Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Record Reviews: CSS, Javelins + Show Review: Javelins

Detour recently posted my review of the new CSS album which they titled "Gordon Ramsay Would Love CSS". This sent me on a Google mission - first to figure out who Gordon Ramsay was, and second to find out why he would love CSS. Tisk, tisk Mr. Ramsay.

Also, on the newly launched, shiny, shiny Metro Times site you can read my review of last weekend's Javelin's CD release show... That is where you can find my review of that very CD as well.

I am an insect and I must confess I'm very proud of that...

Here is the most disgusting product warning I believe I've ever read. It has not been corrected for spelling or grammar:

"Do not eat the culture media as it contains all natural ingredients it has not been kept refrigerated and may cause illness in humans if consumed plus the uncooked yeast used can cause sever bloating and gastric pains."

My sister in law recently purchased the product for which this warning was written. It is a plastic tub crawling with wingless fruit flies. The "culture media" refers to the light tannish goopy environment which I am assuming provides both home and nourishment to the fruit fly community. How any person on earth, even the most severely and tragically retarded, could look at this container and think, "I will eat this" is so far past my comprehension it gives me a headache to contemplate it. But I recognize the need to put warnings on virtually everything sold in this country considering our society's litigious nature. After all, this is America. If your vacuum doesn't include the explicit warning "Do not have sex with me," you should be able to sue Hoover for millions when your penis gets stuck in the hose causing permanent scaring from second degree burns. So I guess it carries over that if your "waste not, want not" philosophy is so rigid that you just can't waste good yeast – even unrefrigerated yeast that fruit flies have been living in – well, damn it, you are owed a monetary reward for your "sever bloating and gastric pains" if it wasn't made clear by the company that this would be the consequence of your actions. It's about freedom.

The fruit flies were purchased in conjunction with three baby praying mantis' (manti?). These were delivered to the house last week via Priority Mail. I came home from work and was greeted with, "Guess what Stacy got in the mail?" as my sister held up two small boxes. She then opened the first box and took out the fruit fly container. I assumed that whatever Stacy had ordered (some sort of bread mix?) this could not be the condition she expected to receive her wares in. "This is food," D'Anne told me, "for these guys." She then opened the second box and took out a little solo cup with a lid – the kind you get your dressing in when you order it on the side – which held a little baby praying mantis. "Stacy ordered these as pets for her classroom. She mentioned they might come today, but I have no instructions and have no idea what to do with them. I told her they're here and to come home immediately." D'Anne is no insect fan.

Since their sole purpose is to be praying mantis food, feeding time for the fruit fly community must be akin to a random, chaotic, large-scale mass kidnapping by an enormous "human creature." One minute you're playing racquetball at the fruit fly community center, and the next thing you know, the lid comes off your city and a giant hand starts plucking your neighbors off – seemingly at random – one by one. Where they go, you have no idea, but despite the nice amenities, after the second attack it is getting hard to relax at Shady Yeast. There are rumors sure, but nothing has been substantiated. There's an asinine theory that the abducted flies are being transplanted in groups of about 20 into a new community that is a little smaller and less yeasty than their homeland, and that this new contained environment also includes a "predator" who then hunts the captives for sport and food. Although the theory has gained some traction, many of the flies dismiss it as "liberal propaganda." "Sure," they say, "and next you're going to tell me it's all part of an inside job and our government knows about it. I mean, why would a human creature want to help a predator insect creature? That doesn't make any sense – there's just no motive!"

Despite the lack of information and a heightened sense of anxiety and suspicion, the flies do their best to go about their daily activities at the urging of their leader. "They can't stop our flying or stop our buying - and if we let them, then the giant handed terrorists have won." It was then pointed out to the fruit fly president that they were a wingless breed and therefore could not fly to begin with. Unfortunately at that exact moment, the human hand struck again and the president fly was one of the citizens to disappear. The vice-fly was hurriedly sworn in, and as his first official act of office told the assembled throng to "go fuck themselves" and then turned and shot his elderly fly-friend in the face.

