123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fit to Be Tied

Hey my pretties, guess what? The lovely CamiK has got my heart pounding faster.

Yeah, you wish. Okay, maybe I wish.

No, see what had happened was … CamiK shared about her history of heart-related issues and told us all of these scary facts about heart disease and women, and, well, since Tuesday was the two-year anniversary of my Mom's passing and, crap, my sister called last night to tell me my grandma (my Mom's Mom) died yesterday, I guess I'm a little more concerned about death than usual.

The end of January is quickly getting a reputation in my book as the Season of Death, however my Grandma's passing was actually quite a blessing.

She was 90-years-old and lived most of that time very unhappily, except at the end when she was in an Alzheimer's web, which seemed to place her back at about four-years-old. She enjoyed coloring a lot.

So, it's sad, but not entirely, except that we've had too many other untimely deaths in my family as of late -- babies and kids, and I think everyone is weary of coming together for another funeral. Perhaps it's my familial duty to get married, just so's everyone can enjoy a party for once?

Meh. Maybe I'll just have a barbecue.

I was writing the other day that someone's death can make us much more aware of our own quality of life, and then, whoosh, CamiK presents this idea of, "Hey, laydeez, get off the couch and exercise so you don't die."

I have my bouts of being a Workout Winner, but Cami's is a brilliant plan, really: Give fellow bloggers a badge if they promise to exercise three times a week in February.
There's not much I wouldn't do for a badge. In fact, I bet some of those things would qualify as exercise.

In the Comments section, tell me what you should be doing to improve the quality of your life and then, hey, go do it.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

The Heart Has Its Reasons, But It Don't Mean They're Good

It's not often that things in my professional life intersect with my love life, but there's a lot of planetary influence lately, so things are a bit shaken up.

I used a title for a short piece this morning, The Resistance Roller Coaster, which just fits my heart like a T-shirt right now. I mean, if my heart wore T-shirts, this "resistance roller coaster" idea would be the perfect white, v-neck.

Enough bad analogies: I have a crush that I am struggling to talk myself out of. I am trying diligently (and, thus far, unsuccessfully) to resist.

Edited for clarity: I'm not crushing on anyone AT work--I was just inspired by the title of an article for work. This is probably why I should not write blog posts at 8 a.m.

It's one of those crushes that sort of sneaks up on you. It is equal parts bad idea and intrigue, which is probably why it is such a bad idea—the mystery. Oh, we do like The Drama, don't we?

See, there are miles and mystery and music and mire between us, and while both of us are good people who connect on all of the important levels, I'm wondering how we'd fare if the miles, mystery, music and mire weren't there to protect us.

Guess what I'm saying is, if I had to spend any extended time with this cat, I'd probably wallop him for multiple transgressions. I might be more attracted to "what could be," rather than "what is." I believe they call that "being a woman."

Still, while I'm not sure we'd make it in the real world, the hours he and I spend together in my head are delicious.

Currently, back on planet Earth, we're in the swapping-music-and-daily-antedotes phase. If my calculations are correct, we'll move into the uber-complimentary phase, followed by the hey-what-are-you-doing-this-weekend phase, which should hit about next Friday, I think.

Le sigh.

I could probably overcome this with a little diversionary effort. Anyone else want to throw their T-shirt into the ring to become my new crush? I'm only slightly obsessive, and I make really good lasagna.

In the Comments section, tell me who you're crushing on these days. Bonus points if it's me.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

This Week's Schedule

Hi, my pretties. A few things of which to take note:

Yesterday was Lorelai's birthday. Woot!

Today is my day to sit on the mustache. Come sit a spell with me.

Tomorrow is Friday.

This concludes our community bulletin.

In the Comments section, tell me what's going on with you.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sometimes, I Just Can't Come Up with a Witty Title

As a general rule, I try not to wage war on inanimate objects. I largely prefer, instead, to take my rage and misguided anger out on innocent people whom I care about.

This time, however, I'm calling out my nemesis directly: Stock market, you can kiss my dupka.

("Dupka" is largely understood everywhere in Eastern Europe as "butt." I guess that takes some of the sting out of it, but I'm all about sharing information.)

