Thursday, December 30, 2004

No resolution, but a realization

You can only go on pretending that it's other people for so long. Sooner or later, you're forced to admit that whatever weird-ass shit happens to you, if it happens a lot, if it happens consistently, if it makes, say, a pattern, well then, it's probably you.

I'm okay with this, mind you. But just so my twelve readers are not deceived as to the type of person I am, I feel that I should tell you that I am the type of person who inspires people to:

1) Ask her for a few dollars, in order to buy a bus ticket to New York/Chicago/Chicopee, Mass./Florida/Maine.

2) Take pictures of their privates, and then send those pictures to her.

3) Make pictures out of snippets of pubic hair (probably, but not necessarily, their own), and then send those pictures to her.

4) Tell her their whole life story, beginning with birth and ending just after the divorce, massive doses of penicillin and bankruptcy proceedings.

5) Pat her on the ass, and then ask, "Can I pat your ass?" I mean really, why ask at all, Mr. McFeeley?

6) Ask her for help with various physical tasks that are clearly beyond her physical abilities, such as lifting ginormous objects many times her body weight, as if she were an ant, or reaching things for things that are located far above her head, which is located, still, a mere five feet above the ground.

7) Talk and talk and talk about religion/politics/current events, when it could not be more clear that all discussion of such leaves her wishing mightily that a piano would fall from the sky, crushing the speaker, and perhaps producing an amusing tune at the same time. Win-win!

8) Think to himself or herself, Am I an enormous large person of wide width? Yes, I am! That means I should sit next to her. She won't mind.

9) Ditto her newspaper. She longs to share it with me. I'll just ask.

10) See also: light, cigarette, chewing gum, chapstick, sanitary items, tissue, cough drop, etc. and so on.

And, at last, a resolution: Learn to look cranky, and thus make these people leave me alone.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Where's Jennie Smash?

Hiding under an afghan, stuffing her piehole with M&Ms. No really. I'm in my pajamas and I haven't moved in days. I'm typing this on my laptop from my the couch at my Mom's house, where I've been since Christmas. This would be understandable, but it's not like I've come to visit her from my home in Paris, or something. I live fifteen minutes away.

The lethergy has taken me. Keep your eyes trained on the news. A talk show host should be by at any moment now, armed with a backhoe and a news crew and determined to remove me and send me to the fat camp where I belong.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Horoscopes for fools

I'm addicted to reading my horoscope.

Those of you who know me in person, or who have been reading this site for awhile in any of its various incarnations, probably aren't surprised by this. I am a completely illogical person, and have an extremely addictive personality. I spend much of my off-time Googling old friends and boyfriends and crushes, and could probably get addicted to, I don't know, fruit juice or white wall tires or Hummel figurines, if I tried.

But anyway, my horoscope. I'm a Gemini, which means that I'm a big, big flake and also crazy. (It also means that I'm inclined to believe in bullshit things like horoscopes, I'm pretty sure.) I have a bunch of sites I read all the time, to keep up to date with what may or may not happen to me, but I'm very frustrated today because I'd like to know what's going to happen to me in the new year and none of my Web sites gives predictions for months other than the current one.

So, in typical Gemini fashion ("Clever Gemini, words are your passion! Your creative flair amazes your many friends!") I have decided to make up my own horoscope for the new year.

Dearest Gemini, this will be a year unlike any other! Except that it will be just like every other. You will make new friends this year, and lose some old ones, due to attrition, or big stinkin' fights, or your tendency to flirt with their boyfriends. (Also them, despite the fact that you don't like girls. Also complete strangers, including the bus driver, who does not speak english, and inanimate objects such as a plate of crab rangoon and an umbrella.)

You are a fickle, fickle woman, totally unable to make up your mind, or rather always able to make up your mind, and then changing it two seconds later. You will develop a split personality from fighting with yourself constantly. When deciding which direction to choose, think about which option seems totally outrageously horrible at first, and then take that one. No seriously, you know how you're always lost when you're driving, and your first instinct is to pick the wrong direction? Yeah, you're like that in life, too. Sorry, kid.

You will have many boyfriends in the new year, but will break up with them in under two months, due to your craziness and fickle nature (see above). You will write all kinds of things, most of them having to do with your favorite topic (see this entry). Your friends will stand by you, because they are better people than you are, and value, for some reason, your ability to make a fool out of yourself at large gatherings where alcohol is served.

Speaking of that: Your liver will fall right the fajuck out of your body and wriggle away, gasping, "No! No! No!" It will leave a slime trail and it will be disgusting. Like the chicken that glimpses its own head a second before its demise, you will have just enough time to marvel at the sight of your fleeing liver before the toxins (mostly scotch) overwhelm your body and send you into death spasms.

Your general adherence to AP style will make it impossible for you to read your horoscope in the new year, because of all the exclamation points! (Avoid.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The lottery

I woke up at 2 a.m. this morning with a vague sense that I'd had a nightmare, but I didn't remember what it was. I was at my parents' house, in my sister's room, where I've been sleeping while she's home. Later, Meg said she had heard me whimpering in my sleep. This is nothing new. I'm a famous sleep-talker. I've been known to order people around in my sleep in much the same tone as I do when I'm awake.

Meg had a nightmare, too, she told me later. She dreamed that she was on a boat. There were dead animals all over the deck. She looked down, and saw a baby chick, still alive, struggling for air. She picked it up, and fed it a sunflower seed, and it flew away.

The next day, I decided to work from Mom and Dad's. I felt like crap, like I hadn't really slept all night. At about 10:00, I checked my personal e-mail and saw the headline on Yahoo! news: 22 Dead in Mosul.

My brother-in-law is a first lieutenant in the army. He was ROTC in school, not because he had to be, but because he -- get this -- wants to help people. He's currently in Mosul serving in the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, also known as "Deuce Four." No matter what I think about why we're over there, I know he's doing good things.

The news said that 22 people were dead, and more than 50 wounded, and that it had happened in the mess hall at noon their time, and that multiple units and civilians were involved.

My first thought was, "How do I hide this from Meg?"

Fortunately, people in my family are EXCELLENT at denial, so I had an inspiration right away. All I had to do was turn on E! Entertainment Television, let Meg sleep til noon, and keep her away from her e-mail if and when she got up. Hopefully, by then, her Family Readiness Group leader would have called to tell her that everything was okay.

She got up at 10:30, and her mother-in-law called right away, hoping that she had heard something.

So then we started the game, the morbid calculus of hope. We scanned all the news channels and every Web site we could think of, looking for news.

"13 were soldiers, CNN is saying," I told her. "And two were from Virginia. That leaves only 11 to worry about."

"He never eats lunch," Meg said. "He hates food. And he always has a lot to do."

"Maybe they're mostly Iraqis," I said. "Oh my God. OH MY GOD. What has become of me? I'm thisclose to signing over our civil liberties and supervising the interrogations at Guantanamo."

"You're not," said Meg. "We don't want anyone to get hurt, right? Not anyone. But people have already been hurt. And I'd just rather one of them wasn't my husband."

Meg is so brave and fine in these situations. She reminds me of a Douglas Sirk heroine, someone in full skirts and perfect pancake, looking dewy and teary-eyed but never snotty. And she never ever puts her fist through a wall, which is only one of many reasons why I know she's a much more stable person that I am.

At about 1:30, one of her friends called to say that her boyfriend had spoken to John after the incident, and he was okay. I felt like someone had ripped a two-foot wide bandaid off my chest. I felt like slumping to the floor and crying.

Meg put on her hat and coat, and went out to buy Christmas gifts.

"If anyone calls," she said calmly. "Tell them they can reach me at any time on my cell phone."

I sat down at my desk and got back to work.

Monday, December 20, 2004

I'm regressing so quickly, I'll be a teenager by Christmas

My sister is home. Meg, or Mrs. Piddlington, as I call her, for no reason that anyone can figure out, is three-and-a-half years younger than I am and about ten years more mature. Oh no, you say, surely not. You are merely young at heart. Effusive. Exuberant. Many other words beginning with "e" and meaning "fun."

But I assure you, it's true. I am about twelve years old at heart. And being around my little sister makes me worse. For some reason, whenever we hang out, I start acting like one of those retarded brothers played by Casey Affleck and Scott Caan in "Ocean's Eleven." (Also, "Twelve.")

My favorite thing to do right now is to wait until Mrs. P says something, for example, "Your pants are falling down," and then say, "YOUR pants are falling down," whether or not it's true.

Here are a few more examples of this sort of thing in action:

"It's cold out."

"YOU'RE cold out."

"Let go get chocolate beer."

"YOU'RE a chocolate beer."

"You're annoying me."

"YOU'RE annoying you."

And so on.

The best example of this so far happened today when Meg and I were watching one of those forensic detective crime shows on cable at my Mom's house. (My poor Mom. It's like she's running a hotel this week.) Anyway, this particular show was about a hobo who killed people in the trainyards where he was doing his hoboing. At one point, the announcer said, "Behind a trash barrel, they found the corpse of a 39-year-old drifter." And I said to Mrs. P, "YOU're the corpse of a 39-year-old drifter." And she said, "Okay, STOP."

At war with the little things

On my way to visit my sister this weekend, I stopped at a Dunkin Donuts, as I do, to get an iced coffee. (Yes, yes. It's cold out. I like iced coffee. Sue me.)

I was irritated, because I hadn't gotten much sleep and really needed coffee and the woman behind the counter was more interested in finding out how many different ways she could express to her coworker, using only four words and a limited number of inflections, her disbelief in various things the coworker had done -- "No, you di'n't! You did NOT! NO! NO! You di'n't NO. NO!" -- than she was in getting me my coffee. And then, when I took a sip of my coffee, which I di'n't do til I got back to my car, way out in the lot, I discovered that it was hazelnut.

