realer than the realest of the reals.)

With domestic bliss restored at Roommate Jeremy's pad, I am moving because new Roommate Jenny has a dog.

I love dogs. And while Roommate Jeremy is a dog in his own, special way ("Huh huh. I just fucked a girl in the back seat of her car, and then I stole the change out of her ashtray"), he is not lovable, or even likable most of the time. In no way, shape or form, could anyone call him loyal, though he does like treats, and I have seen him pee on the couch.

As an adult, I made the decision to base my living situation on a pet, because pets make me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Safety, cost and general practicality have no place here in adulthood when deciding where to live. But, puppies and kittens do.

To be fair, new Roommate Jenny is wicked cool and runs 1,000 kilometer marathons, refinishes furniture and is a way smart lawyer who works in downtown Washington D.C. I hope to receive some of her savvy and sophistication by osmosis. Or at least good legal representation when the very likely chance of my getting arrested for public drunkenness comes to fruition.

But for now, as I prepare to head over to new Roommate Jenny's house for my first official night as a person who gets to live with a dog (yay!), all I can think about is something that my Aunt Jackie always says: A worm is the only animal that can't fall down.

It really has no bearing here. I just always think about it because I don't know what it means.

Tell me about your favorite pet in the Comments section. Specifically, did you kiss them on the mouth? Because that's hot.