Jason says "read this blog!"
Just when I'm about to sign the DNR papers for this blog something comes along and inspires me to write another post. One of these days Jason Segel will come to his senses and beg me to befriend him. I just hope he isn't waiting to see the 365th reason. It may take years.

365 Reasons Why...An Explanation

Well, hello there (said in a very sexy voice). You're looking quite lovely today. Welcome to my blog. Feel free to take off your shoes and get comfortable, maybe leave a comment or two. This started out as kind of a funny thing to do after I blew a phone conversation with Jason, but I've found I really enjoy writing every day and researching new and interesting things about my future BFF. In January I met Jason at a comedy club and the few words we shared only reinforced my belief that he and I would get along famously. As a dear friend of mine recently said, "why wouldn't he want to be friends with you - you're awesome!" Perhaps the 365 reasons in this blog may just convince Jason of what I already know to be true: separately, our awesomeness is great; combined, it may be enough to take over the world. If you want to be one of my esteemed followers, simply click on the 'follow' button toward the bottom of the page. Come on, you know you want to.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Reason 150

TV's best game show. Since I was a little girl I have been keen on Jeopardy. Take one charming Canadian host (bring back the mustache, Alex!), mix in a balance of random factoids and genuinely important information everyone should know, add a dash of quirky, geeky contestants from all walks of life and you end up with the perfect appetizer to savor before submitting to prime time programming. I consider myself a bit of a smartypants and watching Jeopardy gives me the perfect excuse to lord my giant noggin' over my viewing companions, especially during the special tournaments that showcase middle and high school students. Really, could those questions be any easier? Jason, you come across as a very knowledgeable chap in interviews, referencing classic literature, astronomy, and historical figures on more than one occasion, so I am confident you would give me a run for my money if we watched the "classic thinking person's game" together (yep, that's actually how TiVo describes Jeopardy). I could also prep you for head-to-head competition if you are ever invited to partake in the Celebrity Tournament. Your colleague, Neil Patrick Harris, made an appearance a few weeks ago in the preliminary round and actually missed the Final Jeopardy question about the Beatles's song "Ob-La-Di." How embarrassing. Hasn't he ever listened to the White Album or, more importantly, caught a few episodes of Life Goes On? I'm sure you wouldn't have made the same gaffe, especially since I would have spent days quizzing you on everything from popular toys to world rivers to important events from 1910 (an actual category this week - ouch). If I were you, Jason, I would start greasing some palms now so you can fenagle a spot in the Celebrity Tourney for next year. I promise to cheer you on from the front row (and mouth some answers when Alex's back is turned). Just promise not to slip in any Sean Connery jokes or references about "the rapist" - Jeopardy is too classy for such tomfoolery.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reason 149

Our go-to dance. Way back in the 1960's an innovator named Charles Washington popularized the most awesome dance in the entire universe - The Robot. His mechanical moves didn't catch on until the Jackson 5 showcased them during a performance of "Dancin' Machine," and then it seemed that everywhere you turned people were swinging one arm back and forth from the elbow, pantomiming to a funky beat. Breakdancing was becoming a phenomenon and since white folks, for the most part, can't pop and lock their way out of a paper bag, it was only natural we would appropriate these mannequin-like moves. Years later, rhymically-challenged peeps are still miming to music, including the two of us, Jason. You have busted out your robotic moves on HIMYM and a few weeks ago some photos of you showboating for Justin Timberlake on the set of Bad Teacher were posted on-line. Whenever I ask my students to show me they're finished with a task by performing a happy dance in their seats, my gears start spinning and I bust out my Robot moves, much to their delight (and mortification, I'm sure). In fact, I just took a break from typing so I could get my robot freak on while listening to Shakira on Idol. Once we're friends we'll have to have a dance-off, perhaps to Styx's masterpiece "Mr. Roboto." Yes, the video gave me nightmares as a kid, but it is the quintessential song for showing off one's Robot repertoire. Consider the gauntlet thrown, dear sir.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reason 148

Grading homework. Looking at the giant stack of vocabulary worksheets teetering on the edge of my TV tray can only mean one thing - it's Tuesday. Four years ago I created a vocabulary program for my students that actually reflects what they read, as opposed to a random list of academic words I think they should know because they happen to be twelve. Any time a kid comes across an unknown word in whatever they are reading, she writes it down and then shows me at least 5 words on Friday. Each student shares one word from their list with the class, all the words are defined, and then eight are chosen as that week's vocabulary words to learn. Racing to find words in the dictionary, wearing silly hats, and singing portions of the lesson make Fridays highly entertaining, as well as educational, and students often say the word collection activity is one of their favorites. In order to learn how to use the words, students complete a double-sided worksheet in which they define the word, provide a synonym of it, draw a picture of what the word means, and draw a true oppositie (no, rocks and potatoes don't count as antonyms, Thomas!). Unfortunately, all of those worksheets result in me hunched over on my couch for two hours every Tuesday night, perusing 32 boxes per page almost 150 times. Suffice it to say, I loathe Tuesdays now. Jason, if you ever have a burning desire to correct some 6th grade vocabulary homework, I would be happy to foist a stack or two of worksheets into your lap. Since you are quite the logophile yourself, I fully trust you'll know the meanings of all the words (quick, what does coruscate mean?) and can provide positive feedback or criticism at the top of each page. If you stay focused and whip through the whole batch, we can reward ourselves by chowing down on some bowls of popcorn while grooving to "Glee." I would definitely like Tuesdays a whole lot more if you were part of my weekly vocabulary routine. If you're really lucky I might even let you write some quizzes!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reason 147

