Thursday, December 30, 2010

Posts My Brothers Will Wish They Didn't Read

Following a shocking discovery (thank you, internets) I had the following conversation with my friend, Alyssa, via our respective text-messaging devices. I heart technology more tonight than I have in a while.

Me: Dude, I just found out that there's such a thing as a 24 karat gold vibrator. And I want it. Just to say I have a 24kt gold vibrator. Who wouldn't?!
Alyssa: Haha! I'm with you!
Me:'s just under $350. I actually considered it for about thirty seconds.
Alyssa: It's cheaper than a wedding band.
Alyssa: Can I ask how you came into this information?
Me: Oh, the internet. You know how it is. You click on one link and another and another and before you know it you're browsing luxury sex toys hoping no one inspects your search history.
Me: Can I put this conversation on the internet?

And as if you weren't already reevaluating our Facebook friendship, dear reader, yeah I'm going to throw in a picture. You want it, too.

It's going to be weird to look each other in the eye, tomorrow. I know. You'll be fine.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So, What?

When I was in college I did a lot of writing. Okay, actually, the school I attended didn't offer near as many creative writing classes as an English major would appreciate but there were still plenty of sub-ideal opportunities for me to flex my muscle. Despite my complete lack of interest (which quickly turned into an absolute hatred for) journalism, I still signed up for nearly every one that was offered. I did not do well in those classes for the same reasons that I did not do well in any of my math classes: rules. My brain does not store knowledge of rules for any amount of time. I fully comprehend very, very few grammar rules. My grammar isn't terrible and I don't know how I spent so many years as a tutor without knowing the actual rules (anyone who does know the real rules and reads this has probably never been fooled). I know what works. I just don't know why. Wait. Isn't there one that's like "'i' before 'e' except after 'c' something something something 'neighbor' and 'weigh'." Yeah. There's that.It's a little bit like how Phoebe Buffay didn't really know how to play the guitar, she just knew how to play the guitar. No, she couldn't teach Joey or anyone else but she could still play (that was something that the audience just collectively understood about Phoebe--she actually really, really sucked at it).

In my journalism classes I worked so hard on putting words down and then organizing them into coherent sentences and then having to correct all of the rules that the damn AP Stylebook said that I broke that I'd overlook some pretty basic stuff.
For example, once I had to cover a speech that someone gave and I worked so hard at attributing and not accidentally taking things out of context and maintaining "journalistic integrity" that I forgot to mention anywhere in the article who this person was, where the speech took place or why he was even saying anything. Honest to God, I can't imagine what information I did include in article. My professor wrote at the end of the paper, "If you worked for a newspaper you would be so fired. [smiley face]" That was fair.

When I wrote for the newspaper (for the requisite two semesters--no more, no less) they had to create a student-profile column specifically for me because it was impossible for me to write articles about how construction was coming along on the seemingly hundreds of new buildings that were popping up despite our apparent lack of funding. Even that was a challenge, but at least I didn't have to stick to the facts. I made up all kinds of stuff about people--made them look really cool. That was mostly because I was super terrible at interviewing people. Anyone who has ever met me in real life knows good and well that simple getting-to-know-you conversation is so not my strong suit. I have a tendency to create a super awkwardness in first meeting people. I'm bad at basic things like returning questions. I answer questions in one sentence and then stare at you. I can only imagine what people think of me. Lucky for me, most of the friends that I have now are people that I was forced into getting to know. Or we have been together for years and there's no more room for introduction. Happy am I that people stick around for me. I had a friend who used to make me fake-interview him, just to work on my question asking skills. I couldn't do it. I'm not a role-playing kind of kid. I'd ask, "So where are you from? This is ridiculous! I know where you're from. Next question. What's your major? Damnit! I hate this." And that was about as well as it ever went.

So I thought that embracing creative writing would be ideal for me, and it would be except that I find that my strong suit is mostly in just making things sound really pretty but I can't push a story along very well. More often than not it was Professor Ness who gave us creative assignments. I think he knew that we didn't have a lot of opportunity to work with this. He had us write villanelles (still my favorite poem to write), flash fiction, free verse, stream of consciousness, I loved writing for him because he would actually try to guide you into a way to make your writing better (the actual creative writing instructor was kind of like a mom or a nanny who would say "that's nice dear" and not really give you any direction). More often than not, Prof Ness' notes on my papers would say, "This is beautiful but what's the point?" Half of that was flattering and the other half was crushing but he was right. He's still right. In my serious writing, when I'm telling stories I can do a really good job at making things sound wonderful and I can bring the story to a crisis. And then it's over.

