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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Monday, July 31, 2006

Conversations From Today

Me: Hey, you're into food, answer me this - Why don't people use the radish more? It's delicious. It sort of kicks up food to the next level. It's like the wa-wa pedal of vegetables.

Boyfriend: In times like these, I remember why we're together.

Friday, July 28, 2006

They say money can't buy happiness...well not directly. What money can buy is a boatload of burritos which, in my world, is pretty much the exact same thing as happiness. Those of us who don't have the money or chutzpah to buy 52 specialty burritos (each the size of an infant) are forced to find our happiness in other ways, mainly by sleeping outside of the restaurant in order to win 52 specialty burritos (each the size of an infant). Thursday morning, California Tortilla offered free burritos for a year to the first ten people in their store. My friend Colin (featured here, this is kind of how everyone felt in the morning) put it best, "This is, like, the best deal in the world."

Indeed it was, like, the best deal in the world, not only because of the copious amounts of burritoage, but also because promotions that involve crazy-ass things like camping out in front of a pseudo-Mexican restaurant draw in a very particular segment of the population, namely those who aren't afraid to rock out all through the night. And rock out we did. There were six of us hardcore enough to spend the night at California Tortilla, excluding the extra hardcore four year old and the dog that stayed too. I ended up spending the first part of the night playing with Abby (featured here):


Unlike the photo would suggest, Abby wasn't high at all and I didn't do blow and grease up my eyebrows before this picture was taken. Most of my other pictures of Abby unfortunately involve her crack and I figured that her awesome parents, both of whom stayed all night, would probably not appreciate that being featured on the world wide web. Joining Abby and I in thrilling games such as "Name the Letter" and "List Your Favorite Spongebob Character" (both of which Abby was much better at than myself) was Brodie (looking stately and slightly pig-faced here):


Besides myself, Colin, Brodie, and Abby, Abby's parents as well as two recent law school grads were all up in California Tortilla's outside patio throughout the night. A couple of things I didn't plan on in the whole camping for free food thing included:

* Hearing the greatest rotten wedding story ever. Seriously, it involved a secret ceremony, drama, angst, pain, deceit, a lot of rudeness, and general mayhem. Minus a torrid sex scene, it had all of the basic elements of a blockbuster film.

* Earning the nickname Aidsface...as in the terrifying disease...on your face. The story behind Aidsface is a long one, probably worthy of its own blog entry, that involves Myspace, Michael Vick, and being really really exhausted.

* Having a wireless internet connection. This proved pretty valuable since Wendy, Abby's mom, makes what sounds like a pretty decent amount of money selling lego pieces online and winning online sweepstakes (seriously). I feel like my job is pretty cool most of the time because I get to do things like travel and interview interesting people, but seriously, being a professional winner of things sounds like a sweeter deal.

* The presence of beer, free salads, nintendo ds, a friendly dog, cookies, books, sleeping bags, ideal weather, and an iPod stereo. I've been to several carnivals that had fewer attractions.

* The burden/opportunity to urinate in a median strip at 3:30AM in between a couple of trees. Considering how badly I had to go, this seemed like a really great idea until halfway through when the sprinklers came on.

* Meeting Pam and Andy (I think his name is Andy at least). They're the people who run California Tortilla. All I really know about them is that they're very nice, Pam has intimidatingly toned legs, and I kind of felt like I was meeting celebrities since they're both featured on the store's signature chipotle sauce bottle:



When all was said and done and Colin and I had our FREE BURRITOS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR, it felt like this:


Night well spent Aidsface, Night well spent.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dear Internet:

Thank you for your warm wishes and your kind e-mails. As it turns out, all of the good vibes may have actually done some good since A) I don't have cancer and B) they discovered this fact during an ultrasound without even giving me a proper mammogram. In place of cancer, I have what the lab technician described as "incredibly dense breasts" which I guess means that they're less like real boobs and more like touching two tiny bags of sand...sexy sand...the kind of sand that's so sexy that it has a tendency to lump up as if it's cancer, but SURPRISE! It's not cancer! It's normal, every day lumps that result from having the same kind of premium breast tissue they use to make diamonds! The next time you're tempted to write me an e-mail that says something wickedly clever like "Dear Chris: My friend thinx UR hottttttt$^&*#*!" (and you know who are you are 15 year old predominantly Canadian boys who occassionally write me those kinds of e-mails), instead of asking me to send you a picture, you can just caress two ziploc (tm) bags filled with flour and rocks and it'll be just like we're hooking up in real life.

