Monthly Archives: January 2011

Possibly a pensive post.


I just love alliteration, don’t you?

Still taking requests, and today we have one from Kelsay: “Friends…inside jokes with them. Great memories that make u grin instantly.”

First of all Kelsay, I applaud your use of the letter “u.” (I have to pick on you now, because if I did it when I see you I’d have a red cheek from the immense smack you’d give me.)

A lot of things in my life lately have led me to think about past friendships. I’ve been listening to a lot of indie folk, which is never conducive to a productive mood; the music of Mumford & Sons only robs me of ambition and makes me pensive.

That song could be about a million things: a romantic relationship at its end, or a friendship breaking apart.

I’ve lost touch with many friends I once considered “great.” Through my dedication to school and work, I lost touch with a lot of people with whom I really enjoyed spending time.

Here’s a really great memory I have from elementary school.

When I first moved to Florida, I was extremely lonely and awkward. Apparently Tracy could sense that, because she sat next to me on the bus one day. We were fast friends.

Tracy and I spent the night at each other’s house for days at a time. She, being a year older than I, moved on to middle school ahead of me. This still didn’t stop us from being close.

We could talk about anything: problems with our families, boys, where we wanted to go in life. I wanted to be a lawyer or a NASCAR driver (weird, I know, but that’s pretty much how my life has always been), and Tracy saw herself moving on to work with children. She talked about teaching.

On these sleepovers, there usually wasn’t much sleeping. Usually we would stay up late and dare each other to do ridiculous, bizarre things.

This is how the narcoleptic ballerina was born.

I recently had learned about narcolepsy somehow (it was too early for it to have been from Third Eye Blind), and Tracy and I were watching a lot of MADtv. Our dares increasingly involved characters we would suggest were we given the opportunity to audition for the show.

My dare initially came from Tracy as such: “Dance like a ballerina.”

I complied. I fell. However, as I fell, I knew exactly what had to be done. I took my flop as gracefully as I could. That flailing looked effortless, my 11-year-old brain reasoned. Just work this a bit. Go limp. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

So there I was: laying lifeless on the ground while my best friend was laughing herself to tears.

Until she realized I wasn’t moving.

Tracy: Kristina?

(silence)

Tracy: Kristina? Are you okay?

(silence)

Tracy: Kristina?! Oh no … oh no. Kris? Are you okay? Oh no.

I let the suspense build until I was sure my audience was captivated, then I sprung up and announced my life.

Me: Oh, I must have lost consciousness briefly. Almost as though … I fell asleep … while I was dancing. (snicker)

Tracy: How could that happen?

Me: Perhaps I have … (snicker) narcolepsy?

I laughed for a solid five minutes. I don’t think I had yet laughed that hard in my short life. After the laughter, I explained narcolepsy. Tracy and I agreed it was hilarious.

We perfected our act, then sat in the front yard and waited for my mom to get home. As soon as she got out of her car (the aforementioned Lincoln), Tracy yelled, “Now!” My mom ducked — probably expecting some ambush — and Tracy and I began whirling through the front yard. At my yell of “NARCOLEPTIC BALLERINA” we both fell to the ground in tears, laughing uncontrollably.

As we stood, rubbing bruised elbows and wiping grass clippings from out jorts (of course we were wearing jorts; it was 1996), my mom said, “Good job,” shook her head accordingly (because parents just don’t understand), and walked into the house.

Tracy and I thought our act was just too good to be contained in the house. We performed in the front yard for another 20 minutes.

We couldn’t sleep at all that night. We kept thinking of ways we could improve on the narcoleptic ballerina character.

The next morning (or afternoon, whatever, geez), we were still all a-flutter over our comedic genius. Then it struck me: roller skates.

In the front yard, with the cushion-y softness of the sandy Florida ground, I put on my roller skates (white hi-tops with purple laces) and began to do some sort of ballet routine that, to a casual observer, probably looked more like an interpretive dance routine choreographed while on very powerful hallucinogenics.

I roller’ed as best I could on the grass, and when the time came for me to fall, I fell with grace the likes of which you’ve never even imagined.

People were watching us! They were laughing! We were funny!

Only now do I realize that people were laughing because two pre-teen girls were whirling and flopping in public with absolutely no shame. They were laughing at us, but at that moment we thought we had an audience in love with our particular brand of physical humor, and that was just wonderful.

Ahhh, the good old days.

On a possum.