I've been working on a story for a few weeks now and I finished my first draft but I'm reading it and I keep thinking "what's the point?" I had a friend who, when I asked what he thought of my writing, said that he loved reading it but when it started getting good, I'd always end the story. I went on a tirade using all sorts of cliches about "artist's vision" and about how he didn't understand me and was free to make love to himself.* Ugh. But he was right.

Oy with the self-improvement.

*According to Anne Lamott, this sort of reaction is completely normal. If you have a writer friend who asks your honest opinion and you decide to give one, even in the most delicate of methods, your writer friend will more than likely go on a murderous rampage. Do not dismay, she will always come out of it and she will be ashamed and more able to accept criticism.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Can I Do For You?

It's no secret that 2011 will be the year of the search for shameless, relative internet celebrity on my part. And let's not pretend that you don't want me to get famous, either, if for no reason than for your own entertainment. You'll love it. Everybody wins.

The thing is, though, that I'm a pretty non-exciting person. For example, my most ideal Saturday night involves no more than three close friends, no more than eight beers and no less than a couple of hours of Boxers or Briefs (which is absolutely what I'm using my Amazon gift card for). In my world, no one accidentally ends up at roof-top parties. There are almost never any fire-breathers or jugglers involved. I have yet to get black-out drunk and at 27 I think I'm past the point in my life where that could be considered a respectable night. I think I've firmly established myself as one of the most low-key and expertly cautious (possibly to a fault) girls on the block. That being said, I still believe that I can entertain you. You know why? Because my Friday nights are your Tuesday mornings--sort of an "it's five o'clock somewhere" philosophy.

Now, I have an open notepad on my desktop where I keep post ideas, topics that every successful blog that I read has covered at some point--some that we will get to eventually.
  • My Most Serious Injury
  • My Favorite Job
  • How I Shop
  • How I Earned My Worst Karma
  • Self-Indulgence
  • Why I Love My Hometown
  • Why I Hate My Hometown
But I ask you, oh, people who want something to read when your kids go down for a nap/ when you're on your break at work/ when you are procrastinating against the dishes/ when you are staving off sleep:

What do you want to read about?

And you'd better hurry up because next up on my list is My First Period.

(And, as always, it's in your best interest to read this on the original page if you're mildly interested in links and making me feel better about myself)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not Minding the Mess

Everyone kept saying, "it doesn't feel like Christmas at all." But I don't really know what that means because I haven't had an ordinary Christmas in a decade or so. A lot of that has to do with the fact that adulthood comes out of nowhere sometimes. That's not a bad thing, believe me.

When you're a kid, you're not in control of anything. Not even yourself most of the time. You open all of the things. You eat all of the candy. You feel overwhelmed beyond belief and before you know it, you're discovered in a sugar coma, covered in wrapping paper and clutching a cassette tape of Shaun Cassidy's greatest hits and a Walkman with no batteries. Your parents will leave you there. It's a safe place for you to be. That was the year that I discovered Da Doo Ron Ron.

Despite the pure, undiluted excitement of all things Christmas that would always end in overstimulated crying fits and a need to be carried to bed in the brand new pajamas that still had the tags on them, it was always the best feeling ever (until it was horrible but no one ever remembers that very last part because by then you've ingested so many chocolate-covered marshmallows that you're in black-out mode and can not be held accountable for your actions). And as soon as that's over, then you start looking forward to next Christmas and wondering how the adult humans could possibly out-do the awesomeness that was this year.

Somewhere along the lines, you discover that you're in control of yourself. That's when teenagers get moody and hate everything. To the parents of teenagers, you should know that they don't really hate everything--they're just practicing the fine art of choice. It's new to them. Be patient.
Then you get even older and you move out and you get to be completely in control of yourself and you get to recognize and then create for yourself a good time. Some people still get hopped up on sugar and dive into presents and that's fine because I think everyone should get to do whatever they want on Christmas. Even grown ups. Some people like to get completely hammered and grope strangers. Trust me--it happens. I like to stay uber low key and appreciative. I like to celebrate with presents and food on Christmas Eve so that on Christmas day you can sit around in your pajamas and reflect or watch movies or cook lots of food for my friends and not do the dishes. That's what I like. Christmas Eve is especially nice now that I have so many nieces and nephews. They say the greatest things and they love you so much and they're so happy and excited. Genesis knows that her presents don't come from Santa but I still pretend like he's real. Consequently, I think she thinks that I believe in him and she's trying to protect me from the truth.

