Sunday, August 31, 2003

Back, by popular demand - my comments! Okay, by "popular demand" I mean that Solonor asked me to sort them out, so we're trying. He taunted me by insinuating that my husband was somehow better than I am because his comments never fail.

Anyway, we're messing about trying to get them to work with Blogger so bear with me. Bare with me? I can never remember witch is which.

Feedback-ingly,

Natalie

PS - The comments are working, it's just the comment counter that isn't. And I'm tired and jetlagged. And I have to fix Sam's PC in the control room here at Geek Central so you guys can all just live with it until tomorrow.

Andy-ingly

Andy

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I'm dying, if in fact I'm not already dead. I'm just sayin' is all.

Five hours until Andy is home and nothing - I mean nothing is even remotely close to being done.

I have blisters, I'm cramped up in funky ways, I'm cranky and for some reason my nose keeps bleeding.

The worst of it is that since Andy's not been home to witness how much work has gone into this project that he'll not realize how much work has gone into this project. Don'tcha hate that? When people only see what's not done rather than focusing on how much has been accomplished?

Have I mentioned that I'm dying? Cuz I am.

Next time this crap needs to be done I'm going to hire some college kids. No, scratch that - the next time this needs to be done I'm just going to freakin' move.

For the time being, though, I think I'm going to sit here for a while and be still. Yes, that sounds loverly. Trouble is that I conditioned the hell out of my computer chair the other day so I keep sliding. What I need to do is get my legs nice and sweaty so they'll stick to the leather. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Screw you, sun. Go away. I'm not ready for you yet. This sucks.

Sore-ingly,

Natalie

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement to make. I, your humble host-lette, have single-handedly discovered a cure for the condition known as "insomnia". Patent pending.

It's easier than you'd think, considering the literally millions of people who suffer from it at some point in their lives (some of us chronically) and I'm absolutely amazed that no one has discovered this before. I can only conclude that we, as an insomniac collective, are lazy. Here's what you do:

When you feel a bout of insomnia creeping up on you all you have to do is make the conscious decision that you're going to stay awake all night and be productive. That's it! As soon as you commit to a project (the larger the project the faster you'll see the results) you will be overcome by the intense urge to sleep. This urge will be so strong that you may even, oh, I don't know, drop a paint roller soaked in primer onto your own face. You will become so fatigued that you will attempt to revive yourself by making a cup of tea, only you will brew it in a dirty cup that you found sitting behind your husband's computer screen. You won't realize that you're drinking from the dirty cup until you reach the bottom and see the mass of black sludge that's been fermenting for who knows how long. You will fall asleep on the toilet after having forgotten to pull your pants down. You will stand in the middle of the kitchen wondering, "What did I come in here for?" while the tea kettle is whistling like mad on the counter. You will find yourself singing along to Justin Timberlake with no sense of irony as you "rock your body" to the beat without wondering how the hell you even know the words.

But most of all, you'll wish you were in bed. Sleeping. Yes, I said sleeping, that oft-elusive state of being, that harsh mistress who sets her own schedule and leaves you at her mercy, begging for reprieve.

If I let myself linger mid-blink for any longer than a normal blink I will be asleep. Don't believe me? Watch this.





See that? I was asleep just then. You're lucky I managed to wake myself up, too, because my house is trashed as trashed can be. I've been sitting here for so long that I'm sure my tray of primer has developed a skin, not unlike refrigerated pudding.

Great - now that I've made some kind of food connection to the primer I bet I'm going to try to eat it. Could you imagine, death by insomnia? I wonder if that would be a first.

So damn tired I can't even think of a way to end this entry-ingly,

Natalie

Having the commenting down just takes all the fun out of blogging, doesn't it? Honestly, I don't know how Treacher does it. See, since he doesn't have comments installed I can't compliment him on this statement he made the other day:
You know that part of the "Crazy in Love" video where Beyoncé is strutting around in an alley with a racially diverse group of dancers whose names she almost certainly doesn't know? And they all start shaking their asses at the camera like a big jiggly buttquake? That little 20-second clip should get its own award right there. Best Gluteal Seismic Event or somesuch.

The word "buttquake" alone warrants commentary. Ah...buttquake.

At any rate, since my comments are still down I figured I'd throw up a post that doesn't need comments anyway. So!

Okay, my blogroll is messed up - in that I'm missing people that I know were once blogrolled. Don't know how it happened (yes I do - I was jacking around with shuffling categories and people fell through the cracks. Oh, thanks a lot for busting me out, Natalie. Anytime, Natalie.) but if you were/should be on the roll please let me know. (Email is to the right.) Babysit my brain, please.

For those of you who read my dear husband please be warned that his blog is going to take a turn here shortly. He doesn't know this yet, as he's been in Asia since God was a little boy, but it's been getting down into the 40s here lately. Which means his seasonal disorder is going to kick it into high gear - just warning ya, he'll most likely be bitching talking about the weather until next spring. Not his fault; he's English, and they're simply not made out of strong enough stuff to handle a Minnesota autumn arctic winter.

I've been blogging over a year now and finally have found someone who claims to have a crush on me - my very first blog crush! Jilly had me cheesing for days, even though I'm fairly certain she was being sarcastic when she said it. Still, I'll take whatever I can get.

And if that isn't wonderful enough, I was recently informed by Mopsie Honey that I'm her blog-father! That's pretty cool - though when she said it she phrased it, "You're my john." It took me a few seconds to realize she was making a reference to my own blog-father, John C. Still, a John's a John, really. She was blogging before she came across me but said that I "inspired" her. I'm a frickin' inspiration!

They say if you can make a difference in the life of just one person...then you're a pretty pathetic individual. Or something like that.

Oh, and if I'm supposed to email you just hang tight - we're having some issues with one account and I can't do anything with it until Andy gets back so I'm slacking off on the communication front.

Now I have less than twelve hours to finish (HA!) the basement up...my plan was to have the thing a blank canvas when Andy arrived home so that he and I could just swoop in and finish it up (the hardest part is what I've been working on - laying carpet and painting is easy) but it's not looking like that's going to happen. So what am I doing? Wasting time! Because that's the kind of guy I am.

Procrastinate-ingly,

Natalie

Saturday, August 30, 2003

So I was thinking that maybe I was unfair in joining in the mockery of the whole Madonna Britney Christina kiss thing so I downloaded the performance.

They're ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. That was one of the worst performances I've ever seen in my life, and the kiss was an awkward non-event. I think the only reason it's getting so much attention is because of that one photo at that one angle (is that tongue? Can you see...? Is that a french kiss?) It wasn't, and it was yucky. I'm just pleased that they cut away for the Christina-Madonna portion of the show.

The best part of the whole thing...well, two best parts, really...first being when they showed the audience and "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" Carson grabbed Thom, shrieking, when Madonna emerged. That was great - no one can flame up a Madonna sighting quite like Carson. Though I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he was actually screaming, "Do you see how that jacket is tapered? Who dressed her, Roseanne Barr? She looks boxy."

Second best part was after Missy Elliott came out and all four were doing their little free-for-all and Britney jutted out her ass and Missy damn near fell over to avoid having the thing touch her. That was class, right there. Is "skank" osmosis-able? Missy was taking no chances.

I did love seeing Snoop Dogg's reaction. He was like, "Damn - all this show and I didn't even have to offer them drugs. Where's my camera crew at?"

My last thought before I threw the file into my recycling bin was that I pray that Christina and Britney will, someday, realize the irony of them belting out the line, "music stations always play the same songs". (Statements like that are the reason I'm listening to Scott Simon right now.)

I'm just hoping that Madonna gets over this mid-life crisis, and quick. (Demi - were you watching? Now do you understand?)

You know, since yaccs comments are down for another day or so...which, knowing yaccs, is a rather conservative estimate on their part...I was considering peppering a post with statement to really inflame people, like, "You know, that John Ashcroft has some really good ideas" and "You know who I miss is Joseph McCarthy. Now that man would sort out our terrorism issues!" Just because no one could comment - cuz that's the kind of wild guy I am. But I didn't do that - consider it your Christmas present.

Kiss-ingly,

Natalie

Friday, August 29, 2003

My faith in humankind has been restored.

Britney Spears and Christina Aqua Velva both mouth-kiss Madonna and people are mocking them for it. People are creeped out! Sickened, even...phrases like, "mouth kissing your granny" are being bandied about. Ah, I love it.

I'm like frickin' Snow White over here, singing with the damn rabbits and chipmunks and shit.

Life is good-ingly,

Natalie

The best laid plans, eh? Or maybe I should say, "the road to hell, eh?"