I've been having a rough couple of days. I've been busy, and stressed out, and I've started doing stupid little busy-stressed-exhausted things like misplacing my keys and my eyeglasses and dropping everything I pick up and snapping over little stuff. It doesn't take much to push me over the edge, at the moment. A little thing, like, say, getting hazelnut, which I hate, instead of regular coffee, which as necessary as oxygen and all a person really needs to be happy, could tip me right over the lip into cuckooland.

"Goddammit," I said to my invisible audience in the parking lot. "I HATE HAZELNUT." And then I paused for a minute. And took another sip.

It was actually kind of good.

"My mistake," I told my make-believe minions. "This is actually kind of good."

They rolled their eyes at me as I got in my car and drove away.

So let me ask you this: Which is a bigger sign of my incipient insanity? Talking to people who aren't there, or discovering that I like a type of coffee I've always hated? I'm just not sure.

Coffee, no sympathy

This is such a tired, tired source of corporate humor, but I think you all should know that if I have to make one more pot of coffee this morning, I'm probably going to go insane, finally, and start running around my office screaming and flapping my arms like a chicken. I've just made my third pot, after finding it empty once again, and I can't take much more. I just don't want you all to be surprised when you see it on the news, that's all.

Oh, and when the cops ask you: You did see this coming.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Holiday swag

It's Christmas time, and, in the publishing world, that means just one thing: swag.

My office is cluttered with candy and booze and stress-relieving squeeze toys with the logos of software companies printed on them. Actually, precious little booze. We're a trade publication, so PR agencies go cheap with us, typically. But in my head, they send booze, because we're all so important here.

Anyway. My point is that there's a lot of crap around, and it sort of frightens me to think of how much money these PR agencies spend on these holiday tchotchkes. Also, the theory behind it mystifies me: has anyone ever written even one article because some company's PR person sent them a greeting card and a keychain? I guess it's just supposed to a be general "hey thanks", but it's still kinda weird, if you ask me. But then, I don't even send Christmas cards to my family and friends, so perhaps we should ask someone else.

Here's a story: A couple years ago, during the holiday swag season, we took in a particularly good haul over here in editorial, and started keeping our toys and candy and whatnot in baskets, also sent by PR firms, at various locations around the department. Whenever someone would start feeling peckish -- low blood sugar, no doubt, on account of the stress of producing all those "Best of the Year/Worst of the Year" wrap-up pieces -- they'd holler "Hey, throw me some candy!" and the person sitting nearest the Swag Basket would toss them a festive green-and-red Snickers or whatever.

One day, one of the marketing guys stopped by to say hey. If you're not in publishing, here's something you should know: the marketing guys make more money than editors. (The janitors make more money than editors, but that's another story.) So this guy -- who's very nice, by the way, so nothing against him -- happens to see all of us munching on our candy and tossing Hersey's Kisses at each other and whatnot and says, "Ah, editorial. Home of holiday graft."

The stress and the sugar must've gotten to me, because I said, "Yes, that's right, [marketing person], editorial is the home of holiday graft. Is that your Audi out front? I can see how you must be consumed with jealousy. You make twice as much money as I do ... and I get a candy apple."

It's amazing I haven't been fired. Yet.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Don't make me come back there

Look, everyone, I'm sad that Pedro's leaving, too, but there's no need to be mean about it. The Mets have clearly lost their minds, offering him that much cash at this point in his career, and I'm happy for him that he's managed to milk his situation. That being said, Petey, they might make you lose the Jheri Curl. And your little pal definitely has got to go. You only get away with that shit in Boston, pal.

I've heard such awful stuff about Pedro in the past couple days from people around the office and from various blogs and media outlets and whatnot, and it's all so silly. This is the one aspect of the Boston fanbase that's always bothered me: we'll turn on you like that.

Join with me, Boston fans. Buck the whiny bitchiness that has defined us, along with losing at the last minute, for nearly a century now. We won, people. Get it? Time to grow some grace.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

How to be a karaoke superstar, or Even bloggers get the blues

I love me some karaoke.

I'm not that girl with the golden voice who stands up and sings "A Sorta Fairytale" or something from "Les Miserables." No, I'm the girl with an octave and a half range and a lot of life-style-induced gravel in her throat who sings Billie Holiday, or, depending on my level of drunkenness, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." And then talks to people during the guitar solo.

Saturday was an "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," sort of night.

I'd started out by calling my pal Cathy and telling her that I didn't think I was up for a crazy night out on the town. She was very patient and understanding, and suggested a number of replacement outings that wouldn't be so trying on my recently broken heart. Probably because she knows me very well, and therefore was entirely aware of the fact that I would be calling her back in a few short hours to suggest that maybe karaoke was just the thing to lift my spirits. To her credit, she did her best to sound surprised.

Now, Cathy is awesome. Awesome like free booze or an extra-cool Mom. How awesome is she? When I got to her house, she had a Get Well gift for me containing Reese's Peanut Butter cups, a nip of Johnnie Walker Black, a lottery card, three candy rings (one for me, one for her, and one for my sister, who also attended and who had the privilege of acting as my chauffeur) and a dirty greeting card.

I drank my nip and scratched my scratch ticket and modeled my ring for everyone. And then we headed over to the Jeannie Johnston to make some magic.

Two scotches, four beers and a warm-up song later ("I Will Survive"), I was clutching the microphone and doing my Axl Rose impression. By this time, I was having some difficulty seeing. I was also wearing a ginormous light-up Jesus pendant, which I'd bought in the T station earlier and which I'd started referring to as "Jeebus" as in "Jeebus loves your shoes, Cathy" or "Don't make Jeebus angry, or I'll sing Guns N Roses."

Anyway, I developed a neat new karaoke gimmick, which I will share with all of you now, and which you should feel free to use whenever you're confronted with a particularly long guitar solo during karaoke. (They go on so long! What do you do during that time? Head-bang? Dance? What if you can't dance? You know, theoretically speaking?)

Here's what you do: You talk. I decided to offer my audience a list of the many things they could do while Slash regaled us. Here are the ones I remember:

1) Go to the bathroom.

2) Have a snack.

3) Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

4) Do your taxes.

5) Make a few phone calls.


Okay, I didn't say that last one. It really wasn't a hostile sort of evening.

At the end of the night, Isaac and Cathy put me and Jeebus into our coats and rolled us back to their house, where I passed out on the couch next to a copy of "In Style" that I had been meaning to read. Cathy said it looked like I was spooning with it.

Ah, "In Style." I hope karaoke isn't jealous.

Here's my point

If the Happy Bunny guy can make millions (or, you know, less than that, but still more than me) with his adorable-yet-crude drawings of animals saying nasty things, I should be able to figure out a similar gimick and liberate myself from this cycle of poverty and wage-slavery. I'm thinking of this in particular because it's review time, a time of year that always makes me feel like I've forgotten my homework and will be forced to explain the situation, naked, in front of my ninth grade math class.

Also, I don't know if you've noticed, but it's fucking cold outside and I'd rather be on an island somewhere.

Brilliant idea

The only way out of this mess is to start a line of t-shirts.

More on this later.

Animals endangered, delicious

I was kind of bummed out this weekend, so I did what any redblooded American woman does when she's bummed out: I went to buy shoes.

Specifically, I bought myself a pair of fuzzy boots, which are NOT Uggs, thank you very much, but rather very cool, hip boots that Kate Hudson would never, ever wear with a mini-skirt.

I'd seen them in the Tannery in Harvard Square the week before, and hadn't bought them, because they were too much money and also because they were made of rabbit fur. When I went back to buy them, I still had some doubts.

"Can I really buy something made out of rabbit fur?" I asked my sister.

"You eat meat, don't you?"


"Well, then..." She reached out and stroked the toe of the boot. "EW! You can, like, feel its SKIN."

"I know."

She paused. "But they're so cute!"

In the end, cute won out, as it always does. I have very few principles that I hold more dear than cute. And after all, as Mrs. Piddlington pointed out, I eat meat.

Of course, cows don't twitch their noses in an adorable fashion, but hey.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Monday Quiz: What is Jen sick and tired of? (Tuesday edition)

Today's edition of the Monday Quiz is a little late, because I was actually sick yesterday. It follows, then, that the answer to today's quiz is, "Jen is sick and fucking tired of being sick and fucking tired."

This time of year always blows, in terms of health. (In terms of most things, actually, but that's a separate blog entry.) The rounds of holiday parties, the travel in confined spaces with germy strangers, the late nights, the stress -- it all adds up to me turning into a giant petri dish for cold viruses and stomach bugs.

So you'll have to excuse me if this entry is somewhat brief. I have to go lie down.

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Station Break: Self-indulgent IM conversation #4372

Hi-C: My head is swimming ... I'm proofing my friend's letter of intent to a marine biology and fisherie Ph.D program.

JennieSmash: Wow.

JennieSmash: Who's this?

Hi-C: My friend meaghan.

Hi-C: One of my friends from high school.

Hi-C: You would probably have never met her.

Hi-C: She is away a lot because she is smart and always in school and the such.

Hi-C: Or scuba diving.

JennieSmash: Hey, just like me!

JennieSmash: But replace "away" with "here" and "scuba diving" with "drinking beer and burping."

The tiger or the lady

I like to spend as much of my free time as possible e-mailing my friends. This accomplishes two goals: it allows me to waste time gossiping instead of doing important things like work or cleaning my apartment, and it keeps me from getting too much exercise, which might make me develop an exaggerated view of my own attractiveness and start torturing people with my miniscule pants size and bad attitude.

So I was delight to receive an e-mail the other day from my good friend J. Edward Medina, which in addition to the usual gossip, chatter and drinks invitations (always good), contained the following very interesting question:

What do you find sexier:

- A man who can hold his liquor like a Spanish bull, or ...

- A man with a current library card who uses it?