Thank goodness fruit files have a 20 to 30 day life span and their new political situation, though brutish, will be short.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wearing Many Hats

July 30, 2008

Dear Ms. Roberts -

Thank you again for taking the time to interview me for the new sales accounts manager position at Lawson Laboratories. I feel like I would be a great fit for the company. The job, as you presented it, seems to be a very good match for my skill set. While I feel you thoroughly covered the position and all it entails during our interview time, I did have a few follow up questions. You indicated that I should feel free to contact you should that be the case, so in addition to conveying my gratitude, that is the reason for this letter. Just a couple of points for which I seek clarification:

You mentioned several times throughout our interview that the last person who held this position "wore many hats." I am unclear as to whether this was just a personal style choice, or part of the job. In the case that hat wearing is part of the job, do I inherit the hats she wore, or do I have to supply my own? Is there a uniform or costume stipend to cover the costs if the latter is the case? It's not that I mind spending my own money, but hats are more expensive than you'd think! I just bought my nephew a Washington Redskins hat (I know some people find the use of the term "redskins" to be questionable and potentially offensive to Native Americans - but it's just a sports team! I mean, get over it, right?) and that set me back $35! For a ball cap!

Also, is there a list of appropriate head wear and the proper time to wear given pieces, or is there room for creativity in that area? I ask because I have a few hats already, including a beret and a sun bonnet, and would be happy to bring them in. I even have a Viking helmet if that fits into your corporate vision. I bought it as a last minute Halloween costume a few years ago and having the opportunity to wear it in the office would certainly leave me feeling like I got my money's worth (have you been to a Halloween USA recently? Jeez! Pricey!).

Oh, also, am I the only person who will be wearing many hats? Does anybody else in the office wear hats or even a particular hat? Are we ever required to switch hats amongst employees, and if so, has lice ever been a problem? I hate to sound overly cautious, but I had lice once a few years ago when I let my little one go play at a dirty, poor schoolmate's house (I know they say that "anybody can get lice" but it does seem to be more common amongst the lower rungs of the economic ladder, am I right?) and she passed it on to me! Yuck! Those little critters have become quite robust and resistant to the products on the market, let me assure you. We found an effective (albeit costly!) treatment at our local health food store. I can recommend the brand name if you or anybody else in the office needs it.

Thank you again for your consideration and your willingness to address these concerns and questions. I am anxiously awaiting your reply and hope I'll soon be a part of the Lawson team!


Tabitha Johnson

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Record Reviews: NOMO and Bodies of Water

Detour recently posted my reviews of NOMO - Ghost Rock and Bodies of Water - A Certain Feeling. Both these albums are fantastic. You can read the reviews by following the links, easy as pie!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Like shooting fish in a barrel. Fat, gay-hating, Christian fish.

Alert! Alert! McDonald's is leading the way to gay people gay-marrying each other! You may have thought that the McDonald's Corporation's biggest concern was selling their product and expanding their franchise until even Uruguay has their own (What? They have three?) ... okay... until they have locations as far away as Qatar (Wait, what? Qatar has thirteen?! Damn it.) ... until they have many, many locations over many, many lands, but global domination is NOT their top priority!

Instead McDonald's has decided to "give the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage." Oh, yes... and we all know there's only one way to stop a corporation once they give their "full weight" to the homos: by boycotting them with a website that exposes them to the world! Thankfully, we have The American Family Association looking out for us. Why, in order to right the wrongs of McDonald's all you have to do is visit

Visitors are encouraged to leave feedback for McDonald's on the site. Huge props to Wonkette for providing me with the hilarity that is most all of the comments. As I was reading through them, I thought to myself, "How fun would it be if I was a McDonald's customer service representative charged with responding to said feedback, and today was my last day of work? How would I choose to respond?" Let's play pretend:

"because McDonald's had taken a stand to support the activist gay agenda that is destroying the core of family values in the U.S. we will take a stand to support McDonald's competitors such as In-n-Out and Chick fil-A."

