Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This is My dance space; this is YOUR dance space.

Growing up, my friends and I would browse through the downtown music stores and add to our cd collections.  We'd drive with the windows down and the music blaring.  We had those really huge black cd cases to show off our plentiful collections.

Learning opportunity.
Kids, C.D. stands for Compact Disc.

These were shiny metal discs that stored digital data sometimes in the audio form. When you put them in a certain type of machine, you could hear music.  

(Let's not even begin to discuss tapes.  Lord...)

Suffice it to say, music was a huge part of our lives. So, attending concerts and smaller shows was just part of it.  Now these weren't the seated in your special numbered chair type of events. These were the smoky, sweaty, throw some bows and get-your-ass-to-the-front-now! variety.

Typically it was dark and you'd be pressed up against some sweaty overweight giant who also felt it necessary to be in the very front even though he was like, forty.  Oh, and he'd have long, curly, black hair that would get in your face.  His girlfriend would also be large and accidentally spill her beer in your hair and cigarette ash on your arm.

We loved this shit. 

Nearly every weekend we scour the local paper for our favorite bands and then make our plan.  Since we were still young and lived under the roofs of our parents, we therefore had to follow rules.  Fortunately, being the oldest in my family and without any priors, I had no set curfew.  Consequently, my house became very popular.

Amy had pretty conservative parents, and since we'd come home reeking of cigarette smoke (since in those days, kids, you could still smoke inside), we had to come with some explanation that didn't involve seeing shows at places called The Abyss.  So, we had to come up with a safe place that also permitted smoking.

The answer was a bowling alley.

It was the perfect excuse. But I was always anxious that Amy's parents would call our bluff and attend some time or actually challenge us to a game. I can't even think back on a time we ever bowled,  but once with my family I barely broke a 100.  We'd be screwed.

But the shows continued.  There was even a time when "moshing in the pit" was something we looked forward to. Basically it involves throwing yourself around and banging into other people.  We also enjoyed "riding the crowd" where strangers would pick you up and you would be shuffled along the heads and shoulders of the crowd with your ass (or worse) being grabbed and ending up in the far back of the crowd entirely alone, or as was the case with me, dropped on my head somewhere in the middle.

Having a headache from the dehydration and sheer physical trauma and ringing ears from the temporary damage to our ear drums was just the nightly result of all that fun.

But oh, how things have changed...

Now I'm at a place where I don't want anyone touching me.  I get fussy in airport security lines or the grocery store check out when the people behind me get antsy and start inching forward.  Back the fuck off already. 

I'm reminded of one of the most important lessons Johnny teaches Baby in Dirty Dancing.

"This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours. You don't go into mine."

Thank you so much, Johnny. Thank you.

(P.S. Now I've got "Hungry Eyes" going through my head. Don't you? You're welcome.)

When teaching high school students, ahem--high school boys--personal space becomes an issue.  (At this point I should allude to the infrequent though not unheard of lesbian advances.  I had one!  She asked if she could braid my hair after school.  Whaaat?)  Not often, but some bold fellas try and go for the super-friendly-front-hug, and this is when you have to politely but firmly establish your level of comfort with the touching.  Some go for the no-hug policy which just nips it all in the bud, or you could do what I do and go for the side hug where there's no front parts touching.

Even though these two people will never have sex, this photo still makes me uncomfortable. 

The side hug works about 90 percent of the time.  The other ten, however, is just awkward as hell.  The student will go in with both arms and you're trying to maneuver so you can just get a half hug in there, and the kid feels embarrassed so you try and make a joke, which won't be funny enough.  And the potentially sweet moment has become another memory of why high school sucks for most teens.

Now, the personal space issue is not exclusively s student problem.  One year, early in my career, I found myself in the precarious situation of having a "close talker" mom.

The first encounter with this mother was during an open house so there were a gazillion other parents there.  I thought maybe she was nervous, or had some sort of hearing problem.  But then, as she had no real job, she became a volunteer.  Oh, how this makes teachers nervous.