But enough about my sand-filled, thankfully cancerfree boobs internet, how are YOUR body parts functioning? I hope everything is operating smooth as butta. Thank you once again for your warm wishes, sweet e-mails, and general concern.

May you be filled with density rather than disease (I don't even think that last line made sense),

Chris

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Conversations From Today

Boyfriend: Are you ok with going in today?

Me: Yeah, I'm ok.

Boyfriend: Really?

Me: Really, I'm fine. Truth be told, I feel more bloated than scared. Considering how I ate yesterday, they should probably just call this my hammogram.

Boyfriend: I'm embarassed for you even before you take your top off for strangers today. That's sad.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Sunday before last a lump was found in what the boyfriend usually calls my "funbag on the right" (although let me tell you, when there's a lump found inside, the bags suddenly become a lot less fun than they were before the lump). A lump is a scary, scary thing. Any time someone says "breast lump," it's like calling Fire! or Bomb! or Rape!. Breast Lump! is one of those phrases that automatically evokes fear no matter how irrational or insignificant the actual lump may be. So I've got a lump or rather I had a lump, I don't even think it's there any more, which I'm going to have smooshed into x-ray submission tomorrow (X-ray Submission by the way, great band name). I'd like to say I'm totally ok with having a mammogram. I'd like to be all cool and say that I've read the breast cancer statistics and I understand that there's a ridiculously small chance that I have anything serious and I'm not freaking out about getting a mammogram at 24. I'd like to say that. Love to say that in fact. But if I said that, it would be about as true as this one time when I was a freshman in high school and my class had to bring in "something meaningful" and I forgot, so I bought an orange juice from the soda machine and tried to make up a story about how orange juice saved my life when I was six and how I've hung on to this very special can of OJ my whole life and my teacher just looked at me and said in front of the whole class, "That's the worst lie I've ever heard." Saying I'm totally cool would be a lie of orange juice proportion.

So admittedly, I'm not totally cool about things, but I'm not going crazy (anymore) either. I was going crazy all the way up until I visited family this past weekend. Last Monday (you know, the day after Lumpy McGoo was discovered hiding in the rolling hills of Couch), my ancient aunt (94!) had a massive heart attack, officially died I believe 3 different times, and somehow has managed to recover to the exact state she was in prior to having a heart attack. The woman is like an ox, well, an ox who's lost the vast majority of its sight, hearing, taste, smell, friends, relatives, continence, and overall coherence. Seeing her in a nursing home, not knowing where in hell she is, who any of her remaining family are, or why she's in so much pain was coming face-to-face with a situation I fear far more than breast cancer. In between cleaning up her roommate's diarrhea and trying to flush my aunt's eye to keep it from sticking shut, I resolved that tomorrow I will go in like an adult, have my boob smashed, and probably drink a slurpee afterwards, thankful that I can see, hear, taste, smell, and not shit on myself through every scary moment.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When I Die, I Want an Obituary Like This

Originally printed here:

"Frederic Arthur (Fred) Clark, who had tired of reading obituaries noting other's courageous battles with this or that disease, wanted it known that he lost his battle as a result of an automobile accident on June 18, 2006. True to Fred's personal style, his final hours were spent joking with medical personnel while he whimpered, cussed, begged for narcotics and bargained with God to look over his wife and kids. He loved his family. His heart beat faster when his wife of 37 years Alice Rennie Clark entered the room and saddened a little when she left. His legacy was the good works performed by his sons, Frederic Arthur Clark III and Andrew Douglas Clark MD, PhD., along with Andy's wife, Sara Morgan Clark. Fred's back straightened and chest puffed out when he heard the Star Spangled Banner and his eyes teared when he heard Amazing Grace. He wouldn't abide self important tight *censored*. Always an interested observer of politics, particularly what the process does to its participants, he was amused by politician's outrage when we lie to them and amazed at what the voters would tolerate. His final wishes were "throw the bums out and don't elect lawyers" (though it seems to make little difference). During his life he excelled at mediocrity. He loved to hear and tell jokes, especially short ones due to his limited attention span. He had a life long love affair with bacon, butter, cigars and bourbon. You always knew what Fred was thinking much to the dismay of his friend and family. His sons said of Fred, "he was often wrong, but never in doubt". When his family was asked what they remembered about Fred, they fondly recalled how Fred never peed in the shower - on purpose. He died at MCV Hospital and sadly was deprived of his final wish which was to be run over by a beer truck on the way to the liquor store to buy booze for a double date to include his wife, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to crash an ACLU cocktail party. In lieu of flowers, Fred asks that you make a sizable purchase at your local ABC store or Virginia winery (please, nothing French - the *censored*) and get rip roaring drunk at home with someone you love or hope to make love to. Word of caution though, don't go out in public to drink because of the alcohol related laws our elected officials have passed due to their inexplicable terror at the sight of a MADD lobbyist and overwhelming compulsion to meddle in our lives. No funeral or service is planned. However, a party will be held to celebrate Fred's life. It will be held in Midlothian, Va. Email fredsmemory@yahoo.com for more information. Fred's ashes will be fired from his favorite cannon at a private party on the Great Wicomico River where he had a home for 25 years. Additionally, all of Fred's friend (sic) will be asked to gather in a phone booth, to be designated in the future, to have a drink and wonder, 'Fred who?'"

