Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Allow me to use all caps to indicate yelling.


Do I have no readers?

What happened to you guys?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday: Home Edition...

This week I have the honor of guest blogging over at Tearing Up Houses.  The gracious and lovely Kelly thought so much of Top 5 Tuesday that she suggested I share it with her readers.  So, upon her suggestion--a good one, I might add--this week I'm featuring the top 5 places I'd love to live.  It seems an appropriate subject to piggyback off of last week's dreams of future jobs.  I mean, what good is being a backup-dancing runway model who teaches college lit and blogs on the side if you have to do it in a location you hate?  Right?

So, without further prattle on my part, I give you this week's Top 5 Tuesday:  Home Edition!

5)  London

This one used to be at the top of my list, but a lot has changed since high school--finding out it's gloomy there as a rule sort of put a damper on plans for Oxford.  Being solar powered, I need my sunshine.  The thought of waking up to fog-coated streets and buildings older than my entire native country is romantic.  And having the world's largest Ferris wheel can't hurt!  Don't even get me started on the accents!  I could listen to a native Londoner read from the phone book and I'd be content, no matter the climate. 

4)  Toronto

There's something charming about Canada.  I haven't quite put my finger on what it is, but it's sort of akin to that kid in the neighborhood who you know is just different enough from you that you'd get along great.  Maybe he wears bright yellow velcro shoes and smells a little like a pine tree every day, but he's charming!  But Canada is a big country, and picking a place within it to call home is almost as difficult as picking a place in the U.S., but my money is on Toronto.  They've got great nightlife, culture, that CN tower dealy, and, like the rest of the nation, healthcare.  That's a huge draw for someone without health insurance. *points at self*  Plus, I hear it's a really diverse city that's friendly towards the gay population.  I'm always okay with that.

3)  Chicago

But Justin, you might say, don't you already LIVE in Chicago?  Well, sort of.  See, although we visit fairly often, we're still about 50 miles away.  Honestly, I live in a cornfield next to a Wal Mart.  It's a good hour to where we like to be.  If I could live in the city, though, I'd be there in a flash.  They've got Wrigley Field, Comiskey (don't get me started), Boystown, the Magnificent Mile, and the best pizza you've ever had!  And that's not even mentioning the museums and parks and great places to people watch--OH!  And Nookie's Tree, my personal favorite restaurant.  I could go on and on!  And here you sit wondering what two places I could possibly love more than Chicago!

2)  San Diego

If you'd really like to know how I feel about San Diego, start by clicking [here].  I just got back from spending two weeks in this place in July.  Anyone who regularly reads my blog is probably going, "Oh, gawd!  Not this again!"  Well, this again.  I would move here in a heartbeat, because San Diego is the most beautiful place I've ever been.  The people are friendly; the weather is perfect; the bay is gorgeous; the ocean is close enough to drive to; and the city is just chock full of things to do.  Want food?  Little Italy.  Want a great view?  Anywhere--but the best view is from the top of the Hyatt.  Want nightlife?  Gaslamp District.  Ghosts?  Old Town.  Adventure?  How about a harbor tour?  And palm trees, palm trees, palm trees.  It's so perfect there, even the bums smile.  They've got great public transportation and even better destinations!  I can't say with enough emphasis how much I would recommend living here!  It's my favorite place I've ever been.

"But Justin, there's one more on your list," you say.  "How can that be your favorite if there's something else at number one?"  Well...

1)  Anywhere with the boy

Crappy apartment in the Bronx?  Fine.  High rise in Montreal?  Okay.  Flat in China?  Bring it on.  As long as Robb is there with me, any place feels like home.  It's a funny thing, finding someone who feels like home.  We always tell each other before a big move that we can deal with anything and make any place feel like home as long as we're together.  I know, it's sappy.  I know, you're probably going to send me a carpet cleaning bill from barfing up breakfast.  But it's true!  I would live in Alaska for him if that's where he wanted to go.  And I know he'd do the same for me!  Anywhere on earth is home, as long as I'm with the boy.

And there you have it.  My Top 5 Tuesday list of the places I'd most like to live.  Join us next week when who knows what will happen!  Top 5 flavors of pancakes?  Maybe.  Top 5 country songs to play backwards?  Who knows?  As always, I'm happy to take suggestions for list ideas.  Thanks for reading, and have a lovely week!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Scary Internet Video Friday...

This weekend I'm going apple picking with my friend Sabrina.  I'm excited!  Hooray for honeycrisps!  Our yearly apple picking adventure always gets me ready for fall.  And fall makes me think about Halloween coming up!