There's something about having your friends over for breakfast that I prefer to having dinner with them. Waking up with someone you love: there's nothing that can relate to that sort of satisfaction. Every bed in my house had more than one person in it and then extras came up for breakfast. We lounged and talked and stared at the wall and coo'd at Owen and made so many dirty dishes and piled them up in the kitchen and pretended that they didn't exist. Not minding the mess is the most beautiful reality of honest friendship.
And then, after most everyone had left I had three glasses of wine and a chocolate Christmas tree on a stick which is a nice, floaty way to put yourself down for bed--especially when you're not quite all alone yet.

Probably one of my most favorite days.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Wrote A Letter To Latvia, But You Can Read It.

Dear Latvians,

How are you? I am fine. It will be Christmas in a few days and I still haven't seen any snow. I'm trying not to be bummed about that, but thanks for asking.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I have only recently become aware of the fact that I'm so popular in your land. When I say, "popular" what I mean is that there have been four visits from Latvia in the past week and even a few the week before. Understand, this is an unexpectedly large percentage of traffic for me.

Admittedly, and probably unsurprisingly, I'm a pretty typical American and when I say "I know nothing about Latvia," I mean that I wasn't even convinced that it was a country until I wiki'd it several minutes ago. I have learned some exciting (hopefully) true things in my research. Here are several things that I learned about your land. Please alert me to the truthieness of this research. American friends, get ready to do the learnin' dance.

Latvia has a pretty straightforward flag and that's what I like in an identifier. One year, I spent Christmas with some people who, by and large, absolutely did not know me. They were, incredible, loving, gracious people who fed me, cleaned me up after I passed out in the shower and vomited--if I'm remembering accurately--all over every square inch of their bathroom and they gave me gifts. One of those gifts was a fleece blanket featuring the American flag. The American flag is pretty bold and difficult to incorporate into a classy design scheme. But you, Latvians, obviously you knew how well a throw blanket featuring your country's stripes would work in my living room. My birthday is in October, thanks.

In the 13th Century, a pretty big chunk of your territory was conquered by Germans. Then came Polish and Lithuanian management. Then there was an eleven year Polish-Swedish War and, guess what, Poland lost and Sweden got to keep you. This surprises me, honestly, because nowadays everyone pretty much assumes that Sweden's a pretty quiet, non-threat but I guess even Sweden went through a rebellious period. This is like that time that I found out that Barbara, my youth leader, used to be a stripper. That was unsettling for more than three different reasons. Poland kept fighting with Sweden even though Sweden clearly won fair and square until they called trucies-no-takebacks in 1629. Turns out that Sweden was good to your turf, though, so I'm happy to hear that.

So Sweden's in charge and everyone's happy and singing "summertime and the livin's easy" and driving around with their hands out the window when out of nowhere (and for reasons that I can't really follow) you eventually ended up with Russia in charge. Skip ahead some hundred years and now you're all Latvia (I guess) and you joined NATO in the 90's and the European Union in 2004. Congratulations! (I say that because Wikipedia says that was one of your goals--so I say reach for the sky, Latvia.)
Seriously, though, if you're from Latvia and you're reading this (and you're not offended--I sincerely hope you are not), then few things would make me more thrilled form hearing from you. Also, could you tell me a little about Jāņi, starting with how to pronounce it?

Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How to Tell if He Likes You

Or Articles That Should Have Never Been Written

According to Cosmo there are three "weird" things to look for to tell if the special guy in your life is looking at you as third-base material. There's not really any reason to write this article because, I'll just tell you right now, he is. But still, I can understand the need for easy, crank it out in fifteen minutes filler pieces. I mean, where do you think I got the idea for this?

Anyhow, this article is full of useful tips to help you decide whether or not the man in your life wants to be the man in your pants (seriously, though, they should write an article about how to decide if You even like the man in your life--that's the difficult, albeit less important, part). According to "research" a man like-likes you if you can answer "yes" to one or more of the following questions*:
  • At meals does he order steak?
  • Will he mimic your speech patterns?
  • Does he forget even the simplest of concepts?
If you answered "yes", then congratulations there's no way this guy can't possibly not be un-into you! Now, go lasso him in for keeps. Even if he says "no", he's just playing hard to get. Sometimes "yes" sounds a lot like "no". My strategy? Feign pregnancy.

