Monthly Archives: August 2011

If only I could clean AND nap simultaneously…

Hey, friends, will you all do me a favor and, from now on, drop by my apartment unexpectedly?

This is the only way it will stay tidy.

Please – do not misunderstand. It is (hardly ever) dirty – I vacuum and mop floors and clean toilets with astonishing frequency, considering I live alone. But do I remember to put things away after I use them? (Hell, do I remember to close drawers and cabinets after I’ve opened them?). Lately, the answer to this is: Rarely.

My excuse is that I like a little clutter. Hard to really relax in a place where I feel like I have to keep everything at right angles, y’know? But there’s a fine line, and I do well at blurring it: newspapers strewn on the coffee table? Nice and homey. A box of Band-aids and a tube of Neosporin on the coffee table? Slightly off-putting, I suppose. But sometimes one decides to attend to a cut on one’s foot while one just also happens to be watching the television and after this task is completed sometimes one just decides to keep said materials out because I’ll just need to put a new Band-aid on tomorrow anyway, right? Also in this scenario, one suffers from chronic laziness.

But today I woke up early because I had plans to have a friend over and was overwhelmed with a desire to put EVERYTHING away. Not that Friend really gives two shits about whether my coupons are in my coupon-holder or in a pile on the kitchen table, of course, but I’ll take whatever motivation I can get.

Except now we’re not meeting up til later, so….


Acute-on-chronic Baseball Fever.

“The more I’ve learned about baseball, the more my affection and respect for this beautiful game has grown.” ~ Tony La Russa

home sweet home...

It happens each year, whether we’re* ten games back or ten in front: come the end of August and the beginning of September, my love of baseball kicks into overdrive. Pennant races aside, it’s the creeping knowledge that the season is ending soon! and my chances to spend an afternoon or evening at the park (geniuses coined the catchphrase “This is Baseball Heaven” when the new Busch opened) are dwindling.

And so, with a frenzy of a junkie looking for her next fix, I go to as many games as I can in these precious few last weeks of the season.

Thank you, StubHub for a) existing and b) offering fair-weather fans the chance to sell their tickets for the rest of the season for as low as $0.69. Yes, you read that right: I can buy tickets for less than a dollar. 

Christmas in August, this is. Sure, it’d be nice to at least be a little further up in the wild card, but I don’t care. This might be my last season to see any of these guys in a Cardinals uniform. This might be my last season to love/hate La Russa. Hell, his might be my last season period, as I have a tendency to run out into traffic.

I am not exaggerating when I say that If I could just not go to work for the next four weeks and just go to every home game, I’d be completely and totally okay with that.

So if you’re reading this, are within a days’ drive and want to go to a game LET ME KNOW AND I WILL GET US TICKETS. MY TREAT.**

God bless baseball.

*Yes, we.
**You, however, are responsible for your own $8 beer.


It took me about four days to figure out Foursquare. Granted, I don’t have internet on my phone, but… I think maybe I made it more difficult than it actually, you know, is.
Also, I’m only “two days away” (still don’t even know what that means) from being Mayor of the place I get my hair cut.
Current Mayor Steve M, I think maybe you spend too much time on your hurr.
Just sayin’.

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Whenever I think about going back to school as part of my search for More Gainful Employment, I never spend much time looking at practical things – things that would actually lead me in a More Gainfully Employed Direction. Instead, I concentrate on things I find “cool” or “interesting”… which is what I did with my first couple degrees, and the rest is history.

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Short hair? Maybe for you, Chelsea Hobbs (and who are you, anyway?)

When I look online for pictures of how I want my hair, the internet doesn’t seem to agree with me on what “short hair” means. Internet seems to think that “short” means “shoulder length.” No-no-no-no, sir. You are incorrect. After my hair is freshly cut, I can add nary a bobby pin to mine locks – there’s nothing to clip it to. THAT is short.

Also, when I do a Google Image search for “short spiky haircuts for women” I see pictures of David Boreanaz (that’s pictures, plural). No thanks, Uncle Google.  I don’t plan on cruising the lesbian biker bars tonight.*


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If you ever think to yourself “Self, who is the most stubborn person on the planet?” and you hear a faint, echoing sound in response – Juuuuuuliiiiiiiie – yes, you are correct. It is I.

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Every time Lance Berkman hits a home run, I think to myself God Bless Texas.


*Not that there’s anything wrong with that.







Everything’s a thing.

Brother says a lot of shit, but his newest pearl of wisdom is this:

“Everything’s a thing.”

It might not make sense to you now, but one day as you’re driving to work, or laying on the davenport (yes, you are hypothetically Canadian), or testing zucchini for firmness at the Farmer’s Market or making wild, passionate love to a swarthy emissary, it will suddenly become Crystal Clear:

Everything’s a thing.

Ah, now I get it! you will think.