Go ahead. I mean, what could possibly be gayer than a restaurant called, "In-n-Out?"

"America is tired of corporations and organizations twisting the free speech and actions of its citizens into 'hatred' when we simply oppose the corporation's, or organization's, involvement in areas where we don't want our money going. Opposing your involvement says nothing about the individual's point of view on homosexuality and yet you claim to know, anyway. How arrogant and childish. We are tired of the brainwashing politically correct movement. I hoped McD's was smarter than that, but obviously it's not. Don't expect anymore of my money."

You know, if you're going to take that sort of tone, you don't get to call us "McD's" anymore. That's strictly for our homies. We are no longer homies.

"We love your fries, but we will not compromise truth. You have taken money that our family, and millions of others, have contributed to the success of the McDonald's Corp. and chosen to use it for an agenda that defies the foundation of our nation, the family, as created by a man and woman. Perhaps you should spend more time sitting at the tables in the play yards of the thousands of McD's restaurants around the country. We will only be missing the fries, but your corporation has lost something much greater, respect and truth."

So you love our fries and trolling for children in our play yards. You will not be missed.

"I will take me 10 great grand children to Wendys BurgerKing or some other place. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN!"

Aye, Aye, Captain Grandpa, you and the little pirates have fun at Wendys BurgerKing.

"It was bad enough having to keep my Spanish to English dictionary handy every time I pulled up to your drive-thru window (to the tune of about $1,000 per year). But this is the final straw (and I guess the final Big Mac) for me. Your blatant disregard for the strongly held moral values most Americans hold dear has cost you my business. Yes, Wendy's, I will have a Frosty with that."

To the tune of $1,000 a year, huh? I have a new tune for you. It is called, "You Are A Racist, Homo-Hating Fat Ass." Sing it to the tune of "I Need Another Frosty Like I Need Gastric Bypass. Oh Wait, I Do Need Gastric Bypass."

"Very disappointed in the McDonald's corporation and what they promote. They will never see a red cent from us again!"

We don't want your money anyway, Commie.

"My family has supported your business for well over 25 years. We have been loyal customers eating at your establishments 4 times/week. It pains me to say, but, I now will take my business and hard-earned money elsewhere. As much as we have enjoyed the food over the years, we will not continue to do so because of your close-minded leadership. We are amazed that your leadership is taking this stand. Such ashame. You will be losing nothing just to be neutral on same sex marriages. Now you WILL lose.... customers. The loss of revenue is completely YOUR choice."

It "pains you to say" it because you probably have gout from eating at our establishment 4 times a week. Talk to your doctor.

"We eat at McDonald's twice every week, for now, we have to wait untill you guys change your mind. This will hurt you Internationally."

I don't know that it will hurt us Internationally. Particularly in France. As you may already know, everybody in France is gay.

"Issues of sexual orientation have NO PLACE in an organization that specifically targets children in its advertising. To treat homosexuality as an issue that has been 'settled' as a cultural norm is to spit-on the cherished religious beliefs of millions of people throughout the world. This is not about HATE, McDonalds, but about good people opposed to a lifestyle we believe is immoral. You are free to use your money and power as you please, but until you resind all public support of this agenda, I will exercise my freedom to not support you."

We are not spitting on the cherished religious beliefs of millions. Although I've heard of enough instances of disgruntled teenage McDonald's employees spitting on the burgers of rude customers, that it's probably not a rumor.

"I have been a McDonald's customer sine your 'burgers cost fifteen cents! Since you have decided to advocate and support the destruction of traditional mariage, and, by extension, the family, I will no longer patronize your stores. Burger King suits me fine now."

We respect your opinion and appreciate you taking the time to contact us, Senator McCain.

"As soon as I heard about this, I immediately sent out an email to over 400 of my friends and family, as well as posted it on a networking website encouraging others to boycott as well. We just went on a trip, in which we usually stop at McDonald's 3 to 4 times for our 4 children. This time we opted for other choices and explained to our children why we can't eat at McDonalds anymore...they were very sad. We traveled with a group of 10 people and after discussing what was going on, we all opted to not eat at McD's the entire trip."