No, on a serious note though, guys really will order steak if they like you. It's a mechanism that they employ to exhibit manliness without resorting to the women-belong-in-the-kitchen "jokes". I mean, that's second date territory. So if you go out with a guy and he has hummus, pasta
marinara, or a grilled cheese, don't try and talk yourself into the idea that he's a potential vegetarian. Men are never vegetarians except when they don't love you anymore.

You've been hanging out a while and you have your first fight. No, not even a fight. More of a tift. Spell check doesn't believe that "tift" is a word but you're following me. You asked him why he kept his peanut butter in the fridge and he said "everyone keeps their peanut butter in the fridge" and you said "no one keeps their peanutbugger in the fridge!" And he whispered, under his breath, "peanutbugger". And then suddenly you're enraged because you believe that he's making fun of your my-tongue-is-a-little-bigger-than-my-mouth impediment and you storm out. You silly, simple woman. It appears as though he was backed into a corner with nowhere to go so he lashed out and cut you below the knees. But that's not what happened at all. You see, when a boy likes you, he mocks you for things that are out of your control unless great concentration is utilized to keep from making insignificant mistakes. He will mimic your accent, speech impediment, club-foot, all sorts of things. Because those things remind him of you and he wants you around him all the time. That's why he offered to make a suit of your skin that one time.

And finally, next time he forgets your middle-name, don't get mad. It just means that he's using all his dumb-man brain cells to impress you with his muscle flexing and steak eating and hasn't got a lot of room for lesser things like your birthday, garbage day or even your real first name. The less he remembers, the more he loves you. And who wouldn't want to get to put up with that for all eternity?

And remember, no matter how much he likes you, he'll never stick around unless you get knocked up. Does anyone else feel the morning sickness going around?

*There's more good news, this very same test can be used to tell if there is a six-year-old living in your home.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Was Almost Certainly Drugged at Starbucks

More often than not, when I have coffee in the evening times it isn't so much a big deal. But tonight it seems to be a big deal. Kind of a lot bigger deal than I've ever been used to. Before I begin, I'd like to explain that I can't hardly stand it when I hear people talk about being hyper. So I'm going to not use that word. It's non-descriptive and really, really adolescent. What I am experiencing is not a basic case of hyperactivity. No. There are almost definitely drugs in my system. And for that I blame the shady girls behind the counter at Starbucks.

Think back to half an inch ago when I told you that coffee in the evening times isn't so much a big deal for me. Yeah, it's not. It rarely effects me with its intended affect (Right? Did I use those... was that accurate? Yeah, I don't know. I'll leave it.). But tonight is the lunar eclipse and I'm going, to quote Bono, "with or without you--with or without youuuoohhhh!" At first I thought I'd just go to bed earlier than usual, set my alarm, drive to a cemetery and try not to inadvertandly stay there until the sun comes up. But then I said, "Fuck it. I'ma stay up." Because I don't have to be to work until noon and staying up until nearly three on a Monday night is probably the most champion use of my time. So the lovely and talented Sarah and I went to Sbux (which is probably the baddest of ass ways to reference the universe's most popular coffee shop--something I promise to never do again) and I said, "I'd like a venti Sumatra with two shots of espresso. And some vanilla because I'm a pansy." You see, I added the extra shots to compensate for the made-up caffeine-doesn't-really-affect-me-like-it-should idea that I had. And she said "we only serve Sumatra in the morning but we have Pike's Peak." And I said, "Do me." If you bet five dollars that "do me" was only a proposition for sex, you'd be that many dollars poorer because apparently it is also code for "There are cops outside. My beverage will keep your amphetamine based drugs safe." I should have known those girls were bad news when we walked in and I overheard their conversation about how "kids require certain boundaries." Who talks like that? Drug peddlers. That's who.

Everything was fine and cozy until Sarah and I found our way to the Christmas department of our most local Target. Sarah was comparison shopping mostly-plastic pine trees. I glanced over at her in what appeared to be a forest. She looked up at me and seemed mildly concerned. I looked at her and saw her in what my mind had decided to accept as Narnia. "Sarah," I said, trying to remain calm, "I... I can feel it." I started to panic, but I wanted to appear in control. Let the record show that there's very little that looks less in control of one's self than desperate attempts to appear in control. You become overly aware of the relationship between your feet and knees and start walking very deliberately and nodding enthusiastically to things that people are saying so as to appear focused on the conversation at hand but really you're just hoping that no one thinks that you're too broken to be in public even though you know that even on your best day you're probably barely clearing that bar.

