Friday, November 28, 2008

This One is for MM

For almost a year, MM has been bugging me to retell a story I told at a blogger bash. It is one of those stories that I didn't even think about posting on my blog because it is pretty commonplace behavior for me, I didn't think it was funny. However, several people have told me how funny they think the story is, so here it is.

In a previous post, I happened to mention that one of the things I would really like for Christmas would be carpet cleaning, but that it is weird to put "carpet cleaning" on your wish list. After I wrote that post, I got a nice email from Josh, a local guy who frequently comments on several blogs. In addition to having another full-time job, Josh said he runs his own carpet cleaning business and he would be able to clean my carpets at a pretty low price.

After a few emails back and forth (mostly me trying to explain how and why my carpets were so dirty and him assuring me (1) he's seen worse and (2) he can get it clean), I arranged to have him come out to my house to give me an estimate. In the email, I said that it would be best if he came out after 7:30 because both of the kids would be asleep in bed. He agreed.

As I was driving home that evening, it all of a sudden hit me. What the hell is my problem?? Let's look at this objectively, Ms. PH. You write a blog wherein you state that you live alone. A man you don't know emails you on your blog email (which is not my personal email and one I only use for blog stuff) and says he can "clean your carpets" for a "low price." Not only do you give this man your home phone number and address, you invite him over at night when the children will be asleep and tell him that you will be alone.

Yes, it is true. Despite all indications to the contrary, sometimes I can be very, very blond. It's like the textbook example of what to do if you want to get attacked in your own home by a crazy person.

So, I was in a semi-panic driving home. I called my best friend and explained the situation. She made me promise to keep my cell phone on my body at all times and call her as soon as he left. This sounded like a good plan, so I agreed. But then I started to think . . . what if he overpowers me and takes my cell phone? What if he forces his way into the front hall and knocks me out? Big fat good my cell phone is going to do me then and my best friend who lives in CHICAGO probably won't be able to help much either.

As I am putting the kids to bed, I'm frantically scanning my brain for options. (And, no . . . calling to cancel did not occur to me as one of my options. Either I really, really wanted to have my carpets cleaned or I'm just that blond. You decide.) The answer I come up with is "I need a weapon." The problem is . . . because I have two children under three in the house, most of the potential weapon-type instruments have been removed. I search the house for possibilities:

Gun? Nope. Never had one in my house and don't plan on it. It's not a political thing - it's a safety thing. Think about it . . . what are the odds that I would actually shoot an intruder instead of shooting myself?

Fire place poker? No. Hard to conceal if the guy turns out to be completely normal and harmless. I really didn't want him to think I thought he was a creep.

Bat? No. Same problem as the poker. Plus, the only one I had was my son's toy baby bat, which is covered with foam. Not so threatening to a serial killer.

Knife? Now that has some possibilities. I look at the knife rack and consider my options. Large knifes are out of the question since it would be really hard to hide one of those as well. And then I have the answer. A Steak Knife!! Perfect! Sharp enough to leave a mark or two if I have to, threatening enough to scare a half-assed creep away from me long enough for me to make a break for it, but small enough to stick in my pocket.

I took a steak knife out of the drawer and stuck it in my pocket and waited for Josh to arrive. A couple of times I forgot I had a steak knife in my pocket and tried to sit down and got a nice little surprise in a very sensitive area. Thank god I have fairly quick reflexes.

Josh arrived right on time and looked completely normal. He was dressed in business-identified clothing and looked like the boy next door. As we were walking from the front door through the kitchen to the basement, I seriously thought about abandoning the knife. But then I thought . . . isn't that the first thing people always say about serial killers? "He was so nice . . . looked just like the boy next door. I can't believe he would do something like this."

I put my hand in my pocket to hold onto the knife. (As an aside, in addition to being difficult to sit with a steak knife in your pocket, it is also fairly difficult to walk normally down the stairs with a knife in your pocket.)

Josh surveyed my carpet and we chatted for a little bit. He really was a nice guy and very professional. He told some funny stories about his kids and his wife and assured me he could solve all of my soiled carpet problems. I followed him up the stairs and, as we passed through the kitchen, I slid the steak knife out of my pocket and onto the kitchen counter. I felt guilty after that for even thinking Josh was a serial killer.