When that happens, I start watching all these stupid creepy videos online...stuff you know is probably fake but creeps you out just the same.   This video is the scariest thing I've EVER seen.  No lie.  No exaggeration.  Freaks me right the hell out!

Eek.  I'm having nightmares.  Don't you love sharing?

I'm off to work all day...and then I'm off all weekend!  Hooray for that!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

[Expletive Deleted] x 3...

A funny thing happened to me at work yesterday.

We had a substitute manager because one is out on sick leave and the other had meetings all day. In walks Troy. Cute, indie-rock-looking, aviators-and-skinny-tie-wearing Troy. He was a breath of fresh air, let me tell you. So, we shot the breeze, found out his girlfriend is getting her premed in the Cayman Islands, found out he kind of hates his job, too, and basically just wasted the day. It was glorious.

But every glorious day has its dark spot.

This customer came in at about 10:30 AM. Tall, tattooed, Hispanic (not that that really matters except that he had a thick accent and I found it difficult to understand him). He had a credit card payment slip and a blank check from a relative, his dad, I think. He asked, "If he wants to make this check out for more than the payment amount and get cash back, can he do it?" I said he could, and then he starts to make the check out himself. I told him that I couldn't give him the money. His dad would have to be present. So he gave me this look that said, "I'm gonna gut you," and he left, cursing under his breath.

That was odd.

He comes back in. He mumbles something at me and I ask him to repeat himself. He says it louder and I still don't understand it. I ask him to repeat himself and he shouts each word at me. He wanted to know if his dad called us and told us it was okay, could I do it? I told him no. His dad would have to be present. So he flips out, goes, "Maaan, fuck you! Fuck this place. That's fucking stooopid." I said, "Excuse me! You don't need to be using that kind of language in here." And he said, "Fuck you." So I told him to leave. He says, "What are you gonna do?" I told him I'd call the cops. And then he called me "fucking pussy bitch" and left.

Well, Debbie, our Customer Service Leader, goes charging after him and follows him outside. She apparently told him never to come back. He said, "fuck you" to her, and she warned him not to use that language. He said it again and she told him that his mother should have beaten the shit out of him when he was little.

This is why she's my hero! So now if we see him again, no one will wait on him and we'll call the cops. And I'll be the first in line to be the "fucking pussy bitch" who picks up the phone.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I wish I were here, instead of off to work all day.  I had a dream that I could see downtown Chicago from my street.  It was glorious. 


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday: Jobs Edition...

If you read my blog you know I hate my job.  If you hadn't realized it yet, let me say it explicitly.  I hate my job.  So when lisguitarist suggested I do a Top 5 Tuesday blog about jobs, I jumped at the opportunity!

Are you making sandwiches for ungrateful jerks?  Spending all day dealing with horrible customers?  Answering the phone with your Lee Press-on smile?  Serving food?  This blog's for you!  After careful consideration and much soul searching, I present to everyone my list of The Top 5 Jobs I'd Love To Try.

5)  Professional Blogger

If I could make my money doing exactly what I'm doing every day around here, I'd quit my crappy job in a heartbeat!  Leave banking for blogging?  Sure!  What's to lose?  I'd have no customers, no rules, and no one to answer to except my fans (and those crazy people who seem to hate me for no reason).  I can't see any downside.

4)  Runway Model

The photo says it all.  Who wouldn't want to be that guy?  Personal trainer?  Sure!  Wearing ridiculous clothes?  Why not!  Having my photo taken and plastered all over magazines and the Internet?  It's about time!  I'd get paid to be pretty and walk.  I mean, it's not much for personal worth aside from whatever you'd feel from being beautiful, but you get paid to walk twenty feet and turn around.  I don't even have to smile!  Sounds like the perfect job, honestly.

3)  College Literature Professor

This one is probably the one I'm most serious about.  It's been something I've wanted to do since college lit (more years ago than I care to admit).  There's nothing closer to being a professional student than this.  It would entail more school.  Fine by me!  I would have to talk in front of a group.  I could get used to that, especially if it were something I was passionate about.  And, to top it all off, I'd get to wear a sweet sports jacket to work every day!  Getting paid to read?  To teach others to love and appreciate what you love?  Jackpot!  I might have to look into grad schools...

2)  Backup Dancer

Heck yes.  Only because I'd love to bust out some moves and people point for different reasons than they normally do.  Really, I just wish I could dance, and this is most definitely an extension of that desire.  Bright lights and pumping music would be my new home, my blood, and my heartbeat.  Yes please!