Cold hands. Despite Seattle's recent sunny skies and 60 degree temperatures, my hands, especially my finger tips, have been freezing lately. I've crammed my digits under my legs, in my armpits, and between my thighs, and still the cold lingers (don't worry, I am not performing these moves publicly), and, as lovely as it is, somehow the adage "cold hands, warm heart" doesn't seem to ease the level of frigidity. Sure, I should probably take advantage of my cheap healthcare and make an appointment with my doctor to make sure I don't have some rare, degenerative disease that attacks the limbs, but I have another solution in mind that will be a lot less anxiety-inducing and, Jason, you are just the man for the job. Awhile back I read another fan's blog post about meeting you in San Francisco. Of course, she gushed about how funny and gracious you were, but what really made an impression on her were your hands, which she described as giant, warm oven mitts (I'm paraphrasing, here). Well, my friend, I could use your heat-conducting bear paws right about now. If you could hop on the next plane north and spend an hour or so holding my hands tenderly in yours, I would greatly appreciate it. I promise not to make love-sick faces at you or mistake the hand-holding for the beginnings of an actual relationship; it would strictly be a favor from one friend to another. And, once I'm toasty from my head to my toes, we can get around to doing all of the fabulous things I have mentioned in previous posts. Really, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reason 146

Bumper stickers. No, I am not one of those obnoxious people who has covered her car in so many sound-bite stickers that I distract other drivers and can barely see out my back window. I do, however, have a few very carefully chosen sentiments affixed to my rear bumper/trunk area, and I am fairly certain, Jason, that you would not be embarrassed to cruise around in my car because of them. There is nary a political statement in sight, although some may argue that "Get real: Like Jesus would ever own a gun or vote Republican" leans a bit to the left - I prefer to think it's commentary on my dislike of hypocrisy. It also confuses my students, which is always a plus. What isn't confusing is my love for books, as showcased by the "Reading is sexy" sticker, and my attempt at being an athlete, as demonstrated by the "runner girl" sticker. I also have an HRC equality symbol proudly on display because supporting equal rights for gay folks seems like a no-brainer to me. I did buy a sticker of Inigo Montoyo spouting his famous words about killing his father with every intention of putting it on my trunk, but it just didn't look right against the white paint, so now it hangs in my classroom, a litmus test of sorts to identify the cool kids who have seen The Princess Bride. Over the years my cars have also advertised bands I adore, like Indigo Girls and Barenaked Ladies, as well as childhood loves like School House Rocks. Sadly, I could never track down the funniest bumper sticker I ever saw: Tree cheers for the arboretum! It's been fifteen years and I still giggle when I think of it. All in all, I think the personal beliefs touted by my car are pretty hip and suit me to a T, and I guarantee, Jason, you will never have to worry about driving around in a vehicle with me that proclaims "These colors don't run" or some other trite statement about patriotism. I think now all I need to make my collection complete is a sticker of the Muppets. If you ever see one, please kindly send it my way.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reason 145

Laughter. The three criteria I expect my friends to meet are intelligence, kindness and humor. From what I have read about and seen from you, Jason, you meet all three requirements in spades. I especially value your ability to make me laugh until my sides hurt or I involuntarily snort like my middle school gym teacher. Sure, at times your jokes are sophomoric, catering to the masses with riffs about farts and vaginas, but more often than not you are very clever in your humor, turning the perfect phrase or reveling in a particularly awful pun. Lucky for you, our senses of humor are similar. I imagine when we hang out we'll have each other in stitches most of the times, trying to outdo one another with the most outrageous observations about life or the best you'll-never-believe-it tales from work. I've been attempting to elicit giggles from friends and family since I was a tot and still remember the first joke I ever wrote: What does a typewriter do when it's angry? It uses its cursor key! See, I even appreciated the nuances of word play when I was seven. Be prepared to snicker, guffaw and titter when we get together, Jason. It'll be like that wonderful scene from Mary Poppins, with the two of us drinking tea on the ceiling and wiping tears from our faces. We may get to laughing so hard that it might even be a good idea to empty your bladder beforehand, although bragging about making Jason Segel wet his pants a little might just be the highlight of my adult life.

Reason 144

Compromising positions. Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt! I cannot lie, I am well-endowed when it comes to the junk in my trunk. As a chubby gal, a plump rump is part of the package. Since I know I am all kinds of curvy and am perfectly comfortable with that, I will never, ever ask you, Jason, if I my butt looks big in my jeans. There's no need for you to break out in a sweat over a question that has no satisfactory answer. If you do tell me my butt looks big, I may throw something at your head, and if you tell me my denim looks great when it's really crossing over into mom jeans territory, you aren't much of a friend for letting me waltz out the door looking like crap. Besides, I own a mirror or two and can quite easily tell if my pants or dress or shorts don't do my body justice. Now that I think about it, not once in my life have I heard a real woman ask someone if her jeans make her butt look big. Perhaps during the advent of celluloid some silent movie star pantomimed "Does this bustle make my derriere conspicuous?" and it was all downhill from there, a question that would be recycled in film after film for years to come, instilling fear into the hearts of men everywhere. Well, Jason, whether mythical or not, I promise the loaded question will never trip from my lips in your presence (or anyone else's for that matter). In fact, I will try not to inquire about anything that could be a potential emotional minefield. Besides, I stand firmly in the Queen camp when it comes to my tush - fat-bottomed girls truly do make the rockin' world go 'round.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reason 143

