Friday, May 30, 2003

You'd think it was Christmas Day.

I can't think straight until I see this.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I just got some new contacts, and they feel great. Soft. Much better than the hard plastic, gas permeable poker chips I've been wearing for the past 8 years. What a joke compared to these. Only drawback so far is that I can't actually see with these contacts, but that's the kind of perspective you'll get on comfort vs. functionality after wearing gas perms.

I hope I get used to these contacts. It's true, 95% of the day has been markedly blurry. Every now and then, the world will sharpen up into perfect focus, and I look at everything all wide-eyed and optimistic. For about five minutes. And then it blurs away. Which is actually been very similar to my life experience in general. So hey, as long as they don't hurt, I'm cool and oddly comforted.

But since I have worn this kind of soft contact once before the poker chips, I am now remembering things about them that I hated. Like when you break up with someone and then decide to go out with them again. " I remember why we broke up... you clip your toenails on the coffee table.... in between bong hits.... unemployed..... you stinky freak.... yeahhhh." So maybe I'll be going back to the old gas perms. I hate 'em, but it's a different kind of hate. One that's squinty, hurty, but a lot more clear in hindsight.

Anyway, let's talk about products. Like Diet Cherry Coke.

In my opinion, being a connoisseur of sodies, the only thing I can say is that it doesn't suck. It's OK. Taste-wise, it's right in there with Diet Coke with Lemon. Nothing much to blog home about. Now Diet Vanilla Coke really isn't good in the slightest to me. It tastes like it's trying too hard, like some piece of cheapie candy melted in the bottom of it.

I'm always looking for new favorites. But I tell ya, it ain't in the Diet Coke Lineup.

Mountain Dew has been experimenting with variations lately, but the only difference I can tell so far in any of their variations is in color and not flavor. Which is fine with me since I like Mt. Dew and Diet Mt. Dew. So while a red-colored Diet Mt. Dew may not vary in taste, I'm still okay with it because red's my favorite color. However, they need to either stop trying or perform better.

The best new mainstream soda I've had lately is Sprite ReMix. I'd show you a picture, but every time I go to their website, my browser gets hosed. And especially (1) after yesterday's touch-and-go harddrive exorcism and (2) since it's about as old as the Rosetta Stone anyway, I think I'll just leave that one alone.

Anyway there you have it. I'd like to try the Diet Coke varieties in Europe because they use good ole, cancer-causing saccharrin in their formulas, I do believe. Mmmmm. Dangerous sodaaaaa. Well, we all gotta go sometime, so might as well die with taste.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

My computer has been broken for over four hours now. I had to bring it back from the grave with the help of the guy next door. (Thanks as always, Michael.) I had to open it up, shock its brains out by pressing a tiny reset button, bang on its chest with a TechTool Disk, zap the P-RAM (whatever that is) and then, in an act of finality and desperation, I physically pulled the plug on it and left it for lunch.

They won't consider buying a new computer unless every crash is documented and all hours of repair are accounted for, to prove that they need to buy another computer. Like a broken computer isn't a valid reason. Pretty neat, huh? Logically, the new computer is not for me, it's for them. Therefore, it's actually not my problem since I know how to fix the computer: Get a new job.

Onto a much more interesting aspect involving the workday: Lunch. I am currently obsessed with bentos.

My obsession is based completely on space. This thing is great. It has three compartments – two separate compartments for food and one more designed to hold chopsticks and a spoon. All stackable. The color is boring; why couldn't it be red. And this one is billed for "heavy eaters." Lucky me. But hey, I must have a bento. It's the Japanese Mini Cooper of lunchboxes.

But still, nothing can compare to the Barbie Make Me Pretty lunchbox I had not so long ago. That's what I called it anyway. Ah, good times. I took it to work with me everyday for a year or so during the Better Days of My Career. I can't even find a picture of it anywhere. It was a simple, pink, square box. When opened. it had a comparment for a sandwich on one side and a three-sectioned compartment on the other side for small pretzels, grapes and even orange slices. One day, I opened up the box and heard a cracking noise, and all was lost. Must've been my heart because I have never been happy with any other so-called lunchbox ever since.

