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, August 31, 2010

Reason 270

Kitchen creativity. As a kid I was always encouraged to help out in the kitchen (my parents' brilliant use of slave labor). In fact, some of my earliest memories involve cookie baking and enchilada making. As I'm sure I've mentioned, I also happen to be what some would call an, ahem, picky eater, so my mom planned nightly meals around a pretty basic menu in order to avoid my whining about the slop before me or, even worse, purposely vomiting up whatever food product I deemed revolting. As an adult the range of foods I enjoy (or at least am willing to try) has thankfully grown, but until recently I still clung to those five or six familiar dishes from childhood when take-out wasn't an appealing option. Then I watched a little documentary called "Food, Inc." and realized it would be wise for both me and the planet if I shunned processed foods in favor of fresh stuff that grows out of the actual ground or had a fairly happy existence before heading to the slaughterhouse. Sadly, this meant giving up my weekly feast of frozen chicken tenders and Kraft macaroni & cheese, but I've been able to console myself by perusing stacks of cookbooks from the library and testing out tons of recipes from the healthier end of the food spectrum. Luckily, I have had more hits than misses in the new recipe department and, as a result, have become more fearless in the kitchen, swapping out ingredients and changing measurements with wild abandon. When it comes to making desserts I have become even more daring, adding spinach to brownie batter (not a keeper), thrusting balls of cookie dough into cupcakes, and blending together cake and frosting to make my now legendary cake balls (not to be confused with the equally famous and delicious Schweddy Balls). I have no idea how comfortable you are in the kitchen, Jason, but I certainly wouldn't mind spending an afternoon with you frying up a slab of bacon to crumble over some delectable maple confection. And if you aren't too keen on culinary craziness, we can always grab some take-out and finish out the day with my moist chocolate balls. Bon appetit!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reason 269

Soap. I am forever indebted to the scientific genius who created foaming soap. Until that magical bubbling product of sanitation was put on the market, my heart just wasn't in it when I washed my hands. Bar soap has always grossed me out, sitting in pools of murky water that mosquitoes would love to get a crack at and acting as a breeding ground for all the germs people supposedly washed off of themselves after wiping their nether regions. Blech. Liquid soap is a step up, but it generally smells funky and inevitably drips all over the counter after someone pumps the nozzle. Nope, foam is the only way to go. Once dispensed the airy bubbles sit obediently in your hand, never oozing from your palm onto the countertop, and then create a lovely lather that washes clean away, never leaving behind a sticky residue or unappealing sheen. Practically any scent you can dream up is available for frothy bathroom fun and thankfully most stores have seen the light, installing foam soap pumps next to every sink in every restroom from Syracuse to Seattle. I am such a foam soap afficianado that when I realized the bathroom in my vacation condo was stocked with generic white bars I jumped in the car and tracked down the nearest Bath & Body Works so I could stock up on grapefruit-scented soap and enjoy my vacation, confident in my clean hands. I promise you, Jason, that any time you use my bathroom there will be foaming soap at the ready and you will be overjoyed by the level of cleanliness you have achieved after doing your business. So, don't be surprised if you see me sniffing my hands or think I am spending a little too much time in the powder room. Just blame the bubbles.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Reason 268

Deep, dark secrets. Since we are going to be the closest of friends some day soon, Jason, I think it's only right to embark on our little friendship adventure with full disclosure. I'm sure you're thinking "Hasn't this woman shared enough personal information already?!" and, while that's true (at least according to my mother), I did something a few days ago that is weighing so heavily on my soul that I must confess it to my future BFF. I am a murderer. On Tuesday night I was sauntering home from bar trivia, where Joe Lies placed 8th (so awesome!), when the unthinkable happened. As I smugly trotted up the stairs to the condo where I am cat sitting I heard a terrible crunching noise from beneath my right foot. Since dried out leaves have been littering the sidewalks for the past few weeks I assumed I had simply stepped on a considerably large leaf. It wasn't until the next morning when I left for a haircut that I saw evidence of the death and destruction I had been a party to. Smack dab in the middle of a step was a large black smear sprinkled with tiny bits of shell. That's right. I had committed snailicide. My heart dropped when I realized that for the first time in my life I had snuffed out the life of a creature other than an insect and, despite the fact that the murder was unintentional, I still felt great remorse. It has been three days since that fateful night and the inky stain is still there, a constant reminder of the pain I probably caused an entire snail family. The other gastropods that haunt the steps shoot me dirty looks every time I pass by and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they invade my dreams, attacking my body and leaving slime trails as retribution for their loved one's death. This post is my penance, and I know the guilt I feel will stick with me for days or even weeks to come (most likely until that damn spot is gone). So, Jason, I hope you (and snails everywhere) can forgive me. Let this be a lesson to everyone out there - watch your step because you never know what kind of icky creature will be loitering on the sidewalk and you don't want to suffer the way I have.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reason 267

Hollow fruit. Strawberries are, hands down, my favorite fruit (no, I will not engage in discourse with you about the berry qualifying as an actual fruit...nerd). Every spring and summer I keep a container of the succulent red treats in my fridge so I can gorge on them any hour of the day (and make up for the lack of fruit I consume the other two seasons of the year). Even learning in high school science that all those teeny outer seeds are the plant's ovaries hasn't stifled my love affair. Because my adorationn of strawberries is so strong, I am adamant about how they should be enjoyed - unadorned and hollowed out. There is absolutely no reason for someone to turn them into ice cream, bake them into pie or, God forbid, dip them in chocolate (fruit and dessert should never mix). Growing up, my mother always took the time to slice off the top of each berry she served and to do away with any soft spots that may offend a delicate palate like mine. When I was old enough to fix my own bowl of berries I went one step further and cut out the pithy white center since it has no flavor anyway. I didn't realize this was unusual until a coworker commented on my hollow berries at lunch one day. I have also taken to removing the cores of kiwis since the center is generally too hard for my spoon to cut into and just the other night I was introduced to the wonders of a tool used by lazy people everywhere to pit cherries (which I don't eat, but wouldn't mind stabbing holes in). So, any time we're hanging out and you have a hankering for seasonal fruit that can be hollowed out, Jason, you can bet I'll fill up a bowful of tasty treats that will make you proud. Heck, I'll even figure out how to pit a peach if you're craving something sweet - besides me, that is.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reason 266