Another reason I haven't posted this story is that I didn't want to hurt Josh's feelings by telling people I thought he might be a serial killer. After all, that was what I thought before I met him. Now I've met him, and met his kids and wife, and I can assure everyone in the blog world that he is a very, very nice guy who would never hurt a fly, much less a person. I want everyone to know that none of my craziness was caused by anything he did at all. I'm just that crazy and neurotic.

And, man . . . can he clean carpets! I seriously thought I was going to have to throw away the carpet in my basement because of the pet stains on it. Not after Josh was there. It looks (and smells) like new. Josh is wonderful . . . I'm the crazy one.

So, if you need your carpets cleaned, please send me an email and I will give you Josh's information. He's the best!

And, MM . . . are you happy now?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have You Ever?

Okay. I admit it. I've been lacking in blogging material that's coming out from the drafting stage the way I want it to. I have about six half-cooked posts sitting around that I just don't like well enough to publish. So, I'm stealing from someone. I read Lollygaggin's blog today and decided, "Hey! I want to play too!"

Plus . . . it is an easy way to write a post and I really want to beat my post number from last year.

Things I've Done

1. Started your own blog -Duh! You're reading it, silly.

2. Slept under the stars - Many times.

3. Played in a band - I played in many an orchestra and sort of in one band, but it was a bad idea from the get-go and I think my hip friends just felt sorry for the girl who could only play the violin.

4. Visited Hawaii - No, which is sad because my grandparents always wanted to take us but didn't get around to it before my grandmother died.

5. Watched a meteor shower - Yes.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity - Yes, both time and money.

7. Been to Disneyland - Yes.

8. Climbed a mountain - Well, not with like ropes and stuff, but hiked on trails, sure.

9. Held a praying mantis - No. Ew.

10. Sang a solo - Yes.

11. Bungee jumped - No.

12. Visited Paris - Yes, on my 17th birthday.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea - The storm was at sea, I wasn't. That's dangerous.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - Sure, but I have no idea what this means. The art of sarcasm? Ya, you betcha!

15. Adopted a child - Not yet.

16. Had food poisoning - Yes, thank you Bennigans.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - Yes.

18. Grown your own vegetables - If herbs count, yes.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - Yes. Booooring.

20. Slept on an overnight train - Yes.

21. Had a pillow fight - Yes. Of course. That's what girls do when they hang out together, right?

22. Hitch hiked - No.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - Well, never at my current job!

24. Built a snow fort - Yes. And I plan to again if we ever get enough snow and I have children who can actually walk in the snow.

25. Held a lamb - Like a real one? Why would I want to do that?

26. Gone skinny dipping - Yes . . . and got pulled out of the lake by the Minneapolis Police. Good times.

27. Run a Marathon - Puhlease . . . no.

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - No.

29. Seen a total eclipse - Yes. It was when I was in second grade.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - Of course.

31. Hit a home run - Yeah right. I consider it a home run if I actually hit the ball.

32. Been on a cruise - Not really, unless you count ferry rides, which I don't think you do.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - Yes.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - Yes. I was actually in the room where my mother was born (she was born at home in Sweden).

35. Seen an Amish community - Yes.

36. Taught yourself a new language - Not unless you count translating for my children when no one else can understand them.

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - Yeah, right. No.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - No.

39. Gone rock climbing - Yes. I sucked at it.

40. Seen Michelangelo's David - Not in person.

41. Sung karaoke - Yes.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt - Yes.

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - Um, no. Why would I do that?

44. Visited Africa - No.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight - Yes. Slept on the beach by moonlight as well.

46. Been transported in an ambulance - No.

47. Had your portrait painted - By someone other than my three year old? No.

48. Gone deep sea fishing - No.

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - Not yet.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - Yes.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - No.

52. Kissed in the rain - Yes. Wonderful.

53. Played in the mud - Yes.

54. Gone to a drive-in theater - To see a movie? No.

55. Been in a movie - Yes. And not just home movies, either. A real, wide-release movie.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China - Not yet.

57. Started a business - No.

58. Studied a martial art - If kickboxing counts, then yes.

59. Visited Russia - No.

60. Served at a soup kitchen - Yes.

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - Yes. I sucked at it.

62. Gone whale watching - Yes.

63. Got flowers for no reason - Yes.

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - Yes.

