Friday, January 30, 2004

casting purls before swine

Get it? Casting purls before swine? Cuz, see, you purl stitch, and my family are swine...ah, nevermind.

Anyway, I'm attempting my first-ever adult-sized sweater. This is just the back and yes, I know it's in a boring stitch pattern but trust me, Andy likes it. In all of my beginning knitting projects I've been buying interesting yarn that has its own pattern or unique little something so that I can avoid doing anything really clever-clever with it, or worrying about following a pattern for colors. This one is like a dusty taupe kind of color with flecks of dark brown and black throughout. Very Minnesotan.

I made it extra long for Andy, but with this particular style (which won't reveal itself until I do the front, really - this just looks like a big rectangle) I could have gotten away with using two skeins (six ounces each) for the back and one sleeve, despite the instructions telling me that I would need eight skeins. It also said that the sweater would take seventy-five hours total, but the back and one sleeve only took me about ten hours. See, cuz I rock so hard you have to say it like this: I RAWK!!!

I'm going to go the cheesy mom route and make Nico a little matching sweater, too. That's just too damn cute for words, right there. (Yeah, first comes the matching dad/son sweaters, then the fanny packs won't be far behind.)

Speaking of cute, behold the cuteness that is Sasha del Basha (no, that's not Nico lying at the side of her - just a doll):

I try to avoid showing all of my leopard-print accessories in pictures but this time it couldn't be avoided. I don't decorate in leopard but it makes a kickin' little accent.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...back by popular demand but opens in a new window to protect your children and co-workers from being scarred for life...I present to you a young, nude, Betty White, clad in earmuffs and oven mitts, in all her perky-breasted, resplendent glory! Chant it with me now, folks - get her in the mood...Bet-ty, Bet-ty, Bet-ty!

Ah, I love that picture.

That is all. Class dismissed.



I'm still on the lookout for the rest of the Golden Girls sans clothing - preferrably in scarves, slippers, mittens...something weird like that. But come on, could I possibly be so lucky as to find another one like Betty? She was certainly something special. ()

Thursday, January 29, 2004

sweet dreams are made of this...these? what the hell is that lyric, anyway?

I had another job-dream. It wasn't as bad as the dream I had where I couldn't get a job because I was afflicted with Prince-face, but I didn't get this job, either, because it hinged on the requirement that my legs should be shaved every day for work. As far as I could tell, my leg hair played no role in the job but still it was required.

Shave my legs. Every day. Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

I think the job thing has been bothering me because of my birthday (mark your calendars cuz it's on the fourth - you're all invited to my party) and the big 27 looming over my head like the sword of Damocles.

I've never been one to worry about my age - in fact, I often forget how old I am. On any given day, if asked my age, I would be just as likely to answer "22" as I would be to answer "26". But this 27 business...frankly, I always imagined I'd be dead from a botched auto-erotic asphyxiation episode by now. Yet here I am, less than a week away. From 27.

This one is the biggie for me, I think. I'm fairly certain that I'm going to have a little crisis of confidence here, which is my own fault for placing so much importance on the age of 27.

Look at who died when they were 27...Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Pigpen McKernan, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Kristen Pfaff, Keiko the whale from "Free Willy"...all dead at 27. And they all did something notable before that! By the time they were 27 it was all, "Thank you, I'm ready to check out now."

I was a huge Nirvana fan and remember when Kurt died and he seemed so...old. Even now that I'm reaching the age when he died I still don't feel as old as he was. With any of them, really. Jimi, Janis, countless others - no matter how old I am I will never reach their age, somehow, despite my reaching their age of death.

It's nothing remarkable to think of yourself, "I'm going to be somebody - I'm going to do something special" when you're growing up. As if anyone sits around thinking, "When I grow up I'm going to live a mediocre existence in the 'burbs and struggle to maintain my foothold in middle management!" Doesn't happen. But we can't all be exceptional - that's the nature of the beast. There have to be average people to point out how exceptional the exceptional people really are.

I always thought I'd be a writer. I can't even look at my old report cards anymore because the comments my English and Lit teachers left..."Can't wait to read your first novel!" "You have a special talent for writing - keep it up!" "Dedicate your first book to your favorite teacher, me!" And I could picture it, I really, really could. Editing manuscripts, book signings, the fame, the wealth...I could picture all of it.

Except the work part. The writing. I hadn't the foggiest idea of what I would write about.

I've tried calling on past experiences - write what you know, and all that - but I can't. I've been asked by publishers and magazines to write pieces, but those were all very specific - giving birth at home, living with an HIV-positive parent, being a teen mother...that kind of thing. I can do that. But when I'm left to my own devices I come up blank. I tried writing a kind of memoir once but when I finished it I realized I'd spent the past four months telling tales about growing up poor in Ireland, which wasn't my experience but rather, the life of Frank McCourt. I gave up after that.

I guess I thought it would be easy. Rule number one - don't believe your own hype. You'll never live up to it.

Now that I'm turning 27 I think I need to reassess who I am and what I'm doing. Or not doing, as the case may be. Was it Gertrude Stein or that decadent, bolshevik lesbian Jane Austen, who said of women writers, "We are not mothers." Therein lies my problem, because I am. I am a tissue up the sleeve. I am Cheerios in the purse. I am crayons on the wall. How can I be expected to rock the world with my (naturally) best-selling novel of pain and enlightenment and generally overcoming things (sprinkled with a healthy dose of sardonicism) when I'm distracted by wafts of poopy? Can't happen.

Still, at 27 I yet have miles to go before I sleep so perhaps I shouldn't write myself off just yet.

Annie Proulx was first published when she was 58, so that gives me a thirty-one year head-start on her. If I start now, that is...which I probably won't. But at least it's a better deadline than next week.



Whoo, doggie, I'm filled with days and days of self-indulgent twaddle, now innit I? Won't happen again - till the next time, I mean. But I won't talk about my birthday anymore, we swears it, primarily because I don't want to be injured by older people. ()

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

oh man, this is getting to be too much

So you guys know about the tear in the fabric of the space-time continuum that exisits in my closet, right?

I talked about it once before. Note for the record that it was almost exactly one year ago - it was one year on January 26th. I didn't realize that until I just googled the entry (as you know, I do not have a link up to my archives because it's a pain in the ass) and saw the date.

Now, this wouldn't be particularly weird in any respect were it not for the fact that it's happened again. Other Dimension Natalie is missing yet another shirt. And now I know what space she occupies in her dimension even if I do not know where in time she may be. Actually, this is more likely to be Other Dimension Andy's shirt, thinking about it...

Anyway, I just pulled out a sweatshirt from the closet (note: we are not sweatshirt people but I wasn't alarmed at seeing one in the closet - in fact, I was quite relieved seeing as how the temperature in my house right now is approximately 238 degrees Kelvin...and if you can convert that, you're a greater geek than I.) and thought, "My, this certainly is a disgusting shade of brown - and I'm quite the fan of brown. It takes a particularly nasty shade of brown for me to remark upon being disgusted by brown."

Yes, that's what my internal dialogue sounds like.

I pull the sweatshirt over my head and check myself out in the mirror to see how my boobs look in the shirt. Ya know, like ya do. That's when I noticed the emblem: Milton Hershey Spartans. The basketball and hoop were a dead giveaway that this was not, say, a chocolate company. I did a little google of the team name and saw that, yes, this was, in fact, official merchandise of the Milton Hershey Spartan basketball team in Pennsylvania.

I don't know anyone from Pennsylvania. I have never been to Pennsylvania. And yet, here I am, looking like a member of the Spartan's frickin booster squad.

I'm going to have to do something to collapse this multi-dimensional wormhole. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go knit myself a photon torpedo.



All roads lead to wormholes. You can quote me on that. ()

okay, it's time to share

I seem to have developed a super-human ability which enables me to get through my blogroll in record time. If you remember...actually, I don't think I ever mentioned this, but for a while I was having a hard time getting through everything, so I set up my 'rolls to only display the most recently-updated fifteen links or so. This, however, resulted in me missing out on the non-pinging folks (get with the program, people, and ping already!). Lately I've been going into my blogrolling account and seeking out the non-pingers because I'm finishing my updated folks too quickly. Then I expanded my 'rolls to include everyone. That still wasn't enough. Now I'm going clear down to the reciprocal roll and checking them out, too.

People, I need more links. I'm a blog consuming monster.

So your mission for today - should you choose to accept, though I don't know why you wouldn't - is to pimp me some linkage.

I could go on the hunt myself through Weblogs, or one of the multiple contests that are currently running, but there's no guarantee of quality there - even at sites running awards. I trust you and your taste because, obviously, if you're here then you have some kind of indication of what I like. Or what I'm like. And what I look like. Where was I? Blog pimpin, that's right.

So if you would be so kind as to leave me a few links I would be most appreciative. You lay 'em down, I'll slap 'em in the old 'roll.

Easy peasy, non?

Yeah, it's not a real entry today, sorry 'bout that.

Oh, and while I'm on the topic of "nothing really in particular" I'd just like to say that people who have light text on a dark background are becoming exceedingly difficult to read. I have to use my browser to strip your stylesheet. Not a huge issue, but I thought I'd say it in case no one had mentioned it to you before. Because, of course, if your stylesheet goes, so goes your style. That means formatting and pictures and everything. Just sayin' is all.

So lay them links on me people, cuz my ass took a speed-reading course and I want to put it to good use.



Any blogs are fine - good blogs, boring blogs, blogs who climb on rocks. Tall blogs, short blogs, even blogs with chicken pox. ()

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

who shot who in the what, now?

Last night I was awake in bed, doing my knit thang, and thinking really deep and interesting thoughts. Ya know, like you do when you're eating Goldfish crackers and hoping the rank odor is coming from the dog rather than the baby. My mind was all a-flutter as my needles clack-clacked their way through yet another sock when I was struck by the most glorious non-epiphany ever. I was like Homer Simpson when he had the crayon removed from his brain..."Hey, Flanders - I was awake last night working on a flat-tax proposal when I accidentally proved that God doesn't exist."