The Storm. No, I'm not talking about a catastrophic weather event that reduces mighty oaks to kindling and launches unsuspecting cows into the stratosphere. Nope, I'm referring to a group of women who have kicked major ass on the basketball court this year, attained the best record in the WNBA, and are duking it out in tonight's Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Sparks (Boo! Hiss!). Despite my general dislike for organized sports, I have been a proud supporter of Sue Bird and her crew since Seattle jumped on the women's basketball bandwagon, so imagine the complete and utter joy I felt all the way down to my pedicured pink toes when my father called me up this morning wanting to know if I was interested in attending tonight's game with him. Um, that's a no brainer, Pops. I know you're a fan of the sport, Jason, and I can't imagine the players' genitals would dampen that love or deter you from rooting for your home team, even though everyone knows those California girls are going to lose, so any time you want to immerse yourself in the largest crowd of lesbians outside of Michigan Women's Fest, just let me know. I'll slip on some non-gender specific green and yellow athletic wear, throw my hair into a ponytail, and meet you outside Key Arena for some pre-game smack talk that will go a little something like this: Doppler, the Storm mascot, could demolish Sparks the Dog in a cage fight! Seattle's pint-size dance troupe can high step rings around the old ladies trying to krump at the Staples Center! Your ladies are goin' down, Segel! Yeah, I know I'm intimidating.

Reason 265

Photographic shenanigans. With the advent of digital cameras and my ever-growing obsession with "America's Next Top Model," I recently took a long, hard look at myself and realized I am a total camera whore. My trusty pocket-size camera is always handy, ready to be whipped out at a moment's notice to document such earth-shattering events as my nieces eating Play-Doh, my dog laying on her back, legs apart, as if she were posing for canine porn, and my mom with a crazed look in her eyes as she threatens to stab me with an extremely sharp butcher knife (I will call CPS, if needed, Mother). Of course, my favorite subject is me (I blame my astrological sign) and I jump at any opportunity to mug for the camera, taking great delight in staging faux candid moments worthy of a Facebook album. If there is a tasty alcohol beverage in my hand you can bet I'll demand the sot next to me snap a pic while I daintily take a sip and bat my eyelashes; everyone knows puckered lips are very sexy. Luckily for my friends and family, I do my darndest to make photo opps fun. I will mount that fallen log, dance seductively with that playground pole, and shower myself with various objects (leaves, popcorn, feathers - whatever) if it keeps the photographer happy. You've been the focus of so many photo shoots, Jason, that I imagine you'd enjoy being on the other end of a camera, snapping silly pictures of me during our various and sundry excursions. I think I take direction fairly well and will trust your vision, even if it requires me to slather myself in mud and hop on one foot while chanting Germanic folk tunes. As long as I smyze my ass off I know you'll get the perfect shot and that's all that matters.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reason 264

Garage sales. My mother has lived in the same two-story house smack dab in the middle of suburbia for over thirty years, so you can just imagine how many treasures are tucked into cupboards, closets and in the crawl space under the stairs that haven't seen the light of day since Clinton was in office. It also doesn't help that she's a bit of a packrat, a trait genetically passed on to me, and was generous enough to let me stash all sorts of odds and ends that won't fit in my tiny studio condo on top of the basement pool table. Yep, my childhood home was on its way to becoming the star of an episode of "Hoarders." So, what's a red-blooded, money-loving American homeowner with an already packed schedule to do to combat all that clutter? Hold a garage sale, of course! Last week, after being home from vacation for a mere day, my mom and I started pulling boxes full of crap out of the basement in order to hold marathon pricing sessions while working our way through all of the TiVoed shows taped while we were in Oregon. Countless hours were spent writing "$1" on tiny white labels and exclaiming "Who the hell gave us this ugly thing?!" to one another between bites of take-out. On Saturday we held the actual sale with eight or nine tables covered in junk we hoped other morons would desperately want for the low, low price of fifty cents. Mom was brave enough to sit out front with her change purse and a Sookie Stackhouse book, schmoozing customers and refusing to make outrageous deals with them, while I continued to price items inside and yell at the dog for constantly whining about all the strangers on our property. Yep, it was a pretty fun way to spend six hours. In the end all we had to show for our hard work was a combined $140 and two carloads of unsold merchandise for the local Goodwill, but, as my mother so wisely stated, "that's 140 bucks we didn't have before." So, Jason, if you ever find yourself looking around your house and wondering where all that useless crap came from, I'd be more than happy to help you price it and put it on display in your garage. I'll even share my family's super-secret key to making eye-catching signs. All I ask in return is you treat me to a couple slices of piping hot pizza for lunch and pitch a couple of quarters my way when we close up shop. Now, how much do you think we could get for the props you've stolen from "How I Met Your Mother"?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reason 263