65. Gone sky diving - No.

66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp - No.

67. Bounced a check - Hasn't everyone?

68. Flown in a helicopter - Yes.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - Tons of them. And I won't let my kids play with some of them either.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - Yes.

71. Eaten caviar - Of course. I probably will on Friday as well.

72. Pieced a quilt - Yes.

73. Stood in Times Square - No.

74. Toured the Everglades - No.

75. Been fired from a job - No.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - No.

77. Broken a bone - Yes. Well, technically, my brother broke it by pushing me backwards off a ledge, but it was my bone that was broken.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - No.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - No.

80. Published a book - Sort of. Not by myself, but I have co-authored two books.

81. Visited the Vatican - No.

82. Bought a brand new car - Yes.

83. Walked in Jerusalem - No.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper - Yes.

85. Read the entire Bible - Not the entire bible - but I read a good portion of it for religion classes in college. It is essential reading to understanding much of the world's literature and other arts.

86. Visited the White House - No.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - Ugh . . . not unless you count fish.

88. Had chickenpox - No.

89. Saved someone’s life - Literally? No.

90. Sat on a jury - No.

91. Met someone famous - Several people.

92. Joined a book club - A couple of them.

93. Lost a loved one - Yes.

94. Had a baby - Depends on your definition of "having a baby"

95. Seen the Alamo in person - Yes. Waste. Of. Fucking. Time.

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - No. I've seen it, never swam in it. Do they let you?

97. Been involved in a law suit - Um . . . duh. Everyday.

98. Owned a cell phone - Yes.

99. Been stung by a bee - Yes.

100. Read an entire book in one day - Yes. That was before kids.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Upon Further Refelction,

Perhaps I should stop purchasing children's books at the Dollar Store.

Friday, November 21, 2008

In the End . . . .

Recently, I was reading an article from the November 10, 2008, New Yorker entitled "Suffering Souls - The Search for the Roots of Psychopathy." It was a fascinating article and combines several areas of study that I have always been interested in: psychopathology and criminal behavior. But this post isn’t really about the article. You can read it for yourself if you are really interested.

Not surprisingly, the article focused on psychopaths in the prison inmate population, highlighting the work of a psychologist in the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility. What struck me about the article was a quote seen on a poster in the common room at the prison:

"I am here because there is no refuge, finally, from myself."

I have been thinking about that quote since I read it. It struck a chord in me and I can’t seem to get it out of my head. While I see the application to prison inmates, I think it applies to the broader human experience. Maybe it’s because the economy is so bad or maybe because it’s the holiday season, but lately I have been hearing a lot of people do the "woe-is-me" talk. I have sympathy for what others are experiencing, even though I think my life could stand up to anyone else’s in the crazy-shit-happening department. But there are limits to my sympathy.

Everyone has tough times. Everyone should talk to their friends about their tough times. My patience wears thin when all I hear from people is how bad their life is when they are doing absolutely nothing to change it. All of us suffer from that feeling of utter hopelessness. I have been hanging on the bottom rung several times. At those times, one wants to turn to every other possible solution to their problems - drinking, drugs, inappropriate sex with inappropriate people, excessive spending, gambling, violence . . . whatever it is.

It took me a long time to realize none of those things were helping in the long term (not that I tried all of them). I spent a good portion of my 20s and early 30s trying to fix my problems by filling them in with outside things. My solutions, whether bad or good, never helped for long. Partying was fun (and still is), but certainly didn’t do anything to make me feel whole. The wrong men were nice distractions, but usually took away more of me than was missing when I met them. Work and school were never solid enough distractions for me to forget the bad things.

All of my attempts to fix the situation were nullities. Saying, "My life will be perfect when ________" meant my life was never perfect because there was always another __________ after the first one. There was always something more that I felt I needed to make myself feel better or be better or be whole. But, in the end, there is only myself.

Self-imposed exile was my remedy for the really bad times. After my first year of law school, I went back to my crappy retail job and tried to pretend the past nine months had never happened. One day, I gave up. I unplugged my phone, took the TV into my bedroom, and spent the next two weeks in bed. I only emerged to work and then went home and back to bed. Friends thought I had lost it. Maybe I had.

