Friday, December 31, 2010

Because Aunt MothaFuckin' Becky told me to...

And I don't want her to go all Eye of the MothaFuckin' Tiger on my ass. Also because you all still don't know me very well. But I am hoping that in 2011 we can become BFFF. (Best Friends For-Freakin'-ever: See Pineapple Express)

Note: I usually sit on posts for a day or two but not this time. FEEL THE LOVE.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Um... Twitter. And this blog. It's been fun so far. :)

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I resolved not to make any resolutions. WIN. This year I AM making resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Define "close."

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Again, define "close." I will say that my mom's husband Doug died of leukemia earlier this year. Their relationship was this really amazing force in my life, in so many profound and sad ways. I wish I had gotten to know him better. I will write about it, someday. I promise.

5. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

My MA, my School Counseling license, my LLPC, maybe even a house and a dog.

6. What countries did you visit?

Sometimes I visit The Land of No Internets.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

There are actually two: My mom's wedding day (May 17), and the day Doug died (July 29).

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Quitting my job as a waitress/bartender. Best thing I have ever done for myself.

9. What was your biggest failure?

My apartment is always/still messy.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I got the flu. I got hit with a line drive playing Church softball, and I still have the bruise (probably bad?)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Umm... Oh! My iPod! :D

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My mom's: Mostly her grace and strength.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Passive-aggressive douches on facebook, politicians who seek to polarize and divide, self-righteous religious assholes who judge and alienate others.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent. School. Gas.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Me and the Duke started planning a wedding. Don't you get excited, though, no one in my Regular Life knows yet. It's like this great big secret that I CAN'T TELL ANYONE because he wants to get the ring and do the proposal and all AND I CAN'T TELL ANYONE.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Probably Firework by Katy Perry. It just makes me feel so damn good!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?

A little of both, I think.

ii. thinner or fatter?

Definitely fatter. But, on the plus side, my boobs are bigger. I hope when I go all healthy in 2011 that my boobs don't go away, because that would make me (and The Duke!) sad.

iii. richer or poorer?

Poorer in money. Richer in joy and love.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Working out. Cleaning.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Umm... Christmas is over. Stay with me, Meme.

21. There was no #21. I don’t know why there was no 21. - Aunt Becky

I don't know why either. I won't make up my own question like she did, though, I'll think of it like Free Parking in Monopoly. A question where I don't really have to answer a question. Thanks, Meme!

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Um... Like I said, Meme, stay with me.

23. How many one-night stands?

I plead the 5th. (read: 0)

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Parenthood. That show is awesome. And Jerseylicious. I feel better about myself when I watch that show. Also Clean House, because it motivates me to clean my own house.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don't really hate anyone, but there are lots of people who annoy me. I try to stay the hell away from them.

26. What was the best book you read?

I read too many to pick a favorite. But I really liked Touching the Holy by Robert J. Wicks.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Well I learned about Mumford & Sons, and Florence & the Machine, and Hem. But I learned about all of them from Pandora.

28. What did you want and get?

A different job.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Despicable Me. It might be the only new 'film' I saw.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I got ditched by my so-called friends. And I turned 28.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Uh... What?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Um... I was more worried about having clothes still fit than my "personal fashion concept." The idea of having a "personal fashion concept" just sounds pretentious.

34. What kept you sane?

The Duke. He is amazing.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

What kinds of questions are these?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

I try not to talk politics on my blog, meme. Why are you fucking with me?

37. Who did you miss?

I am trying to keep things positive here, and if I answer this question my efforts will totally be for naught. I do not answer this question.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

A girl named Katie. She is the shit. Also, all of you! I love that you allow me to speak my mind and be myself, and that you aren't judging me. Maybe you are. But you allow it anyway! I love it.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

Sometimes there are people in our lives that we just need to cut loose, because all they do is bring us down. I think I did a pretty good job of that this year.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I will use the same song I closed my Christmas letter with: Seasons of Love, from Rent. It's paraphrased a little bit, forgive me.

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee,
in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes how do you measure a year in the life?
525,600 minutes, 525,000 journeys to plan.
525,600 minutes, how do you measure the life of a woman or a man?
In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.
It's time now to sing out, tho' the story never ends,
let’s celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends!
Remember the love! Seasons of love!
Oh you got to got to remember the love!
You know that love is a gift from up above
share love, give love, spread love, measure your life in LOVE.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Twitter is totally fucking with me.