And yes, I just equated my late-night brilliance with an episode of The Simpsons. It's what I do, you see.

Anyway, I sat there, simply squirming in all my genius glory and thinking, "Oh man, is this going to turn the blogging world on its delicate and perfectly-formed little ear. I'm going to be famous - nay, a legend - because of this wonderful, astounding, simply magnificent idea. Oh yes - my name shall be known far and wide across the cosmos! This, truly, is an idea far ahead of its time. This is something that NASA will want as their first message to the aliens. Oh joyous rapture! I simply must commit this idea to paper, lest it be lost in the ether forever. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion! But first, let me finish knitting this sock."

I woke up a few hours later, covered in yarn with the bedroom light still blazing. And my idea was gone.

I spent most of the day beating myself up about losing this most magnificent, astounding, blah blah blah idea, but then I noticed something in the paper that almost made the pain completely diminish. Oh, who am I kidding - it made me completely forget about my grand idea, and popcorn shrimp, and democracy and everything else I hold dear. I saw...oh, my hands are trembling even as I type this...I saw an ad that read:

Adult entertainment, toys and clothing store now hiring for retail associates. Benefits include a generous employee discount.

Epiphany, smefifany...I want some discounted porn.



Porn makes everything better. ()

Monday, January 26, 2004

i'm a home-grown, corn-fed kinda gal

Having been to France, Wales and England a number of times doesn't quite cut the sting, now does it? Nice of me to travel so far from home, huh. The state I disliked the most was definitely Florida, but that's probably no surprise seeing as how the rest of the states I've been to are practically interchangeable. It's just not natural to have warm weather all the time - you need the cold to keep your brain sharp. There's a very good reason that a great majority of the most brilliant minds in all of history can be tied to places like Russia, Poland, me one famous composer from the Virgin Islands. You can't do it. A South American physicist? Nuh-uh. Warm weather messes with your head...hell, look at Hemingway. I believe that, had he not moved to Florida, he wouldn't have killed himself in Idaho. Once you hit that hot weather you can never go home again - not in any meaningful sense of the word. Sigh...he should have stayed in Kansas, that man.

So, yeah, behold my myriad travels, and envy me: (note: the image doesn't like to load very often, so if it's not showing just imagine a big splodge of red right in the midwest.)

create your own visited states map

I'll have to console myself by lusting after this know, I'm still getting searches for "Jodi Foster gay" from an off-hand comment I made last year about wondering what sexual orientation the chaste or otherwise asexual identify with. Like nuns, monks, Jodi Foster...I said it as a joke but still, people come to me for the answer to that disjointed, incomplete query, "Jodi Foster gay". I'm also getting hits for "Johnny Bench gay" but I don't remember ever having spoken about Johnny Bench at all...maybe during the World Series? Who knows.

You are 60% geek
You are a geek. Good for you! Considering the endless complexity of the universe, as well as whatever discipline you happen to be most interested in, you'll never be bored as long as you have a good book store, a net connection, and thousands of dollars worth of expensive equipment. Assuming you're a technical geek, you'll be able to afford it, too. If you're not a technical geek, you're geek enough to mate with a technical geek and thereby get the needed dough. Dating tip: Don't date a geek of the same persuasion as you. You'll constantly try to out-geek the other.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

I was in a pissy mood yesterday and didn't feel up to blogging. See, on Saturday night as I was passing out falling asleep on the couch, I could have sworn that I heard Andy talking smack about me to Melly. The last thing I remembered hearing was something like, "Yeah, Natalie just pulls her blog entries out of her ass. She'll sit down for two minutes and then she's done." So I fell asleep thinking to myself, "Yeah? Oh yeah? Well, you can just suck my dick, mister - who cares if I don't spend hours on my entries, huh? Who cares if I don't edit, or's a hobby, not a way of life. Ass. And I'm going to have to yell at Melly, too, for talking smack about me to my husband. I suppose everyone just wants me to quit my blog. Yeah, I bet that's it - they think I'm dull and should give it up but they don't have the balls to tell me that themselves. Assholes." When I woke up and saw Andy, the first thing out of my mouth was, "Oh yeah? No, I'm afraid that you suck." And I didn't let up on him all day - apart from the hours I would fall asleep. I'd wake up just long enough to yell at him from the other room, "Hey, stop sucking so much, okay?" and fall back to sleep. Of course, he came up with some cock and bull story about how what he really meant to say was that he really likes my blog and is surprised at how much material I can pull out of my ass. Or something. I was busy imagining ways to feed him ground glass and missed the basic idea of what he was getting at, but I'm sure it was a load of shite, anyway.

In other news (this is kind of a Monday mish-mash kinda thing - more substance than a Bulleted List With No Real Point (patent pending, patent pending, patent pending) yet not by too bloody much) I think Samantha has pink-eye. My kids have never had pink-eye so I wouldn't even know how to spot it, nor would it have even crossed my mind had I not received an email from Sam's step-mom saying, "Oh yeah - forgot to mention, Samantha was exposed to pink-eye the last time she was down here. You may want to keep her away from Nico and Zoe for a while." What the hell do I do for pink-eye? Do people still have to go to the doctor for something like that? Presumably it's the viral form of pink-eye in which case you can't do anything for it until it clears up...gah, yet another thing I'm going to have to deal with.

Speaking of dealing with things, I've made a decision. That decision being, "Fuck having a career" cuz my ass just needs a job. I think I may try to find somewhere third shift in a hotel again or something, seeing as how I'm awake almost all night worrying, anyway. Might as well be doing some accounting while I'm up. I'm also thinking of other general, cash-only work, like dog walking or something. See, this is why it's good to not have that pesky thing called "pride" hanging over your head - it opens the doors to all sorts of possibilities. Hell, I may even get into cleaning services...I had to hire a woman to help me clean for our move-out inspection at the last house we lived at because we were renting and it seems like a pretty sweet gig. I could throw my Shop-Vac and steamer in my truck and drive around town like the Scooby Doo gang, only instead of solving crimes I'd solve the mysteries of how to extract that gunk from the bottom of the fridge. I can do that. The only trouble with thinking about doing something like that for money is my crippling paranoia...I could see it now - someone hires me to help them do their final, move-out cleaning, only to blitz attack me when I'm bent over scrubbing the crisper drawer. I'd turn and have to use my steamer as a weapon, but burning the psycho's face would only make him angrier at me. I'd have to grab an aerosol can of Scrubbing Bubbles and turn on him, threatening to use the thing as a flame thrower and he'd drop to his knees, crying about how his mom was a housekeeper and he always - I don't know - resented her for cleaning other people's homes while ignoring their own. Something like that - I haven't quite decided how psychotic my would-be killer is just yet. I'll let you know in a few weeks when I'm attacked.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact, "Law & Order: SVU" is one of my favorite shows...why do you ask?

I wish there was a job where all you did was sit around all day imagining ways in which people could kill you. I'd be all over something like that.

A legend in my own mind-ious,


Monday mish-mash, indeed. I actually feel sorry for you for having read this. I wouldn't have read it. In fact, I'm rather apologetic about having written it. Stupid Mondays. ()

Saturday, January 24, 2004

picture pages, picture pages, lots of fun with picture pages

So Andy put together a little photo albumy-type fella of the festivities last night - Zoe Bean's fourth birthday shindig - but before you look I wanna tell you that I am not happy with the pictures of me. Especially not the picture where I am scarfing down noodles, nor the picture where I look like I have a big, fat ass. It's the jeans, I swear it. Unless you like big, fat asses, in which case that tush is all mine, baby, rrroowwrrrr.

The jaunty angle of the birthday hat is deliberate. I wear my birthday hats with style.

Oh, and for the record...Zoe's not 'special' - she just really, really likes to spaz out for the camera.

I think the last pic is particularly cool, as when Zoe was blowing out her final candle, the blur on the picture made the flame look like the number four. Cuz she's four now, see, and that's eerie.

I guess that's about it, really.



I know - horizontal stripes are flattering to no one but old-timey inmates but that sweater is comfy and warm, yo, and Minnesota is bbbrrryyy cold. ()

other nights, i just don't

Some nights, I like to stay up late and fantasize about starting a small company - something like a lawn mowing business that begins with me, a lawn mower and the sweat of my brow but quickly escalates into an enormous corporation that claims the asset of a square-acre of storage space for my top-of-the-line gardening and landscape equipment. I would employ countless teens and immigrant laborers who - inspired by my unlikely success story - buy a franchise of my company and make a roaring success of it in their own little corner of the country. I would be featured in Time Magazine for Kids and children would vote me as the most interesting and influential cover story for that year and demand my return. I would be a modern-day Jimmy Carter...actually, I guess Jimmy Carter is the modern-day Jimmy Carter, so I guess I'd be the younger, cuter Jimmy Carter of the future and I would play a roving ambassador to poverty-stricken, third-world countries and teach them all that they, too, can become rich and successful by never giving up, believing in themselves, and learning the various climate zones of their country as well as whatever country they plan to emigrate to.

Other nights, I think that maybe I'd rather be the night security guard at a place where having a night security guard is utterly laughable, like a bakery or something. I'd get a lot of knitting done that way.

Some nights, I like to stay up late watching the independent film channel, never once worrying that all that squinting at subtitles will give me wrinkles around my eyes. I picture myself in a learned, scholarly posture, my eyes crinkled with a thousand hours of deep, cinematic experience and bursting to share my wisdom and perspective. Lessons from far abroad, lessons in life and poverty and dreams crashed against the surf like so many abandoned pianos. I would teach others to be humble and to accept and embrace the fact that there is more to life than what our eyes behold - there is brutal passion and bittersweet genius in much more than we allow ourselves to perceive. I would collect great, dusty anthologies which I will then again anthologize myself while predicting the next movement of a very, very interesting piece of music which, inexplicably, plays for the first time on my antiquated, yet august gramophone.

Other nights, I search pay-per-view for a movie that rates highly on my "man, that was fucking cool" scale. Most movies based on comic books rate rather highly in this regard.