Alright. I know some of you are a right bit confused.

Why, after disappearing for a couple of weeks, would I only call you when I needed bail money and then rage about the Dow Jones Industrial Average?

While many of you may find it surprising, the relative productivity of my day is based upon the general activity of the major financial indices (and also how many times Grant Miller and Pistols at Dawn post. Let's be real, here.)

And, if you haven't heard, the economy is bumbling about like that drunk guy at the bar.

Sometimes he appears to be alright—a regular dude with some interesting, if illogical, things to say, who maybe touches your boobs a bit too often. Then, sometimes on "bad days," he is burfing next to the jukebox, hoping no one will notice the stench of homelessness and fiscal despair. But always, he goes to sleep alone, confused, and smelling of bearded, teacherly Ben Bernanke.

For now, this kind of stuff is all immensely important to my everyday, professional life.

I guess the moral of this story is that, because the market's so unpredictable, I've been really busy. Stupid busy. Oh, and I can't really pay you back for the bail money, either. My bad.

Here—I'll make it up to you. Please enjoy some wonderful pictures of my friend Scott's going away party, below. (He's moving to Argentina to make the world a better place.)

I'm in there somewhere, but most importantly is that you understand just how beautiful my friends are.

123Valerie, the Original Brokekid Scotty, and Megan Jane

This picture of Scotty and T-Bone has "Facebook" written all over it--not quite "MySpace" quality, though--we'd need a few more body shots.

Upon seeing this picture, T-Bone asked, "Does she practice these faces in the mirror every night?" To which I replied, "She doesn't have to." All he could say was, "Mmmhmm." Lovely, lovely Megan Jane.

I adore this picture because Kristin looks curious and lovely (true to form) and Scotty looks hungry (also true to form).

Quite possibly the most exquisite almost-couple the World has given us.

The enchanting Tinzicle and Scotty McDuff. Like snowflakes, these are two very unique and lovely creatures.

So, here I was saving Sean P.K. from some angry frat boys with pool cues. I'm just pretty awesome like that.

It's me and Z Baby--funnily enough, he was moving into Small Town Ohio, just as I was leaving--and here we are, nearly 15 years later, enjoying some canned Miller Lights and The Weepies together. Well, maybe not here, but later that night.

Oh, my Lord. If my friends were any prettier, I'd have to wear shades. Seriously. This is what people who are beautiful on the inside AND the outside look like. Don't stare too deeply--you'll burn your retinas.

In the Comments section, wish Scott good things as he aims to make our world a better place, and, then, point me toward links and pictures that show just how beautiful your friends are.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reaching for the Stars

I thought I saw Edward Norton, best loved for his poignant and touching performance in Fight Club, at the gym last night.

I immediately went into my “celebrity sighting” mode, which is to say: head down, sweaty palms, clenched jaw and ceasing to breathe.

One of my many irrational fears is meeting celebrities (the list also includes getting eaten by an escalator, looking into dark mirrors, and realizing I’m making out with a half-brother or sister because my Dad had a secret family that he failed to tell us about).

It wasn’t Edward Norton, thank goodness (I asked the guy on the eliptical next to me). I didn’t peg him for a Stair Master kind of guy, anyway. But, this got me thinking about some of my other celebrity encounters.

Jeremy Miller, July 1987: You know him best as “Ben” from Growing Pains. He was one of the guest judges for the All American Soap Box Derby, and some old guy who was trying to woo my mother got us tickets sitting right behind the judges’ table. I stared at the back of his head for the better part of 90 minutes.

G. Love and Special Sauce, October 1997: Ah, yes. G. Love and Special Sauce front man, G. Love, is a handsome fellow with saucy rhymes, a particularly attractive combo to the likes of a 17-year-old 123Valerie. My friend Neil agreed to go to Cleveland (the Odeon for anyone who cares) to see him with me, only on the condition that he could get stoned out of his gourd. Fair enough.

Once there, I found the Odeon was offering a backstage meet-n-greet for only $20. $20! I gladly paid my fee, went back, flashed my metallic smile and gave the man a hug. Then I asked what his dog’s name was. I’m sure it made sense at the time.