Regardless (ooh, don't you hate when people use the word "irregardless"? That just drives me up a wall - pick either "irrespective" or "regardless" and run with it.) my intention for the evening was to pop a Tylenol PM to help me get to sleep (!!!) at a reasonable hour for the first time in a week. "Reasonable", in this case, means "before tomorrow afternoon".

But a funny thing happened on the way to nothing in particular and I lost my window of opportunity to drift off into slumber. I've found with over-the-counter sleep aides I have a finite amount of time during which I can actually fall asleep. It's not unlike being abducted - you're in a speeding car with no way out when suddenly a cat darts across the street. Your captor brakes and swerves, slowing down momentarily. That's probably the only chance you'll have to jump out of the car and roll across the street to safety...if you miss it then it's back to riding shotgun with a speeding maniac.

That's over-the-counter sleep aides to me, right there. I'm going to sit here for a moment and admire that analogy, because it's perfect.

Nah, I've decided it's not perfect - I should have gone with the whole space shuttle thing instead.

No - the abduction/speeding car thing is fine. It's okay - okay, but not great. I can live with that.

Where was I? Oh yes, awake. Again. Naturally.

You know what I've noticed tonight? There is a definite lack of good, quality licorice twists on the market these days. Remember how great Twizzlers were back in the day? That was a good twist right there. Firm enough to chew, yet not so hard that you hurt your teeth (which was especially important since the consuming of twists usually followed the chomping of a few Everlasting Gobstoppers or Fireballs...licorice was not unlike a cup of black coffee at the end of a long bar hop - okay, I'll stop with the stupid analogies now).

The best part of the Twizzler was that, when both ends were bitten off, it made the perfect straw.

That's what I was hoping to recapture tonight...sure, my beverage of choice has changed over the years but really, where am I supposed to find a glass bottle of Nesbitt's orange soda at this time of the...century? Still, you'd think that a can of Diet Coke would surely be a sufficient substitute, right? Well, you'd be wrong - it's thinking like that that nearly lost us the Space Race to the damn commies.

Sorry 'bout that - I think I was channelling my father for a minute there.

Anyway, I have my twists - nibble one end, flip, nibble the other end and insert it into the coke...where it promptly begins to dissolve. Loudly. I pull the twist from the soda and am met with the horrid site of a seeminly half-digested, tumorous string of red cord, mephitic and disgusting and even writing about it now makes me want to vomit.

Glad I didn't get the chance to take that old straw on a test drive, huh?

So there's another perfectly good childhood past-time flushed straight down the crapper. I can never do the licorice twist straw again. Unless they specifically begin making a hollow twist for the express purpose of creating a snack/straw dyad, of course, in which case they'll have had quality control to prevent catastrophes such as what I experienced tonight.

But they'd better not call me to be one of their testers because I'm just not going to do it. Period. Hear that, Twizzler? I've completed Phase One for you - the rest is up to you.

Stupid Tylenol PMs.

Insomnomaniacally-ingly,

Natalie

Thursday, August 28, 2003

It's a mac, mac, mac, mac world today. Am I the only one white-trashy enough to eat the frickin noodles out of the box/envelope? Come on people - comfort food!

Interview questions are slowly but surely going out - when they go and everyone's posted their answers I'm going to round 'em up and link here.

That's all I have to say but there's no way this can pass for a real entry so once again I've invaded the privacy of my husband (I can't testify against him in court but I can bust him out here) to post our latest romantic, "Oh you're so far away" IM exchange.

The set-up of this clip is that Andy (terrified of public speaking) had to, you know, publically speak. Oh, and my wrist hurts, which reminded me of the time Andy's wrist hurt. Enjoy. *Cough* - *cricket chirp*

me: How did it go?
andy: About 100 people turned up. I was cooler than ice. Didn't even stutter.
me: There's your secret then! Forget that whole, "imagine them in their underwear" thing; just always pretend your audience is filled with Chinese people. Et voila!
andy: Exactly.
me: When your wrist went out, did it feel like a needle being stabbed right in the center of the joint? Like you couldn't make the "limp wrist" thing without it hurting?
andy: Couldn't move it at all, not just limpify it (you like that? I made up a word!)
me: That's lovely - you should feel very proud.
me: I don't remember doing anything to it, but I remember when it started hurting because I used the line, "I've gone and hurt my dick hand!" in an email to Pete.
andy: BTW, I cut my finger today fastening my tie.
me: If an injury can possibly be sustained during any given activity I can rest assured that it will happen to you.
andy: Taking a bath. Driving at golf. Tying a tie.
me: That doesn't even begin to cover the countless times you've just "noticed" that you were bleeding from somewhere.
me: The "when the fuck did that happen?" times.
andy: After having done absolutely nothing.
andy: Jesus Christ - housekeeping have just been in here to deliver a new phone and the woman had a mask on.
me: Now THAT'S service! Did she do the Dance of the Seven Surgical Masks for you? I hear it's quite exotic.
andy: They were taking temperatures on the way in to the show. At various times today my temperature was between 36.4 and 37.8 degrees C.
me: Damn - why are you so feverish?
andy: I'm not. It's just fecking hot and humid.
andy: Dressed in a suit and tie!
me: Well that's your own dumb fault then. Don't blame the SARS just cuz you're a sweaty, overdressed bastard.
andy: I blame the change of time zone myself.
me: The older I get, the more I find my tolerance for lip syncing and designer bindis slipping.
me: Don't blame time zones. They've never done anything to you.
andy: They kill me on a regular basis. I nearly started an international incident because of them.
me: How so?
andy: I was right on the brink of being assassinated by the Chinese SARS Nazis - if that had happened, Tony Blair would have had to have invaded China. You see? World wars start because of this shit!
me: WWI started because someone killed someone's dog.
me: Or nephew.
me: I forget. I'm tired. I think it was a dog, though.
andy: I'm still a subject of her Majesty and her Majesty doesn't like it when nasty foreigners are bad to her loyal subjects. It says so in my passport.
andy: And that was Archduke Ferdinand of Austro-Hungary.
me: I know who it was - he was someone's nephew...or was it the ADs nephew that was killed? He wasn't important, anyway. I don't know - what do I look like, the Encyclopedia Britannica? Sheesh - look it up your own self.
andy: No the AD was the guy who was killed.
andy: Anyway, much as I enjoy this historical banter, I have some more shite food to go eat.
me: Go to McDonalds. Insist upon it. The Chinese like it when you get all assertive and force your own culture on them when you're visiting.
me: But the Franz Ferdinand thing isn't bullshit.
andy: I know it isn't - it was Archduke Ferdinand who was assassinated and it triggered doubleya doubleya 1.
me: Sigh. Fine! I'll look it up and prove it to you.
andy: I think I remember my history lessons!
me: Okay we were both right - Franz Ferdinand (a figurehead) was the nephew of the Emperor Franz Joseph.
me: "While Apis may or may not have been guilty of planning the murder, the murder did not necessarily mean war. There was no irresistible outburst of popular anger after the assassination: Austria-Hungary did not take revenge in hot blood, but waited almost two months."
me: So Franz Ferdinand's assassination was their equivalent of "weapons of mass destruction" - just an excuse. So there. Remember THAT history lesson, cracka!
andy: I'm going to dinner, Ms Contrary.
me: No, you shut up.

Ah...isn't it romantic?

One worrying thing that came up in conversation earlier was a photo Andy had taken. It was three guys all with their hands on the shoulders of the guy in front of them, and behind them was an American roadsign that said, "Dead End". Andy showed me the picture and I giggled, saying, "That pic is a bit naughty - looks like R is pulling a train." Andy's response was, "This was before we'd even had dinner."

I don't even want to know. I can only hope that he maybe missed what I said and was just giving me, you know, a point of reference for when the picture was taken. Otherwise, it's not just the Dance of the Seven Surgical Masks that I'm going to have to worry about anymore.

All aboard-ingly,

Natalie

Drat, I missed seeing Mars. No worries, though - I'll catch it the next time it swings close, right? Right...?

I was busy talking to this fella here and he wasn't letting me go just so I could see "some worthless planet that never did nothing for anyone anyhow". He's a bit aggressive.

He's not crooked on the wall - if there's one thing I know how to do, it's hang a man - but the angle is from me trying to avoid getting a glare from the flash. Besides that, that old outlaw is hanged pretty high. (Now you groan.)



So I hear tell that you've been looking for a monkey to clean your bathroom. Folks been talking - they take to gossipin' about strangers and aren't above a bit of judgment if they've a mind to. They say a stranger's been asking after a monkey to clean her bathroom and I'm here to tell ya that that just ain't fittin', bringing in a monkey to do a man's job. Unless it's old Clyde - that one can do the job of ten men. I seen him with my own two eyes. He can clean a bathroom so's you'd be proud to eat from the sink.