Some nights, I yearn to observe the interactions of humans with other humans, not unlike Ms. Jane and our bewhiskered brethren, and try to sew together the fragments and scraps of their lives by what is not being said. A simple chat show, a discreet exchange of words on a newscast, an unassuming look passed between game show participants - all speak volumes. Lives and stories are imagined - I embrace a construct of their life outside of that one moment, that glance. A raised eyebrow, an awkward embrace. I foolishly apply their imaginary existence to my life, and my experience to their encounters. All is futile and in vain, but yes, and yet, a trying exercise not for the faint of heart nor weak in constitution.

Other nights, I watch infomercials and say, out-loud, through a mouth full of Corn Pops, "I'd buy the damn broom if you two would just shut the fuck up with your stupid-ass banter."

Last night, my dear, was an other night.

I have yet to sleep but there are menial jobs to consider, crap television to watch, and cereal to be consumed.

To quote the great Robert Frost, "I've wasted a fuck of a lot of time talking about this, and I've got a bunch of other shit to do before I can crawl my ass into bed." Or something like that. I read it in a poem about snow or sumthin'. Sumthin' about horses, maybe? Wasting time...wait, was he the guy who hippied-out and lived by a lake? Or was that the Unibomber?

Hell, I'm going to have to wait for a some night to remember all that learnin' shit. Last night was an other night. I have a lot of other nights, and not so many some nights, but I'll have more some nights when I get older and tired of my other nights.

All I know for certain right now is that I need to sleep, because it's knocking on eight am here so I'm well on my way to having an other morning, too.



A waste is a terrible thing to mind. ()

Friday, January 23, 2004

it's a small world after all

So you know that I'm living about eight hours away from where I grew up, right? Now, my home-base area - which I don't want to say on here, lest people find me via Google (which is also the same reason I don't use my maiden name ever...not like I'm hiding, just that, well, to be perfectly frank there are some people who want to, ya know, bust my knees and such) - is rather small and not known for a whole lot of anything. One thing, actually - there is one single thing that they're famous for, unless you count the mobster stuff in the twenties. So it never surprises me when people have never heard of it.

Where I went to college is even lesser well-known. It's a corn field with a college slapped in the middle of it - that's it. If you started in my home town and drove for two hours you would see nothing but corn, then the college. If you drove from the college town for an hour you would see corn, then the hotel I was the general manager of for a couple of years. You can drive for an hour in any direction from the hotel and see nothing. The owners thought that the adage, "location, location, location" was highly over-rated...I think it was one of those, "If you build it, they will come" kind of scenarios, I dunno.

I was given this hotel to "sort out" because it had never had a quarter where it had operated in the black. Never. Not in the five years that it was in operation - it was sucking money like mad. Ever the idiot, I took on this challenge and turned everything around. This was no small feat, to be sure, and something I'm enormously proud of - I was a legend in the corporate office.

Needless to say, this experience is something I like to brag about when I'm in an interview. The trouble is that people won't really understand just how big of an accomplishment this was if they don't know what rural Illinois is all about. In some of these towns - we're talking population in the hundreds rather than thousands - farmers will freely let strangers stay in their homes if they miss the last train out of town. If you get lost or your car breaks down or if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing gasoline after five pm, these farmers let you stay the night. Where do you think all of the jokes come from? From rural Illinois, that's where. My struggle with this loser of a hotel was one of walking uphill in the snow, barefoot. It was brutal. Which makes the fact that I was selling out the entire hotel that much more impressive. To me, anyway.

So I'm in this interview and he's asking me about it so I tried to give him a brief primer on rural Illinois. He stopped me and said, "Oh I know Illinois. Where was it?" He knows the town the hotel was in. I was impressed. He knew the town where the college is located. Even more impressed. He then tells me, "Yeah, I grew up a few hours away in a small little town called..." My town.

No shit? No shit. This guy grew up in my town.

We then get on to a chat about the area, how long it's been since we've been back, what our parents did in that area, that whole thing. Oh, his mom worked at the same place as my dad! Oh, now isn't it a small world, oh yes indeed.

At the end of it all he gives me his business card and I notice his last name. It's really familiar to me but I can't put my finger on it. It's a common enough last name but he tells me that they pronounce it differently. Now that really catches a corner in my mind - but where do I know that name from? Ah well, I think. Small area - probably heard it somewhere.

Today I took out his business card and stared for a minute, pondering his last name, when it hits me. His mom and my dad did, in fact, work together. And my dad was in love with his mom.

I don't know if they ever had an affair, but I do remember mom and dad fighting about this woman to the point where my dad transferred departments. I don't know if this guy would know about any of this but I'm really freaking out about the background information release I had to sign, because it asked for any other names I've used in the past seven years...which, of course, would be my maiden name. My dad's last name. And at work my dad went by a fairly unique name himself.

Of course it could be a massive coincidence. These things happen, right? But his mom's name is vaguely Native American with a differently-pronounced common last name. Despite the fact that I grew up smack-bang in the middle of Black Hawk country there were precious few Native Americans wandering about the place. In all of my years living there, there was only one occasion where I'd heard that common last name pronounced the way this guy pronounces it, and that was during shouting matches between my parents.

And now I'm trying to get a job from this woman's son.

Small world, my ass - this whole thing smells like a set-up to me. Like a modern-day Freddy Krueger hell-bent on delivering the sins of the father onto the child. there's another potential employer I'm going to have to kill before he kills me. I'm really getting sick of this.



Why do these extremely unlikely odds always stack up when it's something bad? Why can I ever win the lottery or something like that? That's a long-shot I'd be happy with, not this, "Hey, I think our folks were knockin' boots when we were kids - we could have been step-siblings!" to an interviewer. ()

Thursday, January 22, 2004

bow down before the one you serve

Seen via Jack:

This site is certified 72% GOOD by the Gematriculator This site is certified 28% EVIL by the Gematriculator

I'm holier than you are, I'm holier than you are, neener neener neener, Jack's an evil wiener...wait - is it Biblically-acceptable to taunt someone for being an evil wiener? Who cares, though, cuz my holy ass can do what I want.

Okay, so I'm only roughly 3/4 good, but that can't be too far off from that Jeebus fella. Case in point - he talked to hookers. I, on the other hand, avoid hookers, on account of the restraining order.



My goodness was calibrated using an extensive scientific method derived from the Bible. And, come on, you can't argue with the Bible, right? ()

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

lil' bastard

He says "I wuv ooo" when he looks at himself in the mirror.

He tells me, "thank you" when he hands me something he shouldn't have.

He points in his mouth and says "teef".

He yells at the dogs to "sit".

He pronounces "Sasha" as "Shasha".

He calls his cereal "nummy".

He hears the water running and says, "baff".

He needs his diaper changed when he tells me "bum-bum".

He knows that yarn and needles means "knit".

He asks his sisters for a "tiss".

He points to a picture of Paul Scholes and says, "Daddy".

He's never said "mama".

But when he's tired, he tries to slip his hand down my shirt to tweak my nipples, and that's gotta count for something.

Hang on a I talking about Nico here, or Andy? Damn - I've totally forgotten.

Like father like son-iously,


That "mama" thing is really bugging me, though Nico started throwing a fit and shouting random sounds and Andy swears he heard "mama" in there somewhere. Still...kid's a lil' bastard. ()

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

it's crunch time

With all of the difficulties I've been facing surrounding my employment search (which, really, only boils down to being an at-home mom for a couple of years) I have come to a decision. Rather than bust my ass trying to find some stupid job that I'm going to resent in a few months I have determined that my best course of action would be to funnel all of my resources and energy into living the American dream, and pursuing the career that my heart has been set on since I was a little girl: Lord of the Dance.

Sure, it won't be easy to find a suitable headband in this post-Loverboy era but no matter - for I have the mad azz knitting skillz required to make my own. Sure, I don't have a tightly-wound afro-perm but, hey, I've been looking for a new hairstyle for a while. Puffy pirate shirt? Okay, I do have a few of those, so I'm set in that department. But mainly, I possess a deep and consuming love of The Dance, such that I feel I would be a good Lord over it.

Natalie Yates, Lord of the Dance. Esquire.

Yeah, I think I'll keep that "esquire" in there, too.

If, by some odd chance of cruel fate I should not achieve my status as Lord of the Dance I will have to fall back on my second career choice - as a dancer at the Fat Slapper Nudie Bar and Taxidermy Lodge. I need to come up with a good name, though...something like Tootsie Fat-Ass Shaker. Nah, that doesn't have any zing, does it? Strippers like alliteration, even if they don't know what the word means. Something like Betsy Bouncy Boobs. Knatalie Knockers. Sally Stretchmark. Chief Big Butt of the No Clothes Tribe. Something catchy. But I'll worry about that only if this whole Lord of the Dance thing falls through.

In other job-hunting news, I dreamed I woke up with a face like Prince. Everywhere I went to interview people would say, "Hey, did you know you look like Prince?" and every night I'd come back home with no job and Andy would say, "Sigh...Prince-face again, huh?" And I'm all like, "Yep. Damn Prince-face."

In other, other job-hunting news I'd like to go on the record as saying that working in the fast-food industry is nothing to make fun of. There's that Australian guy who's supposedly in line as being the CEO of McDonalds and he never worked anywhere besides fast food. And look at him now - he's the guy who came up with the "I'm Lovin' It" campaign...and he's only ever worked at McDonalds. And look at him now. McDonalds. Yep, nothing to be ashamed of by working at McDonalds - nope, nothing at all.

Is this foreshadowing? We'll see. I'll know more after speaking to the Lord of the Dance and Fat Slapper Club people.

Would you like fries with that?-ingly,


Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba...I'm lovin' it. Hell, I could have come up with that. They should make me CEO. ()

it just doesn't get any better than this

Okay, so my Paypal link is down, and everyone who (very graciously and generously) donated will, presumably, have their money sent back to them within a day or so.

