123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Worst Part? I Won't Be Able to Pick Up Hitch Hikers for Awhile

"This sucks dog water."

My Mom always used to say that—one of her many verbal gems that I never quite knew what it meant.

Obviously, dog water isn't a pleasant thing. I wouldn't want to drink it, so I think this turn of phrase adequately describes my attempt to go camping and the hullabaloo that ensued.

With the potato salad made, glow-in-the-dark collar purchased for Wonder Dog Bean and Milwaukee's Best chilling in the fridge, I got up this morning prepared to do a few hours of work and hit the road to the camporee around 1 p.m. I was feeling groovy, enjoying some peppermint tea and, out of curiosity, I checked the weather reports for our campsite.

Well, shit. Rain. Cold. More rain. A little more cold. A 127% chance of grumpiness for 123Valerie.

I'm a very amateur camper—I don't even have a sleeping bag. I haul all of my quilts out to the site and spend weeks trying to wash the campfire smell from them. Cold I can tolerate. Whiskey can fix that—no big hoo-ha. Rain? Nuh uh. We ain't having that up in here. Besides, JennyJenny8675309 would never forgive me if Wonder Dog Bean came down with pneumonia or rickets or any other illness brought about by exposing oneself to the harsh elements all in the name of "fun."

It was early, and I left messages with Scotty and Busta Keeton that basically said, "I'm a pansy ass, but if you call and tell me that it's not so bad, I can rally and get myself there." I also left word with Scotty's friend Byrd who was going to ride down with me to alert her to the possibility that I may have to cancel.

Several hours later, I hadn't heard from Scotty, Busta or Byrd, thus vindicating my stance that camping conditions were entirely horrendous and sleeping on dry mattresses was a much better option.

Fast forward through a lot of text messages, a lot of e-mails from Byrd who had dropped her cell phone in the washing machine and thus DID NOT KNOW I was planning to cancel and some second-hand guilt tripping via Megan Jane, and I decided, "Alright. I committed to camping. I have 15 pounds of potato salad. I'll be hanging with my friends. It will be fine. Wonder Dog Bean, get your hat—let's go."

"Wait just a gosh darn minute here," said Wonder Dog Bean. "Nobody cleared this camping thing with me, and no one especially cleared the car ride necessary to go camping with me."

"Oh, yeah. No, it's cool Bean. Your Mom said you could go. She even got you that neat glow-in-the-dark collar. Remember that? You liked it when we tried it on. Oh! And you know what else we've got for you? Pupperonies. They're in the car. C'mon."

"Pupperonies, you say? Well, I guess I could give this whole 'riding in the car thing' a shot."

So, she followed me out to the parking lot and stopped about 10 feet shy of my car. "On second thought," Bean said, "This isn't really my cup of tea. I'm just gonna stay here, but you go ahead. I'll be cool. There's a movie on Lifetime I wanted to check out anyway. I just love Roma Downey."

"No, Beanie. That's not how it works. You have to come with me. It'll be fun, I promise. Megan Jane has 30 pounds of sausage," I coaxed.

"Nope. No thanks. I'm just gonna dig my claws in the asphalt here to show you how much I really don't want to get in the car. Maybe I'll whine a little bit, too. Hey! You know what else might work? If I start to shake and foam at the mouth some. Is this helping you get the picture, 123Valerie, that I don't want to get in the car?" she asked.

"No. I'm not really picking up what you're putting down, Bean. Maybe if I just gently try to hoist you up into the passenger seat whilst giving you a lot of Pupperonies that will help you change your mind that you really do want to get in the car."

So, I pushed and pulled for a few minutes and managed to get her in the seat. She, in turn, took three seconds to jump out the window. She's a wily one, that Bean Dog.

I rolled up the window and tried the process all over again. I got her in, but by this time she was panting and sweating and omitting a very unpleasant odor. "No matter," I said to myself. "She'll settle down once we're on the road."

Um, no.

"Listen, 123Valerie. This just really isn't my scene. Why don't we end this little charade before some one or some paneling gets hurt?" she propositioned.

"Nope. This is going to be fun. You'll see. Have another Pupperonie," I said.

"Um, yeah. Here's what I think of your Pupperonies and this whole goddamn car ride," and with that, Wonder Dog Bean shat on herself and on my passenger seat. Dark and runny. And positively rancid.

"Hmm. I see. So, what you're telling me is that you DON'T want to go?" I asked.

"Exactly. Now you're speaking my language," she said.

After I ushered her back into the house, the crazy antics immediately shut off. No explosive pooping. No mouth foaming. No excessive panting. No weird smelling. Just sweet Wonder Dog Bean asking me if I could turn on the T.V. because she didn't want to miss any of Roma's scenes.

I cleaned up the car and started to carry crap back in the house, namely 15 pounds of potato salad, 27 honey buns for breakfast and 47 quilts that still smelled faintly of burning wood from the last trip.

I was bummed, man. I'd gotten over the "I don't want to sleep in the rain on the cold, hard ground" hump and made it to the "this is going to be excellent" plateau. So, there I sat all night, wondering what my pals were doing. Wondering what kind of songs Scotty was singing. Wondering how many pounds of sausage Harwell had put away. How many righteous stories Kristen was telling. How many times Megan Jane organized a camp site clean up. How many memories and new friends I was missing out on.

Wonder Dog Bean seemed to sense my upset. She's been particularly sweet to me tonight, hanging close by my side. Oh. Never mind. There's a Pupperonie in my pocket.

In the Comments section, you hardcore campers can tell me one of the fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime memories I missed out on by not going to the camporee OR those of you who were not sleeping in the mud and muck can tell me about a time when you missed out on something really, really fun. Extra bonus points if your reason for missing the action involves dog shit. The winner gets some of my potato salad. (I know, I know—that was yesterday's prize, but Jesus H, I've got 15 pounds of the stuff.)

Friday, September 29, 2006

This Spud's For You. So Are the Random Musings.

I have a deadline for an article about how to choose the right personal lubricant looming over me like fart cloud, as well as the notion that I have to get up supa early and write financially sort of things, but more importantly, I had to make 15 pounds of potato salad.

For the camp trip tomorrow, you see. Busta Keeton divvied up all of the necessary supplies for the communal dinner, and I fortuitously got put on potato salad duty. My Mom made a kick-ass potato salad, and while I've deviated greatly from her recipe, I think it's safe to say that the kick-assness is still in the genes.

My secret? Beer. And Bacon. A mind-blowing combo. It's delish. Replace a little of the mayo with beer and a little of the celery with cooked bacon and voila! A creamy heartattack awaits! I've also made a veggie version for the likes of Kristen and Scotty, who are coming to enjoy nature, goddammit. It's probably not as good, but don't tell them that.

What other fun things can I tell you? Oh. At work today they threw us a "Western Barbeque." Isn't that nice? There were all sorts of smoked meat products and baked beans and pens that were shaped like snakes. It was fun--almost as fun as the Cinco De Mayo celebration in which I received a pen shaped like a maraca.

I got a new CD from my BMG Music deal. (I love you BMG! We are totally BFF!) Matt Kearny's Nothing Left to Lose. I really dig it. I also ordered The Fugees The Score. I hadn't heard that CD since 10th grade. It brought me back.

Back to a time when I was 40 pounds lighter, all bedecked in braces and working as a cashier at the Bi-Lo. I've always liked grocery stores. I had to go shopping today for the potato salad fixin's.

I got some green scallions, and I have a question about them that maybe one of ya'll can help me with: There's often a clear, gelatinous substance in the green tubey part of the onion. What the hell is that? I'm sure it's some sort of plant food stuff, but, seriously, it's gross. It reminds me of personal lubricant.

Ah. See how it all comes full circle around here?

In the comments section, can some one please tell me what in the hell that clumpy clear gel stuff is in my green onions? The winner gets some of my potato salad (veggie or baconlicious variety) and a copy of The Fugees The Score because it really is a rightous CD.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Well, Thank You Very Much. That's Very Kind of You To Say.

"Your hair is very right," said a driver for the Diamond Cab Company as we sat next to each other at a red light this morning. Then he flashed me a thumbs-up.

It's not right for me to take all of the credit. You can't tell, but I'm flashing Redken Allsoft Conditioner and Loreal Mega-Reds a thumbs-up right now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Who In the Hell Is She Talking About?

    So, it's come to my attention that I don't know some of you in the real world, which means that when I tell stories about my lovely, talented friends who live outside of the Interweb, you have no idea who these people are. I hope this helps.

    Adelka Ann: One of the very best things to ever come out of Youngstown, Ohio. I met Adelka Ann in my high school English class junior year. Among other things, she is talented dancer, choreographer, actor, puppeteer and Justin P.'s girlfriend. Her Mom makes the best pickles the world has ever known.