But, in the end, you can’t hide from yourself in a cell, whether it is the cell you have created in your bedroom or a prison cell. You have to deal with the reality of yourself within the confines of the reality of life. No one else can do it for you. I may not be able to control everything in my life . . . but I can control my responses to everything in my life.

I am here (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually) because, in the end, there is no hiding from myself. And, finally . . . I like that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Typical Interaction with Facebook

I joined Facebook about six months ago because my 21 year old cousin said I should. Despite the 16 year difference in our ages, she insists I should try to be cool like her. When I joined Facebook, I looked around for people I knew and asked for several of them to be my friends. I immediately saw that my parents were both friends with my cousins, so I invited my parents to be my friends. My mother accepted by invitation right away.

My dad has still not accepted my invitation. I asked him about it saying, "Why won't you be my friend on Facebook?" My dad said, "Because I'm not your friend . . . I'm your father." My dad clearly doesn't understand the way Facebook functions.

Anyway, after my initial sign-up, I haven't done a lot of searching for friends. I have looked at everyone who says they graduated from the same high school, college, or law school that I did in the same year I did. The strange thing is that I don't know half of the people who say they graduated in my classes. I really, really don't remember them. And it is not like I went to huge schools. My college class was probably the largest, with about 400 people in it. There were only about 150 in my law school graduating class, so one would think I would recognize some of these people.

So, either because my memory sucks or because people are pretending to want to be my friend just to up their friend numbers, I get a fair number of Facebook emails from people I don't recognize. I just got another one over the weekend. My reaction to this one is pretty typical.

Facebook: Jane has added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm you know Jane in order for you to be friends on Facebook.

Jane: "You may not recognize my married name, but you'd know me if I said my maiden name was Smith. :) How are you Miss Smarty-Smarty Lawyer Pants?"

Me: Who the fuck is Jane? (I am able to rule out her belonging to my law school class because, as a general rule, lawyers don't address each other as "Miss Smarty-Smarty Lawyer-Pants.)

Facebook: To confirm this friend request, follow the link below.

Me: Okay . . . follow the link. Now, I am reading the friend request and it says we have one friend in common. Click on that link. I see the one friend we have in common is a friend from my pre-law school days. Really, just a drinking-partying-doing-stupid-stuff friend, but we bonded quite a few times over shots, so she and I have become friends on Facebook.

Me: So, I still have no idea who Jane is. I suppose I might as well accept her friend request. She clearly thinks she knows me. And it is driving me crazy because I can't place her from her blurry-shot-in-a-bar profile picture. Click on confirm.

Facebook: Don't you want to see how many people you know in common?

Me: No. Click on profile pictures. Scan through pictures of kid, husband, dog, house, kid, kid, kid, husband . . . the very last picture is Jane with her husband and kid and I actually recognize her. OHHHHH . . . JANE!

Me: (writing on Jane's Wall) Hey! How are you? What are you doing in PA? You have a cute kid!!

Then, I figure my Facebook obligation is over. She and I are now friends, she can look at my profile and all my pictures, comment on a few, send me a few stupid drink requests or plants or best friend awards, and the whole thing will die off soon enough.


Jane: "Hello!!! So glad to see you on fb! I've found more people that I thought I'd never see again (all good--- you included! :) ). Yes, we live in PA---and are ready to move on. We love where we live, but jobs for husband have all but dried up in this area. [The baby] is 15 months now and becoming quite a handful. She's just incredible and worth the wait, let me tell you. Looks like you've been busy reproducing as well, yes? I'm so impressed with your job--you scored! how's the family?"

Well, that was probably more information than I needed, thanks Jane. That's exactly what I tell people when they ask what I've been doing for the last 10 years . . . reproducing and lawyering. Little bit here, little bit there . . . whatever.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear Smart Car Driver . . .

I think it is absolutely wonderful that you have shown your green-superiority to the rest of us by purchasing a Smart Car. I think it is great that you can park your car at a bike rack instead of taking up one of my parking spaces. Frankly, I am jealous that you are using all of your excess gas money to buy Birkenstocks, clothing made from recycled plastic, and reusable tampons.

But I have one favor to ask. Just one little thing from this gas-car-driving consumer . . . .