You're new round these parts so allow me to impart my wisdom on ya - the problem ain't with the cleaning. The problem's with the enforcing. You want to stop that mess before it starts, before there's bloodshed. Because I can tell ya for free that blood's a lot harder to wash off a man's hands than hard-water stains are to scrub out of a sink. Invest in a water softener and read the word of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That's half of the problem right there. You turn your back on the Lord and take the law into your own hands...well, it's hard for a man to get a proper rest with the weight of vengence upon his shoulders, never sleeping proper...cain't never trust no one no how. It's a hard row to hoe and that path ain't for just anyone. Do yourself a favor. It's a hard, solitary life otherwise. And that's all I'm gonna mention about all of that.

What I'm offering you is a deal. What I can do for you is stand watch in your bathroom, keeping the scoundrels from mucking things up too much. I cain't promise everything'll be perfect - ain't a man, living or dead, who can make that promise - but I will tell ya that they'll think twice about leaving toothpaste in the sink while I'm on watch.

Git that old Bathroom Monkey out of your mind, cuz that just ain't gonna happen. Not in this imperfect world we're living it, at any rate. Instead, I can offer you my services - call me Dirty Monkey. Naw, that ain't no good. How about Bathroom Harry? Nah, that makes me sound like one of them funny boys, like George Michael. Sheriff Monkey? Bathroom Vigilante? Wrong Side Of The Law Cuz I Been Done Wrong Harry Bathroom Dirty Monkey...argh hell - giving yourself a name is harder than I thought...good luck thinking up nicknames for the Mentally Ill of Natalieville. That's a pretty tough task you've got ahead of ya, I don't envy ya that one.

I'm gonna go away now and think of a name for myself. In the meantime, I'll leave the guard duties to this here fella - he has a heart of stone and he won't take no nothing from no one nohow. But he's fair - taught me everything I know. I reckon I'll be back 'for the day's done. This guy here won't do you no wrong.



Outlaw-ingly,

Natalie

Well!

Listen to this - I've torn up the rug in my basement, moved my feck-off fantastic computer desk upstairs to Geek Central (Andy, Samantha and I all have our computers in this room now...in case you didn't know, for the past, what, nine months or so I've had my computer perched on an end table at the side of a day-bed where I would sit with the keyboard in my lap. Yeah, I know - that's what my back said.) I have a million questions to post to people, I have a conversation between myself and Andy as well as a conversation between myself and Pink Clint (the pink picture of Clint Eastwood in my bathroom) to post and think up names for the Mentally Ill of Natalieville Insane Blog Posse. (I just made that up out of my own mind.) It's me, Natalie and Natalie thus far, though I'm sure I'm missing out on a Natalie. I could have sworn there were four of us - five if you count Natalie's husband, Peter, who impersonated us for a while. I'm thinking Natalie Majestically (natalieville), Natalie Subliminally (natdug) and Natalie Instability (guess who?). Nah, those suck. I need something kicky. Brainstorm, come on, think, Natalie. Think "Natalie"! Boy am I stupid.

See, when I list out everything I've done/need to do it makes me sound really busy and important, huh. Er...yeah, sure.

To celebrate once again being erect while typing (quit sniggering) I have decided that I am going to make two kinds of macaroni & cheese for breakfast.

Spoiling myself-ingly,

Natalie

UPDATE:


And so the battle begins. Will Kraft retain the title of "the cheesiest"? Or will this late-day contender, Lipton Cheddar & Broccoli strip Kraft of his crown? We'll keep you posted as this battle wages on.



Okay, so it's not yet adorned with any of my...well, Andy would call it "shit" but I call it my "precious treasures" but you get the basic idea. Yes, that is my blog on my screen (I know, I know - don't even say it). This image is marred, however, by the lack of my flat panel monitor that Andy stole from me one night, leaving me with this hulking behemoth of a screen to contend with. This thing is, what, five years old nearly?!? He's in China until Sunday, though, so screw it - I'm taking my monitor back. This one just clashes too much...while I'm at it, I need to get a sleek black printer and scanner. Yeah, that's the ticket...not home until Sunday...muwahahaha!

Another update: The noodle battle is over. They shook hands and decided to be friends. Which is to say I just mixed them together. Now that's some macaroni & cheese!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Hey there, having trouble coming up with a blog entry? Feeling a bit tapped out? Maybe a little bit spent? Got that not so fresh feeling?

Hang on - that's a different commercial...not so fresh...pet odors...no, that's not right either...closet clutter...where the hell is page two for my blog commercial? Wayne? What do you mean Wayne's not here? Wayne is always - okay you know what? Nevermind. I'm going to freaking wing it, then I'm going to find Wayne, rip his head off, lift my toned and tan Jazzercised ass to the sky and shit down his worthless neck. Yeah, you run and tell him that one. Now where was I?

Feeling a bit tapped out? Well never fear, for I have a solution for you! On those days when the old brain just won't slip into gear you simply employ the Blogging For Dummies methodology.

"But that sounds hard!" you say? No, not at all! Do not let the word "methodology" detract from the word "dummies" - and, as you well know, we're all about the dummies here at pickle juice.

The answer is simple - so simple that you'll be amazed that you've never thought of it yourself (though I can't say I'm surprised it's escaped you). I'm talking, of course, of the meme!

*collective forehead slap* Yeah, yeah I know, "Why didn't I think of that?" That's what I'm here for, to offer my guidance and experience as one of the very same aforementioned dummy bloggers. Allow me to demonstrate. You won't believe how easy it can be!

First, find another blog. It's not hard - why, simply coming here means you're half-way to completing my course! No, I'm not "shitting" you, and I'll thank you kindly to refrain from using such language.

Now that you've found a blog, simply comment the phrase "Interview me" or some variation. Be creative if you wish - there are really no limitations here apart from those you impose upon yourself. Prove those high-school career counselors wrong!

Collect via email a couple of interview questions penned by yours truly. Here you're kind of on your own, as I can't retrieve your email for you. Well, I mean, everyone has a price but do you really want to spend your money just to have me come to your house and push "send/receive"? Really? Okay then, I'm game if you're game. I'll be around as soon as I receive your certified check or money order.

Wow - that was a commercial within a commercial and I bet you didn't even notice until I pointed it out, huh?

When you receive your questions take them to your blog and answer them. Then, you know, click publish.

Now, this is not an MLM insomuch as it's exactly like an MLM without any kind of pay-off. Think of, oh I don't know, a pyramid. You're at the top, and you need a lot of bricks beneath you to support your position, right? That's the scheme, anyway. But it's not a pyramid scheme insomuch as it's a scheme that is in the shape of a pyramid. Apples and oranges, really.

What's that? Demonstration? Moi? Well, of course! I thought you'd never ask!

The following was asked of me by our resident evil bus driver and jack of all trades, Bill. Bill of all trades? Whatever. My answers to his probing (oooeerrr!) questions are inline. Oh hell, you can figure it out. If you can't then I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave. I don't care, push the back button, click the X in the corner, whatever. Sure, I suppose you can click the home button if that's where you want to go. Yeah, fine, a favorites will work too. Okay, you know what? How about you just sit there quietly and let the rest of us play the game, all right? Good.

Here we go:

1) What's the story, if any, behind 'pickle juice' the name of your blog?

The first incarnation of this blog was called "Dreams of an Insomniac" from the book "Dreams of an Insomniac: Jewish Feminist Essays, Speeches, and Diatribes" by Irena Klepfisz - fitting, as I am a long-suffering insomniac myself. (Note the timestamp on this entry and know I've yet to get to sleep.) However, I received an email from a girl wH0 Wr0+E LIkE +h1$ telling me that she was using the name first. I changed mine - not because of her professed propriety but rather because I simply didn't want to be associated with her in any way. But while thinking of a new name one night I thought I'd rename my blog after a late-night snack - it would either be called "pickle juice" or "warm milk". Or "pickle juice and warm milk" - I like the number of directions I could have run with the whole "curdled" thing. But PJ prevailed.

2) How did you discover blogging? Did someone or something inspire you?

My dear husband had been keeping a journal for a couple of years on our web page, but it was only when he showed me the journal of John and it got me interested. In the beginning my entries were sporadic, like John's, and I had grand ideas that I'd populate it with essays and political commentary. The day that I opted to write about the Anna Nicole Smith show over blossoming strife in North Korea was the day I knew I'd strayed from my prescribed "beaten path". I haven't looked back since.

3) If it were possible, would you want to know the exact time and day of your death? Would that affect the way you currently live? Would you future plans change in any way?

Knowing the exact time of your death is kind of like learning the gender of your unborn child - sure, it'll help you decide what color to paint the nursery but does it really change anything? You're gonna die/you're gonna have a kid, regardless. But I don't think I'd like to know the exact time of my death - or even an idea of it - siimply because I'm the type of guy who will say, "On the count of three" but rip the bandage off at the count of two. Because that's fucking funny.

