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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reason 211

Muzak dance parties. Back in high school, before I was cynical about love, I eagerly read and reread a book called 1001 Ways to Be Romantic so I'd be prepared for the day when I found a quirky partner whom I could shower with love and affection. One of the tips the author suggested for sparking some passion in your relationship was spontaneously dancing to soft rock hits being pumped over the PA system at grocery stores. That's right, nothing will get your motor revvin' more than grooving to a little Barry Manilow in the produce section. I think it's all those bananas. As hokey as the author's suggestion may be, I do find the idea of unexpectedly doing a few swing moves or showing off one's swivel hips in public to be quite charming. We've already established, Jason, that you were born with a complete lack of shame and have natural rhythm, so you would be the ideal partner for grooving with me in an elevator or department store. Start thinking of a few choice moves now, because if "Forever in Blue Jeans" is ever cranked up at the local mall I will grab your hand and expect you to shake what your mama gave you. Just don't steal my thunder or you'll be rubbing your sore feet all alone and begging the clerk at Cinnabon for a ride home.

Reason 210

Talk show appearances. Despite the obnoxious noise the gray box emits every time a button is pressed and its constant recording of channels not covered by our cable provider, TiVo has become a necessity in our house, something that has forever changed the way my mom and I watch TV. Never bowing down to technological fads (she still owns a VCR and record player) and being resistent to any gadget that costs more than twenty dollars or so, my mother had to be sweet-talked into buying the TiVo box on that fateful December day so many years ago. Of course, now that she owns one she constantly sings its praises and only watches live television once in a blue moon. One of my favorite TiVo features is the WishList Search because it allows me to be embarrassingly lazy when it comes to stalking certain actors or subjects. Jason, you are obviously on my wish list and, truth be told, of all the thespians listed you are the only one who gets checked regularly for upcoming shows. Sadly, most of the time the only thing listed for you is "HIMYM," which I prefer to watch as an entire season once it's released on DVD, or a single episode of CSI in which you aggravate Grissom for three whole minutes, but sometimes I stumble upon a treasure trove of Jason Segel air-time, which causes me to do a manic happy dance around the family room. Such a discovery happened a few minutes ago when TiVo graciously pointed out that my future friend (that's you) will be appearing on "The Tonight Show" on July 6, "Today" on July 8 (watch out for Kathie Lee!), and "Live with Regis and Kelly" on July 9. After reducing my heart rate to a safer speed, I immediately set TiVo up to record those shows, even sacrificing some other favorites in order to do so (damn you, lack of disc space!). Jason, as long as you make the talk show rounds, you can count on me to record each gab fest, watching them repeatedly in hopes of gleaning a few new nuggets of information about you that confirm how incredible our friendship would be. I'm even willing to sit through Regis's somewhat awkward banter and Leno's corny jokes for you. If that isn't friendship, I don't know what is.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reason 209

Respect for your stuff. Perhaps it's because my parents started taking me to our neighborhood library at a very early age or because I have an older brother who mercilessly tortured me if I touched anything he owned, but I have always tried my darndest to return borrowed items in the same condition they were loaned to me. If you ever trust me with one of your books, Jason, I promise not to dog ear the pages, crack the spine or drop it in the bathtub, making it a bloated, unreadable mess. Any DVD I beg to borrow will stay in its protective case until the moment I slip it into my player, my greasy fingers never touching the underside of the disc. If I am hanging out at your house and need to slip into your favorite t-shirt because I spilled pasta sauce down the front of my ensemble, I will wash my funk out of the garment and place it lovingly on a plastic hanger before returning it to your closet. Through the years I have loaned out many personal items to friends and family only to have my possessions scratched, torn, bent or lost, so I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to trust someone with your super cool 1980's compilation CD only to find it sitting in a puddle of beer with the heinous, sticky-fingered roommate nowhere to be found. I have even lived with someone who stole a knife, spoon and fork from me and then had the audacity to claim she had purchased the utensils at Target. Um, since when do stores sell single sets of cutlery, moron? I'm a little wiser these days, requiring friends to put down a deposit and provide me with both a copy of their driver's license and a DNA sample when they borrow something from me, just in case I need to involve the authorities in order to track down my precious goods; but since you are such a swell guy, Jason, I may only ask you to sign a lengthy contract. You will never have to ask the same of me, though, because I am a respectful, responsible friend who will always return your valuables in the same shape I borrowed them. It may be a year or so before you get them back, but at least you can take comfort in knowing they were treated well during that year.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Reason 208