I told you I was obsessed.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Happy Memorial Day. And welcome to summer, officially.

Welcome to the smell of melting asphalt, welcome to flying bugs that bite, and welcome to feeling like a gerbil in a microwave. Welcome to the South in summer.

Well, I'm not going to complain yet. It's been so exceptionally nice so far. "is it my imagination, or has it not sucked yet?" I asked Ron as we set out for the bus station the past several mornings. "I mean, it feels like spring out here. Or fall. What is the deal?" I'm in love. Ron says through the beginnings of an upper-lip snarl, as if someone is walking up to him quickly, and that someone owes him 50 bucks, he says with a familiar level of distrust "Yeaahh... stoopid summer."

Maybe it's the cooler weather, the lack of humidity in the air, or just the Claritan talking. But this spring has been extra mild. And I'd like to thank someone for that. By now, I should have broken into many a nasty sweat by 9a.m. in my sun-baked, crockpot car. I'm shocked. This must be what normal, seasonal weather is like. This must be why people hail the arrival of summer. This is very new and odd to me. It's nice. Very nice.

Even though I'm severely tempted, I'm still not getting out in the sun. I get a sunburn at a drive-thru. I'll burst into flames and dust, like a moth on a bug light. So I've found a nice way to tan my skin without killing myself and saving the retinas of all those around me. It works great. It does. And it doesn't smell like a chemical bath.

Don't get me wrong, I wish I could lay out by a pool like a turtle on a rock. But again, I'm really not into spontaneous combustion. All that would be left of me would be shins and shoes. And however much some people wish it, I'm not burning out of this existence on purpose. And if I do burst into flames one day because I watched one too many X-Files, then at least my shins will be safely tanned.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Wacky chocolate covered banana or Mr. Hankie?

You decide.

click here for Casali tv spot

Friday, May 23, 2003

Hopefully, something like this is going to be my next AntiScribbly Device of choice.

The one I have now is okay. It's a Memorex little jobby. It's not as hi-tech or impressive as this one, but it works well. An AntiScribbly Device is used to screen out the unwanted comments that sound a lot like "Scribbly, scribble... sckyawm-me, sckyaw. Hey!...Hey!... Hey!" that one gets while walking downtown. Works great for both parties involved as most of the time, I seriously have no dollar on me, just the time of day which is obviously free. When you refuse two dimes and a nickel over having one solid quarter instead, you're just spoiled at that point.

Great thing about the AntiScribbly Device is that you don't even need to have the audio on, it still works with just the earplugs in. It's the best of both worlds as you can hear the traffic safely, and the crazy-swearing as you walk past is muffled to almost inaudible levels. If you've ever walked around downtown Memphis, you know how nice an AntiScribbly Device is to have.

Which reminds me, I have to walk home now. Have a great, long weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Hello, my name is Bethany, and I'm a toothpaste addict.

I don't mind admitting that I have a problem. I bought the new Aquafresh Extreme Clean. It's a nice looking tube, all silver and almost metallic-looking. Toothpaste was better when it came in metal tubes you could fold up at the end. Kinda made me feel like there was some natural progession to my life, to see the end of a toothpaste tube rolling further up the tube day by day. Til one day, the tube was empty. But to me, it didn't leave me feeling used up, as in "Damn. No more toothpaste." It left me with an accomplished feeling, like the hunter and the hunted. Accomplished, clean, and 20% whiter.

I tell you, I don't mind admitting that I have a problem.

Anyway, here I was. Liking this new toothpaste. I used it for a couple of days and wondered what that familiar taste was. Was it tea tree oil? Menthol? God forbid, camphor? It felt pretty good, whatever it was. One selling point of this toothpaste, besides the implied, everlasting Dorian Gray youthfulness for you and your gumline, was the gentle foaming action to, of course, reach those hard to reach places. Sold.

