This Page

has been moved to new address

Wildly Exaggerated

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Wildly Exaggerated: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

10 Ways to Deal with Writer's Block

1. Go for a run! Maybe you'll fall and break your hand and then you'll have an excuse not to write anymore!

2. Take a look through your Ideas Notebook! Maybe you'll find some inspiration there! More likely you'll read the whole thing, call yourself a rude name, and end up completely despondent. But you know - maybe you'll find some inspiration! There's, like, a 20% chance of that!

3. Get a lobotomy! We use this term a lot, but most people don't know what a lobotomy really was (they don't do them anymore). It involved someone "scrambling" your brains with long sharp metal sticks which had been rammed in through your temples. Still, that sounds better than staring at the screen any longer, amiright?

4. Call a friend or family member to chat. When they ask what you've been up to, say, "I'm SUPPOSED to be writing, but I CAN'T because I don't have anything to SAY and I SUCK, but THANKS FOR BRINGING IT UP!" Then slam the receiver down.

5. Try writing in someone else's voice. For example, I'm channeling Elizabeth Gilbert for this blog post, muthafucka!

6. Get out a sketchbook and try doodling to loosen up your brain muscles. Maybe you'll get a great idea from what you've drawn!
7. Do some volunteer work! It'll make you feel better and HAAAA! HA HA! Oh God, I can never say that one with a straight face. AS IF you were going to do that! Next!

8. Try tidying up around the house. You know what they say: "A cluttered home is one in which the EMTs will have a harder time finding you when you finally get so drunk you need to have your stomach pumped!"

9. Get yourself an arranged marriage on the internet! This "writing" thing is clearly never going to support you in the lifestyle to which you'd like to become accustomed.

10. Give up on writing real text and just make a stupid list instead.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Note to Self: How to Vacate the Premises, Part II

If you are a person who knows me personally and sees me in person from time to time, please punch me in the face the next time you see me. I deserve it, and it's the only way I'm ever going to learn.

Some of you may recall that I wrote a blog post LIKE, A MONTH AGO in which I outlined all the things that are absolutely imperative to guarantee a good vacation. You MUST get the hell out of town! There MUST be a housekeeping staff! You can NOT travel with your family! These aren't just suggestions; they are incontrovertible scientific truths, like the law of gravity and the fact that only guys I'm *not* attracted to will ever want me! Ignoring these facts is just ASKING to be tortured.

So what did I do?

Well, last Wednesday, I had this conversation with my boss:
BOSS: Man, you're gonna bust your butt this week and then not have anything to do til mid-September!
ME: Hey, you're right. (PAUSE) I'd like next week off, please.
...and then Bikinius, Roman Goddess of Summer Vacays, came down from the heavens and beat me senseless with an inflatable pool toy before stabbing me repeatedly with a decorative plastic cocktail garnish sword. Because I had done it a-flipping-gain.

My brilliant (<--SARCASM!) plan was that I would have Monday thru Wednesday to write, clean up, and relax. Then I'd go to the beach with my parents Wednesday evening and be back on Saturday night, in time to do more writing/cleaning/relaxing over the last half of Labor Day weekend. If you read that other blog post, you'll remember what I said about "staycations" - mainly that they do not exist. If you are at home, you are not on vacation. Period. I said that if you stay home, a hundred bizarre misfortunes will befall you and you will not enjoy one second of it.

So yesterday the new cat sitter was coming over. And rather than give her the impression that my entire home is one big experiment in composting, I decided to clean up. This meant 4 hours of frantic cleaning, scrubbing, folding, sweeping, dusting, etc. By the time she came over, the place was passable. Also, I had injured my back in the process. Badly. We'll call this FAIL #1.

So I spent the rest of the BEAUTIFUL afternoon laying on the couch atop a carefully constructed mountain of pillows and blankets designed for maximum padding of the hurtiest part of my back with an electric hand warmer shoved up the back of my bra for want of a hot water bottle. Livin' the dream. I had done such a good job of engineering my Back Bracing Blankets that I started to think I should just sleep on the couch! I decided I felt like watching something educational, which is how I ended up falling asleep watching a documentary about the Nürnberg Trials. Here's some advice you can have for free: Never, EVER, fall asleep watching ANYTHING holocaust-related. FAIL #2.  When I woke up screaming (and having fallen off my Back Bracing Blankets in the course of fighting the Nazis), I decided maybe I should go to bed after all. And with the aid of powerful narcotics, that's exactly what I did.

This morning I awoke to the news that I will be without a car for most of the next 48 hours, so I and my bad back needed to get the hell up and go shop for supplies. I'm not exactly what you would call a "morning person" anyway, and this news was not helping. Still, I was determined to make the best of it! The shopping itself was pretty uneventful, but on the 5-minute drive home, I had this experience, in this order:
1. A guy in an SUV made a U-turn the wrong way down a one-way street, which meant he was coming directly toward me. I stopped, he realized he was going the wrong way, and started to back up.
2. A guy on a motorcycle going WAY too fast came flying up behind the SUV and just managed to stop before hitting him.
3. When SUV guy reached the bottom of the hill ahead of me, he stopped and did a weird maneuver into another lane. As I approached the bottom of the hill myself, I realized why...
4. A woman in a minivan was slowly and determinedly attempting to make her way up the hill...going the wrong way up a one-way street. Right at me.
For those of you counting at home, that's two narrowly-missed head-on collisions and the near-witnessing of a dead a 5-minute drive. I MUST be on a staycation! FAIL #3.

I have to admit, things have been better since I got back home. I mean, I had 2 bowls of Frosted Flakes, so how bad can it be? But I did lose 2 hours searching things like "gothic tiny person creature" trying to get the internet to remind me of a word I had forgotten ("Homunculus"), so it's still kind of a mixed bag.

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Don't Care What Color My Parachute Is

I should start by pointing out that I'm not actually looking for a job; it's just that I had to update the resume my employer keeps on file. I have to be honest: I don't like resume-updation. The thing that I hate most about it is the thing I hate about all of Corporate America: it's freaking disingenuous. I made the necessary updates and submitted them as requested, but I figured while I was at it, I might as well write up the resume I'd really LIKE to use...

Kimberly Welsh
[Address Withheld - How Dumb Do I Look?]
[Don't Answer That]
OBJECTIVE: To be a size 6 blonde lottery winner who lands herself an Englishman for a husband, subsequently moves to London and shrinks to a size 4 despite eating nothing but fried pub food and doing nothing but watching TV, reading, and occasionally winning pub quizzes with my team "Quiz In My Pants".
Blah blah blah outstanding performance in the study of various of the liberal arts 
You don't care; it isn't an MBA. NEXT!
As a teacher, I didn't "monetize" anything or "manage" anybody or "optimize corporate strategy in line with future-state goals" or "maximize profits in a difficult economic climate". I just "crammed the better part of an entire foreign language into the heads of hungover 20-somethings, often against their will". Nothing challenging or difficult about that - it certainly didn't require that I work independently, think creatively, multitask, develop good public speaking skills (IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE), think on my feet, establish detailed plans, handle delicate interpersonal situations or draft communications. Nope! I was just another one of them overpaid teachers that bleed our country dry while eating bonbons and watching Netflix on a computer you bought with your tax dollars!
Background Actor in a Lifetime Original Movie - 1998
Other work experience includes making hella awesome coffee and fielding various forms of unwanted advances as an administrative worker.
- Can spit a pretty decent rap, given a good beat
- Actually understands how computers work
- Has remembered to feed cat for 4 consecutive years *and counting*
- Does a passable generic middle class English accent
SALARY REQUIREMENTS: I will accept a position with a monthly salary of $500,000. For $750k (still per month), I'll stop screwing around on Twitter and do something work-related.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ring Ring! It's Pour Vous!

