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Merry Jingly

There's only so much Christmas music one can listen to before it all sounds the same unless it's distinct like Dominic the Donkey or Grandma Got Run-Over By A Reindeer. So I switch to Youtube during work today, thinking I'll play some AMVs to mix up the music for awhile but instead I type in Lie To Me.

I've been a little bit obsessed with this show since Steve called me down in Virginia two weeks ago to tell me he's been Netflixing a new show. I roll my eyes and sigh into the phone; we already have enough trouble keeping up with the ones we DVR so why bring a new one into the mix? He tells me he's watched like 6 episodes in a row and swears to me I'll love it. "What is it?" I ask skeptically. "It's called Lie To Me." "Oh the one with Tim Roth?" Yep. That's the one. And now Mr. Orange is all over my Netflix queue because I can't get enough of him.

Maybe it's his mannerisms for Dr. Cal Lightman but he's fantastic regardless. His flamboyant hand gestures and the way he just lounges as he looks at you with the pug head tilt makes me laugh. Though honestly, if a 5'7" Englishman got all up in my personal space with his nose mere centimeters from mine, I'd probably show signs of lying too.

Naturally I'm shipping Callian (Cal and Gillian's relationship for those who don't speak geek) and I have found a bunch of music videos dedicated to them on the Yube. I now have a new list of songs to download (legally of course...head tilt) including a strange and silly new Christmas song.

I didn’t know Lady Gaga cashed in on Christmas but I love it anyway! Enjoy!

Riddle Me This

Sometimes Bossdad leaves The Argyle Sweater day calendar entries taped to my computer screen which is always a welcomed surprise (one of the few types of surprises I actually like). He really knows how to find the right joke that will appeal to my humor and then shares it with me. After I laugh I always flip it over because there is either a silly known fact or puzzle on the back of it, a little added bonus of fun. Today it is a riddle. I'm not very good at them since obviously my answer to the riddle in question is inappropriate:

He who has it doesn't tell it. He who takes it doesn't know it. He who knows it doesn't want it. What is it?

Why does "herpes" come to mind first?

Real answer hereCollapse )
For years I have this nagging suspicion, this weird feeling that something is definitely wrong with me. No matter what I do to make my appearance more appealing, no one ever turns their heads to look at me, especially men. I'm not even sure how I won the affections of previous boyfriends but when I stop to think about it things fall magically into place: Weisman resigns himself to dating me after months of me letting him know during English class that I want him. EJ takes a liking to me but then again, the majority of the time we spend together I am in full hockey equipment, my face hidden behind a cage to make talking to me more bearable. Even Steve falls in love with me via AOL Instant Messenger when we spend three nights talking deeply over door openings and dings into the wee hours of the morning.

The dawning realization that I'm one of those girls, the ones that have the "good personality" rather than the one that can turn heads with a flirty glance kinda sucks. It really does. But what really sucks about being the "good personality" girl is that when people don't know you, they tend to ignore you.

I can handle being ignored by strangers (since it happens once I grow out of cutesy in early middle school and hit puberty for four years) but what I can't handle is being treated as if I'm invisible.

I am patiently awaiting my turn in Jamba Juice because I've got a hankering for some oatmeal with the brown sugar crumble this morning; I've been thinking about it since hitting the Mineola station. Right before the customer in front of me is about to pay for their smoothie, in walks Yuppie Douchebag Man. He barely spares me a glance as he asks, "did you order yet?" I shake my head no and answer, "no, I haven't ordered yet." He then walks past me (as if I didn’t just answer him) to the cashier and orders.

I stand there, puzzled, staring at his annoying business-backpack-in-lieu-of-briefcase clad back and wonder just what is it about me that people feel the need to treat me like dirt? I think I'm dressed very nicely this morning, according to the bottle of perfume I spritzed on myself I smell like Jessica Simpson so really, what's so unappealing about me?

I'm starting to get that paranoid feeling that I see something entirely different in the mirror and also when I look at pictures of myself. I'm starting to think I'm stuck in Shallow Hal and really I'm some gigantic ugly woman that sees the beauty from the inside on the outside. Though the unibrow I’m sporting is all me.

You know what this calls for today?

Hey Yuppie Douchebag Man!...YOU'VE GOT BALLS! (though they must be really tiny if cutting a woman in line makes you feel better about your manhood)


Maeve and Kim love Glee. They suggest I watch the third episode one night after Idol and I persuade Steve to tape it for me. We make it through about five minutes before he throws a look in my direction that tells me I need to shut it off and put ESPN back on pronto.

I tell them I tried but they don't think I tried hard enough so when Mel, Maeve, and I travel down to Virginia for the BGE Weekend (Busch Gardens Extravaganza), they set us up to watch the first few episodes of season one. I'm very receptive to the idea because I heard their version of "Somebody To Love" and thought it was nicely done so I figured, what the heck? Why not give it a chance?

I'm very glad I did because they introduced me to Jazmine Sullivan's "Bust Your Windows" which is like the R&B's answer to Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats". I really enjoy this tune a lot but when Lauren J. posts a different version of "Bust Your Windows" on Facebook, I can't listen to it without changing the words.

You HAVE to watch this. You HAVE to. This kid not only has a good voice but he's damn funny. His lyrics are hilarious and his facial expressions kill me. Even the two guys in the background who pass by crack me up. I sincerely hope he makes more of these videos because he's really talented.

Show him some love:

I'm allergic to feathers.

I'm not entirely sure but I think I was just goosed coming out of the 86th Street Station.