1)  Editor at Hardest Level

Okay, okay.  I'll admit this one is sort of a plug.  But.  This is something that could happen.  I have a phone call today to talk with Eugenia about what an internship with Xanga's very own Hardest Level would entail.  Reading and writing about video games?  Count me in without one ounce of hesitation!  Editing?  Yes, please!  And perhaps even boosting readership and building relationships with more people around the Xangaverse?  That's, like, a dream come true! 

So there you have it: a frightening look into what I'd love to do.  Could I ever be all these things?  Perhaps.  Although I'd have to learn to sleepwalk like a model and blog at the same time...this could prove problematic.  Not to mention the trauma from teh people that would have to see me both disrobe AND dance.  Eek! 

What about your top five?

Until next time, friends!  Remember, submissions for Top 5 Tuesday blogs are always welcome.  Who knows, you could see your own idea on this very spot next week! 



So, remember when I mentioned thatI was featured on Hardest Level for my Top 5 Tuesday post about the top 5 computer games you'd never played?

Well, I get this message the other day after talking to one of the editors over at Hardest Level. It is one of the heads over at Xanga asking if I'd like to be an editor for Hardest Level.


Am I being punked? Apparently I'm not, because I have a phone call interview sort of thing this afternoon to find out more about what would be expected of me.

It's a non-paying internship, but it's invaluable experience for a guy who would love to be an editor and loves video games. So...we shall see.

And for those of you wondering where Top 5 Tuesday is today, it's running a little late and will be in sometime this afternoon.


Saturday, September 19, 2009


Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Celebrate accordingly.

And by that, I mean...

Ahoy! Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Make sure ye polish yer "yarr"s and hoist yer jack-o-bones fer all t'see.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Poem for a Friend...

Domestic Dispute

I recognize this--
this willful ignorance
deaf to counsel
blind to future
dumb for lack of support.
We don't keep our disapproval secret,
instead telling you with words
with absence
that we think you are marrying the wrong man.
And you reply with that which you think is Truth:
you Love him.
We just resolve to be there when he's gone
swallowing told-you-so's
like the lies you told about bruises past.



Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Cookie Told Me So...

I cleaned out my wallet the other day, and in doing so, I realized two things:  I really need to clean out my wallet more often, and I eat a LOT of Chinese food.

You may wonder what the two have in common.  Well, when I gt my fortune cookie, I break it open, eat one half, read my fortune, and then eat the other half.  And then I stick that little slip of paper in my wallet, for some reason.  I'm a packrat, and I always have been.

So it was a little shocking when I cleaned out all the pockets and nooks and found about fifty fortunes.  I sifted through, separating the goats from the lambs and burning off the chaff...or whatever mixed Bible metaphor you want to use...and I arrived at the top ten fortunes in my wallet...complete with runners up and FML fortunes.

And remember, the Chinese apparently spend a lot of time in bed, so don't forget to add "in bed" to the end of them.  Or something...

10.  A pleasant surprise is in store for you.
9.  May you have great luck.
8.  A Partnership shall prove successful for you.
7.  Love is hard work, but always worth it.
6.  Your talents will prove to be especially useful this week.
5.  You will be involved in a social activity.
4.  Now is a good time for a bit of solitude.
3.  Woe to him that is alone when he fails, for he has not another to help him up.
2.  If you want something, you must earn it.
1.  You can't ride in all directions at one time.

Some of those are especially hilarious with the addition.  Favorites?

Runners up:
You have an active mind and a keen imagination.
There is excitement to be found wherever you go.
You usually have good relationships with others and are considerate and cooperative.
Love's a journey, not a destination.
You will be fortunate in the opportunities presented to you.
Your sense of humor is enjoyed by all. bed.

And then there were a few that were truly FML moments.

Work was getting really stressful, and things were changing.  I was resisting those changes because they were stupid and pointless.  And then I got this fortune:  "Develop some flexibility in your point of view."

Seriously?  The cookie is going to tell me how to live my life...fine. 

So I made a change and decided to let everything just slide off my not care enough to get mad about stupid work crap.  Specifically, I just decided I'd be a robot, doing what I was told and nothing extra until I found something better.  And then I get this:  "Avoid agreeing with people merely to keep the peace."

Fuck. My.  Life.

Stupid cookie...but they tried to remedy that blow with this one:  "You will become an accomplished writer."  Well, that's something then, isn't it?

Remember, the cookie may not always be right, but it's always sweet. bed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Damn My Memory...

I was going to cross-post my Top 5 Tuesday post this morning and I forgot. I told myself I'd do it when I went home for lunch. I forgot. So...I'm not holding out much hope that I'll remember to do it when I get home. It might be a Top 5 Wednesday post...