But what the hell is that flavor, I kept thinking? It's gotta be good for you. It's kinda medicinal. Maybe it's Honey Lemon Throat Lozenges.

This morning, Ron asks "Kin I try the superfly special toothpaste?" Sure thing, I said, and tell me what it tastes like to you. As I loaded up a ribbon of paste on my toothbrush, I admired the extra effort put into marketing the toothpaste, what with the orange color, white stripes and all. Simple enough, different enough. That taste. What is that taste.

"Ay Wron, ooo fasde id? I fasde, wike, fee free oyl... er, wike, men-fawwwl." The foaming action is quite a show.

Ron muffles out "mmmm-hmmmm" and spits. He rinses. "I know what it tastes like.... it tastes just like WalGreens Daytime Fake Nyquil. Orange."

And then, someone invisible grabbed my throat and choked me as I spit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Happy Birthday to Mike.

Is it today? I thought it was tomorrow. Well, the days and years sometimes blur, especially the Groupie Years when I followed you and Ron in your glory days with that other guy, whoever he was. The guy who had to leave the industry because of his weird hemmorhoid prolapse. Ya know?

And then you all broke up and you finally got your big break on Mr. Delphinio's Polka Hour. Remember?

Then Ron started his own tribute band that worked for a while, especially at the casinos. Until the Unfortunate Poker Chip Accident.

But all in all, I'm glad he quit rapping before somebody got seriously hurt. And I'm also glad he shaved his moustache.


Friday, May 16, 2003

This is a picture of my dog exploding. He is deathly afraid of storms. Cats beware, but thunder?

I used to like rainstorms. Being from Mississippi, I rode tornadoes to school and ate boiling green thunderclouds at snackytime. But now it's kinda hard to enjoy them when all I can picture is Otis hyper-ventilating in his steel *pLaYhOuSe*, digging for imaginary toads in their holes like a junkie swatting at bats and spiders.

All I can see is the movie monster "Alien." All drippy with fake Karo-syrup drool and a mean set or two of snarling dog teeth. If I go home to a meaty pile of what used to be a beloved dog, I'm going to be shipwrecked. More storms tonight. I hear that you can give Benadryl to panicky dogs. Which I have and shoulda done. Tonight before the next storm, what's left of that poor dog is getting dosed. I might break one in half for me, too.

Before consciousness, the next thing I knew I was sitting on the couch. "It must be time to go to work" I'm thinking. Ron hands me a bowl of flakes with dehydrated, space-age NASA-approved strawberries. I push them under the flakes to rehydrate them and try not to think about bacon.

He's sitting beside me with the paper. Kitty Kat is being a good cat to the other side until I accidentally touch her butt and she bites me with the No Means No look. Ron says in his best Simpsons War of the Worlds voice "We're doomed, I tell you, doo-o-o-oomed", and shows me the front page newspaper with a picture of two fat guys, one dressed as a female pig, the other as Elvis.

Yesss, I thought. When the aliens come, at least they will have a soft, squishy place to land. I stared down into a cup of hot, oily coffee and wished I could drink it faster.

"There's two in Memphis and one in Mississippi," he said. My brain scrunched up, and I asked what he said. Again, "There's two in Memphis and one in Mississippi... Ahhh! We're doomed!"

"Barbecue festivals?"

"No, two reported cases of SARS," he said. Then I saw it. The big, bold headline, up the page just past the pig and Elvis. "Oh... Who cares. Did you know you can't get any barbecue at that festival unless you cook it yourself?"

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Willpower is overrated.

And Christopher Guest is still a genius.

Along with the rest of the cast and two or three new additions.
Go see "A Mighty Wind." If nothing else, you'll learn one more application for the word 'flaccid'.

And give in to the power of the Birthday Cake Shake at Sonic. I crumbled, as expected, and had one last night before the movie. Today, I'm wearing glasses because that shake was so good I almost went blind. All I wonder is how can Sonic top that one?