There's this move in Naruto that is called Konoha Secret Finger jutsu: 1000 Years of Death. It's been my preferred attack as of late because it not only accomplishes our daily imaginary weapons game , it also humiliates the person you do it to. The last time I get Steve with it I am so stealthy, sneaking out of the loft while he is busy bending over, engrossed in a task with the wires by the TV. Caught completely unawares, he not only jumps out of his skin, he almost sends me through the wall for violating him in such a way until he sees the goofy grin plastered on my face for the attack is quite humorous.

Instead of explaining it in gruesome detail (which once you see the nature of it you will understand that I actually can explain it in gruesomely vivid detail that will haunt you forever) here is the attack itself in cartoon form:

(You should really pause the video on Naruto's face as he shoots into the air. 'Tis funny.)

So being that I'm a fan of this attack I am not pleased when I think that some stranger has just performed the jutsu on me as I exit the subway. As I feel a strange sensation in my butt region I immediately tense and shoot around to discover no one behind me. I start to think it's my underwear playing a trick on me as I trudge up the stairs but when I turn I notice a tall lanky man scooting over to the other side of the stairwell. I always swore to myself that if anyone touched me inappropriately in the subway or on the street I would not hesitate to hit them repeatedly over and over with my fists/my manbag/my water bottle/someone's toy dog they were walking/with anything really but the thought never occurred to me that I might not catch the culprit that snuck a grab or poke at me.

As I narrow my eyes at this guy I think about how fast I turned around with my ninja-in-training reflexes yet still did not catch him in the act. For a fleeting moment I consider kicking him down the stairs anyway on the off chance that yes, he did just try to poke me in my butt Kakashi style. But as quickly as this thought crosses my mind so does the one that if he didn't poke me in my tush then it really isn't the right action to take, kicking someone down the stairs because they might have groped me. It's not a very nice thing to do, especially at 8 in the morning.

The whole way to the Surge I'm torn between feeling violated and not feeling violated. It's a very confusing predicament to be in. The only way I solve me being this uncomfortable is to stuff my face with a toasty corn muffin and write a BLOG and surprisingly…

I feel much, much better.


Thanks Rob!

You guys are in luck! Steve has brought me into present times (kicking and screaming though) by gifting me an iPod touch so now I have no excuse not to check my email more frequently. How great is this for you? I'll actually be a tad more social! And all those things you sent me over the years that are still in my AOL inbox will finally be read! Wu-hoo!

First up is an email sent pretty recently from Rob. It's a nice way to start out a gloomy Saturday, with a laugh. Some silly lad decided to add his own voice to John Williams’ Jurassic Park score and it works and it's hilarious.

The only warning I have besides peeing yourself is that the language is foul so usher the kids and pets out of the room before hitting play.

An Early Birthday Gift

I don't remember when exactly I become curious about the origins of my name but one day as a youngling, I brooch the subject with my parents. If you haven't noticed by now my siblings and I share the same initials, KJR and CJR. In keeping with the girls being "K", my dad lets me in on the secret that he wanted to name me Krista but mom didn't go for that. I then ask, "Well, if you had named me Krista what would you have named Chris?" Neither of them has an answer for that but mom tells me that Chris wasn't exactly planned and that the fact he was due so close to Christmas she decided to name him after Christ. Not bad being named after our Savior.

I then ask mom something along the lines of, "why Kathryn?" because no one really ever refers to me in my full birth name. She proudly tells me I'm named after Katharine Hepburn (but opts for the "y" spelling instead). Moma thinks Hepburn is a strong female that plays by her own rules, that had the guts to wear a pant suit in public when women during that time were expected to be gussied up. Interesting how I'm very similar to my mom's take on the actress but instead of pant suits I accompany Moma to Waldbaums donning plaid pajamas pants, a talking tee shirt, and Converse. Why just yesterday I walk around 86th street in my light blue Wii pj bottoms with the excuse of, well, I am going to pilates later...

Then I ask her, "well why Katie as a nickname?"

Mom beams at me and says, "We named you after a McDonald's commercial."

Funny how Pher gets named after Jesus and I the McNugget.

She goes on to tell me that the little girl in the commercial is beyond adorable with blonde hair, standing at the edge of the pool not wanting to jump in. She said the little girl is so cute with her apprehension to the water and then finally jumps in with a promise of going to McDonald's. Interesting how I'm a total water rat my entire childhood and would jump off pretty much anything if someone promises me McDonald's.

It feels like my mom had some crazy intuition going on when I was a fetus.

As I'm on the phone with her tonight giggling over lyrics to songs and thanking her for my birthday cards, I decide to check Youtube in the hopes of finding the commercial to actually see the little girl that stole my mom's heart which happens to be Heather O'Rouke from the Poltergiest movies.

I have to say, it is WAY cool to actually see how I came to be Katie:

And knowing is half the battle.

Shannon leaves me a comment on Facebook about the music video BLOG and gets me reminiscing about the past. She says she never can get through We Didn't Start The Fire without messing up a lyric. Being the HUGE Billy fan that I am, I pride myself on knowing all the lyrics to all the songs and memorizing the order of all his songs on each of his albums but there are many many times I screw up a lyric…or mishear them.

There is a part in Getting Closer that for the life of me cannot figure out what it is he's saying. I refuse to look it up on the internet and each time it comes on my iPod I point at the speaker and demand Steve to tell me what he's saying. There is a part in Movin' Out that EJ swears he's saying something derogatory and we argue about it one day in the middle of the Louisville Outback parking lot that there is no way Billy is dropping a racial slur into a lyric. But We Didn't Start The Fire can definitely leave you in the dust on parts and lead you to fudge a little like when Vik, Nicoletti, and I insert Ru Paul for Dien Bien Phu Falls during a karaoke session.