Summer driving. I have never been a high-maintenance girl when it comes to my outward appearance. Not to say I walk around looking like doody all the time, but I am not one of those women who feels naked without makeup or throws a hissy fit if her hair is askew. This is especially helpful during Seattle's summer months when it is generally too warm to keep the car windows up but not hot enough to merit cranking up the A/C. Having air conditioning in a house is pretty unheard of in this part of the country (well, until climate change reared its ugly head) and I can't remember a single instance of pumping cold air into the car until I visited my friend Claire in Arizona after college, so it makes sense that I've always opted for a tumbleweed of knotted hair come July instead of a perfect 'do at the expense of a sweat-soaked t-shirt. I'm assuming, Jason, that as an L.A. native you're a fan of turning on the A/C, but if we're ever cruising around town together and you get the sudden urge to feel the wind in your luscious locks and do that weird thing where you cut the air with your hand in a serpentine motion, I won't stop you from dropping the windows down. In fact, my right arm would appreciate the chance to finally turn the same sun-kissed color as my left one.

Reason 262

Dream houses. Despite the fact that it gave me nightmares and was banned from our television for almost a year, I was entranced by "Scooby-Doo" as a kid. I loved the ridiculous antics of bumbling best friends, Scooby and Shaggy, as well as Velma's superior intellect and Daphne's groovy outfit. Fred, however, didn't do a thing for me and seemed completely unnecessary except as the driver of the Mystery Machine. Aside from the characters, I was also fascinated by the various haunted buildings they explored. In one episode they crept around an old house and ended up trapped in a room where the entire floor was a trampoline. I decided then and there that when I grew up I would build a house with a trampoline floor and perhaps even walls. I also thought it would be amazing to install secret passageways throughtout my old Victorian (wraparound porch required), just like the ones in Clue, and to have a dumbwaiter running from the kitchen to whatever room happened to be above it so I could pop in and out of it like Webster, that kid adopted by the ex-NFL star and his wife. Obviously, I was influenced by 80's TV and film architecture from a very young age. With my strong affinity for bizarre houses, imagine the overwhelming glee I felt when I found out your abode, Jason, has secret passageways. I almost swooned right out of my chair. When you first toured your current home Neil Patrick Harris tagged along and, upon seeing the place, proclaimed he felt like he had walked into your brain. Well, I have a feeling my brain would be well represented by your house, too. You and I obviously think alike when it comes to odd living arrangements, which is one more reason we'll get along like gangbusters when we finally meet. Perhaps I can even sell you on the benefits of a trampoline room. Just a warning, though, if I stumble upon Scrappy-Doo while wandering around your mansion I will squash him like a bug.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reason 261

Creepy gifts. As I was sitting in bumper to bumper Seahwaks traffic last night, Lionel Richie's classic song about unrequited love, "Hello," came on the radio. With just a few lines my mind was immediately transported back to lazy MTV-filled afternoons in my family room and the song stalkers everywhere embraced thanks to Mr. Richie. Since you're considerably younger than me, Jason, you may not have watched MTV back when it aired actual videos for more than thirty minutes at a time, so let me fill you in on the video's basic premise. Lionel, in all his 80's afro glory, secretly lusts after a young blind woman in the acting class he teaches - apparently he's unaware of general university policy encouraging professors to not become involved with students. The video follows Lionel as he skulks around campus watching Laura - see a blind person dance and eat lunch and put things in a locker! - and then shows him calling her at home and singing "Hello, is it me you're looking for?" before hanging up. Run, Laura, run! The climax of the video comes when Laura reveals the sculpture she's been working on in her art class is a hideous bust of the soulful crooner himself. Shock and awe! What in the world does this seminal 1980's cinematic gem have to do with us, Jason? Well, I think it's rather obvious. No matter how awesome I may think you are and no matter how incredibly artistic I may be, I will never, ever attempt to turn a brick of shit-brown clay into something resembling your head, especially if I lose my sight in some freak teaching accident. Sure, I might drive hundreds of miles to see you perform and read every interview you have ever given, but I draw the line at making a statue of you. Besides, I already know it's me you're looking for, so no need to woo you with a rinky-dink art project.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Reason 260

Dance movies. I have a sneaking suspicion, Jason, that you are a closeted fan of films that involve elaborate dance sequences. I mean, you wrote an entire puppet musical, practically gushed about getting to be part of HIMYM's musical episode, and have publicly lamented the fact that the last few Muppet movies haven't had song and dance numbers. It just makes sense that you'd get a thrill from seeing gyrating hips and acrobatic leaps on the big screen. Tonight I attended an event that I think would be right up your alley - the first screening of the Century Ballroom's View & Chew series which is devoted to showing a dance-centric movie every weekend for free for the next few months. The only thing that would have made the whole experience more enjoyable is your company, Jason. Well, that and more comfortable chairs. Sitting on wooden folding chairs for two hours does major damage to a girl's backside, even a pleasantly plump one like mine. But I digress. Around 7:30 about thirty hip Seattleites started trickling in to one of the smaller ballrooms to enjoy the Australian dance masterpiece Strictly Ballroom, one of my all-time favorite movies. On top of the fact that I didn't have to pay a penny to enjoy the flick, food and drinks were available from the swanky restaurant next door, so I got to sip on a margarita while Scott and Fran fumbled their way through the Rumba. Unfortunately, I had filled up on chicken tikka masala and garlic naan before making my way to the Century so I couldn't sample the food, but next time I am definitely trying the popcorn garnished with duck fat and parmesan cheese. Now, if only they'd work bacon into that equation. Upcoming films include Dirty Dancing, Singing' in the Rain, and a Halloween showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, so if you want to dress up like a sweet transvestite and do "The Time Warp", just let me know. I'll even get there early to snag a couple seats in the front because nobody puts Jason Segel in a corner.