But in the meantime, until you reach that Divine A-Ha Moment,* let me spell it out for you:

It’s the significance we attach to our inane little peccadilloes (God, I love that word). It’s our shared sphere of reference with our more intimate compatriots. It’s the influence we have on those not quite in our Inner Circle. It’s the wispy, half-thought recognition we pay to snatches of memory that sort of drift across the uppermost layers of our brains.

But mostly, it’s the hardened-concrete reality of our daily lives.**

Here is an example:
While I visited Brother in his Adopted Homeland, I spent a few lovely evenings at his apartment enjoying cocktails with he and his Lady Friend – who, I must add, makes an absolutely divine Peach Collins. We yakked at each other, and shared stories, but mostly we drank up that Ambrosian peach vodka she so liberally poured into our drinks.

Whence I returned to the Real World, my first thought (other than oh, God, take a fucking shower you’ve been on an airplane for four hours) was that I must find that vodka and invite my friends to partake in its loveliness.

So off to the supermarket I went (Oklahoma friends: I can go to the normal grocery store and pick up a fifth of whatever-the-fuck-I-want! It’s glorious!).

Except, when it comes to buying liquor at the Schnuck’s, I suddenly become blocked.

Everything’s a thing.

Several shelves of vodka awaited my inspection, but the specific Peach flavor I so thirstily sought eluded me. Vanilla? Caramel (ew)? Pomegranate? They even had fucking DRAGONFRUIT. But, at first superficial glance, no Peach.

I suddenly became hyper-aware of my surroundings. A few fellow shoppers were perusing the beer and wine-cooler varieties behind me, and a friendly Stocker-Person-Not-Employed-By-The-Grocery-Store seemed to be eyeing me warily to my peripheral right. Why is she spending so much time looking at vodka? his eyes said Oh, I bet she’s going to go home and drink the bottle herself, in a dark corner, while she listens to Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Adia’ on repeat, singing along drunkenly and…

Heeeeey, did I mention I have an active imagination?

Everything’s a thing.

I can’t just go to the store, take my time to look through all the vodka (and yeah, I did eventually find some Absolut Peach – right in front of me the whole damn time), and walk away unhurriedly as if I wasn’t absconding with my purchase. I have to assume that every-fucking-one is – I don’t know? Judging me? – while I dawdle in the aisle.

If I were to share this story with brother, he’d probably make fun of me… while nodding in solidarity. He’s been there, perhaps not the exact-same scenario, but he’s done it. He’s thought it. He’s experienced it, in vivid Technicolor snippets, same as I.

Because he knows.

Everything’s a fucking thing.

*Credit to a high school teacher that I loathed and of whom I made merciless fun at the time…but whose lessons are the only I can today remember.

**Fucking A, somebody stop me before I’m out of control. I haven’t even been drinking!

…technically it’s “Craig’s List”

While searching postings for jobs that will utilize my only (semi)marketable skills,* I’ve found innumerable ads that are so poorly written I cannot help but think these thoughts:

Is proper use of the apostrophe really that difficult to master?
Why must Everything be gratuitously Capitalized? (Recognizing, of course, that I use capitalization in an incredibly Stylistic Way – but that I’m not getting paid to write anything).
What the fuck are they even asking from a potential applicant? Like – what is this company?

A (hypothetical) example:

We Providing affective customer satisfaction management toolsand solutions for various Business’ in Your Area!

Really? Really?

Part of me wants to promptly respond, pointing out (in microscopic detail) the dozens-and-dozens of errors in spelling, usage, punctuation and – ya know – content. Maybe my anal-retentive nature (read: basic grasp of English) would impress them and I’d be hired immediately!

But then I would begin work as a $8-an-assignment drone, editing copy until my eyes bled and I begged for mercy.

Think I’ll stick with what I’ve got for now.




*Skills =
Stringing together coherent sentences
Editing others’ not-coherent sentences

A Beginner’s Guide To Using The Metro

Okay, just be cool. Don’t be all searching through your purse or your satchel or your fanny pack (Oh dear God, you’re not wearing a fanny pack, are you?). Just have it ready – one fluid motion IN the pocket, one fluid motion OUT the pocket.

Don’t be all looking closely at the card. How much do I have left? Can this get me to Metro Center? The pros just know. You should too.

Well, yeah, there’s a big map. But don’t, like, look at it. If you need to steal a furtive glance or two, fine. But don’t be all obvious about it. A casual sideways look, sure. Maybe you have to backtrack once. But make it quick. Do you see anyone else looking at the map? Oh, you do? Well, they’re dumb. They obviously don’t belong here.

You belong here.