As a kid, I love the Storm Front album so much that I play it in the den (back when our walls are still wood paneling) and dance around the room with kick ball changes and pas de bourrées. And when "The Fire" song comes on I try my best to sing-a-long.

And when it comes time to name my G.I. Joes that mom buys for me to play with my brothers, I go to good ole Billy to come up with some awesome names for them.

Charlie always uses Hardball which for some reason he calls Carl Weathers. One day Carl falls apart because of too much use and we learn that G.I. Joes are connected together by a simple rubber band. Mom goes back to Toys R Us and buys Charlie the same guy again and we keep the pieces of the old Carl just in case we need body parts strewn about after an "explosion". Charlie is also quite partial to Snake Eyes too but Carl is always his G.I. Joe of choice:

Pher uses Muskrat and after going on Yo Joe! I learn it is Version 2 that he plays with:

Then there are a set of twins which aren't a set of twins but I like to believe they are (it just so happens mom bought two of the same guy). I enjoy playing with both Deejays and actually know how to tell them apart. I decide to name the first one Watergade:

And the second one Cooljet:

So to answer your question Shannon, I can never get through We Didn't Start The Fire without singing it wrong. And certainly not without singing WaterGADE instead of Watergate and Cooljet instead of Khrushchev.

Thanks AB Rob!

Annie's Brother, Rob, cracks me up. His Twitter and Facebook status updates are very entertaining so it is common knowledge amongst his peeps that if you click on a posted link you are in for a treat.

Oh and the treat I get a week ago? Yeah, it haunts me in my dreams, man. It haunts me on the bus and at my desk and on my runs. Just when I think the disturbing melody is free from my mind the silence sets in again and very quietly the song comes from the back of my mind, sneaking slowly up into the forefront making it impossible to escape. And then you see the guy who is singing this to you. His bulging wide eyes and not-moving mouth and plastic hair and what the hell is that crap in the background? A wrought iron gate? What? What eez it?! Why is this guy following me?!

And then I click on the link again because it just seems like the most logical thing to do in this situation.

For a good time click here.

The hills are alive...

After watching the very lame video to Holiday Road that Rob posted on Facebook I got to thinkin'...what do I consider a good music video? Now my taste in, well, anything is pretty bad (except husbands, I think I did an a-okay job there) so I'm sure my criteria for a good vid may slightly differ from your opinion. So I thought to myself, how about I create a meme about your top five favorite music videos of all time? But here's the twist! You have to post all five from YouTube so we all can watch and discuss how way off base I am in choosing my five.

Personally, I think this is a fabulous idea and I am very glad I came up with it. At the end of this entry I will tag five (un)lucky BLOGgers (basically the only people on my BLOG roll) and then you tag and so on and so on.

My number five spot goes to:

Smells Like Nirvana by Weird Al Yankovic

I know what you're thinking already and I beg you not to click that small "X" up in the right hand corner. Hear me out, yo! First of all, Kurt Cobain himself called Yankovic "a musical genius" and I couldn't agree more. His lyrics flow so easily, I mean come on, White & Nerdy is so fast I think he does it better than Chamillianaire. Second, I've been a huge fan since UHF because that movie was one of the three we always made mom rent from the video store when we were kids (the other two were Willy Wonka and The Toy). The guy is hilarious; this video parodies Nirvana's video so well that he even gets some of the same actors for it! I remember mom bought me the single of this and I would make my friends watch me act it out in my room. I also kept a blow-up guitar just for the sole purpose of bending it like he does in the song. And yes, I also had a set of marbles handy (it's a wonder I never swallowed any).

Number Four:

Jeremy by Pearl Jam

Okay, so we all never really know what Eddie Vedder is saying but for some reason in this video we do and the message it has is very deep. It's a sensitive issue in this generation because kids are exposed to so much more than our parents were, especially now that we have grotesque sites beamed right into your child's bedroom without you even knowing. Kids these days are seriously out of control and are crying out but sometimes it's just too damn late once we all notice. The images in this video have embedded themselves into my head, those shocked and scared expressions of the students forever locked away in my brain. I think Pearl Jam made a video that speaks volumes and raises awareness to a growing problem here in the United States.

Number Three:

November Rain by Guns N' Roses

I seriously wore out my copy of this single (with Sweet Child O' Mine on the B side) and I think I was so drawn to this band because Kim was infatuated with them. I learned a lot about music from my two older siblings and Kim was the one who turned me onto MTV at a young age. She liked Dan Cortes, I liked Dan Cortes. She thought Steve Isaac was hot, I thought Steve Isaac was hot. Whoever topped Kim's list had to top mine as well...oh and that cutie frontman of Ugly Kid Joe, Whitfield Crane? Yeah I liked him too. So when the music video of November Rain debuted, I basked in all of its 8 minutes and 57 seconds of glory.

Two facts about this video:
1. I tried to get that wedding dress but they don’t make it in my size.
2. The church Slash is playing outside of is on The Movie Ranch in New Mexico that dad took me to when we drove from Phoenix to Boulder. There was a time when I really wanted to get married in that church but both Kim and Maeve said they refused to wear cowgirl outfits as bridesmaids.
3. Actually Fact One is crap but Fact Two is totally true, see?