Summer fun. In 1961 Wham-O, a beloved American company that made millions off of fads like the hula hoop and sling shot, introduced a product that has been inadvertently harming klutzy kids and stupid adults for generations - the Slip 'N' Slide. I happen to be housesitting right now for my darling mother while she is at some boring work conference in Lake Tahoe; and while I was on a leisurely stroll through her neighborhood this morning, I noticed a bright yellow length of watered-down plastic unfurled in someone's front yard. Oh, how the memories of my own Slip 'N' Slide days came trickling into my frontal lobe, much like the water that manages to escape out of the miniscule holes in Wham-O's summer staple. Many an hour of summer vacation was spent acting like a trained seal, sliding around on my stomach to entertain the neighbors. The front lawn of my childhood home is sloped, which allowed my friends and me to shriek with exhilarated delight as we gained intense levels of momentum after we flopped our bellies down onto the Slip 'N' Slide. The only drawback was once we reached the end of the ride we had to slam on the brakes to avoid flying right into a garden area full of scratchy bushes and bark. All of the water from the contraption also tended to pool at the bottom of the grassy hill, creating a bog of sorts that sucked you in if you weren't paying attention (kind of like the Fire Swamp's lightning sand, now that I think about it). Parents could always tell if their children had been partaking in the Slip 'N' Slide madness at my house because grass burns and splinters were plentiful, along with soaking wet t-shirts that had been stretched beyond imagination in an attempt to achieve the perfect vehicle for slipping and sliding all the way down the lawn. Now, I haven't taken a running belly flop onto a slick plastic slide in at least twenty years, but if you are open to a little adventure (and possible broken bones), Jason, I know my mom would let us set a Slip 'N' Slide up in the front yard. We'll have to relocate the stone birdbath in the garden and may need to invest in some kind of air cushion to place at the bottom, but those minor details shouldn't keep us from making complete asses of ourselves in front of the neighborhood kids. I'll be housesitting until Tuesday, so grab some sunscreen and your bathing suit and hop the next flight to Seattle. Don't let the 65 degree weather deter you, Jason. Come on over so we can celebrate national Slip 'N' Slide month together!

Reason 207

Workout buddies. Let's get physical, Jason. No, I'm not suggesting we should get together and act out the lyrics of Olivia Newton John's famous ode to lust and sweat (friends generally don't do that). I do think, however, it would benefit both of us if we became workout buddies, encouraging each other to jog one more mile or swap out an hour in front of the TV for some time on a bike and holding one another accountable when five days have gone by and the most exercise either of us has gotten is walking to the freezer to indulge in a few more bites of ice cream. Mmmmm, tasty, tasty frozen treats, how I love you. But I digress. Truth be told I actually enjoy working out (as long as I'm wearing the right bra) and try to get my sweat on at least five times a week. It certainly wouldn't hurt, though, to have a charming and funny guy like you motivating me to push through the pain of one more push up and creating a little friendly competition when it comes to training for those summer 5K races. Based on comments you have made over the years, I also know that you aren't a huge fan of exercise, so I could be the obnoxious angel on your shoulder guilting you into swapping that next beer and episode of "Saved by the Bell" for a walk around your swanky Hollywood hills neighborhood. I'm actually going for a hike when I'm done writing this. It's a bummer we aren't friends yet, otherwise I would love for you to join me - mostly so you can scare away any creepy dudes with their pants unzipped, which is what I encountered the last time I went for a hike. On second thought, maybe it would be safer if I stayed home and watched a couple episodes of "True Blood."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reason 206

Commitment to our jobs. Some lazy, apathetic folks may call us workaholics, Jason, but I prefer to think we're simply passionate about what we do for a living. Both of our professions require us to log long days and show up to gigs outside our normal work day and, while I won't speak for you, I feel a-ok about putting in some extra time if that's what it takes to be the best teacher possible (and because I don't have much of a life). I'm willing to bet that you feel obligated to fly around the country for press junkets and photo shoots long after a movie has wrapped and, while it is mentioned nowhere in my tome of a contract, I know my little cherubs would be heartbroken if I didn't show up to the occasional band concert, school play, or district-wide track meet. Heck, I've even been invited to family dinners at students' houses. Despite the 2009-10 school year coming to a joyful close a mere two days earlier, yesterday morning I dragged myself out of bed at an ungodly hour and drove to work to take part in a seven-hour meeting about our school improvement plan. It's a good thing there were mountains of blueberry muffins available to soften the blow of being presentable at 8:30 in the morning on my summer vacation to work with a team I won't even be a part of next year, otherwise I may have committed bodily harm to one of my assistant principals. Of course, I listened attentively to my colleagues, mulled over different ideas, and tactfully threw in my two cents when appropriate, all while maintaining a smile on my face and emitting vibes of positive energy even though I desperatley wanted to be napping or catching up on TiVo, because I'm a team player like that (it probably also helped that I was cracking jokes about the math curriculum being called T&A and affixing Post-its labeled 'dork' to the person sitting next to me). So, Jason, when our careers start to wear us down we will have each other to complain to and we can enjoy our peaceful martyrdom together. I'll never tell you to get down off that cross, dear friend. Sure, someone might need the wood, but nowadays there is plenty to go around.

Reason 205

Best worst movie. On Thursday night I had the good fortune of watching ninety minutes of celluloid that has been deemed the worst American movie ever created - Troll 2. A documentary about the film (I use that term very loosely) and the cult following it has garnered the last twenty years was screened in Seattle last week and after watching it I was compelled to track down a copy of Troll 2 and soak up the schlock in the comfort of my very own living room. Thanks to Netflix my other friend named Jason and I were able to have a little viewing party and I can safely say that Troll 2 is indeed the most fabulously terrible movie I have ever sat through. At least there was Thai food readily available to appease us. Let me give you a brief synopsis so you can grasp the scope of this cinematic dreck. Joshua, who converses with his dead grandfather on a daily basis, is dragged along on a month-long family vacation to the farming town of Nilbog, population 26. For those quick-witted readers out there, yes, Nilbog is 'goblin' spelled backwards. Oh, did I mention that, despite the movie's title, there isn't a single troll in Troll 2? Nope, the villains are little people dressed in burlap sacks and low-budget latex masks to look like goblins. Vegetarian goblins. Oh, wait, it gets worse. Whenever a bumbling tourist strolls into Nilbog the goblins, who can disguise themselves to look like humans, feed the unsuspecting visitor food covered in bright green frosting, which then turns him into some kind of foliage that can be eaten by the veggie-loving monsters. With guidance from dead Grandpa Seth, Josh is able to stop his family from consuming the tainted food (one scene has him urinating on the dinner spread) and then destroy the magical stone that is the source of the goblin's powers. Now, if the brilliant storyline isn't enough to convince you to sacrifice an hour and a half of your life, there is also amateur acting, cliched horror movie music, choppy cinematography, and unnatural lines that would never escape a normal person's lips. Oh, and a super rad dance scene. So, Jason, if you haven't already raced out the door to locate your own copy of Troll 2 I would be thrilled to welcome you into the cult. I'll even provide you with a meat tray in case you need to fend off any vegetarian goblins lurking about. I got your back, Jason.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reason 204