Seems some really swell person told Paypal something to the effect that I'm just not who I say I am, and that there was something "suspicious" going on. Paypal, wanting to cover their asses, froze my account and now want me to fax them all sorts of personal information (bank account statements, copy of my drivers license, social security number, etc) to "verify" that I am who I say I am - despite the fact that I've been using Paypal since back in the day when you got ten bucks free just for signing up, and with no problems.

I was a verified, premier member with some 100-odd transactions under my belt and they stripped that and put me down as an unverified, unconfirmed nobody who was "suspicious". I tried their "secure, personalized account help system" and got a form letter in return. I asked them for a phone number to straighten this out but they don't discuss accounts on cell phones. I haven't had a landline since I don't know when, but I guess that makes me seem even more "suspicious".

Don't you just love that someone can anonymously "report" you, and totally screw you over just when things were starting to look better? Just when I thought, "Hey, we might be able to afford to file a couple of these forms in time - how sweet is this?!?" someone swoops in, makes an unverified accusation about some unspecified nature and I can't get full details about it without sending everything it would take to have my identity stolen to some fax machine at Paypal's little office. Not that my identity is any huge commodity at the moment, but still. Oh, and the best part is that even after I send them all of my information, my "case" will go to a "review board" and they'll "consider" reinstating me.

Thank you, kind stranger, whomever you are! Now, not only do I lose everything that I had in there, but I get to pay a lovely fee per each transaction.

You know what? At this moment in time, having no money would be an improvement. Now, I have less than no money.

Good on ya, you asshole. I hadn't even sent out all of my thank-you emails yet, and now it's gone. And why? Why would you personally go out of your way to make things harder for me? I mean, I know a lot of petty, vindictive people but no one that I thought could be capable of this.

I could just cry right now, but I'll stop moaning. I wanted everyone to know what was up - I'm going to bed now because I have a long day of humiliation ahead of me tomorrow.

Who the hell was I in my former life? It had to be someone like Stalin. Yeah, I must have been Stalin.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

a little sunshine up my ass

On my way out the door today I stopped to grab the mail - wanting desperately to get the forms needed to start working on my taxes - and saw a letter from a company I'd interviewed for last week. Initially I thought, "Ah, lovely - they've put me on some stupid-ass mailing list" but I opened it anyway. Inside the envelope was one of the most glorious things I've ever seen in my life: a rejection letter. A signed rejection letter.

Now, certainly, it would have been better to be hired, of course. But the simple fact that my rejection didn't take the form of, say, an unreturned phone call or an impersonal email just filled my heart with joy.

Yes - it's official. I am a grown-up now, whose rejection comes in the form of a letter. With a real stamp an' everythin'.

I've arrived.



It's the little things, no? ()

wanna know who rocks?

You guys rock. I was worried that my last post would come across as too bitchy, or that it would piss Andy off, but I'm glad I wrote it. It's nice to realize that when you're down that there are people who care enough to want to boost you back up.

I've decided to only talk about our immigration issues when there's good news from now on, which I am hopeful will be forthcoming. If I moan too much more, poor Yvonne is going to cry herself into dehydration. Though it's not like it's too tough to make a pregnant woman cry - fish in a barrel, that one. (I never put smilies in my posts but I'm thinking I should insert one here - cuz pissing Yvonne off is just as easy as making a pregnant woman cry while shooting fish in a barrel. Aw, hell, I probably need another smiley for that comment, too, huh? I'll shut up about that now before Yvonne calls me a bad name.)

I'm going to have to wait to reply to the emails and comments, as I'm in the midst of getting the kids ready to go pick up Sam from the airport (if anyone's flying out of the regional terminal at MSP around four let me know and I'll split a bag of gummi bears with ya, but I'm keeping any that are deformed) but I will say quickly that my comments about the Ukinese were directed at real-life friends and family and not any British bloggers. I don't know if it's vanity or paranoia or what, but I think I gave a few people a complex and I didn't mean to. It's like that scene in "Natural Born Killers" where Mickey says, "We are not killing anybody on our wedding day." No - wait, wrong quote. I meant where Scagnetti is talking to McClusky about growing up in Texas - McClusky says, "Funny, you don't have an accent" and Scagnetti replies, "Yeah, I don't want to talk like those assholes." McClusky gets pissy and says, "Well, now, my mother was from Texas" and Scagnetti says, "I meant those other assholes."

So, yeah, I didn't mean you. I meant those other assholes.

As I leave to get ready to hit the airport I will leave you with these two points to ponder - one, my oxtail soup can kick your oxtail soup's ass any day of the week. That's just fact. And two, hanging out in bed with your kids on Sunday morning is one of the best things you could ever do. But kicking them out so you can have a quickie can be even better.

Happy Sunday!



If anything's going to piss Andy off, it'll be me quoting "Natural Born Killers". The guy won't even let me eat key lime pie anymore. ()

Saturday, January 17, 2004

could we bring down the house lights for a moment, please?

I want to get serious for a minute, if I may.

Naturally, you know by now the situation we're facing here - the countdown is on until Andy gets an escort back to the UK. We're looking for jobs, we're out of money, that whole thing. Sometimes I freak out because the situation is so fucked up - if he goes back to England on a visa violation, he's barred for three years before he can even appeal to come back. Could be three years, could be longer. As you undoubtedly know already, I have no ties with my family. I approached them once to help us sort this out and got pissed on in return.

Anyway, it's a bad situation.

Now, many of you have been so much more supportive than I ever could have hoped for - sending well-wishes, gifts, cash, suggestions, or just being there to help keep our feet on the ground. You know what? I'm going to get really crass here and mention a few people off the top of my head who really stand out as being some fucking cool people.

Solonor is probably the best blogging friend a girl could ever have, and I talk to him way too much for Andy's comfort, I'm sure, but the guy really is a star. Natalie, Melly, Cathy, the Procrastinatrix, Speaker, Rae, Eric (who doesn't have his own blog, but can be found guest posting over at Les's), Jack, and Mopsa have all been extraordinarily kind, generous and helpful in these past months. I know I'm missing out a bunch of people - which is why you really shouldn't name folks - but you know who you are and not having a little link here doesn't diminish my appreciation of you. I certainly will not soon forget your kindness.

That said...

I'm just going to come right out and say it here. This is directed at the UKinese amongst us. (That's what I call British people - the UKinese, pronounced like "puke" without the "p". Like "puke" and "chinese" together, but without the extra letters.) Anyway. Here's something I have to say to the UKinese who think they're being remarkably helpful (you know who you are).

Do not say things like, "Well, when you're deported you can stay at my place." This stupid-ass statement makes my blood fucking boil. It's not even like your heart is in the right place - do you not understand that where Andy is going to live when he's deported is the absolute last fucking concern we have? When you say something like that, in one fell swoop you've completely dismissed my marriage and my family, like it won't make a dick of difference if Andy's here or over there. What the fuck is wrong with your thought process?

I understand that some people simply don't know how to respond when they hear stories like what's going on with us now - and that's fine. You don't have to worry about what to say...a heart-felt, "That's fucked up" means just as much as anything else, you know? Because I know where it's coming from and I know what you're feeling. Some people are nervous about giving advice, thinking, "Well, she's probably already thought of this so if I mention it, I'll just piss her off." No, that's not true, as we're too close to the problem to think rationally sometimes. I received an absolutely wonderful email from Eric where he'd suggested a course of action that I'd already dismissed (with a good reason) but it got me thinking about trying it from a different direction. That kind of stuff is great, wonderful, helps me sleep at night, that whole thing.

However, ranting about how "fucked up" the US immigration laws are, without even knowing about your own immigration, is pointless. Anecdotal evidence of how "easy" it was for so-and-so to emigrate to other countries is insulting. If you were talking to a woman suffering a high-risk pregnancy would you go on and on about how your sister was only in labor for ten minutes? If someone has hepatitis would you mention how easy it was for David Crosby to get a transplant? Can you not see how unsupportive you're being?

I'm not saying that I expect everyone to line up in a row and give us their spare change - I'm not expecting people to go out of their way to do our networking and find us jobs - I'm not saying that I expect everyone else to put their lives on hold so they can pay attention to what's going on with us. It's not like that, which I think is evidenced here by virtue of the fact that I find the attention and support overwhelming and remarkable. The simple fact that anyone has thought of us at all means more to me than I can ever express to my satisfaction.

On the other hand - I can count on two fingers the number of people we know in the UK who seem to care about keeping Andy over here with his family. Exactly two people who consistently care about his well-being, his state-of-mind, his happiness and his comfort. Two. PERIOD. And guess what? Neither one of them read this here blog, so if you're reading this you're not one of 'em.

Trouble is, no one realizes how damaging their actions are - it almost seems like they deliberately go out of their way to plant doubts in Andy's mind because they have their own selfish reasons for wanting Andy back in the UK. When he has conversations with these particular people he ends up moping around the house like a sullen teenager who only wants to play video games and get drunk. That's as good as assuring our failure right there - there is nothing at all productive about that situation.

Something that people probably don't realize - leaving your country is hard. There are always doubts, and misgivings, no matter how good a home situation may be. Pointless nostalgia and romanticizing the motherland fuels dischord in the present situation. And, as anyone who's visited England undoubtedly knows, there is a huge cultural difference between there and America that, quite frankly, is harder to adjust if you're from England and living here than vice versa. It is hard for Andy, every single day, but he loves it here and he loves me and he loves his kids. This is where he's decided to live and this is where he's fighting to stay.

Don't offer him your fucking couch for when he gets deported.

Do you see why this is not a helpful suggestion?

If you really want to help, round up your spare change and hit that little button on the top right and send it over. Paypal takes euros and pounds as well as dollars. The old adage is true, that money doesn't matter unless you don't have any. And we don't have any. So instead of calling long-distance, take those pennies you'd have spent on the phone call and pitch 'em into our piggy bank because, trust me, you're not helping matters otherwise.

But know this - he is not getting deported, no matter what we have to do, so get that out of your minds. He's my roommate now, okay? Fucking around with his head every chance you get is on par with fucking around with my family. Trust me when I say that I do not suffer that gladly. Getting on my bad side over our immigration troubles is most certainly the most dangerous course of action you can ever possibly take, bar none.