Me on the Movie Ranch:

Dad on the Movie Ranch:

Number Two:

Thriller by Michael Jackson

Uh...how could this NOT make my list?! Not only is this a great song but the video is a mini horror film with a creepy yet fun plot and fabulous zombie dance moves (not to be confused with Maeve's fabulous zumba dance moves). Jan Martin did a reproduction of the song as their opening number one year and I remember sitting downstairs in the holding room during the recital, watching the older girls apply their scary make-up and tattered clothing. We then watched the dance take place on a soundless black and white screen as my mom got to witness the sheer brilliance of the piece live. She says it was really cool how they came down all the aisles and then up onto the stage, kind of like Broadway's Lion King.

Even Preston loves this video and has requested it on numerous occasions. The kid has good taste.

And what dance party is not complete unless we all break out into a staggered line formation to copy Michael Jackson's famous moves?

Number One:

We Didn’t Start The Fire by Billy Joel

Every time the song is mentioned dad has to say, “you know, if I were a teacher I would have the kids pick a part of the song and do a project on it.” And every time he says this I counter with, “if it weren’t for the lyrics being in chronological order, I would have failed the second part of my Global Regents.” Thank you Billy Joel for getting me an 88.

It really is quite brilliant, it flows nicely and rhymes, funny how my history text book does neither of these things. I love the whole video, how the home takes on each decade and we can visibly see the destruction of the modern family as time wears on. I like how Billy narrates our 20th century with burning disturbing images that haunt us and then plays the bongos on kitchen items.

Now for the tagging:
1. Kim
2. Emily
3. Cheryl
4. Michelle
5. savannahjan

Writer's Block: Sheldon and Penny 4ever!

Fanfiction: Do you love it or hate it, or are you totally indifferent? Why?

Do we even have to ask at this point?

I love fanfiction. I love it so much that sometimes I can almost prefer it to the real thing. I love the options that fanfiction gives the author and the reader and how sometimes after finishing off a great novel or manga it satisfies the craving for more or a need to have closure with a certain character. I love the opportunity to write in the voice the original author used and to then play with their creations, giving them new adventures. I love chapter-long works. I love drabbles. I love one-shots. I love it all.

I will never forget the day I come across fanfiction for the first time. I am interning at Hachette Filipacchi Media in Premiere magazine's marketing department which Aunt Pat landed for me. Most days I research film festivals for my supervisor and anything else that one will ask of me which is never because I think sometimes they forget I'm here. I'm in a tucked away closet with my own computer and sometimes on lunch I don't meet up with the editing interns because they're either not present (because their school doesn't force 300 hours on them like mine does) or they're doing something really freaking cool like transcribing celebrity interviews. On these lunch hours I get extremely lonely especially since I just finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and I am too busy switching from being angry to depressed to read another novel yet. I'm going on Day Two of not speaking to anyone over the fact Rowling just killed off my favorite character and that she does not even give him a fitting noble death. Instead Sirius Black is killed by drapery.

I'm pissed.

Who wouldn't be?

I set to work on my lunch break in search of a forum of some sort that I can bitch about the ending to book five with other irate HP fanatics. Instead of spewing out my anger with frowny-face icons in a community, I stumble upon a world of writers that I never knew existed. In all of my years of jotting down my own stories and taking my fantasy men and giving them a chance to be with an imaginary me in a fictional world, I never thought to take a character from any plotline and continue a previously written work. The thought of this new writing form both intrigues and scares me into clicking on the section titled Astronomy Tower on FictionAlley.org, a fanfiction site for Harry Potter deviants.

And for the rest of the summer I am hooked. I find a bunch of extremely talented authors and devour their stories then move onto their favorite pieces on the site. I have heated discussions on certain “ships” and find myself shipping Harry/Hermoine and before I know it, I’m a fanfiction junkie. I even find a Clay Aiken fanfiction archive when I return to school that fall and write a piece that I hope to have the balls to post again one of these days so everyone can point and laugh.

Fanfiction has become a huge part of my being and I find myself checking my communities on a daily basis in hopes of an update from other writers I admire and aspire to be like. There are days I will literally do a chair-dance wiggle when I see another chapter posted or even engage in a “Yeah!” fist pump at the screen. Fanfiction is an outlet for me, a chance to be imaginative but not have to create everything from scratch because what fulltime commuter has the time for that?

I would like to share a story that inspired me to finally sit down and begin my own novel length work in the Fullmetal Alchemist fandom. The story really captures the anguish that Edward must feel at the end of the (first) anime when he is stranded in another universe without his brother and without the use of his treasured alchemy. The author also introduces the reader to a softer more responsive Roy that tries to help Edward get back home. It’s beautifully written and the added characters are just as lovable as the ones we have already come to know. I give you Conversion written by the talented Arathe.

And now I will give you my first FMA drabble that came from a prompt on all_unwritten, a community for writers here on Livejournal. It’s short but I have been asked by a few people to continue and I am seriously considering doing so. I present to you:

Behind The Mahogany Desk Collapse )

Blast from the Past

Somehow, at some point today, 60 hour TiVo gets mentioned. I cannot recall the context of its appearance in the conversation but it makes its presence known. 60 hour TiVo has a significant meaning in my life and words cannot express how I truly feel about 60 hour TiVo.