For those of you who wonder, it's a Top 5 post about my best blog posts from my other blog. Hooray for #999! Tomorrow is #1000.

If you want to congratulate me, try clicking [here].

So there. I'll be back shortly...


Monday, September 14, 2009

Waiting Is the Hardest Part...

I kept a lid on it the other day and didn't boil over, so that's nice. No catastrophe to speak of, except that I'm still employed by the bank. And that really is a blessing, honestly, despite the high levels of job-related hatred on the meters.

The reason you haven't seen much of me is that I usually cross-post between my other blog and this one, but theo ther blog is nearing the 1000 posts mark, and most of the posts have pertained to that. And since I have barely been here for over 100 posts, it would be silly to talk about the 1000th. Thus, my silence.

So I apologize for that.

In the next week or so, I hope to do a post about fortune cookies. I cleaned out my wallet and found about fifty of them, so I think I'll do a "best of" thing. Anywho...that's the news from Lake Woebegon.

I now return you to your regular lives...


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Boiling Point...

I'm there. Catastrophe to follow...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 People With Whom I'd Love To Share an Awkward Elevator Ride...

It's Top 5 Tuesday again, folks!  This week: elevators, celebrities, awkward tension!  Yes, yes, yes.  Have you ever been on an elevator with someone you know, perhaps someone you absolutely adore, but you're not quite sure you know that they'd remember you?  Or maybe you're sure they have no idea who you are.  Either way, you want to badly to strike up a conversation, to be clever and witty and most of all charming, but you know you'll fall flat on your face if you open your mouth?

This week's dedicated to you!

I bring you my list of the Top 5 People With Whom I'd Love to Share an Awkward Elevator Ride!

5)  Jason Statham

This actor is on my list.  You know, my LIST.  The "you can have a freebie with this one an not get in trouble with the husband" list.  So obviously I'd want to share an awkward elevator ride with him.  What movie would I tell him I loved him in?  The Italian Job?  That's the one I fell in love with his accent in.  The Transporter?  Just plain hot.  Or would I just stand there next to him in the back staring as he talked to someone on the phone, listening and trying to discreetly take his photo...or his shirt off...whichever.

4)  Whoopi Goldberg

Now this is one of those I'd just like to be intelligent with.  I want to talk to her, to make her laugh.  I love her laugh!  I'd probably stand there next to her.  She'd turn to glance at me and nod a little, sharing the awkward moment where she wondered if I was going to talk to her while I wonder the same thing.  And then as the doors opened and she walked off I'd just go, "I love you, Whoopi!"  and she'd wave a hand in the air as she walked away to say, "I know."

3)  The Queen of England

I mean, really...who wouldn't want to take a ride on an elevator with her?  She would stand there, the picture of poise and grace, and I wouldn't be able to help but blow a big fart as silently or as loudly as I could and watch her try to retain her poise as she smells day old White Castle burgers wafting gently about the small space.  How could you not want to watch her sniff and wrinkle her nose?!  Trust me...those things have the power to destroy anyone's perfect veneer.

2)  Stomp

You know who I'm talking about!  (And if you don't...YouTube them right now.)  The men and women of stomp with their brooms and trash can lids would make AWESOME elevator partners!  They clatter almost silently on the walls and floor, building to a crescendo and then blasting off into a routine that completely surrounds you and makes it seem like the elevator might come crashing down at any moment with the noise and excitement, and then the doors open and everyone walkes off silently like nothing ever happened. 

1)  Adam Levine

The lead singer of Maroon 5 is also on my LIST.  This is one of those times I'd be peeing myself in the elevator trying not to SQUEEEEE so loudly that he thinks I'm some stupid fangirl.  But really...I'm a stupid fangirl.  Their music, I dig.  Their lead singer, though...he's just sex on legs.  Honestly, I don't think I'd be able to keep my hands to myself.  Whoops!  I slipped and hit the stop button.  Whoops!  I fell over.  Whoops!  I have a restraining order.  He's number one on my LIST and the number one person I'd love to share an awkward elevator ride with.

There yo have it, folks!  Another week down and another list exposed--perhaps too literally this time...But anywho, I'm sure I'll be back next week with another list, and remember, I'm always taking suggestions for ideas you'd love to see on Top 5 Tuesday!  Keep them coming.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Internet Famous...

Hey guys!  I was trying to figure out what to post today, when I came across a message in my inbox from Hardest Level.

Apparently they were going to use my Top 5 Tuesday post from this week on their blog!  Sweet!

Check it out!

I'm thrilled.  It totally made my day!  My week!  And hey, people are READING IT!  That's the amazing part.