Doing my part to save the earth. No, I'm not some tree-hugging, electric car-driving, solar-panel pimping environmentalist like Ed Begley, Jr., so you won't have to worry about using a pit toilet when you come to my house, Jason. I do, however, try to reduce my carbon footprint by recycling pretty much every piece of paper, plastic and metal that crosses over the threshold of my condo, reusing everyday conveniences like food containers and shopping bags, and whittling away my consumer tendencies so that I only shop for what is absolutely necessary, like cool shoes and chocolate muffins from Costco. I haven't graduated to composting yet, mostly because I eat at home so rarely that it would take a year to collect enough food scraps to make it worthwhile, but both my mother and brother toss their leftovers into the yard waste bin, so I guess I compost by association. These are the sacrifices I am willing to make if it ensures Mother Nature will breathe a little easier and those super-cute polar bears will stop floating away on chunks of ice. I have actually been recycling since before the green craze swept the country. My parents used to drive us around the neighborhood on a regular basis so we could beg old newspapers and pop cans from our neighbors. We would drive everything we collected to a nearby recycling plant, fork it over, and squeal with delight when we were handed four bucks for our efforts. My mom still tosses her empty Pepsi cans into huge, black garbage bags instead of the giant recycling bin that the city provides in hopes of one day collecting enough cans to take to an aluminum company and exchange for enough money to buy a six-pack of Pepsi. So, Jason, if you ever need support in the earth-saving department just let me know and I will happily give you some pointers about sorting your garbage and send some reusable canvas sacks your way (they seem to be breeding in the backseat of my car). And if you happen to have any pop cans lying around feel free to ship them to my mother. It will make her year.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reason 142

Pop quiz. What do the following have in common: "Heartbeat," "Party All the Time," and "She's Like the Wind"? Stumped? They are all "hit" songs by actors (Don Johnson, Eddie Murphy, and Patrick Swayze, respectively) who went for a spin in the recording studio. Jason, if you ever get a wild hair and decided to crank out an album for mass consumption, I will support you one hundred percent. Just to be clear, I will not support you 110% because that is a mathematical impossibility. You have already proven in your various TV and film roles that you can carry a tune, even while tickling the old ivories, so why not tap into your rabid fan-base of emotionally-stunted frat boys and milk them for every glorious cent their parents give them? You would obviously have to include "You Just Got Slapped" to pander to the HIMYM fans and "Lady L" for all of the rabid Freaks & Geeks folks. A few songs from Dracula's Lament are a must, and "Wonky Eyed Girl" would make a nice hidden track. You could open the album with a tribute to the Muppets, perhaps by updating "Mah Nah Mah Nah" or dueting with Kermit on "Bein' Green." See how easy this is? I've practically made the record for you. Now all you have to do is schedule some studio time. Come on, Jason, make the musical world a better place by joining the illustrious ranks of actors who fancy themselves singers. If Alissa Milano and Leonard Nimoy can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reason 141

Brother, can you spare a dime? Jason, these are words you will never hear come out of my mouth. Well, maybe I'd ask to borrow a dime or quarter or maybe even a buck if I have misplaced my debit card and, per usual, have three cents in my wallet, but in general you will never have to worry about me asking you for money. It just isn't my style. As I've mentioned in other posts, my mother raised me to be a bit of a penny pincher. I only buy what I can afford (college doesn't seem to count in this scenario since I'll be paying off my student loans for the next twenty-three years), rarely carry a balance on my credit cards, and try to enjoy free/cheap entertainment as often as possible. I mean, just to provide a little perspective, I purchased my first Cabbage Patch Kid at the ripe old age of  eight with forty dollars in nickels and quarters; boy, that Toys R Us clerk was thrilled when I plunked that bag of coins on the counter. Sure, you make more money doing one episode of HIMYM than I do in an entire year (feeling guilty yet?), but, even as your friend, it is certainly not my place to expect you to fork over wads of cash when I come calling. Besides, I have a "Saving Up for Jesus" piggy bank that I can bust open if my financial situation ever becomes really dire. How far do you think I can get on thirteen dollars in change?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reason 140

Alien ancestry. When I was nine or so my parents started taking me to the doctor on a fairly regular basis, even though I never complained of illness. Several times I had multiple vials of blood drawn, becoming such a regular in the lab that Scottie, the phlebotomist, knew me by name and was the only person I allowed to repeatedly jab the crook of my arm with a needle. I also submitted urine samples to the whitecoats, laid still as a statue for a CAT scan, and drank a noxious orange liquid in order to prep my tummy for an ultrasound. Being the trusting (or perhaps naive) daughter that I was, I never asked my mom or dad why I was undergoing so much medical testing, and then after a few months it all abruptly stopped with no explanation as to why. Over time all of those visits became a distant memory that I occasionally dredged up and pondered, just one more quirk to put on my personality resume. During my freshman year of college I told my roommates about my experience and they were so intrigued (and I think a little freaked out) that they demanded I call my mother immediately and get an explanation. With trembling hands I dialed the phone and, my voice quivering, asked my mom why she had dragged me to Group Health so many times in 4th grade. Her answer? She had no idea what I was talking about. Cue the shocking music! After relaying this news to my gal pals we came up with the only possible explanation: I am an alien. Or perhaps I was part of some top-secret government program. I prefer the alien theory, though. It would explain my strange eating habits, the unexplained dot that appeared on the bottom of my foot when I was 14, and my affinity for Flight of the Navigator. To top it all off, a few years ago I asked my personal physician about the testing and she found documentation of it in my records, but no explanation. As creepy as all of this is, it is also kind of cool, one more thing that sets me apart from the herd of normalcy. I bet none of your other friends can boast about alien connections, Jason. On second thought, you do live in L.A...

