Friday, January 25, 2008

$285 At The Campus Bookstore

Six months after leaving the classroom, I've discovered something new about my former students at the University of Airplanes, and what made them so... them. You see, I was forever begging them to avoid the second person in formal writing... to never, ever, engage in comma abuse... to avoid cliches and any phrase one might hear in a commencement address, particularly any variation of "Since the beginning of time." And on every turn-in date I'd sit down with my red pen and my former will to live and feel very, very sad, and then go back the next day and throw some F's around and yell about thesis statements again.

Well. I picked up one of Josh The Pilot's former piloting textbooks, and read the following verbatim...thing. In the first paragraph.

You are about to embark on an journey of exploration, and discovery. Throughout history, we have dreamed about achieving the freedom and power of flight... One of history's creative geniuses was Leonardo daVinci; an artist, scientist, and dreamer who was fascinated with flight.
I required medical assistance in the wake of this--raw opium, and a morphine drip. I mean, not that my own writing requires enshrinement in nitrogen sealed, National Archive-controlled document cases, but no wonder these people couldn't seem to semicolon their respective ways out of a flight bag. Their own textbooks were 400-page assaults on the English language.

At least most English majors don't try to, you know, pilot stuff. "Folks, if you'll look out of the right side of the airplane, you'll see the fundamental and universal annihilation themes present in discourses of man versus machine."

learning experience at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Licensed

I would like someone to explain why I, quite the most unphotogenic person I know, tend to sit for perfectly lovely driver's license pictures. Wedding day? Eye-bags and pimples. Four hours in the DMV? The very morning dew!

And I'm not even in a good mood when this happens; I am, as I was recently, just through the state-level bureaucracy wringer. It was two tries to make myself exist here in the Far Northern Swamp as a driver; the first time, I got an hour along in the process and was informed that the national Social Security system's computer was down, and that I must come back and try another day.

I slapped down the Baggie containing my passport, the Bridemobile's original registration, a credit card, my marriage license, and a paycheck stub with my current address. Oh, and my original Social Security card, issued five seconds after I was born.

The clerk stared at all these-- everything the DMV had told me to haul with me and which I had practically taped to my underwear, so fearful was I of purse theft.

"We can't verify your identity," she said.

I politely requested the return of my Florida license, surrendered at the beginning of the entire delightful operation, so that I could drive home and dream serenely of doing it all again tomorrow. This was refused, for the following reason: "Can't."

The clerk who took my paperwork, it seemed, the very one who told me that I was to return another time, had locked my license into her workstation. And left for lunch. In her car.

It took a stern husband intervention, two supervisors, and a set of separately locked-up keys to retrieve everything with which I'd originally entered the building. This made my foundation was all cakey, and so I say, thank you, Commonwealth of Virginia. You just wanted some fresh makeup for liquor store cashiers to behold.

But on the second take, I was already familiar with the background color, so I could make a perfect shirt match for a Total Disembodied Head effect. That's right, Virginia: I'm operating a motor vehicle without glasses, restrictions, or arms.

(Also note that under "class," the license correctly notes that I have, quote, "NONE. ")

officially a citizen of the State of Ginger at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Event Re-Reminder

Those of you who are planning to join us in Udvar-Hazying this Saturday, please email media@drinktothelasses.com so we know how many cookies and bars of gold to bring.

UPDATE: Sorry, but we've had to move the event date to the spring, kids. Thou must wait for the cookies.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mr. Patton's Neighborhood

Those of you The Readers who have been with Blonde Champagne from the beginning--and I mean the beginning beginning, when there were hurricanes and rollerblades and pina coladas--may remember my roller rink, which was the across the street from The Blonde Bachelorette Pad in the Central Swamp. On pretty much a daily basis, I spun around and around the drop-off circle of a middle school.

Which, as it happens, used to be a bombing range, complete with live ammunition. Last month the Army Corps of Engineers had to evacuate my former complex in order to explode the ordinances, as evidenced by this winsome photo to the right.

According to the Army, the site was used as a training ground during WWII. The money quote: "These demonstrations included strafing, practice bombing, air-to-ground rocket firing, some high explosive bombing, and chemical smoke and spray missions." Do you know how many times I fell down out there?

However, the tons of toxic fill dirt just might explain this guy.

I live in the best places.

34 miles from the Pentagon at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

Monday, January 21, 2008

Best Overheard Cell Conversation EVER

"If the cops come to my house... okay, if the cops come? Rob is still on probation, because he was keeping a bear in his apartment."

Also, an Irony UPDATE: Yesterday I was filling out in information packet, and I had to get up and look at my college diploma to check the spelling of magna cum laude.

thinking the two are connected somehow at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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