In other news...does anyone know how to muzzle a cat?  He's loud.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


There is this woman who goes to my church on Wednesday nights, and I have a problem with her. She's also a customer at the bank. Yesterday she came through the drive and Debbie, a woman I work with, said, "Oh man, she is nasty!" Meaning she is rude and mean. And then she says, "AND she's a pastor!"

Now, I knew she was a pastor (not of our church). That was no surprise, but I didn't think it was common knowledge. See, when someone you know is a bitch AND a pastor, it's hard to take them seriously.

At church she is smiley and sweet and nice. In our drive thru, though, she's just absolutely rude and mean and horrid to deal with. And it makes me wonder if she knows I know her from church, and if she'd be so rude if she knew. If she would, then she's just a shady pastor and a bad representative of Christ's love in the world.

I just feel like it needs to be brought to someone's attention. Because frankly, I know church people can be assholes. So can everyone else! But when people who you KNOW don't like church people notice that they're assholes, it makes me upset. It's like, "Way to be another reason that people don't go to church."

So I considered writing a letter to the church where she's a student pastor. Just sort of a "Hey, to whom it may concern, perhaps you should remind such-and-such that she is a representative of your church AND of Christ's love when she's out in the real world, and maybe she shouldn't be so rude."

Do you think that's out of line?


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another One...

I was riding my bike up towards the apartment and I saw a girl who looked very familiar. I drew a blank. Then I wrote this poem.


That strike on the slab of memory,
four more compressions even though I know
it won't come back to me--
a breath.
What the hell was her name?!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday: Games Edition...

Alright, this installment of Top 5 Tuesday comes straight from the roaring 90s!  When all of the rest of you were out getting girlfriends or boyfriends and growing up, I was playing these Top 5 Computer Games You've Never Played.

5)  Shadows of Darkness

There was nothing better than the glory days of Sierra's point-and-click adventures (except, of course, our other 4 entries), and this was no exception.  The spooky tone of this game hid some really random humor and may have scared off some younger players.  And while the combat was really wonky, exploring and solving puzzles in this quirky, colorful game was truly satisfying.  I never made it all the way through this one, but if I could find a copy that would run on my PC, I'd give it another shot.

4)  The Incredible Machine

This was another Sierra gem (did anyone else MAKE games back then?) that got too little fanfare.  You were given a goal in each stage, along with a pile of parts you had to assemble to reach that goal, whether that be popping three balloons or shooting a basketball into a hoop.  In the stage from this screen shot, I once successfully stacked two bowling balls on top of each other.  Real physics be damned!  I never did find a full version of this game, but the eight levels from the demo really tickled my brain.

3)  Sim Tower

I know.  I know.  Some of you are crying "LAME!" right now.  But really, once you got past the fact that this game wasn't shiny or easy to play, it was a pretty cool game.  I spent hours trying to place condos in order to garner more rent so I could afford to put in more elevators for my ever-annoyed tenants.  And who could ever forget that roach symbol when hotel rooms got dirty?  They spread like...well...roaches.  It may not have been the crown jewel of the Maxis line up (oh, THAT'S who was making games besides Sierra!), but it was a really reat game that no one played.

2)  Marble Drop

I had one of these sets when I was little, and every time I go home for a holiday, I play with it.  How cool was it, then, when I found this game in a collection of other games I bought on a whim.  It was the marble set you always dreamed of, and you never had to clean it up!  At times I wished I could pick it up, because it was sometimes so frustrating I wanted to hurl it across the room.  But even then, it was pretty fricking phenomenal.  Good learning curve and great challenges nabbed the number two spot on my list!

And now for the number one computer game you've never played:

1)  Baldies

Whoever came up with the idea of pitting different colors of little bald men against each other with traps such as skunks and land mines (my personal favorite combination) needs both detox AND a round of applause!  You took control (literally, with a giant hand) of a tribe of red-garbed bald men, assigning them jobs like builder, military, scientist, etc, and worked to rid the map of whatever other colors were there.  Once your builders had completed a house, you piled your Baldies inside of it and assigned them to rooms (mating by jumping on the bed, researching weapons or new houses and castles, etc.), and then you prayed you'd develop things faster than your enemy so he wouldn't kill all your men.  And with a little help from the F8 key, you spawned a million men and conquered!  It was sick, it was twisted, and you could drop a rabbit in a bear trap.  It was everything I wanted when I was a teenager!  That's why it ends up at number one on my list of the Top 5 Computer Games You've Never Played.

I certainly hope you enjoyed this installment.  And please, if you played it, let me know!  I hate being alone in my bliss!