Airport pick up. My father was a bit of a vagabond growing up, moving around between Mexico and the great Pacific Northwest, and in the past fifteen years or so my mother has travelled extensively for her job, so I guess wanting to escape my condo every few months is connected to both nature and nurture for me. Unlike my brother (not sure where my parents went wrong with him), I love to fly, and after four or five months I start to get a little antsy if I haven't sat in a cramped, upholstered seat while enduring banal conversation with the stranger next to me at an altitude of 30,000 feet (I'm totally guessing on the height - cut me some slack). I also don't mind airports, despite several horrible experiences in them, including having two glass bottles of Mexican orange pop explode in my carry-on while surviving my first solo layover as a teenager and, at the naive age of nine, making a joke to the security guy about my dad having a gun in his suitcase (thank goodness this was before 9/11). Since I spend a relatively significant amount of time at airports I understand just how wonderful it is to have a loved one pick you up from baggage claim, instead of taking your chances with a shuttle bus or dropping a bunch of cash on a taxi. As your friend, Jason, I will always pick you up from Sea-Tac when you fly north for a visit. Ok, maybe not always because I have job responsibilities and whatnot, but if I can't fetch you and your bags in person I will definitely send a trustworthy family member in my stead. I would hate for your first glimpse of Seattle to be through tinted limo windows when it could be through bird-poop streaked ones while enjoying my sparkling conversation and some sweet tunes. I may even throw together an eye-catching sign with your name on it to hold up outside the terminal. Your welcome wagon has arrived, Mr. Segel - hop on in.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reason 203

Teacher perks. Oh, joy and rapture, today was the last day of the 2009-10 school year! As much as I love my job and hanging out with 6th graders for 180 days each year, I was quite thrilled to send the little buggers home today, knowing I now have almost eight weeks of summer freedom in front of me. My classroom has been stripped of all posters, the desks scrubbed down, and hundreds of books have been crammed onto the multitude of shelves that line the back wall, eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new batch of students in September. You can also tell the year is over by glancing at the stack of thoughtful notes kids have given me in the past week and peeking into my wallet at the bulge of gift cards I have accrued. After tallying up all of those little, plastic cards, I forsee a trip to Target in my near future, a couple leisurely afternoons spent at Cold Stone begging the servers not to sing while I indulge in some chocolate-coconut-brownie creation, and many, many Starbucks drinks bestowed upon my friends and family. I don't know if you've heard, Jason, but that particular coffee company is quite popular in Seattle, with store fronts and drive-thrus found every few blocks (or sometimes in the same strip mall), so parents assume that $5-$10 Starbucks cards will make me swoon with happiness. I'll probably be banned from the Emerald City for admitting this, but I despise coffee and try to avoid stepping foot in Starbucks unless I am in desperate need of a bathroom or cup of water. Ok, I do wander into their shops occassionally, either for a Top Pot donut or Mountain music Lounge CD, but I don't anticipate spending more than a pittance there in the course of my lifetime. That, Jason, is where you come in. As of today I have around fifty bucks in coffee cards making an unsightly lump in my wallet and, if you are a fan of mochas and lattes, I would be quite pleased to burn up some of that plastic on frothy drinks for you. So, the next time we're hanging out - heck, the first time we're hanging out - let me know if you have a hankering for a tall, non-fat something or other with whip and I will gladly make it my treat. Then we can relax in the plush armchairs and be hypnotized by the "cutting edge" music being pumped out of the speakers, while discussing my diabolical plans for convincing next year's batch of kids to shower me with dark chocolate instead.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Reason 202

I get shit done. Not to toot my own horn, but when push comes to shove, my back is up against a wall, I am wedged between a rock and a hard place, and any other ridiculous cliche that comes to mind, I generally accomplish whatever task I've cooked up in my maniacal, little brain. Case in point: a little over a week ago I had the brilliant idea of choreographing a musical flash mob of 6th graders for the end of the year assembly instead of performing the usual song parody. Now, if you have ever spent a significant amount of time with someone going through puberty you know that they can be a bit manic and completely unreliable, so attempting to wrangle thirty or so twelve year olds, then teach them some sweet dance moves and actually count on them to remember the steps is akin to training my cat to use the toilet - virtually impossible. And yet I managed to pull the top-secret event off in seven days time. Sure, I had to sacrifice some of my precious lunch time to debrief the gang on my vision, hang out with ten or so extremely dedicated shrieking, sweaty preteens after school one day, and post a potentially mortifying video of myself dancing alone in my classroom on YouTube, but when all of us started busting out the Cabbage Patch and Hand Jive at today's assembly and I saw the surprised delight on hundreds of cherubic faces in the cafeteria, all that pain and suffering was totally worth it. So, Jason, the next time you're in a pickle, whether it be choreography-related or not, and need someone to bypass all the crap and simply get the job done, I'm your gal, especially if middle schoolers are involved. I draw the line, however, at potty training your pets. That's the kind of crap I try to avoid.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reason 201