4) Name 3 things that make you unspeakably, horrifyingly angry beyond words.

This is a tough one. The biggest one is being disrespected, which comes in many forms. Just generally being devalued pisses me off to no end. I was in a bar once with a guy - now, this was just in a casual conversation - who told me that, while I was one of the brighter people he knew, that he wouldn't hire me for even the most entry-level job because I didn't have a college degree. I went off and it's not even like I was looking for a job from him - this was just a conversation about management styles. I think I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder because of that whole "mom at fifteen" thing I had going on - no matter how hard I worked at anything I was at an instant disadvantage to my peers. On top of that I had zero support, from the father, from my family, from anyone. Don't get me wrong - I have pride in what I did manage to accomplish considering, and I love my girl and would never swap her for a million college degrees but the easiest way to get my back up and make me bash you over the head is to intimate that I am somehow diminished in value because of the lack of school/housewife thing. Cuz I'll cut ya, I swear I'll cut ya.

Since you asked for three things I'll throw in clubbing baby seals and Justin Timberlake, too, for good measure.

5) Now that you are over halfway to 50 and you look at your life, are you happy with where you are or do you wish you would have done something(s) different?

Cough, sputter, gasp! "Over halfway to 50"?!? By one freaking year! But I take the point.

I don't think I would do anything differently - nothing major, anyway. I would have been nicer to certain people. This is the kind of thing I mean - in kindergarten there was this girl, Brenda Bernell, who was mildly retarded and who lived in my sister's apartment building. During the summer before kindergarten we played together but when we got to school I pretty much ignored her and one day I joined in with the kids who were chanting, "Tardo! Tardo!" at her. I was most certainly not a "Tardo" kind of kid - I was more likely to throw rocks at the kids who said such things. For some reason, that day I teased her. She looked up, crying, and saw me in the mass of children and said, "I thought you were my friend, Natalie."

I can still picture her face so clearly, with that one crooked tooth and the pigtails tied up in ribbons. Her saying that, spotting me out as a trusted one just cut me to the bone.

I felt like such shit after then that I had my mom switch me to afternoon kindergarten because I couldn't handle the guilt. (Seriously, the guilt was literally effecting my health - I had chronic stomach aches and nightmares over it for almost a month and when I got a wart on my toe I was sure it was my guilt bubbling up to the surface.) I still feel awful about that, especially since she moved that year and I never apologized.

Stuff like that? Yeah, I'd change that in a heartbeat. The rest of it? Probably not.

Though, were it not for that day at school with Brenda I wouldn't have realized my capacity for cruelty. So maybe I wouldn't have changed that. I'd have taken away her sense of betrayal but not my sense of shame, if that makes sense.

So short answer (after the long answer) is no. I think.

Clear as mud-ingly,

Natalie

(remember - if you wanna play just say "interview me" and we'll run this thing up a flagpole and see if anyone salutes. See? Even without a college degree I am SO corporate material!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

I'm not gone, just redecorating.

I've somehow managed to accidentally start using old Jay & Silent Bob slang for no reason - it's pretty bad when you start calling your own children "Lunchbox". So I figured I'd keep a low profile until this phase passes, because that is no kind of good.

Oh, and I finally posted at Ruthie's place, with no more than a day to spare. I know, I know - I'll be late for my own damn funeral. I am (insert roll of thunder here) MASTER PROCRASTINATOR!

'Sbout it, really. More to come later, fer sure.

Snootch to the nootch-ingly,

Natalie

Friday, August 22, 2003

Even though some are gone forever it's nice to read about some that are doing much better. That's something good, and it's good enough for me.

We'll just have to see what the rest of the day brings.

Hopeful-ly,

Natalie

Thursday, August 21, 2003

I know I said I was going to tell you a story today but I just can't. After reading my emails and hopping around to a few blogs I am just too overcome at the moment - too much sickness, pain, heartbreak, death, regret, and general unhappiness is floating around for me to focus on anything.

I'm probably going to go crawl up my own ass and spend some time feeling hopeless and angry. Everything just fucking sucks and nothing ever works out and even when you think things are going okay they're really not, not at all. It never gets better and it never changes and the most that you could ever possibly hope for is that somewhere in all of the bullshit, every now and again, something - some kind of sweetness, light - might creep up and manage to permeate the thick sludge of what everything's wrapped up in, only you shouldn't get too attached to it as the Powers That Be are just waiting to rip it away from you.

Yeah, I'm whining, so what?

Sometimes you do just want to throw yourself on the ground and flail about, screaming, "I don't wanna, I don't wanna!" It's good for you.

Everything you do, the best you will ever be will never be enough.

How's that for some sunshine up your ass, eh?

Complain-ingly,

Natalie

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Do you know who's fun? Jaded Ju. AKA Jilly. I love her loads and loads and she's having a crisis of confidence at the moment. Like we all do.

Clicky me linky, let her know that you're there (even if you can't comment it's no problem, as stats don't lie. Except when they do). Because I don't want her to go away, and someday you'll be sorry if she's gone.

I'll tell the story of the below post tomorrow (looks like #3 won? Shame, really, as the story for #1 was much better), as I'm too tired tonight, but I will say that number two (yes, that's the werewolf one) was bullshit. Bullshit, I tells ya!

But if I were ever bitten by a werewolf, that's definitely the course of action I would take. (And it's really not so hard to be chained to a bed...not like I have any personal knowledge about that, but I'm just saying.)

Jew-ingly,

Natalie

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

On "Charmed" just now a little leprechaun (name of Seamus Fitzpatrick) just said, "That's a load of bollocks!" and "He's such a bloody wanker".

If he were six feet tall and English I'd swear he was my husband.

And in keeping with the theme of "Not a damn thing" I want to do another installment of "Two Truths and a Lie" - something I haven't seen done in a while but suddenly I was struck with a want.

So here you go - two of the statements are true, one is false. Which is which, do you think?

If you get it right you rock. If you get it wrong...well, I will tell the story of the wrong (truth) one that gets the most votes/comments.

Ready? Here we go.

ONCE...

1.) I was abducted, falsely imprisoned and assaulted.
2.) I was bitten by a wild wolf and thought I would turn into a werewolf. This paranoia caused me to literally chain myself to my bed during full moons.
3.) While I was in police custody I got the ever loving shit kicked out of me by someone thirty years older than myself. My blood still stains a desk at the police station.

There ya go - which one is bullshit?

Craic-ingly,

Natalie

Speaking of Groucho Marx - for no reason other than I can, I now present you with my ultimate favorite quote of all time from the Man himself:

Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.


Ah, I never get tired of that.

Duck Soup-ingly,

Natalie

My last post was almost like a "to do" list of future entries here but I just can't get it together. Any time you say to yourself, at five a.m., "I really must remember to write about such and such" do yourself a favor and ignore it, because things that seem completely brilliant at that time of the morning tend to lose their sparkle after you get some sleep.

The Richard Marx post ended up being incomprehensible - the Dvorak post began to careen wildly into philology, which is always a fascinating read, groan - the church one was creeping up on religious territory (which you wouldn't think would be a detriment but my original intent wasn't to focus on religion, just the church) - the deer post began to seem creepy - and blue? Well, that's just something that doesn't want to be written yet. Maybe later when my chemicals aren't so well-balanced, if you know what I mean.

Trouble is, I have no back-up entry to post. Sorry.

In the meantime I'm going to just hang out over here being pissed off and hung over - a hang-over that shouldn't have happened and is wildly aggravated by the "pissed off" thing, as well as not having a sleeping pattern that resembles any kind of "normal".

Nap-ingly,

Natalie

Monday, August 18, 2003

Since departing the house yesterday at, what, noonish? I have been plagued and haunted by Richard Marx, Antonin Dvorak and deer.

I also had an interesting encounter with a church and was insulted by the color blue.

I'll tell you more when I've finished processing it all - but for the time being I'm going to go make some Winnie the Pooh cookies with my kids. And yes, we plan to eat the entire dozen for breakfast.

Jazzed-ingly,

Natalie

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Tonight I picked up "The Nanny Diaries" and a new pillow. The discomfort the book causes is twice the comfort the pillow provides - I'm reading and squirming and thinking, "But this position is perfect for my head and neck - why am I wiggling around?"

What kind of people are these that not only ignore their own children but hire people to take care of them in their own homes, primarily for convenience? This book is supposed to be funny but in reality it's just sad.

I'm going to Illinois to pick up my girls tomorrow and it's like Christmas for me - the thought of having my family whole again, after a very long summer, makes me feel giddy. What will Nic do when he sees the girls? How will Samantha react when she learns that we're giving her our bedroom? Does Zoe still like pancakes? What of the excitement of the dogs! I need to go shopping - I need to make the kids feel at home. We have a new bar in the kitchen - can they climb onto the stools?