Once 60 hour TiVo is out there for the taking, I'm suddenly sucked back in time, back to when I did not have this particular BLOG to write in, back when I used AIM and had a profile that linked to an AOL-run journal. I maybe write in this journal a total of six times during my senior year at CU. I remember my first entry has a picture of a pumpkin scarecrow mooning passersby from someone's front lawn. Another entry features Christine and my house pet, George, a tiny field mouse that finds its way into our living room one afternoon. Another entry describes my dilemma of going to Kim's Christmas party or with Pher on an excursion to some unmarked ski terrain in Durango. But there is one entry that starts it all. The entry that helps mold and shape my writer's "voice" and create a game I like to play with my family. The game of How many times can I repeat the same thing until someone notices and completely loses it?.

60 hour TiVo becomes the first overused phrase in my repetitive word game. The first person to expereince the word play?


Needless to say, Kim is not very fond of the phrase 60 hour TiVo.

So I try to find this journal so I can share the 60 hour TiVo entry and it has proven absolutely impossible. First of all, it takes me a long time to finally find the member directory on AOL. I can no longer find my profile because it sends me to Bebo where current profiles are stored. None of my old links are visible along with the few pictures I had in there from my sorority that Mai had posted for me back in 2003. So then I change tactics setting to work in Google, typing in “Kate Raab” with random words after the quotations. I figure maybe I can locate the old CU Women's Ice Hockey website Christine and I fashion for the team which has the link to the journal. So I try the word hockey and I get a hit! But not quite the hit I'm looking for though.

It actually turns out to be for an article that was in the Farmingdale Observer in January. I had no idea our town even had a paper. And why am I not notified that I am in this paper? Then I read the article and understand why I wouldn't even want to be notified.

We all know I run races. We all see the pictures on Facebook. We all know in the past two years I have won three awards. We all know I'm very elusive about telling you what award I win. The reason is I do not usually run in an age category nor am I the first female to ever finish. I run in an embarrassing category. A category I have a chance of placing in since it's very hard to place with girls my age because they are in a lot better shape than me.

I run in the (what I like to call because I tend to be self-deprecating) Fat Girl category. I do not mean to offend those other women who are also in this category that are in shape and are heavier because they are so muscular and athletic. I apologize if this is you but I'm in this division not because I’m so muscular and athletic but because I'm a little too lenient with my diet. Too lenient that a diet doesn't even exist and I'm only in this category because I don't know when to put the fork down (and as dad just said, "unless it's going back down into a piece of pie"). Not only do I run in this division but it's split into two different weight classes with me being in the second heavier weight class. I like that they call this Fat Girl category something nice and feminine: Athena. I love the term. I know what this term means. My fellow runners know this term too. My friends? Don't. For two years I fool everyone into thinking I'm good in this category and that it's an honor to win but really what it boils down to is that I receive three awards for running faster than other overweight people like myself.

The article outs me, lets all of Farmingdale know how much I weigh, and blows my cover of everyone thinking I'm such an awesome runner. It states:

Two determined Farmingdale ladies did especially well in the Athena Weight Division. Colleen Gardner, a 32-year-old who took first place honors in the Athena 160-pound plus weight division, finished with a time of 26 minutes, 22 seconds, and 27-year-old Kate Raab scored third in that same division with a time of 28:58.

What they fail to mention is that I am third out of twenty five which is the highest amount of women I have ever run against. They also forget to say most of us are running in uncomfortable Santa costumes. They also tell you it smells like snow rather than it's "butt-cold out" and I can no longer feel my legs in mile two and I have a trail of snot coating my right glove and left t-shirt sleeve. My time is not a PR and I did not post it on Facebook because all this information is embarrassing.

So now my secret's out. I'm an overweight slow runner that supposedly has inspired some friends to run and now knowing the truth will probably feel duped and a little put off. I'm not elite, I will never get back to running 6 to 7 minute miles like I used to, I will never get out of the Athena Division, and I'm also on my way to a second stress facture because I'm just two damn heavy to run.

Geez, this is all rather unpleasant isn’t it? I never expected to find out that I am in a newspaper clipping. All I really wanted to do this afternoon was tell you about the 60 hour TiVo...

The Awesome Coffee Table Adventure

I would like to say, "as most of you know..." but I can't because most of you don't know. You all have no idea. I'm not sure why I never told you but I just didn't so I'm telling you now.

We're moving out of Lord Land's house.

This must come as a complete shock to you but it's happening and you really need to get over it. We're moving up in the world to an actual apartment with a real living room and no green carpeting and especially no three year old terror waking me up every weekend at 7.

Now since we will have a grown-up place we'll need grown-up furniture, not this mishmash of college dorm crap we've got goin' on in these digs. We have even made a list of all the necessary things we will need to have in this grown-up apartment and one of the new editions to our family will be a coffee table. Yeah, how pathetic is that? I even had coffee tables in college but never one as an adult. Go figure.

Today I go coffee table shopping online in lieu of surfing Facebook (since bossdad as blocked it at the Surge) and I find some interesting... finds. There's one in particular from Peter Andrews that I desire so much so that I almost buy it without running it by Hubs. When I get home I'm bursting with coffee table news and excitedly squeal, "Steve! I have found the coolest coffee table! It's shaped like a treasure chest!"

Because dammit, pirates are cool.

Steve likes it but not to be outdone, pulls up another tab and searches Google for "awesome coffee tables" and of course Steve finds a better one. Of course he does. And not only does Steve find a better one, he finds THE MOST AWESOMEST COFFEE TABLE IN THE WORLD!!

I mean, how on earth can pirate's booty compare to THAT?!

When I click on the link to check out this magnificent piece of wood I realize I'm so 2000 and late because this guy's journal entry dates back to a time when I had thirty pounds less of flesh on my body. This genius gamer, Kyle Downes, made the ultimate coffee table that you can only dream of and salivate over. Not only can you store a buttload of stuff inside it you can also use it to play your Nintendo video games! A GIANT CONTROLLER! How f-ing cool is that?!