I too would be very sad if my parents explained to me that they were religious nuts. By the way, 400 friends on MySpace is not that many, and most of those gorgeous ladies who've sent you friend requests aren't real.

"My boycott of McDonald's just cost your company at least $300 dollars a month...and that's just what my family spent there. That does not include all of our friends and family that I've told who were equally outraged at your support of the NGLCC. Did I mention the roughly $300 a month over the last 5 years or so? Add that up if you will."

Let's see... $300 a month times 5 years = Your family must be really fat.

"We have purchased our last happy meal for my family of 6"

I am sorry to hear that times are so hard that you've had to split one happy meal among your family of 6. I do believe this has more to do with the economic policies of the Bush administration and less to do with our full support of the gay agenda. Regardless, I hope things start looking up soon for you folks.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I am now a central part of your mind's landscape...

My sister and her partner were in Florida this week, and while they were out of town, I decided it would be a good idea to mow the lawn. It's been raining a lot lately, so the grass has gotten pretty long. Nobody likes to come home from vacation to find their house looks abandoned. Recognizing that by the time they got back it would be hard to distinguish our yard from the yards of the foreclosed homes around us, I penciled in Saturday afternoon as grass cutting time.

Along with her abhorrence for plastic water bottles and her desire to compost virtually all household garbage, including dryer lint, my sister rounds out her Earth-friendly lesbian way of life by owning one of those old school, elbow grease powered push mowers. It is the exact type of lawnmower you'd expect to see Handy Smurf using to spruce up the landscaping of Smurf Village. I had yet to use this charming little mower, and was even somewhat looking forward to what my sister described as "a little work out while you mow."

My guess is that in order to get this "little work out" the grass has to be tackled before it's "we're-about-to-put-a-car-up-on- blocks-y'all!" length. Once it's this long, there is no "little work out," only a frenzy of erratic, desperate pushes and pulls as the mower gets caught in a jungle-like growth of healthy well-watered greenery. I am not an overly self-conscious person, but recognizing that this particular mower looks feeble and antiquated on the best of days, fighting over and over to get the blade wheel to make a full rotation was anxious-making enough for me to feel my face flush even in the presence of the neighbor children. I felt certain they were starting as they went by on scooters and skate boards, all the while wondering, "What's wrong with that lady? Why doesn't she get a real lawn mower?" As a child, I distinctly remember thinking the two elderly ladies who lived next door to us were weird because they had a lawnmower that was bright orange and had a cord that plugged into a socket, so it's no stretch that these kids saw this display as equally odd and suspicious.

I vowed to finish the job, even though I had quickly decided that I might have an easier time with a basic pair of scissors. But it was already looking like it might start raining, and I really wanted D'Anne and Stacy to come home to a freshly mowed lawn. Thankfully, their yard is fairly small and I'm fairly stubborn. I started to do my jerky "push and pull" (which was strenuous enough I had to at times stop myself from audibly grunting - audibly grunting being something I pride myself on not usually partaking in) and I bumped into the trunk of the small tree in front of the house. I thought nothing of it, but a few seconds later heard a loud insect buzz by my ear, followed a second or two later by two more buzzes in quick succession in my other ear, and what felt like six or seven slight taps on my head. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a softball sized hive in a low branch of the little tree I'd just bumped. My brain took just long enough to send the signal to my feet: "Run!! It's bees!" I don't have a lot of experience being attacked by a swarm of angry bees so I don't know if running like hell is the best method. I'm not very "outdoorsy" and the only other "how to protect yourself in case of an attack" information that I vaguely know about is "if a bear approaches you in the woods, lie down and pretend to be dead." I don't even know if this is true or if it'll work. Either way, something tells me that this advice doesn't transfer from bear to bees and would be quite disastrous and akin to giving up if applied to the latter instance. Even if running like hell is the recommended "how to survive when an angry swarm attacks" advice, I don't know how helpful or effective, in addition to the running, my cry of, "What the fuck? What the fuck? WHAT THE FUCK?!" was. I fell to my knees a few houses away stunned and relieved when I realized I somehow avoided being stung even once. I looked up to see the neighbor children were, for certain this time, staring at me. I am sure I'll be remembered as "the lady with the weird lawnmower who suddenly started running down the street yelling the f-word and waving her hands in the air for no reason." Fantastic.