All of these things I want to know. I'm sorry that I don't know them right now.

How can parents give all of that up to a nanny if they don't have to? I'm going back to work soon - I'll miss so much. But I'm not doing it because my kids are an inconvenience and I'd rather be rid of them - it's for the good of all of us.

I don't know - reading the memoirs of a couple of nannies who have worked for self-indulgent non-mothers in New York just isn't funny to me. I've never viewed my children as burdens in the same way I've never viewed them as commodities. I can't get inside of the head of a woman who feels otherwise.

Childsome-ingly,

Natalie

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Nothing in this mortal coil is cuter than listening to Andy break it down all quick-like by rapping the original "Get Down On It" by Kool & The Gang at me.

Where did he learn the words? I don't know - and more to the point, I don't want to know.

All I know is that it's cuter than shit when he goes, "Unh!" while rocking his head.

It's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under-ingly, (okay, that's a different song but still.)

Natalie

UPDATE: You know what a creep-ass husband I have? He said this to me of my singing, "I don't want to alarm you, but you were actually in-tune just then." BALK! Cough, sputter, gasp!

Oh and it gets better - I totally told him I was blogging his ass - I was shaking my rump in his face (you know, like you do) and said, "Do you like my tighty-whiteys?" (Yes, I do occassionally wear "normal" underwear.) He said, "I would if they were a bit more 'tighty', saggy-pants." Allow me to reiterate: BALK! Cough, sputter, gasp!

One more thing I take issue with - so I'm listening to some 50 Cent and some Nelly and Andy says, "Och, the language!" and then puts on a song by The Pogues that not only includes the phrase, "Then I effed her brains out" but also, "You liar, you're effed - come hell or high water/I may have effed your missus but I never effed your daughter." (See how I refrain from using the "fucked" word for the polite company? D'ya like that? I'm so sensitive.)

I'm just sayin' is all. Creep-ass man, right there.

OMG - Another update - he's right now, I mean right now thrusting his pelvis out at me while singing, "Hit that perfect beat boy, beat boy, beat boy" (Bronski Beat) and yelling, "Come on! I mean, come on!"

We should really try that whole "sleep" thing more often. Cuz this ain't no kind of good.

Another update - why I love him - I just painted Nico's toes with purple glitter and Andy said, "Aren't you a beautiful boy? Such a beautiful little man!" without a trace of anything other than love for his pretty little son. That's a fantastic man, right there.

By the way - go vote for Nicole - even if you don't know her, even if you don't like her. Good things will happen, I swear.

Gore-ingly,

Natalie

Friday, August 15, 2003

I'm not sure how Andy is going to deal with this but I am ready to publically own something that has never before been publically owned.

I blame "Punch Drunk Love" - you know where Adam Sandler just goes to Hawaii to find his lovey? Pay attention to that, as there's going to be a quiz later.

Okay - so! - story of Andy and I. Never had been told before...probably shouldn't be told, but I don't know - I'm feeling all fucking bullet-proof an' stuff. Maybe it's the song from "Popeye" that did it - I've no clue.

Condensed version - I was working my ass off, running this hotel in Harvard when this English guy pops up (Andy, duh). I was in a relationship, he was in a marriage. An unhappy marriage, but a marriage nonetheless. An unhappy relationahip, yadda yadda yadda.

I first noticed him by how he walked - he has the sexiest walk - sort of a goth, "I'm taller than I'd like to be" thing, sort of folding in onto himself. Here I was, trying to be a Legitimate Corporate Businesswoman, yet when I saw him walk past I was reduced to a "hummana hummana hummana" idiot. I own that.

I was living in the hotel (another story entirely) and since I was there all the time and he was there all the time we struck up a friendship. He went to the same bar that I went to when I needed a free sandwich and the proprietor (I forget their names - Andy, they were that German couple - you remember?) suggested that I hang out with Andy, as he hadn't a friend in the world. So I did. (Not like I didn't want to before, mind, but it was Inappropriate! and Against Company Policy!)

I spent, maybe, ten minutes with him before I realized that he was my soul mate. We'd love hard, we'd fight hard, but at the end of the day it would be us. I knew this.

I don't know how I knew, but I did.

There was a great quote on Law & Order that said something along the lines of, "She thought that love was enough to break up a marriage - he should have known better" but I was older in so many senses than he. Even at 26 love is enough.

He left her, I left him. It's all been gravy ever since.

But to the whole, "I'm in Hawaii" thing - I had a fair wad of cash to my name and thought that I could find Andy - we left on friendly terms but he didn't know what that meant, while I most certainly did.

He'd once shown me his old webpage and told me of his local pub...get this...I wasn't sure how to find him so I decided that I would purchase an airline ticket to England and I thought that I would tell the cab driver, "Take me to the pub on the hill" and I fully expected to find him.

In case you didn't know - England has a fuck of a lot of hills.

Thankfully, I didn't have to do that, as he got in touch with me prior to that departure.

And the rest, they say, is history.

Five years later and we're still cool. We have had our problems, to be sure, but we're cool to the fullest extent.

I make no apologies. His ex-wife, vindictive bitch though she may be, wants no part of him. But I do. I love him. He's everything - you don't even know how great he is. I just love him so much that everything else is kosher, as he's so fecking groovy.

You should love him like I love him. Fer real.

Punch drunken-ly,

Natalie

I was briefly considering following in the footsteps of our very own resident pervert Mikey and using soft-core porn to illustrate today as "Fair and Balanced Friday" but thought, "Nah - that's not what I'm about...I know what I'll do instead! I'll print 'FA' on one breast and 'IR' on the other - fair and balanced! Yeah, that's the ticket!" Then I remembered that Andy would, you know, make me wear a scarlet "A" on my chest if I did that. So instead, here is my contribution to FAIR AND BALANCED FRIDAY:


See? See, because they're FAIR since the Olsen twins are just so durned cute, and they're BALANCED because they're twins! Get it? Huh? Okay, so it's not as clever as all that but it's the best you're gonna get out of me today.

Fair and balanced. There you go, Mr. Franken (whom I personally consider to be Minnesota's finest native son) - and up yours, Fox "News" Channel!

Now just watch - I'll get sued by the Olsen twins for using a picture of them without permission. Oh, wouldn't that be ironic?

Fair and balanced as I'm ever gonna be-ingly,

Natalie

UPDATE: If you want to see a list of other Fair and Balanced blogs out there then check out Blah3.com

Thursday, August 14, 2003

How many shopping days are left until Christmas? Start saving pennies now - if you buy me this, I'll love you forever. And not a shallow love like I bestow upon my children and husband - I mean real love, the kind previously reserved for only the best things in life, like cream cheese wontons and ultrasuede.

19th Century Auction
Over the next two months the rare 1896 Macallan is being auctioned online. Details of this lovingly preserved single malt whisky, and the date on which the virtual hammer will fall, are available on our auction pages.
Imagine owning a fine example of The Macallan distilled from the very year of the first performance of first Puccini's most famous opera, La Boheme. Since then, the opera has probably been enjoyed in nearly as many countries worldwide as The Macallan.

Find out more about this rare whisky and place your bid for the Macallan 1896 at our auction pages. The highest current bids can be viewed here. Bids will be confidential, with the bottle going to the highest bidder.

There will be one more auction this year and we will let you know when this will start.

Regards,

The Macallan
www.themacallan.com/vintages

This auction will close on 30th September 2003. Reserve Price: £6,750


Um...pay no attention to the last little italicized bit. Please, please do commit to purchaing this for me and go the distance. Again, I'll love you forever. Wontons, ultrasuede and...you? Come on, that's a holy trinity right there.

MmmmmmMacallan-ly,

Natalie

Now it's time for yet another installment of my patented "A Bulleted List With No Real Point" - though, in a sweeping break with tradition, this one is actually sprinkled with important stuff. So pay attention, as there will be a quiz later.


There you go - today's Bulleted List With No Real Point. I've robbed you of a real entry but neener neener - this is the best you're going to get. (And yes, that does make this the second consecutive post where I used the taunt, "neener neener". Just one of those days, I guess.)

Pointed-ly,

Natalie

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

On a really great chianti:

me: (cough) My goodness...this is a bit rrrrrrroubusto.
andy: If it were French it'd be rubustah! But you have to make the French hand, like this. (makes French hand - if you've ever seen French people driving around Paris you'll know French hand.)
me: If it were Californian it would be ro-Bustamante!
andy: If it were Australian it'd be "fecking strong, s'truth!"

Which segues nicely into my congratulating Fiona on her pregnancy - Fiona started commenting here under the name of "girl" then exposed herself...then told us who she was. (Ba-dum-dum!) She blogged for about two nanoseconds then quit. (Seeing as how she's now pregnant I think we know how she spent her free, non-blogging time.)