    Allison: A D.C. Sister through and through, Allison is the genius behind our online women's circle. She and Megan Jane went to college together, and, because Megan Jane has such impeccible taste, I knew Allison was in my life forever after we "met" on a camping trip. Allison, and her beau T.J., are busy building a jewelry empire. They will create the next Tiffany's, just with much more healing ability.

    April: My friendship with April is one of the few surviving reminders of my time as a Sky Girl years ago. She literally was my friend Jesse's Girl, and I loved her immediately for her outgoing nature, ability to make a wicked batch of Green Demon and her willingness to wear naughty schoolgirl outfits. She's in Chicago now instructing all of the boys about cars. Yeah, she's that cool.

    Bon Bon: Also known as Bonita, Bonqueatha and Miss B, I met Bon Bon during a bartendress gig at Max & Erma's in Canton, Ohio. I could not remember her name for the first 3 months we worked together and thus did not talk to her. That is why she now has so many names, in case I forget one again. Bon Bon's talent as a painter is only superceded by her sweet heart.

    Brinki Dink: A fellow D.C. Sister, I just met the lovely Miss Dink in person. She is quite possibly the most lovely human being ever created. No. Definitely the most lovely human being ever created.

    Bridgy: Bridgy and I were roommates in Granite Falls, North Carolina, population 6.5. We met working at a Rock-Ola Cafe, serving up burgers, fries and 'tude. Bridgy was a wonderful confidant and helped maintain my solid streak of great roommates, and she didn't mind when I ate her chicken nuggets.

    Busta Keeton: Busta is Scotty's Peace Corp buddy whom I have gladly claimed as my own. Busta is a sharp dresser who wears stripey shirts and European-ish shoes. That is probably why he has a cool ass girlfriend like Kimberlicious.

    Byrd: Byrd IS the word. I just love her. She's a friend of Scotty's from work. A fiesty one who bartendresses at Kitty O'Shea's on top of her very professional day gig, Byrd's got a laugh that could save the world, a golden heart and head full of red hair.

    Candy Sandwich: Kristin is from the same Ohio town as Megan Jane and I. She's also Scotty's older sister, which means I always thought she was way cool. I still do, and I'm glad the universe insisted we become friends.

    Corina, Corina: Like Corona, but with an I. Corina and I met while trying to dodge staplers and sautee pans at Michael's Restaurant. We both survived and eventually became roommates at the little blue house on Belle Street that smelled like oil. I remember it as a sweet little place; she probably just remembers the thin walls. Sorry about that, C.

    567Devin: Devo, as we like to call him, is another friend I met through Jams after moving to D.C. One night, I got drunk and Devo and I fooled around. I confessed my crush, and he did not return the sentiment. It's still slightly awkward, but I'm glad he hung in there as a friend.

    Double A: He stays busy driving airplanes and cavorting all over this planet. He's a darling friend and former roommate I met during my days as a Sky Girl. Coffe, tea, Double A and me: we're all hot.

    Har Har Harwell: The night I met HH Harwell through his friend Jams, he was wearing a turtleneck sweater. Despite his handsome looks and effervescent charm, I was not the least bit attracted to him. This was because he was meant to be Megan Jane's boyfriend, and it would have been weird.

    Hot Sauce Flo Dad: Mr. Flo Dad and Glynnis are K-I-S-S-I-N-G, but lots of folks would like to kiss Flo Dad because he's so goddamn cool. By day, he works for a state park system hunting out sweet camping sites for us. At night, he makes salsa that will make you weep with happiness.

    Glynnis: A lovely sprite of a D.C. Sister, I have fortunately met Glynntastics's acquaintance through Megan Jane's guidance. Glynnis and Megan Jane went to college together, and like so many of Megan's favorite people, I have ushered Glynnie into my heart. She sings, she dances, she teaches. She Is.

    Jams: Some people might call him James. I met him before I moved down to D.C. via Craig's List. Jams wanted to start a country band, and I thought it sounded like fun, too. We have yet to start the country band, but Jams is still a very welcome addition to my circle of friends.

    Janee: There is an accent above the final "e" of Janee's name. I was best friends and roommates with Janee's sister, Corina. My heart broke twice on account of the lovely sisters--once when Corina left, and again when I failed to let myself love Janee. The wonderous Janee and I are friends now, for which I'm eternally grateful, as she raises chickens, writes and brews beer, but I'm sorry to say there's unfinished business on many accounts.

    Justin P.: Justin P has a long, glorius ponytail, and even though I don't take too kindly to guys who have nicer hair than I do, I would forgive Justin P. almost anything because 1) he is a most talented sculptor and artist 2) Adelka Ann is in love with him 3) he is very, very analytical. Because he is a Virgo.

    Kimberlicious: I knew the moment I met Kimberlicious at a Georgetown bar, during the middle of the World Cup 2006, that she was someone I would be glad to have around. She suggested shots and then proceeded to talk about literature and science and my wet shorts from kayaking. The perfect mix of smarts and sass, Kimberlicious is also a good mix for Busta Keeton's heart, I dare say.

    Kirstin: It's K-I-R-S-T-I-N. Not Kristen. Not Kristina. Kirstin. I also met her at Max and Erma's, and her wonderful laugh and huge boobs won me over right away. I was in her wedding, and she looked like an absolute princess. She is a devoted mother, friend, student, manager of projects, but I mostly just keep her around for her boobs.

    Kristina Hot Pants: I met Kristina Hot Pants in my junior year of college at Kent State University. We were surviving a hellacious PR class called, "The Bitchiest Professora Who Wears Too Much Tweed 101." We didn't get to talk all that much at first, and it wasn't until we were paired for our senior "kick your ass until next Tuesday" group campaigns class that we discovered we both loved fried mac and cheese, drinking for effect and Silver Strike bowling. I'm going to move back to Cleveland and live with Kristina Hot Pants and her daughter. She just doesn't know it yet.

    JennyJenny8675309: JennyJenny8675309 is my wicked cool roommate who saved me from life with Roommate Jeremy. She is a lawyer and does important things. She also eats a lot of icecream.

    Lorelai: Also known as #1Laura and I became friends because we work together, and she told me upon our meeting that people from Ohio were the nicest ones. I was immensely excited that she wanted to be my friend because she is capable, intelligent and always supportive of my tendency to be a little slutty.

    The Lovely Ms. Taylor: Ms. Taylor is Sean P.K.'s sweetie and roommate. They were roommates first, but the ever astute Sean P.K. recognized how wonderful she is and said, "Lady, I want to share a bathroom AND my bed with you." She is whip smart and funny and, well, lovely.

    Matty: Known to the world as Animal Mind, to me he's just Matty. Or Mattress. Or Matterhorn. Or Matter of Fact. Or Matriculation. Or Welcome Matt. Megan Jane calls him Matter of Pearl. Chime in if you've got one. We are a tale of MIRLing gone right. Except for a few brief awkward periods and one tragic day in a Hagerstown, Maryland, emergency room.

    Megan Jane: I've known Megan Jane since I was 9. She knows more about me than anyone and yet still loves me. She brightens my life and has always liked frogs. Always. Megan Jane makes me feel completely at home with myself, largely because she is such a stunning example of inward and outward beauty. Because I don't hang out with ugly people, every time I'm around Megan Jane, I'm reminded that I must be alright myself, or she wouldn't be my friend. Actually, yes she would because she's a better person than I am.

    Scotty: AKA Brokekid.net, Scotty is teh reason I decided to spill my guts to the Interweb. I've known him for a good many years--we were neighbors in Small Town, Ohio. He lived in a blue house, I in a yellow. He wasn't very cool in 1988, but then neither was I. He has grown into an awesome man by joining the Peace Corp and saving the world. I am simply glad that I have grown to like sushi.

    Sean P.K.: We share the same birthday, March 27. Both super-warm, slightly wacky, whiskey-loving Aries. I met Sean P.K. some years back because he went to college with Megan Jane. Neither of us made much of an impression on each other at the time, and it took several years and the District of Columbia to join us as friends. He and the lovely Miss Taylor are roommates and lovahs.

    Theresa: T was my saving grace when I started at the Sacred Heart School in 8th grade. She has a beautiful, genuine nature that I find hard to believe still exists these days. She is one of the most intelligent, creative souls I know, and what I appreciate about her most is that she's happy to share her talents. She just got married to a wonderful man named Skye Perry, and they blow amazing glass in Colorado.

    T.J.: T.J. came to us via his girlfriend, Allison. He's 50% of their thriving jewelry business, Crystal Fusion, and 100% awesome. A gentle force, T.J.'s got a knack for telling stories and making mountain pies.