Maybe you don’t have one of the fancy tap-your-wallet-on-the-thing cards. That’s ok. Plenty of folks get the paper ones. But for the love of Christ, make sure it’s going the right way when you put it in. And if the machine doesn’t take it, well, it’s the machine’s fault. Don’t be all like “oh, sorry-sorry-sorry” to the folks behind you. It’s not your fault that you put it in backwards, or maybe didn’t quite hit the slot.

It’s totally the machine. Fuck the machine. Maybe even say that: Aw, fuck you or something similar. Shows you’re hardened.

That's not God. That's P Street.

And if, when you get to the platform, there are eleven-million folks waiting for the next train, DON’T PANIC. Rookies panic. Rookies think Oh, God, will there even be room for me? Should I maybe go wait near the front of the train? No. You are a pro. Pros cram into the last couple cars with every-fucking-body else because fuck this, I own this fucking train.

That, by the way, should be your mantra: I own this fucking train.

The escalators won’t be moving. Don’t get all freaked out. Just walk. And none of this one-step-at-a-time shit. I don’t care if descending into the tunnel gives you wicked vertigo and you start losing muscle control about halfway down and you briefly forget how to go use stairs and become dangerously close to just tumbling end-over-end to the bottom.

Just. Keep. Moving.

Do you see anyone else stopping? You do? Well, they’re schmucks.

You are not a schmuck, are you? No. I did not think you were a schmuck.

Yeah, yeah, you have to swipe your card going out. It’s weird. We all know it. But don’t be all complaining about it aloud.

And sure, when you go to sit down you might find part of a previous passenger’s weave on the seat. Just fucking sit down. If you gotta brush it off, don’t make a face. I mean, sometimes you sit in someone else’s fake hair.

It happens. Deal with it.

But maybe keep some Purell in your briefcase.

Julie Goes to Warshington: Packing

I can say with 100% honesty that I would rather pack up my entire apartment in preparation for a cross-continental move than pack one simple suitcase for one simple week-long trip.

I wish I had a suitcase like this. If I saw a suitcase like this at the airport, I'd immediately assume it was filled with orderly piles of unmarked, non-sequential, US currency

I’ve packed up and moved a half-dozen times; I’ve got that shit down. And even though I’ve packed for and taken a lot more than a half-dozen trips, I’ve still not mastered that particular art.

Case(s) in point:
1. I once arrived to my friend’s wedding – where I was to be the MAID OF HONOR – only to realize that I had forgotten to pack deodorant. DEODORANT, people. Not “oops I forgot an umbrella.” I had to persuade someone to stop at a grocery store on the way home from the rehearsal dinner so that I could buy some. I was so nervous about possibly smelling like a sewer drain (see also: super crush on Best Man, oy) that I probably perspired even more.

2. I once travelled home for Christmas break without packing any… are you ready for this one? Underthings. Like – none. No change of drawers. No brassieres. Just what I had on my back…side. An emergency trip to K-Mart ensued shortly thereafter, my mother rolling her eyes the whole way.

While these are the two Biggest Examples that my memory can conjure, I’d like to add that one hundred-million “oops I forgot a toothbrush” moments have been thankfully remedied by friends and relatives with home stockpiles.

And I know exactly what you’re thinking. Write a goddamned list, Julie! scream your brain-waves to mine.

I guess you probably wouldn’t believe me when I say that I write out such a list before every trip I take. And I usually begin my packing by meticulously crossing off each item as it makes its way into my suitcase.

But then I get about halfway through, think “Surely the rest of this stuff is obvious” and start just throwing random items into my luggage.

Which is how I end up with no shoes and sixteen decks of playing cards.

“In-sink-erator” would also be a good name for a movie.

My garbage disposal is broken.

I know this because it makes a horrendous not-quite-right noise when I turn it on. Also, there is a foul, foul odor emanating from within the bowels of my sink.

“So submit a maintenance request to the property manager’s office,” you’re saying – you Rational Person, you.

“Except… well… I mean…. maybe it’s not really broken. Maybe it’s just… tired Like, I don’t know for sure. It could be something easy to fix, maybe. Maybe I’ll take a look at it, first…” I respond.

Good Lord. Is this what men feel like?

This? THIS is a garbage disposal? (I'm sorry, "In-Sink-Erator"). This looks like something you'd fill with Hot Toddy and bring to work on the 7 Train.

Would Larry The Maintenance Guy (name changed to protect the innocent) give a shit if it turned out to be some minor “oh, let me just flip this ‘on’ switch” kind of issue? No, no he would not, because if Larry The Maintenance Guy is like Every Other Person I know who has to often work outdoors and in unpleasant conditions, he will relish the time underneath my sink, awful smell be damned. He might even take a comically long time locating said ‘on’ switch, because my god this girl keeps the air conditioning on high. Seriously. It’s like the fucking Tundra in here, lady. Are you playing Freeze Out?* There’s no one else here.

