Monthly Archives: May 2013

a (hypothetical) Christmas

So here’s an extremely-hypothetical situation for you, about which I personally am would be extremely-hypothetically excited beyond extremely-hypothetical belief:

Say there is a laptop. It was an old Dell laptop, bought in the fall of 2004. Back in those days, some nefarious individuals would partake in a highly illegal practice of downloading music from a magical place called The Internet and – get this! – they would not pay for it.

“But that’s stealing!” you say, to which I heartily agree. But some people – some poor, despicable souls – simply have no conscience. They treat the rules as their personal playthings, bending and breaking them at will. These souls, dear Reader(s), are the ones who’ve punched a one-way ticket to Hell.

Napster, Limewire, Ruckus – I do not know what these things are but I know they were the Devil’s Tools, taunting cheap young people to help themselves to their tantalizing bounty of music and media. Criminals would spend obscene amounts of time just taking this music that wasn’t theirs – even going so far as to download stuff just because it was there to download. Imagine!

Now also imagine that, for reasons long-ago forgotten, the majority of this highly-illegally procured music just didn’t make the transfer from this old laptop to a new one purchased years later. And this old laptop sat collecting dust in a corner until a few days ago, when its owner very suddenly remembered the treasure trove awaiting her (or him – it could be a him, of course) on its dust-covered hard drive.

So the old laptop is fired up, and – well, it would probably go something like this:

*gasps* NO WAY!
Oh, fuck!
Oh my God!
Where did
this come from?
I don’t even know who this is…

on an unrelated note, if anyone hypothetically knows how to convert music files to something that will play on a Mac, I would hypothetically appreciate your input

on an unrelated note, if anyone hypothetically knows how to convert music files to something that will play on a Mac, I would hypothetically appreciate your input

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


switching gears in the most awkward way possible.

I don’t know how to bridge the gap between a heartfelt post and a silly, superficial, meaningless one. This happens a lot on a message board that I use with a group of friends. A friend might post about a family member or friend who needs prayers, and that post will get a few “on it!” “in my prayers!” kind of responses… and then the thread dies for a few days. Something truly hilarious might have happened to to me in the meantime, or I might remember something I wanted to share with the group, but posting “OMG YOU GUYS I SAW A GUY RIDING A MOPED WITH A LEGIT HOBO BINDLE ON HIS BACK” seems a little callous after “Yes, I will pray for your great-uncle’s cat who is dying of toenail cancer.”*

But life goes on, and not always in a nice, orderly fashion. So instead of abandoning this blog for a week I decided to post a pic of said guy on moped.

On closer inspection, I guess it’s not an actual hobo bindle, but you tell me you don’t think there’s at least one can of beans in that backpack.




*I don’t even want to make a realistic hypothetical scenario. 

For Brandt, who I haven’t met.

My heart is breaking for someone I’ve never met. I want to do something, anything, to stop something awful from happening but I cannot. And it makes me angry, and it makes me sad, and it makes me feel hopeless and useless.

I rack my brain for things I can do. What can I do for this person to bring him happiness and comfort? I am just a nobody who reads the internet, an anonymous link-clicker who inexplicably feels so deeply for a stranger that I can’t help but cry when I think of his struggle and its impending end. I think, and cry, and think some more, but I just. don’t. know. How can I help him – him, specifically? I don’t think that I can.

Is there a way to keep this from happening to others like him? It seems more realistic, but none of my ideas go anywhere. I could donate money, I guess, but I want to give and give and give and give some more. I want to pour all my money into stopping this completely, until I’m not sad anymore. But I don’t think that will happen. Money might help, but it won’t feel like helping.

Do I have a talent I could use? I think of my skills, and I think of baking. A bake sale? Where? When? For whom? And I realize: this is just a diversion, not a direct action. I feel overwhelmed thinking about what I want to do and what I can do.

And I feel guilty about feeling overwhelmed. Because I am just an outsider. How do I have the right to feel so deeply? I have the luxury of putting this person from my mind. I can choose to forget about him. He has never been part of my life. He is not my brother, son, my grandson, my nephew or even my friend. I have never met him, and I never will. My sadness is incredibly self-centered: look at me! Look how compassionate I am! Oh, I care too much! Look how I struggle with caring so much! 

Eventually, I’ll feel it less and less and my life will glide right along.



This is really all I can figure out how to say right now.



have you hugged a dentist today?

Today I tried hard to think of a friend who has a job that is not inherently interesting and guess what? I can’t.

This is not to say that everyone I know has thrill-a-minute, 110% excitement all day long at work. It’s just that everyone I know, whether they’re working a cash register at Burger King or staring at lines of computer code for hours upon hours, ends up with a cache of Good Work Stories to tell.

And it’s for this reason that I will never be a dentist.