Wait until I find the USB cable around here, and I'll post the hat our carhop was wearing. Ron spoke the truth, "Mmmhhmm, this shake bringin' it hard, but I gotta gets me one of them hats."

For anyone who likes Radiohead, the new album is extremely nice. Pretty sure June 16th is the release date. Buy, buy, buy.

I have to go resilver my retinas, and find the USB cable.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

I still can't get past the Birthday Cake Shake from this morning's post.There are some things you just shouldn't kid about. The power of a shake. I remember hearing the Sonic commercial the other night and from across the room those three words sliced through the clanging dish-washing and pot-scrubbing. And for a sharpened, split second, I think I could see every leaf on the tree outside.

"Hey Ron... Did they say 'Birthday Cake Sha–"

"Yes," he politely interrupted, "Yes they did." And he sighed heavily as if to say, "Where did you put the car keys."

But I have willpower. Oh yes. Yesss.

Even though all I have thought of since then was, well, work. Trying to get excited about writing radio spots touting Okra Festivals... well, that takes an extreme amount of concentration to mute a test pattern in your head all day, trust me. But every now and then, I hear that knock on that door that keeps my mind in tact most times. And there it was, the muffled rapping on the other side of that useless door, and the sound of those three words that quite possibly should never be together: birthday, cake and shake.

Not if anyone expects any work out of me anyhow. Beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetleju – NO!

Just as long as they don't mention spicy, barbecue, sauce, french and fries, I may be able to make it through one more day.

Tonight, I'm going to the movie "A Mighty Wind." I'll be back tomorrow to gush over Christopher Guest and his brilliance.

How many of these could I eat in one day?

At least two, and without ever hauling my lazy carcass out of the car.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

I love my Swiffer Duster.

I've been dusting everything in my path. Even behind things. Especially behind things. Would my time be better spent on laundry or some world peace effort? How about just spending this dusting time working on personal projects, updating the resume, developing meaningful relationships with people and things of that sort? Sure, my webpage sucks compared to the average 9th grader, but I'll be damned if my keyboard isn't cleaner and electrostatically dust-free.

If only I could come up with the Million Dollar Idea. One great invention that put me in the Comfortably Well-Off category. Not that I'm going to list any ideas out here just on the off-chance someone is reading this and decided to take my idea and make it the next Pet Rock. But I will say this: One day, I will make the Makin' Bacon girl look like a drooling idiot.

See the bacon billionairess at .

You know who I'm talking about, right? Not that I probably haven't mentioned her once before and can't remember since The Dementia has begun to set in. But for those who don't know her, she is just a girl who liked bacon, and had one good idea and then built a prototype.

So far, we've got at least two things in common. Now if only I had the idea and the gumption to make a prototype. Good lord, I used the word *gumption* in a sentence. Dusting has made me old.

Well, here's a freebie idea for all you Plagerizers of Ideas. The only good idea I've had lately came to me while a trail of ants threaded up an end table to leftover milk. I didn't even know that ants liked milk, so imagine my disgust and dismay when I tidied up Someone Else's morning cereal bowl sitting on the end table next to the couch. It's not as important Whose Bowl it was as long as I'm not the Guilty Party. Anyway, I pick up the bowl and ants were doing swandives into the milk, backstrokes, cannonballs, you name it. The ones relaxing by the bowl scattered momentarily. But I knew they'd be back.

So how to kill the ants without insect spray... cropdust the end table and the cats are off to the vet. Hmm. My eureka was an adhesive-type lint brush. Not only is it great for squishing, but their tiny, crushed bodies stick to it and make art like Kandinsky. Plus, you can joke about it:

"Hey Ron, know what the last thing that went through this ant's mind was?"

"Yes. His ass."

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Rapidly approaching Old Lady status.