Hi there! How are you? I'm phoning it in, so you know I'm having fun! What what!

*Thoughtful PSA face* You know, a few weeks ago, for reasons too dull to mention, I was compelled to give up alcohol. Not permanently, but definitely for the next little while. I've been surprised at how many people express profound sympathy to me upon hearing this news - like I've lost a close friend or something. I just ordered a Diet Coke instead of a margarita, people. Calm the hell down.

Anyway, it got me thinking of all the things in my life that have improved since I ditched the booze. Sure, I effectively avoid hangovers and that weird, spongey, dry-lip feeling, but that's not all! I also always know where my clothes/phone/keys/remote control are in the morning! I've saved a bundle! I have more room in my fridge! But I think my favorite thing is that I never, ever have to write a day-after apology. You know, the one that goes a little something like this...

About Last Night.
If I...
...insulted you
...pointedly ignored you
...would NOT stop touching you
...told you all of my secrets
...told one of your secrets
...spilled your drink
...called you after midnight
...sent you a series of unintelligible emails
...texted you a Big Lebowski quote

...I'm sorry.'re better off, trust me.'s your own fault for wearing such a soft shirt.
...mum's the word!
...she's lying; I did NOT tell her that. didn't need it.
...sorry! grateful they were unintelligible. "zht os nw hot we get our story fea=tured pj P[hra." is better than what I meant to say.
..."This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!"

Just sayin'.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 22, 2011

This Dickensian Street Urchin Sponsored by Reaganomics!

Due to, ahem, uncertain circumstances in the near future, I have been scrambling these last few weeks to squirrel away massive percentages of every paycheck in the hopes that, should the worst case scenario come to pass, I can sleep for three straight months before I have to start looking for work again. Up til now, my personal financial philosophy has been: "There are some things that are worth splashing out on, and a lot of things that aren't." To give you an example of how that works: I will gladly pay $4-5 for a decent/responsibly-sourced cup of coffee, but I will not replace a pair of jeans until they literally fall off my body. And when I do replace them, I will not spend more than $40 (that's 10 cups of coffee!).

My new personal financial philsophy is: "THIS MATTRESS FULL OF QUARTERS IS MINE AND YOU CAN'T HAVE IT!!!!" By and large, it's working fine, with the minor caveat that apparently I'm not entitled to goods and services of any kind unless I part with my money. That's how they get ya! So my master plan to shrug off air conditioning didn't really pan out. And there really is a point at which it makes more sense to throw the mushrooms out and buy more, rather than eat them and pay the associated medical bills. Live and learn, right? Oh - and if you think you'll be Extra Super Smart and refinance/modify your mortgage, be sure to hold the phone at least 4 inches from your ear so you won't bust a cochlea when the bank's Mortgage Bastard looks up your home's value and laughs so hard chocolate milk comes out of his nose. Just speaking from experience.

Today I brought a frozen meal for lunch (Amy's Mattar Tofu - $3.39 before tax! Why didn't I just buy gold-plated toilet paper while I was at it?!?!). But when I went to heat it up, I found that someone somewhere in my building had had a Jason's Deli-catered lunch. I know this because the dregs had been left out in the breakroom in keeping with local tradition. There were pickles! There was pasta salad! There was POTATO salad! I discreetly replaced the Amy's lunch in the fridge, fetched my grande coffee mug, and stuffed it full of potato salad. As I scarfed it down at my desk, I smugly reflected on the $3.39 meal I had managed to save for another day, and how fortuitous it was that someone had left a big bowl of fat-smothered salted carbohydrates of unknown provenance in my path. If only it had a sign that said "EAT ME", my Alice in Wonderland fantasy would finally be complete!

Then I thought "This is one step removed from eating out of a trash can." Some days I'm just so darned proud to be me. So yeah, the whole "trickle down" thing is definitely working -  my trash can overfloweth!

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Packin' It Up. Packin' It Oooooonnnnn Up.

When I started this blog, lo these 3 whole months ago, I was wide-eyed and optimistic. I was excited! I had decided I wanted to be a comedy writer! I was going to write sketches and sitcoms and funny articles, and I would have the blog for ideas that wouldn't fit anywhere else, or just as a place to find my voice and keep in touch with all the cool people I met along the way!

It was a good time. I told myself I needed to post on the blog at least 3 times a week, just to keep my skills sharp and get into the habit of generating content.

But the last few days few weeks month has been really rough, in terms of Real Life. I absolutely refuse to get into it here, because that's not what this is for, but it has been exasperating and draining and frustrating. As a result, I've been in a Really Quite Bad Mood. I'm afraid that if I keep insisting on a 3-blog post/week minimum, the blog itself will become a draining stressor. As it's one of the purely pleasant things in my life at the moment, that's a risk I don't want to take.

SO! I'm not "taking a break from blogging", because I will definitely be back whenever I have something to say and the time/discipline to say it. But I am releasing myself from my obligation to post three times a week*. I'll be back whenever I feel like being back. And maybe I'll try something different, like posting audio or video or updating my tumblr blog, to snap myself out of my funk. Whatever happens, I'll see ya when I see ya, instead of seeing ya while feeling snarly. Better that way, I think we can all agree.

*Note: Of course, now that I've said I don't have to blog 3x/week, I will be blogging all the freaking time. That's the way these things usually work, anyway ;)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Case of the Jolly Green Giant Marital Aid

Tonight we start a new recurring feature. While the other recurring features such as John of the Week, Not Very Nice Quizzes, and Kwerky Poetry Corner are all pleasant, fun, and/or life-affirming, this particular feature will be in a separate category altogether. And this category will be known as "Recurring Features I Wish Didn't Exist At All, But I Am Powerless to Prevent Their Existence Because Other People Have No Consideration Whatsoever". Allow me to paint you a picture:

You buy a home. One of the things you like most about your new home is the lovely view. In fact, this gorgeously landscaped pool view is so pretty that your home was ever so slightly pricier than its neighbors, owing to its lovely view. But shortly after you move in, you come home from work, go to enjoy your lovely view, and find that your window looks out over...a landfill. 

Welcome to my life.

