Monday, February 26, 2007

Dear Charlie:

All right, Sis. Here goes. You asked for it. I have no doubt you will shortly be suffering infinite rue-age.

1. Height? 5'8"

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? Don't you inject heroine? I thought you smoked opium. Either way, nope.

3. Do you own a gun? No, but I housed my dad's coon-huntin rifles for over a year.

4. Who would you let eat crackers in your bed? Duh. Vin Diesel. That boy could eat a seven course meal with extra dessert in my bed. I might have to sleep on the couch, but I'd do it with a smile knowing there was a food-covered Vin in my place.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No, but after...Katie, bar the door.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Lips and assholes are surprisingly tasty.

7. What’s your favorite Christmas song? I don't really do Christmas, so I'd have to say The Grinch's theme song.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Used to be Coke. Now I just heartily wish for anything with caffeine while being a "good" girl and glaring at my bottle of water.

9. Is your bathroom clean? Ish?

10. Can you do push ups? Yup, but not too many. I'm more proud of sit-ups, mainly because it doesn't look like I can do so many. Heh. It's always bet material.

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Don't much do jewelry, but I'd have to say it's a tie between a big silver cross choker Jody gave me or an equally big silver-braided index ring Tony gave me. I don't do gold.

12. Do you like painkillers? I don't like medication at all, but frequent headaches make ibuprofen my friend.

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex? Extensive knowledge of both football and professional wrestling combined with my devilish wit and adorable charm. *cough*

14. Do you have A.D.D.? Add an H and you got me to the nines. Mom used to say that I was the only kid she knew who literally tried to climb the walls.

15. What’s your name? GutterBall

16. Middle Name? My Uncle Wes would swear that it must be Clumsy. He once told my mom that I needed to go to Grace School. Big jerk. I'm scarred for life. Seriously.

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? Vin Diesel covered in dessert. I miss Coke. I'm pretty sure you inject heroin, and isn't it funny how close "heroin" is to "heroine"?

18. Name the last 3 things you bought. A PowerBall ticket (a girl can dream!), a tank of gas to go to the adored brother's wedding reception, and Lobster Bites from Long John Silver's

19. Who is your favorite visual artist? Whoever does those demotivation posters. Those crack me up.

20. You’re stuck on an deserted island with two other people, who would you want to be stranded with? A chef and an engineer.

21. You’ve won a major award and have thanked your family, who else would you thank? Friends, God, and country. And Meatloaf, because I love that guy.

22. Current worry? The unfortunate dichotomy between my take-home pay and my basic bills.

23. Current hate? When providers get into my filing drawer and put things back in the wrong order. What's the point of alphabetizing and date-ordering when someone's just gonna come screw it up??

24. Favorite place to be? Bed. And that's for sleeping, ya perverts!

25. How did you bring in the New year? Kicking the shit out of the old one.

26. Where would you like to go? Everywhere. I love to travel. I love to delve into cultures.

27. Do you own slippers? Nope. If I'm awake, I'm wearing shoes. There is no in-between. I hate feet.

28. What shirt are you wearing? My comfy long-sleeved denim and a grey ¾-length-sleeves tee. I live in layers. I'm a child of the '80s.

29. Do you burn or tan? I prefer burning. It's much more destructive and doesn't require smelly animal hides. Although I do love a good leather coat. Hm. Can I change my answer?

30. Favorite color(s)? Black, green, indigo.

31. Would you be a pirate? I would, but women are bad luck on a ship. I'd have to masquerade as a guy (not terribly hard) and conveniently disappear when that bad luck landed.

32. Are you gay? Happy as a pig in slop. Not homosexual, though.

33. What songs do you sing in the shower? Depends on what CD I'm listening to at the time. I'm very rarely without music when I'm home.

34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? The monster from whatever horror movie my brother laughingly made me watch that day. Ironically, once I outgrew the hideous and vivid nightmares, I became more a horror afficionado than he is. Go figure.

35. What’s in your pockets right now? Lint. And a pony-tail holder. My life in a nutshell.

36. Where are you? At the dining room table.

37. Best bed sheets as a child? The ones draped over chairs to make a fort.

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Too many to count. I did mention that Grace School remark, ne? Although I can hardly take credit for the bus accident. My school bus rolled down a ravine. I still can't turn my head all the way to the left, and if I toss my hair just right, my spine scalds all the way down my back. My right shoulder will never be the same, either. What can I say? I'm held together with spit and barbed wire.

39. You’re on a trip around the world and have to select five landmarks to visit, what would you pick? The Pyramids, Stonehenge, Easter Island (that's the one with all those stone faces, right?), a genuinely haunted house, and the Bermuda Triangle.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? One, and I mostly use it to watch movies and football.

41. Who is your loudest friend? Now you're just trying to get me in trouble.

42. Who is your quietest friend? Probably the dead one. And no, I'm not kidding. Bless Josh's heart.

43. Does someone have a crush on you? God, I hope not.

44. Do you wish on shooting stars? If I see them. I also wish when I glance up and all the numbers on the clock are the same. You know, 1:11 or 2:22 or my personal favorite, 11:11.