Sorry about the lack of recent posting. This is one I started a while back in response to a request. I finished most of it, then left myself the last paragraph to finish (for some reason, I just didn’t feel I could get out that last graf).

I like this whole “taking requests for blog posts” thing.

Today we have a suggestion from Kerry, who asked me to write about possums. Apparently, her husband likes to play Billy the Exterminator. One of his recent catches was a possum. Those marsupial guys are just so darn cute, with their big eyes and big ears … and their little pink bows.

I didn't Photoshop this. I found it this way.

When I did the last request post and Mely had already submitted her request for tea, Kerry suggested that I write about possums. So here we go.

Possums aren’t just cute. They are also very talented at getting into places where they just should not be. A friend of my sister’s tells a story about how she found a baby possum in her air conditioner’s intake. I once knew a guy who would pull over on the side of the road and pick up dead possums to take them home to “study them.” (We don’t talk anymore.)

My possum story is a simple tale of a young woman who goes to take out the trash, but instead finds a deceased mother possum in the bottom of the garbage can. The deceased mother possum, of course, is surrounded by her babies, all of which are trying to feed off of nothing in their attempts to survive.

Apparently possums like to chill in cylindrical objects.

That young woman? That’s me as a high schooler, taking out the garbage as always. The garbage cans were right outside my room, and I had heard some odd noises outside my window the night before, but there were always raccoons and other troublemakers getting into the garbage. I just hadn’t thought much of it.

After finding the possums — and the incredible stench that accompanied the mother’s death — I went back inside to consult with my mom and sister as to how we should attack this problem.

Me: There’s a dead possum with her babies in the garbage can.

Mom: What?

Sister: She said there’s a dead possum outside.

Me: Not just outside. It’s in the garbage can. At the bottom. It’s not moving so I’m pretty sure it’s dead.

Mom: Did you poke it? (snicker.)

Me: (almost in tears) No, Mom, I didn’t poke it.

Thus began the Odyssey of the Dead Possum and Her Babies.

My mom looked up a place where we could take the babies. First we called Animal Care and Control. All they told us was that they couldn’t do anything. They would take the babies and euthanize them; there was no one to take care of them. We called a trapper, and he wanted money to come out and pick up the possums to take them to a refuge.

Then a brilliant idea struck my mom. It was a beautiful collision of inspiration and her brain, like a Mack truck hitting a pianist: she asked the trapper where he would take the baby possums, then resolved that to save money, we would take the baby possums there ourselves.

With my mother in the driver’s seat and my sister positioned next to her, I was stuck in the back seat of our white 1991 Lincoln Town Car with a garbage can full of dead/dying possum sitting next to me. The smell is unparalleled to this day, and I’ve stood on a landfill.

It was 20 minutes of sticking my head out the window, inhaling fresh air, pulling my head back inside the car and holding my breath. By the time we made it to the refuge, I was light-headed and barely able to stand. My mom and sister thought it was great. They laughed the entire way over while I was smothered in possum stink in the back seat.

We left the baby possums with the kind woman in Wellington who apparently totally digs digging baby possums out of their dead mother’s pouch.

She didn’t have a way to dispose of the dead mother, so she left it up to us. The garbage can was no good; once a possum dies in the bottom of your garbage can, you just can’t get that stink out. (I swear the Town Car smelled like it until we got rid of that awful car.)

So we dumped the garbage can/Momma Possum combo on the side of a dirt road, and as we drove away, dust kicking up from the spinning tires as my mom sped away, the vultures were already beginning to congregate.

The circle of life. A wheel of fortune. A dead possum in a garbage can on the side of a dirt road in suburban Lake Worth.

Thus ends the greatest possum story ever told.

(Actually, it ended later when we had to explain to my dad why his garbage can disappeared.)

A post about tea.


This post is for Mely, who was the first and only person to comment on my Facebook status that said: “First person to comment on this gets to pick the next topic for my blog.” She picked the topic, and that topic is tea.

The letter T is one of 26 letters in the English language alphabet. My favorite phrase beginning with T is “table wine,” because it can make a $6 bottle of Whole Foods wine seem elegant: “This 365 brand merlot will accompany our hamburgers as our table wine this evening.”

T may be difficult for some people to handle. Those with a stutter may stumble across the hard sound this consonant makes as it is produced by the action of both your teeth and tongue. However, since The King’s Speech is the greatest thing since sliced bread and stutterers are emerging from their hovels to speak to the world once more, although T is difficult for them to say, they now do it proudly. Much to my pleasure.

