Friday, August 25, 2006

"Welcome To the Magic F*&^%$#@ Kingdom!"

Weeeeeeeeeeelllllllll, guess what's been deemed as The Angriest City In America.

That's right! Orlando! Land of craptacular signage, hurricanes, one billion percent humidity, and Lou Pearlman. We have the nation's greatest incidents of high blood pressure and workplace violence. We're number one! The author of the article is stunned: "Who knows?" he types. "Maybe living in Goofyville wears thin after 35 years."

Herein is the problem. The problem is the tourists. It's not that I don't pity them trying to get from the airport to Animal Kingdom Lodge and appreciate their diversity and the thousands of minimum-wage jobs they create. It's what springs from the tourists: the toll roads, the weavy driving, the $10 cover charges, the inability to fly anywhere on the cheap. "You must go to Disney/the beach/Universal" all the time!" people say to me when I reveal where I live. Yes, because I have fifty dollar bills and free time flying out of every orifice in my body.

Visiting Florida is a blast. Living here? We create the blast for you. The last time you threw a party, how much did you enjoy it? How much, how much? Probably not tremendously. You were refilling the ice cube trays, making runs to the wine cooler aisle, mopping up the fluids, surveying the damage, and being all, "Dude... no. That's where I sleep."

Such is the life of a citizen of Orlando. Refilling the ice cube trays for the rest of the world. Not only are we watching other people having the good time we can't afford, we're on the clock in the process. You try making a living from the inside of a Dopey costume or dressed like this. See how relaxed you are.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Media Whore Alert

Friendboy Andy will appear on MSNBC today at 3:10 AND 4:10 this afternoon, not to mention on CNN Showbiz Tonight. Topic: Survivor and its tasteful attempt to ignite a total race war.

UPDATE It is a good thing that Friendboy Andy is my friend, because only for the likes of him would I subject myself to twenty minutes of Tucker Carlson and his aggressively fluffy hair. Andy appeared later than scheduled, because first the audience had to be alerted to the fact that flash flooding had stricken Scottsdale, tragically dampening two Chevrolets and a golf course. Tucker was On The Story, however:

TUCKER: So, what's under that water?

REPORTER: The... ground.

There then followed up-to-the-nanosecond coverage of the JonBonet Ramsey "suspect" and his plane leaving... somewhere to go... somewhere else. At one point MSNBC had a split screen of the slightly soggy putting green and the Child Molester Express, lest we miss any important developments. And then? Andy!

He far outshone the flooded car, and his hair looked amazing, which of course is the important thing. At one point, however, he described most of the cast of Survivor as being "as white as you and me," which, given Tucker's solid 8 on the George Hamilton Scary Fake-Bake Scale, is negotiable. But he did not attempt to lean forward and slap Tucker through the monitor, which is infinitely more than I could have done.

my friend is totally famous at:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Crowd Turns

The Great Raft of Faculty Meetings bumped to shore today, but not before the following moment of academic greatness:

IMPORTANT COLLEGE PERSON: The meeting will be fifteen minutes shorter than expected today.

PROFESSORS: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

IMPORTANT COLLEGE PERSON: Because one of our presenters had a heart attack.


I remark upon this largely because it was the first time in my entire life I saw a roomful of PhDs go completely silent. Somebody kind of said "Oh..." towards the back, but it was the total abashment of maybe sixty academics at once. It was like: "Your insurance company is buying you a new house!" (audience roars) "Because the old one was trampled by stampeding gazelles!" (Audience: crickets)

Then they started the PowerPoint presentation about department budget allocations, and how undesirable people such as adjuncts should be hired as little as possible, and everybody pepped right up again.

stapling colorful shapes to the classroom bulletin boards at:

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Life As We Know It

Many thanks to Dan and Kelli The Readers, who housed Josh The Pilot for the night, and didn't kill him or anything, or sneak in and watch him sleep. They sent him off with peaches, which I'm sure he appreciated, but this broke his streak of collecting cash at each stop thus far. Friends in Daytona Beach gave him $15 and he scored more from his uncle and aunt in Georgia. He should leave town more often.