Welcome back D'Anne and Stacy! I'm sure by now you've noticed just how shoddy a job I did on the lawn. Maybe ask one of the neighbor children next time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Veterinary terms that seem like they would make great metal band names, but aren't nearly as badass once the actual definition is considered

Alopecic Syndrome - Deficiency of the hair, caused by a failure to grow or regrow after loss
Anisocoria - A condition in which the pupils of the eyes are not of equal size
Antipruritic - Relieves itching
Axilla - Armpit
Borborygmus - The sound of gas moving through the intestine; bowel sounds
Coprophagia - Eating dung or fecal matter; normal behavior in some animals, such as rabbits
Cryptorchid - An animal with one or two undescended testicles
Demodectic Mange - Skin disease characterized by hair loss particularly on the head, face, neck, shoulders and the front of the forelegs
Diestrus - The stage of the estrus cycle which occurs after the animal goes out of heat
Dysuria - Difficult or painful urination
Ectropion – Eyelid turns outward. Allows for the accumulation of foreign matter causing eye irritation
Elizabethan Collar - A large, plastic, cone-shaped collar used on cats, dogs, and birds to prevent them from licking or biting at skin, wound dressings, or casts
Entropion – Eyelids turn inward causing hair to irritate the surface of the eye
Fading Puppy Syndrome – An apparently normal puppy gradually weakens and dies within a week or two of birth
Gastric Torsion - Stomach distention or enlargement, caused by expanding gas
Histiocytoma – A small wart-like skin growth that will eventually disappear
Icterus - A yellowing of the tissues. Commonly referred to as jaundice
Luxating Tarsus – Dislocation of the 'ankle'
Megaesophagus – Overly enlarged esophagus causing buildup of food and saliva and regurgitation
Perianal Fistula - A deep infection around the anus which often results in ulcers and deep draining tracts, most commonly seen in German Shepherds
Pyometra – Pus accumulation in the uterus, normally caused by bacterial infection
Snow Nose – Loss of pigmentation on the nose, usually in winter

Monday, July 14, 2008

Please Remember To Recycle

To: All Staff
Subject: Our Recycling Policy - A Reminder

Good morning and thank you for the nice, warm welcome during yesterday's staff meeting. My first week here has been great. Just one issue to address...

While passing by the copy machine today, I noticed several misc. fax cover sheets in the trash can. While there is no need to keep and file the fax cover sheets, let me remind you that there is a paper recycling box located directly behind the trash can. You may remember that in your copy of the company standard operating procedures handbook under "Waste Disposal Procedures" there was an amendment made on 4/8/08 that laid out our recycling program and stressed our commitment to "going green." Please remember to recycle or I will beat you within inches of your life.



Janet Toll
Office Administrator


To: All Staff
Subject: Re: Our Recycling Policy - A Reminder

I have received a few replies to my initial e mail regarding recycling that lead me to believe a clarification is in order. A few of you have sent me responses such as:

"Janet - your so funny! I always recycle, BTW..."
"Janet! Good morning and glad to have you on board! I promise to recycle next time, geez! Hope you'll refrain from that promised 'beat down.' ;)"

So to clarify: Here is the text from my original e mail with the amended text in italics:

While passing by the copy machine today, I noticed several misc. fax cover sheets in the trash can. While there is no need to keep and file the fax cover sheets, let me remind you that there is a paper recycling box located directly behind the trash can. You may remember that in your copy of the company standard operating procedures handbook under "Waste Disposal Procedures" there was an amendment made on 4/8/08 that laid out our recycling program and stressed our commitment to "going green." Please remember to recycle or I will literally beat you within inches of your life.