Naked cyclists. In 1995 a renegade group of naked, painted men on bicycles crashed Seattle's Solstice Parade, and every year since then the crowd of colorful nudists on wheels has grown into the hundreds, becoming every Seattleite's favorite part of the parade. Sadly, this year I missed the parade, which was yesterday, in favor of another uninspiring date (let us pause for a moment of silence as we honor my deceased love life), so I can't regale you with tales of some of the more creative paintjobs. I did however, set my peepers on a number of jaw-dropping canvases last year, including super heroes, a giant rainbow made up of solid-colored pedalers, various jungle creatures, and, my personal favorites, a gang of brave souls painted to look like Waldo; I almost missed them in the crowd. I propose, Jason, that you and I bare all at next year's parade, perhaps painted as Velma and Freddy from Scooby-Doo (I'm sure we could round up a Daphne and Shaggy) or as members of Electric Mayhem. You have already flaunted your junk for the world to see, so I can't imagine that covering your entire body in camouflaging latex and then zipping by a thousand people while on two wheels is much of a stretch for you. I, on the other hand, am new to the whole naked in public thing, so I will start working out immediately, do some research on body waxing, and invest in a more comfortable bike seat. There is no way I am letting it all hang out unless I can do it in style. Start brainstorming themes now, Jason - I'll be expecting some mockups of our 'outfits' by the end of the summer.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reason 200

Toilet paper. Upon first thought, the quality of toilet paper we use may not seem too important, but if you have ever used the facilities at an elementary school that only trusts their students to use a single square of tissue at a time or a restaurant that is so cheap that their TP is almost transluscent, you understand that what we wipe our naughty bits with can make or break someone's entire mood. Over the course of your lifetime, Jason, you will spend around 3 years sitting on a toilet, and I bet you would prefer to spend that time fondling double-ply, cotton-soft, cutely-patterned paper over the kind that is so scratchy it can give unsuspecting users paper cuts. I avow, here and now, that every time you use the loo at my humble abode there will be a fat roll of extra-absorbent, pillowy paper just waiting to be spun off that multi-purpose cardboard roll by one very tall, comedic actor. I don't scrimp when it comes to my toilet paper purchases because my nose, face, and baby-making area deserve all the tenderness available from the good people at Angelsoft. So, never fear, Jason; when you answer nature's call in my house it will always be a pleasant experience. I cannot guarantee, however, that the cleanliness of my bathroom will be quite as inviting. Clearly, I have my priorities straight.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reason 199

Medieval madness. Hear ye! Hear ye! Let it be known that on this day all fair maidens and brave knights shall gather together for the 11th annual Medieval Faire and movie day. Let the festivities begin! So, that was how my day started out; what about yours? Until this very moment, Jason, I bet you never realized how desperately your soul was yearning for a middle school renaissance fair experience. How fortunate for you that I slave away at a fine educational institute where the 6th grade Social Studies department feels compelled to organize a royal court, entertainment, and a frenzied hour of buying and selling wares handcrafted by twelve year olds (and their parents). Today I witnessed a very nuanced reenactment of serfs pleading for their lives before a king with Justin Bieber hair, followed by a short talent show where one poor singer burst into tears at the end of her performance, and then two cutthroat rounds of snatching up tinfoil hats and undercooked brownies with wads of fake cash. Bring on the mead, says I! A few periods later, after students had completely come down from their sugar highs, we got to enjoy such authentic medieval-themed films as The Princess Bride and Shrek, instead of attempting to actually teach anything during the last week of the semester. Clearly, this is one of the best days of the entire school year. It's a pity you couldn't join in the fun, Jason, but come next June I'll drop your invite in the mail (start cultivating an iron stomach now). If someone honorable can vouch for your behavior around that time you can even apply to become a knight and take part in the sacred dubbing ceremony in which you will kneel before the king and queen and then receive a very fancy certificate. Don't get too high on that horse of yours, though; I draw the line at calling you Sir Jason.

Reason 198

Clever captions. With the advent of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, the sharing of  photographs that document every mundane aspect of our lives has become the norm. No longer do we have to sit in someone's darkened living room for hours as they click through slides of their neverending trip to Europe (Look kids, Big Ben!), pretending to be fascinated by every Parisian cafe and stein of German beer our soon-to-be ex-friends enjoyed on their vacation. Nope, now we can scrutinize and mock our nearest and dearest from the comfort of our couches, office chairs, and bathroooms (don't judge me!), without feeling obligated to comment on every picture of your coworker's new baby or cousin's wedding reception (is that uncle Bob groping a bridesmaid?). The only expectation I have in exchange for scrolling through page after page of photos is that captions are included and they sure as heck better be worth reading. I'm not an idiot - I can tell that you are standing in front of a weird looking tree or that you saw an elephant at the zoo last weekend - so there's no need to write that underneath the picture. If I am going to spend my extremely valuable minutes passing judgment on you, at least make me guffaw, or, at the very least, titter. Jason, I assure you that the majority of my Facebook photos are attached to clever captions, so you will never be confused as to why I am mounting that metal pole at the park or what exactly that emu is doing to my boob. In fact, you'll probably be quite charmed by my antics and grateful for my insightful explanations. I value my friendships, even the ones with people I haven't seen since elementary school, so I feel it's only right to put forth a little effort and amuse all my peeps out there on the Interweb. Afterall, even the freaky voyeurs who secretly track every photographed move I make deserve to be entertained.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reason 197