I've been to a lot of parties in a lot of cities in many different parts of the world, but I cannot fathom that any of them can compare to this one. Thanks to Shaun for being cool enough to read the obits and send me punk rock ones.

Monday, July 10, 2006

On days like today when I wake up at noon because my sister is calling to ask whether I would prefer to receive a picture of a chihuahua in a McDonald's cup in my work or personal e-mail inbox, sometimes I get a little freaked out and think, "This is probably going to be the high point for today. It's all downhill from here." And usually I'm right. But every now and then, I not only receive pictures like this in my inbox:


I also come across something like this. It's all downhill for the rest of the week.

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's All in the Details

After reading about "Garish disregard for the well-being of children," "Violence in excess of what has come to be known as excessive," and "The triumph of flannel over good taste," the thing that made me laugh most about this (click twice for larger view):


was scrolling down to find this:

After perusing books about pirates, lumberjacks, Chuck Norris, and smashing beer cans with your eye, there's nothing I want to do more than kick off my shoes, unwind, and get lost in a story about the systematic execution of six million Jews (and gays too!). Night is like a literary martini.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Warning

If you flip stations between So You Think You Can Dance, Rock Star: Supernova, and America's Got Talent for the full hour that each of these programs is on, you will start to feel like you are the only person in the country without some sort of outstanding talent, excepting of course, your freakishly long tongue [not featured because after 22 tries, I gave up on trying to take a picture of my own profile, photographing myself from the side apparently is not my talent.] and your ability to sing either part of A Whole New World into a banana with your nephew without the aid of alcohol:

Eat it Regis.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I haven't really been myself lately for reasons I don't quite understand. Nobody died. Nobody even came close to dying (although I did recently learn that one of my friends got stabbed a couple of years before we met. I know this is so very wrong, but when he told me, all I could do was laugh and ask him if he was in a Jets and Sharks-style gang dance war. Who knew that in real life, getting stabbed repeatedly is nothing like West Side Story).

I'm not sure what exactly is going on, but it feels like the existential equivalent of realizing that all of your clothes are from 1998 and none of them are or will ever be in style again. This is the only real comparison I can make because two weeks ago I had that realization too and I can tell you from experience that it will leave you thinking "when did I get so out of touch with reality? Also, when did 2006 get to be so far away from 1998?"

In my three-day transition from being freakishly short yet awkwardly charming to becoming Lamey McLamerton the III, Esquire, I have noticed that while I've become less and less like me, my pals have become more and more like themselves, like extra-awesome versions of the people I fell in love with some time ago. (A prime example of this is this past Friday when a mojito-filled ladies night revealed not only the bra size of everyone in attendance, but also this picture of my boyfriend [featured right] from a time long, long ago when he had hair on more places than just his back):


On Monday, Chris and I high-tailed out to the track where he won about $75 and we both reconnected with a friend who we haven't seen in years. After the semi-awkward exchange of basic catch-up information (What have you been up to? How was grad school? How's your girlfriend? Are you excited to be living back east?), our friend regaled us with stories of eating free steamed sweet corn in Dekalb and touring creameries in Wisconsin and learning words for dirty sexual maneuvers while camping with his boss.

By the time the horses had run, the boyfriend was rich, and we had stuffed our faces at a side-o- the-road Mexican restaurant (which was located in what was clearly someone's house), Chris and I drove home, giggling and doing awful impersonations of Shakira (looks like an angel, sounds like a muppet) the whole way there. Coming home to our dog, ice cream, and HBO on Demand courtesy of Chris' parents, I smiled to myself and felt delightfully foolish the rest of the night.