Janet Toll
Office Administrator

PS - Kim, it's "YOU'RE" which is a contraction for "YOU ARE." And you don't "always recycle" - I saw you toss a post-it note on my first day. Please don't use absolutes and pay attention to YOUR contractions. I hate to call you out via an all staff e mail, but maybe that's the only way to break what I've already noticed is a frequent mistake.


To: All Staff
Subject: Re: I'd Like To See You TRY, Janet!

Sorry to bother you all again, but apparently some of you are not digesting my message and intent. First of all, Jake is the one who originally authored the "I'd Like To See You Try, Janet!" e mail, but it made sense to respond to him "open letter" style, lest others feel similarly. Though as Jake pointed out to me, "You're all of 5'3" and might way, what? 95 pounds?" I want to stress that this is no reason to doubt my physical prowess, or my commitment to enforcing our recycling policy. I might be small, but I have the element of surprise on my side and, along with my office management skills, I possess the grace of a ninja and the mind of a mercenary. Though during my hiring, HR stressed that I should not reveal this information to you, at my last job I did indeed break a man's collar bone for leaving Taco Bell related lunch-trash in his office waste basket over a holiday weekend. I had sent out a reminder the previous Wednesday alerting staff that the custodial company would not be coming in due to the holiday and that it was imperative that they not leave for the extended weekend without taking care of the waste basket in their individual work space. I realize now that I should have been more specific than, "If you fail to empty your trash, appropriate action will be taken." This is why I tried a more direct approach with this office regarding the recycling warning. So as it stands, please refer to the amended text of my original e mail and amend your behavior accordingly.



Janet Toll
Office Administrator

To: All Staff
Re: Call me immediately

Good morning... again. I thought we could move on with our day, but apparently that is not the wish of the "higher ups" in this company. So, in accordance with the wishes of our CEO and HR manager, I am sending out this required apology/statement:

I, Janet Toll, have not been given any authority by our CEO to address office standard operating procedure concerns using physical force, humiliation or intimidation. In addition, HR does not support my decision to use such methods to gain SOP compliance. I apologize to my co-workers, and will agree to meet with anybody in an HR mediated session who feels they were ever in a position of harm. I feel I now have a better understanding of the culture of this organization, and I will take the steps needed to appropriately fit into said culture. As it stands, I will not be resigning from the company, and hope to get a "fresh start" Monday morning.

Again, I apologize, have a great weekend.
Janet R. Toll

PS - My son is selling chocolate bars for band camp. Please stop by my desk and buy a couple. They're only $1 each and it's really great chocolate. Yum!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

When your gift unfurls, when your talent becomes apparent...

Gift registries are stressful. For starters I admit to being a bit ambivalent toward buying people presents they have picked out themselves. Add to that the stress of trying to make sense of the printed registry as you navigate your way around what is typically a huge box store. I have a hard enough time just finding the basic things I buy on a regular basis at a big “we sell everything” store. Things like peanut butter and toothbrushes are never where I'd expect them to be. Now in accordance with the wishes of somebody I presumably want to make happy, I have to track down the exact make and model of things I have never given a second glance at such places – pizza pans, waffle makers, suede throw pillows.

My friend Karin is getting married to a great guy named Dave, and the shower is coming up. As in, the shower is tomorrow. Like a total a-hole I realized just yesterday evening that I hadn't RSVP'd yet, OR purchased a gift, though I have had ample time to do both. So when toxic adhesive fumes left me feeling faint and nauseous at work today and I was ordered to go home early, I took the opportunity to stop at Target where they are registered and get them a shower gift like a good friend.