Whenever someone stutters I think of “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Bachman Turner Overdrive. And please visit that link. The suit Randy Bachman is wearing is insanely amazing. It makes me think of unicorns jumping through fountains of liquid gold, glittering in the sunlight with the tips of their horns adorned with juniper berries. Also, you can totally tell that he’s lip syncing.

The letter T is also the last letter in the word “cat.” When I think of cats, I think of this amazing video, in which a defenseless kitty is rescued from the clutches of an evil … window.

Seriously though, I know Mely is reading this, rolling her eyes and waiting for something about tea, that leafy substance we all know and love so much.

Let me just say this: I love a good cup of blueberry green tea. It’s one of my favorite things in the world, especially when I’m sick, and especially with some locally-harvested blackberry honey.

But I didn’t always love tea. I really only developed a great relationship with my buddy tea in the last few years. Before that, one experience almost ruined the entire thing. That would be the first time I tried to make tea by myself, and that would include exploding tea bags.

(See? You knew you stuck around for a really great reason.)

I was in fifth grade, and I got home before everyone else so I decided to watch some TV and finish my homework early. As I was working on my social studies (yes, I remember which subject it was), it occurred to me that I was very thirsty. I thought about all of the times I went over to my mom’s best friend’s house after school, and how she would make this amazing sweet tea.

After much contemplation, I set out to make myself a pitcher of sweet tea. Here are the errors I made:

1) I used the biggest pot I could find, which my mom usually only used for spaghetti.

2) I put the tea bags in the pan before I even turned on the heat.

3) I used about 15 tea bags.

I set it all on the stove, walked away and hoped for the best. From what I had seen Donna do, the tea was usually ready when it reached a boil. Then she would pour it into a pitcher and let it steep for a while, then remove the bags and add the sugar and lemon. I couldn’t find a big enough pitcher, so I took out the second largest pan we owned, not realizing at the time that it definitely was not large enough for the quantity of water in the spaghetti pot.

I went back to my work. Probably about five minutes later I heard something along the lines of POP! SPLAAAT! I looked out toward the kitchen, but figured it was just the natural sounds of water boiling (I have never been especially inclined towards the culinary arts). Deeming the sounds unworthy of my attention, I went back to work.

But it happened again. And again. Then a third time, all in rapid succession. I ran out to the kitchen and found four tea bags in the middle of the tile floor, exploded like tiny Lipton bombs, their innards scattered.

Yes, those are tiny airplace wings on the tea bags. Thank you for asking.

Panic began to set in. Not two weeks prior, I had been home alone when a crock pot caught on fire. I thought for sure that if my parents found out about the tea bag explosions, they would never leave me alone by myself ever again.

I decided it was time for a cover up. First things first, I had to turn off the stove. As I began to approach, a tea bag popped out of the pot, slammed against the oven’s hood and ricocheted into the living room.

I had to move fast.

I shut off the stove, slipped my hands into some pot holders, took the pot over to the sink and poured the entire mess down the drain. I remember the steam hitting my face and making me sweat like the greasy Italian I am.

What did I do with all the tea bags? Well, the ones that exploded were cleaned up and thrown away. The rest were laying in the sink, so I did what any normal kid would: I used a wooden spoon to force them down the garbage disposal, figuring that five tea bags in the garbage looked a whole lot better than fifteen.

So that was my first experience trying to make tea. I still get a little nervous when I’m about to make a pot of tea. One cup and I’m fine, but when I go to make a whole pot I get shaky and start snapping at people, saying things like, “Oh, you think you’re so great at making tea? Well I can make tea bags fly! What do you think about that, huh?”

By the way Mom, I’m sorry you had to find out like this. This is my dead parrot story. This is my palm tree.

Clichés are getting old.


“Expect the unexpected”? What does that even mean? Once you expect something, it instantly makes it expected, regardless of whether or not you know exactly what is coming. The fact of the matter is, you alter the unexpected immediately with your expecting. Good job. You’ve ruined the surprise for everyone.

I saw this on a Facebook profile for someone who will remain nameless. It was one of this person’s status updates. If you are that person, and you are reading this now, and your face is beginning to feel really hot because it’s flushed because you hate me now, read this and know that when people utter mindless clichés without first considering the implications of their actions, everyone loses.

While we’re on the topic of annoying things, I’m sure everyone else has noticed how obnoxious the new version of chain letter has become.

You know what I mean: you log on to Facebook, and one of your friends has posted something like this:

“Every day, 5,984 children die of gonorrhea. You could die of gonorrhea too, if you had it. Studies show that 90 percent of people on Facebook will not repost this, so prove those studies wrong. Re-post as your status to prove you care about children.”