Could you PLEASE drive the FUCKING SPEED LIMIT? I know you have a tiny electric car. I know it was a really, really big hill. I know it feels like you are driving a beer can with wheels and when I pass you in my Hyundai, the vibrations make it feel like your hubcaps are going to fly off. However, these things are not my problem.

What is my problem is you driving 30 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. Sure, I was feeling a little grumpy because I had just come from the mall where I had to deal with the drone-people who think they need to start Christmas shopping on NO-FREAKING-VEMBER 15th all because I promised my kid she could ride on the Christmas train. I take ownership for my part in this situation. I'm just asking you to drive the speed limit.

Or, like . . . five miles over the speed limit. THAT would be really nice.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dishwasher Dishwasher Dishwasher Dishwasher DISHWASHER!

After six months of dishpan hands, I finally have a new dishwasher. Or, I should say, newly installed dishwasher. The new dishwasher itself has actually been in my possession for six months. It's just been sitting in my garage because of the asshats who put the last dishwasher in my house.

Anyway, it's in and it works, even though it sticks out from the face of the cabinets by like four inches. (Ahh . . . such is the joy of an old house). Tonight, I'm going to wash EVERY SINGLE DISH in my house. I don't care if they are dirty or not. I'm going to do it because I can. And . . . I'm considering washing anything that will fit in the dishwasher tonight. I have really, really missed having a dishwasher.

Through all of this turmoil, I have learned that quite a few people either don't have or don't use dishwashers. I would like to know what is wrong with you people. Sure, I went through the apartment living too and didn't have a dishwasher in many an apartment. But I'm talking about people who own homes. When I was looking for a house, I told my realtor that my future house must have three things: (1) central air conditioning; (2) a gas stove; and (3) a dishwasher.

Even worse are the people who have dishwashers in their kitchens and don't use them. One of my good friends stores her cookies in the dishwasher. Like Oreos and Milanos. In the dishwasher. I find that very strange. Why would you not use the time saving device installed in your home?

My secretary has taken great joy in telling me that washing dishes by hand is good for me. It is not good for me. It makes me crabby. It gives me dry hands and I hate having dry hands. What I have saved in water costs, I have spent in hand lotion.

But you know what this means? It is time for another appliance to break. Bring it on.

Monday, November 10, 2008

You Know What? BITE ME.

I just learned something fairly interesting and completely childish. Today, I published a post on my blog. It was a simple little post, an answer to one of those little memes that goes around the blogging world. Nothing too serious . . . just a little laugh to start off a Monday.

Just like many of my posts, I created several links to other bloggers or other sites that might explain my posts. To some people, my posts can be a little confusing or overly intellectual or contain too many big words and some of those words may need further information. Or sometimes, I create links to be funny. You know, because sometimes I try to be funny.

You know, sometimes people don't agree with me. Sometimes they think my use of the word fuck is too liberal. Sometimes they don't like my politics. Some people like to comment on what I do or don't do with my breasts. Or sometimes they might call me mean. But NOT ONCE has anything on my blog been censored or deleted or completely removed from the online forum that I list as "One of My Favorite Things" on said blog.

But today it was.

Apparently, someone finds one particular link so disturbing, so over the top, so . . . wrong, that my post was deliberately removed from a local blog roll on a local forum.

No, seriously. Really.

What in the sam hell did you link to, Ms. PH? What could be SOOOOO offensive to the good people of Peoria that such a harmless little post was removed? What was it? A snuff film? Baby seal clubbing videos? A picture of that big ball of twine in Minnesota?

No, no. It was worse. I linked to the other Peoria forum. I know - the horror.

So, therefore, you know what dear so-and-so? Get over yourself. Grow the fuck up. Take your head out of your ass. Censorship for moral or political reasons is wrong. Censorship because of local forum wars? That's just stupid.

And, oh yeah . . . bite me.

Wow - I've Been Blinged

This has never happened to me before . . . Cameron from over at Get the Stink Off gave me some bling, which I was really excited about until I realized it was just some kinda girly square misspelled bannery thing. (I guess, unlike Cameron, I have not forfeited my man card.) But then he called me really smart and I forgave him and decided to play his game.

So, apparently, here are the rules:

(1) List six things that make you happy
(2) Pass the award on to 6 more kreativ bloggers
(3) Link back to the person who gave you the award
(4) Link to the people you are passing it on to and leave them a comment to let them know.
(5) Request scantily clad photos of your blogger friends of the opposite sex.