So yeah - Fiona's going to have a baby and I bet the bitch won't even name it after me.

Just thought I'd say "congrats" here, is all. Now I'm back off to enjoy a feck-off strong chianti (ha, ha Fi - you can't have any cuz you's pregnant! Neener neener neener...okay, that was cruel. But I'm not sorry, ha!)

Zygote-ingly,

Natalie

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I finally got to see my first ever episode of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" (huge thanks to Christine for reminding me!). To no one's surprise, I'm sure, I loved it. But a couple of quick points, if you'll indulge?

Gotta start with Jai - Jai, I love you. (Hey, if a waitress at Denny's finds me in real life there's no reason to believe that the same won't happen with Jai.) You are the purest most beautiful person I've ever seen, even if you did wear that gawd-awful pink and yellow double-tshirt combo thing...Bubblicious used to make a gum like that, with banana wrapped in strawberry. Please don't do that again. (I'm sorry, but someone had to say it.)

Thom - I love the fact that you'll work with brown. Grow a couple of balls and see if you can't do somthing with orange, okay? Thanks. For real though...shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond? Okay, you're going to be hard-pressed to find anything at BB&B (as those in the know call it) that can't be turned into Fabulous. Why don't you try taking cast-offs from the local charity shop and making something swank out of the schwag, maybe? (I'm all about my own decorating, as I finally finished - well, nothing's ever finished, per se...more like I have hit a bit of a plateau - in my front room this past week. The room has been in a suspended limbo for ages but I took a lot of cast-off junk and make it look like a room that had been outfitted with stuff from Pier (or queer?) One.) Try that on for size and leave the "mix and match" lamp/lampshade combos alone - seriously, that stuff is so designer training wheels.

Ted - aren't you the therapist from Law & Order? No? Hmmm...sorry, didn't much notice you.

Kyan - you're maybe five years away from growing a mullet and wearing a cowboy hat and affecting a non-descript accent just to give yourself that Eurotrash flair. No, that's not fair - you made some really valid points, like "shave after the shower"...then again, if you asked any straight woman about their shaving habits they'd have said the same thing. Thank the lawdy that straight guys don't ask women about personal grooming or else you'd be out of a job!

Which brings us to Carson. Carson, you're a tired old queen, you are. Hang it up, sweetie, or at the very least please don't dare extract yourself from your "location, location, location" barstool just next to the boy's bathrooms in the gay bar. Your quippy one-liners are cruel, but not in a sassy way. More like in a, "Do we tell Liza or not?" kind of way. The people who think that it's a cardinal sin to wear white after Labor Day are the same people who throw their truly unique brand of fascism at wine and balk when I order a red with my pasta primavera - it's good, I like it, so prance on out of here because I'm busy.

I know that most people only get to know the "real you" in the brief moments after the Sneaker Pimps end and before Danni Minogue begins but that's no excuse to not cultivate a longer lasting personality. You strike me as the kind of guy who had to stop doing coke because it was no longer en vogue. I've known guys like you - we called them "Jerry's Kids". Quit being so obviously mournful of the fact that you're no longer a Jerry's Kid. Drink your cosmo, try to bed some up-and-coming male model and stay away from Jai, as your poison is osmosis-able, and "jade" looks better on the Hispanic anyway.

Ooh, I feel all catty now.

Missing "Boy Meets Boy"-ingly,

Natalie

I was going to post something about this really fascinating genomic theory I've been cooking up but something amazing has happened...I've discovered there's a Denny's right down the street. So see ya, suckaha, I'm off to eat me some oatmeal.

If Andy wakes up you'll tell him where I went, right? Thanks, you're a dream.

Oat-ingly,

Natalie

PS - Okay, since when does Denny's not serve oatmeal? Theirs was the best - it was really glumpy (I think I just invented a new word!) and delicious. Throw a little bit of strawberry jelly in there....man, that would have been excellent.

Oh, and weird thing of the day? The waitress reads my blog. She freaking recognized me, which was probably no small feat as I treat Denny's like I treat Wal-Mart (as in brushed hair and brushed teeth are optional) but she spotted me and asked me where she knew me from. I had no idea, she had no idea, then about ten minutes later I heard her scream, "Pickle juice! You're pickle juice!" from the kitchen. Turns out she's a fan (Hi, Ally! - hope I remembered the right name) and her boyfriend has a crush on me. (Hi guy I don't know!)

She forgot to ask me for my autograph or anything (I'll hit you up next time) and didn't ask to take a picture with me (she probably knows of my aversion to cameras) but it was cool nonetheless.

Sigh - now I know how the Baldwin brothers must feel.

Monday, August 11, 2003

So Andy is now back from leg one of his 2003 "Godzillas of Rock" Asian tour and there's nary a Prada knock-off bag nor bootleg "Finding Nemo" to be seen. He brought back some funky coins and an even funkier pain in his hip (probably some Asian STD) and is now off hunting for some good old fashioned grade A corn-fed American beef.

I hope he waits for me to cook it before eating it.

Nico's reacting well to having daddy home - he took the cigar out of his mouth long enough to say, "So what, you think that you can just waltz back into my life after all this time? Do you have any idea how long two weeks is in baby years? I have half a mind to...oh look! There's a sparkly thing on the floor - I bet that's tasty!" So I guess that means all is forgiven.

I need to go rummage through his bags before he gets home - he'd have better brought me a kimono or some jade or a monkey or something back from Asia. I know - I'll check the garage for a rickshaw...he knows how badly I've been wanting one.

If he didn't I'll just wear this, "My husband went to Asia and all I got was this funky, incurable STD!" t-shirt I just found.

Hey, wait a minute...this isn't good.

Prada-less-ingly,

Natalie

Today is a good day to die.

Not really, but I've almost died twice. No I am not exaggerating!

So my dogs don't like it when Andy's gone and I'm pretty sure they hate me. Even though I do not deviate from their typical "out" times they still manage to do their doggy business in the basement. We're going to rip out the carpet anyway so I've been a little bit lazy and a lot bit aggressive in the cleaning of the carpet down there. The other day I threw a couple of gallons of ammonia onto the rug (I'd heard somewhere that the smell of ammonia would keep them off the rug but that's a damn dirty lie) and forgot about it. I don't go into the basement much because, as you well know, Psycho Killer lives down there.

Tonight, Psycho Killer unplugged my modem so I had to go down to plug the thing back in when I noticed that the dogs had gone potty once again. I cleaned that up, mad as hell and not wanting to take it anymore, and without thinking, poured a gallon of bleach onto the rug.

I love destroying things that I know are going to be replaced soon. This is why I buy cheap plates, so that we can buy new ones every few months. Smashy, smashy.

Since I was in the basement anyway and Psycho Killer was obviously out for the evening I decided to do some laundry. What's this...oopsie daisy, I'm on my ass, bashing my head on the floor in the process. Oh good, the water heater is leaking! Just what I need.

As I'm on all fours, nursing a sore ass and head and peering under the water heater for the source of the leak my eyes start burning. What's this white fog? It's not smoke, it's...aw hell, that's the smell of bleach reacting with ammonia.

I'm not stupid, just forgetful.

I try to stand, head swimming with the fumes and still dizzy from the whack I try to make it up the stairs and collapse. I literally had to crawl up the stairs to get away from the smell - my nose and throat are still raw. So that's near-death experience number one.

Flash forward a couple of hours - I can't find my glasses...because I need to be wearing my glasses in order to see them. In short, I'm vaguely blind...which is why I was able to trip over an eight-foot long bright flourescent inflatable pool that I oh-so-smartly placed right in front of the hallway. I did that half-run that you do when you start to trip to make it look like you were getting ready to start jogging anyway but my balance was skewed so I slammed into the wall which changed my direction so that I was headed into the bathroom. Suddenly my feet whip out from beneath me and I am on my ass yet again, and yet again my head slams into the wall. What happened?

I slipped on a frickin tutu. Like ballerinas wear? Yep - death by tutu! That was me tonight.

Needless to say, my ass is not moving until Andy comes home at, what, three pm today? And then he's going to have to carry me everywhere I go because my body is obviously out to get me.

It must be under orders from Psycho Killer. Damn him.

Conspiratorially-ingly,

Natalie

Sunday, August 10, 2003

(Boring parenting post - all of you childless folk feel free to skip this one.)