You see, the average American household generates over 13 tons of trash every week, according to a wildly exaggerated© statistic I just made up. Those of us that are civilized human beings generally pack our trash into specially designed "trash bags", which we then convey to the nearest dumpster, or to the curb to be picked up by specially trained trash-disposing professionals. But my upstairs neighbors are no ordinary civilized human beings! They don't have TIME for "trash bags" and "dumpsters" and "doing anything with their trash other than hurling it over their balcony so it lands on mine". I mean, I estimate that it takes me *maybe* 5 minutes to bag my trash and walk it to the dumpster, so the fact that they don't have that kind of time leads me to the inevitable conclusion that these people are mere seconds away from curing HIV, or making contact with extraterrestrials, or inventing a calorie-free sweetener that doesn't dry your mouth out. They are IMPORTANT, dammit! Let someone ELSE worry about their trash! Someone like ME! 

I've let this go on for quite some time. I really don't want to confront these people, as the sounds I hear coming from their home lead me to believe that in addition to whatever life-saving research they do, they are also either Olympic shot-putters, expert meth chefs, or some combination of those. I want no part of that exchange. Over the months, some of their refuse, such as the beef blood-stained paper towel, have been cleared away by Mother Nature. But the rest hasn't. And today I walked through my door, looked out the window, saw the most ridiculously egregious thing yet, and said, "Right. It's all going in the trash." I waited til nightfall, dashed out under cover of darkness, and recovered it. Is this insanity? Yes. Is this my job/responsibility? Absolutely not. But if I have to do it (and I clearly do, because I'm not going to keep looking out my window at someone else's trash, and no one else is going to come get it), then I'm going to have some fun at their expense.

Random Trash My Upstairs Neighbors Saw Fit to Throw Over Their Balcony So I Have to Look at It

Exhibit A: The Big Green Dildo

This thing appeared just outside my balcony about a year ago. A long, green, hollow plastic cylinder. The first time I saw it, I was horrified. It was the biggest, greenest, most oddly shaped marital aid I'd ever seen in my life. I shuddered to think what weird Kermit fantasies were being indulged just above my head.

Now that I've brought it inside, I can see that it says "DOGSAVERS", and is therefore probably (hopefully) just a dog toy. Still, there are a few standard-issue questions we need to ask.
#1: How did it get tossed over the balcony?
This dog barks incessantly. I don't think it's a particularly bad dog, but I don't get the impression that they like it very much. Thus do we logically conclude that they threw the dildo dog toy over the balcony in the hope that the dog would chase it and fall to its death. Inconsiderate AND evil.

#2: Why did it get tossed over the balcony?
This has basically already been answered in #1, but we could also consider some other possibilities. For example, maybe it was just old and they didn't want it anymore. Maybe they did use it as a sex toy and were so disgusted with themselves that they couldn't look at it anymore. Maybe it was shot-putting practice and someone didn't know their own strength. Or maybe they just didn't know the strength of gravity. Or maybe - just maybe - they were too damn lazy to dispose of it appropriately.

#3: Why haven't they tried to get it back?
I always wonder about this one. Do they wander through like periodically saying, "Hey - has anybody seen the DOGSAVERS dildo? I swear I haven't been able to find it in months!"? Or did they stand there, watch it go tumbling over the railing, shrug their shoulders, and go back to bubbling hydrogen chloride gas through their liquid meth mixture?

They have to know it's gone; they just don't want it back. It's clearly been used in a homicide, and they had to ditch the evidence. Somewhere out there is a John Doe in a county morgue, riddled with 1-inch diameter circular welts, stinking of dog spit, covered in bludgeon marks embossed with the word DOGSAVERS. These people are not messing around. That's the kind of person who throws their trash over their balcony and walks away. DON'T BE LIKE THAT.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sketch Challenge, 4th Set: I Don't Even Know, You Guys.

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." - Douglas Adams

Remember last weekend, when I said I'd only written 5 pages of the 4th set? Well, Saturday was the deadline and I've still written 5 pages of the 4th set. No more. WHY? I'll answer that to the tune of "Tropical Heatwave":

I'm having a breakdooooowwwwn
A writer's block breakdoooooown
My blood pressure's rising
It isn't surprising
I certainly can't.

Can't. Can't. 

I mean, I can, obviously. But I'm not, obviously. I essentially ran out of ideas. And when I tried to force an idea, all I got was really, really bad stuff. Just total crap. I appreciate that this is an exercise and a learning experience, so there will be some crap written. In fact, a great deal of crap has already been written. But there's crap, and then there's crap. And this was CRAP. I also spent more time at the theatre than usual last week, which meant I had spent a lot of creative energy before I even got to my writing desk.

Anyway, I figure that's probably enough excuses for right now. I have 2 weeks until THE Deadline for the whole project, so maybe I'll see if I can churn out the remaining 120 pages in that time. The good news is that I find I'm slowly getting some decent ideas again, after a week off, so maybe all hope is not lost.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I thought that would be a funny title for a blog post on Wednesday, 8/whatever-last-Wednesday-was/2011. I had just come home from a self-defense workshop with my fellow improv actors (what's funnier than improv actors doing improv? Improv actors doing self-defense!), and I was struck by the fact that in 2 hours of punching, eyeball-poking, kicking, and pinching, I had done no damage whatsoever to anyone or anything else. I had, however, really given my own right knee what for! I had kneed SO many fake groins SO hard that I had a combination bruise/swelling/friction burn thing. I hobbled for most of Thursday, and the scabs still haven't healed up and fallen off. Basically, if that night was any indication, a violent attacker in a parking lot or dark alley will be met with me yelling "GIVE ME THAT!", taking his gun, and shooting myself in the face. It seems this is how I roll. You're welcome, hardened criminals.

But that blog post title was substantially less funny when it occurred to me again today. You see, I live in a condo complex with a parking garage. Among this parking garage's ultra-modern features:
- grossly undersized parking spaces, so you have to enter and exit them with surgical precision, even if you drive a little Barbie's Dreamcar Mazda Miata
- lanes too narrow to accommodate more than one car at a time, so you must be ready to dive into a space at any moment to avoid collision
- MASSIVE concrete columns every 10 feet on either side of the lane, which are convenient for testing the efficacy of your airbag, blocking available space you might otherwise use to avoid collision, and conveniently preventing you from seeing what's coming when backing out of a space. I like to think of them as Complacency Prevention Measures.
- a 7-year old whose asshole parents categorically REFUSE to prevent him from zipping through the parking garage on various non-automobile conveyances, no matter how many times the newsletter specifically states that no one should be electro-scootering, rollerblading, skateboarding, etc. in the crowded and dangerous parking garage. Dear That Kid's Parents: Be sure to take out a life insurance policy on him! Love, Darwin

I lost my passenger side mirror to a concrete column the first week I lived here, but in the subsequent four years have developed good parking garage survival instincts and avoided further trouble. Until Saturday...

On my way to the gate, I found myself at one of the many points where the lane is not wide enough for 2 cars to turn in opposing directions at the same time. Being a fundamentally polite person, I stopped and waited for the oncoming car to move past me. Then I waited for the next one. And the next. And the next. Around car #6, I couldn't help feeling that in all fairness, my turn had come, and since car #7 had fallen a little behind, I figured I could start my turn, he would see me/stop, and then I could move forward. Instead, I pulled forward, he saw me...and decided to play chicken with me.