There really wasn’t any possibility of this actually happening before, for the record. In fact, before my Dentist Friend began regaling us with tales of mouths gone horribly wrong I found the idea of that line of work …well, let’s just say it takes a special person to do it, and I am not special.

Dentists really have it rough. I mean, regardless of how fabulously you keep up your oral hygiene they still have to peer inside and poke around to check things out. And, if I understand it correctly, not everyone maintains such fabulous oral health. So for every minty-fresh, picture-perfect, toothpaste-commercial smile they see, I’m certain there’s a waiting room full of truly terrible dental trainwrecks awaiting them.

And then there’s the fear bit. Are you looking for an occupation that causes young children to scream at the sight (or mere thought!) of you? Or do you want to work with adults who need to be heavily sedated before they can interact with you?** Then maybe Dental School is the right choice!

So throw in the people who genuinely fear the dentist, along with those who cannot afford it or simply feel it’s not necessary, and I imagine you get a lot of people who just sort of… don’t go.

Like, ever.*

Until, of course, something’s gone Very Very Bad.

Like, “my teeth are falling out of mouth and the pain is so bad I can’t breathe” bad.

Imagine the absolute treat that’s in store for their poor dentists once their frightened little gobs are coaxed ajar.


Also, this ad came in the mail a few weeks ago: an almost full-page, full-color piece of cardstock.
This is the first image that caught my eye:

What accepts most insurances (which, incidentally, doesn’t sound like a real word)?
What the hell are they advertising?


Oh. Of course.

**actually, that’s almost a selling point

I am human: hear me kvetch

I woke up today in a crap mood. It happens to all of us sometimes, but it passes and life goes on. Unfortunately, it’s the in-between time of waiting for it to pass that can be excruciating.

Sometimes it’s kinda fun to be in a bad mood. To shoot down everything that every person says to you with a nasty, snide remark is a victory in smug self-righteousness. Unless, of course, the person to whom you’re speaking is a dear loved one.

Then you’re just being a bitch.

For quite awhile, I would just force myself to snap out of a bad mood for the sake of others. No one wants to be brushed off, however unintentional it might be, so I figured if I faked it til I regained my composure I’d be doing everyone a favor.

But faking it does no favors. You just end up feeling worse and as it turns out? The people around you are not imbeciles and pick up on your fake-ness, which makes for more unnecessary dramatics. The other person no doubt wonders why you have to try so damn hard. Do you no longer enjoy his or her company? Is there some sort of thing you are hiding from him or her? And because you are behaving so standoffishly, he or she might not be so inclined to confront you about it anyway. So they wonder, and begin to stew themselves into their own crap mood, until you’ve effectively created a disgusting, disastrous recipe. Or at least, that’s been my unpleasant, admittedly dysfunctional, experience.

It took me shamefully long to realize that just owning up to the fact that – for whatever reason – you are just in an impatient / angry / otherwise crappy mood alleviates so much more  tension. For some reason, telling someone “I’m so sorry, but I’m in a bad mood and I know I will not be good company today so can we reschedule for another day?” seemed like some GREAT BIG DEAL OMG OMG OMG

Don’t get me wrong, I still sometimes find myself in the midst of faking super-happy-awesome-fun-times-yeah! and then apologizing, after the fact, for actually being such poor, snarky company.

Because as it turns out? I’m human. It’s what we do.

when BFFF and I get into the Nutella-delivery business we will be rich

An abridged text exchange with the BFFF on my birthday:

I am sorry you are having to work. Can I call in and ask for a specific operator? I totally should.

Yes, I am looking for operator 2684 bc she gets my pimp to calm down the best.

OPERATOR 527! I think the balloon of coke in my ass busted.

Yes, operator 367 bc she remembers where my crack pipe is hidden.

Operator 684? I forgot my safe word.


37878, do you remember when I called in about 9 months ago? Where was I and do you remember his name?

346 please. Why? Well I am out of fuckin NUTELLA

Also if I could all in a Nutella crisis I would. I am fucking OUT.

That’s no joke. Call 911.

om nom nom nom

om nom nom nom

Nerd is the word.

Am I a nerd?

Let’s investigate.

Well, I do not understand this:



Or this:

WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? Why is there so much cleavage? Is this porn?

There is a FUCKLOAD of stuff going on here but all I can see is cleavage. Does that mean I get it?

Or this:

Is this porn? Is that what this is?

Is this porn? Is that what this is?

Or this:

Oooh, pretty colors! But too many numbers. There goes my head again.

Oooh, pretty colors! But too many numbers. There goes my head again.

Or this:

What do they do when the glowsticks burn out?

What do they do when the glowsticks burn out? And is that Will Sasso?

Or this:

Wait, is this like a baseball card? Are these valuable?

This seems vaguely racist.

Or this:

Whose garage is this? Do they know what you're doing in there?

Whose garage is this? Do they know what you’re doing in there?