What you're thinking:
     Really, you're going to harass me about Brian's 89 on that ONE assignment while I'm teaching a class?  Really?
What you're saying:
     "You're going to be here everyday?  Greeeeeaaaaaat!"

So Close Talker then became a frequent flyer to my room asking questions, commenting on random shit, and every single time, I would have to put one foot way out in front of me to keep her from invading my personal space from the waist down, but then she would get her lean on and literally begin bending her head toward me.  In response, (with foot still out) I would cross my arms and begin leaning my body back.

It was the most uncomfortable six to eight minutes of my life.

P.S. I fantasized about the moment I'd offer her a Tic-Tac.

Why doesn't everyone know about respecting one's personal space?  Maybe if the world watched Dirty Dancing it really would become a better place.  It taught us so much.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Britney was Right. Being Famous is Terrible.

After teaching for about a decade, I have met and worked closely with a crap load of teenagers.  These kiddies then (hopefully) graduate and go on to become pencil pushing, metal grinding, tax paying citizens, and naturally you run into them in various locations around the city from retail to restaurants.

When teacher and student meet beyond the walls of a high school a number of things can happen.  Typically we smile, approach, engage in some small talk, and maybe end with a side hug.  Sometimes we mutually ignore one another.  Now this is either because the kid's a complete shithead in class or wants to appear cool in his or her social setting and we, as adults, can sort of sense this and keep our distance.

Most teachers have positive stories to tell when encountering students outside the class. I've heard so many fellow teachers brag about deals they've received from previous students. It might be a percentage discount on a meal or retail item, or an extra ticket to an event, but everyone seems to be getting some inside scoop from their students. There's some sort of benefit.

However, I on the other hand have a different sense of notoriety.

Whenever I run into students--either current or previous--I am without a doubt a hot mess.

In my earlier years I actually lived close to the school in which I taught.  This was a mistake.

Although the travel time was minimal, the other conflicts made it a nightmare.  Case in point: it was a Saturday afternoon and after somewhat recovering from Friday's hangover, I was in the local grocery store picking up ammunition for that night including cigarettes (I know, I know), a case of beer and two bottles of wine, and of course, tampons.  I have a sloppy side ponytail and my mascara is still smudged around my eyes from last night.

So who is the check out of this aisle?
Oh, it's just John from second period English.
Fucking perfect.

Me: not making eye contact, "Uh, hey John.  I forgot you work here...."
John: "Hey miss," as he's scanning my groceries.
Me: "Yeah, good for you!  Oh, I'm having a little get together tonight, as you can see" with a clearly awkward smile.
John: Grinning. "Alright miss. You want ice?"
Me: "Ice? Yeah...for the guests. Good idea. Thank  you."

Was I having a party that night?
Of course not.
That was just wine for the week and beer before I went out that night.  But now I have all this stupid ice.

Another little special meet and greet was at our local spring that's sort of like a really cool local pool.  Or rather, it's cool if you're a teenager, a parent taking your child out or old.

If you're somewhat in between that, it's awkward because you WILL see someone you don't want to.  For me, it was Jordan, a really sweet but distracted kid I had two years ago.  I'm laying out on the hill with some friends minding my own business when I can feel someone staring at me and then after sitting up, I hear my name being called.  I focus in and yes, it's Jordan.

He waves.

I wave.

And that's when I see what he's holding.

A giant bong.

I stop waving. I lean in and alert my friends to this very special little scene unfolding.  Jordan is telling his friends that it's me, they wave, and then finally, he looks down and I hear from about twenty feet away, "Oh, shit, y'all!  My bong!"  Thankfully they lost the game of chicken and left first.

And finally, my most recent run in with fame.  And I wasn't even lucky enough for this to be a solitary student.  This also involved a parent of a different student.  This occurred at a place where you really don't want to know anyone.  This place is personal.  This place involves some nudity and consequently some vulnerability.  This place is the salon where I have parts of my body waxed.