Reason 259

Personal kryptonite. Everyone has those one or two things that drive them so up the wall they want to commit hari kari whenever they think about them and, since we're going to be bosom buddies, Jason, it's only right that I share my particular weaknesses with you. Of course, I do so assuming you won't abuse this information and senselessly torture me whenever I get on your nerves. Ok. Deep breath. Wal-Mart. That's right, I cannot think about that store without having a negative physical reaction. At this moment I am scratching my face and arms furiously because just typing the name of that awful place makes my skin act up. In fact, K-Mart elicits the same reaction. Perhaps it's any kind of mart that is dirty, smells strange and treats their employees like slaves (allegedly, as Kathy griffin would say - no law suits needed here, folks). Growing up we didn't have a Wal-Mart nearby and the K-Mart always seemed a little strange to my mom, so we tended to shop at the local mall, which opened a Target in my early teens (hallelujah!). My affliction didn't make itself known until high school. The summer I turned sixteen I stayed with a friend for two weeks who lived in a small Lousiana town where Wal-Mart was seen as high-end shopping and I discovered my bizarre malady. When Sara Beth pullled into the football-field parking lot it took all of my self-control to unhook my seatbelt and walk into that soul-sucking atmosphere. I didn't care which celebrity-endorsed products they carried or how inexpensive the school supplies were (and that's saying a lot), I was not about to fork over my parents' hard-earned money for a Martha Stewart sheet set that made me break out in hives. Wow, I literally can't stop scratching my body while typing this so I better wrap it up. Just know, Jason, that I will never, ever ask you to shop at Wal-Mart, and that if we're driving down the street and I start rubbing my neck or am making odd faces from attempting to stifle my itchy skin, some kind of mart must be in the vicinity. If you stop there, I will bludgeon you with the car's first aid kit. You've been warned.

Reason 258

The water situation. Yesterday morning I woke up to find the only items available for breakfast consumption were a granola bar, a bag of microwave kettle corn, and a solitary stale graham cracker. Now, before you go judging me as the most pathetic 33 year-old in the greater Seattle area, let me say that it was my first morning of housesitting and I hadn't packed more substantial sustenance because I thought I'd have time to stock up the night before. Apparently, my social life is so out of control that this didn't happen. Ok, I guess it's still pretty pathetic. So, after devouring that lone graham cracker to make sure I didn't pass out from hunger, I set out into the mean streets of Ballard (a neighborhood known for swarms of hipsters and Norwegian geriatrics) determined to fill a couple bags up with food. I ended up at Fred Meyer, a store that sells practically everything a gal could desire, and quickly loaded up a cart with fresh fruits and veggies, a smattering of dairy products, and clear packing tape (don't ask). Well, despite my hefty breakfast my tummy was soon rumbling and instead of savoring some recently purchased fresh strawberries I was lured into the evil clutches of the Starbucks that adjoins Fred Meyer. Since I abhor coffee I opted for my usal order of a Top Pot doughnut and a cup of crystal clear ice water (btw, Seattle tap water is amazing). Now, let me tell you, Jason, even though I am a paying cutsomer I estimate that nine times out of ten that refreshing cup of H2O takes at least five minutes for the barista to whip up, if she remembers to do it at all. I don't know what it is about me but every Starbucks employee avoids filling my order as if doing so will suddenly drop them to the bottom rung of the Starbucks empire. Yep, I am the customer you see standing at the coffee bar, confused look on her face, eyeing the endless stream of frothy drinks beign cranked out by the perky, green-aproned minions and wondering how it's possible to mess up an order for water. On those rare occasions when the water appears in a timely manner, another customer inevitably swoops in from nowhere and snatches up my cup, leaving me heartbroken and parched. I firmly believe, however, that if you accompanied me to Starbucks, Jason, the baristas would trip over themselves to fetch me a grande anything. Heck, they'd probably hold the drink for me while I noisily slurped water through the straw if you asked them to. Not that I'd abuse your celebrity power, good looks, or charm like that - too creepy, even for me. Nope, I just ask that you belittle the worker bees by screaming "Where's my water, you brainless automaton?" while I enjoy my tasty doughnut at a table by the window. I don't think that's too much to ask of a friend, is it?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reason 257

Sweat. I just returned from a two hour flash mob choreography session, as evidenced by the swaths of sweat discoloring my t-shirt and the sexy mositure beading on my upper lip no matter how many times I wipe the area with the back of my hand. Sure, there were over 150 people crammed into a small ballroom on a summer evening so it seems likely that everyone involved would work up a nice sheen. Well, from my vantage point I seemed to be the only one visibly perspiring (and, yes, I coated myself in some lovely Dove anti-perspirant before venturing out the door). Even the portly gentleman next to me was bustin' out classic MJ moves sans sweat stains. I felt especially sorry for the woman standing behind me in the domino sequence who ended up underneath me with her hands jammed in my damp armpits. She smiled warmly at me in what I imagine was an attempt to reassure me that I am not a vile human being and then promptly switched to another line. Not a great way to make new friends, this little problem of mine. As unsightly as my propensity for perspiration is, at least there will always be someone in the room who is sweatier than you when we hang out, Jason. You won't have to fret about strangers eyeballing you in disgust while contemplating whether they should do you a favor and pick up some deodorant for you at the corner store. And who knows, maybe one day a brillaint eco-savvy scientist will figure out how to solve the energy crisis by harnessing the power of my sweat. Until then, perhaps you should think twice about hugging me on hot days or in high-pressure situations, like competitive Scrabble, and just glory in the fact that when I'm nearby no one will ever accuse you of secreting like a porcine quadraped.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reason 256