Holy God. Really?

When I log on to Facebook, I do so to play Family Feud and have meaningless conversations with people I barely know. I also like to look at pictures of people and try to guess how many photos were taken while intoxicated.

But I do not want to get a guilt trip about little kids with gonorrhea.

There are also the people who think they are making a statement by posting something like this:

“In the next 24 hours, 9,371 people will die as a result of dragon attacks. Do your part: spread dragon awareness and re-post this as your status.”

I get it. It’s supposed to be ironic, right? Well, it’s not. It’s annoying. I remember the first time I saw that, I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur.

Perhaps the most annoying part of this trend is how horrible it makes me feel. I want to help small children with gonorrhea and men who are being eaten by dragons, but I can’t do anything except re-post a stupid status update? At least give me a link to a charity.

It also bothers me that I’m so cynical about it, but I guess after having to do mandatory volunteer work while in college (not because I was in trouble; it was required of all students) I understand how actually getting out and doing something will make an impact.

Also, what’s the deal with pants? Why do we have to wear them? So annoying, right?

What’s the most annoying thing you see on Facebook? Tell me about it, and perhaps I’ll try to come up with something funny in response.

Looking for a subsidized trip to Coachella.


Here’s why this is the only time you will ever hear me say, “I want to go to California” …

The Coachella 2011 lineup was announced. Here are the bands that stood out, broken down by day.

Friday

  • Kings of Leon
  • The Black Keys
  • The Chemical Brothers
  • Brandon Flowers (presumably the musician, not the football player)
  • Crystal Castles
  • Cee Lo
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Cold War Kids
  • Flogging Molly
  • Ozomatli
  • !!!
  • Marina and the Diamonds
  • Klaxons
  • The Aquabats!

Saturday

  • Arcade Fire
  • Animal Collective
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Bright Eyes
  • The Kills
  • Broken Social Scene
  • New Pornographers
  • Cage the Elephant
  • The Swell Season
  • Jenny and Johnny
  • Freelance Whales

Sunday

  • Kanye West
  • The Strokes
  • Duran Duran
  • The National
  • Jimmy Eat World
  • Death From Above 1979!!!!!!
  • PJ Harvey
  • Neon Trees
  • She Wants Revenge
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Jack’s Mannequin
  • Foster the People
  • City and Colour

I apologize for all of the exclamation points after Death From Above 1979. I was getting more and more excited as I wrote down the name of each band and I just couldn’t contain myself any longer.

And I now am officially accepting applications for people who would like to pay for my travel and ticket costs. Any takers?

A special something.


I just whipped this baby up for those of you who visited my blog yesterday, making it the first time I’ve ever had 100 visits to my site in one day.

On Facebook, I promised you something mighty nice. Here it is.

Get out of his way, wall.

Ta-da!

Don’t worry, I have an actual post with more writing and whatnot, but I’m going to post that at a sane hour.

Greatest e-mail ever.


I just received the greatest e-mail ever. EVER. Someone who shall remain nameless — because they sent the e-mail anonymously instead of leaving a comment like a big boy or girl — sent me this beauty about my Gary Glitter blog post (my reactions are in bright blue):

just stumbled across your “blog”.

Really? I immediately discount your opinion because you put “blog” in quotation marks and you put the period outside of the closing mark. Bravo.

i have seenn some pretty horrible blogs in my time, but your’s is a whole nother level of bad.

This just gets better and better. Keep it coming.

i dont get offended easily, and i think i’m with everyone else when i say you are out of line saying bad things about “Glee”.

Oh, I’m sorry I offended yo — wait, what? You’re upset about my post because I said something bad about Glee?

that show does more for the little people then your sitty blog ever will.

You missed an “h.”

how can you, in good consceince, say the show is “preechy?”

How can you, in good conscience, correct someone when you can’t even spell conscience, and you can’t properly use quotation marks with other punctuation?

Glee isnt preechy. it saves many people. they wouldn’t know what to do about bullies unless Glee told them.

This has to be a joke. This person is capitalizing the name of a TV show like it’s the name of God.

until you stand up for gay ppl the way Glee does, you have no right to call it preechy.

Glee = not preechy. Gotcha.

NEXT TIME THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE SOMETHING THAT MIGHT UPSET PPL.

Next time think about your use of CAPS lock.

sincerely,

a concerned reader

You stay classy, Glee fans.