Now I want one but they're not for sale. I also wonder if I can make my own because after seeing that there is no way I can buy a treasure chest and be satisfied. And to make matters even worse, Steve clicks on another awesome coffee table:

This awesome monstrosity that would look great in our new spacious living room is designed by Stephane Perruchon who you know saw Downes’ Nintendo controller idea and stole it and ran with it and my message to Downes is, "Dude! You can be a freakin' millionaire because you can actually use yours! Do it, son!" But what really pisses me off is the fact you cannot yet purchase this awesomeness and my thoughts are, “then why tell me about this if I can’t buy it? What the hell is the point of dangling this in front of me and not delivering?” Though having the PS3 controller coffee table would be unbelievably terrific and I would not mind forking over some dough (eventually) to let it clutter up my house.

And then we come across this fine $6,600 interactive gaming coffee table from Surface Tension:

And does it do $6,600 worth of awesome stuff? As long as you find 29 classic Taito Legends games with the ability to add more- complete with buttons and joysticks as well as internet access, iPod compatibility, movie queues, and happy endings really freaking awesome...then yes. Yes it does.

We finally conclude our search, ending on the most feasible option (after the dull treasure chest of course) but then have to quickly rule it out considering we have some "bumbley" friends that will most likely slam into the handles of our foosball coffee table and spill some kind of dark drink on the freshly cleaned carpet.

So I have decided that if I cannot own some kind of gaming coffee table then I do not want one at all. As Steve and I drive to get some grub after this tiring ordeal, I really think about my coffee table-less life and realize I have missed so many creative opportunities. I just might have to take a leave of absence from the Surge in order to build my dream coffee table...though if anyone remembers my 7th grade go at constructing a stable popsicle bridge then you know exactly how this coffee table is turning out.

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

I am.

I know I'm 27 but I am terrified of the dark. The more I stare out into the blackness the more the shapes shift and take on forms of my nightmares. When I visit the bathroom in the middle of the night I purposefully avoid raising my eyes to the mirror in fear of "Bloody Mary" appearing. I also worry that one night I will open my eyes to find someone hovering over me but that is the reason why I sleep closest to the door. I do this not for my own escape but for Steve, in hopes that when attacked I will wake him in time and then he can avenge me or get the hell out of there.

And these are the types of things that keep me awake at night.

And apparently these are the things that I dream of too.

I can't really remember what I'm dreaming about but the scenery I'm currently in dissolves around me until I'm staring off into the distance of my own room. Something moves in my periph and my eyes dart to the right as a young woman and man enter my room at a fast clip. I try to move but I'm being pressed down into the mattress by the invisible weight of a dream. I watch helplessly as they both lift their right arms in synchronization and throw knives at both of us. Before the weapons can fly through the air- I do, smearing their images as my hands shoot out in front of me. I take a shuddering breath and look back at Steve who is peacefully snoozing in his comforter cocoon. I look back out into our room and notice the figures are totally gone and it's 320 in the morning.

Swinging my legs over the bed I cringe as I notice the stickiness of my pajamas. I stand up to literally peel the clothing from my body and shiver when the cold air meets my glistening skin. I trudge into the bathroom (while looking down) and try to figure out why on earth would I have a dream about knives coming at us? As I sit on the throne I remember the episode we were watching before going to bed.

Maybe Gundum Wing isn't the smartest thing to watch before sleeping. Maybe I should watch something along the lines of Sesame Street.


Money Bags

Dad and I are immersed in such a serious conversation that neither of us has noticed that I followed him to the ATM. Usually I hang back and give him space but right now my mouth is moving a mile a minute and dad really needs to take an obscene amount of money out of his account. Well, it looks obscene to me and it's probably just pocket change but I think he currently holds my entire savings in his wallet. As he counts the bills before leaving the machine, I jokingly stick my hand out in hopes a bill will land in it by accident.

While counting, dad slips a fifty into my palm. I quickly put it into my left hand and put my right out again in hopes he forgot he gave me a fifty and places another crisp bill in the palm of my hand. He smiles and tells me to get out of here, that he already gave me a fifty "for snacks in Arizona". I tell him I'm kidding and try to give the money back but he shakes his head and I start to think of fifty dollars worth of snacks I can buy on Thursday when Steve and I leave for Pher and Anna's house.

Fifty bucks! That's a lot of snacks!

When dad is satisfied with the amount that came out of the machine, we turn to leave the building and I resume my incessant chatter. Though dad is not really paying attention because he is currently handing me over another fifty dollar bill. He interrupts me with, "here's some more. Go out to dinner with your brother."

"Really?" I ask.

"Really. You guys should all go out to a nice dinner."

"Thanks dad!" I say with a bright smile and then start the previous conversation back up. But as we hit the street again dad still seems to be in La La Land and he reaches back into his wallet, producing the wad of cash. I look around frantically, hoping no one else sees this wad too and tries to make off with it. He takes another two fifties out of the pile and hands it over to me.

"On second thought," he says, "you're going out with Christopher. You're going to need at least two hundred."

2 B or not 2 B?

We're driving back to the Reab household one night after our home program when Steve turns to me with a huge Cheshire Cat grin to let me know he doesn't have class tomorrow. And who wouldn't want to smile like that knowing full well they do not have to sit through four hours of Calc 2?