Isn't that fun? Really hard, too! Here's what I replied:

Thank God you wrote, J. Edward Medina. I was almost

forced to do work. Just imagine.

As for your questions, first I must ask you a

question, to clarify: Do Spanish bulls hold liquor? If

so, where do they swill this liquor? At Schiller's? I

would like to see that very much, is why I ask.

In answer to your question, however, I would have to

say that the library card wins, although I myself do

not read library books, because I am too crazy, and

can't stand to see all those suspicious brown

fingerprints all over the pages when I'm reading.

Also, library books smell bad, like mildew and

halitosis. New books are the way to go, J. Ed. Yes,

the landfill problem is all due to people like me, but

whatever else I am, I'm a good consumer first and


That being said, I have never been in love with a man

who did not have both the qualities you mention. My

current beau makes me look like a Quaker in the

drinking department, and can't shut the door to his

apartment anymore, for fear of knocking over a stack

of books. He's been robbed six times because of this,

but he's too drunk to notice. That's a joke.

All this aside, we should definitely get some



J. Hubley

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Ugly Americans

Everyone knows that in order to be a true high school nerd, you must either belong to the band or the chorus. Since I had no talent, I joined the chorus.

My best friend Sarah, who was not a nerd, joined the chorus, too, but not out of social desperation. She had, as it happened, a beautiful singing voice. And she also wanted to go on the chorus trip to England our junior year.

England was not at all what we'd expected. We thought it would be like America, only with more tweed and cool accents. Instead, we discovered that England was this whole separate country, with different weather and food and an entirely different sense of humor.

The vicar at the Anglican church where we were supposed to sing was a lovely, older man who looked like John Cleese and acted like the murderer in every BBC mystery we'd seen on PBS. He was very glad to have us there. He was delighted that we'd be singing. And oh, yes, if we felt we wanted to come up to the front for Communion during the service -- or a blessing, if Communion wasn't our thing -- we should feel free.

Communion wasn't either of our things. Sarah was Jewish; I was agnostic. However, we both liked the idea of being blessed by an English vicar, so we decided to go up. As it turned out, we would have felt funny staying in the pew. Everyone went up, including the people who cut CCD to smoke cigarettes at Friendly's.

We got in line with everyone else and began the slow shuffle to the front of the church. As the first batch of communicants dropped to their knees, Sarah clutched my arm in terror.

"I can't kneel," she whispered.


"I can't kneel," she hissed. "I'm a Jew. We don't kneel. It's a rule. No golden calves, no kneeling."

"Well, look. Don't worry. I won't kneel either."

"You won't?"

"Nah. Who cares? I'm not Christian."

"Okay. You promise?"

"Promise. We'll look weird together."

Oh boy, did we look weird. Everyone else peered up at us curiously from their position on the floor, as Sarah and I stood awkwardly in front of the vicar. The vicar peered at us benignly, just a little puzzled, and held out the Host for us to take.

"Oh, no thanks!" Sarah squeaked. "No body of Christ for me! I'm a vegetarian!"

The vicar stopped smiling.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Mind of its own

I went to see a friend's open studios this weekend. I was a little nervous about it, for two reasons: number one, I get lost easily, and her studio is in a neighborhood I never go to; number two, her mother would be there, and her mother always hurts my feelings.

Let me be clear: my feelings are easily hurt. Now that I am an adult-type person, or at least wearing my adult-type clothes, I can pass this off as sensitivity and justify it by pointing to its usefulness in helping me craft scintillating observations about mankind. But until I started writing -- and telling people about it -- I was just kinda nutty and difficult to get along with.

Anyway. My friend's mother is very good at saying the kinds of things that make sensitive nuts like myself cringe, and then cower, and then drive home shouting clever comebacks into the rearview mirror, and then climb into the bathtub with a bottle of bourbon and weep.

To make matters worse, the day of the open studios, I woke up ugly. The last vestiges of my summer color (not really anything so grand as a tan, but a bit of natural blush and an amplification of my freckles) had totally faded, leaving me pale and washed out and, it seemed to me, possessed of new wrinkles I'd never noticed before. I also had an enormous zit, right in the middle of my check where you can't pop it for fear of getting a pock mark. And my hair was frizzy and dry, and I was at my Mom's house and didn't have my regular hair gunk.

I've always hated my hair. It's curly, for one thing, and very full, but fine, so it won't hold a hair style or do anything I tell it to do. My sister claims that in this, it expresses my personality perfectly. I have obstinate hair.

But this is what hair pins were made for, so that's what I did. I stole some of Mom's conditioner and made my hair flat, and twisted it back off my face where it couldn't bother me. A few little broken off strands stood up immediately and started waving around like I was holding one of those static electricity balls at the Museum of Science, but I tamped most of them down with conditioner and figured it was the best I could do.

My friend's mother, on the other hand, had perfect hair. She'd just had it cut into a cute little bob with bangs, the hair style I've always coveted and can never ever have. The first thing she said to me was, "Look at your hair!" I winced.

"It's so long!" She said.

I opened one eye cautiously. Long isn't bad. Not necessarily.

"Yeah," I said. "It's not as long as it looks, though. I've just got it back."

"Oh, that's right," she said. "You have that BUSHY HAIR."

Later, when I was driving home, screaming into my rearview mirror, I thought of a million things to say:

"I don't have BUSHY HAIR. I'm just not GOING BALD LIKE YOU."


"It just looks bushy because I'm young. Once I'm OLD LIKE YOU, it will lie flat."


"You're mean! You're a mean, mean lady! Poopy!"

That last one is probably what I would have said, if I'd said anything. Which was why I kept my mouth closed.

And then ran right home to write about it.

Monday, December 6, 2004

Monday Quiz 2: What is Jen sick and tired of? (AOL edition)

Hello, and welcome to the second installment of "What is Jen sick and fucking tired of?" This was supposed to be a weekly segment here on the Smash, but I got lazy. This is a blog, after all. "Lazy" is our middle name.

Today, I am sick and fucking tired of automatic software upgrades. I work at an Internet publishing company (yes, there are a few of us left), and I do about 85% of my work on the Internet. All of the applications that allow me to post stuff to our Web sites, for example, are Web-based. So when I can't use the Internet for some reason, I pretty much can't work.

Cue AOL Instant Messenger, and their oh-so-helpful automatic software upgrade. (We use IM for work purposes, by the way. Just in case you were going to advise me to solve all my problems by getting to work for real.) Every other week, it seems, I get another little pop-up window when I log on, telling me that my Instant Messenger is hopelessly out of date, but not to worry: with one click of my mouse, I can download the latest version and get the latest smileys and wallpaper and obnoxious little door shut!/door open! noises. This will presumably keep me from being ostracized at work by my peers who remain more current with their free applications.

But I don't care about that, because my coolness comes from within, or rather not at all. So if it were up to me, I'd never ever upgrade IM. I'd still be using the first version that came on the market, the one where a little woodpecker appears on your screen and taps out your messages on a slate tablet. (Similarly, I still use a cell phone with the magical power of making and receiving phone calls, and not much else in the way of features. It is the size of a sandwich and weighs five pounds. It might have a crank on the back.)

However, you can't let IM lie fallow on your machine, not the way they've got it set up, oh no. After skipping two or three upgrades, you will start to notice that your IM doesn't work as well as it did a few weeks ago. You won't be able to see people's icons at all anymore, or you won't see a flash when someone is messaging you. Also, that one guy who works at every company and does nothing all day but try out new features on free software will message you incessantly, asking you if you can hear the Star Spangled Banner play while he types.

So I keep having to upgrade. This last time, AOL thoughtfully installed a toolbar with a pop-up blocker that essentially cancelled out half our content management applications. Like a total boob, I sat there for half an hour, waiting for the pop-up window to appear telling me that my content was ready for preview. In vain, alas, in vain.

I can only hope that my new toolbar will cancel out AOL's next "free upgrade!" pop-up.

Friday, December 3, 2004

I am here to help

Hello, my friends, friends' friends, family members, ex-boyfriends and stalkers. I am starting a new feature here on the Smash, and I need your help. It's going to be called "Ask Jennie Smash", and it will be, as you might expect, an advice column. There's a twist, too, but I hate to spoil things for people.

So send me your troubles and cares: iscribblez AT I am not a trained anything, and I often give very bad advice. How's that for a pitch?

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Pixies, yay! Yay, Pixies!

So, I went to see the Pixies last night in Lowell. It was a good show, despite the fact that I was tired and feeling sort of grumpy and old. Fortunately, the Pixies themselves are now grumpy and old, and so is most of their audience, so I didn't feel out of place.

Because I'm lazy, as well as being grumpy and old, here are my observations from the show, in no particular order:

1) Frank Black has a big, fat head. And it gets worse from there: his neck looks like it's trying to swallow his noggin. I've heard he's kind of a dick, and all I can say is that if my neck looked like a foreskin, I might be, too. That being said, he's still a completely awesome weirdo.

2) I still wish Kim Deal would be my friend.

3) Everyone has little pigtails now. It used to be just a few people and now it's everyone. Why can't I have little pigtails? Maybe I'll just cut all my hair off.

4) Here's how I know I'm old: I sat down at the show. Like, for almost all of it. And I thought it was too loud.

5) My imaginary baby, which some of you may remember from my livejournal, was in full force last night. Actually, it was more like an imaginary fetus. I was so hormonal with PMS that it was like I was pregnant. My premenstrual self wanted a lot of salt, so I got a big bag of popcorn and snarfled it down. And then I stole some of Isaac's M&Ms. He was a little confused when I told him that my imaginary baby thinks M&Ms are delicious.

6) Where do people find time to sew little skulls on the back of their vintage coats? I don't even have time to sew buttons on. I just wear the fucker until I'm down to, say, two buttons and then I throw that shit out.