Laughter as medicine. Tonight my mom and I received the devastating news that our eleven year-old cat, Elliot, has a very aggressive form of stomach cancer. He had lost a lot of weight in the past two months and seemed a bit sluggish, but we chalked it up to an infection or general cat persnickety-ness, never having the experience of a pet becoming seriously ill. We are proud to say we adopt all of our animals from the pound and since none of the four-legged creatures in our lives are purebred, they generally don't come down sick with anything more significant than worms or fleas. When I got home from my mom's, after snuggling up to Elliot through now-depressing episodes of "SYTYCD" and "Project Runway," I texted the news to my BFF, Steve, who promptly called to console me. Well, the reason I had texted in the first place was I knew if I started talking about Elliot I would break down right there in the middle of the parking garage, my neighbors strolling by me with simultaneously sympathetic and creeped out looks on their faces. And that is exactly what happened. Thankfully, Steve also had me cracking jokes about the situation, which, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, helps quite a bit with the whole obnoxious grieving process. We laughed about the inconvenience of goldfish living longer than necessary and of me not having the skills to cope with kitty cancer since all of my previous cats had either been hit by cars or eviscerated by local wildlife. Of course, I probably appeared to be an escapee from the local mental hospital, chortling maniacly while copious amounts of bodily fluids dripped out of my face, but poking fun at such a serious situation certainly alleviated some of my pain and reminded me that joy can and should be found everywhere. So, Jason, as bizarre or uncomfortable as it may seem at the time, I will rattle off jokes left and right if a calamity infiltrates your universe. No subject is too taboo; no tragedy is off limits. Well, maybe rape. I can't really find anything amusing about that. If you think of something, let me know. In the meantime, I will be mourning the imminent loss of my beloved Elliot with tears streaming down my face and laughter bubbling forth from my belly. You are a wonderful cat, Elliot, and you will be deeply missed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reason 255

School supplies. For teachers, the joy that late summer brings is the equivalent to a junkie finding out the local pharmacy is passing out Oxy-Contin for free. Every week starting in mid-July the Sunday paper is jam-packed with ads from every office supply and general purpose store in a 50-mile radius tantalizing my colleagues and me with cheap pens, glue sticks, scissors and the like - items every self-respecting educator hoards in her desk drawer, refusing to share with her students. Basically, the newspaper intentionally distributes glossy teacher porn for one month every year and me likey. Today was my day to metaphorically whack off (um, does that term apply to women?). As soon as I tied up some loose ends at school I zipped down the hill to Target, reusable grocery bag in one hand and a comforting red shopping basket in the other. Thank goodness there weren't any small children running wild in the store because I was a woman on a mission and a few casualties weren't about to deter me from loading up on dollar packs of Crayola markers and reams of college-lined notebook paper. When the Expo markers caught my eye, so colorful in their utilitarian packaging, I had to stop myself from sneaking off to a dark corner and commiting indecent acts with them. Oh, the things I could write on my board with those markers! Perhaps next year it would be wise to enlist a friend like you, Jason, to join me on my pink Pearl eraser expedition so I don't end up on a poster of Target customers to watch out for. Of course, it also goes without saying that any time you need to pick up a few pads of Post-its or want to sniff wooden rulers, I am more than willing to tag along and give you pointers on getting the most bang for your buck. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to cover myself in finger paints and roll around in a giant pile of index cards.

Reason 254

Global Positioning Systems. If anyone ever tells me to get lost I'll have a pretty difficult time of it now that I am practically a master at using GPS devices. Last week my mom and I got down and dirty in an eco-challenge around Bend that required us to use nothing more than our wits and a Garmin unit pre-loaded with over thirty waypoints. With the simple push of a button (and satellites spinning high above) I navigated us across bridges, down mysterious dirt paths, through swarms of bugs, along the raging Deschutes river, and around oblivious pedestrians keeping us from identifying clumps of bunch grass. Part of the challenge was to scope out native plant species based on cryptic clues, laminated pictures and vague descriptions of the foliage. This proved more difficult than anticipated, so if you ever need some botany help, Jason, I am not the girl for you. If you need to track down a metal fish sculpture or figure out which baking staple Ponderosa Pine happens to smell like, however, look no further. Couple my superb sense of direction with frighteningly high-tech gadgets and nothing can hide from us. Donuts around the country should be very afraid.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reason 253

Bed sharing. After sharing an overly soft queen-size bed with my mother the last two weeks, I am happy to report that last night's trip to dreamland was the best I've had in a fortnight. That said, if you're going to share a bed with someone (in a completely non-sexual way) I think I'm a darn good choice. I have platonically slept with a number of people over the years and have heard nary a complaint from any of them. Now, I can't think of a scenario in which you and I would share a bed, Jason - perhaps we're traveling together, have lost all of our magical credit cards, and only have enough cash between us to pay for dinner at Denny's and a single room at Motel 6 - but I can practically guarantee that if it were to happen I would not disrupt your REM cycle with sharp kicks to your legs or foghorn-like noises issuing forth from my nasal region (although you may hear a very slight snuffling sound, according to my mom, so just pretend your cozying up next to an overgrown pig). I will be gracious enough to wear pajamas that won't send you into a sexual frenzy (unless you're turned on by plaid flannel) and am perfectly content with the covers situation as long as I have a single corner to grip tightly in my hand. I'm ambidextrous when it comes to sides, so feel free to call dibs on the half of the bed closest to the bathroom, and I may even smell lovely while tucking myself in thanks to the intoxicating scent of Bath & Body Works citrus body lotion. All I ask in return for all of my thoughtfulness is that you don't sleep naked or try a ninja spooning move on me because, as friends, that would just be awkward.