Reason 139

Low electric bills. My mom has always been frugal, clipping coupons every Sunday, never ever paying full price for clothes, and refusing to toss out cans of food from 1997 in case one day she inexplicably craves baked beans. It's like she grew up during the Depression. As kids, if my brother and I ever complained about the house being cold she simply told us to put more clothes on; there was no way that thermostat was inching past 65 degrees, even if the house was surrounded by a wall of snow and we had lost all feeling in our toes. Looking back on my childhood I am actually grateful for my mother's insistence on keeping the temperature low. As a homeowner I finally understand how outrageous electric bills can be, so I try to turn on the one heat source in my condo as rarely as possible. Sure, I have to ensconce myself in a ginormous throw when sitting on the couch and there are four blankets on my bed so I won't be struck with hypothermia on cold winter nights, but those are small sacrifices I am willing to make if it means I pay less than thirty bucks a month to Puget Sound Energy. Sometimes in the summer I open my electric bill to find I owe less than twenty dollars and I am on a high the rest of the day (some people may argue the euphoria could be credited to a rapid drop in body temperature). Rest assured, Jason, I will never ask you to crank up the heat when we're hanging out at your place. I wouldn't dream of wasting your hard-earned money on something unnecessary like heat. Just don't be surprised if I show up with a blanket and extra pair of socks in tow. My mama taught me well.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reason 138

Story retirement. I understand that your proud parents and I are probably the only ones who comb through all of your talk show appearances on YouTube and skim every printed interview you give, hoping to glean some new piece of interesting information about both your personal and professional lives, so most folks haven't realized that a few of your stories are starting to wear thin. Yes, your tale of making out with an attractive women sans shirt and having her poke your belly, then giggle and say "Hey, fatty" is funny stuff, but in my estimation you have told that little anectdote at least three times in various TV interviews and its hilarity is starting to ebb. Your sob story about kids teasing you when you were younger by climbing on your back and chanting "ride the oaf" is also comedic gold, but fans can only hear the details so many times before they want to jump on your back and taunt you, too. It may be harsh to hear, Jason, but as your friend it's my duty to let you know when a story has grown stale and to move on. It may be helpful to keep a log of the yarns you spin for the public (a simple Excel spreadsheet should do the trick), so people don't start thinking you're that guy. You know, the one who never realizes everyone has already heard your tale and is oblivious to the eye rolls and smirks being thrown your way when you launch into the naked breakup story yet again. We've all seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall; it's time to move on. I'm just trying to save you some embarrassment, Jason. Really, you should be thanking me.

Reason 137

Cheap books. Twice a year the Friends of the Seattle Public Library holds a massive used book sale in an old airplane hangar. Books run a buck and Sunday is half-price day, which is pretty much every supply-deprived teacher's wet dream. Today I joined thousands of other bibliophiles, sturdy reusable bags in hand (some people bring luggage!), to sift through a veritable treasure trove of the written word. I ended up buying 60 books and some movies, all for $32. Not too shabby, says I. Jason, I have no idea if you are a voracious reader, but if you salivate when you smell freshly-printed tomes and have three or four paperbacks on your nightstand like me, go ahead and pencil in the next sale, which happens the last weekend in September, on your packed social calendar. After years of attending this magical event I am intimately familiar with the layout and would be happy to direct you to the cookbooks, crime thrillers, bodice-ripping romances, or whatever genre tickles your fancy. I'm even willing to throw a few 'bows to keep the ruthless bargain hunters from snatching up a book you have your eye on. Afterall, what's a little assault charge when it comes to helping out a friend?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Reason 136

Movie theater manners. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have a father who fostered a love of films and a respect for the theater-going experience in his only daughter. We went to the local cineplex almost every other weekend and years later I can still envision specific theaters where we saw Stand By Me, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Supergirl (which we took our new German neighbor to - what a way to say "Welcome to America!"). There is something very special about seeing a top-notch movie in a theater, enveloped in darkness and surrounded by other people who are laughing along with you, especially at the randomly funny parts; it truly is one of the fastest ways to generate that sense of camaraderie and community among strangers that has become harder and harder to find. Because I value this experience I try not to ruin it for others by texting during the film, talking to my neighbor, leaving my cell phone ringer on, dropping candy or soda on the floor...you get the idea. Unfortunately, I seem to be in the minority when it comes to movie theater etiquette. Tonight my mom and I saw Date Night, which was hilarious and definitely worth paying the hefty non-matinee price. The movie, however, would have been infinitely more enjoyable if the two women behind me hadn't tried to guess the name of every actor that popped up on the screen (Hey, it's Mark Ruffalo!), compared the book club scene to their own literary gang, or squealed "that was funny!" every time Tina Fey made a witty comment. Jason, you will never have to endure running commentary or a poke in the arm followed by a loudly whispered "What's going on?" when we soak up some cinematic screen time together. Be warned though - I also won't hesitate to fetch the usher if you are distracting those around us with your incessant chatter or obnoxious popcorn gnashing. In fact, I may pretend I don't even know you. If I spend a whopping ten bucks on a movie I expect to get my money's worth.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reason 135