I am nothing if not a huge chicken.

Unfortunately, he was such an aggressive sportsman that he had advanced too quickly for a simple stop to be sufficient to avoid head-on collision, so I also had to swerve...thereby slamming the back half of my car into the concrete column on my right.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but people are HUGE assholes. Seriously.

I heard the crunch zone of my rear passenger door surrendering to the concrete, and I immediately went into my Vehicular Emergency Coping Procedure:
Step 1: Close eyes. Think "That did not just happen. That did not just happen. That did not just happen."
Step 2: Open eyes. Faced with the unavoidable reality that something bad did just happen, find the nearest place to pull over. Convey your vehicle to that point for assessment.
Step 3: Unlock all doors, knowing you are having a breakdown and are INCREDIBLY likely to accidentally lock yourself out. Then go have a look.
Step 4: Crumble into a heap.

And just in case you think I'm kidding about Step 1, I once had an accident in which I rolled into the car ahead of me in bumper-to-bumper rain-induced traffic. After the initial BAM, I commenced Step 1. When the car behind me rolled into me and I felt the subsequent identical BAM, I became completely and utterly convinced that I had been swallowed up into a temporal loop, and was doomed to sit in that bucket seat, slamming into the car in front of me over and over and over, for the rest of eternity. I am not kidding. The only way I eventually realized I wasn't in Purgatory was when I saw the rain-soaked face of the driver from the car behind me, knocking on my window and asking if I was alright.

But I digress. The thing is, I was completely devastated by Saturday's turn of events. Not because I'm that materialistic and can't cope with cosmetic damage to my car, but because 1) I DO NOT have the funds to cover the repair of the damage caused when I essentially drove into a concrete column of my own accord ("WHY AM I HITTING MYSELF?") and 2) if you've stumbled upon my little "About Me" page, you'll know that I have a bad habit of naming/anthropomorphizing inanimate objects. This was not cosmetic damage to my car; this was me being wholly responsible for harming Arionrhod - a wonderful companion who has been nothing but good to me.
Rion in happier times, on the day I got her. MY POOR BABY! WHYYYYYYYYYY??????
I couldn't have felt worse if I had sucker-punched my best friend for no reason. And I would feel really badly about that. To make matters worse, these injuries to my current ride were eerily reminiscent of those sustained by my very first car, Rex, in my very first accident:

The Baby Jesus Dodging Incident
I was 17. I'd had Rex for about 6 months. Christmas was coming. I was going to go to Sunday School, mostly because all of my friends were there. I drove to the church I had attended from the age of 5. I turned down the parking lot aisle in which my family had parked since I was 5. But my way was blocked by the Christmas-y addition of a manger, in which lay the baby Jesus.

A dumpster prevented me from seeing traffic behind me, so I couldn't back into the main thoroughfare. But I also couldn't park in the middle of the lane, as I would be blocking the 4 cars that had gotten the only 4 available spaces. I assessed the situation.
This was the reality of the situation.

This was my perception of the situation.
As you can see from the illustration above, I was pretty sure my car was an aircraft carrier, and the son of God was, quite literally, all around me. Perhaps I should point out that the "baby Jesus" was not an actual baby, but a doll, as you probably expect. My paranoia was not about hitting him and/or caving his manger in on him. The problem was that I was 17 years old. If I had done anything that damaged the manger and/or the representation of the Christ child, I would spend the rest of high school being "The Girl Who Ran Over Jesus". NOBODY'S reputation can take that. NOBODY. So my focus was that I would not, under any circumstances, take out the manger. I took my foot off the brake and started to inch forward. Once Mary and Joseph were even with my side mirror, I figured I was in the clear.

That's when I heard the crunch of surrender on my passenger side and felt Rex come to a total standstill. In my concern to avoid hitting the manger, I had managed to get snagged on the rear corner of the church van. So I was embarrassed, devastated, and unable to free my car from the van's grip. Ultimately a kind soul sent his wife and daughters into the church while he stood in the cold and directed me through the steps to liberate Rex, at which point I engaged in Steps 3 and 4 for the first time in my life.

So I wasn't The Girl Who Ran Over Jesus. Instead, I was The Girl Who Destroyed Her Own Car and a Church Van in Order to Avoid Running Over Jesus. So I saved Jesus, who then saved everybody else, which basically means I am the savior of mankind. You're all welcome. I'm going to hell.

MY POINT IS: there are few things in this life that will make you feel dumber/more publicly humiliated than doing thousands of dollars of damage to your own car all by yourself. Arionrhod's journey back to wholeness will begin on Monday, but I have no idea when (or if) my ego will ever bounce back. I sure hope the asshat who spooked me into the column enjoyed his afternoon at the pool! I'm off to take some more sedatives to try and stop the flashbacks.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Official Twitter Policy: Read It and Tweet

Everybody get your "Unfollow" fingers ready! Use the middle one, cuz I'm about to piss you off!

I love Twitter. I'm on Twitter, Google+, tumblr, and Facebook, but Twitter is my absolute favorite. That's why I refuse to let anyone ruin it for me. This includes you. If you aren't on Twitter and don't get what all the fuss is about, I'll explain it thusly:

On Facebook, you have a dedicated page that you have to curate at all times. I've had to delete offensive posts with which I didn't want to be associated. I've had to stop fights. I've been unwittingly dragged into fights. I've been flirted with against my will, had unflattering photos maliciously tagged, been forcibly added to groups about which I neither knew nor cared, had intimate details of my life revealed to distant relatives... Facebook is a full-time job, and you have to stay on top of it lest you wake up one morning and find that all 200 of your friends have been treated to a graphic photo of you vomiting, and you have been made "President" of the group "Racism not Placation!" It has its good points too, of course, or I would've deactivated my account by now. But it's a hassle nonetheless.

Twitter, on the other hand, is like a cocktail party. Your friends are there, and if you have something to say to them directly, you can find them and have a little chit-chat. But there are also millions of other people there, and if you hear something interesting going on, you can join right in! Play a hashtag game! Make a new friend with a fun accent! And Twitter has been the best means of finding new blogs, books, music, TV shows, etc. I don't care what the media thinks; Twitter has REAL people telling me what they GENUINELY like. As long as I've managed to find people who generally share my tastes (which is also pretty easy to do on Twitter), I have reliable opinions coming at me from all sides! It's fantastic! Sure, people can smack-talk about you if they want, but their word-puke won't be automatically broadcast to everyone who follows you.

I just joined Twitter earlier this year, so I'm a relative newbie. "No big deal," I thought at the time, "I'll follow some celebrities I like and some friends from the theatre. Cool!" And those first heady days were cool. God, they were so cool. My timeline was nothing but fun/funny tweets, and I stumbled on some strangers I quite liked, some of whom had blogs I quite liked, or YouTube videos I quite liked. It was a great way to find like-minded people and have a little burst of cheery sunshine in my life. Aaaaaah.