But on the flip side of this neurotic little coin is the possibility that something Horribly Wrong has occurred, and by continually trying to ‘run’ the broken disposal, I’m causing irreparable harm to it. Larry the Maintenance Guy will show up, I will turn it ‘on’ to show him the problem, and a look of terror will cross his craggy face: What are you doing, crazy lady?! Turn it off! Turn it off! TURN IT OFF! NOOOOOOOOOOOOW! (dramatic slow-motion leap toward the switch, tools cascading from a rusty tool box on the counter, Julie shrieking in terror and flailing her arms: What did I do? WhatdidIdo? WhatdidIdo?)

Ahem. Anywho.

As I was saying, my garbage disposal is broken and I plan to promptly report it through the proper channels as soon as I finish doing every single other thing I can possibly think of to do.


*Freeze Out is a delightful little game invented by a friend who is a descendent of Oklahoma royalty (I know this because the word “princess” is in her email address). It’s great to play in offices where control of the thermostat is up for grabs and you just happen to have a personalized Snuggie hidden beneath your desk for such occasions.



If only it was glittery, too…

I hate vacuuming.

No, scratch that: I hate all the fucking preparations that must be made before vacuuming: moving furniture. Getting the vacuum out of the closet. Picking up larger bits of debris from the carpets: papers. Gum wrappers. Coins. Small pets and children.

It’s a lot of work, y’know? And it’s continual. Like, I might move the coffee table so I can vacuum the spot where it once stood, BUT THEN ONCE I MOVE THE COFFEE TABLE BACK I HAVE TO VACUUM THE SPOT WHERE IT TEMPORARILY STOOD. Ugh.

And then sometimes I forget that there’s an order in which we do things, so I’ll dust a bunch of crumbs and shit off of a table, onto the floor, and then remember I ALREADY VACUUMED IN THAT SPOT. Goddamn it.

Complicating matters is the vacuum cleaner itself: a 750-lb behemoth which must have been manufactured in the early 1930s, as “HOOVER” is stenciled across the front.

I loathed the chore until a few weeks ago. While idly perusing the ads of local discount stores, I came across Something Interesting, something that would not have caught my attention if I hadn’t been nursing a rotator-cuff injury stemming from a Vacuuming Incident days prior (Seriously. Motherfucker’s heavy. And has square wheels.):

Did you know that it is a Federal Offense to send your offspring Back To College without equipping them with a microwave, laptop case, mop bucket and vacuum cleaner that match?

Yep. Colorful vacuum cleaners on sale at the Target.

Now why would I, after bitching so much about hating vacuuming, get so fucking excited about the possibility of buying a new one? The answer is simple, Dear Reader, and wonderfully encapsulates the majority of my internal motivations:

They were available in hot pink.

Of course I still have to move all the furniture and trip over the cord and pick the shoes off the floor and remember to DUST FIRST, you dum-dum head!, but I’m doing all of these things in fucking style, man, because my vacuum looks like this:

As I posted to Facebook, Kindergarten Julie would be pleased with Grown-Ass Woman Julie.

I give it two more weeks before the novelty wears off.







An indignant reply to no one in particular

So here’s the rebuttal I have planned for my off-brand Cheerios post, in the event that – I don’t know? – some nut-hat with a Wal-Mart fetish stumbles upon this blog and gets all “Well, LISTEN HERE you name-brand cereal snob!”?

Yeah! It's cool with, like, whatever.

You know what? Yeah. I am a Cheerio snob. And if you can genuinely tell me that you cannot taste a difference between Cheerios and Toasti-Oatis, you seriously need to stop licking the radiator. In fact, I can tell the difference between several (read: two, maybe three) Name-Brand / Off-Brand products. “Super Chill” soda at the Shop n’ Save? Mmmm… yeah, that’s not quite “cola,” but I’ll take it. It’s just that the gigantic gulf in taste difference between real Cheerios and their bastard lookalikes is just too much for even my po’ tastebuds to ignore.

So do I sleep on a mattress stuffed with $500 bills? No, because the U.S. does not print $500 bills (I know, I totally thought they existed too. Not anymore). Also, that would be highly uncomfortable. My mattress came from a discount store that’s only open three days a week (presumably to “cut costs” but after shopping there a few times I suspect the concept was created by someone who really likes to watch lower-to-middle-class folks haggle over the price of click-clack sofas*).

See, I’m just a woman with standards. While my palate is such that I like to put BBQ potato chips on cheese sandwiches “for taste and texture,” I do have limits. And if it means I have to go for the $7 handle of vodka over the $10 one, well – it’s worth it to get the goddamn real Cheerios.

So shut your face,  you (hypothetical) indignant bastard, as I (unnecessarily) defend my Life Choices.



*What do you mean you don’t know what a click-clack sofa is? Next you’ll be telling me you’ve never heard of a flip n’ fuck. Arrrgh