"Oh really?" I say. "Well I have a few things I have to do in the morning. I think I'm going to get up early and get an oil change. Then I'm going to shoot home to shower then shoot up 110 to donate blood in Melville. Then I have to go to the Dix Hills ice rink to get a Huntington ID for softball and I'll have to make sure I use the license with the Greenlawn address on it so I can get the pass. Oh wait, it says Raab on that and I think the softball team registered me as Reed. That won't matter right? So then after that I have to drop off a copy and money for the softball team to Lisa then I'm going to come back home and I have to-"

Steve cuts me off before I can ruin his mood even further. His grin is gone because I’m already crowding a Saturday with crap and on top of that he looks confused. "How many licenses do you have?"

"Three because I still haven't changed everything over and some of my stuff has my maiden name and some has your name. Plus sometimes I need to pretend to be a Huntington resident so having an extra one comes in handy. So I never know which ID I'll need so I carry them all."

Steve just shakes his head at me and in all seriousness says:

"If I lived my life like you do, I would hang myself."

Am I really that bad?

Ain't that just the way it is?

I get all kinds of fun phone calls here at the Surge, some entertaining, some borderline excruciating to get through. I especially love the ones that are a little bit of both, like the one I just received.

It’s from a lawyer’s office so naturally they want a patient’s records. No problem, send me the paper work, I’ll send you a fax of how much it will cost me to get my lazy ass up and photocopy it for you, you send me a check, I send you the records. It’s a pretty simple process to comprehend and no one has ever been perplexed by it…until today.

The minute I get the call sent to me by Pauline I know it’s going to be a doozy. This guy sounds as if he’s reading from a script that happens to have ‘um’ and ‘ah’ thrown in there every other word, like the kids that try to sell you candy on the subway to keep them out of trouble. He says the patient name which I have a habit of ignoring until I get the paperwork. My mind goes: yeah yeah yeah, get to the meat of this call, I’ll give you the fax number, you send it to me, and I’ll actually look up the patient when the time comes. My main objective is to get you off the phone as quickly as possible so I can go back to being antisocial at my desk.

He’s bumbling over his words when I hear ringing in the background. He asks to put me on hold and then hangs up on me. Just by him doing that, I know this guy is an intern at this firm and I pray to God he doesn’t try to go to law school. He calls back and gets Dorrette who tells me that I lost his call, like as if putting me on hold offends me to the point I have to hang up. I get back on the phone with the guy (notice he’s told me his name twice thus far and I have yet to even register it in my brain) and he mumbles about the pain management patient coming to our facility. “Sure, he probably came here,” I say. “I can’t release the records until I have the consent from the patient so send it on over.” He tells me okay and hangs up, not asking for a number to send it to or anything. I have a feeling this paperwork isn’t coming anytime soon.

Not even a minute later, Cassandra gets him again and when he asks for a Ms. Reed she argues that it’s Raab. They go back and forth for awhile, confusing the guy even more until she realizes that I’m both names (I’ve been waffling lately on hyphenating, going all the way new, or just sticking to what I knew for 27 years but that’s an identity crisis not pertaining to this particular story) and sends him over to me again. He states his name for me again (I don’t listen) just in case I have forgotten in the past two minutes (didn’t remember in the first place) and launches into his spiel once more. He reiterates he needs the records. I reiterate I need the paperwork. He tells me they sent it. I say I didn’t get it. He asks me why not? I tell him that sometimes things get misplaced and just send it again. And that’s when he lays this on me:

“I have a fax from you from February saying that you regret to inform us that this patient has never been at your facility.”

Shit. He got me. Apparently I did get the paperwork and then I actually did my job and looked up the patient and wrote a letter back. Huh. Interesting. He then goes on to accuse me that in the previous call I told him the patient came there and that the doctor has an office at the Surge.

“I never said the doctor has an office here. I said it was a surgery center which is like a hospital, that doctors come here to perform surgery and then leave and go to their own office. And I’m sorry I didn’t remember that I answered this request already. I receive a lot of these every day, luckily I kept this letter and I’m looking at it right now. The patient was never here.”

He pauses. “Yeah but you said the patient came there for injections!” He’s pleading with me as if his job depends on getting these records. I sigh heavily, dropping the professional voice and manner.

“Dude, I’m gonna be honest. When you called I didn’t bother to look up the patient so I assumed he came here but you already have a letter from me stating I have no records so why call? It hasn’t changed.”

He considers this for a moment then tells me we’ll be in touch. “No!” I exclaim. “No we don’t have to be in touch anymore. The guy never came here.” He tells me he’ll pass it on to his supervisor and she’ll call me. “No!” I exclaim. “She doesn’t have to call me either!” He pauses again.

“We’ll get back to you later today," he says affirmatively.

“Please don’t," I beg.

He responds with a click.

I respond with a sigh.

I'm just trying to be a better person...

I'm a firm believer in Karma. Okay, maybe not like Granny Smith apple firm more like brown banana firm, but I definitely believe that you ultimately get what's coming to you. I fear that sometimes good deeds go unnoticed which is why the firmness is closer to being rotten than ripe but the idea of Karma keeps me on my toes.