7) I seem to have stopped recycling. I just left all my garbage on the floor. Also, at work, I'm not using my recycling bin for its intended purpose. What does that mean? Have I given up?

8) Crowds are always full of awesome freaks. This is true at concert venues, shopping malls and outdoor gun shows. Get more than ten strangers in a room and you're bound to have at least one mutterer with questionable hygiene.

9) I want robotic lights like the ones the Pixies had. They hung on trees and moved just like the spotlights in the future scenes of The Terminator. If I had these robotic lights, I would program them so that they would go on whenever I spoke in a meeting or told a joke when I was out with my friends. Just imagine how shocked you'd be if we were hanging out and I said something and then this huge purple spotlight shone on me.

10) People don't wave lighters anymore. They wave cell phones. DUMB. (I did it, too.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

A recent realization

This is just life: I'm stressed out and that's how it is.

I realized that today, because I was talking to my good friend and fellow stress-bunny Cathy, and one or the other of us (could have been either) said, "Well, it's just been a hard year." And then I realized that I've been saying "it's been a hard year" for oh ... the last five years or so at least. So basically, as long as I've been out in the world, working and paying rent and trying to figure out how to have normal relationships with other humans, it's been a hard year.

For my new year's resolution, I think I will start saying something else instead. Not necessarily something positive, mind you. I don't want to get dizzy and confuse myself. But instead of saying that it's been a hard year, maybe I'll just use a different adjective. Maybe I'll say it's been a fuzzy year, or it's been a purple year. Maybe I'll say, "this year does not quite match the other years, but the light is so dim in the bar that no one will notice."

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I am an ass, but I know people

Last month, my pal Rob Web (not his real name) agreed to let me read at the Circus of the Shattered Monkey at the Zeitgeist in Cambridge. I told my funeral story, because I'm obsessed with it, apparently, and I wore orange flowers in my hair, because I love orange.

Roodles took some pictures, the better to immortalize my foolishness. I swear to you that I am much better looking in real life. I'm not 60 years old, for one thing. It's not Rod's fault, by the way. I am, in actual fact, the least photogenic person on the planet, including Tom Brady. Those of you who live in the Boston area and have seen his Dunkin Donuts ads will know what I mean.

What you can't see, because this is a still picture, is that my hands are shaking so badly that I can barely see the words on the page in front of me. Have you ever tried to read on the Stairmaster? It was like that.

"Thank you, Cambridge! Good night!"

At this point, I have regained control over my pages, but I am still terrified that the microphone will get away from me. Note the white-knuckle grip. I don't know what to say about my facial expression.

Monday, November 29, 2004

I also have a lovely singing voice

I cope with stress really, really well. So when the tow truck guy didn't believe that our address was correct, I handled it with grace and aplomb.

"I'm standing in front of a sign that says I'm at 325 Huntington Ave." I told him. "Is your guy standing in front of a sign that says he's at 325 Huntington Ave.?"

The tow truck driver said that he was.

"Well, then we've got some kind of a problem, because I don't know what other address to give you. I mean, if they're just going to start posting signs with fictious addresses on them, then I guess we're all just hopelessly lost, aren't we?"

I'm going to spare you the play by play. Here's the summary: we went back and forth for quite some time, as I got more irate, and he got more patronizing, and finally, I used the F word.

Don't ever use the F word with a tow truck driver. You might as well strap on your sneakers and start walking home.

Three hours later, when the tow truck driver arrived, I had wept away all my anger and was prepared to wash and wax his truck if he'd just fix the tire. Not that I had to wash and wax anything, because it was pouring out. POURING. My coat smells like a drunk lama and my hair is STILL frizzy.

Oh, and the sign I was standing in front of? Was wrong. Let this be a lesson to you all. When you think you're most right, you're probably dead wrong.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Chinatown bus: $15 and the self-realizations are free

I got into town early Friday night after a horrifyingly long and uncomfortable bus ride. I'm a big fan of the Chinatown bus, generally speaking. It's about a four and a half hour trip from Boston to New York, it's only fifteen bucks, and my boyfriend is at the other end. I can deal with the cramped seats and the masses of unwashed humanity. I'm not nearly as OCD as I used to be. I will not use the bathroom, however, but that's just smart: the bathroom on the Chinatown bus resembles the toilet in Trainspotting.

This time, however, I was really starting to wonder if maybe I'd gotten on the wrong coach. It was dirtier than usual, and more full of folks, and the woman who was sitting in front of me definitely looked like she'd just escaped from somewhere with hinges on the wrong side of the door.

I had chosen the seat in the first place because I was avoiding a guy who'd started chatting me up in the line. I'd thought he was gay at first, but then realized fairly quickly that he was just sort of fashionable. And while I'm not so vain that I think every guy in the world wants to sleep with me, I don't care to test out the boundaries of someone's interest on a four hour bus ride.

Make that five and a half hours, because with traffic, that's how long it took. Meanwhile, in my efforts to dodge the not-gay-maybe-hot-for-me guy, I'd squished myself in behind the giant ex-convict lady, who was tapping out messages on her cell phone and looking surly and hard. Needless to say, I didn't feel all right about asking her to return her seat to its full and upright position.

It would have been fine, except for the fact that a tiny Japanese girl politely squished herself in next to me -- with her enormous luggage. She asked me if she could sit next to me, and instead of saying, "No, I hate people" or "No, I have fleas" or pulling a horn out of my pocket and tooting on it, I said yes, because I'm a pussy. I passive-aggressively compensated, however, by talking on my cell phone the whole time. Because I'm a bad person.

Anyway, by the time we got to New York, the Japanese girl, the ex-con, and the gang of obviously middle class wanna be gang members in the, I kid you not, turbans in the front probably all wanted to kill me. But not the not-gay guy. He wanted to know what I was up to for the weekend, and how to get to the 6. Just then, however, the Moozle rounded the corner and fixed him with his best Get Away From My Woman stare, and he skittered off.

Which means that this bus ride taught me that, in addition to being passive-aggressive, I am probably both prejudiced and anti-feminist. That's a lot of self-realization for only fifteen bucks.

Monday, November 22, 2004


New Yorkers are thin. If you mention this to a New Yorker, they will most likely tell you that it's because they walk everywhere, or that they're so poor they have to choose between booze and food, and booze wins. These things are true. It is also true that they are very fashionable people, New Yorkers, famously so, and that thinness shows off their clothes better.

But mostly, I think New Yorkers are thin because there's no goddamn room in this city for fat people.

I have been in New York for four days now, and I notice that I have perfected the art of taking up next to no space. Sitting in a restaurant, I fold my huge coat into a teensy bundle at the back of my chair and turn my purse into an armrest, all while managing to ignore the fact that the people at the "next table" are, in fact, sitting exactly three inches from my right elbow. It's not okay to talk to them unless they want you to, you know. And if they want you to, that usually means they're crazy.

Let's have a tangent, shall we? I've been talking to everyone in New York, crazy or no: people in bars, people in stores, people on the street. And I have no idea what anyone is talking about when they say New Yorkers are rude. New Yorkers aren't rude. They're actually really friendly. Now, whether or not they'll steal your wallet after you finish your chit-chat -- that's another story.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I don't feel so good myself

My coworker brought in her six-year-old son today, because he's sick. He's one of those really cute kids that seem just like teeny little old people. Very serious, very solemn. I like a kid who's a little concerned about how things are turning out. Plus, he's stuffy, so he's even funnier than normal.

I've been sick myself, the past day or so, so I thought we could compare symptoms, one prematurely old person to another.

"So what are you sick with?" I asked him.

He tapped his chin thoughtfully, and gave me the list: "I have a cold, a cough, a stuffy head, and I don't feel good either. Also..." He held up his thumb, which had a bandaid on it. "...I have a strip on my thumb."

"A strip?"

"An ouchless strip."

"What's wrong with your thumb?"

He looked very concerned, and said in low, confidential voice. "I don't know, but it hurts."

I love this kid.

And in this corner...

My Dad tried to teach me how to box once.

He had my best interests at heart. You see, I know some of you might not believe this, given how cool I've become as an adult, but as a child I was kind of a nerd.

(Brief pause while I reorganize my Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs.)

But this was a long time ago. I was five. We had just moved to a really poor section of Vermont, and I was going to school with kids who lived in trailers and shot their breakfast every morning and only had one pair of clothes. My nerdiness -- while deep and profound and involving culottes, OCD and a preternaturally advanced vocabulary -- was probably less of an issue than the fact that I was the second richest kid in school. The first richest kid, my best friend Emily, was the scion (scioness?) of a granite empire. Her father owned every granite quarry in the state of Vermont. My Dad? Had a job.

Anyway, every morning, I'd walk down to the end of our street with my Mom and sister and catch the bus. Meg was pretty much an adorable bundle of clothes at that point. She was shy even as a baby. The bus would pull up, and the doors would open, and Ward, the two thousand year old farmer who drove the bus would say, to Meg, "And how's my little girlfriend this morning?" And Meg would blink at him. For some reason, he found this extra charming. Fifteen years later, she would have the same effect on men with the same minimum of effort, and I would remain perplexed by the whole thing.

I'd get on the bus, and lean forward until my forehead was pressing right against the seat in front of me. I didn't get car sickness. I just liked to sit that way. I also liked to wash my hands forty times a day whether I needed to or not, and to rearrange the seams on my knee socks so that they lined up perfectly under my toenails. I had some issues, okay?

A few stops later, we'd hit the trailer park, and my arch nemesis Gretchen would get on. She hated me so much, it was like she was in love. She'd make a beeline for my seat, and take the one right in front, and lean over and start addressing the top of my head.

"Hey, freak farm," she'd say. "Why don't you sit up?"

"I don't like to." I'd explain.

"Well, I'd like you to. Sit up."

"No, thank you."