Twitter says I am similar to the following people:

Ryan Seacrest

Larry King

The Daver

Alison Sweeney

Ross Mathews



People magazine


Nick Kroll

Christine Lakin

Vagina Rants


Levar Burton

Also, it won't show me the suggestions of who I should follow. Which is total bullshit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hello? HELLO? Is AnyBody there???

So I thought you should know...

I haven't forgotten about you. Really, I didn't.

It's just... Christmas was kinda hard this year, ya know? And Nothing Much has been really funny. Not even my thoughts.

But I will be back soon, I promise.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lots of fun and a Little stinkiness. (Is that even a word? I don't know. Well, it is now.)

So this weekend my mum came to visit. Which was totally awesome. I miss her, and she's a widow now so she's lonely a lot, so she visits as much as she can. Every time she comes to visit, we totally wear ourselves out. This time, we went to a little town nearby that I'd heard had some good downtown shops.

So we get there, and the first place we go into is THE. GREATEST. BOOK. STORE. OFALLTIME! It was HUGE, and a locally-owned store, not some generic chain. I have NEVER seen so many used books in one store. There were so many books, they didn't fit on all the shelves, and were literally in stacks EVERYWHERE. It was like a TREASURE HUNT. Words cannot express the AMAZINGFABULOUSNESS of this store! I was so overwhelmed that I only bought one book and this magnet:

Then we went into a Variety/Dime store that smelled like cat pee. And the lady working was very weird. We got creeped out and left.

The next store we went into was a consignment store with AMAZING-RANDOM-GOODNESS. When I get my Financial Aid I am TOTALLY buying a smartphone so I can go back there and take pictures of ALL THE WEIRD SHIT. I did not find any stabbity dolls, though. Which I'm TOTALLY ok with.

Then there were two Hippie stores: One sold all Earth-friendly products, and the other was a volunteer-run, not-for-profit fair trade store. How cool is that?! At Hippie store one, I bought 3 things: Some throat lozenges made of Slippery Elm (cause that's an ingredient in the throat tea I drink) for my scratchy throat (duh), some moisturizing hand soap, and some deodorant.

About that deodorant: Does anyone else out there use natural deodorant? Maybe I'm just really smelly but that shit did not work for me. Maybe I need to give it more days. If I give it more days it HAS to be over break when I am not around other people, 'cause I can totally rock the BO as long as no one else notices it. I like all my other natural products so far, but I am definitely not sold on being stinky. Smelly, sure. Stinky, notsomuch.

At the Fair Trade store I bought a decorative scarf. I recently purchased my first decorative scarf, and even though it sort of makes me feel like I am wearing a snake, I really like how much nicer they make me look without me really trying. So now I have two.

So that was my shopping trip. Then we came home and made Chex Mix and ate, like, all of it. And fell asleep on the couches. 'Cause we're cool like that.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Christmas Letter that Started it All

So basically I wrote my first Christmas letter this year, and I found that I really liked writing it. REALLY. Also I found myself hilarious, and thought I could write a blog. I wanted to share that letter with you, so that you too will know just how funny I can be. Oh and I totally changed people's names, you know, to fit my "theme."

Last year after The Duke and I sent out our Christmas cards, I told him that Someday when I am a grown-up, I’d like to try my hand at a Christmas Letter. He had spent most of the evening trying to convince me how important it is to personalize each and every card. And I get that, I really do, but I just didn’t care that much. So that’s his job. Now mind you, in my family the Christmas Letter isn’t simply a chance for people to brag about their kids and how great they are and blah, blah, blah, gag me. (No offense, I mean, I’m sure your kids are great.) No, in my family the Christmas letter is a snarky, humorous and poignant review of the most memorable moments of the previous year. We anxiously await it, and don’t read it alone to yourself in a corner while you eat a snack or glance at it and toss it aside as you hurry to the bathroom. After all, you did just get home and you probably really need to go. No! It must be read aloud, with everyone present, and with appropriate voices whenever possible. Suffice it to say, we look forward to it. So you can understand my trepidation as I embark on this quest. No? Whatever. I digress. When I mentioned this Someday-grown-up-ness, The Duke sort of looked at me like I had something on my face and asked me what, exactly, I meant by being grown-up. I probably said something like, “You know, when I have kids and stuff” and he very matter-of-factly suggested that if I really wanted to write a Christmas Letter then I should go ahead and write one. Always the voice of reason.