Reason 252

Spelunking. Have you ever played the super low-tech "Spelunker" game for the original NES? It's brilliant in its simplicity - a man with the grace of someone made out of Legos shimmies up and down a rope to explore different sections of cave in hopes of pocketing treasure while avoiding steam vents, mutant bats and unidentifiable supernatural creatures. Clearly, the jewel of 1980's video game production. Well, I walked into the bowels of central Oregon the other day to soak up the atmosphere of North America's longest lava river cave and, let me tell you, my experience was nothing like the one painted by the geeks at Nintendo. There were no active geysers, red-eyed, rabies-ridden creatures, or treasure tucked away by One-Eyed Willie and his gang. It was cold and damp, and rocks were haphazardly strewn about making the entire ordeal quite dangerous for a klutz like me. I soldiered on, though, staring in awe at the crossroads laying 100 feet under the highway overhead, fondling the bumpy lava rock walls, and snapping pictures of the cave's black maw. Luckily for me (and my two companions), I am neither claustrophobic nor scared of the dark, so trekking to the center of the earth was, in my opinion, a lovely way to spend the afternoon (despite the lack of diamonds and such). If you ever get a wild hair, Jason, and want to go spelunking, just let me know. I will show up at your door with a couple of headlamps, a coil of rope, and a giant bag of beef jerky (in case we get lost for a few days). Of course, if you simply want a simulated caving experience I'm also content to stay home and play "Spelunker" for hours on end. Yep, I still own a copy. I'll even spring for that bag of jerky in case we get carried away.

Side note - does anyone else think the animal in the picture looks like a manatee? Apparently, it's a mole, which isn't nearly as funny.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reason 251

My father. Although my best friend, who has never met the man who sired me, vehemently believes my dad doesn't actually exist, I am happy to say I have a living, breathing papa, and I think the two of you would get along like gangbusters, Jason. His sense of humor rivals mine in terms of rapier-sharp wit and keen observations about this odd world of ours. Charm oozes from his pores (not in a creepy way), making everyone from the local barista to Bill Gates feel instantly at ease in his presence. My father is intelligent, inquisitive, intense, and probably lots of other words that start with the letter i. One of the traits I value most is the unconditional support he's always offered me. I mean, in high school he drove my best friend and me to a sold out Harry Connick, Jr. concert at the last minute so we could crash the front row and snag an autograph after the show. That's commitment. From baked goods to this blog, he gushes over just about everything I produce, which I know is kind of a job requirement for parents (at least good ones), but it still feels lovely to bask in his neverending enthusiasm. I wonder if outsiders are nauseated by our little mutual admiration society. No bother. Despite our not-so-fabulous traits, like our inability to abide stupid people and our occasional brashness, we know we're pretty darn awesome, and I am positive my dad would gladly bestow society membership on you, Jason, since he knows how much I adore you. If you're lucky we'll even teach you the secret handshake and password to our clubhouse.

Happy birthday, dad!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reason 250

Spontaneous songwriting. I am constantly making up random songs on the fly in an attempt to clear out weird thoughts from my fairly cluttered brain. It's almost like I'm Eminem in that scene from 8 Mile where he battles another rapper to come up with mind-blowing lyrics at a moment's notice. Um, except without the sneer or the wife beater or the homophobia. My dog Molly is often the recipient of my musical masterpieces and has become so sick of my warbling that she actually rolls her eyes at me when I start to trill about the cutest canine in the world. In my defense, a lot of words rhyme with Molly, making it way too easy to whip up a song for her when I stroll through the door. Dogs, however, aren't my only target. Just yesterday morning, while pedaling by the nearby horse stables, I saw an adorably fat chipmunk scurry across the bike path. I immediately started singing a song about the miniature version of Dale, which went something like this. And a one, and a two...Cute and chubby chipmunk, runnin' cross the path; Poor old silly chipmunk, I bet you can't do math; Brown and fuzzy chipmunk, how you make me laugh! Oh, cute and chubby chipmunk, runnin' cross my path. Now, obviously you'd be more impressed by my song stylings if you could actually hear the words set to my brilliant melody, but I don't think I have the technology available to record myself into this post. Try to keep from crying on your giant pillow. If we hang out for any considerable length of time, Jason, I can almost guarantee you'll have a chance to bask in my last-minute lyrical genius, so don't be suspicious if you spot a rhyming dictionary stowed in my purse. I'll even let you add a line or two if I get stuck, since you have some experience writing songs. While a rock opera about Dracula is impressive, it doesn't quite have the appeal of a tune about rodents, though, so don't let your head get too big or try to Bogart my next radio hit. I think the world is almost ready for a musical ode to my legs: Oh, the veins in my leg are blue like the rain or a line on a roadmap to nowhere; they twist and they turn, they wiggle and squirm; reminds me a bit of spaghetti. Thank you, thank you very much.