Radio station agreement. Do you ever get in a car with someone and fear which rado station you will have to listen to for the next thirty minutes? Your stomach starts to twist up like a water slide and you pray you'll become partially deaf in one ear when the driver cranks up the local college station that plays techno twenty-four hours a day. Perhaps you have even declined an otherwise fabulous roadtrip offer because just the thought of listening to thumping bass and badly written rap lyrics about scantily clad women and champagne makes you want to jam blunt objects into your ears. Well, from what I have read, Jason, you and I have pretty similar tastes in music, so I think brawling over tuning the radio to the classic rock station versus the one that plays "hits from the 80's, 90's and today" (said in a really obnoxious, overly excited voice) will never enter our friendship equation. When you're in Seattle we can peacufully listen to 103.7 The Mountain, a station that plays a variety of great bands, from Van Morrison to Modest Mouse to Swell Season, or the little indie upstart down south that cranks out random hits from the 60's and 70's that will make you smile and sing along at top volume, even if you feel a tad ashamed doing so. I mean, who doesn't get a little funky when Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died" comes on the air? And when I am down in L.A. I will trust you to choose a station that befits our awesome musical tastes. If Ryan Seacrest's or Delilah's voice wafts from the speakers, however, I may force you to stop the car and let me out. A girl can only take so much celebrity chatter and schmaltzy love stories before she wants to do bodily harm to herself or others.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reason 134

House sitting. I usually don't like to toot my own horn, but when it comes to watching other peoples' homes and/or animals, I do a pretty amazing job (translation - I put up with a lot of craziness). For five years now I have been taking care of a spectacular, long-haired cat named Sparkle about once a month while her parents abandon her for their condo in Vancouver. Right now they are living it up in Paris, so I am dutifully watching over their home and Miss Sparkle for three weeks. It's a rough gig. As much as I adore the people I work for, they are most definitely crazy cat people. One of my job requirements used to entail visiting Mrs. Murphy, a stray cat who lived two blocks away in front of a nursing home. I fed her twice a day, staying with her until she had eaten all of her food to ensure no other strays stole her dry kibble, and strewing a handful of food on the side of the building to distract the crows from swooping in for a kill. In the colder months I also heated up a saline bag, called a hot potato, in the microwave and placed it inside Mrs. Murphy's little house so ice wouldn't form on her twitchy whiskers during the night. The area the cat lived in was destroyed a few times and my boss was so concerned that she hired a pet psychic to talk to Mrs. Murphy about who was attacking her in the night. Turns out the culprits were raccoons, or "the creatures with dark eyes," as Mrs. Murphy 'described' them to the psychic. Thankfully for everyone involved, Mrs. Murphy was adopted and now spends her days leisurely napping in a swanky condo in Seattle. Hanging out with Sparkle is my most frequent gig, but I have also taken care of a black Lab whose owner fed her homemade stew instead of kibble and didn't want me to leave the dog alone for more than 4 hours, even on Thanksgiving, as well as a whole menagerie of animals (pugs, rabbits, birds) owned by two socially-inept sisters who didn't believe me when I told them the dogs barked all night and I could never sleep. Jason, I don't know if you own pets, but if you do I would happily lavish them with love, treats, and bellly rubs (if appropriate) while you are out of town. I'm free for 6 weeks every summer, so if you need a responsible person to guard your home, just let me know. I won't even charge extra for shooing away paparazzi.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reason 133

Cineoke. Jason, are you ready to have your mind blown? There is an event in the fair city of Seattle that combines some of the things you hold most dear: karaoke, booze, and movie musicals. I'll give you a moment to soak that in. One Monday a month in a sketchy little theater downtown about 30 people gather to belt out tunes from movies while the actual clip of the scene plays on a giant screen behind them. The first time I went I was so nervous (remember that whole scared to sing in public issue I have?) that I only performed one number, a duet with my wonderful friend, Nicole. We sang "Movin' Right Along," hamming it up while Kermit and Fozzie drove across this great country of ours in their Studebaker. In under four minutes I had found my new drug of choice. Since then I have become a tad more comfortable on that stage (a margarita seems to help), and have serenaded the crowd with renditions of "The Babysitter Blues" from Adventures in Babysitting, "Dance Ten, Looks Three" from A Chorus Line, and, my personal favorite, "Rainbow Connection". I happen to be attending Cineoke tonight and am planning on wowing everyone with "Top That", the iconic rap from Teen Witch. I wanted to sing "Let's Go to the Mall", but I didn't have time to learn all those intricate lyrics or perfect my Canadian accent. Jason, I truly think attending Cineoke with me willl fulfill your soul the way nothing has in the previous thirty years of your life. And if not, at least it only cost five bucks and three hours of your life.