"When you get deported you can stay at my place"...geesus, what were you thinking? Honestly, I'd like to know. That's like...that's like...hell, I can't even think of a good analogy. Okay, that's like getting a phone call from your best friend and he says, "I've been accused of committing a murder but I'm innocent!" and you saying, "Well, gee, when you go to prison I'll send you a book of stamps so you can write to me." It's not just a slap in the face - it's more like a boot heel to the fucking dick. Andy won't say this to you, but I will - and if you want to call me on it I'll say it directly to your face, too. You can dress it up under the guise of well-meaning friendship but I can see what he can't. Talking him into "facing the inevitable" is talking him into leaving his wife and family. How can you claim to love him when you're spewing so much poison?

When people are facing a major trauma they react differently. Some people throw on their steel armor and try to slay the dragon. Some people wave a handkerchief from the top window of the tower. We can't help the way we react, and no one way is better than the other. But why would you go out of your way to empower the dragon, or to fill the maiden's head with thoughts of how hopeless everything is? It's not helpful and it only serves to make you feel better about yourself. Is being able to say "I told you so" that important that you would hinder the success of someone you claim to love? I'm not blaming you directly for Andy's reaction - that's ultimately his responsibility - but I do think that you're playing a dangerous game with absolutely zero benefit to us.

You know how I know that he and I are going to stay together? Because we're meant to. Consider this statement Andy made to me last night: "You know why I love you so much? Because, lady, you've got a set of balls on you. Big, fat, hairy, down-to-your-knees King Kong balls." I blushed and cheesed for ten minutes because no one has complimented my balls before. And then I gave him a lapdance.

England just won't win, dawg, so don't even try it.

Whew - rant over with. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled blogramming.

Blood pressure-ingly,


I know it's in bad taste to do a "you know who you are" kind of post, but really, if I spent the time to address each person individually I'd be here all fucking day, and I'd go way over the top (this entry was mild compared to what I would like to say to each of the people involved) so this kind of keeps me reigned in on the old bitchery front. ()

Friday, January 16, 2004

well. that was very, um. yeah.

Things went well, I well as they could when you're being cursed at and asked illegal questions, that is.

He's very...abrasive? Is abrasive the right word I'm looking for here?

Yeah, let's be polite and call him "abrasive".

I couldn't get a good read on him - one second he's being very flattering and the next he's telling me I stink. Literally, that I stink - guess my jacket smelled like smoke, which is something he refuses to smell. Okay, fine - I can dig that. However, my jacket was in the closet in the other room and I'd deliberately not smoked before I went in, because I understand that some people are sensitive to the smell. I'm betting he sniffed my jacket before he came in to interview me. I've worked in non-smoking environments before so I know how strong the smell is when someone's just finished up a cigarette, but there's no way in hell that I smelled that smokey that he should tell me, "If you come into work smelling like that, I'll send you home to shower and change."

The guy's paranoia exceeds mine, by the way. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but damn. Double dog damn - they guy has CCTV cameras mounted all over the outside of his building, inside the building, and on top of towers on the roof of the building. You can see for miles with those cameras, and he kept flicking from one camera to the other while we were talking.

I'm pretty sure he comes from Fuckstonia because he could certainly speak the language. I'm not used to that - I mean, I type the word a lot but it's not like we run around using it all of the time. Not since Eddie Murphy or Andrew Dice Clay has there been someone who uses such foul language not only in public but while interviewing someone.

He straight-up told me, "I'm a prick and you will hate me." Easy to see why he's so obsessive about monitoring who's approaching his building. Who wouldn't love a man who ritually abuses you? I really couldn't imagine why anyone would want to do him harm.

He told me on top of all of the other duties - which are pretty much everything involved in running the business - I would have to run his errands "and like it". I would have to monitor his portfolio "and like it". I would have to walk his dog around the lake "and like it".

Now, I've seen some fairly aggressive interviewing techniques before and part of me thought that maybe he was testing me to see how much I would take until I said, "Oh yeah? Go fuck yourself, you fucking prick." Which I did, though not in those words. Then he'd follow it up with something really nice about how I struck him as "pretty funky".

Did I mention this guy is probably pushing fifty and also describes himself as "the funk master"? (That'll be a dead giveaway to who he is if anyone reading this knows him. He's pretty proud of being the old funk master.)

On top of all of that, he's close, personal friends with a few CEOs that I'd rather him not be friends with. It just makes life feel too close, ya know? These are people I know that I don't necessarily want telling this guy about me, and vice versa. Nothing bad, just personal details. This guy seems to love getting personal details. And yoga - loves the yoga.

Apparently I must have done something right because he told me that he really likes me, then drops the bomb - the full-time immediate position he'd advertised for? Well, it was only part time and wouldn't be filled until mid-February. That's helpful.

What does it say about me that a guy like this liked me? I mean, like I said, he may have been coming on pretty strong to test me and fancies himself some kind of take-no-prisoners kind of guy - and maybe he is, I don't know. He's obviously very successful at what he does and I could learn a lot about this particular business but...walk his dog? And like it???

Have you ever seen "Finding Forrester"? It was like that, except without the, ya know, interesting parts. He'd ask me about something and when I'd answer he'd go, "No, don't tell me about that - that's boring. Let me tell you about this." and launch into something about nothing at all. Or he'd ask me about having kids and what church did I belong to and my, don't I look young to be a mother, how old am I? I've been asked illegal questions before and usually brushed them off with a, "Now why would you be interested in that?" and a laugh, or I'd straight-up tell them what they wanted to know if I didn't think it would matter either way. But this was different, somehow...I can't put my finger on it, but it felt really, really wrong for me to be asked if I were Joooesh and how old I was when I had Samantha. Just bugged me.

I don't know...technically I guess it went well, but now I'm wishing that it hadn't. I certainly don't feel very good about dealing with this guy for the hour and a half I was with him. Argh. Gotta find something else, and now.

Sucked dry-ious,


This shit is getting so draining. ()

can't sleep - clown will eat me

We're knocking on the door of four in the morning and I'm up because I had a scawy, scawy dream.

I was sitting in this POW interrogation cell and was waiting to be interviewed. The Potential Employer guy came in and he was this mish-mash of various baddies in James Bond movies along with a few of the baddies from Star Trek combined into one, except with a voice like Colonel Klink. He was all like, "Where is Marlene Dietrich? I was told she would be with you. We have ways of making you talk!" Then I was slapped around for writing such a crummy blog. By Colonel Klink. Don't know why he really cared, to be honest, but it scared me.

I don't know why I'm nervous about this interview as opposed to the others. That's not really true - I think the difference is that, this time, I was sought out rather than me having to chase people down to talk to me. See, despite what I may project here, I'm actually quite a little pit bull in real life - I'm very aggressive when the mood strikes me. Not a bitch, exactly (though some may disagree - like the guy I chased down in a hardware store for locking his dog in his car one particularly hot summer day) but I know what I want and do what I can to get it. So instead of taking a totally passive route with my job search I've been going to the places I'm applying to and basically making them talk to me. I give a much better impression if I can get some face-time.

But this one I'm going to tomorrow (not tomorrow - in a few hours, ack!) be perfectly honest, if you lined up all of my job pursuits in a row, this one would stand out as the "one of these things is not like the other" career. I basically faxed my resume because I thought the ad was unintentionally funny so I was intentionally funny right back. But it's not something I would have really held my breath for, and to tell you the truth I'm not exactly positive what the position really is. The ad was particularly vague and an exhaustive search on the internet only told me that this guy's company has zero web presence. So instantly, I think, "Hey, I bet that means he's secretly a crime-fighting superhero looking for a side-kick!" Since I cannot resist the urge to wear a cape I applied. Now I'm fairly well freaking.

I've spent most of my working life as a general manager - bridal store, hotel, country club...those were all management positions where I was responsible for hiring people so I remember what it was like to "read" someone from their resume. Maybe it's just me but when I found someone that I liked for a job I would imagine what they were all about. I was bad in that I would try to guess the person's age by looking at when they left college but it wasn't just that - I would wonder weird stuff like, "Were they ever badly burned in a childhood fireworks accident? Are they of Slavic heritage? Do they like patterned trouser socks? Have they ever taken a cruise?" At my more idle moments I would sometimes invent little lives for the applicants like they were a Sims family or something and try to imagine how they would interact with one another and the other employees, given the background I had on the resume.

The initial phone interview was another part of the process - do they use that an-octave-too-high phone voice, do they laugh easily, that kind of stuff.

It's been a very, very long time since I've been on the other side of that kind of situation. I don't know if other people do what I do when they're looking to hire someone but I would assume so. Which means that I'm playing and replaying the phone call from yesterday in my head and over-analyzing myself on top of imagining what Potential Employer is like and how I would get along with him.

I know it's pointless to sit and stress about something that hasn't happened yet that I really have no control over...I can't make him like me if he doesn't, right?...but I like to have a general game plan in place. Trouble is, I'm coming up with nothing. When I would interview I always made sure I had food to offer, especially around lunchtime, but it's not like it's very appropriate to roll up to an interview with bagels. Hell, especially not bagels - carbs are the new fur, ya know? Some people have no real opinion of carbs but for those folks who hate them, just showing them a bagel would be cause for them to - I don't know - pour cow blood on you or something. But I need to really think of how to present myself totally in a nutshell, all at once. There's none of this "put me in your 'maybe' blogroll and read me for a while to see if you like me" kind of thing, and I can't go back and edit later if I make a mistake tomorrow.

That's the problem - this blog has warped my entire sense of perception. Are you watching this? I'm equating a job interview with a blogroll.

Then, of course, at the other side of my brain is my paranoia kicking up and telling me things like Potential Employer reads me here and is out to get me. He deliberately placed a very deliberately worded ad in my very deliberate job search emails so I would deliberately apply so that he could kill me with bricks. Clever bastard. But I'm on to him now, oh yes I am.

So when I go in there later and beat him to death I'll get off on self-defense, right? You guys are all my witnesses.