SO… Here I sit. I guess I should sum up the year, or something. I quit my job at Applebee’s in September which is GREAT. It’s amazing how I hate people less because I don’t have to wait on them and serve them food! It sounds awful, but it’s the truth. Not having a job that kills my soul is so nice. Instead, I work at the [local campus ministry] and focus on being a superbly average graduate student. Mostly this refers to the fact that I care less about grades and actually give a damn if I retain the information! Is that what growing up means? After all, that’s what matters for when I have my Big Kid Job, right? Pretty sure.

The Duke tells me all the time that what I do at [campus ministry] isn’t actually Work. “I’ve seen what you do. That’s not Work.” He was almost certainly referring to a lively game of Velociraptor Tag, of which I was not a participant but merely a spectator, hysterical with laughter. I may participate someday. Maybe. Probably not. Because in spite of myself, Conventionality has rubbed off on me. Damn. I think he’s just jealous because he’s still stuck in his own personal soul-killing Apple-hell. But, when I am done with school and have my Big Kid Job it will be his turn to go back and finish his degree.

I have definitely been busy, and so as the season of Advent draws near, I find myself longing for the darkness and the quiet. I am anticipating the Anticipation, and the deep joy that comes from refocusing my energy from school to spending time with family and finally getting my apartment clean. This year I have found myself especially offended by the commercialism of it all, horrified that at a time when I and many others are seeking to downsize and simplify, stores are opening even earlier for Black Friday and it offends me on a very basic level. I get it, it’s Capitalism, our economy is based on people spending money, and the more we spend the better off we are, but is that really true? I’m skeptical. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a broke-ass grad student, but it just seems ridiculous.

And so this coming Christmas will be quieter, more subdued, thoughtful, and reflective. My gifts will be of a more sentimental nature, so I am trying my hand at scrapbooking. I KNOW, right? Crazy. We’ll see how that pans out. Or there’s always the gift of Quality Time, like my mom’s gift. I bought her ticket so we could go see [touring Broadway show]. Maybe I should ask for a pair of sunglasses, seeing as how we lost three pairs in the month Lady Texts-A-Lot (The Duke’s sister) spent with us. She lost a set in the monkey pit at [The] Zoo (“At least it wasn’t an umbrella,” she said, pointing.), I sat on a pair, and then The Duke lost the sporty wrap-arounds that I had let him have. He left them on top of the Jeep as we were leaving [a local amusement park] (The Duke: I remember where I left my sunglasses. Me: Where? The Duke: On the edge of the hood. They’re about a quarter-mile back.). We are so full of the Awesome.

Or I could ask for a new phone? I’ll be starting my school counseling internships in January, and I am terrified that I won’t be able to keep everything straight, and I have been eyeing that Blackberry Curve… After all, I am usually the one with the cool phone but ever since The Duke found out he was eligible for an upgrade, he’s been kind of full of himself, with his fancy touch-screen and sleek design. I am totally jealous. See what consumerism does to people? (Note: the ONLY reason I can afford this is because of a mail-in rebate. Don’t think for one second I have a secret pile of cash and if you whack me you’ll get some kind of inheritance.)

Know who’s not really worried about consumerism? My cats. They’re all, “Let’s learn to open the screen door onto the balcony: she’ll totally flip out,” and “Won’t it be great when I puke on her shoes? That’ll teach her to put acne medicine on my chin” because that’s right, one has blackheads on her chin. Did you know CatAcne or Cacne as I will call it is actually quite common? Me either. And if your cat develops Cacne just slap some Stridex on that shit and call it good. Oh, and get rid of plastic food or water dishes that can become scratched and harbor icky Cacne causing bacteria. Welcome to my life.

At least I’m not making you take all the nifty self-assessments I torture The Duke with! (Me: Answer “Yes” or “No.” Him: rolls his eyes Okay. Me: ‘You spend your leisure time actively socializing with a group of people, attending parties, shopping, etc.’ The Duke: What leisure time? Me: It’s a hypothetical question. The Duke: Well then how can it be accurate? Me: Okay, fine. If you had leisure time, how would you spend it? The Duke: You rephrasing the question doesn’t change anything. Me: Just answer the damn question. The Duke: Well sometimes I like to go out but sometimes I like to stay home. Me: What do you mostly like to do? The : I don’t know, it depends. Me: JUST ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTION.) You can see how the conversation quickly deteriorates. It takes us an hour to get him through a twenty-minute assessment.

So, it’s been an eventful year. As I look back on the gales of laughter and the tears of sadness I know that I will never be the same. And I believe that’s a good thing. May God bless and keep you always.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why I am mad at facebook.