45. What is your favorite book? Whichever one I'm reading that isn't pissing me off.

46. What is your favorite candy? Bottle Caps

47. What song do/did you want played at your wedding? That's funny.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Dunno the name, but it goes "The sow took the measles and she died in the spring". It's a tear-jerker, I tell you.

49. What were you doing at 12AM last night? Wishing I wasn't a slow-sleep insomniac.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Why hasn't someone made up a word that rhymes with orange? And no, I'm not kidding. Don't ask.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Okay, so I almost died twice last night. Admittedly, one way would have been more atrocious and was therefore a much more tempting way to go, but both would have been pretty darn messy.

I was coming home from Fazoli's, where Jody and I had decided to chow down on some pasta after work. Love that pasta. No, I'm not a carbohydrate addict. Why do you ask?

Anyway, I'm coming up to the light at 20th and Rangeline -- a pretty big intersection for this small city -- and the light goes yellow. I could have squeaked through, but I see no reason to risk it. I routinely hit 5 over the limit (or so), but I'm rarely in so much of a hurry that I run yellows. So, I put on the ol' brakes and come to a nice, sedate stop as the light goes red.

I glance in the rear view and see very large headlights advancing entirely too quickly for my peace of mind. The big rig I'd just passed apparently thought I'd run the yellow and was obviously planning to run the red. I have this brief, shining moment to remind myself not to brace for the impact because I'll likely just hurt myself worse before he swerves into the left lane and misses my rear bumper by about a foot. Maybe a foot and a half. He slams on his brakes, as well, and comes to a jolting, jerking halt about five feet into the intersection.

Close call, and definitely the more messy way to go, as I would have likely not only been rear-ended but T-boned in the middle of the intersection to boot. Yowza.

Of course, having avoided this horrific -- but infinitely story-worthy -- death, I proceed to pull as far ahead of the big rig as fast as I can and settle down into my normal 5-over-the-limit speed while the settling's good. Thus, when I glance into my rear view and again see headlights gaining at uncomfortable speed, I am decidedly miffed. After all, I'm already speeding. And now someone's speeding more, and on my ass, to boot.

This time, though, it's a little rice-burner with a li'l punk behind the wheel. He's weaving in and out of traffic and going at least 60 in a 45. I'm in the left lane this time, and he gets right on my ass end and swerves between me and the guy on my rear right who was speeding up to try and pin the li'l punk in. The runt swerves at the last possible moment and squeaks by with perhaps 4 inches to spare, and I have the inordinate pleasure of seeing the kid's wide, scared eyes in his pale face as he stares when he speeds by. The car that he'd just cut off speeds up and follows the kid when he turns right onto 7th Street.

I imagine there was a little road rage at the end of that run. Not that I blame the cut-off guy.

Mind you, I never so much as touched either my brake or my gas pedal or bothered trying to swerve. If the li'l punk rear-ended me, it was his own fault, and if he ticked the corner of my bumper and sent me into a spin, he'd have been paying for it the rest of his life because it probably would have been about a six-car pile-up. Maybe ten, if the big rig had caught up by then and the oncoming traffic became involved. Again, fun...but not my preferred mode of exit.

I prefer something a little more heroic.

Ah, the joys of driving with stupid people. Guess that's what I get for adopting a college town as my second hometown. Geez.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dear Charlie:

I just read Jane Eyre in three days. And worked 9 or 10 hours each day. Whew.

I simply couldn't help myself. See, I watched the latest BBC version that aired on Masterpiece Theater at my beloved sister's house last weekend -- ya know, before and after the ProBowl. Oh, for the last football game of the season.

*sheds a tear*

Anyway. So we watched Jane Eyre and marvelled at its depth and charm. We marvelled at its subtleties. We marvelled at Mr. Rochester and his period costumes. Heh, and we marvelled that such clothing ever went out of style!

But it was an excellent retelling, and -- as I had when I watched Pride & Prejudice recently -- I had to go back and read the book. Now, P&P I had close at hand. But the more I considered, the more I realized that I had never read Jane Eyre.

And I claim to own a bachelor's degree in English! For shame!

Thus, I had to find JE before I could read it. So I called around the used book stores I haunt -- yes, I love my books, but I love them better when I can afford them! -- until I happened upon a mint-condition three-novel collection dubbed The Brontë Sisters. It includes Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and of course Jane Eyre. Leatherbound. Gold-leaf. Pristine condition.

And for $10. Woot! God, I love books!

It's a pleasure to simply turn this one's pages. It's not so very old -- the copyright date is 1982 -- and not so very enticing -- I really only wanted it for JE -- but it has weight. It has pages. It smells like a library. Turning the pages and absorbing the words as fast as I could to keep those characters flowing in my mind was...oh, there are no words. I simply love it.

Is it stupid to love a book? Especially one of which you've only devoured a third?