But now that I've been on Twitter for a few months and am pushing 50 followers, I'm older and wiser. I've learned that you have to be somewhat thick-skinned on Twitter. You just have to. No one has to explain why they follow, unfollow you, retweet you, don't retweet you, reply to you, don't reply to you...and you have to accept that.

I did the "follow back out of politeness" thing - where you follow anyone who follows you - for about 10 minutes, and suddenly my timeline went from a cheery ray of sunshine to a bile-inducing stream of shameless, repetitive self-promotion, vulgarity, and straight-up offensive hate speech. I was shocked. I didn't want to unfollow, of course, because I'm a nice person and I know that no one likes to be unfollowed. Instead, I invested $5 in a Twitter client for my iPhone that allows me to "zip" certain accounts so I can technically follow without having them raise my hackles (that's Olde English for "blood pressure") (not really).

But before I found TweetCaster (recommended!), I struggled to understand these people. In most cases, I ultimately just felt sorry for them. Sometimes, late at night, there would be a desperate-sounding tweet - you could almost hear the wailing sobs - from someone who had lost a follower and "needed" to replace him/her. To these people, I say: If that follower had any value to you as a human being, then they are irreplaceable. If they only had value as a number, then what you need are stronger meds, not additional followers.

I don't pity-follow.
I don't promo-follow.
I don't mention goods and services in exchange for money (*note: it shocks me how many bloggers are obviously being paid to endorse products in their Twitter feeds. It shocks me even more to see how graceless and heavy-handed they are about it.)
I don't pity-retweet.
I don't promo-retweet.

A lot of people (like, A LOT of people) will call this bad Twitter etiquette, and that's fine. I am well aware that literally millions of people believe very strongly in the pity- and promo- use of Twitter. But I adamantly do not.

As pertains to following: I am currently following nearly 120 people, and most of them are endlessly amusing, fantastic, kind, funny, amazing people. I truly, genuinely, honestly wonder what they're up to at various points throughout the day, and I love cranking up my phone to find out. Lisa started her new job! Jacque went out for ice cream! Drew went to Willy's for lunch AGAIN! Lauren and Grace had a witty and hilarious exchange about 90s-era raves! Bret booked another commercial! And both Nathaniel and James posted new videos in character as their alter egos! Those guys crack me up! If human beings were TV channels, Twitter allows you to tune into your favorites 24/7, which is amazeballs. Why the hell would I deliberately add commercials for things I don't want? Or random narcissistic whining? Answer: I wouldn't. As Grace Dent says in her brilliant book (see link in final paragraph): "I think life's too short to have people pissing you off in your timeline." I follow people who add value to my timeline by way of personal relationships, common interests, or because they generate content I enjoy. Those are the only reasons I follow anyone.

As pertains to retweets, #FFs, and other means of promoting friends: I assume that everyone else follows the same rules I do. I know that isn't the case, but I can't relate to using Twitter purely to harvest followers, so I can't adapt my behavior to accommodate that kind of person. SO: if we assume that all of my followers are following me for a reason (personal relationship, common interest, or because they enjoy my content), then I owe it to them to be true to myself and not fill their timeline with things that won't interest them.For example, I generally avoid politics and sports. It doesn't mean politics and sports are uninteresting or "bad". It just means I and my followers aren't the target audience. Comedy, Brit-centric things, etc., on the other hand, are pertinent, and I retweet them whenever I see something I genuinely like and genuinely think others will like too. People act like retweets should be reciprocal in the same way conversational compliments should be reciprocal. That's not true, and here's why:
Normal, polite conversation between two musicians who just played an open mic:
BOB: Hey man, great set! I told all my friends how great you were.
DAVE: Hey thanks, man - that's really cool of you to say! I liked yours too.
BOB: Thanks!

Normal, polite conversation between two musicians who just played an open mic and obey the reciprocal retweet rule:
BOB: Hey man, great set! I told all my friends how great you were.
DAVE: Hey thanks, man - that's really cool of you to say! I liked yours too.
BOB: Great! Then you won't mind turning to face this camera crew I've brought and announcing to this worldwide video feed that you wholeheartedly endorse literally everything I did and said on stage, and also selling my stuff out of your booth. You know, since you liked it so much.

Bottom line: Don't tell me what to say/do/endorse in my feed. It won't end well for you.

As pertains to other people's egos: I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, ever. I've been unfollowed, I've had nasty comments on my blog, and I've gotten nasty @mentions on Twitter. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But I also know it's not my job to make sure everyone else in the world feels good about themselves. It can't be my job. I have insecurities of my own, just like everyone else does. I worry that the blog sucks. I worry that the sketch show sucks. I worry that my acting sucks, I'll lose my job, I'll never meet a decent guy, my condo will burn to the ground, my friends will abandon me, and it will ALL be because I'm too weak to say "no" to that second slice of pizza. But you know what? Those are my issues. I might go to a very close family member or friend for reassurance sometimes, but I DO NOT, nor will I EVER go to Twitter to publicly announce that "I think I'm a terrible failure and will be available to hear otherwise from the general public between the hours of 4-6." (You non-Twitter users think I'm exaggerating, don't you? You people don't know the meaning of the word "needy".) I don't leave nasty comments on blogs or make nasty remarks on Twitter because I'm not a troll and I think there's already enough animosity in the world to last us for the next few eons. But I categorically reject the idea that "not saying something nice" or "not retweeting something" is tantamount to being mean. It isn't. I don't owe you anything. Besides which, I like to think it makes it more meaningful when I do say something nice or retweet something. Because I only say nice things if I mean them. And I only retweet things if I both liked them *and* thought they would be relevant to my followers.

Obviously, if I intended to use Twitter *solely* as a promotional tool, I probably would do the mutual followback, promo-retweet, etc. etc. It's just good marketing. But the @kwerky_girl Twitter account is for me. Not my blog or my job or whatever else: just me. So I don't (and won't) run it like a PR department. I will run it as an exclusive club with me as the bouncer. You don't have to like it. That's what the Unfollow feature is for.

Also: if you want to read the absolute greatest summary of what Twitter is for, what kinds of people suck the fun out of it, and what makes it great in spite of those people, you HAVE to read Grace Dent's How to Leave Twitter: My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop, which is basically an expanded/funnier/more well-written version of my Official Twitter Policy. And I don't say that because anyone paid me money to say so, but because I read it and I liked it. That's the thing about me: if I recommend something, you know I mean it. I'm not just scratching someone else's back. It's this whole new concept. Happy tweeting, everyone!

Labels: , , , ,


Hey you guys! Did you miss me? I missed you SOOOOOOO much. Let's never fight again, OK?

My week was complete insanity from start to finish, which is increasingly becoming the norm. Improv shows, self-defense classes (highly recommended for *anyone* who tries online dating), peripheral drama and the discovery that Black Books is on Hulu+ meant there was no way I'd make it blog-ward. Of course, it wasn't all fun and games. There have definitely been some stressful moments. Some quick examples:

- I spent most of yesterday psyching myself up for a long night working at the theatre, only to get a phone call on my way there that pretty much ruined my evening. Awesome.
- I have been looking forward to today all week long because I get to telecommute on Fridays and frankly, I NEEDED to do laundry. So naturally, something had gone squirrelly with the computers at work, and it took me an hour, two 5-year old documents, a phone call and an email to sort that out. Yay Friday </sarcasm>
- I broke a nail last night.