Reason 249

Peeing. Originally this post was going to shed some light on my nearly supernatural ability to delay my need to use the nearest toilet for hours on end, which is quite handy during long flights and roadtrips like the one I embarked on last week. Unfortunately, I've discovered my bladder isn't as voluminous as I once believed because ever since I left home I've needed to pee like a race horse every two hours or so. Months ago on one of her health-themed shows Oprah claimed a healthy person urinates about once an hour, and since Oprah is the closest thing we have to a real, live deity in America, I don't feel too bad about dropping my pants so often. Since I've lost about twenty pounds in the last few months the only reasonable explanation for the sudden change in the frequency with which nature is calling is that my bladder has shrunk right along with the rest of me. My mother snorted at this highly scientific theory, but I can honestly see no holes in my water-tight (or rather, urine-tight, as the case may be) hypothesis. So, Jason, I cannot entice you into lifelong friendship with a claim of never interrupting a super-fun moment by searching for a loo. I can, however, point out that when I do need to empty my shrunken bladder I am content to do so just about anywhere. Sketchy gas station bathrooms and fetid outhouses don't dissuade me from unzipping and letting loose. Rest stop stall with no door? I'll unbutton my pants without hesitation. In fact, my favorite place to cop a squat may just be the great outdoors. Perhaps it's the murky cavegirl DNA in me, but peeing in the middle of the woods (or atop a mountain, which I did today) makes me quite happy. And, as an added bonus, I don't waste toilet paper (Sheryl Crow would be proud) or need to wash my hands with gross liquid soap afterward. You should be so lucky to call such a low maintenance, eco-friendly woman like me your friend, Jason.

Reason 248

Mustache appreciation. The other day while noshing on a pulled pork sandwich at a funky BBQ joint in Sisters, Oregon, my eye spied an autographed picture of Sam Elliott, a man known for his glorious facial hair as much as his acting chops. Seeing Mr. Elliott in all his black-and-white movie still glory reminded me of a radio interview you gave ages ago (thanks, YouTube!) in which you and the DJ's professed your appreciation for famous men and the equally famous hairy ctaerpillars perched above their upper lips. You're top three mustaches of all time belong to Tom Selleck (as Magnum P.I., of course), the aforementioned Sam Elliott, and the other famous mustached Sam - Mr. Shepard. Now, I agree that those men sport some amazing facial hair, but my third choice would definitely be Dastardly, the cartoon villain of "Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines" fame. Sure, his mustache is drawn on, but it is still a wonder to watch him twirl it menacingly between his gloved fingers. I bet Sam Shepard can't do that! Other folks who stake a claim in my mustache-loving heart include Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler (the only redeemable thing about that monster). I'm sure there are others, but they don't come to mind at the moment. Our differences of opinion about legendary 'staches doesn't worry me, Jason, since I think disagreement between friends is a healthy thing. We should be able to engage in rousing debates about mundane topics like famous facial hair or toilet paper quality or the existence of yetis, secure in the knowledge that we do agree on important things, like the complete and total awesomeness of Disneyland. Besides, no matter what you say I will always be right - no need to argue about that.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Reason 247

Simplicity. Yesterday was my birthday, a lovely occasion for examining the past year, setting goals for the next, and appreciating all of the amazing people in my life. It also doesn't hurt to indulge in some stiff drinks and wickedly decadent chocolate dessert. Since turning thirty a few years ago I've realized that the older I get the less I care about gifts and parties, at least in relation to my own momentous birth - when it comes to other people's big days I am happy to go a little overboard. If you asked me what I wanted for my birthday I honestly couldn't rattle off a list of things purchased at a store, so you're off the hook, Jason. Nope, I'd much rather my birthday be a simple affair with me enjoying a much-needed massage, hitting a couple happy hours in Bend, and curling up in an oversized chair with a good book. Apparently, the adage that with age comes wisdom does hold true in my case, at least when it comes to keeping things simple and understanding people and experiences are 100 times more enriching than things. Of course, I won't turn my nose up at a thoughtful gift of new sneakers (Asics size 10), tickets to Disneyland, or my own gig as a writer for a hit TV show, but a few kind words from you, Jason, would be just as appreciated. Gee, I bet you can hardly wait to be my age so you can throw off the shackles of consumerism and be all Zen. That gives you three years to maintain your lifestyle of Bacchanalian excess - enjoy it while you can, youngin'.

Reason 246

Accident prone. I'm pretty sure no one has ever described me as graceful (well, maybe when I'm on the dance floor and my mojo's set to high). I constantly drop small objects, bump into furniture, and trip over invisible cracks in the sidewalk. In high school I managed to slip down a couple of stairs and sprain both my ankles, and one of the high points of my college career was falling up a set of stairs twice in one day and having another student, who had witnessed both events, question me about my motor skills. If someone followed me around with a video camera I bet I could rake in big bucks on "America's Funniest Videos" (by the way, why is that show still on?!). My body is covered in a parade of cuts, scrapes and bruises because of my clumsiness. I'm sure during the summer months when more of my skin is exposed to the general public there are strangers who think I'm a battered woman. At least, I'm going to assume that's the reason for all those pitying looks. Why, just this morning in the shower I noticed a purple and yellow bruise about the size of a tennis ball on my left knee. Absolutely no idea how I earned that particular badge of ambulatory obliviousness. There is a bright spot to all this pain and awkwardness, though. My lack of grace makes everyone around me look like Baryshnikov in comparison. People will be awed by your fluidity when we walk down the street together, Jason. Strangers will mistake you for an Olympic-level ice skater or internationally ranked ballroom dancer and gaze at me in wonder, stumped as to why you're spending time with a spastic accident-prone gal like me. All I ask in exchange for this adoration, Jason, is that you take a break from those gob-smacked fans to help me up off the ground or dislodge my foot from that pesky hole. Then you can return to gliding down the street, teen girls swooning as you pass.