    Wonder Dog Bean: Beanie is JennyJenny8675309's wonderful dog. She's a rotweiller/lab mix who came from a shelter in Georgia. She is very sweet and farts a lot.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Happy Campers

I forgot to put on deodorant today.

No one noticed. That makes me happy, and it's a good precursor to this weekend's upcoming camp trip to the Shenandoah Valley. A warm-up for minimalism.

Except that, when I go camping, I tend to bring a lot of shit to ensure I have all of the comforts of home, so it feels just like home, but with more trees and the freedom to poop anywhere I want. Except in the coolers. I learned that the hard way.

Busta Keeton set this excursion up, and I'm told we're expecting about 15 people. That's fun because a higher number of campers increases the chance that someone will get drunk and naked. Actually, my attendance ups those odds considerably. I don't much care for clothes.

Some of my beloved D.C. Sisters and I had a delightful reunion camp trip in August. Because my sista Glynnis was kind enough to send me digital photos of our fun times that she and her Hot Sauce Flo Dad took, and also because my brain hurts today from trying to figure out 72 synonyms for the word "profit" (return, money, income, earnings, revenue, proceeds, takings, yield, gains, rewards, thank you very much), ya'll get a nice little picture essay.

Oh, shoot.

No you don't. I left the CD with the digital images at work, where I was enjoying looking at them whilst also listening to the phat mixed CD Glyn-Ass sent titled Shake That Ass Girl, which is scientifically proven to make me shake my ass.

So, further evidence of my tiredness, I will leave up this half-ass post, but as soon as I go in tomorrow, I'll throw up some of the photos for your visual pleasure.

Until then, enjoy this picture of me giving my bra away to a group of guys in the midst of a bachelor party scavenger hunt. Actually, I didn't give it away. Megan Jane talked them into giving me $20 for the undergarment which promised "Amazing Lift." The bra did no such thing, but it is also scientifically proven that Megan Jane is amazing.

Oops. No you can't. That picture is on my work drive and I don't feel like going through the remote access rigamorole. How about this one, also involving my boobs? It has a chubbiness factor of 19.5, but I love you so much that I'm willing to put up unflattering photos of myself. Don't say I never do anything for you.

Hello? Anybody in there?

In the comments section, tell me your favorite camping recipe. The winner gets a copy of Glynnie G-Dog's monster CD Shake That Ass Girl.

Special Shout Out to Kristina Hot Pants Silver Strike Bowling Goddess who wasted nearly her entire day at work reading the 123Valerie Strikes Again archives. I strongly advocate wasted time, so a big thumbs up from me, my lurvely.

Just remember to check out the ads at the top—this goes for all of you. I like that they change to offer things I talk about in my posts. Ya'll might find it interesting that the largest number of my ads promote lesbian dating networks, followed closely by Air Supply ring tones. I know I find it interesting.

Huzzah! Here they are: a few memories from out camp trip! There were a shit ton of photos, but quite frankly, kids, I'm right tired of Blogger's uploading antics. I promise I will work the others in following posts--albeit in entirely inappropriate contexts. Enjoy!

Hi Hot Sauce Flo Dad!

Beans, beans the musical fruit. Thanks to Megan Jane, we
had all of the usual camping fare like lemon garlic
green beans

Hi T.J.'s muscular physique.Hi Glynnie! Hi 123Valerie!
First bath I'd had in weeks.

Megan Jane fell victim to a serious spoon/nose accident,
but she seemed to take it all in stride.

Glynnis wasn't the only one to do inappropriate things with
an ear of corn. She was just the only one we got on camera.

Hi Harwell! Hi Megan Jane! Hi 123Valerie who is wearing
stocking feet out in the woods.

After a little herbal inspiration, I thought it would be a good
idea for everyone to find rocks in shapes that would
spell out their names. I suckered poor Rachel in to gathering
with me. Left to right: (top) Val, Jason, P. (for Phil) , Flo,
Megan, T.J. (bottom) Glynnis, Josh, Rachel, Alliy

"Uh, see what had happened was . . ." Joshua as a drunken

Now for the dancing portion of our competition. Glynnie
and Alliy breaking it down one time.

Hot Sauce Flo Dad: Look at the weiner resting on my
thigh, 123Valerie.

123Valerie: No.

Phillip in the back with the guitar: I'm going to sing you songs
with the most heartbreakingly beautiful voice in the world.

Hot Sauce Flo Dad and 123Valerie: Yes, please.

Hi Rachel! Hi Josh! You know what would really enhace
your nature experience? More cigarettes and beer! And a
big knife strapped to your leg.

I take that back. We did get another shot of inappropriate
treatment of a corn cob. Thanks T.J.! And I like Alliy here
because, she too, likes long socks in the wild.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tagalong with Me as We Do-Si-Do in Samoa

Hurrah! Hurrah! It's Girl Scout cookie season!

Order forms have been springing up at work, welcome as toilet paper on a camping trip. Normally, it is with reluctance that I purchase things from my co-workers' kids. I'm no Scrooge, but do I really need wrapping paper with dreidels on it or a Garfield mug filled with individually-wrapped strawberry candies or a Thomas Kinkade mouse pad with wrist guard for the selling price of $7,000?

However, I have already happily committed to 67 boxes of various cookie goodness, and I haven't even made it over to the accounting department to see who's pimping baked crack on behalf of their little darlings over there.

Any former Scouts out there? I only made it as far as Brownies, but I still remember the oath:

On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout law.

It's hard to help people at all times, though, when you're worried about your way-too-short brown jumper accidentally showing your underpants or your little brown beanie falling off your head. And let's not forget the pressure of merit requirements for coveted patches in pesticides and plumbing.

Still, I loved Brownies. We sang songs with solid meanings: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold. Because, at the end of the day, friendships really are about what they can offer you materially.

And we ate fun snacks like ants on a log. There are two "ants on a log" schools of thought: one maintains that peanut butter be spread in a celery stick's groove, then dotted with little raisin "ants." I, however, belong to the cream cheese camp. If you and your tribe want to duke this out, I challenge you to a Red Rover dual, which is how we used to settle things back in the day. Bring it, suckas, 'cause my peeps can send me on over all muthafucking day.

But, I'm getting away from the spirit of scouting, which is really about making friends and communing with nature and learning to appreciate others who are different. That's a good thing, I think. Add in a little commercialism a la annual cookie sales, and the kids get the total American education.

It also reminds me that my Dad, who was raising three little girls on his own, tried so hard to stitch my Brownie patches on my little sash himself. He'd always set out with the needle and thread, but by the end of it, my patches would be glued on with super-strength gray epoxy he used to seal pipes. He may not have gotten the sewing badge, but he deserved the Awesome Dad badge many times over.

Find out where you can buy Girl Scout cookies near you.

In the Comments section, tell me yours or someone else's favorite scouting memory. The winner gets a copy of Shelley Long's Troop Beverly Hills.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

We Have Issues

JennyJenny8675309's Dad signed her up to receive a bunch of girly fashion magazines, which is an incredibly sweet gesture, but not entirely congruous with her interests. So far, JennyJenny8675309 has yet to read any of the issues, but has found that by tearing the pages out, she has a very useful backdrop for spray painting door knobs.

Scotty told me that you can get tons of $1 subscriptions online, so the gift may have had more to do with finding a sweet subscription deal on eBay than a sudden revelation that, "My daughter absolutely must know that burnt umber is Fall's hottest color." My guess is that if JennyJenny8675309's Dad had found a cheap subscription to Ass Bandits or Highlights for Children, those publications would now be littering our dining room table instead of glossy spreads featuring Lindsay Lohan and "100 Ways to Drive Him Wild."

It's always enlightening, though, to learn what the average male thinks the average female wants. Any of JennyJenny8675309's girlfriends could tell you that she would much prefer a subscription to Family Handyman or Tiling Today, but I bet that's not what her Dad thinks.

As I was working this morning, the neighbors were setting up for their 8-year-old daughter's birthday party.

"Abby, come here and help me put up the decorations," Neighbor Dad said.

"I don't want to," Abby muttered, jaws clenched, lower lip thrust out in the style of every unhappy 8-year-old girl that's ever lived. "I hate stupid Barbie. Why did you get Barbie? I hate her. I told you I wanted Spiderman."

It just goes to show you that, even from a very early age, most men do not understand women and thus find it very convenient and much less work to rely on stereotypes. Of course, the same can be said for women. I assume all men can be swayed with a beer and a blow job, so there you are. I challenge any of you to refute that, though.

It just seems like a lot of people I care about are unhappy right now, and a fair amount of the unhappiness stems from the fact that they're trying to live up to other people's perceptions and expectations of them—myself included.