*If you live in the Seattle area and want to geek out at Cineoke, it happens the 2nd Monday of each month at the Jewelbox Theater in Belltown. Be sure to say if I'm there!*

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reason 132

Rain. I'm not sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way Seattle became saddled with a reputation for being a place frequented by precipitation. My hometown doesn't see as much rainfall as a number of other American cities (hello, Buffalo!) and the rain we do get certainly isn't of the torrential downpour variety, so it's a bit perplexing that our claim to fame is weather. Oh, and Starbucks. Looking outside at this very moment, I see clear skies, just like yesterday and the day before that. Of course, I'd hate for people to get the wrong idea - it can get pretty wet around here. One year it rained for over 100 days in a row, and I think we are the only state in the continental U.S. that has an honest to goodness rain forest, so don't start planning a move here quite yet (we don't take too kindly to strangers). Since I grew up in this legendarily rain-soaked city, I am accustomed to getting spit on from above. Unlike folks in southern California who scurry inside upon seeing the first raindrop, people around here simply throw on some REI-approved gear when it starts to mist or sprinkle or pour and then they get on with their lives. Nothing would ever get done otherwise, I guess. So, Jason, if it ever starts to rain when we are galavanting around town I will simply turn my face to the sky and soak in the incredible feeling of being baptized by the universe, then pull my hood up and soldier on. I may not like pina coladas, but I definately don't mind getting caught in the rain. Hopefully, you don't either.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reason 131

Seattle Men's Chorus. In 1979 a gaggle of gay men formed a small singing group that has blossomed over the past 30 years into the largest men's chorus in the entire world. Yep, when gay men in Seattle put their minds to something it gets a little out of control. Seattle is the 2nd gayest city in the country, afterall. Ten years ago my mom and I caught the Chorus's show with author Armistead Maupin and immediately fell in love with all those incredible singers. We have had season tickets ever since and neither of us has been disappointed with our yearly purchase yet. Each concert has the perfect balance of camp and class, a good mix of contemporary songs everyone hums along to, as well as long-lost ditties most of the population has never heard before, and you are guaranteed to spot a drag queen or two...or twelve. The men's last Christmas spectacular included a tribute to the Muppets, costumes and all. It's probably no surprise that I almost peed my pants with excitement when a lifesize Animal galloped onto the stage; it doesn't get much better than that, my friend. My all-time favorite show was a tribute to Swedish supergroup ABBA. The lyrics to "Does Your Mama Know That You're Out?" take on a whole new meaning when two hundred fifty gay men sing them. Sometimes there is a lull in all of the fabulous, musical queerness, so if your mind starts to wander during a performance you can always zero in on Kevin, the supremely talented ASL interpreter, who will mesmerize you with his sweeping hands and impecable rhythm. You can also bristle in your seat and think of creative, yet legal, ways to injure the idiots who take pictures during the show, whisper loudly to their neighbors, or shout out "I love you" to certain chorus members, as if they were at a boy band performance (all three of these things happened at tonight's show - can you tell I am a tad peeved?). Jason, my mom and I would be thrilled if you joined us for an SMC concert. We've finagled tickets for out-of-town guests before and I'm sure we could work something out for you. The last show of the season, which happens Pride weekend in June, will spotlight songs by Sondheim and Bernstein, two musical theater geniuses whom I know you appreciate. You don't even need to get gussied up for the show - Seattleites are notorious for rockin' jeans and Gor-tex to the swankiest of events and Seattle Men's Chorus shows are far from swanky. Just make sure your pants aren't pleated and your shoes match your belt. No self-respecting queen will want to come near you if you look like the straightest guy on earth. For that matter, neither will I.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reason 130

Your beard. By my estimation, Jason, you have been on hiatus from HIMYM for about a week now, which means you have started to cultivate a fairly nice tuft of chin hair. You have mentioned in several interviews that you prefer to stop shaving once it is no longer required by your job and, as your friend, I'd whole-heartedly support your proclivity for facial hair. I'd be a hypocrite not to since I, like all sane women out there, only shave my legs regularly when clothing and weather dictate it. Besides, I bet you aren't easily recognized when rockin' the ZZ Top look and the less you get stalked by insane fans and paparazzi, the better. Sadly, you will start shooting a movie in New Orleans soon and a clean-shaven face is probably required for the role. Even a few weeks of ignoring a razor, though, will cut back on the 3350 hours, or nearly 140 days, of shaving time you'll amass in your lifetime. Just think of all the activities you could squeeze into your already packed schedule if you never had to shave again. Sure, you'd end up looking like a taller, saner Joaquin Pheonix, but you'd also have the time to join me for all the fabulous activities I have mentioned in my blog entries. Seems worth it to me, Jason. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reason 129

My secret shame. Hi, everyone. My name is Sarah and I am a sports movie-aholic. I don't know when the addiction started. It may go as far back as my first viewing of Meatballs when I became enamored with Rudy, my eyes transfixed to the screen as he ran through the forest, leading his underdog team to victory. After that came Field of Dreams and A League of Their Own, two baseball flicks that make me weep with every viewing even though I am not a huge fan of America's favorite pasttime. Through the years I have seen almost every heartwarming sports movie released, no matter how poor the writing or unbelievable the plot. I admit to having seen Ladybugs, the Rodney Dangerfield soccer travesty, more than once. Clearly, I have psychological problems. Perhaps my affinity for watching these cinematic athletes perservere comes from my own athletic inability. I have never been particularly fond of kicking or throwing balls, running up and down fields, or huddling with a group of sweaty people to come up with some last-ditch effort that will save the game. No, I am a girl who would much rather sit on the sidelines, book in hand, occasionally looking up to watch the sports drama unfold before me. Perhaps that is why movies like Rudy and Remember the Titans suck me in every time I stumble upon one of them while flipping through the channels. I loathe football, but love the passion, agony, and triumph displayed by those well-muscled folks on that little screen. So, Jason, despite my embarrassment at purchasing a ticket for a movie like Stick It!, I will suck up my pride and accompany you to any sports movie you want to see. Afterall, every addict needs the occasional fix to get her through the lean times when every theater seems to be showing nothing but historical epics and buddy action comedies. The thought alone makes me get the shakes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Reason 128