"Hey!" Sock, sock, sock. Right in the arm. Later, I'd have a bruise like someone had been giving me shots. "I said, sit up."


"Are you retarded?"


"Sit up!"

I craned my neck a bit, so I could look her in the eye, but kept the top of my head against the seat. "I'd rather not, but thanks. That really hurts, you know. Would you stop doing that?"

"I'm sorry, freak farm." She often, for some reason, had a box of cereal with her on the bus, something sugary that my Mom never would have bought, except for a snack. "Want some cocoa puffs?" She reached into the bag and stuffed a big handful into her mouth.

I eyed her warily. "Well ... I don't know. Did you wash your hands?"

Sock, sock, sock.

It wasn't long before my father discovered my bruises. He was horrified.

"Doesn't Ward notice this?" He asked.

I shrugged.

"Don't you tell him?"

I shrugged again. All this shrugging was making my bruises hurt.

"Well, if you won't tell him, I'm going to teach you to defend yourself."

In the background, from which she'd been letting my father 'handle this', my Mother raised her eyebrows.

So Dad and I had boxing lessons. He taught me how to make a fist that wouldn't break my thumb and how to hit from the shoulder and plow straight through a person without pulling up at the last second. We worked the heavy bag. (It didn't move when I punched it.) We worked the speed bag. (I couldn't seem to find it, once it was in motion.) Finally, he declared me ready to meet my enemy.

The next day, I got on the bus with a renewed sense of dread. Today, I would be picked on, and I'd have to hit someone. This seemed worse than just being picked on.

I took my usual seat, and sat straight up. I waved to my Mom and sister at the curb. My Mom looked a little worried. Meg grinned toothlessly at me from the depths of her hood. I was clearly already her hero.

A few stops later, Gretchen got on.

"Hi, freak farm." She said. "Why aren't sitting funny?"

"I'm probably going to hit you," I told her. "I know how to box now."

"You know how to box now? You know how to box now?"

"You're repeating yourself and you sound really stupid. My Dad taught me how to box and now I'm going to..." I struggled to remember the words "...knock your block off."

Gretchen dissolved in hysterics.

I looked at the window. "Well, I am."

She sat down next to me. Held out her box of cereal. "Want some Froot Loops?"

I looked back at her. She was smiling. I decided, hey, a tough girl who knows how to box doesn't have to be afraid of trailer park germs. I reached into the box defiantly and took a big handful of cereal, and stuffed it in my mouth. Gretchen reached out, fast as lighting, and punched me in the face while my mouth was full. It was a really beautiful jab and my Dad would have been proud. I choked a bit on my cereal, but I didn't hit her back.

Later, at home, my Mom wrote me a note to give to Ward. He read it gravely, and then told me to sit up front behind him. Which I did, for the rest of the year. The front seat on the bus has no seat-back in front of it, just a bar you can put your feet up on. But I got used to it soon enough.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A girl's lament for Old Dirty Bastard

Apparently, my blog is boring now that I'm not pissed off all the time. At least, that's what I've been hearing. There's nothing that will strike less terror in a blogger's heart than being accused of dullness. After all, this is an entirely self-centered and lazy-minded enterprise anyway, this blogging nonsense.

Still, I'm desperate for approval, and so in an attempt to spice things up around here, I asked a few friends for some input on what I should write about. One of my friends, a guy, obviously, suggested I write about Old Dirty Bastard, who passed away a few days ago, apparently after blowing one too many lines off a hooker's bum, or whatever it was he like to do for fun. (Note to ODB's legal team: I have no money. Don't even bother.)

The problem is that I'm a girl, so I don't give a crap about Old Dirty Bastard. I mean, I'm sorry he's dead, and all, I guess, but ... well, wait. How dirty was he? Was he, like, filthy? Did he smell? Or was it more metaphorical dirtiness? Was he a misogynist? I seem to have some memory of him both being physically repulsive and also kind of mean. So forget that. I'm still sorry he's gone, of course, and I wish all condolences to his family and friends, but it would be kind of silly to pretend that I have a personal stake in his demise. (Pronounced "de-MEEESE", the Robert Shaw in Jaws way, of course.) Cuz I just don't.

So, okay. Farewell, Old Dirty Bastard. You were good, I've heard. And also, possibly not all that clean. And many people, mostly boys, thought you were interesting. Rest in peace. If you like that sort of thing.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Monday Quiz (the first)

Hello! Welcome the first ever Monday Quiz. This is a new feature on Expect to see it every Monday, unless I get sick and fucking tired of it, in which case it will go away with no explanation. We're slightly understaffed here at the Smash.

Speaking of sick and fucking tired, that's the theme of the Quiz. Every Monday from now on, expect to see a new and more boring answer to the question: What is Jen sick and fucking tired of?

Today, I am sick and fucking tired of losing buttons from my coat. My coat is awesome. It's almost forty years old, very Audrey Hepburn, and a fetching shade of camel beige. I look extremely stylish in it, as well as more than usually attractive, and any day now, drag queens will start dressing up like me and having contests to see who can portray the most convincing Jennie Smash.

There's only one problem with my excellent forty-year-old coat, and that's that the buttons keep flying off, often with a velocity normally associated with machine gun fire. So I'll be sitting in some bar, talking to one of my lovely friends, and a button will go winging off my boob and hit them in the eye. All of my friends are one-eyed now, and making comments about my boobs' ability to pop buttons. They'd be bitter if it weren't for the fact that they now have a brand-new thing to make fun of me about. Bitches.

The button situation has nothing to do with my boobs, by the way. The problem is in the forty-year-old thread attaching my buttons to my coat. But now I've double-stitched them all back on there with new, cheap, style-free nylon thread, and we could probably use my buttons to fish for trout or whatever, and they'd still hold. So there.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Rod Webber is crazy

Or at the very least, severely bored. How bored is he? Listen to this and you tell me.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Sing it with me: Boys are dumb

I was looking at my stats this morning, and I've figured out that I get the best traffic when I whine about boys. This is amusing to me, because it supports a theory that I've had for a long time, which is that the Internet is basically just a ginormous electronic version of Opposite Day. (You remember Opposite Day from elementary school. "I love Jimmy Feldman. PSYCH! It's Opposite Day! BURN!" And Jimmy Feldman would slink off into the corner and cry. Or plot his revenge. Most of my friends were Jimmy Feldman in school.)

Anyway, my point is that the Internet seems to take boring things like, say, incessant complaining, and make them interesting to people, and I'm not sure how. I suspect it has something to do with all of us Internet addicts being a self-selecting audience of nerdlingers (hi, Jimmy!), and also being stuck at a desk all day.

Because I believe in giving the people what they want, whether it's George W. Bush, green ketchup or dumb blog entries about dumb boys -- marketing! It's the American way! -- this entry will be entirely about the stupidity of men.

So. Today's whine is light white with a tinge of bitterness and an oaky foundation of bemusement. I have selected it to compliment a hot steaming plate of ... oh screw this metaphor. Listen. Here's the deal. I've had a boyfriend for like half an hour now, and already I've lost one male friend. Where'd he go? I dunno. A month ago we were chitter-chattering on e-mail like old pals, and now he's scarpered off to wherever boys scarper off to.

Oh, give him a break, you say. Maybe he's busy.

Grow up, okay? He's not busy. He was plotting to get into my under-roos and now that I'm spoken for, he's not returning my calls.

I was even more aggravated about this until I talked to my sister, who informed me that since she's gotten married, she's lost about 85% of her male friends. And not just because her husband has a lot of guns, either. Although, come to think of it, maybe that didn't help.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The "fun" in funeral

My latest contribution to the Black Table is up. Go check it out, if you like funny stories about funerals.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Dr. W. David Hager owns your uterus, soul, sense of skepticism

The past few days have been hard, no doubt, so I'm willing to cut my peeps some slack on the my usual rule about e-mail forwards. My usual rule about e-mail forwards, by the way, is that people who send them should be prepared for me to box up my actual paper junkmail, smear it with poo, and shove it through their mail slot. I really hate e-mail forwards.

That being said, times are tough, so I can be a little understanding about the mass volume of pinko propaganda that's wall-papering my Yahoo! account at the moment. Quotes from Thomas Jefferson? Always good. United States of Canada and Jesusland? Hi-sterical!

But I swear before God and all that's holy if I get one more e-mail about W. David Hager and the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee, I will come over to your house and swap out all your birth control pills with baby aspirin. Don't say I didn't warn you.

For those of you who haven't received this forward yet, here's a brief sampling. Just pretend we're penpals and get your baby aspirin ready.

President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W.

David Hager to head up the Food and Drug

Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs

Advisory Committee...

...Dr. Hager, the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women:

Restoring Women Then and Now." The book blends

biblical accounts of Christ healing Women with case

studies from Hager's practice. His views of

reproductive health care are far outside the

mainstream for reproductive technology. Dr. Hager is a

practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life"

and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried

women. In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife,

entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he suggests

that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome

should seek help from reading the bible and praying.

Horrifying? Yes. Current? No. Dr. W. David Hager has been on the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee for two years now. This information is available to all of you who currently have InTerWeb access.

So rather than send me a petition, here's what I want you to do. Write old W. David Hager a letter and let him know how you feel about how Jesus cared for women. His address, readily available for all who know that Google's not just something your eyes do when confronted with attractive naked people, is:

W. David Hager, M.D.

Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

University of Kentucky

Director, Ob/Gyn Residency Training Program

Central Baptist Hospital

Women's Care Center

2720 Nicholasville Road

Lexington, Kentucky 40503

Please bear in mind that this guy is probably somewhat inured to hatemail, not to mention that we liberal types have a reputation for being more piss and vinegar than brains and reasoned argument ... so if you write the dude, play nice, okay?