I walk in and instantly the two ladies (one much older than the other) behind the counter smile, look at each other and say in unison, "Yep, it's her!"

Apparently they recognized my name and were just waiting for me to enter in person to confirm it.

Yes.  It's me.

I'm here for a bikini, eyebrow and upper lip wax.

And now I'm fucking mortified.
So, I do my best to play it off.  I mean, it has become a social  norm now for women to wax, pluck and shave every inch of hair below their eyebrows.

What are we anyway, seals?  But I digress...

Less painful than the actual ripping of hair from my body was making small talk with these women, especially the mother whom felt compelled to share with me all the wonderful places her son has been.  Now, I enjoy hearing about the success of the kids, but just not here.  Not now.

All I want is to hurry home, hide my red and swollen face, and put some ice on my ta-ta.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Crap People Buy, or at Least Sell.

Check out Zuup--the "sleek pill dispenser."
Here's Zuup's marketing team hard at work:

"Purse, pocketbook or handbag — whatever you call it, you're lost without it. Pockets, zippers and compartments of even the tiniest clutches are filled with supplies to help you stay on the go, but aren't made to cart around the kitchen sink (or the medicine cabinet). Take some weight off your shoulders with today's Save from Zuup"

Whuuut?!?  How much weight does a pill bottle really add?  Exactly how many pills are you taking?

Apparently we have a society so plagued by medical/psychological/emotional issues that a) we need to pop a pill during the regular working hours rather than relying on the medicine cabinet at home b) the volume of pills to be popped necessitates an accessory to enable this popping, and c) we are so vain we need this accessory for all our medications to compliment our various outfits.

I don't want to be Judge Judy here, but we should be concerned with how we Americans primarily deal with our problems.  I'm including myself as well.  When I can't sleep I am NOT going for warm milk.  I'm heading straight for the Advil PM.  When I have a headache, however I go straight for chardonnay.

This next little gem was pointed out to me by a friend--not to purchase, of course, but to share in the mocking.
Step right up folks, and take a look at a 100 percent Rottweiler...face... shirt.  Again, whuuut?
Why would anyone wear this except ironically? Is it to intimidate people?  I'm sure Snoop Dog wouldn't be caught dead in this shit, but it makes me wonder all the crappy swag he's received over the years and then maybe re-gifted later to second cousins.

And then for the meow-meow lovers...

This one just makes me giggle.  I want to wear this lil' fella out just to see people's reactions.  Oh, and it has a name: "Emerald Eyes."

Really, what message are you sending when you wear this?  
I have a deep affection for cats.
Ok, yes.  But also that you're really, really, really creepy.

Here's a little nugget of goodness for you.  I don't even know how I feel really about DNA testing since I don't question the validity of my biological parentage, but the thing that rocks my socks here is the picture used to advertise for the "DNA Self Discovery Kit."  

Call me cynical, but I don't think you should trust a doctor with this type of expression when dealing with what I can only assume to be DNA test results.  And PS, why do the results look like those images from years ago that when you stared at it long enough morphed into something else?

I don't get it, but it's a funny picture all the same.

This one is not necessarily ridiculous, but it is way too cheesy to go without some shame.

It's the Customizable Collage Canvas! 

By the way, "customizable"?
Not a real word.

Ok, so for about 100 bucks you get a giant ass canvas with up to 40 photos.  Now, I enjoy pictures.  I like the idea of capturing a moment and then being able to recall that fond experience and collective history with that person.  However, this is a cheap knock off of pop art like Chuck Close.
But for those overly sentimental folks--the ones who enjoy watching Lifetime television movies--they would probably like to give this as a gift for someone, and who am I to judge another's gift?
But let's be serious for a second.
I love getting presents, but please don't do this to me.

Last but not least:
Rhinestone Bra Straps 
This is the "classy solution for unsightly or clear bra straps."