I know I shouldn't love this person, but I do.
I know I should love this person, but I don't.
I know I should be fulfilled with my career, but I'm not.
I know I shouldn't be unhappy, but I am.
I know I shouldn't stick my finger that far up my nose because I could poke my brain, but I just can't help it.

On and on it goes. We beat ourselves up, down and sideways because we're not living up to illogical standards set for us by other people. Well, that's silly. You wouldn't send someone else to test drive a new car for you, so why do we let others drive our life's decisions?

I suppose because it's easier, just like it's easier to assume that all little girls like Barbie and all grown up women care about the latest pubic hairstyles. God forbid we should have to deviate from our prescribed notions of each other. "Oh, no! You like Renessaince Festivals? That's weird."

I'm guilty of this very thing, actually. Just this morning, I said that about some of my friends who are venturing to the "Ren Fest" as it's called in their circle. That wasn't very nice. It might have been true, but it wasn't very nice.

There are a ton of things about me that many people consider weird—my affection for astrology comes to mind, in fact. It's a practice that brings me a lot of understanding and acceptance, and I don't know how others can see it as hokey. But—you may find this a little surprising, my pretties—apparently a lot of people think that believing in astrology is a sure sign of mental deficiency. Who knew?

Well, I'm making a concerted effort to snap out of it. Because the Sun, just today, moved into the House of Libra, and Libra is one of the most objective, understanding, tolerant signs. It's a good time to turn over a new leaf, to become more accepting and willing to entertain new ideas.

What's that you say, my pretties? Do I want to go the Ren Fest with you later and get a turkey drumstick and a mug o' mead? Hell, no! Ren Fests are for nerds. I'm going to stay at home to map out my natal astrological chart, instead. Maybe I'll go see if Abby wants to play Barbies after her party is over.

In the Comments section, tell me that you're going to start living life based on your expectations, not someone else's. I think we'll all win if we do this, but I'll gladly pass on my back issues of Ass Bandits to anyone who feels devoid of a tangible prize.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Me Against the Galaxy (Hut's Karaoke Night)

Alright already. Enough of the sad sack talk. Last night, my Dad told me was gearing up for his first 12-hour night shift driving a tow motor at a local factory. My 59-year-old Dad, a professional man who should be settling into retirement, has just started a new job working nights at a factory job.

I'm beyond proud of his commitment and optimism, but also a little puzzled.

"Dad, are you guys that hard up for money?" I asked.

"Oh, no. Just trying to stay out of trouble. I figure if I work nights it leaves my day open for interviewing and stuff."

Hmm. Alright, then, Dad. Enjoy your new steel-toed boots. His determination has prompted me to "Kwit Yer Bitchin, 123Valerie" about love and life and get out there and enjoy it.

And how do we best enjoy life? With beers. At the Galaxy Hut. In the company of Megan Jane, Sean P.K, his lovely girl Taylor, JennyJenny8675309 and Shea. (Shea once spent an entire evening wearing a handlebar mustache made of mascara while we were out in public. Kirstin, do you have a digital photo of that? If not, this realistic rendering will have to suffice.)

It was karaoke night, and also the eve of Shea's birthday, so after Megan Jane beat me down, I reluctantly took the stage. Or the little space at the front of the bar behind the booths. Same difference.

I love listening to karaoke. I love watching karaokers. But I hate, Hate, HATE doing karaoke. I never know what to do with my hands. And should I dance? Is dancing encouraged? And there's always the awkward time before the singing starts. What should one do during the 16 bar instrumental? I like to leave these dilemmas to the professionals. And there are professionals, kids, specifically the people who come to karaoke with their own CDs. One word: Dedication.

But, it was almost Shea's birthday, so what the hell, right? I'm supposed to be "living" again. Now, I know that one should pick a karaoke song based on popularity and the likelihood that the crowd will sing along. I KNOW that. But I don't care. Because I think of karaoke as a performance, and because I have enough issues with getting up in front of people and singing, I always choose something that a) I know the words to really well b) doesn't have a lot of those 16 bar instrumentals and c) is somewhere in my vocal range.

Last night's victim was "I'll Have To Say I Love You In a Song" by Jim Croce. I was taking a big chance, I knew that. Slow, 70s, Jim Croce—all things that were against my success. But, fuck it.

I ambled up to the linoleum, took the mic and tried my best Rat Pack banter with the crowd. They were all, "Eh, just shut up and sing." Okay, okay. The music started and it was the wrong effing song. Well, crap.

"Um, 'scuse me. That's not what I wrote down. I can't sing this particular 70s favorite. I'm a tool. Thanks."

Technical difficulties behind us, I started out only to realize that the accompaniment was in a much lower key than the actual song. This is also why I hate karaoke—you never know what you'll get. So, I stumbled through as best I could and tried not to sound like Bea Arthur. Fortunately, I made it to the end, but finishing was probably the best part. The crowd was lukewarm, at best, about my musical selection.

There is something so wholly defeating about giving a sucky karaoke performance. Trudging back to the table, Megan Jane and Shea gave me knowing glances. "I told you to go with Lisa Loeb's 'Stay'," said Megan Jane. I should have listened.

I was feeling pretty down about my off-kilter karaoke when a trip to the bathroom offered some relief. Ha! I'm so clever. Don't ya'll just love me? Anyway . . .

Whilst I was waiting in line, a very nice gentleman came up and said, "I love Jim Croce. You really inspired me to choose "Operator" for my song. I don't think we hear enough Jim Croce these days."

Well, there you are. Changing lives one bad karaoke performance at a time. It just feels good to give back. So, many hours later and many hours later than I planned to be leaving, I finally swallowed the last sip and headed for the Metro.

Then I turned around to give Megan a copy of Jaury's bidness card in case she wanted to show someone her feet. Then I headed for the Metro.

"Not so fast," said Fate. "The last train left two minutes ago." Oh, maaaaaaaaaan.

Megan Jane wasn't answering her phone, so I called Shea and received an immediate invite to sprawl on his very comfy couch. However, one small glitch—Shea and 567Devin are roommates. So, there was much potential awkwardness involved with a good night sleep at Shea's. Nope, better to try Megan Jane again and suffer the consequences of her exceedingly stylish, but terribly uncomfortable IKEA couch.

"Hi MJ. The Metro left without me. Can you believe those bitches didn't wait? Anyways, I know you have to get up super early and attend to a horrific bunch of 8th-graders, but can I bunk at your place?"

"Of course, 123V, and there's some leftover meatloaf. Help yourself." Isn't it weird how if you just changed one letter in meatloaf you get funny words like "meatload" and "meatloan" and "meatleaf"?

Oh, Megan Jane, your hospitality and your loaf of meat saved me. That's what friendship is about right there.

I'll spare you the uneventful ride home on the Metro this a.m., except to tell you that I sat next to a man who had several verrrrrrrrrrry long hairs growing out of the mole on his cheek. Do you think people with that particular physical attribute don't realize this or just don't care?

In any case, I am safely back home with Wonder Dog Bean, leftover Chinese food and my toothbrush. Life is good. So, Kwit Yer Bitchin, kids.

In the Comments section, tell me your favorite song to karaoke. The winner gets a slab of Megan Jane's amazing meatloaf.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Swan Song (Or the One in Which I Kind Of Lose It a Little Bit)

"The sausage grinder kept on turning robotically, unaware that George had lost his hand."

This is one of the 10 "beginning sentences" I jotted down during an exercise at my creative writing group's first meeting tonight. Because it was our inaugural gathering, the coordinator Reb fittingly had us focus on story beginnings. My other sentences made references to snow crunching under boot steps, the knarled hands of time and cabbage leaves unfurling in the sunshine; frankly they weren't very good.

I think I was having a hard time getting into it because my mind was stuck on endings. John Swan e-mailed today with what I had hoped to be a proposition for a meeting time and place tonight, but instead I got a brave and touching note telling me that he wanted to give things with an ex-girlfriend one more try. Nothing was set in stone, he said, but John Swan felt it best not to have me swim in his already muddy romantic waters—i.e. no action for 123Valerie tonight.

On an entirely objective human-to-human level, I applaud his honesty and his willingness to give love another shot. It's hard to find a person with whom you both want to play video games and have sex. I'm happy that his heart gets a second chance.

But, you know, the emotional, Aries part of me keeps thinking, "It's well and good that John Swan gets a second chance and all—he's a great guy—but why can't I even get a first chance with him or ANYONE? I'm a great gal."

Before Cupid starts dishing out second helpings, I'd like a big ole' heap of love on my plate. I'd even settle for a side of like. It seems only fair.