Puppet building. A few weeks back I decided that instead of shelling out another 150 bucks for a real Muppet from the What Not Workshop, I could just make my own Muppet-style puppet with nothing more than craft supplies from JoAnn's, a few pointers from on-line tutorials, and lots of elbow grease. Well, yesterday my mom and I dumped all of the felt, fleece, hot glue sticks, spray adhesive, styrofoam, and plastic eggs (I'm thinking they'll make great eyes or ears) I had bought on the table, stared at the hodgepodge for a few moments, and realized we had no idea how to craft a cool looking puppet that can belt out showtunes while my hand is rammed up its bum. The farthest we got was cutting an opening in an old plastic bowl that will become a head and stuffing it with crumpled up newspapers so my hand doesn't flop around when I try to open the lady's giant maw. Jason, since you have basked in the glow that emanates from the Henson's Workshop and worked intimately with the gods who created Fozzy Bear and Rizzo the Rat, I'm betting you have a lot more knowledge of puppet making than this girl. Can you tell I am Kermit-green with envy? You could probably sweep your deep, brown eyes over all the bric-a-brac I bought and immediately concoct a plan to construct the boozy, lounge singer I can only see in my mind. Take pity on my ineptitude, Jason, and help me build the most fabulous Muppetesque puppet the world has ever known. Do it for puppet lovers everywhere.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reason 127

Word association. Since high school I have lured friends into sessions of Word Association, either verbal or written, to battle boredom. The rules of the game are simple: say a word and the next player says the first word that comes to mind and is somehow related to the previous word. Volley words back and forth, guffawing at the random connections and little slices of your friends' psyches, until you make it back to the very first word spoken. I have played this while waiting for movies to start, during mind numbingly boring meetings, and to distract from the endless monotony of asphalt during road trips, and I always come away from the activity with a greater sense of closeness to the participants. Who knew that the quiet girl next to me in that first aid class had such a filthy mind? Imagine my delight when I watched an interview of you and Paul Rudd engaging in this very game. One of you (I don't want to point fingers and lay blame, here), blurted out a completely random one-word answer and the other of you latched onto it, creating a proverbial verbal snowball that could not be stopped. The poor reporter didn't know what hit him. All he could do was  look awkwardly around the room while you and Paul let the game run its course. I fully approve. So, Jason, what do you think when I say the word 'goulash'? Go.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reason 126

The Great Debate. Some friends may argue about the merits of paper versus plastic when it comes to grocery bags or why loading the toilet paper so it rolls from the top is infinitely better than pulling from the bottom. Talk of abortion rights and the possibility of Sarah Palin one day winning an election that actually matters can be the wedge that forever divides two women who have been besties since kindergarten, while otherwise peace-loving dudes may come to blows over whether the Yankees deserve to go to the World Series yet again (for the record, they don't because they are the devil incarnate). Jason, when it comes to the future of our friendship I have a feeling our greatest argument will center around which of our first concerts carries more cred: the Jackson 5 or Huey Lewis and the News. Ladies and gentleman, let the war begin. Let me start by saying I love the music of the Jackson 5...that was made in the 1960's and 70's. By the time you saw them in concert in the mid-80's, Jason, they hadn't had a bonafide hit on the radio in years and Michael, a solo superstar by then and the only true genius of the quintet, was performing with his semi-talented brothers as a favor. Huey Lewis and his bandmates, on the other hand, were at the top of their game, dominating the pop charts with catchy tunes like "I Want a New Drug" and "Heart of Rock and Roll." Granted, the sound system at your show probably far exceeded the one at the giant, cement Kingdome, but from my nine-year old point of view, they rocked that arena, and 23 years later I can still envision those gentlemen on stage, so clearly stoked to be performing for fans from ages 5 to 95. Unlike the Jackson gang, Huey and his pals didn't need fireworks or giant stage props to wow the audience; all they needed were their tight harmonies and some cool shades. Really, what elementary school tot wants to hear about the ABC's when they can find out about the power of love instead? I rest my case.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Reason 125

Easter baskets. The two things I can count on every year, without fail, are my mother going hog wild in the present department on Christmas and stuffing a basket full of treats for me on Easter. Even when I lived out of state my generous mom shipped baskets to me, fake grass and all, so that I could celebrate Jesus's magic trick by pigging out on chocolate coconut nests and pawning flourescent Peeps off on unsuspecting roommates. Just as she offered to make you a special stocking if you ever visited for Christmas, Jason, my mom has volunteered to gussy up a wicker basket for you in case you drop by for Easter dinner once we become friends. She's pretty hardcore when it comes to tracking down the perfect treats for everyone at the table (this year she went to 5 different stores in search of a dark chocolate bunny after our dog ate the one for my brother), so if you tell her what you fancy she'll morph into a bloodhound and sniff out whatever your heart desires. It's also likely you'll get a scratch ticket that won't be worth anything, a nifty pair of socks (keep an eye on my sister-in-law - she stole my pair one year), and plastic eggs crammed full of jelly beans no one ends up eating. Sometimes she outdoes herself and gets something that won't even fit in your basket, like The Club. That was my bonus gift the year I was living in an apartment in the shady part of town. Nothing says let's celebrate the resurrection of Christ quite like a giant red lock intended to keep thieves at bay. Thanks, Mom, for every Easter basket you've assembled for me and all of the ones that are yet to come. And thank you for finally figuring out that no one in our family eats Peeps. It only took 30 years, but who's counting?