I don't know if it was the fumes (I am thinking it was the fumes), but as I made my way around the store I'll be damned if I could find anything on their list. I came close several times – some huge knife that was the same brand and size, but the registry indicated red, and this was clearly black. I found the pizza pans and thought I was done, but no – they seemed to have every size larger and smaller than the ones on my blue printed page. What the hell is a "scent diffuser stick holder?" Fuck if I know, but the sheet said I would find it in aisle B8 and I was getting desperate and feeling sick to my stomach. I found the "diffuser section" but none of the odd scented sticks matched the dreaded registry code. I scanned the sheet again and saw "Buddha pillar holder" as something that could be found in aisle B9 and therefore should be directly behind me. I turn around slowly for fear that any sudden movements might scare it off. Luck is apparently on my side and I easily locate it. It is a fairly ample Buddha statue holding a saucer for a candle. There is only one in stock and it is bigger and heavier than I expected. I put it in my plastic basket and feel the handle bend under its weight and head for the check out. Whew! Present found!

When I take it up to the register, I ask the sales woman to double check and make sure it's the exact thing they registered for. "It seems like their taste," I say to her, "But I just want to make sure." She looks at the statue and while glancing at the registry says, "How old are they?" Which I think is an odd question. It's not like I'm purchasing his n' hers Dora the Explorer and Go! Diego Go! kick scooters. This is clearly a decorative piece that an engaged couple might display in their home. "They're both about thirty," I say. She responds, "Okay that's on the list... I mean if it's their style that's fine. I wouldn't want Buddha in my house, you know?" I am not sure if this is meant as a simple comment on taste differences or an anti-Buddhist affront, but I decide it's best to let it go. I don't realize until I get home that in my haste and confusion I have not purchased a wedding shower card. Nor have I abided by the shower’s “garden theme:” I was to bring some seeds or flowers as well as a gift. Luckily, my sister has a great collection of all occasion cards, and I find a cute tasteful one, blank inside, with a little girl holding a heart on the front. I fill it out:

Karin and Dave –
Best wishes and congratulations to you both.
Take care of each other.
I'm sorry I wrapped your gift like a retard.

Because I have wrapped their gift like a retard. And I feel my best defense is to come clean about it right here in the card. It would be worse if they thought I was under the impression that the gift looked really nice. I'm not a great present wrapper, but usually I do okay. But this odd shaped statue-thing just did not lend itself to an easy wrapping job. I found a giant gift bag among my sister's ample arsenal of wrapping supplies – one of only two that looked big enough. It pictures a white rabbit riding a carrot through a blue, partially cloudy sky. I am assuming it is Easter related. My only other choice was one with babies on it, and it seems far more inappropriate to bring that to a wedding shower than one with a carrot rocket riding Easter bunny. After all, with the baby bag I'm either saying, "Now that yer hitched, bring on the baby makin!" or "What kind of shower was this again?"

In my defense, I did find some floral printed wrapping paper – which I wrapped the Buddha in much like a fish stand merchant might wrap a striped bass down at the wharf. I then stuff pink and silver tissue paper in the bag to cushion the present. I feel that despite my lackluster presentation, I'm at least in line with the theme thanks to the flower paper, and the contents, no matter how oddly sized and badly wrapped, is something they very much wanted to have. And that's got to count as much as the thought, right? Let's hope so...

Congratulations Karin and Dave! Aren't you glad you're friends with the likes of me?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Book Review: All Known Metal Bands

The fine folks at Detour - the super fun time, awesome, candy-candy online pop culture junkie magazine, have given a home to my review of the new Dan Nelson book All Known Metal Bands. Go ahead and read it.

Why Laura, why?

I have started this blog for a few reasons. The first one being there are only so many publications/blogs/hand-printed Communist 'zines willing and able to allot space to my writing. So the rest of it has to go someplace, yes? The second reason is the number of people who have given me positive feedback on my work. Things like, "I loved your review." or "You are funny!" or "Why can I more easy stalk your every move!?? Write blog for say where I can follow you!" That last one was really sweet. The third reason is my sister D'Anne, who is a fantastic writer, says the more you write, the better you get at it. So there's that.

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