Normally, a "Better luck next time, champ" self-pep talk is all I'd need to snap out of it, but #1Laura observed that my love life has taken more than its fair share of abuse these last few months. Need I mention Roommate Jeremy or 567Devin? No, I probably don't need to, but that won't stop me. Wankers. Dirty Moles. (Kirstin and Bonita, that was for you.)

Part of me always goes back to the deep, dark cavern of despair that nags, "Well, if you'd only lose 10 pounds or maybe if you hadn't been so forward or perhaps if you didn't ask him for his fingernail clippings to start a shrine, he wouldn't have entertained the idea of an ex-girlfriend."

The rational part of me can put it in perspective and say, "123Valerie, you spent a total of 13 hours with John Swan. His decision to try and rekindle a past romance has nothing to do with you. Your body is lovely, your honest sexuality is welcomed and anybody would love to have a shrine built in their honor. (Just be sure to ask permission before getting the vial of blood first, though.)"

And the simple fact is that I am happy for John Swan because it is easy to be happy for good, honest, attractive people who have mad bedroom skillz. But, for once in my flipping life, I'd like to enter into a "normal" relationship with someone who likes me back without the complication of a recent unresolved relationship, a distant girlfriend "who just doesn't understand me like you do, 123Valerie," a jealous ex-wife, money problems, health problems, sexual dysfunction problems, a bedroom in their parent's basement, severe commitment phobia, a burning desire to get married TOMORROW because "I love you more than life itself 123Valerie," mixed signals, wrong signals, burned-out turn signals, a broken heart, shattered dreams or bad breath. Just once. That's all I need.

Why is it so hard to find someone else like me—a good, attractive person who just wants another good, attractive person to spend some of their time with? To enhance their life, not take it over. To eat pizza in front of the TV with, meet for drinks after work and have crazy, wild sex in the hallway with.

My pretties, I fear I'm reaching the end of my rope here. I'm not asking for much. I don't need a ring, a promise or to meet the parents. I just want someone to enjoy and care for and think about. No more salty bastards, or spineless, scaredy cat pushover nerds or really wonderful guys with ex-girlfriends. Perhaps I am asking for the impossible.

Another of my beginning sentences: "She kissed him under the moonlight and thought of days to come." Well, hell. It's not as good as the sausage grinder sentence, but I'd certainly prefer this kind of a start.

In the Comments section, can you tell me about a horrific relationship you've had so that I might want one a little less? The winner gets their choice of eating pizza in front of the TV, meeting for drinks or having crazy, wild sex with me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Refer a Friend and Get an Additional 12 Self-Indulgent Posts for Free

I think the Mafia is behind BMG Music.

I got suckered into the whole "45 CDs for 1 cent" program several years ago, and believe it or not kids, it's actually a fairly good deal. I may have sold my soul to the devil for it, but I typically pay about $4 for a CD.

Granted, I like to beef up my collection with the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, ELO and Lionel Richie, so I'm sitting pretty. You hipsters who are digging the Artic Monkies and Panic at the Disco and OK Go might not enjoy so much. In fact, you hipsters have no need for antiquated CDs because you've got your iPods and beanpods and spacepods and whatnot. But, you know what I always say: John Denver's music is proof that Jesus loves us.

Anyhoo, I logged on to redeem a few of my 67 free CDs from BMG. That's what a 14-year membership will get you--and two weekends a year at the BMG time share in Tampa.

I realized that I hadn't changed the "preferred" shipping address for my BMG Music account, so I zipped over to the records page and guess what, my pretties? They already knew.

How? I know I didn't tell them. I registered a change of address with the post office, of course, but if the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles can't find me, then how in the hell did BMG? (Ha ha, suckas! You'll never catch me. I'll keep renewing my $37 Ohio license plates until I die. No way you're getting $442 to register my crappy car in the state!)

I was a bit freaked out. Until I got an e-coupon from BMG that read, "Please accept 12 Free CDs to congratulate you on your new home." Then I didn't care so much any more.

That's nice, isn't it? Still, I'm thinking I might cancel my membership after I blow through this latest round of free CDs.

(Eerie music)

Oh my God, you guys. I just got another e-coupon.

"Dear 123Valerie, thank you for mentioning us on your blog. To show you that you are a valued member of BMG Music and to encourage you to remain enrolled in our program, please accept 12 Free CDs as a token of our appreciation. Seriously. If you don't stay, we'll have to break your face. How's Wonder Dog Bean doing these days? It'd be a shame if something happened to her."

In the Comments section, please tell me how wonderful BMG Music is and how totally unnecessary it is to break my legs, because I love you BMG. Yes, I do. You're so pretty. The winner gets--what else?--12 Free CDs.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Down on the Corner, Out in the Street (Then a House Party in Bethesda and Finally Back Home Sometime Around 9 This Morning)

It's amazing how beer can navigate an entire day.

It all started when I met Will for lunch yesterday at Hops Brewery in Alexandria. Now, it's true that no beer was actually consumed at the beer-themed brewery/restaurant during our lunch, but I did walk away with a bag of adult goodies to review, which is nearly as good as beer. Three words: Vibrating Rubber Ducky. Three more words: Female Enhancement Creme. Three final words: Cherry-Vanilla Flavored. Actually, two words if you consider the hyphen, but the point is that I got a big bag of fun.

After lunch, Scotty called and said--well, actually shouted--"I'm drunk! Wooohoooo! Come have a beer at Kelly's Irish Times with us."

Alright, sir, I will. But, Scotty neglected to tell me that they (Hi Kimberlicious, Busta Keeton and new friend Queen Z) were at a street fest/bar crawl that was actually outside of the bar. So, along with Guinness chicly dispensed from a beer wagon, I got to witness the oddest collection of people hoping to get laid that I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot. In fact, I'm usually one of them.

The scene was set to the background music of a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band, which if I'm being completely honest, sounded pretty darn good. But, while the band's playing was a notch above mediocre, the lead singer's banter with the crowd was kind of off. Let's just say his mish-mash outfit of a black leather vest paired with plaid pajama pants was a pretty good metaphor for his stage presence.

"D.C.! D.C.! Where you at? Are you ready to get fucking wasted? Yeah! How 'bout this beautiful sunshine? Wow! Give it up for the lovely azure blue sky accented with cottonball clouds. I think I just saw one in the shape of a bunny. Hell yeah!"

"Where'd my sexy dancers go? Come back here and shake your hot asses. Seriously, though, I know you're more than just nice bodies. I appreciate your sense of movement and your creative use of the space. If you want to meet up after the show, we could do some Jager shots and I could sign your tits, then I'd love to hear about your dreams and goals for the future. For reals."

It was weird and the perfect accompaniment for the crowd. Kim swore she could tell the Georgetown boys from the D.C. debs from the Maryland dudes from the the awkward older people who were just waiting for the young girls to get wrecked. Still being a relative D.C. Metro newbie, I was quite impressed with her talent, though I must say that a man's decision to wear a sweater tied over his shoulders or to sport a yellow bandana a la sweatband style did help her categorize much more quickly. Note to all the fellas: Don't wear a sweater tied around your shoulders or a yellow bandana a la sweatband.

We were minding our own business, critiquing the crowd when a lovely sprite of a girl named Lauren came over and proceeded to bestow us with beaded necklaces and compliments.

I got some Guinness beads and: "Oh! You're the perfect Guinness girl. I love your hair! You're so pretty!" Then she asked to take my picture. What can I say? She has good taste.

She brought her friends over and there were awkward, random introductions followed by awkward, random chitchat. Then out of nowhere an invitation to a pirate house party in Bethesda at Lauren's brother's place. "Come back with us. We'll have beers and barbecue!"

Hmm? Sharing beers with strangers 20 minutes away--Okay! Sold!

We all piled in the car (safely, not to worry) with our new friend and Navigator, Danny, a lesbian who needs a hook up, yo. If you know any nice single women in the area, let me know. It's all about the love at 123Valerie Strikes Again.

After a short stop at a Korean bodega for beer (and donuts for Scotty), we were Bethesda bound. Suffice to say it was a strange trip with six slightly drunk people, a bag of Doritos, some deodorant and an Elvis lamp all sharing the car space.

We arrived at the casa to meet John Swan, slightly surprised to see Danny leading a crowd of strangers into his home, but he handled the situation with aplomb. He was very welcoming, even giving us the full house tour including all three bathrooms and a set of stairs that lead to nowhere. Neat.

Little by little, the rest of crowd, including Lauren, arrived and helped explain our unexplained presence. The men of the house, Lauren's brother Mike, John Swan, John Con and Jimmy were wonderful hosts. There were delectable meat products, and John Swan even went so far as to make out with 123Valerie to ensure all of my needs were attended to. We have plans to see each other later this week, so I'll keep you posted.