I wanted to buy plain, brown wrapping paper. I even found some for the low-low price of only $2.50 but somehow I talked myself out of it even though I really, really wanted it and will just go on another search tomorrow to find plain, brown wrapping paper. Instead I bought a box of Swedish fish. Because what I need in this equation--just a little more candy and a little less of what is actually on my shopping list. Do not be mistaken, that didn't happen because I was secretly drugged. That happened because of the kind of person that I am. For example: I'll crave chocolate chip cookies. I'll have everything to make them except for, say, butter. I'll wait a whole week for a new paycheck to come and, in the meantime, think of all of the other things that I could use butter for. Butter on toast. Butter on baked potatoes. Butter on spoons. X is the limit! (In this scenario X is representative of the number of things that butter could actually be used for). I will get so excited about potentially having butter in my life. Pay day comes and now I finally have some fun money and I say "I'ma getchoo, Buttah!" Then I go to Walmart and see that butter costs $3.26 a pound and then I think about how that's a lot of dollars and does a person really need a whole pound of butter? I forget all of the things that butter can do and I think "I'm not spending nearly $4." It's not that I don't believe that butter is worth it. It's not that I even believe that $4 (which is an exaggeration anyway) could go much further elsewhere. It's more like I'd rather buy 4 $1 items. So I throw reason to the wind and walk out of there with a bag of apples. Apples, while delicious, are nothing like butter.

It's been a few hours but I'm beginning to crash. Only a little over an hour left to go before I was planning to leave but I can feel myself hurling down towards Earth at an alarming rate. I'm scared, Jack. I don't think that there were really drugs in my coffee. I think I just ordered an unreasonable cup of coffee with extra coffee thrown in for good measure and it did exactly what it was designed to do which was make me high.

See that picture at the top. This was taken towards the plateau of my mania. I'd gotten home and wanted to be wearing not-jeans. If you're like me, you take your jeans off as soon as you're no longer near other people. Because who in their right mind would spend any amount of time trapped inside of denim? I walked into my bedroom where I saw that my electric blanket was not yet turned on. So I turned it on and while I was fishing around under the bed for the controls I found my slippers--which are awesome. I put them on and then forgot why I was back there in the first place. Upon passing the bathroom on my way back to the living room (which is where one goes to regroup) I decided to pee, for good measure. In washing my hands I decided also to wash my face. Before I can wash my face, I have to pull all of the hair back or else they get wet and it's a huge mess. So I used this handy scarf and in no time I'd realized that i'd just done my hair like Rosie the Riveter or Aunt Jemima or some other fictional, head-wrap wearing, animated, pop-culture icon. So I took a picture of it. I went to go find my cat, to show her. Kiki was, and remains even still, completely uninterested. I post this picture to alert you to the fact that it's now nearly two hours later and I'm still wearing jeans and my face is unwashed. Go, me.

I know you're reading this, Lorenzo.
All of my love (and a portion of my earnings from tips if you work it right),
Libby Marie

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Why Being Famous Will Be Awesome

Let me begin by explaining that I'm not really one who seeks much attention. Let me rephrase that, entirely. I'm not the kind of guy who wants attention from a lot of people. No, no. I'm a much more dangerous type. I want a lot of attention from the few friends that I have. Especially if I really like a person and believe that they are cooler than me. In that case, I do a lot of inundating through our mutual social-media outlets and god-forbid I have your phone number. In this case, I will text and text and text the most mundane information. It's a fact. The following is a list of texts that I recently sent to the same person:
"I think I will go back to Walmart and buy too much candy."
"Or go to Sonic and buy this milkshake thing that has sugar cookies in it."
"Or eliminate the middleman and just grab a spoon and my bag of brown sugar."
"Also, I ate fried cheese and popcorn for dinner."
"I think your roommate is making a mayonnaise cake."

That's fun and everything until I start to wonder why they haven't responded. It could be that this person doesn't really know how to respond to 'I ate fried cheese and popcorn for dinner' or maybe this person is doing things that don't involve a cell phone. Things like napping. Doing dishes. Showering. But that thought won't cross my mind until after I've completely dissected our relationship. At what point did I completely blow it? The least they could have done was face the facts with me and said, "Libby--the thing is that you're lacking some of the adorable crazy and you have a little too much of the potentially-rabid crazy for me to be comfortable maintaining our relationship." Who am I kidding, a normal person wouldn't say that. Especially someone who is almost certainly suffering from swollen brains. I wiki'd it and people rabies is too close to people zombie for me to be alright with it.
I didn't intend for this post to go here at all. Let's get back on track. We last left off with me talking about how I'm not that into lots of attention--though I'm sure you doubt that. Especially since you already know about my recurring daydream fantasy in which I am pulled up on stage to duet and the crowd goes wild. Anyway, my impending famousness is one I'm going to have to take for the team because I think the people, they need me. I have figures to make my point.