Steve and I are watching the food network while lazing around in a mess of flannel sheets and blankets sort of paying attention, sort of reading and playing video games. The show Unwrapped with Marc Summers (yeah Double Dare!) catches our attention with an episode titled "Munchy Crunchy". It is a behind-the-scenes shoot of how certain snacks are made. The coolest one of all is called Popchips which is a potato chip that is not fried or baked but actually popped. It starts out as rabbit poop-pellet sized potato balls that get poured into a circle mold, heat and pressure is applied by a metal machine, and it literally POPS into a chip. It's totally healthy (unless you account for the 200mg of salt added) and it totally becomes one of my "must try" things. ( A must try: is just an excuse to overindulge in something introduced to me whether it be food or an object I will overeat it or overuse it but only because "I must try something new")

A few days pass and I take a walk to Jamba Juice for lunch. It is hot as balls in my office and cooking up a can of Beefaroni is not as appetizing as slurping down a cold smoothie. So as I order a Strawberry Energizer for Cassandra and a Berry Fulfilling for myself, my eyes wander around the snack section. Low and behold! Several bags of Popchips! I immediately snag a bag and add it to my order. Well, I must try it!

They are actually quite delicious and I make a mental note to tell Steve that I tried them and they were everything I hoped they would be.

My mental note then gets lost in translation somewhere and never reaches Steve.

So today I grab a Caribbean Passion at Jamba and see that they carry BBQ flavored Popchips. It's a new flavor...I MUST try it! I decide to bring this bag home with me and have it with Steve but as I'm standing on the platform waiting for my train I’m having a little trouble...well...waiting. I look down at the bag, turn it over in my hands, try to distract myself from eating it by reading the content ingredients. I think about how the conversation with Steve will go when I get home: "Steve look at what I found!" as I giddily hold up the bag of chips. "Awesome!" Steve answers trying to muster up the same excitement as me. "Wanna try it?" I hopefully ask as my mouth waters. "Nah maybe later..." he replies which is exactly what would happen and then I would be upset that I eyed the bag of chips next to me the WHOLE way home knowing I couldn't open it until I was with Steve and that time was wasted because I could have been eating the chips while on the train...

I guess I could just eat half the bag now and save the rest for him, right?

Satisfied with my logical reasoning I tear open the bag and begin the feast. Then I realize the weather is kind of crummy and wet so the chips will naturally absorb the dampness in the air making them not as tasty.

I should just eat this whole bag then, right?

Satisfied with my logical thinking that why taint the product with the atmosphere, I go to grab another chip. I'll just buy two bags tomorrow to avoid a tragic loss of potato chips to weather again.

And that's when the obsessional thoughts kick in.

What if there is no tomorrow? What if something happens to me and I never get to tell Steve I ate the Popchips? Or worse! What if something happens to Steve? Then he'll never know what Popchips tasted like!

And with this thought comes the guilt of being selfish and fat. And the guilt comes in the form of another chip as I shove it into my mouth. And then Karma barges in and instead of popping another chip in my mouth, my jaw pops instead.

Karma laughs at me as I struggle to chew without opening my jaw all the way. Karma laughs at me as I try to eat my way through the pain and finish what I’ve started. Karma laughs at me as if to say: "Try enjoying that bag of chips now, bitch!"

Fraud Alert!

Apparently my spending habits confuse the hell out of my banks. It sure doesn't confuse the hell out of my wallet since cash never actually reaches it. My paycheck does a disappearing act the second after I cash it every week. But sometimes I like to use my credit card to get points towards Borders or my ATM card so I get cash back. It makes sense right? These days cash gets you nothing, well maybe a few cents extra at the gas pump, but even street merchants take cards now. They should just make cash non-existent at this point but I digress.

This morning I receive a call on my cell from my bank telling me there is a fraud alert on my card. Already? It's 730 in the morning how is that even possible? So I choose the option of speaking to someone because these calls border on fraudulent themselves. And I wait. And wait. And wait, watching the minutes tick by until I hang up. Why waste my bajillion minutes on a crap call? So I use the Surge phone instead and call the number on the back of my card and wait. And wait. And wait.

While I'm waiting I think back to a recent fraud alert put on a credit card. It's baffling to them that an overweight girl would purchase McDonald's for dinner then go down the road to fill her truck up at the corner station by her house. Very very baffling. COMPLETELY out of my normal spending habits of fast food and absurd amounts of gas. And around the same time of day too. Baffling.

I finally get through to a person and I explain my situation. "Fraud alert? Oh I have to send you to that department. Hold please." I look at the phone. Did I not specify fraud alert to the voice animated rep when I called? Which department did they send me to that sounds like fraud alert? So I get put on hold and he transfers me to the Hang Up On Me Department.

I just don't have it in me today to call back. I just don't. Because my fraud alert today is just beyond ridiculous that I don't even want to talk to these people.

I work in the city. On the first every month I buy two train passes (how unusual!). So why, pray tell, would someone at 645 in the morning use my "stolen credit card" to head down into the bowels of Penn Station to buy themselves an unlimited subway ride when they could take said card and purchase something of better value like a scooter?


Credit where credit is due.

I am lunching on greasy buffalo wings in my old office today with a few co-workers when the subject of all-things-wedding comes up (because Tammy is engaged! Congrats!). Bridget and Valerie bring to our attention this new phenomenon of filming your Save The Dates. In this day and age (had to use it at least once in my BLOG) with technology being so present in our daily lives it makes sense to create something like this. Burning DVDs costs practically nothing and the shipping is free according to Netflix so it seems like a pretty damn cool idea to get some good filmmaking friends together and shoot your life story.

This couple is definitely intriguing and I find them unbelievably adorable together. I wish them good fortune and happiness. Check out their Save The Date:

Now check out my Save The Date:

Yeah. When you tend to procrastinate you lose out on the opportunity for Save The Dates.

What I'm About:

Having fun. I think that should be everyone's goal in life, to have fun. We only get to do this once so we might as well have a good time.

The Self Portrait Project

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December 2010


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