Reason 245

Biking. Seattle is known as a very bike-friendly city full of trails and special lanes just for cyclists, so, even though I didn't learn how to ride a two-wheeler until the ripe old age of eight, I've always known about bicycle safety and etiquette. The village I am currently vacationing in boasts over 35 miles of bike paths, and since our unit comes equipped with two old-school coaster brake bikes, my mom and I start and end almost everyday here with a long ride. I tell you, Jason, singing showtunes while cruising in the early morning sunlight and spotting the occasional deer makes for moments of pure bliss. I bet you and I would be the talk of the town if we pedaled by a gaggle of golfers belting out "Sign" from Annie (with me singing Ms. Hannigan's part, naturally - my dream role). What isn't so happy-making are the dolts who swarm the trails en masse, either on foot or on bike, ignoring my shouts of "On your left!" until I get so frustrated (and close to them) that I scream out "You need to move or I will hit you with my bike!" Yeah, that actually happened yesterday. I also love the cyclists who believe they're above the rules and can ride on the wrong side of the path (we aren't in England, buddy), zip through tunnels instead of dismounting as the signs indicate, and stop in the middle of the trail, confused about which roundabout will return them to the comfort of their suite at the nearby swanky resort. Since my parents raised me right and I'm not a moron, I don't exhibit any of these thoughtless and dangerous behaviors. You can ride with me, Jason, secure in the knowledge that I will stay to the right, walk my bike when required, and even call out a friendly "hello" to those I pass. All bets are off if I see a big-eyed doe munching on grass, though. Adorable wildlife seems to make all rational thought dribble out of my head into a pool on the path's blacktop. Damn you, Bambi!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reason 244

Technology. The morning after we arrived in our quaint vacation community, I fired up the old laptop, plugged in my modem (yep, an actual Clearwire modem - don't laugh), and found out I would be waiting an awfully long time if I ever wanted to access the internet from our condo. My signal was nonexistent. This revelation was actually quite liberating because it meant I wouldn't be a slave to my computer or this blog during two weeks of vacation. Sure, I couldn't look up local restaurants on Yelp or read inane status updates on Facebook, but that seemed like a small price to pay for freedom from technology that hypnotizes me into wasting precious minutes that could be devoted to reading actual books, sitting by the pool, and griping about our noisy upstairs neighbors. I swear they have thirteen children who are all hooked on meth and love to play DDR. I've never been enamored with or impressed by the latest and greatest in technology, so the thought of being stuck on the side of the information superhighway didn't depress me too much. Since my computer was out of commission I decided to embrace this Stone Age living by severing all ties with the wireless overlords and leaving my cell phone turned off for the majority of each day. Besides, most of the calls I receive are from my doting mother, who is currently sitting five feet away from me, so I was confident that I wouldn't be missing much. Today, the third day of my self-imposed exile from technology, became too much to bear, though, and I headed to the nearby library to use their public computers (yay for libraries!). Fingers twitching in anticipation, I double-clicked my way on-line...and then waited for several painful moments because the server was taking forever to load anything. Argh! I finally did manage to log into my email account, Facebook, and my lovely blog, but the computer was so turtle-like that it almost wasn't even worth it to drive over in 90 degree weather, suffering from back sweat and those unsightly marks sunglasses tend to leave on the bridge of my nose, when I could've been holed up in the much cooler condo with a bag of microwave popcorn and Oprah. When my mom found out I had gone on-line without digging up information on Crater Lake, a possible excursion while we're in Oregon, I decided to throw in the towel and find out how to log on to the Interwebs with the condo's server. So, now I am sitting on the front steps (apparently signal strength is as weak as Mel Gibson's self-control inside our room), typing away on my mom's laptop, once again a slave to technology and my little year-long experiment. Even though I now have all sorts of information at my fingertips I am going to try my darndest to leave this computer in its case, snug as a bug in a rug, unless it is absolutely imperative that I watch a video of a monkey sniffing its own butt or something. I know you adore all of your MAC products, Jason, but if you ever need to quit cold turkey for awhile so you can reconnect with actual human beings, I'll be there to support you. I will hide your iPhone if necessary and we can recklessly go out into the world with no GPS or movie times at our fingertips. Let's be brave together, my friend.

Reason 243

Festival fun. On our drive into the bowels of Oregon the other day we passed a sign touting the little town of Aumsville's annual Corn Festival, which got me thinking about all the incredible activities that could take place during what must be the high point of the year for folks in surrounding areas. I bet dollars to doughnuts a Corn Queen competition is held, pitting teenage girls with low self-esteem against one another to show off their corn-fed physiques in itty, bitty bathing suits while they twirl flaming cobs in the air, all for the glory of a gift certificate to the local hardware store and a tiara bedazzled with shellacked popcorn kernels. After the nail-biting wait to hear the pageant results, festival attendees probably gorge themselves on a myriad of corn-based food products like corn chips, corn tortillas, corn chowder, cornbread, corn flakes (I'm starting to feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump - I better stop), all of which can be washed down with a generous jar of moonshine (which, for the high class folks out there, may be made from corn mash). At the crafts booth you can snag a commemorative corncob pipe, which can then be enjoyed during the corn shucking contest and corny joke portion of the festival. Perhaps if the citizens of Aumsville are horror fans they can even hold a screening of The Children of the Corn; I bet the freaky kid who played Isaac would show up to sign some autographs if asked really nicely. I can even think of a certain lucrative corn-themed activity that might pull in gay men with lots of disposable income if Aumsville wants to show off just how liberal Portland's southern neighbors can be. I honestly have no idea what goes on at the real Corn Festival, but if it's anything like the one I've imagined, I would love to check it out with you, Jason. In fact, I am pretty much up for bizarre festivities any day of the year, so if you hear about some underground doughnut days or worshipping of the almighty almond, let me know and I'll be happy accompany you. I don't make any promises about refraining from heckling inbred girls who decide to degrade themselves on stage for a couple minutes in the spotlight and a sparkly sash, though. Call them scholarship programs all you want - this feminist ain't buying it.