Now, we all know that there have been a few people who say stuff like "Libby, you're so funny and good at story telling and sexy also and not at all annoying when you're drunk." Ok, few people have said all of those things in the same sentence but they have all been said and I lumped them all together for efficiency and effect. Anyway, I think that laughing and enjoying yourself for at least a little bit is super important and truly necessary to maintaining a delightful life and, thus by trickle-down effect, creating a magical world for everyone.

Now, if you take the small sampling of people who have said those kind things and then subtract the number of people who were too drunk to count (6) and the people who were trying to get me to have sex with them (1) and then multiply that by 100 (to make up for such a small sampling), you'll get about three hundred sober and unaroused people who actually would like to read something that I had written. That is a lot of people. And, frankly, I think that if I can make their days mildly less sucky for a minute, then I'd like to try to be helpful in that way and consequently save the world from all of The Crap. I should have started this earlier so that I'd be famous enough by 2012 to hold back the world-ending monsoons but sometimes ideas come too late, my friends. I'm not god.

So that's why in 2011 I'm going to try to find those people who are represented by my arbitrary figure. Honestly, though, I think I'll only accomplish that by getting famous. Because we shant forget that, according to my figures, for every one person who truly likes me, there are two who are just drunk and love everyone too much and .33% of a person who's just trying to get me to do naughty things. There will also be others. Let us not forget those who are easily offended by relatively questionable content, non-English readers, the uninterested (read: boring) and other people who are marginally more famous than me.

I've been doing some research on my own and taking note of what is is that I read in other blogs that I can use to inspire me.
  • There's Hilah. Hila's a susie-homemaker bad ass. She seems to be trying to get Comedy Central to consider adding some cooking shows. It's not a terrible idea. The thing is, though, that Hilah's more of a vlogger and I have a fear of video cameras. Also, she has an adorable cartoon of herself to use and I would like to copy... I mean "use as inspiration" that idea.
  • I also read Matt Logelin. This is where I learned some important things: chicks dig a man with a baby, a sob story goes a long way, if you get on Oprah you'll be set for life, and people love it when you post incredible photos, the occasional F word and your favorite indie music choices.
  • And then there's obviously Allie Brosh. My current (and probably forever) hero. What I wouldn't give to be able to tell a story like she does. I want to be the coppiest of all cats when it comes mostly. I want to draw bear sharks and wear sexy dragon costumes. I want to be chased by geese and live with Boyfriend (not her boyfriend, they seem to have a perfect set-up for them). Anyway, she's pretty much cornered the bear-shark, orc rapist niche which is good and also bad. Good because I can go there and feel supremely normal and bad because from now on everything I want to do will likely be considered "copyright infringement". Laws suck. Except for when they protect my content, in which case they are mighty. Allie is really good at trying not to use relative words. She explains her stories with such gusto and completeness that you don't even need the remarkable cartoons that go along with them. But then you do get to see them and it is great. Also, Allie is unafraid of her weirdness and even exploits it which makes her not at all weird and, instead, a very, very ordinary and thrilling person.

So baisically in order to achieve instant fame I'm going to need a few things, a cartoon of myself to use in my header, a header, a kick-ass title, a little sadness and a bear-shark. Maybe I'll have a badger-mermaid. Maybe not. It'll come to me.

Maybe I'll need some help. Now accepting submissions for cartoon Libbys and kick ass titles. I'll write a story.

The End,

PS Oh yeah, and being famous will be awesome because it's just awesome. And people will be my friends so that they can be famous, too and so that Us Weekly will write stuff like "Libby wore slippers and an old, yellow, stained sweatshirt with a sad-hat to The Well this weekend with a friend who was wearing real shoes." And I won't mind that they want to be my friends for that reason because I'll always have someone to go to the movies with me and because finally I won't be the one sending the too-many text messages.

PPS This post had a lot of links and if you read it on Facebook I'm not sure you'll get to see all of them. So you should go to the original post and visit all those things so that when Allie Brosh checks her analytics she'll find this post and then I'll be back to being a clingy person. Seriously, though, Allie, I think we'd be friends.