Art. I have appreciated art since I was little, taking great joy in making elaborate Play-Doh scenes, sculpting odd creatures out of the rough clay from the hillside near my house, and swirling bright colors together on that special, slick finger painting paper. Somewhere along the line I realized the art I made wasn't particularily interesting or inspiring, unlike the detailed, other-worldy pictures my brother drew, so I poured my energy into other creative outlets. What I didn't abandon, however, was my appreciation for art of all kinds, which is obvious as soon as you set foot in my tiny studio condo. Every single wall has at least one framed piece of art hanging on it and there is a stack of prints and original works leaning against the kitchen table, patiently waiting for a home. In fact, on several recent occasions I have had to stop myself from investing in anymore pieces, no matter how jaw-dropping, thought-provoking, or down right hilarious they may be, because I have simply run out of walls. I guess that isn't such a bad problem to have in the grand scheme of things. I especially like stumbling upon work by local artists - you know, the kind who painstakingly set up a small booth at all the seasonal craft fairs and farmer's markets, trying desperately to avoid eye contact with the unwashed masses as they stroll by in search of stinky candles and photographs of a cherry tree in full bloom, as if that constitutes great art. Gee, I'm not a snob or anything (she says while rolling her eyes). Once we're friends, Jason, I would adore checking out the art scenes in Los Angeles and Seattle with you on my arm, having heated discussions about why that rusty bike tire mounted on a toilet doesn't get me all hot and bothered and letting you convince me that it wouldn't hurt to have one more picture of a naked lady in my bathroom. As Twyla Tharp so brilliantly stated, "art is the only way to runaway without leaving home," and I think it would be grand to run away with you once in awhile, Jason.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reason 196

The Tony's. Tonight CBS will air the least-watched and most mildly glamorous awards show of the year, the Tony Awards. For people like me who adore all things cranked out by the folks who live and breathe the Great White Way, the show is actually quite enjoyable and sometimes even gives way to moments of pure giddiness. I have a feeling, Jason, that you are also partial to watching Broadway casts sing and dance on live television and, unlike 95% of Americans, you have probably seen most of the nominated shows and know the names of the incredible actors who will strut onto the stage tonight to accept their golden disk sitting atop a shellacked brown box. I am also betting it's nearly impossible to convince your cadre of macho male friends to come over to your place for a viewing party, so you will have to either enjoy the festivities with your mom, any gay guys you know, or all by your lonesome self. If only you knew a super cool chick who planned on watching the three-hour spectacle and may even sing along with a couple of the performances (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Yep, that would be one more benefit of our friendship, Jason, and if you had had the good sense to contact me in the last six months we could be mixing drinks and popping popcorn right now in anticipation of Sean Hayes' opening speech, instead of sitting solo on our couches, silently cheering on the underdogs. Don't let the opportunity to experience the Tony's with me slip through your fingers again, fine sir. Make sure by this time next year that I am on your speed dial so that if I can't fly down to L.A. we can at least critique the performances and acceptance speeches over the phone. I'll start putting together my Sondheim mash up as soon as the show is over, so 364 days from now I can dazzle you with my Fosse moves and Bernadette Peters-esque voice. I'll  expect you to be working on your jazz hands.

Reason 195

Dating. Please indulge me a bit, Jason, while I rant about my love life, or rather, my lack thereof. See, I just returned from a first date that will never turn into a second one, and I am feeling somewhat discouraged. For the past few years I have dipped my toes into the pools of people hawking themselves at on-line dating sites and have been consistently disappointed with the temperature of the water. Definitely too tepid. My suspicion that intelligent, funny and single men in their late 20's and early 30's don't actually exist has been reinforced lately by the unique (for lack of a better word) men who have contacted me. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to a real winner, he's a married polyamorist who plays role-playing games in his spare time and would love to spend some time getting to know me. Not quite your thing? Well, how about the creepy massage therapist who can't construct a grammatically correct sentence? Still not sold? Then check out the twenty five year old (yep, seven years my junior) who relies heavily on text-speak and wants to chat, but can't come up with a single, coherent thing to say and is confused by my extremely mysterious user name (Word Nerd seems pretty self-explanatory to me, my friend). I have it from a very reliable source that I am not hideously unattractive, smell strange or come across as a psychopath to strangers, so I'm a tad flummoxed as to why the seemingly normal men I contact online never reply to my charming, well-written messages. Egad, do they see me as some creepy middle school teacher who is mildly obsessed with a sitcom star?! Perhaps I'll edit my profile as soon as I am done with this post. Whatever the reason for my anemic love life, Jason, I would love your help in finding someone who doesn't make me vomit upon first look, can carry on an intelligent conversation about a variety of issues, has a stable job, gets along with his family, and makes me laugh until I pee my pants. That really doesn't seem like too much to ask. So, please start writing a profile for me that will catch the eye of all the eligible men in Seattle. I can't pay you with anything more than delicious, mouth-watering cookies and eternal gratitude, so just think of it as a wonderful writing exercise that may possibly bring lifelong happiness (or at least a second date) to one of your dear friends. Now, get to work!