Tonight while looking for something cool to wear today I found a blazer in my closet. A blazer...with shoulder pads. Oh yeah, I am such the Diane Keaton. ()

Thursday, January 15, 2004

ah, validation! if only slightly...

There are few things in life better than having a potential employer say that they were "intrigued" by me and think I sound "like a lot of fun" and wants to meet me in twenty minutes.

Too bad it's clear in Uptown (about forty minutes away) and I'm still in my pajamas - but tomorrow, oh yes, tomorrow...tomorrow I shall conquer the world, and hopefully get a parking allowance, too. But I ain't fussy.

Gah - now I need to dig out all of my hip clothes and hope I can fit my big, fat ass into them. Maybe I can get a couple more tattoos and piercings before tomorrow?

Oh to work in Uptown, now that winter's here!...and trying to navigate and park in a big-ass "I'm a soccer mom!"-screaming SUV...oh man, I feel a crisis of confidence rising. I need to learn to rollerblade, like, now. I need to lose ten pounds...I need to get my haircut like one of the "Friends". No - argh! - what am I thinking?!? Not "Friends" - gah, that was so two-years ago. Who's hip now? Who is everyone trying to be like? Damn it, I don't even know. Why oh why did I stop subscribing to The New Yorker? What's cutting-edge? Being neurotic went out with Birkenstock sandals - I really need to get a grip.

I'm so scared I'll freeze and forget to be filled with clever-cleverness and pop out with, "So, hey, I hear The Wiggles are going to be performing at the Target Center soon. Should be a good show."

I just know I'm going to blow it. I'll be all intimidated by hipsters and young people who are actually older than me but have that cool, carefree thing going on, and I'll be like Diane Keaton in every post-Woody Allen movie she ever made. I'll wear a boxy suit from Sears and end up dumping the contents of my ten-gallon purse all over the place. Baby bottles, little sacks of Cheerios and, inexplicably, a glob of grape jelly will all bounce around the room. Not the jelly - the jelly would, of course, end up on Potential Employer's swish Armani jacket. I would try, in vain, to clean it off by using a ketchup-stained napkin but would only make it worse. Just like she did in...argh! I can't even name a post-Woody Allen movie she starred in...I am going to come across as so pedestrian and, and...and suburban.

Oh ick.

That's it - I'm not going. Nope. I have to escape this with my pride intact. I need to cling to my delusion that I'm A Pretty Cool Chick. I can't let some hipster tear that down, I just can't.

Still...he said he was "intrigued". Ooh, I know how I'll play it - I'll be all Marlene Dietrich. Yes, yes, that's it - I will play the part of Effortless Cool, unencumbered by my lack of current trendiness because I shall be Timeless. Ah, yes, that's precisely what I'll be - I'll saunter in with a foxfur stole, sucking on a vintage cigarette holder and I will always, always remain shadowed except for my eyes. I'll have to bring some lighting people along with me, which will suck, but I'll have plenty of room for them in my SUV. The secret to my brand of Effortless Cool is that I won't call attention to my lighting crew - they just do what they do and never make my radar. If Potential Employer mentions them I'll look confused for a moment, then indicate in a haughty tone that I would never be so gauche as to call attention to "the help". Then I would laugh in that charming, only-moving-your-bottom-jaw kind of way that starlets do to show that I was only standing in mild judgment of Potential Employer and that it wasn't much of a strike against him.

Note to self - learn proper pronounciation of the word "gauche".

Oh man, this is gonna suck. For me, anyway - you'll at least end up with a good story out of it. Now I just need to decide who I'm going to be when I meet this guy - and I'll need a quick back-up plan in case he's gay and/or black. That's three identities I'm going to have to prepare in time for tomorrow morning. I've certainly got my work cut out for me.

I'd better get busy.

Three faces of Eve-ious,


My new slogan is: Nataliesoft - Who Do You Want To Be Today? Sometimes I really envy people who have static personalities. ()

i wish i'd studied harder for the test

My only "yes" answer came from the question "do you blog in English?" Since, "mostly" wasn't an answer I estimated that I was closer to "yes" than "no" on that one. (link via Linkmaster Funkadelic, Gerard)

There's a 10% chance that I'll win a Bloggie™.
What's Your Chance to Win a Bloggie™?

That's too bad, too, because I really wanted to win so I could ask those guys how to pronounce "SXSW". Sexswah? Sixwoo? Gah, that's gonna bug me now.



I really am bummed because I forgot to remember to get excited about that whole train wreck. I'll have to console myself by reading everyone's archives from this time last year about how everyone from Texas should be shot. Here's a hint, guys: Don't criticize people who are allowed to carry concealed weapons and consider capital punishment to be a spectator's sport. That's just good advice for anyone, really. ()

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

the seven dollar bowl

Since I was suffering from a raging hang-over in a particularly delicate way today I was, naturally, nervous about eating anything. I had made the mistake of scrolling too quickly and that put me on the brink of thunder chunder asunder getting rather ill. My thought turned toward what I used to eat when I got my drunk on in my early years my rather fond memories of a night out with some friends when we would imbibe a tipple or two, then head out for the notorious Seven Dollar Bowl.

The Seven Dollar Bowl was the brainchild of a particularly obnoxious man who owned a diner next to a favorite watering hole of mine back in my younger days. This man had decorated his diner in railroad memorabilia complete with a whoo whoo-ing train on a track suspended over the dining area. This man hated drinkers. With a passion.

He made a point to shut off the grills, fryers, and coffee makers just before the bars closed. That way he wouldn't have to cook us drunk-asses harmless rabble-rousers anything, you know, satisfying. For a while, we would go and suck down the tepid, stale coffee and moan that there were no restaurants open nearby. He would laughingly direct us to the 24-hour organic fruit and vegetable co-op. We hated him, but we needed him.

Anyway, one night we were sucking down our coffee and watching this guy throw all of the leftover food together into a dish that he would take out back and chuck into the garbage. Someone in our group asked to eat it. The diner owner looked at him, then at the bowl, and said, "Seven bucks". He was going to charge seven dollars for the pleasure of eating what was going to be thrown in the garbage?!? We all pitched in a dollar and ate up.

That was probably the best meal I've ever had in my life.

Word spread of the Seven Dollar Bowl and the diner became more popular than ever. The owner started setting up these bowls before the bars emptied (presumably so they'd be nice and cold) and the place would be packed for people looking for their share of the loot.

He never did anything deliberately disgusting - my favorite was late Saturday night because he always had a chili on special that day. But beneath the chili were some real treasures. Sometimes he'd throw in, say, a half of an uncut onion that he'd been taking slices from that day to top burgers. Sometimes there would be a burger inside the chili. You just never knew. Paper cups of coleslaw, pineapple rings, a fried egg - all went into the Seven Dollar Bowl.

You learned pretty quickly to not investigate too deeply when you ordered the random Seven Dollar Bowl. If you took in a mouthful of something gross you'd just turn the bowl ninety degrees and try again. By the time you got back to the offensive bit that you were trying to avoid the entire dynamic of the dish would have shifted such that it was an entirely new taste. You certainly got your money's worth, if not in sustenance, then in experience.

Over time he refined the Bowls and made a few into "signature specials". My favorite, that I was craving today, started off with two, four or six pieces of garlic bread topped with two, four or six hot dogs. (You ordered them as "deuce bowl", "quad bowl" or "sex bowl" - yeah, I know.) Then came some greasy fries or hashbrowns topped with ketchup, mustard, onion, and pickle. Slap on a mountain of chili - I'm talking a mountain of chili, probably four cups or so? - and top with handfuls of cheese.

Man, oh man, was that good for what ails ya! The stuff was so old and so cold that you actually had to chew the grease that formed in the chili.

I suppose that since us idiots were willing to pay seven bucks for a bowlful of what amounted to garbage, the old man lightened up and started running the grill at closing time again. This was well after I'd moved away, though, so I never got to experience what kind of cook he was when the food was fresh.

Anyway, I took a leaf from that old guy's book and made myself a plate of Seven Dollar Bowl, throwing in a little of this and a little of that, with some rather surprising results...mouseover the image to see what I found at the bottom of my chili...

That's what I get for playing Gawd.

Lost my appetite-ly,


I spent a half-hour writing all of this just to set you up for that stupid joke. I really need a life. ()

hi natalie! this is natalie.

Sorry 'bout last night, y'all - I guess you could say I totally reached my breaking point. I don't handle it very well when I'm made to feel worthless, go figure. Drives me's on par with having a homeless man criticize the way you decorate, ya know? Ooh, it just so grates on me.

To blow off some steam I let the kids jump around on my bed, throwing yarn everywhere. My freshly-cleaned duvet cover is now smeared with the remains of goldfish crackers and chocolate that somehow managed to find their way into the bed with us. I put the kids to sleep, busted into the wine and talked to the other natalie for longer than I should have.

It really is weird to hear someone else called Natalie talking about Zoe and Nicholas. My brain was a little bit foggy so I was kind of slow to catch up a couple of times and managed to get myself pretty damned confused. My Zoe crept out of bed and asked who I was talking to, and when I told her it was Natalie from Texas her face just lit up - between Jack sending me Texas stuff and Natalie sending me wishlist stuff (thank you, thank you, thank you!), Zoe seems to think that everyone in Texas is some kind of Santa Claus. She told me this morning that she wants to go see Natalie and Zoe - I think she likes being able to say my name without being corrected.

But anyway, really, sorry 'bout last night. I'm suffering for it today - bloated to the point where I look like I'm suffering from the mumps - and kicking myself in the ass about being stupid and hysterical. Won't happen again...until the next time it happens.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to lie down again until the little men with sledgehammers stop beating the inside of my head.

Woe is me-ingly,


Ugh. Double ugh. ()

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

melon collie and the infinite sadness.

There's nothing worse than being humiliated by a hiring manager whose salary per week is less than what your necklace is worth. He judges on things he knows nothing about but adheres to because of "corporate policy". Suck my corporate policy, you tool. Who's a tool? I'm a tool.