Monday, December 13, 2010

People Watching, Watching People

In a blatant copy of SDL's format, I bring to you some recent observations.

Made me happy: Catching a middle-aged man slide his hand down his wife's hiney as their three teenagers walk ahead of them.

Needs improvement: I saw a cashier use the restroom without washing her hands. Again.

Made me happy: Seeing my best friend's daughter play with my nephew as though they hadn't just met--imagining that there actually was a time in our lives when these people didn't even exist.

Needs improvement: Overhearing an angry father threaten to give his daughter away if she didn't straighten up. She quieted and shrunk.

Made me happy: My sister-in-law gave me the new issue of InStyle. Few things make me as happy as fat, fragrant magazines that tell me how I should wear my hair to the New Year's Party.

Needs improvement: Changing your profile pictures to cartoon characters in an effort to "bring awareness" to child abuse without any legitimate action. It is what it is--a nostalgia circle jerk.

Made me happy: Finding out that my best friends miss me just as much as I miss them. And subsequently making plans to cross paths.

Needs improvement: At one point, during this week, I chose to dwell and stew over a complete misunderstanding. This needlessly and arrogantly overcast an entire 24-hour period.
What have you seen lately?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Part III

Page 45 or, "Do you want to talk about feelings?" -Jamie

The emotion you tend to hide the most: Jealousy
The emotion you seem to experience the most: Gratitude
The predominant emotion you have experienced lately: exappreherror*
A moment when you achieved absolute happiness: Well, "achieved" is kind of an inappropriate word to use--isn't it? Achievement denotes working hard for something and I find that any time I work hard for something to go right, my expectations get so high that I can't possibly meet them. And then poof goes the happy. But there have been times in the past few months where I get sort of drawn out of whatever moment I'm in and I think to myself, "You lucky bastard. How did you land it this way?"
You have a great amount of guilt regarding: I can't talk about it.
You would feel envious right now if: Oh, now, I really can't talk about that. I am not feeling very forthcoming tonight.
A piece of music that makes you sentimental: Penny and Me, Hanson
The music reminds you of: Being in college with my sister. Driving The Hug to take her to work at the great mall. The air conditioner leaking on the floor, the speaker falling out of the door. Those were the days.
When you are happy, you need: to take a walk.
When you are sad, you need: a blanket, a cup of coffee.
When you are sentimental, you need: that one friend who has made an art of reminiscing.
When you are angry, you need: A few beers. A few hours.
When you are in love, you need: An unlimited text messaging plan.
When you are lonely, you need: someone to sit on my couch.
You would jump up and down and shout with joy right now if someone told you: I have been trying to answer this question for days and I really can not even fathom what it would take to get me to jump up and down.
The last time you were very angry was when: Someone believed something that wasn't true. And that hurt my feelings. Boy, that sounds much more simple than it felt.
The last time you cried uncontrollably was when: Scott got deployed and I knew my little sister was so sad.
A moment in your life when your emotions froze and you felt absolutely nothing: I think it was that time that I was angry. The anger came first.
Someone who genuinely makes you happy: Amos.
Something that makes you happy: Unexpected compliments.
You get angry with yourself when you: Do a poor job of managing the fundage.
Someone or something that made you laugh this week: I did this dance and then Nickie laughed so hard that I wasn't sure she would survive. So then I laughed. Because it's funny when people laugh so hard they die.