Which brings me to the point of this post: I am pretty much done with people who use "FML". You'll note that every single problem I listed above was very minor. I mean, let's look at it another way:
- I spent most of yesterday psyching myself up for a long night (read: nearly FOUR WHOLE HOURS) of working at the [air-conditioned] theatre [with a bunch of cool people *while* watching an improv show for free], only to get a phone call [you know, on my totally awesome iPhone] on my way there [in my nearly-new car, also with air-conditioning and a functioning stereo] that pretty much ruined my evening [translation: I was really irritated for about 20 minutes, and even that was arguably by my own choice].
- Post-script on 2nd "problem": ...and now that is completely resolved and I managed to get into the network so I can work, and it's not even 9am yet so I have PLENTY of time to do laundry, clean up, etc. In fact, I literally have the next 3 days to do those things. So not really such a huge problem.
- I broke a nail last night. I am pretty irritated about that.

This is the problem with the "FML" phrase: there is never, ever a time when it's appropriate. If your life was really all that bad, you wouldn't have the electronic gadget (computer, iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, Droid, iPad,...) to type "FML" and tell everyone you've ever met how terrible everything is and how you totally hate your life and wish you were dead. And if something truly awful was happening, "FML" probably wouldn't express your feelings. Go to Somalia and see how many people walk up to you and say "everyone I know and love is slowly starving to death, there's a cholera epidemic, this drought looks like it may go on forever, and many of our surviving young people have resorted to violent piracy. FML, YOU GUYS!"

I hear you saying, "But Kimberly, nobody uses that phrase seriously! It's always meant to be sarcastic, as in your example above: 'I broke a nail - FML!' It's funny because we all know breaking a nail is not that big a deal!"

Well first of all, screw you, because I spent all week dealing with nail breaks and cracks. I had finally gotten all 10 fingers manicure-ready when this happened, so don't tell me what is and isn't a big deal, JERK! Second of all, I am sad to report that I know puh-len-ty of people who use FML and really, really mean it. Here's a quick sampling from the social medias:
"My back hurts. Again. FML."
"Traffic is AWFUL. FML."
"I ate 37 of Wild Wings' Atomic Wings, and my tummy is NOT happy. FML."
"I ran out of Diet Coke and the grocery store is already closed. FML."

And here's what I want to say [but am too nice to say] in response to each:
"Snap your fingers and wait for a morphine prescription to magically appear in your hand, as it always, always does here in the magical First World. Quit whining."
"Are you in a car? Does it have air conditioning? Are you entertaining yourself with the internet? I'm sorry you're going to be late for your dinner reservation at the 5-star steakhouse, but shut up."

I'm not saying there aren't real problems in the First World. Cancer, HIV, violent crime, the loss of a loved one...terrible things DO happen to us. And if you believe in the relativity of despair, as I truly do, then emotional pain is not a competition, and human beings the world over feel the same depth of sadness, even if one group's problems are objectively bigger/more serious than another's. But my point is that when you are truly in that horribly dark place, you do not say "FML". (See Somalia example above.) You say "FML" when you want attention, and anyone who wants attention that badly has an addiction I refuse to feed.

And that is why, when I see it in your Facebook status, I hide you. When I see it in your Twitter timeline, I zip you (TweetCaster for the win!), and when I see it on your blog/in the text you sent, I ignore you.

If I were you, I wouldn't even have read this post.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sketch Challenge, What 4th Set?

*punches computer in the face*

5 pages done so far.

Labels: , , , , ,

The Internet 2.0: Word Hate

I'm a writer. I don't mean that to sound grandiose, like I think I'm the next [name of whoever you think is a good writer, since you probably wouldn't get whatever bizarrely obscure reference my brain is proffering]. What I mean is that I'm a compulsive writer. That's why I have this blog. And the two anonymous blogs. And the three handwritten journals. And the notebook I scribble in all the time. And 50,000 to-do lists. And a collection of postcards I buy everywhere I go so I can randomly send them to people. And a bunch of friends who require corrective lenses as a result of reading a series of 12-page emails from me every single day. I can't. Stop. Writing.

I try to draw sometimes, but invariably I end up with a bizarre little sketch...and a half-page description that says "This is the cupcake I drew myself for being strong enough to resist the REAL cupcakes that someone left in the break room. This cupcake looks like it would probably be plastic, though - not very realistic. Maybe it's actually a secret hiding place for keys. Why would you put your keys in a plastic cupcake though?"


So any given page in any given "sketch book" still ends up with more writing than drawing on it. I've come to accept this about myself. Not only that, but I've sought out the internet presences of other people who are compulsive writers, because that helps me feed my compulsive reading habit and reminds me that I'm not alone. And I need that kind of comfort lately, because the hipsters of web 2.0 are spending all of their time excluding people like me. I keep trying to play with them, but it's very clear that I am still the dorky kid on the playground.

First, I tried tumblr. ALL the cool kids have a tumblr. Tumblr is great because you can do such fun things with all your awesome photos and videos and hand-drawn art and graphic designs! This is what happened when I got a tumblr. Note the conspicuous absence of photos, videos, hand-drawn art and graphic designs. Also note my pitiful MS Paint attempt at a joke on April 11th. Oh, tumblr. It was never going to be us.

Then there was Instagram, which I once used to take a cool picture of the booth at the theatre with the blacklight on. End of Instagram. I mean, I technically still have it on my phone, but when something interesting happens, I tend to think, "I should tweet about that!" instead of "I should take a picture of that, then apply some cool retro effects!" This is because I know what a terrible photographer I am, and we may as well not even bother.

The other day, one of my favorite Britterers (British Twitter-ers! Get it?), Lauren Laverne, mentioned a new thing called blipfoto. It really does look cool - you join, you upload one photo a's a daily photo journal! Just like it says on the website! But then, the website also says this is a "community of everyday people". This community is largely made up of Brits at the moment, so maybe life is just more interesting/visually arresting over there. (It certainly seemed that way to me when I was there, but I always assumed this was because I was on vacation.) A quick glance over the recently uploaded photos shows us 15 gloriously sharp, beautiful pictures of adorable children eating ice cream, brilliantly captured seaside wildlife, a dog in a colorful hoodie, a half-naked guy at the Edinburgh Festival, a dog on a boat, an historic countryside cathedral, and the cliffs of Guernsey, as sampled below:
COME ON! (Image yoink'd from Guernsey Girl's blipfoto account, which is amazing)
Now, I am nothing if not an "everyday person" (also: writer), but I can guarantee you that if I joined this site, my pics would not be anything like those of my fellow "everyday people". Firstly, I very rarely go anywhere or do anything. Secondly, on those occasions when I do go somewhere or do something, my ability to capture it in images proves to be woefully inadequate. Put simply, I take the kind of crap photos that DO NOT BELONG and ARE NOT WELCOME on sites like blipfoto, instagram, and tumblr. Don't believe me? Here is a 5-photo sampling of my portfolio. I call it...