79 days and counting until I lose my husband back to the Motherland with no recourse for me for three years, yet facing another bill for a grand from a lawyer who doesn't care that we are down to our last dime-twenty in savings. What do they care? You don't pay and - a ha ha - they sue you. Because they're lawyers, that's why.

Being poor is one thing but being poor with something to lose is another thing entirely. This is why I never wanted anything - Bob Dylan was the first teacher I ever had, and a good teacher he was. I'm sorry I didn't listen, Bob. I have things, so now I have things to lose. Easier if I didn't.

I wanted to play "I Wished On The Moon" but instead I played Kirsty McColl. Why? Why? Because he sighed and hates Billie and wanted Oasis and doesn't know how fucking sad I am. He talks about how bad things were and fights and poor but you know what? No one in my neighborhood had two employed parents, let alone a chemical engineer and a teacher. Try factory worker and hooker. That's the last bastion of the repressed, isn't it? The middle-class, white male. Try on a vagina for a few days and see how things are for you - never mind how you grew up, that shit is irrelevant now - and then we'll talk.

I have a boot heel on my throat but doesn't everyone and it's never easy and I should have played at math at school because no little girls ever play math and aren't I special that I can? But I didn't, just because it's such the not a little girl game to play. I was confrontational by virtue of the fact that I wasn't confrontational at all. Make some sense out of that one - hell, it made sense to me once.

Nothing can be fixed. You wait, and you think that things are going to work out because they always have, but then they don't and all you're left holding is the "oh fuck" that you first muttered when the shit hit the fan in the first place. What do you do? What does anyone do? I don't know about them, but I've been doing a lot of crying lately. I don't like to tell you that, but it's true.

And I hate it and I hate it and I hate it because once upon a time I would just scribble this shit away from everyone and everything and no one would be any the wiser but now I put it all out there because That's What's Done With A Blog and you'll all get awkward and think, "boy she's pathetic" or "what does she want from us" or "i can't do anything about this and she doesn't need to remind me of that fact by telling us her problems" so I relieve you from that by saying that I just wanna say what I wanna say and feel what I wanna feel and not be labeled as some emotional person (which I can be when I'm facing something of this magnitude) and not be viewed as some sad case needing help (though I am but am not wanting help from you but think of you more as a peer and a sounding-board to just go 'hey, that really sucks' so that I can say back, 'you know, it really does suck') and just write things so I'm not so fucking, fucking sad all of the time and having things come back to haunt me by men who make less per week than my necklace is worth.

this is an emergency test of the amber alert system

He may just be following a nice ass around, or sick in some flat in Amsterdam, or maybe asleep in a porn theater, but for those of you on the east coast, keep a look out for Spalding Gray, who was reported missing on Sunday.

If there's anyone I love nearly as much as Kurt Vonnegut, it's Spalding Gray. I first saw his "Monster in a Box" when I was rather young...I think that weekend of free HBO really shaped my life. Spalding Gray monologues, Peter Gabriel concerts, stand-up comedy specials and "HBO After Dark" all have a lot to answer for.

I really hope he's not dead, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he walked off into the ocean. He has a dangerous mind. When I'm in a vulnerable mood, Andy has to hide all of my Spalding Gray books from me unless he wants to deal with a vicariously tweeked-out New York artist-type. He takes away Spalding and replaces it with David Sedaris to remind me of what a pretentious wanker I'm being. He's good like that.

Anyway, do keep your eyes peeled for Spalding. He may look like a homeless man, ambling about the place and stuttering to himself. He's not quite as neurotic as Woody Allen but he's pretty damn close. He's not a danger unless you engage him in conversation. Avoid the topic of existentialism at all costs.



ps - I just saw this quote from Spalding's brother, on having last seen him at Christmas: "I wouldn't say he was in a happy state," Rockwell Gray told the Times. "He's been in a fairly depressed condition for some time."

Well you don't say! Hey, Rockwell - how's about we file this one under "understatement of the year", mmm'kay?

I hope they find him and have him guest star as himself on an episode of "Without A Trace". That would rock. ()

Monday, January 12, 2004

i love free stuff!

Waiting for me in my mailbox today was a mix cd from the other natalie and I've gotta say, that chick's got some good taste in music. I'm not just saying that since she included the song that I use for my ringtone ("Let's Go To Bed" - gotta love The Cure).

I felt bad even asking for one from her since I have the majority of the songs on here, but I didn't have them in one handy cd. Also, she's a big fan of The Toadies, whom I'd never heard before but am quickly falling in love with.

Since the other Natalie thinks she's funny she also sent us an "I ♥ Texas" bumper sticker. Ah, ever the kidder!

Somehow I don't think it'll quite fit in with my "Stop Capital Punishment", "My Body, My Choice" and my "Keep the Government OUT of my Bedroom" bumper stickers.

I'm kidding about that - the only bumper stickers I have say "Beirut is for Lovers", "The divorce rate is climbing - ban heterosexual marriage!" and "Homemakers do it all for free". The "I ♥ Texas" bumper sticker in the middle of all of that strikes me as being deliciously ironical...I just may have to do it.

The job stuff went moderately well today, which is kind of disappointing because it doesn't make for nearly as interesting of a story as the bad stuff does. Ah well - I suppose it's worth the trade.

♥ -iously,


Kick ass - I haven't heard "Private Idaho" in ages - excuse me while I go rock my little socks off. ()

mindless waste of time

No real blog entry today, as I'm neck-deep in doin' that employment thang. Instead, have a few Simpsons quotes.

I had these quotes elsewhere but wanted to post them up here again - for my own convenience, really, but if you get something out of it then that's cool. I just like readin' 'em, is all. I have a feeling that when all is said and done today, I may need a laugh.



In your face, space coyote! ()

Homer: A gun isn't a weapon, it's a tool like a butcher knife, or a harpoon, or an, an alligator

Homer: But Marge, that gun had a hold on me! I had this enormous sense of power…like God must feel like when He holds a gun

Homer: Look, Marge, you don't know what it's like. I'm the one out there every day putting his ass on the line. And I'm not out of order! You're out of order. The whole freaking system is out of order. You want the truth? You want the truth?! You can't handle the truth! 'Cause when you reach over and put your hand into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do! Forget it, Marge, it's Chinatown.

[Bart and Milhouse jumping on a bed in dresses when Homer walks in]
Homer: Argh!! What's going on? And I want a non-gay explanation
Milhouse: We're drunk...really drunk
Homer: Oh thank God

[On Jesus wearing sandals]
Homer: Well, maybe if he had had better arch support, they wouldn't have caught 'im.

Marge: Are you licking toads?
Homer: I'm not not licking toads.

Homer: There's no such thing as a soul. It's just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson.

Disco Stu: Disco Stu does not advertise

[Teaching Lisa how to reject boys]
Homer: Let me handle this, Marge, I've heard 'em all.
"I like you as a friend."
"I think we should see other people."
"I don't speak English."
"I'm married to the sea."
"I don't wanna kill you, but I will.
"... Six simple words : I'm not gay, but I'll learn."

Australian guy: That’s not a knife - this is a knife!
Bart: Um, that’s a spoon
Australian guy: Ah, I can see you’ve played knifey-spoony before!

[Homer’s stoned from medicinal marijuana]
Homer: Get out.
Otto: Remember when I dropped my keys, and you thought the phone was ringing?
Homer: *laughs* get out.

Homer: I could walk up to the president and blow smoke in his stupid monkey face and he'd just have to sit there groovin off it

Marge: You know, Fox turned into a hard-core sex channel so gradually, I didn't even notice.

T.V.: Do you know where your children are?
Homer: I told you yesterday -- NO!

Homer (tearfully): I'm a rageoholic! I can't live without rage-o-hol!

Ralph: Oh, boy, sleep! That's where I'm a Viking!

Homer: …and the guy said not to press it, but me and my friend pressed it anyway, then me and my friend went and hid in the giant tire, and my other friend was already there, and…
Marge: Now Homer, you're over stimulated. Let’s get some beer into you and then it’s straight to bed.

Homer: Oooh, I loved your magazine, that one selection on how to increase your word power, that was really, really, really...good.

Homer: Yeah, Moe, that team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked. I've seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. Whoops, gotta go, my damn weiner kids are listening.

Ralph: Hi, I’m Dr. Stupid and I’m going to take out your liver bones. Oops, you’re dead!
Mr. Burns: I never did like that Dr. Stupid

Apu: Please do not offer my god a peanut."

Comic Book Guy: Excuse me! Please do not bang your head on the display case. It contains a rare Mary Worth where she advises a friend to kill herself.

Homer: God bless those pagans.

Homer: Oh, everything's too damned expensive these days. This Bible cost 15 bucks! And talk about a preachy book! Everybody's a sinner! Except this guy.

Homer: America's health care system is second only to Japan... Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, ... well all of Europe. But you can thank your lucky stars we don't live in Paraguay!"

Homer: Remember that postcard Grandpa sent us from Florida of that alligator biting that woman's bottom? That's right, we all thought it was hilarious. But it turns out we were wrong. That alligator was sexually harrassing that woman.

Homer: And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?

Homer: Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.

Homer: If something goes wrong at the plant, blame the guy who can't speak English.

Mayor: Ich bin ein Springfielder.
Homer: Mmmmm. Jelly Donuts.

Fidel Castro: They named a street after me in San Fransisco... [whisper whisper] It's full of WHAT!?!?

Bodyguard coach: As a personal bodyguard, your only loyalty is to your protectee, not anything else, not even Muhammed.
Homer: Not even during Ramadan?

Lisa: Oedipus is the one who killed his father and married his mother
Homer: Argh! Who paid for that wedding?

Bruno, the Australian: This is an outrage! I'm going to take this all the way to the Prime Minister! [Yells out window] Hey Mr. Prime Minister! Andy!

Grandpa [lying on the grass]: The grass is sharper than the grass in my day...

Lisa: Beautiful dinnerware, Mrs. Parkfield.
Mrs. Parkfield: Thank you, Lisa. They were made for the finest family in Britain.
Mr. Parkfield: I don't know how we ended up with them.
Lisa: [thinking] Uh oh. Should I laugh? Was that dry British wit, or subtle self-pity?