Somehow, though, we decided that we were tired of drinking beer at home. "Let's drink beer somewhere else," someone said. "Yes! That's a great idea!" we all chimed.

So, a brave group of bar goers was assembled to stumble toward downtown Bethesda. I don't think anything of note really happened, but again, just wanted to illustrate that my entire day's activities were beer flavored. Mmm. Beer flavored.

Hmm? "Hey, JennyJenny8675309, want to go get a beer?" I just asked her.


Here we go again.

In the Comments Section, tell about the worst cover band you ever heard. I'll buy the winner a beer.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Read This Before I Have to Put You In an Octopus Hold

Did I ever tell you about the time I had the Fabulous Moola on my flight?

Those of you who don't know who she is are about to get schooled with an ass whooping from her. Fo' reals. The Fabulous Moola was, and remains, a champion female wrestler who started in the 1950s and just kept on Back Fisting and Atomic Dropping through the years. She's approximately 80 now, but she could still make you cry for your mama.

We were starting our day in Columbia, South Carolina, and as the passengers started boarding, I saw a mane of bright red hair bopping along the tarmac. Now, not being aptly informed on the grappling goddess whom I was about to meet, all I saw as she climbed aboard was that her lavender eye shadow (expertly applied up to her forehead) matched her light purple sweat suit.

"Hi. Welcome aboard," I said.

"Thank you for having us," she replied with a deceptively sweet drawl. She was traveling with a companion whom I soon found out was The Great Mae Young, another female wrestler who's lived with Moola for decades now. Not as lesbians, I feel compelled to clarify, but as friends who shared a penchant for beat downs.

They could have been two sisters on their way to Atlantic City, but the pilots I was flying with pulled me inside the cockpit and shrieked like little girls, "Oh my God, 123Valerie! Do you know who that is? That's the Fabulous Moola. Be nice to her, she could hurt you."

Oh my.

Well, I am pleased to report that neither Moola or Mae threatened to drop a DDT Crucifix Powerbomb on me. Mae was very quiet and Moola just oozed Southern charm. She was laden with gold dollar signs, though, so it may have just been too much effort to get out of control with all of her bling. Several gold dollar sign rings, dollar sign earings and two dollar sign necklaces along with a VERY LARGE crucifix necklace adorned her solid frame.

I wish I had more to report, but they were just nice ladies with very bad taste in fashion. However, I did learn that when our airline lost their luggage, Moola gave the customer service rep a Powerslam Tilt-a-Whirl while Mae pulled an Argentine Back Breaker Rack. Someone needs to cut back their Geritol.

Here comes a really not-so-nice joke about old women. Cover your eyeballs:

What does 80-year-old pussy taste like?

Mmm. Depends.

C'mon. You know you loved it.

If you were a wrestler, tell me what your name would be in the Comments section. The winner gets a lavender sweat suit.

Special Shout Out to April May June for swinging by the blogeroo. She expecially knows the oddities of pilots and that they, in fact, often shriek like little girls.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You Reap What You Sow

Guiltily lurking about on MySpace, I learned that a girl I possibly could have loved has a fully functioning shrimp farm. There may a couple of items in that sentence that caused you to pause:

1. Yes. I visit MySpace, but I do not keep up the account. This blog offers enough self indulgance and warm, squishy love from ya'll.

2. Yes. I like girls, too. My family has gotten over it, so it's probably best that you do the same. Call it whatever makes you comfortable.

3. Yes. There is someone that I could have loved, but surprise, surprise, I fucked it up.

4. Yes. She is the type of girl who starts a shrimp farm. You can see why I like her.

Anyway, she posted a Xeroxed copy of the newspaper article that told of the upcoming shrimp harvest on her page, though her blogs have detailed the whole operation for a while.

I'm torn, kids. She's a lovely woman. It was complicated, and the gender thing was the least of my concerns. I think it probably was for her. Well, not for her, but her family and friends. I had a few more years to get comfortable with the idea.

At the time, I was a mess and overspent from caring for my Mom, so I didn't have any patience left for her, and I didn't make it very easy for her to trust me. I behaved very badly. We ended right before my Mom died. The last time we saw each other, in July I think, she had a psuedo-boyfriend and I went home with the bartender. It was a sad ending to a beautiful idea.

But, now, the birth of her shrimpies has me thinking that maybe we could try again. Or maybe not. Maybe she's on to smaller and better things. Maybe I just need to get laid or start a llama farm.

In the Comments section, tell me what you think I should do. I will make the winner some of my delectable shrimp scampi.



The aforementioned lovely woman is also kind and generous, as well. After a full confession that I have been lurking about her life and an apology for my bad behavior, she offered to send me an autographed copy of the news article. See--I do have good taste. I don't expect anything to come of this, given the geographic issues and the fact that she is still entertaining the idea of a boyfriend. But, I'm pleased to announce that I have a new crush, anyway.

See how quickly things happen around here? His name is Door. It's not spelled that way, but that is his last name's phonetic pronunciation. We're still in the info gathering stages like trying to confirm that he is single and not a scary ax murderer. Door is Sean P.K.'s girlfriend's co-worker's roommate, so it's unlikely that he has bodies rotting under his house. Besides, he is a Carolina boy. So, we'll see. 234Door. Hmm? Double Hmm.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Could Someone Please Extinguish My Pants?

I have fallen to a new depth of desperation and depravity.

I lied to one of 567Devin's friends and told him I had a date this weekend. For no good reason. Seriously. I don't even think the lie, designed to make me look sought-after and highly desirable, will even get back to 567Devin. In fact, I hope it doesn't because it was executed very, very poorly.

If it does get back to him, it will sound a little something like this: "123Valerie had a really bad date with a jerky guy this weekend, and now she's worried that she's never going to find someone who appreciates her."

So sad. So very sad.

I was a PR major and I can't even spin a good yarn about how I was whooping it up with Justin Timberlake's second cousin, Lucas, on a private yacht. That would have been a good lie. Well, maybe that one needs some work, too, but it's definitely an improvement.

My problem is that I'm terribly inconsistent with my lying. Sometimes I deserve an Oscar and sometimes I deserve a rotten tomato heaved at my face. And there's no rhyme or reason, either. I can get away with big, life changing lies like, "I love you, too." Then, I'll completely blow it on, "Did you see Munich yet?" Yes, and I thought Lindsay Lohan was excellent in it.

Why lie? I mean, why lie at all, but REALLY why lie about whether or not I saw a movie? Or what I had for lunch? Or about having a dumb date this weekend for a boy that I don't even think I like anymore?

Maybe I need to get out more. That's it. This weekend, I'm going to try something new. Meet some new people. Maybe even go out on a real date. I'd like to start training for a marathon, so maybe I'll go running with JennyJenny8675309.

Why does my butt feel hot?

In the Comments section, tell me the most ridiculous lie you have ever heard or told. The winner gets a copy of Munich, the director's version that has Lindsay Lohan's cut scenes. (I totally swear, you guys. Cross my heart.)

Fuck. I'm not going to be able to sit for a week.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I debated, mulled, ruminated, postulated and just plain thought about what to say today. Or more importantly, if I should say anything at all.

True, I was working as a flight attendant before and after 9/11, but not exactly during. I wasn't flying that day. In fact, I started a two-week vacation on September 10, 2001, because I had just moved into a new apartment. I missed the really scary, "Where's my family? Where are my friends? I'm stuck in Canada and they won't let me leave!" part of it.

It was like being one of J.F.K.'s secret service men in November 1964, but taking THAT day off to get your wisdom teeth taken out. It was fortuitious and pathetic all at once.

I didn't even have cable installed by the morning of the attacks and heard the news from Howard Stern as I unpacked my knick-knacks. For Stern to remain subdued and silent as the news unfolded underscored the magnitude of what transpired.

I was afraid to leave my house, and it was days before I even saw pictures of what happened. By then, my imagination had spun out of control, so seeing the carnage - horrific as it was - didn't even come close to what my mind contrived.

Ya'll know it's not my nature to get all schmoopy and emotional, so I won't break from tradition.

I didn't know anyone who died, but I do know countless people whose lives were ruined in earth-shattering, fall to your knees proportions because they did. I didn't lose my home or my job, but I know countless people who lost everything. I didn't stay afraid of death and destruction, but I know countless people who are still in physical and emotional hiding.

If you believe in it, take a minute to say a prayer for the innocent poeple who died. Then, say a bigger prayer for the people left behind who wake up every day wishing they had.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Metro Adventure #1435: The Jaury is Out

I love making Metro friends.

Tonight, I met Jaury. He informed me that he'd been at the sports bar for nearly 10 hours today except for a little intermission at the strip club.

"You would have liked it there, though. Very classy place," he assured me. I think Jaury could write for Fodor's.