Facebook won't let me operate under my obviously real name, The Duchess. Sneaky bastards, it's not like it's even a real person, it's their "automated response" that says my name isn't real. Clearly, they have no clue. So, for now, I will not be on facebook. Not because I don't want to, because I LOVE facebook. I think it's amazing! I wish I'd thought of it. But I didn't, and now I really can't live without it. Honestly, part of me really wants to learn to live without it so I can be all, "I'm not on facebook," and other people can be all, "WHAT?!" , cause I think that'd be cool. Kinda like the reaction I give people when they tell me they don't drink caffeine. The very same look people give me when I tell them I don't like pineapple (unless it's on pizza) or that I hate celery so much I will pick it out of my soup (actually I read ingredients and if the soup contains celery I won't buy it) or that I don't like marshmallows (they feel gross in my mouth). You know, that face.

But I am still mad about the facebook thing, because I know it could be a great way to meet more of you! and everyone knows I could use more friends. Unfortunately, I'll have to stick with Twitster and Me blog. And you'll all just have to DEAL.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why "The Duchess"?

It occurred to me that the story behind why I chose this moniker is marginally entertaining, and some of you might be curious.

When I was a kid, and we were first learning how to use computers, we had computer class. I don't just mean "we" as kids I mean "we" as a society. I spent a lot of time on that Apple II, playing sweet games like Oregon Trail, and less sweet games like the typing one where if you screw up the little running guy falls on his face. Talk about pressure! One of the games we played definitely had an Alice in Wonderland theme, and there were different mini-games you could choose from. The only one I remember was one where you rolled "dice" or "pepper shakers" and the pepper would come out and a baby turned into a pig. Years later I was recounting this game, and everyone thought I was crazy. "There's no baby turning into a pig in Alice in Wonderland." I figured they were probably right, after all, Disney is known for it's accuracy in animated movies.

So because I am really nerdy, I actually sat down and read the real Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I loved it! And I'm not crazy! Turns out, there is a character called The Duchess who Alice has several encounters with, and she's AWESOME. Make no mistake, the Duchess was not a physically attractive character, quite the opposite. But she is my favorite because she is funny. Here are some of her more famous sayings:
"If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does."
"Tut, tut, child! Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it."
"Speak roughly to your little boy
and beat him when he sneezes
he only does it to annoy
because he knows it teases.
I speak severely to my boy
I beat him when he sneezes
for he can thoroughly enjoy
the pepper when he pleases."
And here's a fun exchange between Alice and the Duchess: "Alice: I didn't know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I didn't know that cats could grin. The Duchess: You don't know much; and that's a fact."

I totally get why Disney left her out of the story. I guess you can't have someone beating their kid for sneezing in a children's movie. Still, I think she's pretty bad ass. If you want the whole scoop on the Duchess, like how that's where Alice actually met the Cheshire Cat, or that The Duchess turns out to not be so bad, you can read the book. Or Google it. Whatever. Finally, this last one actually inspired the name of my blog:
'Thinking again?' the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin.
'I've a right to think,' said Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a little worried. 'Just about as much right,' said the Duchess, 'as pigs have to fly.'

Friday, December 3, 2010

Because no one likes to look at buttholes.

Tired of looking at your pet's butthole? Try these.

No, I'm not kidding.

Bargain Books Haul, or, I look like I need counseling.

Today was my first time at Bargain Books. That place is AWESOME. For $35 I got:

Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl

You are Enough: Always Have Been… Always Will Be David J. Walker

“Help Me, I’m Sad”: Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Childhood and Adolescent Depression David G. Fassler, M.D., and Lynne S. Dumas

Quotations to Cheer You Up when the World is Getting You Down Allen Klein

Do It Now! Break the Procrastination Habit Dr. William J. Knaus (OK I confess, this one’s just for me. The first page will probably say something like, “Don’t start a blog.”)

APA Publication Manual, 6th ed. (I hope this one was the red flag: This customer is a student, not a patient.)

And, just for fun: The Anti-Bride Guide *smirks*

This may have been prompted by the weird dream I had last night, where my boyfriend proposed to me by hiding what looked like a Cracker Jack box ring in the cup-holder of my Jeep and seemed to be really serious about it. Not that I care a whole lot about a ring, but it was weird. Totally not his style. I guess you had to be there. In the dream, I mean. But that would be even more weird, if you were in my dream. I don’t even know you… But I’ve had dreams with people in them that I don’t know, so maybe you were? WEIRD.