Mr. Burns: Family, religion, loyalty... these are the demons you must slay if you want to be successful.

Homer: And what if we picked the wrong religion? Every week, we're just making God madder and madder!

Kang [running for President]: Abortions for all! [crowd boos]
Very well, abortions for none! [crowd boos]
Abortions for some, miniature American flags for the others! [crowd cheers]

Grandma Simpson:[singing] How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?
Homer: Eight!
Lisa: That was a rhetorical question!
Homer: Oh. Then, seven!
Lisa: Do you even know what 'rhetorical' means?
Homer: Do I know what 'rhetorical' means?

Sideshow Bob: Hah! Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?

Homer: My dad never believed in me. I'm not going to make the same mistake; I'm going to be nicer to my son and meaner to my dad.

Carl [To the MENSA members]: Let’s make litter of the literati!
Lenny: That was too clever! You're one of them! [punches him]

Homer: You never know when an old calendar might come in handy. Sure, it's not 1985 right now, but who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Homer: Marge, I agree with you -- in theory. In theory, communism works. In theory.

Marge: And try to be nice to my sisters. It's very hard on me to have you fighting all the time.
Homer: Oh, OK Marge, I'll get along with them. Then, I will hug some snakes...yes! Then, I will hug and kiss some poisonous snakes. Now that's sarcasm.

Ralph: This is the sandbox....I'm not allowed in the deep end. And this is the rock where I met the Leprechaun....he tells me to burn things.

Homer's brain: Use reverse psychology.
Homer: Oh, that sounds too complicated.
Homer's brain: Okay, don't use reverse psychology.
Homer: Okay, I will!

Ralph: When I grow up, I want to be a principal, or a caterpillar.

Lisa: "It is better to remain silent and be thought the fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
Homer's Brain: Uh-oh what did that mean. Better say something or they'll think you're stupid.
Homer: Takes one to know one!
Homer's Brain: Swish!

Grandpa: My Homer is not a communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but he is not a porn star!

Homer: You can't keep blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, and move on.

Leonard Nimoy: Hello, I'm Leonard Nimoy. The following tale of alien encounter is true and by true, I mean false. It’s all lies. But they're entertaining lies, and in the end isn't that the real truth? The answer is no.

Milhouse: Remember when he ate my fish and you said I didn't even have any fish? Then why did I have the bowl, Bart? Why did I have the bowl?!?

Mr. Burns: This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That's democracy for you.

Homer: Maybe, just once, someone will call me "sir" without adding, "You're making a scene."

Homer: Ah, Andy Capp, you wife-beating drunk.

Ralph: And I want a bike and a monkey and a friend for the monkey.

Barney: Hi, my name is Barney, and I'm an alcoholic.
Lisa: Mr. Gumble, this is a Girl Scout meeting.
Barney: Is it, or is it that you girl scouts can't admit that you have a problem?

Homer: Canada? Why should we leave America to visit America junior?

Grandpa: Now my story begins in 19-dickety-two. We had to say 'dickety' cause the Kaiser had stolen our word 'twenty'. I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles.

Homer: Do you want to change your name to Homer Junior? The kids can call you Ho-Ju!

Mr. Burns: I think I know who Homer Simpson is. In ten short years, you've caused seventeen meltdowns. One is too many! You sold weapons-grade plutonium to the Iraqis ... with no markup! And worst of all, you took the Hamburgler's birthday off last Monday AND Wednesday. Which is it? Now my voice is giving out, so I'm just going to poke you for the next hour or so.

Moe: And I was a lot happier before I knew Dame Edna was a man, a lot happier.

Grandpa: She did things your mother would never do, like have sex for money.

Bart: That's right, I could suck up to him. Just like religious people suck up to God.

Chief Wiggum: Ok, you just bought yourself a 317: Pointing out police stupidity. Or is that a 314? No, no, 314 is a, hum, uh, in, no, is that a 315? ... You're in trouble pal!

Flanders: Dear God, thank you for Ziggy comics, little baby ducks, and 'Sweatin' to the Oldies', volumes one, two, and four.

Burns: Simpson, eh? Good man? Intelligent?
Smithers: Actually, sir, he was hired under Project Bootstrap.
Burns: Thank you, President Ford.

Comic Book Guy: Freakin' kids! I do not need this. I have a Master's degree in folklore and mythology.

Scientist 1: People, we're in danger of losing our funding. America isn't interested in space exploration any more.
Scientist 2: Maybe we should finally tell them the big secret - that all the chimps we sent into space came back super-intelligent.
Chimp: No, I don't think we'll be telling them that.

Skinner: I've always admired car owners and I hope to be one myself as soon as I finish paying off mother. She insists I pay her retroactively for the food I ate as a child.

Bart: What happened, Dad? Did you screw up like the Beatles and say you were bigger than Jesus?
Homer: All the time! It was the title of our second album!

Marge: I'm going out now, Homer.
Homer: But what about dessert?
Marge: Oh for God's sake Homer, you can take the lid off your own can of pudding!
(Homer breaks the pull-tab)
Homer: AHHHH!! Now my pudding is trapped forever! So, I can take the lid off my own can of pudding, can I?! Shows what you know!!

Smithers: Sir, there may be never be another time to say... I love you, Sir.
Burns: Oh, hot dog. Thank you for making my last few moments on earth socially awkward.

Lisa: I'll stop buying Malibu Stacey clothing.
Bart: And I'll take up smoking and give that up.
Homer: Good for you, son. Giving up smoking is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. Have a dollar.
Lisa: But he didn't do anything!
Homer: Didn't he, Lisa? Didn't he?

Lisa: Mom, you fuss over us way too much.
Marge: Enjoy it now, because when you're a grownup you'll have to take care of yourself!
Homer: Marge, there's a spider near my car keys.
Marge: You did the right thing by telling me. (to the spider) Shoo! Get out of here!

Homer: Yeah, sure, for you, a baby's all fun and games. For me, it's diaper changes and midnight feedings.
Lisa: Doesn't Mom do that stuff?
Homer: Yeah, but I have to hear about it.

Marge: I don't know... Bart's such a handful, and Maggie needs attention, but all the while, our little Lisa's becoming a young woman.
Homer: Oh, so that's it, this is some kind of underwear thing.

Marge: Homer, is this the way you pictured married life?
Homer: Yeah, pretty much. Except we drove around in a van solving mysteries.

Bart: Me and Santa's Little Helper used to be a team, but he never wants to play any more since his bitch moved in.
Marge: Bart, don't ever say that word again!
Bart: Well, that's what she is. I looked it up.
Marge: Well, I'm going to write the dictionary people and have that checked. Feels like a mistake to me.

Woman: This plant violates every labor law in the book. We found a missing Brazilian soccer team working in your reactor core!
Mr Burns: That plane crashed on my property.

Old Jew Guy in the nursing home: You know, the door was open, Chief Break Everything!

Chief Wiggum: All right, you scrawny beanpoles: becoming a cop is not something that happens overnight. It takes one solid weekend of training to get that badge.
Man: Forget about the badge! When do we get the freakin' guns?!
Chief Wiggum: Hey, I told you, you don't get your gun until you tell me your name.
Man: I've have it up to here with your rules!

PBS Pledge Drive Host: It's easy to see why it's England's most long-running series -- and we're showing all of them, all seven episodes!

Willy: There's nary an animal alive that can outrun a greased Scotsman!

Marge: I think we're going to need a bigger place.
Homer: No, we don't. I've got it all figured out. The baby can have Bart's room and Bart can sleep with us until he's 21.
Marge: Won't that warp him?
Homer: My cousin Frank did it.
Marge: You don't have a cousin Frank.
Homer: He became Francine in '76. Then he joined that cult. I think his name is Mother Shabubu now.

Marge: [on radio] Husband on murderous rampage! Send help! Over.
Chief Wiggum: Whew, thank God that's over. I was worried for a little bit.

[Santa's Little Helper goes off running with George Bush]
Homer: I guess you might say he's barking up the wrong Bush.
Homer's Brain: There it is, Homer. The cleverest thing you'll ever say and nobody heard it.
Homer: D'oh!

Homer: I can't live the button-down life like you. I want it all! The terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles! Sure, I might offend a few of the blue-noses with my cocky stride and musty odors -- oh, I'll never be the darling of the so-called City Fathers who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about What's to be done with this Homer Simpson?

Reverend Lovejoy: This so-called new religion is nothing but a pack of weird rituals and chants, designed to take away the money of fools. Let us say the Lord's Prayer 40 times, but first, let's pass the collection plate!

Marge: Kids can be so cruel!
Bart: We can? Thanks, Mom!

Marge: Lisa, normally I'd support you for standing for what you believe in, but you've been doing that a lot lately.
Bartn: Yeah, you made us march in that gay rights parade.
Homer: And we can't watch Fox 'cause they own those chemical weapons plants in Syria.

Homer: Two hours? Why'd they build this ghost town so far away?
Lisa: Because they discovered gold right over there!
Homer: It's because they're stupid, that's why. That's why everybody does everything.

Chief Wiggum: See ya in court, Simpson. Oh, and bring that evidence with ya; otherwise, I got no case and you'll go scot-free.

Bart:Milhouse, what happened?! You were supposed to be watching the factory!
Milhouse: I was watchin'. First it started to fall over, then it fell over.

Ned Flanders: Sorry to bother you, Reverend Lovejoy, but I'm kind of in a tizzy. My son Todd just told us he didn't want to eat his damn vegetables.
Rev. Lovejoy: Well, you know kids and vegetables. What was it? Asparagus?
Ned Flanders: No, no, Reverend. The point is, he said a bad word!
Rev. Lovejoy: Oh, oh, right, yeah. Well, kids usually pick these things up from someplace. Find out who's doing it and... direct them to the Bible.
Ned Flanders: Where in the Bible?
Rev. Lovejoy: Uh... page 900.
[quickly hangs up]

Marge: There's no shame in being a pariah.