(Hmmm . . . I'm thinking I might not play part 5 of this game.)

But here are six things that make me happy, in no particular order:

(1) Veteran's Day. Since it's tomorrow, this is really timely happiness. I explained my reasons for loving Veteran's Day some time ago in this post, so I will not elaborate again. Let's just say: Day Off + Day Care Open + No Family Obligations = Happy Day.

(2) Laughing with my children. There is nothing better than raising children who have good senses of humor. I love laughing with them when they say something funny and know they've said something funny, and they are laughing because I am laughing and I am laughing because they are laughing. I just want to squeeze them and cover them with kisses when that happens.

(3) Office Supplies. I love office supplies. Everything from fancy paperclips to every shape of Post-It note, I love them. Particularly pens. And my favorite pens (Pilot V Ball Extra Fine in black) are very hard to come by, so they are usually on my Christmas list. Oh, and stickers and markers and calendars and three-hole-punches and white-out and staple removers and those rubber thumb thingys. I don't really know what those rubber thumb thingys are for, but I have one in my desk drawer. Just in case.

(4) Coffee, Chocolate, Wine, and Pastries. To be more specific, strong coffee, dark chocolate, good wine, and cream-filled pastries.

(5) Mail. Getting real mail makes me happy. Not bills or junk mail or catalogs or reminder notices. Real mail that someone handwrote, hand addressed, and put a stamp on. Makes me feel really special.


Now I have to link to six more creative bloggers. Hmmmm . . . . After careful consideration, I have decided to only link to female bloggers, because I think Cameron pretty much covered all of the male bloggers when he said his real favorite things were "family, friends, boobs, beer, food, and boobs." I could be wrong, but I don't think so. So, here are the six newest recipients of some blogger "bling."

Notes from the Trailerhood
It Was Only a Dream
Vanilla Bean Counter
Keep Passing the Open Windows
Cjay . . . What?
My Flock Rocks

*You may all think number six is blank. It isn't. It is written in invisible ink. A girl's entitled to have some secrets, isn't she? Well, some sort-of secrets, anyway, since number six was discussed in great length over here last night.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Advantages of a Room with a View

I could have gotten a better picture if I hadn't been using my cell phone camera. You can't really tell, but it was a double rainbow, nearly a complete arc, and ended at the Par-A-Dice casino. I kid you not.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

10 Favorite Pick-Me-Up Movies

It is apparently Ms. PH month at HBO On Demand because they have five of my favorite pick-me-up movies available this month. I felt so honored and touched that I decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite pick-me-up movies. These are movies that, if I am surfing the channels on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with nothing else to do, I will absolutely stop and watch them every time. They are also movies that make me laugh and movies that I quote randomly, usually at inappropriate times when no one has any clue what I am talking about.

The first five are on HBO On Demand right now and the rest are just my favorites. (And, for those of you who can't count, there are actually 12 movies on the list. I just couldn’t decide which ones to cut, so I included all of them.)

(1) Blue Streak - Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, Dave Chappelle. I really don’t know what it is about this movie that makes me love it so much. Could it be the dumbass cops who can’t figure out that Martin Lawrence isn’t actually a cop? Maybe. I also love Luke Wilson, so that could be the reason too. Who cares, really. I love it. Seen it like 25 times.

(2) Knocked Up - Seth Rogan, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd. If you think about it, the basic story of this movie is not all that funny. Nothing like a totally unplanned pregnancy resulting from a drunken one-night-stand to bring your mood down. However, the underlying humor in this movie is hysterical. One of my favorite parts is when Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd go to Vegas, eat some shrooms, and Paul Rudd obsesses about the number and type of chairs in the hotel room. I think about that every time I am in a hotel room and I find myself counting the number of different chairs. Oh, and this exchange: Dad: "Don’t ever do what they just did." Little Girl: "I’m gonna do it!!"

(3) The Last Supper - Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, Annabeth Gish. For those who don’t remember this movie, the basic premise is a bunch of liberal graduate students living in Iowa City together in a house. They decide they will invite people over whose views they do not agree with and kill them. Fantastic. Great for those days when the conservative wing nuts get you down.