Air Supply, August 2004: I’m actually rather proud of this one. Click here to read about another of my romps with Hot Australians.

And that, kids, is the extent of my brush with celebrity. It’s probably just as well because I seem to lack the savior faire to interact with anyone who has even a modicum of fame.

In fact, I’ve been instructed by my lawyers not to talk about what happened when I saw Charlotte’s beloved weather anchor, Larry Sprinkle, at the Harris Teeter.

All I cay say is that the forecast is calling for a 100% chance of a restraining order.

In the Comments section, tell me about your favorite celebrity encounter.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It’s Getting Hot In Here

It’s been a trying couple of days in 123V Land on many levels, but most relevant to you (and it really is about you, my pretties), my laptop did the technological equivalent of shoving a dozen BW3’s Blazin Wings into its dome at once, and its head exploded.

Or maybe its fan just stopped working and it overheated.

Either way, before I sent my official help request to our IT guys, I made a call on the Bat Line to one of my favorites.

“Dude, my laptop died. You guys are going to have to do some serious work. Um, but first … I need you to erase my Web site history. Oh, no reason. I’ve certainly not been looking at porn.”

And so began the saga of a week fraught with techno glitches which left me disconnected from the Intertubes and, thus, very productive.

For no good reason, just because I haven’t told this story here yet and it may be a while until I can post again, and also because I remembered it after spending some time with Bonnie and Kirstin over Christmas at our old haunt, Joe’s, in Canton, Ohio, please to enjoy: 123Valerie and the Hot Australian.

So, round about June 2006, Bonita and Kirstin were visiting me in D.C. from Ohio. I was still living with Roommate Jeremy at the time.

We went out and saw Hot Australian Guy (HAG) on the Metro into the city.

We drank a lot.

Then we saw hot Australian guy and hot friends on the Metro home from the bar. Thusly, we invited hotties back to our place for after hours and lots of alcohol. [Sidenote: We later deduced these guys were probably about 19 years old, but I swear, officer, they had the accents of 30-year-old hot Australians.]

HAG asked if we had boyfriends. Bonnie said no. Kirstin said she had a husband. I said I had a roommate for whom I was working out feelings.

Drinking ensued. I told HAG the whole Jeremy story to which he says, "What's wrong with this asshole? How could he not want you? You're beautiful and smart and funny and you have beautiful tits and you have the voice of an angel. What an asshole." [Sidenote: It should really come as no surprise that at this point, I had innocently taken my shirt off. I was in my own home. That’s what being ‘Merican is about.]

Thank you, HAG.

We were all piled in my bed (six of us, if memory serves) having an innocent sing-along at 5 in the morning when Roommate Jeremy came home with his ex-girlfriend.

HAG made some snide comments about Jeremy preferring his ex to me and, most importantly, what an absolute asshole he was for wearing an orange shirt. Right-o.

Roommate Jeremy was, understandably, pissed that a) there was company at 5 a.m. b) the company was hot and shirtless c) hot, shirtless company was piled in my bed. Whatever.

The sing along ended and HAG got increasingly agitated that Roommate Jeremy is
in bed with his ex and not me. Then, Kirstin and I made the dire mistake of going to the bathroom, and HAG sent Bonnie in "to check on us."

HAG proceeded to bust in on Roommate Jeremy and his ex in bed and provoked a fight to avenge my honor. The Ex shrieked and we all came running out the bathroom, Three Stooges like, and tried to pull the guys apart. It took three women and a couple of misplaced punches before we got them separated.

HAG repeatedly called Roommate Jeremy’s ex slightly amusing insults like “dirty mole” and Kirstin jumped in to yell at Jeremy, "This wouldn't have happened if you hadn't been such a pig!" Which is true. You go, girl.

Bloodied lips and death threats later, Kirstin and Bonnie took HAG & Company home while I tried to calm down Roommate Jeremy and his ex.

The ex, understandably confused, asked Roommate Jeremy why some stranger was insulting her and why my friends hate him.