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Self-indulgent IM-related post #473

JennieSmash: I have a headache and shouldn't be required to do anything.

Ilisah: There's a law about that. I know. I'm a law student.

JennieSmash: Omigod, I'm so glad we talked about this, then.

Ilisah: Yes, you could sue.

JennieSmash: Maybe I just will.

JennieSmash: I have my period and it's making me feel achy and old.

Ilisah: Ah, yes.

JennieSmash: Also, I don't know why you never told me that I have a moustache.

Ilisah: Probably because you don't.

JennieSmash: Oh.

Monday, November 8, 2004

New addition to the List: Michael Moore

Michael Moore has made my list, and I don't mean Christmas Card.

A few nights ago, at about one in the morning, my phone rang. For some reason, I'd left it by my bed, so all I had to do was reach over groggily and pick it up off my night table. The little caller ID monitor showed my sister's number in Tacoma. Thoroughly freaked, I picked up right away.

"Hello? Are you okay?" My brother-in-law is in Iraq. My sister is thousands of miles away, all alone and terrified, with nothing to do but worry about her husband.

On the other end of the phone, muffled sobbing. All my internal organs tried to climb up my throat.

"Is John okay?"

Through her tears, she told me that he was. The problem, it turned out, was that she'd Netflixed Fahrenheit 9/11, and so now she was afraid of the following: that something bad would happen to John, that he was embroiled in evil, and doing terrible things to innocent Iraqis. My field of vision immediately went red, just like in the Popeye cartoons.

Speaking of Red: I nearly am, in case you're wondering. I'm so liberal, I'm practically a communist. I am not, however, a fan of Michael Moore's, and here's why: I firmly believe that Michael Moore is much more interested in furthering his own career than he is in telling the truth about anything. And like our illustrious leader G.W. "Motherfucker" Bush, he's willing to terrify people if it helps his cause. In fact, if you ask me, Moore and Bush should get together and go bowling. Or move to Mass. and get married. Because they're pretty much two ends of the same horrifying political phenomenom: Vote with your terror, not with your mind, or even your heart.

The next day, Meg heard from her husband, who told her that while he can't of course talk about what he's doing in Iraq, that the stuff he and his men are involved in are changing Iraqi lives for the better. I believe that. I didn't support this war, but now that we're there, I think guys like John can really make a difference. Iraq has a police force now, I think for the first time ever. They have some semblance of democracy. And while I don't approve of us just running pell mell into any political mess that begs sweeping up, I'm not shedding any tears over old Saddam.

Just don't try to tell me that we invaded because of Al Qaeda. They're in a cave somewhere with Injun Joe and we have no fucking idea where they are. But that's another blog entry.

I (heart) New York

But it's fucking EXPENSIVE. Matt the Moozle and I went out to grab a bite before I got on my bus back home and dropped eighty goddamn dollars. Fortunately, he picked up the tab. I am adorable but completely useless with money. Ah, well. I'll get him back someday, when I'm rich and famous. Or maybe after I knock over the liquor store and before the cops come to pick me up.

Other neat but expensive adventures this weekend: going to an all-mystery bookstore and buying many mysteries; going to Film Forum and crying like a little school girl during On the Waterfront; going (twice) to Matt's local hangout, which is called something in German or else Irish and means "Meat and Cheese Bar", and drinking lots of very good beer and eating, you guessed it, meat and cheese and also a big plate of chocolate.

We ate a ton this weekend, but my pants are loose. That's because people in New York apparently walk everywhere. They go on and on about how lame Boston's public transit is, but let me tell you, for every subway train we caught, we waited for two that never arrived. Part of this is because we were waiting for the JMZ, codenamed by the Moozle "Subway Train of the Disenfranchised." Part of it was because neither Matt nor I ever has a clue where we're going. Also, if you've seen our glasses, watches or wallet, please drop me a line. In addition, please allow me to apologize for the fact that we seem to have broken all of your plates and dropped food on the rug.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

SPAM fwd [65]

I have found at my age going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of my face.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

As useful as a chocolate fireguard (or teapot).

What. The. Fuck? Dude.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

How the world will change, now that Bush has won

1) All uteruses (uteri?) will become official property of the state. Women of childbearing age will be have their bits branded accordingly. Women past menopause will be boiled down for petrol. Female children will be sent to reeducation camps, to teach them to sew their knees shut until a suitable Neocon mate presents himself.

2) Halliburton will be given whatever contracts and endorsements they fancy. Look for "Halliburton Bank of America" and "Halliburton Fenway Park", coming soon.

3) It will be perfectly legal to batter persons of Filipino descent in the street. This is a charter program for battering all non-white persons. What, you expected them to start with the Dominicans? Those dudes are big.

4) Dick Cheney will be able to go into any home in America and claim all its candy by Imminent Domain.


Outside my window, it really looks like November. It's raining. The sky is gray. There are leaves pasted over everything like paper mache.

I dreamt of bats last night. I dreamt that I was living in a haunted house. My real-life landlords were the landlords, and they were sad because they couldn't rent the top floor. I offered to exorcize the place for them. They were pleased, not only because we could rent the place but also because I had apparently wanted them to rent it earlier to friends of mine, some mysterious people called "the twins" and they'd said no. They were happy that we were on good terms again.

Mrs. Piddlington and I stomped around on the upper floor, saying the Lord's Prayer. We shivered with cold and looked very fierce. Outside the windows, the bats gathered.

At the end of the dream, we got in our cars and drove off, just like in the Amityville Horror. Evil won. All we could do was run away.

I didn't dream about the elections last night. Not in so many dream-words, anyway. But I'll tell you this: no matter what happens, I'm not getting in my actual car and driving away. This is my country, too, no matter what the Republicans want you to think, and being a liberal does not mean that I love my country any less than they do. (I would argue that I love it more: As a profoundly nonconfrontational person, it's hard for me to offer criticism to anyone, and yet here I am, offering criticism to America.)

Don't talk about going to Canada, my fellow Democrats and liberal Independents and Green Party members and all the rest. Stay here and fight. We're going to have to be very strong over the next four years. We're going to need each other.

Hang on. The Revolution will be televised, and misinterpreted, on four networks and a score of cable news outlets.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

I'm going to throw up

I didn't think I could be more nervous than I was during the World Series, bt I was wrong. My stomach has turned completely inside out. I may regurgitate it completely, just like a sea cucumber.


I was just settling in for a long and productive morning of forum monitoring and tip editing, when the VP of sales came by my desk. I like the VP of sales. We have a similar outlook on life. We're both obnoxiously friendly.

"Did you get married?" She asked.

My mouth fell open. For one minute, ya see, I thought she'd picked up the general improvement in my attitude and appearance lately, and come to her own conclusions. Then I realized what must've happened.

"Was there something in the Monday Update?" I asked.

The Monday Update is our internal newsletter. If you get married, or have a baby, or get promoted, or sell a bunch of stuff, or come up with a brilliant (read: money-making) idea, it goes in there. If you get divorced or fired, though, they don't mention it. Probably just as well. What would that call that section? "People We Don't Like So Much Anymore?" "Ginormous Loser of the Week?"

"Take a look," she said. I called up the Update from my e-mail, and there it was: On the left-hand side, with all the anniversaries, my name with the rest of the Four Year Crew -- only, due to an unfortunate cut-and-paste, I had an additional last name.

"Jennifer HubleyGould." I said. "It's nice that I kept the mid-word cap like that. Very appropriate for tech publishing."

"I liked that, too."

"Well, I'm happy to see that Bizarro Me rejected the hyphen, at least."


Vote. Vote vote vote. Vote.

And remember: If you vote for George W. Bush, a kitten dies.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Invasion of the ankle-biters

I went over to my folks' house last night to help pass out candy and hang out with Mrs. Piddlington before she headed home to the Pacific Northwest. Mrs. P. is inordinately fond of children, which is fantastic, because it means that she'll eventually have some nieces and nephews for me to play with ... and then return.

I've never been a big baby person myself. People would hold up their children like trophies and I'd say, "Oh, yes. That human is very small. Nicely done." And then parent and baby alike would roll their eyes at me.

Sometime in the past two years, though, that's changed.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I want one. There isn't room in my apartment for one thing, and you can't take them to bars. Also, they're woefully inadequate as conversationalists. And age is no excuse. I have it on good authority from my folks that I was a very witty baby.

Still. I can kind of see what people are talking about now, when they say babies are cute. I've caught myself making stupid faces at them a couple times. This is cool: they'll imitate anything you do. So it you were to, say, throw your hands in the air and yell, "BABY DANCE PARTY!", most likely any nearby babies would toss their wee fists and gyrate around accomodatingly. They're like Furbies, only you can't turn them off.

You can also dress them up in funny outfits. That's why Halloween is great for parents. Five years ago, they were using Halloween as an excuse to dress up like hookers. Now it's a reason to disguise their children as Michael Jackson's progeny.

(We had a lot of Spidermen last night. It reminded me of that creepy veil that Prince Michael the 47th was wearing in all those zoo pictures a year or so back. Anyway.)

Mrs. P and I were going to dress up her friend's baby and use it as bait for our own candy cache, but then we both got colds, and the baby's Mom said we were germy and to leave her baby alone. Moms. Jeez.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Parking lot derby

I work in an open office, which blows. You can never shut your door and escape, and you can you have to listen to other people fight with their loved ones all day long on the phone. Also, just try to make a doctor's appointment. It can't be done.

"Hi, this is J. Smash, and I'd like to schedule my pap smear. Oh, hi, boss-type person. Hang on. Just making sure the ole cooch is in working order, know what I'm sayin'?"

Nevertheless, my seating situation is pretty good. Our desks are just sort of scattered around this big warehouse space, but mine faces a window. Luck of the draw. I have a lovely view ... of our parking lot.

