Monthly Archives: December 2008

…is for horses

The sound of a vibrating pocket alerted me to an incoming text message. I check the phone, but do not recognize the number. The message is short, sweet, and to the (rather esoteric) point:


Um, ok? I do not respond; my first instinct is that it is a former acquaintance who is a bit on the creepy-obsessed side. I do not wish to spur him on. 

But I’m still curious as hell, so I take a shot in the dark and Google the number.

Lo and behold! A hit! Multiple hits, actually. Apparently I have received an ill-spelled text from the number of one Dustin Ward, country music entertainer extraordinaire! 

An attempt to follow one of the links leads me to a cancelled MySpace page. Alas, I might have just been subject to some weird text-message spam. 

But what’s this?

The plot thickens! I’ve been contacted by a Q-List celebrity (note: Lists A-P were a bit too well-known). But who is this man–this singer of country music, this user of Free Press Release Dot Com? 

The world might never know… because frankly, I’m not nearly impressed enough to text back.

Identifying food by color

It started as a joke about “purple drank,” but this is ridiculous.

The “sandwich line” at the cafeteria of my place of work is overall well-equipped. A variety of delicious (sounding, not always looking) ingredients awaits us hungry lunch-goers each day. Though the selection is varied, my choice is generally the same each time I visit: garlic wrap, smoked turkey, swiss cheese, green pepper, onion, tomato. It’s simple and delicious. 

Ordering said meal is not so simple. First, in order to receive actual Swiss cheese, I must ask for “Big Eye Swiss.” I’m not sure what that means, but if I just say “Swiss,” I get some mysterious white cheese slapped on my tortilla. Though not a cheese connosseiur by any means, I’m unaware of any variety of Swiss cheese that comes without holes. To me, asking for Swiss cheese with holes is like asking for a pizza with crust: it’s a given. But I’ve since learned to adapt.

When in Rome…

So imagine my delight when the cafeteria introduced a “hot sandwich line:” flatbreads topped with your choice of ingredients, then toasted in an oven. Delicious! And “Swiss cheese” was listed as an ingredient! When I took a closer look at the cheese offerings, I was delighted to find that it was the Swiss cheese I’ve loved my entire life: just plain, whitish cheese avec holes. Brilliant! Perfect, until today…

I should have known something was amiss when I heard the Sandwich Lady ask someone in line ahead of me if he wanted “White or yellow cheese.” It always makes me cringe when others identify food by color. It implies that the food product is devoid of any actual distinguishing taste and that the only difference between the choices is its (usually) unnatural color. But I heard another in line ask specifically for Swiss cheese on his sandwich, and I sighed with relief. 

When it came for my turn, I put in my order: flatbread, turkey, swiss (Hey, I know what I like and stick with it. Don’t hate). Not until I got further in line did I realize that there were, in fact, two available cheese: one was yellow, the other was white. Cheddar? American? Provolone? Swiss? Who knew? As far as Sandwich Lady was concerned, it was Yellow and White. No additional adjective necessary. I hung my head, reluctantly accepting my sandwich into a to-go container and shuffled back to my building. 

For the record, the cheese they slapped on my sandwich was not Swiss. I actually have no idea what sort of cheese it was, other than White. My sandwich tasted horribly. I forced myself to take 3 or 4 bites, then gave up.


I am normal, you are not.

I come from an extended family of Mouth Kissers. When it comes time to leave a family gathering, we gather in each others arms and kiss, lips-to-lips. Never in my life did I find it strange that I kissed Aunt Gerry on the mouth until a random thought hit me when I was in high school: Is that normal? I mean, it’s not like I’m exchanging French kisses with aunts and uncles, but is this what other people do? 

It’s a question that’s haunted me ever since, and I’ve realized that the answer is No, but they’re the weird ones.

In short, I am normal. You are not.

I am normal because our family’s dishwasher broke when I was 12 years old. Though it might have been a relatively simple fix, we will never know, because no one ever called the repairman. Ever since, we washed the dishes by hand. The dishwasher sits there, deteriorating in its misuse next to the kitchen sink, and I have since forgotten how to operate this particular piece of (relatively) common household machinery. Thus, when it’s time to be helpful when eating at other friends’ homes, and someone asks me to “run the dishwasher,” I give them that open-mouthed stare made famous by the lobotomized.

I am normal because our mother used phrases like “I don’t care if you eat Oreos until your teeth fall out,” if she didn’t feel like giving us a better reason why one shouldn’t eat Oreos for breakfast. Thus, when she told me I could eat Oreos for breakfast on my tenth birthday, it was kind of…anticlimactic.

I am normal because I have only had friends spend the night at my house twice. Once, when I was in first grade. The second time was when I was in college, and my friends and I decided to take a road trip to St. Louis for Spring Break (screw Florida). I arrived unannounced, because I knew my mom would say no if I asked. Okay, so that was a pretty douche move on my part. I take it back. I’m not normal, I’m a bitch.

Et cetera

Et cetera

Et cetera.

He ain’t heavy…

I realized yesterday that the only person who really gets me is my own brother. Together, we are two of the weirdest, most awkward people to ever exist (though hopefully in that endearing way made famous by Judd Apatow, et al).

Anyway, it’s a good feeling, knowing that there’s at least one other person out there who shares your ridiculous inside jokes, can quote the film Operation Dumbo Drop with you word-for-word, and with whom you can be utterly, totally, yourself.

Is this what (some, statistically) married people feel like?

And is it odd that I found it with my own brother?

There’s no place like home.

Nothing like returning to your home after a visit to another’s to knock one down a tick-or-two. The couch was not nearly as comfy, the dishes in the sink and garbage in the can were attracting flies, and there were far too many light switches (resulting in an unnecessary changing-of-bulbs when we couldn’t find the switch to turn on the fixture–but hey, what’re friends for?). And yet, it was home. Well, not for me, but for a friend. And I cannot hate, for I added to the garbage in the can and it’s my own stupidity for not understanding how to properly use a dimmer switch. 

And then I came home to my perfect abode, only to remember that that pan of cheese dip on the counter really oughta be thrown out (I blame the dip for not announcing its presence more clearly. You’re not doing me any favors by not reeking up the joint. Seriously). 

This made me realize that, regardless of how disheveled our hovels might appear, they’re still home to someone.* 


*For an illustration, see the scene in Trainspotting when Mark goes back to visit Tommy after he’s introduced him to heroin. Well, actually, see any scene in Trainspotting.