…and this tickles me, because I always just assumed I was a nerd. Not because I liked stereotypical nerd things (see above), but because I was usually part of the fringe. I don’t recall this being the result of any active ostracizing (unless there’s something I’m blocking from my memory?). Rather, it was something that occurred naturally. Because apparently not everyone appreciates the genius of Monty Python and the people that do just sort of gravitate toward each other. I guess?

As time passed, I started encountering some other types of nerds: the type of nerds who enjoyed these stereotypically nerdy pastimes. Bit by bit, I became more aware of the infinite layers and classifications of nerd-dom. And believe you me, it’s fascinating as hell.

But again, the more I wormed my way into their little circles, the more of an outsider I felt. I became the outsider among the outsiders, which is a strange feeling.

And I began to wonder: am I really a nerd after all?

A game-playing, anime-watching, Star Wars-loving nerd – no.

A Trivial Pursuit-playing, British comedy-loving nerd – sure.

But if that’s all I’m going to use to define it – someone who enjoys things that maybe other people around her don’t equally enjoy – then I hate to break it to ya, kid, but WE ARE ALL NERDS

Intelligent or dull, awkward or charismatic, regularly-bathed or not so much: we’ve all got a little nerd is us.

It might be the one thing that all of humanity has in common.

Score one for the nerds.

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apartment living, fools

What a beautiful day! The sun is shining, birds are a chirp-chirp-chirpin’ in the trees, and one of my neighbors has become violently ill and seems to be running the sink in a weak attempt to mask the noise of some truly horrific vomiting.

While I toy with the idea of finding a more permanent housing situation (I have to phrase it that way because the words “Julie” and “buying a house” still don’t sound like they belong in the same sentence), there are currently ba-jillions of variables floating around in the air; I cannot realistically contemplate how that would even go.

So in the meantime I will content myself with my cozy little apartamento, with the sounds of raucous vomiting, enthusiastic lovemaking, heartfelt singing and screams in various foreign languages to surround me all my days. Because despite the children playing in the Dumpster and the car alarms going off at odd hours – this is probably the best place I’ve lived. Like, for real.

Now if only I could convince all of my friends to move to this city, I’d be set.

happy Mother’s Day!

happy Mother's Day!

A very happy Mother’s Day to Juanita and all the other Moms out there who let their children get cake before they do…and yes, I’m pretty sure that’s her own birthday cake.

Also, Brother must’ve wanted cake real bad. Like, whoa.

This is not an album review

This is not an album review, but maybe it kind of is.

Okay so there was this band. I knew a couple of their songs and I liked those songs. Those songs were catchy. A few people I knew were going to see them play and I was all like ‘Oh, sure, I’ll go too!’ You’ve done this before, right? The tickets are super cheap and the people are fun and it’s at a near-legendary venue in town and you know two songs and those two songs are good and besides, you have plenty of time to listen to more so what the hell, right?

So one of the fun people you’re going to the show with with with whom you’re going to the show burns you legally purchases a copy of the band’s one album for you to listen to and enjoy before the show.

So you give it a listen. And another. And another. And eventually you’re like “What the hell? How is it possible that I like all the songs on this?” It’s been a very long time since you’ve experienced this – liking (and not just tolerating, or excusing, or merely acknowledging the presence of) every track. So you start to get amped for this show, right?

And then you find out the show’s cancelled.


Fast forward a few years – all the while listening to and enjoying this album. You’re aware they’ve made more music since then, but for any number of reasons haven’t really given much thought to checking out their next one.

It’s partly because you remember that time you got all excited that So-and-So had another album out and you broke your neck rushing out to get your hands on a copy. Debut Album was fantastic. You listened to it over and over. Surely Sophomore Album would be just as marvelous – maybe even more so!

But it wasn’t. It just wasn’t. And as you listened to Debut Album again, you realized it was because when you were hearing it for the first time, you were  living in another state and hanging out with other people. Turns out, all the warm-and-fuzzy-feel-good sensation you got from listening to Debut Album had very little to do with the artist himself.

Anyway – that’s all behind you now. You’ve matured since then, right? Surely you’re able to handle musical heartbreak without feeling wronged, damnit! So you tentatively check out Catchy Band’s second album.

You preview a few tracks on iTunes are are like – wait, what? I know this one!

And this one, too!

And oh my gosh I love this one!

Adrenaline or serotonin or endorphins or whatever-it-is-that-makes-you-feel-good starts surging through your brain and you’re all like I AM BUYING THIS ALBUM RIGHT DAMN NOW.

And you do.

And – holy shit – you are pleased as fuck. Sophomore Album is as catchy, well-put-together, enjoyable, and all-around awesome as Debut Album.

But you’re not going to tempt fate by checking out Album Three just yet.

P.S. I didn’t think it was entirely relevant to discuss specifics – what the hell band are you talking about, Julie? But if you really care, you may read more about them here.