If you're looking for some cheap and easy fun to have with your toddler now is the perfect time to hit the stores and buy an inflatable kiddie pool. Tonight I picked one up for Nico - it's a figure eight with two pools and an arch between them, off of which hangs a few starfish-looking things that literally feature bells and whistles. Here's how the evening will go:

You'll sit down on the floor, far more excited than the child at the thought of messing around in a kiddie pool in the living room. You'll remove the behemoth slab of folded plastic from the box and pass said box to baby so that he will be entertained while you inflate the thing. You'll be inflating it by mouth because you foolishly returned your father's air compressor just so he'd stop bitching about it every time you talked to him.

The baby will be entertained by the box for exactly the amount of time it takes for you to feel like you're making progress with the inflation process, at which time he will literally dive (the kid may not be able to walk, but that little shit will dive) onto the pool, which will press all of the air into the small arch. The arch will be firm but the rest of the thing will be sadly limp, which will make you feel just as disappointed in yourself as the scenario implies.

He will merrily play in the uninflated pool as you huff and puff your way into unconsciousness, at which time he will find a cookie from somewhere and smear it on your face. You will not notice the dogs licking you because you will be flat out.

When you come to you'll freak out, thinking that perhaps the baby has fallen down the stairs, suffocated in the pool or (one can hope) peacefully laid down to fall asleep and you'll not be able to find him. Rubbing your eyes you will plainly see a clearly defined path of destruction, at the end of which you will find the baby beneath a pile of roughly twenty pounds of toilet paper.

You'll collect him back up to once again resume his diving on the pool (how is he managing to go airborn on these freaking jumps?!?) until you finally finish inflating the #%$& thing. Breathing a sigh of relief - but not too deeply, as you're on the verge of hyperventilating - you'll plop him into one of the pools to have some fun!!! while you climb to the couch where you hope to rest your eyes for a moment so that the blue sparkly things can fade away.

He will happily play for exactly 4.7 seconds before climbing out of the pool. You're busily contemplating how close to mental retardation you are as a result of depriving your brain of oxygen so you won't notice that he's produced something from somewhere on the floor. You'll realize later that it's a nearly petrified length of grapevine - which really is a testament to what a bad housekeeper you can be sometimes, as you cannot recall the last time you even bought grapes - that he will use to puncture the pool.

You'll sit in awe, marvelling at how the pool takes an hour to fill, yet can deflate in only moments. The deflation, of course, is hurried along by the baby, once again, repeatedly diving on the thing.

What will you learn from all of this? That he's only interested in the pool if it is not inflated. You'll say, "Screw this", turn on the television and leave him to his jumping.

I would recommend you pass on the inflatable pool this year.

Learned-ly,

Natalie

Friday, August 08, 2003

I think I'm becoming disenchanted with myself. I read back through this blog and I feel like everything's so sanitized, homogenized, disorganized, generalized, demoralized, marginalized, unsynchronized, metagrabolized, conventionalized, and...and a bunch of other words that end in "ized" that I can't think of right now. (Aaargh! I'm losing my perspicacity! It's always in the last place you look.)

People have found me by searching for, "Natalie it's time to put on your pajamas", "histrionics", "hate me now and symbolism" and "nice ass". I don't know what it means, exactly, only that those flavors don't exactly complement each other now do they? Ain't no harmony there.

I need edge. Not hipster edge, since hipster edge has been so overdone that it's now become a caricature of its former self...more of a parody of the Beats, really. I mean geek edge. Like "The State" - remember that show? That was geek edge. Not quite "Upright Citizens Brigade" but more than "Viva Variety".

No? Not ringing any bells for ya, huh? Nevermind - not important.

My problem is that I think I'm slowly turning into someone you could feel comfortable taking home to meet your family. I'm too old to get away with, say, licking people's faces anymore, or hanging upside down from the waists of people I've just met, or grabbing stranger's asses and pretending like someone else did it - there's nothing left that's fun for me anymore.

I think I'm turning into a wallflower - I'm receeding into myself. There is very little about me anymore that's outrageous. I feel like I'm *thisclose* to hanging out in church basements saying things like, "And how's your mother's gout? Did she enjoy the lutefisk I sent over? Good, good. Well, you tell her that Ethel and Roy will be over tomorrow to drive you and your brother up to Saint Cloud for the peanut festival so don't forget your sunscreen...should be a hoot!"

Ridiculous. I'm turning into a ridiculous person. I might as well start subscribing to Martha Stewart's Living and get it over with.

Have you noticed how many people have these blog templates with really sexy chicks? Some of them feature half-naked (sometimes three-quarters naked) women and what do I have? Dame Edna. Dame fucking Edna. A man that dresses up like a little old lady...what the hell does that say about me? I bet if I had naked chicks hanging about the place that I'd have more readers (or at least more visitors) to be sure but guess what? I like Dame Edna. She's the Patron Saint of pickle juice, keeping watch over my flock by night, yadda yadda yadda.

I'm not a naked chick person. I'm a Dame Edna person. That's not edgy - that's peculiar.

Remember when you were younger and summer vacation would be coming to a close and you'd sit and think long and hard about the kind of person you were going to be that year? Like, "I'm going to be the best dressed kid...I'm going to knuckle down and really study...I'm going to be sophisticated and aloof..." You'd focus in on something and maybe even have fantasies about it - I used to fantasize a scenario where the cutest guy in school would ask me out and I'd cock my head to one side and peer at him through half-closed eyes (my eyelashes were always grostequely long in my fantasies...I once cut them to nubs because I'd heard that hair grows faster if it's cut frequently - I looked disgusting until they grew back) and would cooly reply, "Thanks, but no thanks" and go back to eating my bean sprouts. (That's another thing - in my fantasies I was always vegetarian...not for any particular reason other than vegetarians were as exotic in my neighborhood as, say, black people or single mothers.)

Word would spread around school that I'd turned down the cutest boy, rendering me seemingly unattainable to everyone else, thus wholly desired by all. People would whisper and wonder about me until the truth came out that I had a boyfriend at another school, an older boyfriend who excelled at whatever sport my school sucked at that year. (Which was pretty much all of them.) There would be an intense rivalry which would reach epic proportions when my boyfriend's school was scheduled to play my school. My boyfriend was always the center or the quarterback (depending on which sport I was fantasizing about) and the cutest boy in school was always the center or quarterback for our school. The sports rivalry would quickly give way to two boys fighting over me...

Sorry about that - I was waaaaay off in La-La Land. I should really work on that. Most people fantasize about sex or money - what the hell is wrong with me, anyway?

At any rate, nothing like that ever happened, sadly, for a number of reasons - not the least of all being that I usually got into a fight on the first day of school, shattering whatever feminine mystique I had hoped to build around me. But that's neither here nor there.

The point is, you can never really invent yourself because you're always, well, yourself. Which means I'm going to have to resign myself to go with the flow of whatever shift my personality is taking. If my subconscious is trying to make me be a more socially acceptable person then...sigh...I guess I'll have to ride it out and become a more socially acceptable person. I guess I can't mourn the loss of my "edge" as I never really had it in the first place.

But Dame Edna's staying - I don't care what anyone says.

Lash-ingly,

Natalie

Thursday, August 07, 2003

A Conversation With Nico, the Nearly Nine Month Old, or
Natalie is Starved for Adult Interaction

Nico: Sigh.
Mom: What's wrong, little man?
Nico: What? Oh...hmmm...nothing.
Mom: Doesn't sound like nothing - what's on your mind?
Nico: Well...okay, you know that game where you lie on your back and hold me in the air? What's the word you call that again?
Mom: What, airplane?
Nico: YES! Airplane. See, my long-term memory is really coming along nicely and when you were feeding me tonight you said that word, airplane, again, but in a different context.
Mom: Yeah...
Nico: You called the spoon holding the food an airplane, too.
Mom: So what?
Nico: (staring pointedly)
Mom: What?!? You're making me feel all defensive and I don't even know what I've done wrong.
Nico: I want you to level with me - were you feeding me a baby?
Mom: Oh my...where would you even get that idea?
Nico: Well, you know - I was an airplane...I was eating an airplane...come on, you can tell me - was I a twin or something? I won't be mad at you, I just want to know the truth.
Mom: Nico, I am not feeding you baby.
Nico: (slams bottle to the floor) Then why does the jar have a face like me?
Mom: The baby on the label? The Gerber baby? That's just because it's baby food...you ate applesauce.
Nico: (snort) A likely story, woman! If it was really applesauce why wasn't there a picture of an apple on it, hmmm?
Mom: But there is a picture of an apple, right next to the Gerber baby. (shows Nico the jar)
Nico: That's an apple? Then what's this?
Mom: That's your rubber ducky.
Nico: Oh. Have I ever eaten rubber ducky?
Mom: No, and you've never eaten baby, either.
Nico: Okay. Thanks for clearing that up. (pause) Now about the Gerber baby - you seem to be on pretty friendly terms, knowing his name and all...that's not the kid that was kidnapped, was he?
Mom: No, dear, that was the Lindberg baby. You're just looking for something to fault me over, aren't you? I didn't kidnap the Gerber baby and I've never fed you baby - can we please drop this?
Nico: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Just a little stressed, is all.
Mom: I understand. Want a backrub?
Nico: Oh, would you? That'd be great, thanks.
Mom: Everyone gets stressed but it's no reason for you to pick ridiculous fights with me.
Nico: I know, mommy. I can't promise I'll never do it again, but I promise I'll try to never do it again.
Mom: That's all I ask.