(4) Never Been Kissed - Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Michael Vartan. How can you not love this movie? It is every unpopular girl’s dream come true. Plus, there are so many situations where you can use the quote, "What? I can grab a bull’s balls!!"

(5) The Truth about Cats and Dogs - Uma Thurman, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Chaplin. I may bear a passing resemblance to Uma Thurman (if you squint your eyes and turn your head to the side) because I am tall, blonde, and of Swedish descent, but I totally identify with Janeane Garofalo in this movie. Cat-owning, violin playing, socially-awkward dork who might threaten to shove her violin bow up a guy’s nose to scramble his brain if she was pushed hard enough. (I’ve totally grown out of that now . . . except for the cat-owning and violin playing. And probably the dork thing too.)

(6) Hudson Hawk - Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Andie MacDowell. Sure, it is a dumb-ass movie. It makes no logical sense. It has Bruce Willis in it both trying to be funny and singing. However, no matter how depressed I am, this movie will make me laugh every time. So, if you ever hear me say, "I must go talk to the dolphins now! Eeeee . . . Eeeee . . . Eeeee" or sing "Swinging on a Star" you will know why.

(7) Big Daddy - Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, Joey Lauren Adams. This is by far the funniest quote movie ever. Ever. I can’t tell you the number of times I said, "But I wipe my own ass!" while potty-training my daughter. Appropriate? No. Funny? Hell, yes. That or "Hip . . . Hip . . Hip-hop-anonymous?" I am not ashamed to admit that I use some of the best parenting tips from that movie while raising my own kids.

(8) Galaxy Quest - Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver. Oh, and Justin Long and Tony Shalub. Too funny for words, especially if you are the type of person who likes to make fun of Star Trek fans.

(9) Old School - Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell. Because of this movie, I am trying really hard to teach my daughter "EARMUFFS" so I can swear in front of her, but she isn’t buying it. For a long time, some friends and I would yell at each other when we were leaving, "YOU’RE MY BOY BLUE!" And just picturing Vince Vaughn smoking while attempting the ring exercise makes me giggle.

(10) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Justin Long. Hmm . . . it has just occurred to me that I might have the sense of humor of a 14 year old boy. Anyway, when Rip Torn says, "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a dodgeball!" and smacks Justin Long with a wrench, I can’t stand it. Too Damn Funny.

(11) Men in Black - Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Vincent D’Onofrio. I loved this movie from start to finish. I even wanted to name my next cat Orion because of this movie. But the best part of this movie (and a quote I use with some frequency in my professional life) is, "No Ma’am . . . we at the FBI do not have a sense of humor we are aware of." Classic.

(12) Office Space - Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole. Any person that does not find this movie funny needs to be shot in the head. They clearly have no sense of humor whatsoever and I have no use for them. Because of this movie, I also have a deep love of flair. I have flair on my facebook page. I collect random buttons. This weekend, I can be found wearing all of my flair at Julep’s Closet on my apron. And anytime I see the words "PC load letter," I want to kick the shit out of a printer.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Creepiest Happy Meal Toy Ever.

I want to know who had the idea to crossbreed Madame Alexander dolls and the characters from the Wizard of Oz. Seriously . . . worst idea ever. And, even if fusing Madame Alexander dolls and characters from the Wizard of Oz was a good idea, like for characters such as Dorothy, the good witch, the munchkins, etc., who was the villiage idiot who thought young children would enjoy a Madame Alexander Flying Monkey?

What are they going to do next? Cabbage Patch Kid Transformers? (Well, we are almost finished with the prototype but these damn chubby cheeks keep getting in the way. There is no possible engineering solution to this problem. NO WAIT! I've got it! Chubby face cheeks transform to chubby butt cheeks. Perfect! Not creepy at all! Will be loved by the masses!)

Most kids I know (including myself) are scared shitless of the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. Giving them the cute baby face did not help. Giving them the cute little cupie doll haircut didn't help either.

But here's another problem. See that little vest the monkey is wearing? OK, now see that tail sticking out behind the monkey? Yeah, well . . . that tail is not attached to the monkey. It is attached to the bottom of the monkey's vest. WTF?

I mean, if you are going to make a creepy possessed smurf colored three toed flying simian primate, why would you not at least try to attach its tail to its freaking body?