Discretionary funds are holding up well. He dropped $2 in northern Arkansas on a corn dog and, quote, "a whole wad of taters." Perhaps I will chase down this dish in France next month. "Garcon, a wad of your very best taters, s'il vous plait."

Turning North, we've begun cross training sports awareness for Jim The Small Child Nephew. He and his father were watching SportsCenter, which showcased Tiger Woods entering a PortAPotty.

"Tiger is going potty," Country The Brother-In-Law explained.

Jim is a detail-oriented child, and requested further clarification. "Tiger poop?"

"Tiger" is a lot of sounds in a two-year-old's mouth at once, so sometimes it get shortened to "Grrrr." "Grrrr POOP!" Jim confirmed later in the broadcast when he saw Tiger again in a non-potty context.

Also, I checked my mailbox at the University of Airplanes today, and the student evaluations for summer classes were sitting in my mailbox, so I threw up. It's been a good day for bodily functions in my family.

the evals were actually quite kind, so I only threw up one meal instead of two at:

Monday, August 21, 2006

Career Fair Weather

The day Josh The Pilot and I met, he announced his career plans as an air traffic controller. He was already hired, you see. He was simply waiting for the magnificent federal bureaucracy to wave its enormous, bulky wand over his application material.

"Any day now," he said, "the FAA is going to call me with my placement. So I don't know about starting a new relationship."

This was about a year and a half ago. For once, living under a large, wasteful, unwieldy government has worked for me.

He was placed in a center, not an airport tower. I thought he was making this up, because according to serious research composed of watching every single Airplane! movie, everybody knows that all an air traffic controller is supposed to do is tell Victor what the vector is. It turns out there are these great big radar buildings all over the country, and they are the boss of the planes between the airport towers. These are the folks who, on 9/11, told all the planes in the sky to shut up and land in Nova Scotia and eat halibut for a week while we got ourselves straightened out.

When the call came through, Josh the Pilot was minding his own business in the cab of his Bobcat, as he has been putting his $100,000 aviation education to work as an equipment operator until his placement. He picked up the phone and a voice said, "This is the FAA with your placement assignment in the Eastern region. You must choose during this phone call between New York center and Washi--"

"WASHINGTON WASHINGTON WASHINGTON," said Josh. Because after all he had been through, what he really wanted at that point was to become a constituent of Hillary Clinton.

First he must attend a three-month training program in Oklahoma City. He describes it as boot camp for air traffic controllers, which brings to mind a bunch of pasty people sitting in front of radar screens, all "SIR YES SIR! I WILL NOT SLEEP WITH BILLY BOB THORTON'S WIFE, SIR!"

I don't know what it is with me and boyfriends and Oklahoma City; my college boyfriend was there for two years as a teacher. I greeted the new millennium in Oklahoma City. What they did was hoist this enormous lighted ball up on a crane at midnight, and then College Boyfriend drank so much he had to pee on a maple tree lining a downtown street. Good times in OKC. I will tell Josh to look in on the maple.

When Air Traffic Boot Camp is done, he will report to Leesburg, VA, immediateLY. And he will officially start his big-boy life.

Since we've technically been in a long-distance relationship for about a year--me in the far Eastern section of The Swamp, him in the middle--I am quite sure this is something we can handle. However, this leaves me without the luxury of feeling sorry for myself, as Julie the NephewsMama and Country The Brother In Law put up with this for four years while he served out his Navy ROTC scholarship. I remember this period as fraught with peril for the both of them; Country serving the nation in Corpus Christi, my sister enduring such trials as the inability to speak with him for extended periods while he was off on Sooper-Dooper Big Important Mega Secret Naval Exercises, and then discovering when he got back that he spent the week anchored in the harbor.

Tonight Josh is crashing with Dan The Reader, who is a controller in the Southern sector, and whenever he explains his itinerary to anybody I make him say "...and then I'm staying with one of Mary Beth's fans," which is infinitely cooler and more true than "I'm staying with another controller." You see how my power spreads throughout the land.

He left me with a bottle of beer in the fridge and the bug-squashing guardianship of Fletch The Extremist. I suppose this is what it means when they say, "If you love someone, let him go, and if he truly loves you, he will go away to sit in a big room full of radar screens in the Land of the Former Boyfriend Pee."

niner, or whatever at:

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