Um, there is nothing classy about this folks, not a damn thing. If you can't keep your boobs in your dress with a strapless bra, then do us all a favor and get a different dress, because I doubt the straps are your biggest problem.  Not to mention those poor rhinestones straps aren't going to last all night, Cinderella!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Flying Solo

During the summer, it's not uncommon for me to spend quite a bit of time by myself. For some this sounds lonely and perhaps depressing. They wonder what the hell I must do with myself all day.  (Trust me, not a whole lot.)
But during the school year a typical teacher has to divide his or her attention amongst the 140ish students and their parents, our fellow teachers and finally the few administrators. The constant social stimulation becomes annoying and then by March, just fucking intolerable. You'd be amazed how sick you become hearing your own name being repeated followed by yet another request.

I'd like to say consequently I need my quiet time, but honestly I think I always revered a little isolation. Growing up in a very modest home with minimal square footage, I preferred the solace of my own bedroom with my own novels and music. Now, I'm no J.D. Salinger. I went out to play, and Oh, how I played, but I never felt "bored" being by myself. Yes, after some time alone, I'd call up the homies and we'd do whatever we did as teenagers (ahem), but then after some time, I'd want to crawl back into my turtle shell.

So, now in my thirties, I continue to cherish this time of reflection, serenity, and regeneration.  Really, I just like to do whatever the hell I wanna do, and when I wanna do it!  The tricky part to this solitary bliss is that it occurs in the comfort of my own den.

My own couches.  My own sofas.  My own internet.  My own refrigerator...

And I don't just stay inside for God's sake.  The bliss continues... in my local surroundings.  There are errands to be run, shops to explore, and lakes to run around.  I'm pretty comfortable even seeing movies by myself.  (At this point I'd like to remind everyone that when a theater is not at full capacity to leave the courtesy buffer seat between you and your neighbor.  You'd be surprised by how many folks do not honor this etiquette.)

The comfort I took in my solitude was recently put to the test when the hubs and I went to Washington, D.C. to meet with colleagues for his work. Obviously while he was in meetings for three full days, I would then have to traverse the city solo. Naturally I took the opportunity to geek out on the sites including the legendary 17 (or so) Smithsonian Museums and Galleries in the area. I'd purchased my travel guide and spent some serious time on the Google machine mapping out my itinerary for the trip. Since I'm too cheap to take a cab and too scared to navigate the subway system with my penchant for getting lost, I'm relying on what God gave me. Working legs and feet. 

With a little trepidation and lots of maps to arm me against my own self destructive broken internal compass, I was stomping down 14th street  ready to take on the city! Well let's be honest--the historic, crowded with tourists, "safe," part of the city.  Shit gets crazy 'round the other parts.  

I hit the National Aquarium first since I was making this an efficient trip. It opened first and was on the way to the bigger fish.The gal behind the desk hands me a ticket and says I don't have to pay!!!  Hollah!

This trip is going to fucking rock!  

Actually I think it was because the person in charge of money including the key to the cash register hadn't arrived yet, but I took it as a sign that this trip was fated to be a success. So, yes, it was entertaining--alligators, fish, a small shark, a teenaged tour guide who wanted to "help me" since apparently reading the placards seemed too difficult... but I wanted dolphins, mermaids, and King Triton (Ariel's Dad) himself! Too much?

Next on my tour was a biggie: The National Museum of American History. Doesn't that make you want to say the Pledge of Allegiance or shoot a firecracker at somebody? I'm still on my high from not having to pay anything and my personalized, albeit unnecessary, tour. I get in the giant line forming and then once we're in it's like a frenzy. People are just taking off to be the first in an area.  I just start taking pictures of shit without really knowing what it is. The funny part is that I'm taking pictures of things I think my hubs would enjoy seeing. Pieces like the first compound engine. Or the first steam-engine piston, or the first generator. These items, although very important to the growth of our nation ... are boring. I'm marching on and stumble across something pretty cool.  The first public school bus!

How freaking cool is this?! They had all kinds of other early modes of transportation that you could actually go inside.  Ok, still loving the freedom but at this point I found myself pointing and going "Whoa, this is the first school bus"... to NO ONE.  I shrug it off.  Take a picture and move on. 