But a Very Clean, Dust-free Old Lady at that. Why? Because I can't stop thinking about this:

Clearly, I have to have one. Right now. So badly in fact that my mother is sending me one since I reported to her that I have yet to find one here in town. And the simple fact that I am going on about a cleaning product like this instead of blathering on about my jealousy over my best friend's eating disorder or an episode of Mr. Personality proves, well, two things. One, that I do really sound old gushing over Swiffers, and two, that a huge percentage of America's youth are currently wasting precious cytoplasm and countless megabytes.

You know it's funny because it's true. Sure, I may be wasting cytoplasm as well. But hey, at least I'm cleaning up behind myself.

As much as I want to believe otherwise, I am giddy over this Swiffer thing's arrival.

Look, I'm not going to beat myself up over This Unusual Want. My dad even wanted one. Of course, this is the same guy who vacuumed my whole apartment. Then I turned around to see the vacuum cord snaking out the back door as he vacuumed my sidewalk... yes, this is the same guy, but I respect him. It's not just because he takes out my garbage when he visits. It's not because he sweeps my porch and the in river spiderwebs from the sides of my cocooned apartment . No, it's real respect. And my dad asked my mom for one, and he took it to work. He came back happy, reporting "That thing picked up so much crap that I'm gonna have to NAME it."

He didn't pick up his DNA-related humor from the Army, it just aggravated it.

In the words of the immortal Phil Hartman: "I'm an enigma, wrapped in a cipher, smothered in secret sauce." Applied to my dad, it's perfect. When asked in elementary school what our parents jobs were, my dad always told us he was a janitor. I bought it. He had his own set of keys to the place, and even a special key to shut the lights on and off. And granted, when he took me up to work with him afterhours, we went there sometimes to check on his lab animals to make sure the cages had been cleaned.

Oh yeah, lab animals. I said it. But that doesn't make me guilty of eating baby condor while clubbing a baby seal. He experimented on lab animals. It was his job. Not anymore. He's a safety officer. With the cleanest office in town. So he says. For all I know, he could be an FBI agent.

So now I see why he told us he was a janitor. It's got a better ring to it, plus he thought it was funny. Now I just think it's ironic.

Friday, May 02, 2003

She went out through the bedroom window. Protected by her tiny claws.

Sad news at the Circle K Kat Ranch as Beepers, otherwise known as Spitty Kitty, has escaped from the compound.

One less bell to answer, one less egg to fry. No, I really don't feel like that. I'm sad actually.

The saddest part is we didn't even realize she wasn't just cowering under the bed per usual. Not until the Uh-Oh this morning: the bedroom window screen, barely pushed loose at the bottom. Well, she can't say we didn't offer her privacy. So much privacy that we don't know exactly when she left last night. Then thinking back on last night, I did sleep through the night without the noctornal kitty gnat buzzing around my head or walking on my face or spitting on my eyelid. And this morning, she didn't come out for the morning kittypie gruel from a can.

It's still very sad to me. She wasn't wearing her collar which by now I've reasoned is actually lucky because it wasn't a breakaway collar anyway since I never expected her to roam outside. Luckier for me that she wasn't wearing it. Now I can stop envisioning her jumping playfully from a tree, catching herself on a branch and making Kitty WindChimes.

She was a stray who was found living under the deck of a restaurant. She'd had kittens once, but now she is spayed. So in that respect she's good-to-go or not-go in her case. She'll be a free-range kitty on her own again for awhile because I believe no state animal control worker will have the patience to catch that cat. But maybe someone will see her without her collar and decide she needs a good home. The averages are good that she'll run across perhaps a better home without the big raccoon-sized cat who insists on Alimentary Canal Inspections and Sporadic Cat Stranglings.

This is very sad. Oh well, there you have it.

Friday morning at nine o'clock she is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made
Meeting a man from the motor trade.
She (What did we do that was wrong)
Is having (We didn't know it was wrong)
Fun (Fun is the one thing that money can't buy)
Something inside that was always denied
For so many years. (Bye, Bye)
She's leaving home bye bye