Reason 194

Honesty. Unless my truths reveal me to be certifiable or will scar someone for life, I generally believe honesty is the best policy. When people ask me how I am I rarely reply with the requisite "fine," instead telling them how I actually feel, which is generally tired, hungry or super awesome. If a dear friend (or complete stranger, I guess) offers me a penny for my thoughts I willingly offer up whatever random information I am mulling over at the moment, even if there is potential embarrassment involved. I remember quite distinctly driving around town in high school with Claire, my best friend at the time, and having her ask me what I was thinking about (perhaps I was looking extremely pensive). Without skipping a beat I replied "Richard Simmons," which was the honest truth. Of course, both of us immediately cracked up because sixteen year old girls devoting think-time to a sweaty man in short shorts who visits the tanning booth way too often is a little odd, but I still believe putting a glaring spotlight on my freakishness was much better than whipping up some mundane response about the weather or traffic or the twin boys who lived in our neighborhood whom we pined for on a rotating basis. Based on what I know about you, Jason, you are a great believer in honesty as well, especially when it comes to information about yourself. You aren't ashamed to tell the world you weep uncontrollably when you watch Whale Rider or that as a young lad you pretended to be a cat who mistook your bed for a litter box on a daily basis as a way to punish your parents for the birth of your younger sister. When interviewers ask about your love life you unflinchingly dole out mortifying stories about naked breakups, awkward puppet makeout sessions, and drunken serenades, even though these tales paint you as a tad insane. I appreciate your honesty, Jason, and once we're friends I will fully support you telling me the truth (as long as it doesn't cause irreparable harm - I'm fragile enough as it is).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reason 193

Words, glorious words. In watching and reading the hundreds (ok, maybe forty) of interviews you've given over the last three years or so, Jason, I have noticed that your vocabulary is quite extensive and you aren't afraid to show it off, much like me. You slip words like amalgam and juxtaposition into conversations the way non-logophiles drop the F-bomb, causing a radio host to actually break down and admit he had no idea what you were talking about when you described one actor's knack for lulling people into acquiescence. Apparently, satellite radio hosts don't have to take a vocabulary test as part of the hiring process (and the world is worse off because of it). I am fortunate enough to have my life center around vocabulary for nine months of the year, spearheading a program in my department where students gather new words each week from their novels to share with the class and then choose eight to explore further through various activities. At the end of the semester the little moppets have been exposed to hundreds of new words and are then required to demonstrate how many they remember in a Vocab Showdown where teams of three to four students battle to the death in order to become members of an elite group of word-loving, definition-spewing champions. As an added bonus they get homebaked treats delivered to them at lunch so they can boast about their massive craniums to their loser friends. In honor of this occassion, which happened to occur yesterday, I sport a very fashionable homemade t-shirt that reads "Word Nerd" on the front, which the geekier students always covet. Once we become friends, Jason, I will bestow upon you the title of Word Nerd and whip up a special t-shirt so you can declare your love of nouns and verbs to the world in a sartorial manner. Perhaps you can wear it the next time you do a radio interview so the hosts know what to expect and can keep a dictionary handy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reason 192

Bohemian Rhapsody. The year was 1992. An extremely funny (and socially awkward) teenage girl sat in a dark theater watching Wayne and Garth with her friends on Valentine's Day weekend, not knowing she was about to have her mind blown (and get a minor case of whiplash). As hip as I was for someone growing up in suburbia in the 1980's and 90's, I had never heard Queen's classic six-minute ditty, so when those two goofy public-access hosts and their buds burst into the 'mock opera' while cruising around town, the singer in me could barely contain herself. As soon as the movie was over I convinced my friends to track down a CD of the song so we could reenact our own scene from Wayne's World. Imagine six teenagers crammed into a mid-size car with "I see a little silhouette of a man" blasting from the speakers and you'll get a strong sense of what my Saturday nights were like in high school. Yeah, I know you're jealous. Almost twenty years later I still know every single word of the song and passionately belt it out whenever my iPod shuffles it up. I have a feeling, Jason, that you are just as familiar with Freddie Mercury's bizarre, yet inspired, lyrics, and would indulge me in a sing-along and some head thrashing if the mood ever struck while we were tooling around town in my Outback. And if you happen to go a little overboard with your interpretation of the song, I will gladly rub the crick in your neck or hand you a small cup and, in my best Garth impression, tell you to spew into it. Party on, Jason!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reason 191

Fantastical interstellar beings. Don't ask me how I know this, but today marks the anniversary of a ridiculous, yet charming, novelty song about a purple alien with one eye and a horn who happens to be quite musical. This little tidbit of trivia dropped into my lap at the perfect time because a mere three weeks ago a VHS copy of The Purple People Eater, a cinematic gem that, in my opinion, was overshadowed by The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, arrived in my mailbox. Thank goddess for Amazon.com. For those readers who aren't familiar with the film's extremely complex storyline (shame on you!), let me fill you in. One day a young boy plays the classic Sheb Wooley song, which makes the magical creature appear and, in a heart-warming turn of events, the two of them join forces to save an elderly couple from eviction. Now, that's Oscar gold right there. The producers were lucky enough to land such mega-talent as Dustin Diamond of "Saved by the Bell" fame and Little Richard, so it's kind of a shocker that this 80's classic didn't rake in more dough at the box office. Perhaps its success was hindered by the overly-eager young actor who played the lead, some unknown kid named Neil Patrick Harris. It's really too bad he never made it in Hollywood. Anyway, go ahead and pencil today's date into next year's calendar, Jason, because I am planning on holding a raucous viewing party of The Purple People Eater with my furture bestie. You should also start committing the catchy song lyrics to memory because there is no way we'll make it through the movie without busting out these timeless words: It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater...Everyobody join in!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reason 190

