123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Royal Flush

Hey kidders,

I'm sitting on the throne over at Burt Reynolds' Mustache today talking about all sorts of crap. Come on over, and can you bring some TP?

In the Comments section, tell me again why it's not prudent for a 28-year-old woman to run away and join the circus.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Such a Hot Head

Alzheimer's is a terrible, debilitating disease and I don't mean to make light of its effects. But if you're anything like my fambly members, you make wildly inappropriate jokes and laugh about things that your long-suffering 90-year-old Grandmother said because of her addled brain.

My Grandma went about a year where the only words she would utter over and over and over again were, "Dear Lord, please stop the sizzling in my head. Dear Lord, please stop the sizzling in my head."

Oh, we used to laugh over that one. Not to her face or anything. We're tasteless, not cruel.

But today? Well, it's not so funny. I'm actually starting to understand what she may have meant. This life seems to have two speeds lately:
  1. Captain Insane-O Does the Warp-Speed Dance
  2. Captain Insane-O Does the Warp-Speed Dance after 16 Red-Bull and Vodkas
Dear Lord, please stop the sizzling in my head.

In the Comments section, tell me what you'd rather be doing.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Because I Couldn't Let You Think I Was All About Cold Beans Over the Weekend

You kids know that I revere my friends and family to Oth degree (a step above the "Nth" degree, my pretties). That doubles when my beloved friends take compelling pictures of me.

I call this "Allison's genius at capturing Val in front of a laundr-o-mat in Pennsylvania."

And maybe when no one is listening, in a tiny whisper voice, I call it "Ow, my hair's on fire."

But Allison's genius, not my off-brand of humor, is really what shines through.

I love this picture because it's definitely (and defiantly) me. It's the passionate, lil' bit crazy me that I don't like for people to know about. And yet, here it is captured on film and on display for the entire bloggy world to devour.


So, Allison's got some more amazing ones that will be appearing at my MySpace page near you. But, in the meantime, if you want to check out much more of her compelling work, click here to adore and lurve her. And hire her.

In the Comments section, link to your favorite picture of yourself! Yes! Beautiful people!


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Do the Best You Can

Today, I ate beans out of a can like a hobo.

Further, I forgot to put on deodorant this morning, so I kind of smelled like a hobo, too.

But I bucked the trend a bit because it wasn't pork and beans, rather cannellini beans. Still, I don't think Martha Stewart would give me any points for that, and I can only imagine what my co-workers thought.

(Sidenote: The pun is not lost on me: a can of cannellinis. Man, I love a good pun.)

Generally, I prefer to eat cannellini beans in a salad of spinach, red onion, tuna and a simple vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, light olive oil, salt and pepper.

I also like cannelinis' shape because it looks like they're smiling and I want to know my food is enjoying itself. But probably more importantly, their creamy texture plays well with the earthiness of fresh spinach and acquiesces to the zingy balsamic vinegar.

But I left all of that fun stuff in my kerchief knapsack when I hopped from the train, so I made do with this.

By the way, has anyone seen my old brown dog anywhere?

In the Comments section, tell me what's your favorite thing to do with cannellini beans or, you know, legumes of any sort. It's pea season, I hear!

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I don't know if you know it, but I'm kind of hot shit.

I have one specific, patented* 123V pick-up move that has earned me the right to say that. I pretend I'm a reporter and tell (historically) guys that I need to ask them a few questions for a piece on which I'm working (women don't tend to fall for the bullshit).

There's nothing better than abusing journalistic freedom to ask a dude anything and everything I want.

"So, what's your take on foreplay? How important is knowing that your woman is satisfied to you?"

"Of what are you most afraid?"

"Tell me the worst thing you've ever done."

While this tactic has worked well to help me weed out guys in the past, I used this strategy to its greatest success circa 2003 when there was a musician whom I wanted to get to know. Suffice it to say that I got to know him really well.

He wasn't circumcised.

When he inquired later about the status of my article, I truthfully said that the publication I claimed to represent wasn't sure if it was able to run the piece. Of course it wasn't sure; it didn't know I was operating out in the field on its behalf.

Sneaky? Yes. Deceitful? Oh, hell yes. Worth it? You betta believe it.

Do you think a dude has ever regretted lying to a woman about how much money he makes, how much he "loves" her or how he can help her further her career?

I don't think so, either.

In the Comments section, tell me the best pick-up line you ever ran.

*just waiting on the paperwork to finalize

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Nursing Old Wounds

When I was 15, I volunteered at a local nursing home. We had to take Carolina back roads to get there, and my Dad capitalized on the opportunity by trying to teach me how to drive in our cobalt blue '93 Ford Taurus.