So, I attach myself to a group of people led by one of the ancient docents through one of the floors and we get to share in some anecdotal laughter, but it's forced and it makes me depressed, so I disengage from them and found some treasures like Dorothy's "Ruby" slippers from The Wizard of Oz. I'm saying out loud how amazed I am by how simple and obvious the slippers are in reality compared to my childhood imagination which allowed them to be actual rubies, when I realize that yet again, I'm talking to myself.  Actually, I'm talking to another young woman who is taking her children through the museum.  She quickly guides them away from me.  

I meander and find many interesting items to read about and take pictures of.  One of them was the first lady's collection of inaugural dresses encased in the belly of the museum with lots of descriptions. Um, Nancy Reagan was a little minx! Her dress was divine, and then naturally I had to take a shot of Michelle Obama's dress in all its glory complete with her Jimmy Choo heels. The picture doesn't do it justice, but believe me, this is the shit.  

I've been plowing through some serious historical artifacts from Kermit the Frog to the actually namesake flag from The Star Spangled Banner, which was quite dramatic in the way it's presented.  Dark room, the song is playing, no pictures allowed... you feel special just looking at it.  

I move on to the National Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs, which they call the fossil exhibit, but that's a boring name.  Kids come for the Jurassic Park adventure minus the screaming and death.     

This was underneath the fossil of something called a "stellar sea cow" which to this day just makes me giggle.  It's like a compliment and derogatory name-calling all in the same phrase.  

"You fat magnificent bastard!"

There's also an entire section devoted to the history of mankind complete with the first lady herself, Lucy! I really wanted to hear children from conservative religious backgrounds asking their parents how this could be if God created the earth in seven days. No such luck.  

Beauty is on the inside, right Lucy?
So now I'm in line at the cafeteria inside the museum and having to navigate those lines with hungry parents and screaming children really makes me want a drinky-poo. I spot the little individual wine bottles you get on airplanes, but decide that might be pushing it.  I get my eggplant panini and water and begin wandering through the long tables looking for a spot for little ol' me. It's middle school all over. I start to beat myself up a little thinking that if I were stronger I wouldn't be thinking about it. 

It's just one meal. Eating a meal by yourself doesn't mean you are lonely or strange. Where am I going to sit? No, those people are not looking at you with pity.  

But as much as I try to eat slowly and calmly, I don't. I scarf down my food, chug my water, and head on past the hordes of groups continuing to pour in. I hit up a few more exhibits including the rocks and minerals which are great. Here are some of my favorite "gems" ...

I'm loving these but really I'm just forcing myself to recognize this feeling and deal with it.  I'm also acknowledging that I have two more days of this, so I better get used to it. But the truth is that it's way too crowded, I'm tired, my head hurts and I miss having someone to share this with. I'm thinking of just heading back to the hotel for some air conditioned quiet complete with cable, but I decide to switch it up and go through the surreal National Sculpture Garden over to the National Gallery of Art.  

Hello, Heaven!  

It's quiet. The building itself is breathtaking with the giant rotunda with columns surrounding the proportionately giant fountain in the center. The artwork is just unreal. I'm alone and it's perfect since the hubs is a lot of things, but he is not a fan of art. I feel rewarded and blessed as I make my way through this immense and mind numbing collection. This is what I've been waiting for.  

Vincent Van Gogh
I'm simply grinning as I walk from room to room admiring these treasures: Van Gogh, Raphael, Rembrandt, Whistler, Sargent, Corot, Cezanne, Monet, Gaugin, Degas... it's just too much to take in. I know that I'm smiling and recognize that there have been moments where I would suppress that emotion.  But not today!  I try to sit on one of those giant ottomans they put in large galleries for people to share, but the old guy keeps giving me the stink eye, so I don't linger. It doesn't matter though because this is why I came. For this feeling. Art that lifts, inspires, and allows quiet contemplation.
Thomas Cole
Edgar Degas
And here is when I feel the universe smile. See, it's worth it. I call it a day and hike my way back up to the hotel, but whoa, watch out!  I take a detour up Pennsylvania Avenue--uncharted territory folks.  Along the way I stumble upon the impressive Navy memorial with fountains and bronze artwork and take a quick rest there. Then I pass the FBI building where I make a shout out to my homies--Mulder and Scully.  