Inventing-ly,

Natalie

Holy pope poop - I'm freaking dying. Son of a plasma biscuit, I've broken my back or something. Do backs spontaneously collapse? Because mine did.

Out of nowhere there was a sharp pain that dropped me to the left as though I had been pulled down by a wire or something. Then I felt like I was going to puke so I tried to jump up for the bathroom and it happened again. (The vom feeling subsided.) Now it's like I have a huge weight on my back and I cannot stand up straight, with the nausea coming and going in waves.

Any back people out there who might know what the hell happened and what I can do about it? I'm by myself for a few more days so it's essential that I get this sorted out right away.

The good thing is that I can type while lying completely on my side - which is a skill I didn't know I possessed. Though I should stop and the weird tingles are now shooting up to my shoulders.

Help?

Inflammatory-ingly,

Natalie

UPDATE: Okay, I think I'm going to be okay - whoosh, bit of an overreaction there. I think it was the urge to puke that scared me because that's a weird feeling to have just because your back's goofy.

I did a bit of self-doctoring in that I decided to implement what I learned of chiropractics from Homer Simpson...I laid myself out on my back over the arm of the couch and kind of bounced myself until I heard something pop. My back's feeling much better - of course, now I can't feel the back of my legs - but hey! No pain, right? I'll take numbness and dizziness over pain and nausea any day.

Best...spam...EVER!!!

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There's just too much for me to process right now, but wow, huh?

Damn - okay, now I'm really going to bed.

Intergalactic-ingly,

Natalie

I'm not sure what to think of this, but Coolio has a blog.

The only thing I remember about Coolio is that he treated Weird Al like a punk - which is unforgivable - but I have the vaguest recollection that he was, ya know, a hard-core ghetto gangsta rapper.

Turns out he's a geek. How about that.

Slide slide slippety slide-ingly,

Natalie

If CNN makes one more lazy-ass Schwartzenegger "Total Recall/Running Man" pun I swear on all things holy (and a few things that aren't) that I'm going to beat the television into a pile of wires and glass using only my dog as a weapon.

I mean, COME ON! Even the very first time someone made that joke all it was worth was a "hmmm" or, at the very most, a "heh". When I see these anchors delivering these lines with those self-satisfied smugs on their faces as if the taste of the pun was the most delicious thing ever experienced I want to scream inside. And on the outside. In fact, I think I'll do just that.

I hope you choke on your stupid puns, CNN.

Oh Jessica tapdancing Christ - just as I was typing this they were talking about the cloning of a horse and used the phrase, "My Little Cloney."

I need some fucking Wolf Blitzer and I need him now.

That joke isn't punny anymore-ingly,

Natalie

Would ya look at that - it's after 4.30 in the morning and I didn't even notice that I haven't slept yet. Non-suffering insomnia truly is a beautiful thing to experience.

Aw, hell, now that I've noticed the time the suffering has begun.

This time awake has not been spent in vain, oh no it hasn't. I've brought back the random array of subtitles (hooray!) but they're all oddly shaped and off-center (boo!) and I'm adding more even as I type this (hooray!) but am not very interested in making them look nice (boo!) and am feeling pretty groovy because I've made a button for the blog (hooray!) for those interested it's on the right-hand side at the bottom somewhere (boo!...wait a minute - you didn't say anything bad just then. Sorry about that.) That's alright, don't worry about it.

Who am I talking to? It's after four fricking thirty in the morning (central time - hooray!) and no one's even awake.

I need more blogs in different time zones. I wonder how I'd play in Brazil? I may look into that.

CST-ingly,

Natalie

Q: How many natalies does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None, cuz having to do it just freaking pisses me off, okay?

My house is getting progressively darker and darker, owing in part to the fact that I left way more lights on than usual during this last trip...owing to the fact that, just prior to departure, I lost my cell phone...owing to the fact that my dog stole it and hid it from me. Another act that freaking pisses me off.

From where I'm sitting I can count eleven lightbulbs that are burned out and I know there are another couple of dozen in the basement that are burned out - and that's not even counting the three (four?) outside lights that need replacing. But I'm not going to do it. I'm going to let my home slowly be swallowed by the darkness.

I only just realized tonight how much I hate changing light bulbs and I don't even know why this is true. If I had it my way I'd use a flashlight instead but the batteries are dead...well, hell, I guess I have a thing against changing batteries, too.

The soft light of a computer monitor is so flattering, no?

Dark-ly,

Natalie

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

I totally forgot to tell you about the party on Saturday - well, at one point we were expecting upwards of sixty people so my sister put a second keg on reserve. Wait, let me back up...

Okay, I got to Illinois at 4.30 in the morning and Sasha promptly ran away. I had to drive around the neighborhood, then outwards to the other side of town, then to old part of town, then the new part of town...all of this was around a seven block radius but I like to make it sound like a bigger deal than it is. I went past every childhood friend's home during the course of my travels, which was weird. (I also discovered that a childhood chum, Jamie Raske, is now a lieutenant in the military and has just returned home from Iraq - his family had a banner outside of their house proclaiming this fact - it's not like I went knocking on doors or anything. So good for you, Jamie - way to not die. We're all very proud of you.) (I just re-read that and realized it sounds sarcastic but it's not.)

Looking for Sasha was frustrating, as this neighborhood is big on the lawn ornaments that I was mistaking for my dog. One house had a reflector ball, plastic deer, a wood cut-out of a bear looking like it was climbing a tree, a bird bath, those novelty things that look like it's an old lady bending over and showing her pantaloons, pink flamingos (which seemed to be getting along with the deer, but it was hard to tell in that light), a porch swing and sunflower pinwheels.

Alright, I'll own it - that was my mom's lawn. Still, most everyone's lawn looks like that.

Three hours (and two pots of coffee) later I found Sasha clear up by the Jewel Osco! (Wait...you have no idea where the Jewel is in relation to my mom's house. It's a good few miles away on the other side of the Rock River, which meant that Sasha either swam or crossed the four-lane bridge.)

I got back to my mom's house and started cooking for this party - just a TON of food. Bleary-eyed I crawled into bed for a nap, figuring that when the guests started arriving I'd wake up but that was not to be. Not because I was sleeping particularly heavy but because no one showed.

Yep - no one showed up. Looks like someone gave the wrong dates on the invitations and flyers. I hope no one shows up next weekend at my mom's expecting free food and beer.

We managed to get a hold of a few people who hadn't already gone out for the night to get them to come over, so there were only about twenty people there. Some of them were twenty-somethings that my sister works with at Wal-Mart...I dubbed them the Easy Breezy girls as they were so fresh-faced. I'm bad with names so I gave them nicknames like Noxema, Clairol and Olay. Their guy friends were all a bunch of dickheads - I'd overheard one of them say, "Where's that chick with the tits?" and I said, "A chick with tits? Where? Lemme see - wow, that's weird that a chick with tits would be here - they're pretty rare."

Despite my bad attitude toward some of the guy guests nearly all of them told my sister that I was "cool". Which reinforces my belief that certain people just love to be abused.

After killing off a couple of gallons of keg beer (it's just too drinkable) I crashed only to wake up at 4.30 once again. You know that your reputation as a party house is slipping when you only find three people passed out in the yard in the morning. Oh, I could tell you some stories about the parties my mom used to throw!...but that's for another day.

Overall it was a pretty dull visit - the highlight being when I was asked if my boobs were real. (She shoots, she scores! Nothing but net, swish!) Well, in all honesty the inquiry came from my dad and I don't think it was a comment so much on the quality of my breasts as much as it was his way of figuring out which daughter I was. (Boob Job didn't show up because she's still mad at me because I said she looked like a skanky biker chick.)

That's about it, really...hardly worth the time typing, and certainly not worth the time reading. I should work on that.

Reflecting-ly,

Natalie

I was peeking around, seeing who links to me (you know, like ya do) and I've discovered something: I am HUGE with pagans. And Wiccans? LOVE me.

This, I don't understand but I'm happy, as that's a tough little demographic to crack.

Now I'm all curious about what their whole thing is about...maybe I'll pick up "Wiccan for Dummies" this weekend. What's the difference between Wiccans and pagans? I have a vague idea that they're both related to the moon somehow...I'll have to look that up.

G-d bless those pagans-ingly,

Natalie