Give an Ape a Camera...
Those white dots are birds (Ibis?) in a tree at Disney's Pleasure Island. Captivating. 

Again: what *looks* like a grainy picture of a parking lot and half a car is actually a picture of my friend Chris practicing a new puppet character. 
Me. Attempting to text my friend Drew a picture so she could give her opinion on my character's new outfit. I'm bad at the Narcissistic Cell Phone-In-The-Mirror Pic. I'd never taken one before. Seriously.

I LIKE HELICOPTERS! MUST TAKE PICTURE OF HELICOPTER! It was a Medivac. I hope I didn't accidentally also take a picture of a fatally wounded person.

Tilt Shift iPhone app + Dimly lit Aquarium viewing window  = my attempt at artsiness. Silly girl! You can't tilt shift a whale shark! I mean, some people can. But you certainly can't!
And as bad/grainy/unfocused/poorly composed/ill-thought-out as these photos are, we need to bear in mind that they are among the *best* and *most interesting* I could find amidst the screenshots of horoscopes and pictures of my cat that make up the majority of my repertoire. If I were to join blipfoto (AND YOU KNOW I'M THINKING ABOUT IT), my "daily photo journal" would probably go: 
8/9/2011: Picture of my coffee, sitting by my computer, in my cubicle, at work
8/10/2011: Picture of my keyboard, at my computer, in my cubicle, at work
8/11/2011: Poorly composed picture of the Atlanta skyline, taken on my way to rehearsal
8/12/2011: CAT PICTURE!
8/13/2011: Picture of my coffee, sitting by my computer, on my writing desk, at home
(Repeat every single week)

I mean, I realize that blogs have been around for ages, so those of us with a writing problem have had an online outlet for years now. It's good that people who are better with images than words finally have a number of ways to express themselves too. I just get jealous, I guess. I want so badly to point at my awesome online photo journal where every picture is some beautifully detailed image of a striking moment in time, simultaneously fun, of-the-moment, and making a biting satirical point about the state of the world as I saw it on that day. But the closest I'll ever come is:

Special Bonus Fun Thing: I have a lot of postcards I need to send people, and a lot of friends who are sick of getting postcards. So if you'd like me to send you a postcard, let me know your name and address! You can use the email link under my profile on the right; no need to put it in a public comment where the riff raff can find it :)

Labels: , , ,

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Kwerky Guide to...The Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

It's August. And August has been the saddest month of the year for me for the past three years and counting. Because it's Edinburgh Fringe time. And I'm missing it. AGAIN.

If you've never heard of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I have nothing more to say to you. Next you'll be telling me you don't know what Eisteddfod is! Geez! You people should be embarrassed to call yourselves The American Society for Reunification with the United Kingdom! Wait, what? Oh... Just me? OK.

The Fringe is the world's largest arts festival. If you're not going to believe me until you see a bunch of crowd-sourced dates and statistics supporting that statement, you can check out the Wikipedia page. As for my personal relationship to the Fringe, well...we're very close. [Editor's note: Kimberly has never been anywhere near Edinburgh, let alone during the Fringe.] I found out about it back in 2008, when I happened upon that year's Guardian Fringe podcast (Live at the Gilded Balloon - still on my iPod). I was floored by the variety of people they trotted out to be interviewed and do snippets of their acts. Some were famous, some were not, some were hilarious, some were not, but everything was NEW. There's a spirit of innovation at Edinburgh - people come with concept shows where they do their act while cooking for the audience, or play 12 different characters, or do sketches set only in the Victorian era. It's fantastic! And everyone I absolutely worship as a comedy writer today has done at least one Edinburgh show, and a lot of them still go back every year.

If I ever get my damn passport renewed, maybe I'll get to go see it BEFORE I DIE.

But I digress. This is supposed to be a Guide To... post, so I'll tell you everything I know about Edinburgh, all of which was gleaned from podcasts, as well as the Twitter feeds and blogs of performers *at* the Festival. Where I am not. I can't emphasize that enough. I'm in Atlanta.
Atlanta at sunset - HDR
This is my town. Pretty, huh? Image graciously yoink'd rockmixer's flickr account on a CC license :)

Coastal Edinburgh
This is Edinburgh, according to the internet. I wouldn't know;  I've never been. Image graciously yoink'd from kyz's flickr account, also on a CC license.

Things I Know About the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
1. There are no vegetables available anywhere.
2. It's insanely cold.
3. It rains. A lot. Like, all the time. Seattle - coffee + beer = Edinburgh
4. There are way more Australians than you might expect.
5. No one sleeps.
6. Everyone gets really sick and/or depressed.
7. College kids physically assault you with flyers everywhere you go.
8. There aren't enough venues for all the bazillions of shows, so some performances will take place in church basements, etc.
9. It costs a fortune.
10. In the midst of your darkest hour, you go do your show for 3 people, almost all of whom got in for free, it goes terribly, and then one of them writes you a nasty review. This was all brilliantly documented in a musical written and performed by some of my idols, which starts around the 16:45 mark of the audio on this page. (Do yourself a favor and listen. I can't even tell you how much I heart that thing. I always wish my fellow improv actors were familiar so I could do the "where's my mug" bit before shows.) (Oh yeah - and LANGUAGE WARNING!)

It sounds awful.

I REALLY want to go.

For now, I just have to say the same thing I say every year: "Maybe I'll get to go next year." In the meantime, I'll content myself with the usual voyeuristic obsession. If you'd like to know what the hell I'm talking about when I bring it up obsessively over the course of the next few weeks (and you know I will), you can probably find out at the Guardian's Fringe site, or current Fringe performer Michael Legge's blog (which, incidentally, makes for a highly entertaining read even when the Fringe is not on), or all the dozens of other podcasts and websites that will no doubt spring up and spout information until the end of the festival. Google it yourselves! Do I have to do everything?!?!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dear Internet: Call Me

I am a total dork about the internet. I LOVE the internet. I love that I can order food in my PJs - without talking to a person - then have it magically appear at my door. I love shopping online, I love social media, I love Words With Friends, I love that I'm rarely more than one Netflix/Hulu/YouTube search away from any movie or TV show I feel like watching.  I love the BBC iPlayer! I love email and IMs! I love blogs! I love online check-in for flights and having seen the hotel room from EVERY angle before I even get there! Yessir, the internet is amazing. And I love to see more and more businesses maximizing its potential to make my life awesome, so I was stoked to discover that my doctor's office is now doing Online Appointment Scheduling! SCORE! I assumed it would work just like the Online Appointment Scheduling at my favorite salon. As follows:

1. Set up account/log in
2. Fill in a few fields indicating services needed
3. Search available appointments for one that coincides with a free spot in my calendar
4. Reserve one of said appointments
5. Receive confirmation. Hooray!