Later that night after the hubs returns and we all have this great dinner together at a tucked away Indian place, I try explaining my day. I begin by going through the photos which are small since I'm only using my I-phone, and dark since the flash isn't the best quality. Since you really need to be the one holding the phone to get the best version of the image, I give him the phone and let him scan through. I'm trying to give my explanations and reactions but he's just flying through them which really hurts my feelings especially since I was taking so many for him. But then I take another look.  The images are fuzzy, dark, small and for the most part pointless unless you were there. And that's when I come to the understanding that unless you're there it's rather meaningless. You have to be present. We all know the postcard doesn't do any justice to the real thing.  

The hubs is appreciative of my effort and we agree that I don't need to take pictures of everything, especially not for his sake. This trip is for me. I need to slow down and appreciate what I'm seeing. This is not as easy as it sounds.   

So, the next day I'm more mentally prepared. I have a tour of the Capitol building which I'm totally psyched about--which consequently ensures disappointment. Long lines, crowded rooms, impersonal docent, and way too short considering they tell you to be there 45 minute prior to your tour. 

I call bullshit.  

But I got a cool shot of the building with all the questionable black suburbans.  

And then, again, after going through some crap, I went to visit the U.S. Botanic Gardens.  
Here are a few of my personal favorites.  

So, while I'm still enjoying my freedom I do miss the opportunity to share these little findings with someone who might also take delight in finding a plant that totally looks like a penis. But no. I have to hide that little joke for later.  

Last on my itinerary for day two was the Freer Gallery which was also nicely cool and underpopulated. Asian art is not quite in high demand on The Mall.  I fell in love with this very serious Japanese silk screen when I looked closer and found this bratty child painted in the corner of the last screen. Everything else on the screens was so stoic, but this little shit just made my day.  

Followed by this sassy little fella. He had some gruesome friends who each guarded the temples against one of the winds.  East, West,... each had a job. But this guy with the hip out just cracked up my shit. At this point, I'm totally laughing out loud by myself and absolutely not giving a rat's ass.  Freedom.
"Give me angry and sassy! Yes!"

I also found my dwindling number of photos taken to be an indicator of my desensitization, or comfort in taking things in as I was experiencing them. We'll go with the second interpretation so it sounds like I'm learning and growing.  

Here's the one and only picture I took day three at the Corcoran Gallery by the White House. I'm proud to say I join a tour group and stay with them the entire time through the gallery which was a very rewarding experience.  
On day three I finish up early with only the Corcoran under my belt.  Overwhelmed with names, dates, and art modes I find a posh restaurant with a bar close to our hotel.  I'm killing time until my hubs and his boss finish their meetings, where we'll all meet at the hotel, and then we'll head to the airport that evening.  I muse over all that I've seen and experienced.  I'm proud of my independence, my overcoming some expected social norms, and enjoying my aloneness in a different place.  I think to myself what a perfect way to conclude this little journey but with a glass of wine by myself.

The bartender finally comes around and takes my order.  He asks if anyone will be joining me, to which I quickly reply, "Oh, yes,  I have a friend meeting me."  


And then, when no  one comes to meet me, but I still get another glass of wine, I have to make up another story so I don't sound like a crazy person.  See kids.  This is why you tell the truth.  

This lesson is apparently still in progress.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How I wasted my summer vacation. Part I

For ages now, teachers have asked students to write on "what they did over their summer vacation" upon their arrival back to the classroom.  Nearly every August this was our initial introduction to our teacher and our first grade, both of which were important to me:  Type A, People Pleaser McGee.  Begrudgingly my fellow classmates and I would get out our supplies and start writing...something.  Naturally they dug deep within themselves and found the strength to share with the class some anecdotes on the excellent buffet selection on the family cruise through the Caribbean islands, blisters created from hiking in Colorado, and even a family reunions in Galveston where it rained alot.