Investment opportunity. I was walking home from the grocery store earlier this evening and noticed a For Sale sign jammed into the front yard of what used to be the mortuary two blocks from my building. My first thought was "Boy, it sure sucks that another small, locally-owned business tanked" which was followed by "How kick ass would it be to own a former mortuary?!" Yeah, I understand that wouldn't be most people's second (or even thiry-second) thought, but death has never creeped me out. In fact, I find all the rituals surrounding our expiration to be kind of fascinating (for the record, I'd love a Viking funeral). Now, I don't have the cash to purchase a piece of property that size, but I have a feeling, Jason, that you have a mattress stuffed with hundreds in one of the many guest rooms in your mansion and are just waiting for the perfect opportunity to blow all those bills on a worthwhile venture. I think a mortuary-themed restaurant slash cabaret is exactly what my little corner of the universe needs, and I would be more than happy to keep an eye on the place while you're slumming it in the Hollywood Hills. Before dinner the waitstaff could reenact scenes about dead people from beloved movies and TV shows, like My Girl and Six Feet Under, and after the dessert all of the diners could take a cue from Beetlejuice and rock out to the sultry sounds of Harry Belafonte. Each month the restaurant could even spotlight a specific culture's mythology around death and serve food from that part of the world. Be honest - who doesn't crave Mexican food on the Day of the Dead? I think I've struck theme-restaurant gold, Jason. I mean, tasty food, macabre entertainment, and a side order of cultural awareness? Sign me up!

Reason 189

Writing. Not only, Jason, are both of us fans of pulled pork barbeque sandwiches, Van Morrison, and the Muppets, but it seems we also both fancy ourselves writers, either for fun or for money (guess which one of us gets paid). For the past 188 days I have been a slave to my laptop, keys clacking away, in an attempt to write quirky, laugh-worthy, occasionally sweet posts about the two of us (ok, mostly about me, but it's getting harder and harder to write about someone I don't know). In that time I have often yearned for someone other than my lovely mother to provide me with immediate feedback and toss ideas my way so I can continue this little endeavor until my 365 day sentence is up. I don't want to be presumptuous, but I imagine you wouldn't mind a writing buddy to proofread your pages, provide you with that perfect turn of phrase, or demolish that pesky writer's block that occassionally sits heavy on your shoulders. You can trust me to be completely honest about the words you have poured your heart and soul into and I would expect you to give me the same respect (unless you have something snarky to say, then you can just keep it to yourself). So, the next time you need a little inspiration, Jason, feel free to lob some ideas my way or email me a scene that you've been tweaking for days and just can't seem to get right. I will be waiting by my trusty laptop, red pen in one hand and cocktail in the other.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Reason 188

Party planning. From a young age my mom cultivated in me a love for planning fantastic shindigs. Growing up, my birthday parties almost always revolved around a unique theme and were the neighborhood event of the summer. On top of fabulous treat bags, tasty cakes and rousing rounds of "Happy Birthday," we almost always got to whack the crap out of a pinata and compete in an obstacle course created by my very creative parents (chewing frozen bubble gum and pounding a nail into a 2x4 were just a few of the common stations). As I got older I took over the responsibility of planning my parties (Thanksgiving in July is still one of my favorites), as well as events like my high school's formal dances and a particularly dazzling Vegas-themed casino night at my college (go Loggers!). The summer between my freshman and sophomore years I was hired to shill balloon bouquets and paper plates at the party supply store I had been frequenting since my fetal days, Partytime (R.I.P.). Over the next ten years I worked there on and off, creating jaw-dropping window displays, becoming an inventory queen, reveling in stocking the store with old school candy like Pop Rocks and Ring Pops, and endlessly organizing greeting card displays. I truly loved giving customers advice about how to decorate for their soirees and giving them the low-down on which toys were most appealing to the ankle-biting set. Nowadays I don't get many opportunities to plan parties, but, Jason, if you are ever in need of some guidance around matching floral napkins to plastic cutlery or are dying to know how to create a well-balanced balloon grouping that won't tangle or pop in your car, I will gladly swoop in to save the day. And if for some reason I'm not around, just remember that there is no such thing as too much crepe paper streamers (and that the mylar ones scare away birds). 

Reason 187

Sports. One look at me and most people would rightfully assume I'm not much of an athlete. I just don't give off that jock vibe. A conversation about baseball or hockey will hold my attention for maybe five minutes and I would rather sit and stare at a wall all day than attend a professional football game. I'm not anti-sports, as demonstrated by my occasional willingness to take in a Mariner's game at Safeco field or a Storm basketball game (in fact, I am watching the ladies play right now and they are destroying Phoenix). I did take ballet and tap classes when I was in elementary school (I make an excellent dancing poodle), sat in the dugout many a weekend during T-ball season, and played on a soccer team for a few years, which is pretty much required in this part of the country, but overall I always found books and movies to be much more worthwhile ways to spend my time. Besides, following rules and working as a team have never been strengths of mine. As Pee Wee would say, I'm a loner, a rebel, and that isn't a good fit for organized sports. My avoidance of almost all things athletic benefits you in two ways, Jason. First, I will never want to crash your time in front of the TV watching the Final Four or some other God-awful event. I am certainly independent enough to find other ways of filling my time and will leave you alone until the final buzzer. Also, if you ever convince me to throw some sort of equipment around it is almost guaranteed you will look like an all-state champion next to little ol' me. You would definitely beat me at racquetball, a game of HORSE, bowling, and even a round of croquet. The only activity I may have a fighting chance of beating you at is Frisbee or perhaps cricket, which I played a few times in high school and was surprisingly skilled at. So, Jason, the next time you need to lord your athleticism over someone, feel free to give me a call. Just watch out for my Googly - it will knock you on your ass if you're not paying attention.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Reason 186