But I had forgotten that this was a medical practice, and medical practices, unlike hair salons, know I need them more than they need me. This is not about customer service. This is about holding my time hostage. Here's how their process works, apparently:

1. Set up account/log in
2. Fill in a few fields indicating services needed
3. List 3 dates and rough times ("rough" as in AM vs PM) when you might be available
4. Leave website and go about your business
(24 hour delay)
5. Receive voicemail from "scheduler" who is "calling to schedule your appointment"
6. Return call. Leave voicemail.
7. Receive voicemail.
8. Return call. Leave voicemail.
(24 hour delay)
9. Receive voicemail.
10. Return call. Speak to "scheduler", who has no idea which doctor you wanted to see, when, or why, even though you spent 10 minutes giving the internet all of that information.
11. Schedule appointment over the phone
12. Be accidentally put on hold for 3 minutes in the middle of appointment confirmation
13. Receive confirmation

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this whole fiasco is the way I stumbled on the "Online Appointment Scheduling" in the first place: I had gone to the website to get the phone number so I could call and make an appointment. And had I just done that instead of falling for the "Online Appointment Scheduling", we would've been done three days earlier. Because that was not "Online Appointment Scheduling". That was "A Form to Request a Phone Call". And anything that happens on the phone did not happen online. FAIL.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Let's Just Get it Over With

You may have noticed that I keep referencing online dating, and that is because it is an endless font of inexplicable human behaviors that make me laugh. And that is because if I didn't laugh at them, they would make me cry.

I think the biggest problem I have right now is that my profile is basically blank. As a result, the only people who message me are people who just liked the picture or are literally writing to every woman on the site. I keep trying to fill in my profile, but...I mean, come on. This is what the form looks like:

  • My Self-Summary
  • What I'm Doing With My Life
  • I'm Really Good At
  • The first things people usually notice about me
  • Favorite books, movies, shows, music and food
  • The six things I could never do without
  • I spend a lot of time thinking about
  • On a typical Friday night I am
  • The most private thing I'm willing to admit
  • I'm looking for
  • You should message me if
Is it me? That's too much information to demand all at once. I might as well just publish a thousand-page autobiography and have the inside back cover read: "If you got this far and didn't want to gouge your eyeballs out, call me". Anyway. I keep trying to fill the stupid thing in, and I can't. Because I just don't care anymore. Besides, if I'm going to take the time to answer that many personal questions, I won't have the stamina to maintain the false veneer of cheerfulness throughout. Something's gotta give. Which is why I decided that instead of filling that out, I'd just come here and tell you...

What I'd Like to Say in my Online Dating Profile
  • My Self-Summary
*THIS PROFILE IS CERTIFIED FREE OF DUMB DOUBLE-ENTENDRES AND CHEEZY, FLIRTATIOUS PICKUP LINES.* I have yet to meet anyone who self-identifies as an "objectivist", "libertarian", or "foodie" who didn't make me want to claw their eyeballs out after talking to them for a minute and a half. I am a person. I have needs. They include, but are not limited to, M&Ms and silence. I'm sure you have needs too, but frankly I don't want to hear about it. First chance I get, I'm moving to the UK. So don't get too attached. Not that I was going to give you a chance to. 
  • What I'm Doing With My Life
PISS OFF! What are you doing with YOUR life, jerkface?  
  • I'm Really Good At
Grilled cheese sandwiches, consumption of
Pointedly ignoring small children
  • The first things people usually notice about me
The fact that the word "thing" has been made plural in that sentence makes me suspect that I am more or less supposed to make either a crass reference to my breasts or a dreamy reference to my eyes. But I'm going to buck the system and be honest: most people don't notice me.
  • Favorite books, movies, shows, music and food
I don't really know why I would fill this out. I've read enough guys' profiles to know that you probably enjoy the Terminator and Die Hard movies, any number of God-forsaken bands I can't stand ranging from Nickelback to Rammstein, SPORTS, one or more TV shows with lots of female frontal nudity (Californication, The Tudors, Boobs McGee: Private Detective,...), and steak. You are all so original. In the unlikely event that you remembered to mention a book, it will have some cringe-inducing title regarding the length of your workweek, the location of your cheese, or how you're gonna be Six Sigma Certified in NO TIME! Or it will be something by Ayn Rand, in which case DO NOT CONTACT ME OR SO HELP ME YOU WILL REGRET IT...

And of course, you don't really care what I like. This section only exists so we can look for commonalities. So have a look: I like The Bell Jar, Catch-22, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Robert Harris's Imperium, which I'm currently reading and quite like. You've never heard of any of the TV shows I like, because they all originated in the UK. The last movie I saw in the theater was Potiche. I like a lot of music you routinely make fun of, like Tori Amos, Björk, and Imogen Heap. Oh, and I'm a vegetarian, which is something else you'll mock me about while thinking you are hilarious.
  • The six things I could never do without
1. Regular appointments with a mental health professional
2. Facebook birthday reminders
4. Scratch-off lotto tickets
5. My copy of The Rules
6. A package of rotting mushrooms shoved way in the back of my fridge. I don't know why, but I keep buying them. So I must need them.
  • I spend a lot of time thinking about
How long I have to wait after publicly eating an entire pizza before it would be acceptable to stop pretending I'm full and start demanding frozen yogurt.
  • On a typical Friday night I am
Eating an entire pizza and a Double Caramel Magnum bar in rapid succession in the privacy of my own home where no one can judge me.
  • The most private thing I'm willing to admit
Yeah, right.
  • I'm looking for
A relationship that starts at the 6-month mark so I don't have to do all the stupid getting-to-know-you crap. I just need someone to get the tater tots out of the oven so I don't have to keep pausing this documentary about Nazi art theft.
  • You should message me if
In my experience, this is another one I shouldn't answer, because most of you don't seem to need a reason to message me. Instead, I think it would be more helpful if I told you why you shouldn't message me:
- You only have one sentence, and it's either a greeting or a comment on my appearance.
- You've already messaged me three times and I haven't answered. TAKE A DAMN HINT.
- You don't like: vegetarians, cats, liberals, "socialists", French people, English people, the proverbial Other, intellectuals, treehuggers, having a President who's smarter than you are, Apple products, cheese, pizza, Mexican food, the concept of wood sprites, public broadcasting, ketchup, Twitter, or Burberry perfumes
- You've already messaged me three times and I haven't answered. TAKE A DAMN HINT.
- You DO like: Ayn Rand (see above), the Tea Party, monster truck rallies, killing for sport, recreational arguing, subservience, CAMPING, math, Jersey Shore, or skydiving
- You are a triathlete. NO. THANK YOU.
- Your profile included 3-4 lines about how much you hate "grammar Nazi's". Feeling's mutual, pal.
- You've already messaged me three times and I haven't answered. Yes, I know that's the third time I've said it. It's irritating, RIGHT?
- You are more than 15 years my senior and you're going to try to flatter me by implying that you think I'm special because I "might" be "mature enough" to handle your awesomeness. It is your misfortune that I am "mature enough" to recognize a really lame play when I see it.

Labels: ,