"Where's your man tonight?" Jaury asked.

Tucked away safely in my hopes and dreams with stardust and moonbeams, I wanted to say. "He's out of town this weekend."

Jaury postulated on why any sane man would leave such a smokin' hot specimen like me alone to fall prey to the dreg's of D.C.'s nightlife. "Don't you want to be, like, hittin' some other man when he's away?"

Jaury's concern for my romantic needs was touching, so I didn't want to ruin the love fest by telling him that the aforementioned boyfriend didn't really exist (reference a previous call for blind dates, my pretties. Still waiting). I'm a considerate person, so I played along.

"Well, it's like this, Jaury, when you have as good a thing as he (wink, wink) and I do, you don't want to mess that up just to get your swerve on."

"I feel you. I feel what you're saying. But, still, don't you ever want to like, show your feet to somebody?" Jaury posed.

Um, no. No, not really.

"Well, if you ever change your mind when your man's away, take my card."

I don't know, Jaury. My boyfriend might get mad.

Tell me, in the Comments section, about the craziest person you've ever met on the Metro. The winner gets one of Jaury's cards. I made him give me four because I knew ya'll wouldn't believe that this actually happened.

Special Holla to J. "Busta" Keeton and our pal, Kimberlicious Pal, who did the KIMpossible and encouraged me to try blood sausage, thus giving me a delectable treat and another term for "penis" in the blow job article. Double props, yo.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

It's a Matter of Taste

My nephew Sam has a super power.

We found out that three-year-old Sam the Sham, the kind of sweet potato that likes to lick life up, was appropriately enough diagnosed with enlarged taste buds.

It's not a serious medical condition, and the doctors believe the swelling stems from a simple allergy that will pass with age. But, whenever Alabama Sam-a comes in contact with certain triggers, his tongue swells and he can taste things on a level that you or I can't even imagine. Granted, his tongue isn't going to save the world, but Sammy Whammy might just be a chef's secret weapon: "I said it needs a little more salt. Trust me."

My sister Maryann became suspicious when Samburger cried while eating a Nerds Rope.
The gooey sweetness was so overwhelming that he was caught between pain and pleasure. But, he's a trooper, our Samsonite, so he insisted on finishing then my sister promptly took him to the dentist.

"Enlarged taste buds. Yep, that's what he's got," said the Dentist Man.

My Dad relayed the story to me, but as is his endearing custom, he confused it a bit.

"Did you hear? Sam's got enraged taste buds. Poor thing," empathized my Dad.

While our Fantastic Sam is learning about the many flavors of life, 123Valerie can't taste much of anything. My own bout with allergies has rendered my snotty and groggy and grumpy and clogged.

"Yeah," said my Dad, "I never know from year to year if the pollen is going to affect me. My sinuses are so erotic."

That's my family—Green Eggs and Sam has a super-human tongue and my Dad's got sexy nostrils.

In the Comments section, tell me the weirdest medical problem you know of. The winner gets a Nerds Rope.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

If a Tree Eats a Potato Chip in the Forest and 123Valerie Isn't Around to Hear It, Does It Still Make a Sound?

Have you ever listened to a dog eat potato chips? It's a delightful sound.

Wonder Dog Bean and I were outside today, enjoying the shade (ya'll know me) while I worked on an article I'm writing, a how-to on blow jobs for Will's Web site. I was munching on some salt and vinegar chips, as I'm apt to do every now and again, when I knocked the bag over.

Wonder Bean to the rescue! Schromp, schromp, schromp. Schromp. Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Wonder Bean's sweet audio massacre was a nice interlude from all of my talking about wankers and schlongs and spit and beef ponies and cockleberries (all actual terms from the article, by the way), because thinking and writing about all of this sex is just making me more aware that I'm not getting any.

I don't know how you kids feel about sex, but I rather like it. I find it hard to believe that I haven't found someone more willing to enjoy it with me. I've said this before, but this is an open call for blind date setups, my pretties.

I know it's risky. The last time this happened, Megan Jane almost set me up with her school's child psychologist, a gymnast with a tick. I balked at first, but that's a good reminder that most of us don't sound so good on paper. Me included.

To Megan Jane's credit, he is a handsome, intelligent, fit Jewish man, which I love, and I would have gone out with him if Megan Jane hadn't gotten a new job teaching middle school. But, MJ's on to bigger and better things (and kids), so the hunt continues.

Oddly, Megan Jane said she met a teacher at her new school that is a spitting image of Roommate Jeremy.

There I go, talking about spit and dicks again.

In the Comments section, leave the name, number and general description of someone you want to fix me up with. The winner gets a blow job!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Stop! Thief!

Have you ever found out that someone stole your underwear and then danced around in front of all of their friends saying, "Hey, guys! Don’t you love my underwear?"

A similar creepy situation came to light over at Amalah’s blog today. Again, for those of you who have not checked out the entertaining content to the right of the screen, Amalah writes a smart and smart-ass blog about life and kids and wine. So, even if you don’t like life or kids, go check it out for the wine, okay?

Seems a creepy MySpace Cadet calling herself Claudia has been ripping off Amalah’s writing and claiming Amalah’s life as her own. Not just Amalah, either. Several well-known bloggers that ya’ll love and read every day.

Claudia changed names and some details of what she stole to more realistically portray her wicked cool life as an 18-year-old nanny in Vegas. Which, if you check out the site (Note: Put on your special eclipse glasses, kids), you’ll find that she MUST be a wicked cool person. Or, definitely wicked as evidenced by her deep affection for all things Goth.

The point is, kids, inspiration is one thing—-like Amalah and all of her cohorts and Scotty inspiring me to jump on the blogwagon (with a little help from Alice). But, ganking shit is not cool. Not even a little bit.

It’s always good to give credit where credit is due, but for the love of all things sweet and nice, don’t steal.

Why am I ranting at you guys? I’m sorry. It’s just that I had a really bad day. I found out JennyJenny8675309 has been stealing my underwear and dancing around in them for her friends.*

What’s the worst thing someone stole from you? You can tell me in the Comments section and then we can create a MySpace page to see if we can get it back.

*Not the least bit true.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dear God, Please Let There Be a Snooze Button on This Thing

JennyJenny8675309 has a Roomba, one of those robotic sweeper things.

Wonder Dog Bean and I spend countless hours watching it. Cheering when it darts under the couch and triumphantly emerges with a big wad of Wonder Bean hair. Holding our breaths as it goes to the brink of the steps and sagely spins around before imminent death. Appreciating the tender way it passes through the legs of the dining room chairs. Hours. Not to bite into the whole consumerism apple, but you should go get one. The Roomba is very smart.

It's been seeing a lot of action lately because JennyJenny8675309 has jumped head-first into Home Improvement and is currently refinishing the kitchen cabinets. There’s been much sanding and, thus, much sand on our kitchen floor. That’s how it works with JennyJenny8675309 and me. She rewires the house's electrical system, and I make tater tots. Yin and Yang.

These days, though, I feel like I could use a bit more Yang, you know?

I belong to a phenomenal online women's group, the D.C. Sisterhood, made up of intimate friends and technical strangers all brought together for a safe place to voice victory and defeat, joy and sorrow, jealousy and tolerance, pettiness and strength. Through our writing, we often come to know more about each other than we do our own mothers, brothers, boyfriends and roommates.

Much of the recent discussion has been about shifting priorities among the D.C. Sisters, and they are finding that, as with most things that shift like underwear or soufflees, the results can be uncomfortable and a little messy.

It's not my place to tell their stories, but suffice to say there are a lot of amazing things going on in the world, and the D.C. Sisters are responsible for a good three-quarters of them.

I feel proud to know these amazing women. And I'm so glad to have JennyJenny8675309's energy surrounding me. I just wish that, like them, I had something in my life that I was completely and absolutely devoted to. Something that I could pour my love and energy into. Something that I would fight for no matter what.

Oh, shit. Is this my biological clock starting to tick?

In the Comments Section, tell me whether or not my biological clock is, in fact, beginning to tick. Extra points to the people who say "No." The winner gets to borrow the Roomba for an evening of entertainment.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Holidays

Is anyone else concerned that Velveeta doesn't hang out in the dairy cooler with the other cheese? My Giant keeps the Velveeta boxes in aisle 3 next to the taco shells. I don't feel good about that.

Interestingly, the Velveeta individually-wrapped singles ARE refrigerated. I don't understand the logic. Don't get me wrong. I'm not an idiot--I know that Velveeta isn't really "cheese" in the true sense of the word, but neither is the Soya Delicious veggie "cheese," and it chills out with the cheddar.