He lied and told her that I was delusional and had been throwing myself at him for some time and that I couldn’t get it through my head that nothing would ever happen with us.

Oof. Liar, liar pants on fire.

But, in probably one of the lowest moments of my life, I backed him up. I didn’t let on to the ex that anything happened between us, but said, instead, that the HAG felt bad for me and was trying to stick up for me. Or some such bullshit. Oh, stupid girl.

Finally, at around 7 a.m., everybody conked out. I was a nervous wreck until Roommate Jeremy woke up at 5 p.m. the next day.

The ex went home, and I put everything on the table and said, "Roommate Jeremy, a perfect stranger recognizes that you were a bastard to me, and was moved to violence about it. Every single one of my friends things I'm ridiculous for even caring about you. No one thinks that you're good enough for me. What the hell? You lied to your ex and made me look like the asshole. There are so many things I hate about you. Why did you have to invest so much time and energy to get me into bed if it was just sex?"

His response: "Well, I think you read into things too much." Obviously. "Oh, and I knew you'd stick up for me. I was just trying to save face with the ex--there was already enough drama."

Bastard. So, the next night, I made out with a hot guy in Megan Jane’s backyard, and I have never felt better. Except for maybe the bug bites.

The End.

In the Comments section, tell me about your favorite Hot Australian.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I must have rocketed past the time/space continuum because here it is, the second day of our Lord's year 2008, and I'm still stuck on Christmas.

Stay with me, though. I think you'll appreciate this.

As noted earlier, I spent some time in small-town Ohio, where Megan Jane and I are from. We went to a local watering hole that, naturally, used to be the town's ice cream parlor, also equally revered for its waffle fries. Naturally.

Now, it's just a place to get cheap drinks and cheap girls, but during the evening, we got some priceless photos. If a picture is worth a thousand words then, my pretties, I am a gazillionaire.

Meet my new friend. I never actually got his first name, but we called him simply and beautifully, Victor Mustachio. It's been a long, long time since I've seen anyone brave the long permed hair with bangs, probably circa 1987. Too long, if you ask me.

He is the lead singer and brightest star of a kick-ass (no, really) classic rock cover band. I don't want to tell you the whole name in case Victor Mustachio googles the band and sees me and—boom—I have a stalker. No, thank you. I can't handle all of that lovin'. But I will tell you that the word "grease" is in their name. That's really all that you need to know.

But speaking of stalking, it took a little finesse getting this close to such a wild animal.

We started from afar.

And moved ever closer, our bodies propelled by the heat and motion of a bitchin' cover of Layla.

He's on to us! Quick, turn on the charm! Megan and I tag teamed him, gave him the old razzle dazzle, and love blossomed in Ohio. He sang a song for me, but neither Megan Jane nor I can remember what it was. It must have debilitated all of my neural processes with its loveliness because I am sure it had nothing to do with Jim Beam.

The only thing left to do was start a massage train.

Yeah, seriously. But amid the back rubs and kneading, something went horribly wrong. Victor Mustachio must have gotten hold of some peyote backstage.

After a while, he and his tambourine just got ... a ... little ... bit ... slower ... than everyone else. He looked, and probably felt, like this:

Every once in a while, he'd sit down on his stool, nod off and jerk awake when a particularly nasty riff came about.

"Oh, he's seeing The Rattler. Ssssssss," Megan Jane sagely said. He was, indeed, seeing The Rattler. He felt the bite of the good stuff. The sasparilla. The hot dog heaven.

But I tell you, his music was like a bee sting--you almost didn't know that it had gotten inside of you until you felt the pain after he left. Damn.

Victor said the next stop up the road was Burlington, Vermont, so all you New England ladies, let me tell you something right now: If you see this fine thing coming your way, give him the love, respect and deep conditioner he deserves.

Well into the next day, Megan Jane and I still couldn't recall the song he sang for me, so we pulled in the help of her brother who wasn't actually there -- surprisingly to no avail.

In the Comments section, tell me what song you think Victor Mustachio sang for me. The winner gets the hand towel soaked with his sweat that I stole when he was passed out.

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