Thursday, March 01, 2007

Recall All Peeps

James Cameron has found the body.

Well! Now I can have that nice steak on Friday night. This certainly does make my life easier!

"Well, I don’t put my ego in this, so I don’t take great satisfaction in attaching my name to something like this," sayeth James. Oh. Well, as long as it's not about your ego, Sir King Of the World, we're cool.

As this is the same man who inflicted "My Heart Will Go On" and Leonardo DiCaprio and "A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets" upon the world, potentially bringing about the utter downfall of Christianity pales by comparison. Man, if Celine Dion even gets involved in this, I can rest my mind about the rigors of wedding reception seating charts, 'cause the Apocalypse, she has arrived.

rearranging the deck chairs at:

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Paycheck Collection

When my mother was my age, she interviewed for a teaching job at an all-girl’s high school. She sat across from a sister in a wide habit, who said, “I see you’re single, Margaret. Do you date?”


“Oh. Well, we can’t hire you, because then you’ll probably want to get married, and then you’ll have to quit to have a baby.”

So my mother gathered up her Kennedy-administration pocketbook and left to interview at a grade school, where she taught for nine years until she got married and quit to have a baby.

“You girls are lucky,” she would say to my sister and me. “I’m so jealous. You can be anything you want to be. All I had to choose between was being a mother and a teacher.” And we’d agree and hug her and tell her thank you, and then proceeded to honor her sacrifice by… becoming a mother and a teacher.

But my sister first became a CPA before taking on the world’s most important job—the lifelong process of undoing any influence I might have on her children--and on my way to teaching college, I moved a thousand miles away from home to alternately bodyguard Jimmy Buffett and type thousands of words about sewage pipelines before truly putting my Master’s degree to work by selling roses in bars. My offices have been the runway where the shuttle lands and the walking ring of Tampa Bay Downs and now, as a freelance writer, wherever I set down my unlaundered underwear.

It is a phenomenon with which Generation X is painfully familiar. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the typical 32-year-old has held nine jobs. Nine. That’s not including flipping burgers or driving golf carts during college—that’s full time, big-girl, sit-at-a-cubicle jobs we’re leaving and applying for again and again. And since the life of a freelance writer is by definition a patchwork quilt, I am Princess Day Job, Ruler of the Plastic Nametag. The fact that I can do so, in my own apartment, with my own checking account and own colony of bathroom mold, is perhaps the greatest legacy my mother has to offer. I cannot imagine the incredible sacrifices motherhood entails; I get resentful when my students need to borrow a stapler.

My life now is primarily occupied with ramming Seabiscuit and proper MLA citation down the throats of eighteen-year-old pilots who would rather be calculating weight balances or air-to-fuel mixtures or whatever it is they’re doing when they’re not meeting rough draft deadlines. And good for them, male and female—they are doing exactly what they want. May their children barf infrequently and their rose customers tip high.

Form W-4 at:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On Music

1) Jon Bon Jovi, let us discuss your recent single, "Who Says You Can't Go Home."

Like a blind dog without a bone
I was a gypsy lost in the twilight zone
I hijacked a rainbow and crashed into a pot of gold...

You... hijacked a rainbow?

I think I'm pretty safe in saying that the verbs like "hijack" shouldn't be seen anywhere near nouns like"rainbow." What lyrics did he reject in favor of hijacking a rainbow? "Kickboxed a puppy"? "Power-kneed Santa"? "Shived a unicorn"?

This is all the more upsetting that it comes from you, Jon. Anybody who soared to fame in a band containing a member named "Tico Torres" has no business anywhere near the word "rainbow."

2) Gwen Stafani, you are hereby sentenced to a five-year Shut Up for crimes committed by "The Sweet Escape."

The backbone of this song is, quote, "Whoo-hoo. YEE-ooh!" Clearly, the terrorists have won.

slash! at:

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Hundred Dollar Lunch

Last week Josh The Pilot and I attended Pre-Cana, which is a day-long marriage preparation course required by the Catholic Church. It costs one hundred American dollars. It is meant to "deepen a couple's awareness of the challenges of living together in Christian marriage." What it actually does is deepen a couple's awareness of the challenges of enduring a day-long marriage preparation course required by the Catholic Church.

This is what we learned:

1) Communication is good.

2) Credit cards are bad.

3) If you're a first-born child, you will become Hitler, but if you are a last-born child, you will merely remain in psychological diapers all the days of your life. (Birth-order psychologists have not yet bothered to draw up characteristics of middle children because they were too concerned with working on the profiles of the eldests and babies.)

4) Natural Family Planning is an extremely effective way of preventing pregnancy.
4a) Just ask our eight kids!

I have, at times, exaggerated in this-here little typing box for comedic effect. Not so today. The couple presenting the NFP workshop had eight. Children.

Josh and I edged very far apart from one another and entered the Q&A session feeling better about the credit cards.

I was looking forward to Pre-Cana as an opportunity to meet engaged couples like us, other men and women experiencing wedding stress and long-distance relationship challenges and the desire to build a solidly God-centered marriage. I was eager for my Lutheran fiance to meet Catholics our age, to show him the type of people a lifetime of Roman influence could produce, so when the Q&A started after the Physical Intimacy in Marriage session, I gazed hopefully around at these, my brothers and sisters in Christ.

After a brief, embarrassed pause, one young man shot a hand in the air.

"Sometimes," he said, "I fart during sex. Any suggestions on what I should do about that?"

There were at least two couples who had kind of gotten a head start on the whole being fruitful and multiplying thing, the chick in front of me was also a blonde, but in at least four different shades of Clairol, and the devout Catholic down the row from Josh praised God with a laudatory round of iPod Freecell during the opening prayers. I should have hooked him up with the woman two seats across from me, who, perhaps studying up on what not to do within the holy state of matrimony, had slipped a copy of US Weekly inside her Perspectives of Marriage workbook.

Then again, we were no shining example of glowing coupledom. A rental car wasn't in the budget, so we rolled up on Pre-Cana in the Truck of Crap Express. Nothing says Klass like appearing for a major life event preparation by easing into four parking spaces with a sixteen-foot Penske.

Lunch involved large vats of barbecue, one (1) bag of potato chips, and the doughnuts left over from the breakfast session. The Disparity of Worship couples, not fully punished by being digitally lumped in with the cohabiting couples on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's website, were let out of our session last, so by the time we got to lunch, all the tables were full.

We perched on a radiator and balanced Styrofoam plates on our kept-together knees. The salad wasn't bad. For $7.50 a leaf, it should have been personally autographed by Jesus.

welcome to the family at:

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I miss Florida temperatures

I went to work this afternoon, despite there being four inches of snow on the ground, with freezing rain on the way. I was sent home as soon as I arrived because my benevolent, all-caring employer figured I was safer at home than out driving in the snow trying to get to work, which I had just done. That's the government for you... at least they paid me for the day, which means I can now claim that I have been paid to sit at home and watch Nascar! Things could be worse.

Right after I got home, it stopped snowing, of course. The race hadn't started yet, so I started shovelling snow off the porch steps and Tink called. Here's the ensuing conversation:

Tink: Hi, my groom-t0-be, whatcha up to?

Me: Hello, my bride-to-be, I'm shovelling snow. It's 30 degrees and freezing rain is supposed to arrive at any time.

Tink: It's 75 degrees here and I'm thinking about going over to the pool!

Me: I know there's some reason I'm marrying you, but I can't think of it right now.

Tink: I'm going to put the race in my Nielson journal!

Me: Good enough.

Freezing rain still hasn't arrived at:

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