Now, don't think too much of me one way or the other. I felt much the same way when I finally came across a hardback copy of Stephen King's IT. Seriously. I read it with just as much joy, just as much burgeoning nostalgia. I savored each page and ran my fingers just as lovingly across the lettering on the cover. It's not so much this book that moves me as any well-loved book.

Anyway, the DVD that I cannot wait to snap up -- and damn if it doesn't begin with a J, which will require much reordering of the shelves I just arranged -- won't be available until Feb. 20, which chafes me all out of mind. Luckily, that's also the day I'm scheduled to get my federal tax return, so I can buy a copy both for me and for my beloved sis, who only has the movie now on DVR -- the space of which is always at a premium.

So, I can't wait. But I will, because I at least have the book. I can flip here and there and compare. The BBC did such an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. The actors very nearly channelled Charlotte Brontë's Jane and Mr. Rochester. The story took a life of its own while staying very true to the source material.

Can any more be said of a movie made from a book? When so many fall so egregiously short?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Dear Charlie:

I have WAY too many movies.

I was tempted to title this post "Dear God", but this isn't the Letters to God blog, so I stuck to the tried and true. But I was thinking "Dear God!" by the time I finally sat down to type.

See, I love movies. I rarely watch TV besides football and Heroes, but I watch movies all the time. I have no particular taste and am easily amused by the tiniest thing, so most movies (except chick flicks, for the most part) are fair game. Especially horror movies.

Anyway, I get most of them used or for birthdays/Christmas/various other gifty-type holidays, but I do still buy some new -- mainly those I simply can't wait for. So ,I have quite the collection. My DVDs especially are piling up.

Well, thanks to my beloved sister, I finally have a spare bookshelf -- those are hard to come by, considering that I love books as much if not more than movies, heh -- to fill with my VHS flicks so I could actually put my DVDs on the shelves in the entertainment center instead of stacking them on the floor below, making it impossible to get to the little cabinet doors where I hide my treasured DragonBall Z collection.

What. A. Fiasco.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I weren't so friggin anal retentive. But since I was bringing some sort of order to the chaos, nothing would do but I alphabetize, too. Thus, the VHS shelving took several trips and several replacements.

I should've been a librarian. In fact, I did contemplate implementing the Dewey Decimal system, but I talked myself out of it because I don't have a label-maker. But it was a very close thing.

The DVDs were worse. See, the entertainment center's shelves are really deep and tall, so I figured I'd kinda stair-step two rows of DVDs on each shelf so they'd all fit. Keep in mind that these shelves are probably only a foot and a half or so wide, but they're easily that deep and tall. I basically have three square shelves to deal with.

So, I took an old shoebox, cut the lid and bottom in half, and started stair-stepping in alphabetical order. The first shelf was gravy. By the second shelf, I realized that even the shoebox lid was too tall to fit the DVD boxes on because it was actually shorter than the top shelf, so I cut it down a bit, then had to brace it from below with what I'd cut off. Lordy.

Plus, I got all the way to the Ms before realizing that I'd missed...a D. Crap.

So I had to adjust two whole rows' worth without disturbing the weak support I'd stuffed under the makeshift step. Not easy. And I found an F when I got to the Ts, so I was all ticked off again, and it took 4 row-shifts to correct that mess.

I gotta stop being so damn picky. But I figure if I'm going to do it, I'm damn well gonna do it right. And from the front, you'd never know I used an old shoebox to shore it up.

Naturally, when I get to a hardware store, I'll buy and cut lengths of wood to replace the shoeboxes. Cardboard is good for now, but imagine if the next movie I can't stand to live without starts with a G?

I'll just have to move.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Well, the wedding was...done. The reception was...cakey. The trip down was very, very long. The trip back was longer because it snowed hard enough that we had to go 40 mph, and anyone who knows me knows that that's torture. Luckily, I kept my mouth shut and sat on my hands, so mom and her husband probably don't know how twitchy I was the whole time.

I do not sit still well.

Anyway, it's over, and the ordeal of dressing nice and wearing make-up is also, thankfully, past. Woot. God, I'm tired.

However, they did come back up and finish the dining room. It's now white and damn if it don't look huge. I kept trying to tell people that I had a big dining room, but nooooo. "One can of paint will do it."


They so had to use three gallons of KILZ and three gallons of paint. Heheh.

Anyway, I've now moved almost everything back into place, so that's good. I even moved the bookshelves my beloved sister gave me into the dining room, and I'll shortly be moving all those frickin movies from my living room floor to there. Imagine. It'll look so damn tidy that no one will believe I live here. Woot, again.

God, I'm tired. Did I say that already?

Anyway, since this is the first Monday I haven't had to work late in I don't even remember how long, I'm gonna catch up on the Heroes episode I missed last week from the website and get ready to watch this weeks on the tube. Since football's all but over, I'm relieved to be mostly free of commercials, but already plummeting into the doldrums of No Football. Sure, there's still the ProBowl, which is actually my favorite game, but it's only on cable now.


I'll find someplace to watch it, I'm sure. But it's the last game of the season! Waaaah! How will I survive??

Yeah, I'm tired. And I think now that you all can tell, too. Sorry. I'm outtie.