This affords me with plenty of distraction during the day, something I need desperately, of course. I was thinking for awhile of keeping a log of everyone's comings and goings, and then reading it out loud when they passed by my desk.

"11:45: Jane Shaw leaves for lunch. Despite only having come to work an hour and a half ago. What? This? Oh, it's nothing. Just think of it as evidence."

I don't have time for that sort of thing, of course. But I do have time for my next plan. Some of the sales guys have really fancy cars. (The editorial staff drive beaters, as a rule, but I'm sure you guessed that.) The sales guys who are really crazy about their cars park them way at the far end of the parking lot, like a quarter-mile away from the door, so that no one will park anywhere near them. There's one car in particular, some kind of fancy bright-yellow sports car, that's always parked waaaay over by the dumpster all by its onesies.

What I want to do is to follow that car around and park right next to it. When I get here in the morning, if the car's there, I'll park beside it. If the guy who owns it isn't in yet, I'll keep an eye peeled through the window and dash out and move my car as soon as he arrives. Then, if he moves it after lunch, I'll move mine, too.

This could be a lot of fun! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Go ahead and panic. The end times are near.

Okay. You should definitely say your prayers and pack a bag, because the Apocalypse is upon us. How do I know? Let's take the following factors into consideration:

1) The Red Sox won the World Series...

2) ...during a lunar eclipse...

3) ...both of which events I watched with my boyfriend.

Let's talk about the word "boyfriend" for a minute. I haven't had one for about six years now, and suddenly I do. I find that I feel somewhat retarded calling him my boyfriend, though. It seems embarrassing, like when 50 year old women talk about having boyfriends. I feel like people who aren't currently living in a dorm should get a different label to use. And bear in mind that I'm from New England, so just forget about the word "lover." Ditto for "partner", you goddamn hippie.

Anyway, my Friend and Traveling Companion Matthew flew up from New York yesterday afternoon to watch the game in style at my friends' house. He kept saying that this was the game and I kept hitting him. But it was The Game, as it turns out, so now he'll be impossible to live with.

I honestly don't know what to say about our having won the World Series, though. I've written like six essays on it, and scrapped them. I don't think it's sunk in yet. I'm still sort of delirious and shock-y. And I will definitely have no idea what to do with myself next week.

I'll miss the chips and dip at Isaac and Cathy's house, that's for sure. Do you have friends like this -- grown up friends? They have nice furniture and lots of plates and things and when you come over they can actually offer you a drink instead of saying, "Um, dude, if you hang on a second while I look for my wallet, we can go around the corner and get a beer or something." Anyway, Isaac and Cathy were responsible for feeding and housing most of our little crew for the past month, bless them. They seem to like all of us, still. Fools. Now we'll never go away.

How many months is it til Spring Training? I need to start counting down. But first -- a much needed nap.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Wisdom from the distracted

Everyone knows that boys are stupid. But did you know that their stupidity is contagious? That's right, it is. Associating with boys can make you stupid, even if you're a female person. This is not always bad.

For example, I am still at work right now, partly because I have a lot of work, but also because I have a beautiful bouquet of orange Gerber daisies on my desk. My favorite color is orange. My favorite flower? Is the Gerber daisy. Is it any wonder that I'm a little out of it?

The rest of you fellas should hunt down the boy who sent them and stone him to death, because he's ruining everything for you.

Good times in enemy territory

The Bronx is up and the Battery's down, and Jennie wore her Red Sox hat all over the town.

I spent last weekend in New York. The intention wasn't to lord it over Yankees fans, I swear. That was just a happy accident. The real purpose of my visit was to hang out with my good friend Kate Smyres on the occasion of the thirty-third anniversary of her birth. As she pointed out, next year, if she survives, she'll have beaten Jesus.

I always forget how awesome New York is. Let's start with the fact that no one was mean to me for wearing a Red Sox hat. I got a few dirty looks, maybe, but mostly people were either indifferent or elated. Apparently, there are a number of refugees from the Nation hiding out in NYC. And really, no one gives a crap what you do in that city. It's very liberating. It made me forget about my elbows and knees and stop twitching for awhile, as if the energy of the city had absorbed all my nervous tics and siphoned them away.

Also: you gotta love a city where everyone is a stinking lush. Jeebus H. Christmas, I felt like a teetotaler. I got off the bus at the Lucky Star Bus Terminal and Fruit Stand at around 5:30 on Friday night and went to drop my stuff off at Smyres' apartment in Park Slope, and then we immediately went out and started drinking and didn't stop until I got back on the bus Monday morning. At brunch on Sunday, I expressed to my friend Matthew, a fellow Masshole now living in Williamsburg, that I thought my liver might fall out and go seek a more congenial host and he said, "Ah. Well. Welcome to New York."


Someone got to my blog by Googling "Death by rat bites in ireland." Wha?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's our time. It's our time up here.

I have no snide comments to make. I have no shit-talk to offer. I am so happy. God bless the Red Sox Nation.

Funniest link ever

Is this a dorm? A prison for baseball fans? I don't know, but it's pretty dang funny.

A-Rod is a big old girl

If we're a bunch of characters, then what are the Yankees? I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, and here's what I've come up with: The Yankees are a bunch of spoiled prep school girls who are used to getting everything they want, and have no idea how to cope with being told no. "But Pa-PA said we might go to first base. And I've so looked forward to it. Out of my way, you cad, or I shall be very cross! Perhaps I will slap you."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Curt Montague Schilling is your daddy

Also your father. Also your boss. Your master. The man who writes your checks. The guy who might well call in the vig. He's the guy. The dude. The bull goose looney. So fuck you. FUCK YOU, YANKEES FANS. What can you do, with sutures holding your tendons together? Take a ladylike nibble at my nether regions? Oh, HEY. That's what I thought.

I'm not ashamed to tell you that I cried a little tonight. Not as much as A-Rod cried, but that's okay.

I am all out of eloquence. All's I can say is, this was a good night. A really good night.

Just a bunch of characters

Gary Sheffield is now saying that he never called my large Dominican boyfriend and his teammates a walking disaster. Or, at least, I think that's what he's saying. I can't be sure, because he keeps sobbing like a little girl.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Line up here for your free beating

There's a lot I could complain about right now. I'm a registered Democrat and a Red Sox fan, and my brother-in-law went to Iraq on Wednesday. Things have been better in Smashville, you know? But instead of complaining about politics or sports or anything really important, I'm going to whine about my new upstairs neighbors, because my theory is that the way to be the Best Blogger in the Whole Wide World, which is, of course, my greatest goal, is to be even more trivial than every other blogger. This isn't easy, mind you. There are folks out there who make Jean Teasdale from the Onion look like Hemingway in their accessiblity and relevance. But I'm doing my best.

Anymchoodle, here's my point: I'm going to kill my upstairs neighbors. Those of you who have been reading this site since its earlier incarnation on LJ will remember that I have a bad history with upstairs neighbors. Part of this is because my house was never intended to be an apartment building, so the walls are pretty thin. This means that my neighbors and I, whoever they are, get to know a lot about each other's musical taste and sex life. But most of the problem is that everyone else sucks except for me. This realization is what lead me to choose to live alone in the first damn place, but until I get my own private island, merely having my own apartment won't be enough to isolate me from the surging tides of humanity, apparently.

My previous upstairs neighbors were a woman a few years older than me, her 11-year-old son and their ratty little dog. This was annoying enough. My current neighbors are three guys in their early 20s, and I think so far, I'd rather have the dog back.

Here are their sins to date:

1) Tearing up the hallway whilst moving in. There are workmen out there right now, patching up the plaster, and, I hope, painting over the gouges.

2) Leaving the goddamn light on in the hall at all hours of the day and night, which is going on my bill, I just know it. Yes, I know that's illegal. Life is hard.

3) Not even saying HI to me for FUCK'S SAKE when we run into each other in the hallway. This is only one of them, but c'mon now. Manners.

4) Having a drum set. They haven't played it yet, but it's only a matter of time. I saw it when they moved in. Nothing gets past me.

5) This is the worst one. You better sit down. Not taking their garbage out, ever, in the whole three weeks they've lived here, but rather stacking their bags and boxes and bottles and BOX SPRING and BAR STOOL and OTHER ITEMS NOT STARTING WITH "B", BUT STILL FURNITURE OF A LARGE-ISH NATURE, I ASSURE YOU by the side of the house as if the FUCKING JOADS LIVED HERE.

I'm really sorry for all the yelling, but I feel better now, and isn't that what blogging is all about? Please go back to your regularly scheduled surfing. I think I'll be okay.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Before this week is over, I will probably:

1) Have a heart attack

2) Physically menace and possibly attack this one guy who always wears a Yankees cap in the office

3) Get committed to McLean's

4) Require a liver transplant

5) Develop a permanent eye-twitch

In other news, it's not my fault that Mike Mussina is hot. I'm not proud of myself or anything like that, so there's no use berating me over it. It's just that he's so serious. It's really adorable. And I think I can help him. Or at least keep him distracted and away from the ballpark. No sacrifice too large, that's my motto.

Also, in further baseball-related fragments, I'm starting to think that my friend Cathy is right: Maybe Manny isn't a total bag of hammers. Check out the look in his eyes when he thinks the camera isn't on him. He looks rather shrewd, doesn't he?

This is the most disjointed entry ever, but I am so tired. So here's my last point: we know Schilling's ankle is all fucked up. There's no need to pan to it ever other second when he's on the mound, Fox "We Suck the Cock of the Devil" Sports. When they're not doing that, they're showing us dip shots of Schilling spitting tobacky all over his chin. Way to kick a guy when he's down, fellas.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Monday, October 11, 2004

Put a helmet on Hubley

Yesterday, instead of writing, I went to the motorcycle show at Lars Andersen field. One of my favorite things about being a writer, I've decided, is that in order to avoid doing my favorite thing in the world to do, namely write, I will try almost anything. This is great, because I'm pretty timid by nature when it comes to new things. But because I have all these deadlines to avoid, both actual and self-imposed, I wind up trying all sorts of fun things, like going to the motorcycle show. If you ever hear that I'm sky-diving, you'll know I've gotten a book deal.