Roller derby. According to legend (and the 'history' section of their website), in April 2004 a handful of kick-ass ladies were chatting about the derby craze sweeping the scary state of Texas and a few weeks later Seattle's very own flat-track roller derby league, the Rat City Roller Girls, was born. I have been to a couple of bouts and, despite not knowing the difference between a jammer and a blocker, was mesmerized by those tough, aggressive chicks on skates who weren't afraid to take a nasty fall or throw a 'bow at their competitors. I mean, with names like Ima Handful, Primp Daddy and Rebel Belle how could you not be enamored with these roller skating spitfires? Tonight the league held their championship bout, the last match of the 2010 season, and unfortunately I wasn't there to cheer on the eighty or so women who both terrify and inspire me with one glance. Sadly, I don't know many people who are into roller derby so I ended up hanging out with the family, noshing on some of mom's home cooking, and catching up on a couple of episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance." Yep, that's me - party animal on a Saturday night. If, however, a certain super hip California guy named Jason had happened to be in town, I'm sure I could've dragged him to Key Arena to partake in some cold beer, counter culture, and sweaty ladies skating circles 'round the floor. Perhaps next year when you and I are finally friends, Jason, we can catch a bout or two. I don't have the courage to try out for one of the teams, but I would love it if you came up with a clever name for me. Something that is sexy, wry, and strikes fear into the hearts of all who hear it will do quite nicely. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Reason 185

Vocational support. Like a well-made bra, Jason, I will support you and lift you up, both when you hit upon occupational success and when you encounter a few stumbling blocks in your career. Any time a movie of yours is released, whether on a handful of screens or in every megaplex in the country, I will fork over my hard-earned money to see it (although I'm not willing to cross state or national borders - my support is not unconditional). Today Get Him to the Greek, a buddy comedy that you happened to write, opened nationwide and, despite some of the over the top scenes and questionable jokes I've been exposed to in previews, I will support my future BFF by sacrificing two hours of my weekend to watch it. I might even pay full price, which, as you know, means a lot coming from such a frugal Franny as myself. I admit that my willingness to see this Russel Brand vehicle is bouyed by the 75% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the 3-star review the notoriously picky Seattle Times critic doled out, but even if the flick was deemed the next Ishtar I would still check it out because that's what bosom buddies do. Besides, my local theater is pretty cozy, so I can always call upon my supernatural powers of napping if Jonah Hill puking on himself doesn't quite hold my attention.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reason 184

A break from Hollywood insanity. Jason, you've lived in Los Angeles your entire life, so you probably think it is completely normal for people to have inflated egos (and perhaps other body parts), dish about leaked sex tapes and rehab stints over brunch, and obsess about opening weekend returns for the latest blockbuster. I hate to burst your bubble, but this doesn't hold true for just about anyone living outside the L.A. area. I don't know a single soul who has had to worry about an alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet clashing with their wardrobe or whether last Saturday's prostitute will go running to the tabloids to make some extra cash. Whenever we hang out I guarantee there will be nary a scandal in sight and, if you start to complain about the size of your on-set trailer or the fact that the cute barista accidentally put whip on your latte this morning, I will immediately put you in your place. Perspective will probably be a tad easier to gain when I tell you all about my students whose families live in their cars or my coworker who recovered from breast cancer only to have it return a year later. Sure, it would be entertaining to hear about which of your celebrity friends have gone under the knife or dabbled in extramarital affairs (especially if they were with members of the same sex!), but at the end of the day I really just want to bond over fries at the local diner or get my giggle on with a classic comedy. Hmm, for some strange reason I seem to be craving "L.A. Story."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reason 183 (the halfway point!)

Insomnia. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am fortunate enough to be able to fall asleep fairly easily and just about anywhere. Insomnia does make a house call to my place now and then, though, so I have cultivated a myriad of tricks to lull myself to sleep. No, I don't count sheep or other barnyard creatures or sedate myself with warm milk (too middle-America mainstream for me). Instead, I may crack open a book or mentally wish my various body parts a good night (sounds weird, but it works), but my most reliable strategy for drifting off to dreamland is singing. I have a handful of standards I quietly croon to myself, including "Rainbow Connection" and "In My Life" by the Beatles, and after a few minutes of vocal exercise I inevitably start yawning, roll over onto my tummy, and am out like a light. It's not like I have a particularly soothing voice, so I'm not sure why this technique is so effective, but it's probably wise not to question it and just be grateful Morpheus appreciates a supremely talented singer when he hears one. Jason, I know you generally have an easy time meeting up with Mr. Sandman, but if there is ever a night when you are struggling to fall asleep and desperately need some shut eye, give me a call and I will softly sing you to sleep over the phone. My repertoire includes hits from James Taylor, Indigo Girls, and Bette Midler, as well as some classic children's songs like "You Are My Sunshine" and "Teddy Bear's Picnic." I've usually crashed by 11pm, though, so if you need my services after that you'll have to rely on the video I whipped up in celebration of reaching my blog's halfway point - that's right I've been doggedly trying to convince you for six months now that we should be friends and, honestly, I'm a little disappointed I haven't heard a peep from you. I will soldier on, though, and hang my hat on the hope that you will come to your senses sometime in the next six months, so all of my clever reasoning hasn't been in vain. I hope you enjoy the video (and don't fall asleep while watching it).