While driving was exhilarating, what I remember most was being happy to finally get to the nursing home. I suppose my Dad would say the same.

I didn't do anything at the nursing home, really—just talked to the folks, or rather listened to them talk. About their kids, parakeets, husbands, gardens, Pat Sajak—whatever and whoever was on their minds.

Though enjoyable in its way, as non-essential as my post seemed during the six or so months that I did it, the value really came back to me when my own Mama went into to a nursing home eight years later.

Even though she was a good 20 years younger than the youngest of the nursing home set, I found that the only thing any of the folks there, my Mama included, wanted was for someone to listen to them. To stories about their kids, their parakeets, their husbands, their gardens, Alex Trebek—whatever and whoever was on their minds.

I was really fortunate that I was just down the road from my Mama's nursing home during those months and that she eventually decided she wanted to go home nine months later. Some people never leave.

I don't even like to think about how weird my experience was as a 23-year-old who had to visit her mother in a nursing home, because I can't even imagine how weird it was to be a 55-year-old woman whose 23-year-old daughter was visiting her in a nursing home. It's all relative.

During her life, my Mama touched people: quite literally as a talented massage therapist and emotionally as someone who cared about the hearts and lives of her clients. Hearing her clients' stories at her funeral made my grieving heart sing. The song was low and sad and wavering, but still.

More than her dying, it hurt recalling the months and years of watching my Mama give up on life.

I wish I had a point here. I don't.

I'm mostly just feeling sorry and sad for myself on this rainy April night. Missing my Mama. Worried about my sister. Concerned that my niece and nephews may someday be in the same position. Trying to figure out the best way to make sure that none of us ever has to worry about this sort of thing again.

Thank goodness it's spring.

In the Comments section, tell me about what you're worried.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Big D'Oh

My great-Aunt E and I celebrate the same birthday, March 27.

Aunt E's got me by, like, 32 years but she's cool as shit, which is why I can't understand how she could beget a goober like her son, my Cousin Bruce. (He's my step-cousin, really, but it's impolite to not claim blood relations for the stupid ones.)

I called to wish Aunt E a happy B-day on our day, especially because she's going in for some major surgery soon. Anyhoo, Cousin Bruce picked up the phone first. Damn.

"Hey, Val. Yeah, Mom's here. She can't wait to talk to you. So, guess what? The "O" in the Hollywood sign burnt out, and I was supposed to drive the replacement out to Cali but they needed 24 feet on the trailer and my rig is only 20 feet. Fuck! Oh, and I'm buying you a gun for Christmas."

Hey, my pretties, I love me some truckers. Lookin' down ain't what this is about.

But Cousin Bruce lost his CDL license more than a few years ago due to some dranking and mouthing off to coppers, um, six times in a two-year period. After his truck sat parked in Aunt E's driveway for several consecutive months, he finally sold his rig three years ago, so ain't no one asking him to drive nothing nowhere.

Apparently, though, Cousin Bruce can time travel. Or he was hopped up on some major goofballs that were taking him back to 2004.

I don't know. I suspect that he doesn't either.

The moral of the story? Don't call my Aunt E's house when Cousin Bruce is awake.

In the Comments section, tell me about your "Cousin Bruce." We all got one.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Meat Head and the Chicken Fandanglies

It's not every day a gal gets a bag of meat in the mail … but it really should be.

God bless the great state of Oklahoma and one of its finest inhabitants, Mr. Woodrow, for sending some venison jerky to yours truly. All I can show you is the sack because I done ate up every last bit of it.


I have some jerk pork jerky marinating as we speak (or read and write) to return in kind, but it's going to be tough to beat his meat.


W also provided me with directions, and thank goodness, because it's been quite a while since I've had any meat in my hands. Take that as you will, but I almost let my friend Al Bal set me up with someone who's described as "kind of a crack head, but he'd be a lot of fun."

I admit, I gave it a legitimate thought but I'm getting too old to be doing shiz like that any more. I am officially 28 years of age.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes; I got some amazing bleu cheese from Lorelai and a wonderful gift from the Pennsylvania judicial system when it dropped some charges against me on account of my being a "nice person." I swear to Joe. I can't make this stuff up.

This is not the time nor place to go into it—but according to a very reputable anonymous source with a great rack, not only is it OK to send thank-you notes to cops who arrest you in a kindly manner, it's also a darn good idea.

In the Comments section, tell me what you like about Pennsylvania.

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