Whereas I volunteered nothing.  I had nothing interesting,  intelligent or even slighly amusing in which to share.  Um, I drug my little brother to the community pool, watched reruns of Matlock and Murder She Wrote, and read a bunch of books that no one had heard of.

"Um Miss...How long does this have to be?" 

So, in response, I've begun my own adult example. I still haven't done much, but at least I can share it in a better way, which really is the point of the assignment anyway.  

How I Wasted my Summer Vacation
by Jennifer 

I have a confession that will make movie--ahem--"film" buffs shake their heads in dismay.

I don't really like Gus Van Sant movies.   I know I'm supposed to and everybody seems to, but it's true.  
There was that one with all the short film clips about Paris, Paris Je T'aime, which just seems really self-indulgent and relied on all these big Hollywood names to give substance to something that didn't really have any. I'm totally ADD, but even I got annoyed by the shorts.  And then when I wanted story lines to connect thoughtfully like other movies in this genre often do, it leaves you hanging.

No me gusta!

Ok, I admit loving Good Will Hunting but that hardly seems fair.  Everybody ate this shit up with extra large spoons and then went back for seconds.  It's a teaching movie with tender moments mixed with self-deprecation, love and friendships--it's hook, line and sinker.  

However, with that exception, I recently finished watching Drugstore Cowboy and, yet again, I'm not impressed.  I'm probably desensitized to "drug" movies growing up watching films like Transpotting, Blow, Requiem for a Dream, Pulp Fiction, hell even The Big Lebowski, where the use of drugs were necessary for the conflicts and resolutions, but this one just seemed silly.  Case in point: the flying cowboy hat across the screen while Matt Dillon is getting high again.  Come on, Gus.
Next wasted unit of time was dedicated to the seemingly never ending television show predominating the 1990's known as "The X-Files."  My God, where do I start in how much I love this show?  Why am I such a late bloomer on this obsession?  I could have shared this with fellow recluses back when it was the appropriate time.  I could have been chatting it up water cooler style with my full on 90's grunge attire complete with Doc Martins and teenage angst.  Now, I'm forced to hide my infatuation with the inexplicable escapades of sexy and wry agent Mulder and power-suited robot Scully (seriously, she has no emotions) in the secrecy and shame of my own home with no outlet.  

 "I want to believe" too Mulder!  Let's hold hands and find the smoking man together. 

Maybe the story lines are slightly ridiculous and often times don't provide satisfactory explanations at the end. Maybe the action scenes are predictable and not well executed.  Maybe the special effects aren't so special now with CG enhancements and such.  

I don't care. 

The pure joy I have in watching this show overshadows rational criticisms.  I can suspend my disbelief even to allowing the lack of sex that these two should be, need to be, having at this point.  Hurry up with it already!  

And lastly, I've been sailing to the very edges of our internet seas in search of the perfect black bag (that I can afford.)  I've looked over the edge into the infinite abyss of darkness and you know what?  Shit is expensive.   I have fabulous taste and a small pay check. Also, you can blow hours on retail sites.  Here's a few of my favorites if you'd like to join my cult. Prepare to look at the clock and then see how fast you loose hours of your life.  Poof!

Santa, if you're listening, here's what I really want:

It's a Prada bag and it costs $1, 960.  Yes, I just choked on some of my spit, too. How funny!
Here's what I'll probably get.  This bag is from Banana Republic and costs $150.  It's not nearly as cute, but then again it's important to be able to pay rent so you don't have to become a prostitute in order to sleep in  a bed. 

It's all about priorities, kids. 

* Dear Teacher,
I'm sorry this essay is not about a family trip to see the Redwoods or about finding Jesus at a summer camp.  I promise to do better on future assignments so please give me a good grade.  
Thanx! ; )