But seriously, all that for $35! Not even used books, just cheap. I like used books, I like seeing people’s little underlinings and notes in the margins. Even used textbooks. But sometimes I wonder, what if the person who had this book before me got a really bad grade because they highlighted the wrong things? And then I study the wrong things too, and I get a bad grade too! Unacceptable. I don’t like buying used textbooks. But I am way too poor/cheap to buy new ones all the time. (I don’t know why textbooks are so pricey, but someone’s making MILLIONS.)

Either way, this store made me…

Wait for it…

I think this quote is anonymous because no one wanted to admit to coming up with it.

Especially since that is the nicest photo I could find of an actual June bug. They don’t look happy, they look angry.

Or maybe I really do need counseling.

Personal Space Invaderz

Miss Barfs-A-Lot & The SnuggleBug

AKA my Cats, Peanut and Squirt. Peanut is the gray Calico and Squirt is a year-round Halloween kitty, all in black. Now, I am not a totally crazy cat lady. I hold firmly to being about 30 years and 10 cats shy of that illustrious status (but not Hoarder territory, that shit stuff is whack).

I call Peanut Miss Barfs-A-Lot for what should be obvious reasons. Also I think she is strategic in her barfing, because if I do something that makes her mad (like try to give her Hairball Remedy so she wont barf so much) she will barf on something I like. Of course, she hates hairball remedy. She actually makes a FACE when I get it out of the cupboard! And being brushed it like torture to her. So naturally, she has the worst hairballs EVER. And is a creeper. And has acne.

That’s right: Acne. As in Blackheads. On her chin. Gross. Evidently this is "normal" and I’m "just" supposed to put some topical acne medicine (read: Stridex or Oxy) on her chin and that will help. So I did. And then she threw up on my favorite scarf.

She has also learned how to open cupboards and crawl inside. It’s like I have a damned two-year-old and need to childproof my house. I don’t have kids yet.

The SnuggleBug, however, is a totally different story. She has no blackheads (that I know of), no interest in exploring my cupboards, and loves Hairball Remedy. And only has the occasional hairball. Of course. She just wants me to hold her. ALL. THE TIME. Just carry her around, like a baby. If I don’t or won’t, she follows me around and cries at me. She doesn't bitch, no, that’s Miss Barfs-A-Lot’s job. Just sad, pitiful, mournful cries. She also smacks me when I dare walk away from her.

Miss Barfs-A-Lot also learned how to kick open the sliding screen door to our third floor balcony so she could give me heart attacks. And she taught The SnuggleBug, who got herself locked out there for a whole day, because I didn’t see her out there because she is a ninja.

I call them my Personal Space Invaders because that’s what they do: Invade my Personal Space. They have NO sense of boundaries. And they are my posse. WERRRD.

Welcome to my Blog, or, I like to think I'm funny.

So for a while now, I’ve been lurking. Stalking, even. Reading your blogs, laughing, sharing on facecult and Twitster. And, you have totally inspired me. Someone once said that I am funny, and then another someone once said my life is funny. I’ll go with the latter. And, I like to procrastinate. So I wrote my first Christmas Letter, and I was pretty impressed with myself, and I thought “What better time to pick up blogging again, right?”

This is the first post, so I will be totally lame-o and Introduce MeSelf. I am a twenty-something (read: almost thirty) Grad student, studying to be a School Counselor. I am also planning to look into becoming a Candidate for Deacon in the United Methodist Church. The combo of these things made me consider making this blog anonymous. I’m still sort of debating if I will come out of my blogging closet. Mostly I am super-paranoid that I’ll do/say/post something completely stupid and get fired or shunned or something. Methodists don’t really shun. At least not that I know of. Better check on that.

Where was I? Probably should mention I’m a little bit ADD. But who isn’t?

Oh yeah, Introducing MeSelf. Anyhow I was all wondering if I should be secretive about my blog and Naughty Me was all, “If it’s anonymous you can talk shit crap about people and drop the F-bomb” cause I like to drop F-bombs sometimes a lot and Good Me was all, “Why would you want to talk crap about people? You’re not supposed to talk crap about people.” and then Naughty Me was all, “Because it will be more funny that way!” and then Good Me was all, “You can’t be funny without talking crap about people and swearing?” and Naughty Me was all, “Well…” and you get the idea. So for now even though I’m all incognito I won’t talk crap about people and I’ll use hilarious substitutes for swear words, because maybe it will be even funnier that way. Plus, there’s lots of embarrassing stuff that I want to talk about without you knowing it’s me. See?

So this is my not-so-funny intro to my I-hope-I’m-funny blog. Hopefully you likey!