Reason 124

Foot massages. You may find this hard to believe, Jason, but I actually like feet and am happy to massage my friends' feet now and then. Actually, let me clarify. I like healthy, clean feet. You couldn't pay me enough to touch some old person's nasty feet (sorry, Mom). I'm not a foot fetishist, by any means, but there is something kind of cute and comforting about feet. Just think of all the amazing things our feet allow us to do - walk, skip, jump, run, dance. It's only right that we give them some TLC now and then. I happen to possess a set of above-average feet, in terms of the curve of my arch, length and shape of my toes, and general cuteness, so I am always happy to show them off. I even have a tattoo on the top of my right foot and get a happy tingle whenever someone points it out or asks what it says (it's in Latin). Since you are a giant among men at 6'4" I bet you have big feet, Jason. No problem. I will gladly knead your Sasquatch tootsies...as long as you wash all that forest debris off of them first.

Reason 123

The Princess Bride. You may be shocked to know that the first time I watched this Rob Reiner masterpiece I complained about how boring it was and couldn't believe my friends were wasting valuable sleepover time on such dreck instead of playing Light as a Feather or pigging out on cookie dough. Sure, Fred Savage was adorable, but he didn't get enough screen time to satisfy my 6th grade heart. Fortunately, the next time I watched the movie I fell in love with it, and it has been one of my top 5 favorite films ever since. Now I show The Princess Bride to my students every spring for Medieval Movie Day, ensuring a new generation will be inspired by Westley and Buttercup's love, Inigo's passion for revenge, and Vizzini's obsession with the word 'inconceivable'. Jason, I know you are also a fan of the flick and do a fairly spot-on impersonation of Fezzik, so once we're BFF's we can gleefully exchange quotes whenever the mood strikes, shouting out "Look, an R.O.U.S.!" or "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!" as we go frolicking down the street. One of the lines I frequently slip into conversation is "Anybody want a peanut?," so imagine my shock and delight when you uttered that line in I Love You, Man. I almost fell out of my seat (which would have been disgusting because we all know what the floors of movie theaters are like). Next time you're in the mood for a viewing, Jason, just let me know and I'll drop whatever I'm doing to join you. If you ask nicely I may even whip up some MLT sandwiches, where the mutton is nice and lean...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reason 122

Practical jokes. Yesterday was April Fool's Day and in observance of this fine holiday I did what I usually do - absolutely nothing. It's not that I don't appreciate pranks or would disintegrate into a blubbering mess if someone played a joke on me. I just never seem to have the forethought to cook up something really devious, yet relatively harmless, to spring on unsuspecting loved ones. I'm pretty certain I have never done more to someone on this hallowed holiday then tap their shoulder and make them look in the opposite direction, and in my very long (and fairly accurate) memory, I can remember only one instance of tomfoolery that was aimed at me. My freshman year of college I lived with two other girls (no, we didn't have pillow fights every night in our skimpy negligees) who thought it would be hilarious to flip every picture on my section of the wall upside down. That would be about 20 pictures. It took me at least an hour to even notice the decor had changed, which was a bit of a letdown to them, and then I left the pictures that way for at least a week out of sheer laziness. All in all, not the best joke someone could have played on me. Another college friend had her entire bedroom papered with photocopies of Pee Wee Herman that year. Obviously, she had a much more fulfilling holiday than I did. In high school there was talk of playing a senior prank on the whole school, but no one ever took the initiative and another opportunity for ridicularity was lost. Jason, as my friend, I would beg you to take pity on me and concoct a prank worthy of all of the fools who have proceeded me. I'm not talking toilet papering my classroom or egging my car, two uninspired and obnoxious "pranks" that fall into the domain of teenagers. No, I want something creative and unexpected. Something that I will remember for the rest of my life and want to tell my grandchildren about. This is your chance, Jason, to pay homage to the idiots of yore who didn't believe the calendar had been changed by the king and went on celebrating the new year on April 1. Don't let me down.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Reason 121

The Olympics. Nope, not the real Olympics, filled with bobsled disasters, steroid scandals, and really heinous fashion statements. I'm talking about the faux Greek Olympics the sixth graders take part in every spring at my school in conjunction with their Social Studies unit on ancient Greece. For the past three years I have headed up this spirited extravaganza and been saddled with such grueling tasks as building doric columns out of cardboard and butcher paper, hunting down a giant Frisbee to use as a discus, and deciding which sport the teacher-leaders should be forced to participate in - chewing frozen gum and then blowing bubbles or racing the length of the gym while using hoola hoops as jump ropes? Decisions, decisions. Jason, if you ever want to host an Olympics-themed party for every middle schooler you know, I am your go-to gal. I have extensive knowledge of crabwalk etiquette, a cheap connection for authentic looking medals that won't break the bank, and access to a tissue paper flame that looks real from 50 feet away. I also look pretty hot in a chiton (look it up). If you don't quite have the energy to throw your own soiree, you are always welcome to join a polis at my school and compete. Sure, the other kids will whine about the injustice of a grown man vying for gold in the long jump, but they need to learn early on that life just isn't fair. They should thank their lucky stars we aren't taking a cue from the Spartans and leaving the weaker students on a hillside to die. Ah, the good old days.