I guess I'm just putting more focus on what goes into my body after a debaucherous evening at Sean P.K.'s during which I ingested a lot of bad things. A LOT. I brought a lethal combination of wicked Jell-O shots and a Velveeta /salsa/black bean/cilantro dip in the little crockpot my Dad sent me on a whim last year.

Actually, my Dad sent crockpots to my sisters, as well, along with a cookbook titled 5001 Things to Do With Your Crockpot. I got the baby "single lady" crockpot. My sister Maryann got the 4-person feeder for her family, and Susie got the mama-jama small-army version for her brood. It was a very nice gesture on my Dad's part and underscores why he should not have lost his job. Stupid bastards.

In any case, a good time was had by all at Sean P.K.'s Labor Day Holiday BBQ. We had a 4 a.m. singalong to Paul Simon's Graceland and, at one point, I found myself swimming in a bed of ivy.

Yeah. I'm not sure about that either.

That reminds me of another great party where there was a group singalong. Dickies & Nog 2004.

Note stinking drunk Matt in the hood feeling up 123Valerie. Note Dennis in the orange hunting cap. Dennis is currently defending our freedom in Iraq. Our freedom to wear stupid orange hats. Note that Tyrone, our Black Friend, wore his dickie ALL NIGHT LONG and well into the morning, long after the rest of us threw ours to the wind.

My brother-in-law John created the annual Dickies & Nog event to commemorate everybody's favorite half turtleneck fashion accessory and eggnog. And karaoke.

This is John, his black dickie and the mustache he grew special for the party. John's Dad wore this VERY SAME OUTFIT in 1968. Adding to the family vibe, my Mom made the Santa Hat and glued the sequined candy cane applique on, too. John wears this outfit every year for Dickies & Nog. My sister Maryann hates this picture.

Anyway, let's just say that, with their performance of "Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes," Sean P.K. and his friends Ben and Jimmy secured an invite to Dickies & Nog 2006.

Tell me your favorite Paul Simon song in the Comments section. This isn't really a contest because it's a very subjective thing, but anyone who comments gets a dickie. Here's one vote for "Mother and Child Reunion."

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number

My Dad could sell an electric vibrator to an Amish woman.

Seriously, he's that good. He's spent most of his life in sales, save for a few stints in chimney sweeping, the Marines and bartending.

When I was 14, we gladly moved from Ohio to North Carolina so my Dad could take a big-deal job selling commercial laundry and dishwashing equipment and supplies to places like hospitals, hotels and restaurants. My Dad rigged our home washing machine so that all we had to do was press one button for the correct amount of soap and fabric softener. Verrrrrrrrrrrry cool.

So, I called my Dad today, expecting the usual chatter.

"Hey, Dad, it's 123Valerie."

"Hey, 123Valerie. What's new?"

"Not much," I said. "Just working a lot. How about you?"

"Oh, not much either," said my Dad. "I lost my job this week. That's about it."

Huh? Do what now? My Dad is awesome at what he does. New business a-go-go. People, especially people who have money to spend on the products he sells, just ABSOLUTELY love him.

My Dad's douche bag boss made the unfortunate mistake of firing my Dad by telling him, "Your performance is great, Denny. Highest sales in the region. Of course, everyone loves you. And you know the products better than anyone. But, well, we just need some fresh, young blood in here."

Oh, Dad. I'm so sorry. Ouch.

My Dad is incredibly handsome (I take after him), suave and personable. And obviously he's good at what he does or he wouldn't be offering to send me money at every turn. But, my Dad's idiot asswipe company decided on a whim that his expertise was no longer necessary because, despite his new hip hairstyle, dedicated vitamin regimen and new-found love for The Gazelle, my Dad just doesn't meet thier "cool" image needed to sell dishwashers and laundry soap. Gah, yeah right. What the F?

I can't say much about this, but my Dad and a legal team are looking into something that rhymes with "mAGE inDISCRIMINATION." You go, Dad.

But, I have no worries. My Dad has landed on his feet more times than a gymnast. He is fine professionally and millions of people are rushing to his aid. Even if he chooses not to get back in the rat race, he has an incredible artistic talent that bodes well for painting seashells on the beach. And if all else fails, he's got a hot wife 15 years his junior, my Step-Mom Paula. She's a kick-ass business woman and will take care of him. So, all is well.

Except that I can't shake my anger that someone told my Dad that he could no longer do what he's always done. (And has done it phenomenally well, I might add). I imagine it's a bit like how one would feel about their child who gets unfairly attacked on the playground.

Granted he's a 59-year-old, silver-haired child with bad knees who needs fiber supplements, but he's still my heart. And he plays a mean game of Freeze Tag.

Bastards! I will find my Dad's ex-boss and poop in his office trash can on a Friday night so he comes into a cloud of darkness on Monday morning.

No contest this evening. I'm too mad. Okay. Maybe a small contest. Have you ever gotten fired from a job, and did you deserve it? The winner gets a copy of my Dad's resume.

The Most Expensive $2 Beers Ever. EVER.

Chop chop, kiddies! We've got a lot to cover.

First and foremost, Hannah Banana is Alright! She and her sweet brain are resting at her folks’ house. Thanks for your thoughts, friends. Yay!

Second, just a moment ago, I figured out how to use JennyJenny8675309’s microwave. It only took me two weeks, a marked improvement over the six weeks I needed to conquer Roommate Jeremy’s.

Third, I am a ridiculous drunk.

This notion hit me in the wee hours of Friday morning, after I had spent no less than an hour and a half searching for my car in the Shady Grove Metro parking lot. After a $75 cab ride from somewhere off of the red line. After the last train departed. After I realized I was taking the Metro in the wrong direction. After Bushmills, etc. at Sean P.K.’s house. After lots and lots of $2 Budweisers at the Pour House.

Dammit 123Valerie.

Sean P.K. accurately refers to Budweisers as “Scudweisers” because they shoot out of your ass with unbelievable force the next day. It took me two whole days and several pounds of loaded French fries to get right again. That’s all I care to say about that. It won’t be happening again any time soon.

I know, I know. EVEN I had to roll my eyes at that, see, because as I write, a large quantity of Jell-O shots made with the cheapest, most lethal vodka known to man is chilling. Chilling, mindin’ my business. Yo Salt I looked around and I couldn’t believe this. I swear, I stared. My niece my witness. The brother had it going on with somethin’ kind of wicked, wicked. Had to kick it. I’m not shy so I asked for the digits. A ho? No that don’t make me. See what I want slip slide to it swiftly. Felt it in my hips so I dipped back to my bag of tricks. Then I flipped for a tip, make me wanna do tricks for him. Lick him like a lollipop should be licked. Came to my senses and I chilled for a bit. Don't know how you do the voodoo that you do. So well it's a spell, hell, makes me wanna shoop shoop shoop.

The Fleischmann’s 80 proof apparently induces epileptic fits in which I spout off Salt N Pepa lyrics. Even the homeless winos are like, "Uh unh. No way, man. I’m not touching that stuff."

Anyway, I think the Jell-O shots will be a nice addition to the Labor Day BBQ that Sean P.K. is hosting with his lovely lady Taylor, red-headed roommate Geoff and very nice Republican roommate Leah.

But, that’s tomorrow.

Today is for VH1 marathons and maybe even another batch of loaded French fries. Oh, and wallowing a bit about the fact that 567Devin made the official decision to call things off.

Well, things were never really on. To recap, 567Devin and I were friends. I realized I had a crush on 567Devin after we huddled for warmth at an early season camping trip. I kept that fact to myself for several months. And by “kept it to myself” I mean I told everyone I know, except 567Devin. I even told my Nan Marie about him.

Finally, I got so worked up, I got drunk and accosted him. We had fun. And good conversation. And Chinese food. 567Devin needed some time to sort things out, though. He’s got a very scientific brain and likes processes; needless to say, I had skipped a few of his usual steps.

I was comfortable with back peddling for a bit because, well, what jackass would NOT want to be with me? Turns out, there’s at least one.

Oh, I don’t really mean that. I still adore him, he’s just got terrible instincts. I know this may be hard to believe, but my frank and honest nature can freak some guys out (and a lot of gals, for that matter).

In any case, the latest word on the street is that last night, 567Devin got stinking drunk and proceeded to hit people for no reason at all. When questioned about his unnecessarily violent behavior, 567Devin replied, “I’m just really, really angry,” and refused to expound.

Methinks that he’s kicking himself for passing up a ride on the V-Train, as well he should. I’m quite a catch, if I do say so myself.

You know what other train would have been great to ride? The red line Metro to Shady Grove in the wee hours of Friday morning. Oh, 123Valerie.

Use the Comments section to tell me what you like to put on your loaded French fries. The winner gets a bottle of Fleischmann's 80-proof vodka.