Anyway, the motorcycle show was great. I went with my friend Christine and her boyfriend Robbie and our friend Eddie. It's a great group to go to just about anything with. We're all fairly mellow and self-sufficient in terms of wandering around on our own at these things, and everyone has an interesting perspective to offer, partly because we're all from different places.

Christine is very sweet, quiet but tough the way some shy people are, and weighs as much as my left thigh. She had a belt on that would have made a dandy garter for a normal-sized person, except that it had an enormous KISS buckle on it. I'm pretty sure that she could have whipped it off and used it as a weapon if necessary. And just think how funny you'd look, with KISS-shaped welts all over your face. She's from Boston, but you probably figured that out from the KISS belt. We love metal in Boston. It's a whole thing.

Robbie's from Maine, as I figured out when he called several members of the Red Sox "shitbirds" the other night. Shitbirds are the official state bird of Maine. I know this because Mainers are always yelling about them. Lot of pride in the great state of Maine. Robbie's also the funniest person I've met in a long time. We were discussing some of our snottier mutual acquaintances, and I said, "It's like you have to apply to be friends with these people," and Robbie said, holding up his fists, "Yeah. It's like, 'is there an application fee? All's I got is two fives.'"

Eddie is an Okie. At one point, we were in the Transportation Museum, which is this old barn that the Andersens turned into a garage for their many expensive automobiles, and we came upon a room full of saddles. "Oh, look!" Eddie said. "It's the Okie Room!" He then proceeded to point out various parts of the saddles to me, in case I should ever need to rope some doggies. Did you know that if you try to hold their leads in your hand, without using the pommel on your saddle, that you can break your wrist? Well, according to Eddie, you can, and I believe him. Fair warning.

Anyway, enough about where people are from. The point is that we had a good time. Motorcycle shows are only mostly about motorcycles. They're also about fashion and dogs. We saw some great dogs (as opposed to doggies, see above), including a weimaraner puppy who didn't feel very well, but still raised his wee liver-colored head gamely for a pat. Now there's a dog. Desperate for approval. I like that in an animal.

The title of this entirely back-asswards piece comes from a game Robbie invented called "Put a helmet on Hubley." The point of the game, I guess, would've been to put helmets on me, because I'd look funny wearing a helmet. I like games like that. Everyone wins! Anyway, we didn't get to play that game, because there weren't a lot of stray helmets roaming around. Most of them were on riders. But I did get to sit on the 2005 Triumph, which was so freakin' huge I couldn't get my legs around it. The guys from the dealership thought this was maybe the cutest thing they'd ever seen in their lives, I could tell. They kept saying things like, "Aw, you look really good on it!" And, "Well, maybe you could wear heels." To their credit, they didn't dissolve in hysterics the way I would have.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Shopping list

I just went to CVS. Here's what I got:

1) Heating pad

2) Bathroom cleansers (various)

3) Peanut butter M&Ms

4) Feminine hygiene products (various)

5) Pain relievers (two kinds, one specifically targeted for "irritability")

Who wants to mess with me? Who? You? I didn't think so.

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Ms. Smash and the case of the soggy britches

This one time, I wet my pants in front of a lot of people. You can read about it here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

A cautionary tale

I love penpals. This is only one of many reasons why I'm addicted to Friendster. The other is that I love it when people e-mail me pictures of their dicks. (Perverts of the world: Before you hit "send", please realize that I WAS KIDDING.)

Anyway, one of my penpals asked me recently to send him a cautionary tale. I sent him the following story. It's kind of a bullshit way to do an entry, but I hate to leave any material unmilked:

A few years ago, I slimmed down a bit. Okay, a lot: I lost 30 pounds. The first time I went out drinking after said weight loss, I forgot to factor in my new weight when ordering my beverages. Three martinis later, I stood up from my barstool and promptly fell over, cracking my eyeglasses and cutting my eyebrow so badly that I needed four stitches to close it.

That's not the cautionary tale. This is: if you crack your eyeglasses and cut open your eyebrow while drinking, do not, I repeat DO NOT, go to the hospital where your mother works to be stitched up. Your mother's friends will tease you about your miniskirt and obvious drinking problem and then they will stitch your eyebrow up with bright blue thread, which will attract comment and honeybees in equal measure for the next week or so.



Wheel! Of! Dicks!*

Here's something you don't know about me: Although I can't keep a relationship going for more time than it takes a dairy product to expire in a poorly sealed fridge, all of my formers come back eventually. Before you accuse me of vanity, let me assure you that I don't think that this reflects well on me. I mean, I'd like to think it's cuz I'm so hot that all the color goes right out of life when I'm not around. But I suspect that the real situation is that I'm a big, big sucker, and boys can smell it.

One of the problems we face in this mockery that we call dating life in the early 21st century is that boys have so many technologies at their disposal when they want to drop in on you once again. They can Google you, and find out where you're living or working or at the very least, how to contact you via e-mail. They can dig up your blog or your livejournal or your company Web site and figure out your IM and start sending you cowardly electronic pleas for forgiveness and renewed friendship.

It's been a busy year for me and the Boy-Go-Round, but I've developed a good attitude toward it now. Instead of moaning and groaning about why the boys keep going away and popping back up again, I'm starting to look forward to seeing which one of them will appear next. I'm thinking of starting a betting pool. Who wants in?

* (tm) Isaac Canney, one of the good ones. You can tell he's a good one, because I've never dated him. Ha! Ha ha ha! Sob. But seriously. He came up with Wheel of Dicks and it was so funny that I stole it from him. But now I'm telling you that I stole it, which makes this not stealing, but collaboration.

No sleep til ... no sleep ever, apparently

Did you know that people can go insane from lack of sleep? Of course you knew that. You've seen all the same shows and movies I've seen. You know about sharps and hot and cold and sleep deprivation and Chinese water torture. God, you're sick. You can't just watch a nice sitcom like everyone else? You disgust me.

I woke up this morning at 2:30 a.m. and could not get back to sleep for love nor money. There are a couple reasons for this:

1) I fell asleep listening to the radio, and at about 2:30, the dj started playing nu metal, for some unknown reason.

2) My Dad had surgery yesterday. He's fine. But still: surgery. Hubleys hate surgery. We don't even like to ask people for change for a five, never mind trust them to heal us. We think think they might want something in return, like the right to come over to our house and play with our things. Or maybe they'll expect us to perform surgery on them some day. It's all very suspicious.

3) My brother-in-law is going to Iraq in a couple of days.

4) It's getting cold out, and because I hate to be just like everyone else, I've arranged it so that the cold triggers a reverse-hiberation response in my poor little sleep-deprived body. Once the weather changes, I start waking up after just one REM cycle, as if that were enough or something. "No sense wasting time dreaming when I could be wide awake wondering if I'm riddled with tumors!" Sob.

5) No sense wasting time dreaming ... you get it. I'm a worrier. And a hypochondriac. I'm just plain nuts, is my point. But such fun at parties.

Monday, October 4, 2004

You forgot Poland

Actually, George, it looks like Poland forgot us.

Escape from Cambridge

I'm from Massachusetts originally, but that didn't mean that I had the slightest idea of where I wanted to live when I moved back to Boston after college. They don't hand out real estate guides when you're going to high school out in the 'burbs, you know? So when it came time to pick a place to live, I picked Cambridge, pretty much based on the fact that I'd always enjoyed Harvard Square as a teenager.

Lordy, what a difference a few years can make.

By the time I got to Cambridge, Pacific Sunwear had eaten Wursthaus ("The vurst food in Boston!") and the Tasty ("Except for ours!") and was beginning to spawn an entire mini-mall all up and down JFK. Funtime was over, okay? They even killed the Bow and Arrow Pub, which I would have thought had landmark status for appearing in the only Boston-based movie to feature people with actual Boston accents.

It was okay, though. I couldn't afford to live within a mile radius of Harvard Square anyway, so the only time I had to put up with it was when I went to buy my various youth-preserving serums at Origins. What? Shut up. I don't just roll out of bed looking like this.

Eventually, I left and moved to Roslindale, where my people are. Roslindale features more Virgin Mary-themed lawn ornaments than any other neighborhood in Boston, I think, with the possible exception of Quincy. Our Christmas decorations rock, too. But I've continued to think fondly of Cambridge, the way you think about guys you've broken up with due to circumstance rather than trespass.

Last Sunday, though, I went to visit a friend in Porter Square and remembered why the love is gone.

There was a street fair in Harvard Square, so all of JFK, most of Memorial between JFK and Western Ave., and one lane of Mass Ave. were shut down. This made getting to Horowitz's house in Porter nearly impossible; getting home was an epic journey.

I've blocked most of it out, unfortunately, but I can tell you that while I was making my third loop through the back streets between Harvard and Central, "Rescue Me" actually came on the radio, and I realized that the same creepy looking bicyclist had been riding just in front of me, ducking in and out between Harvard dorms, for about twenty minutes. He was wearing a red George Jetson biking suit, with a newspaper crammed into the rear pocket and sticking up like a tail, and his afro was kind of sticking out from underneath his helmet. He appeared to be talking to himself, but then, by that point, so was I. After awhile, I started to think he was following me on purpose, which would have been extra hard, considering that he was in front of me.

"Oh, there you are again," I muttered. "I know what you're up to. Don't think I don't. If you're going to follow people, you probably shouldn't wear red, jackass."

Fortunately, Aretha drowned out my insane ramblings, so he didn't hear me. He would have been totally within his rights to punch me in the nose.