*excitement/ apprehension/ terror

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Part II

Page 4

A drink you often order: Negra Modello if I'm feeling casual, Amaretto Sours if we're trying to get there fast.
A delicious desert: That Tirimisu from Chelsea's in Wichita. There is truly nothing like it.
A game you like to play: Some friends and I played Bullshit in a Starbucks and were forceably removed, once. So there's that.
A book you strongly recommend: I always recommend Crime and Punishment but few people will actually read all of those pages so then I suggest The Little Prince. Obviously.
An author who has affected you: Anne Lamott can really explore a character and John Green can pursue plot like no one I've ever read before. John Green wants you to see everyone else as human. Anne Lamott wants you to see yourself as human. Either way there's ample amounts of grace being distributed.
The magazine you read most frequently: I know, it's supposed to be something smart like The New Yorker but really it's Cosmopolitan.
Music you prefer to listen to when you're alone: "Southern Girl" by Amos Lee, almost every single time.
The film you could watch over and over again: Annie Hall. Hands down.
A tv show you watch regularly: It is always Community and 30 Rock. If I'm bored for much longer, then I'll watch The Office.
An artist whose work you highly respect: Allie Brosh. Oh, she counts.
An article of clothing you love to wear: I have this yellow cardigan that probably gets more use than anything else I own but I don't know if it's what I love to wear. Oh, you know what I love? I have this white camisole that I wear underneath almost everything. No one ever sees it but it's so great and keeps me cozy and gives me good boob days. That is of supreme importance.
Your favorite time of day: If I happen to be home, I like 6:00 pm. That's when I start thinking about what I should make for dinner, and in preparation for that I do my dishes; When my kitchen is clean--that is my favorite time of day.
Your favorite place to sit at home: At the top step of the outside staircase. But it's gotten woah too cold to hang out there anymore.
What you most like to do on Sundays: I have a routine. I lay in bed and make believe stuff until I have to pee so bad that I get up. I put on a pot of coffee, read and then take a cup of coffee, a novel and one cigarette out to the aforementioned favorite step and read. If I don't spend too much time out there, I like to come inside and watch CBS Sunday Morning.
Your motto: "Rule Number One: Don't be an asshole."

Monday, December 6, 2010

All About Me Pt. 1

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a mall with my friends, browsing Victoria's Secret and, needless to say, feeling pretty downright shitty. If one is like me, when one feels shitty, one goes into a book store and spends one's money impulsively. I did that. I bought this horrible book. It's called All About Me and it's essentially a bunch of questions that you answer. Like an inefficient, neatly bound meet-my-folks pre-screening. At the time it seemed like something that was right up my alley. Anyone who knows me knows I can't get enough of talking about myself. But, eh. It's no fun. What's the point? I already know the answers to these questions. There's no point in documenting it.
So, in an effort to not have totally wasted twelve dollars, I'll fill out parts of this book in front of you. Opening randomly to pages and filling it out. Sound like a plan? Oh, sure.

Page 43:

Three things you would never do:
1. Take a Jell-o shot. One part hard liquor + two parts gelatinous texture + swift movements = a sure-fire recipe for unwanted vomit.
2. Bungee jump. Base jump. Cliff dive. Sky dive. Baisically, I know for a fact that my brain wouldn't ever allow its body to plummet, despite any safety precautions that may be in place.
3. Willfully and intentionally cause bloody, bodily harm to another person. I could probably kick someone in the head or the knee caps or the nuts but I could never knowingly make them bleed. Or give them a shot. So if you're the type of person who may one day require an emergency shot to keep you alive, maybe let's make a rule that we're never left alone together. Because I won't be able to do it.

Three charities or people to whom you do or would donate money:
1. The Liz Logelin Foundation ( From the website: The Liz Logelin Foundation was established to assist families who find themselves in the heartbreaking, catastrophic situation of having lost a spouse, life-partner, and parent. The Foundation’s goal is to financially assist these families as they deal with the loss of their loved ones, and struggle to move forward. Having completely been in this position, myself, how could I not contribute to the help? I can't imagine how my mother's life would have been different had something like this been established ten years ago. (Read this:
2. That's about it, why would I tell you about some charity that I considered helping?

Three things that you would not allow your children to do:
1. Lie. I think grown ups lie a lot and I think that kids catch on to it quickly and I think for the rest of their lives they're completely unable to take someone at face value. Or maybe that's just me.
2. See the bad without seeing some good. I don't know if I would consider that something that I'm in charge of but if I was in charge of raising a person I'd hope that they grew to be capable of complex appreciation and see others as neither good nor bad but simply, magnificently human.
3. Eat trans-fats.

Three things you have done in your life that you regret:
1. Here's another one-line list. I don't want to say "no regrets" but mostly because that's lame and also cliche and I fancy myself too cool for those sorts of shenanigans. But, truly, I do regret that I spent so much time and effort keeping myself from doing regretful things.

Three things for which you are thankful:
1. My house is gorgeous in the right light. It's in the right light right now. There are lights on a Christmas tree that are being reflected in a skinny window that flanks the fireplace where there sits a wine bottle, a bouquet of lilies and wheat and a stack of records. It's gorgeous and it's mine and I have ownership over this tiny, insignificant piece of world. I wish you could see it right now.
2. I have these people in my life who genuinely like me--a lot. And I don't think I tricked them into it but I may have.
3. Have you ever witnessed generosity from a third-person perspective? You can't see that and not feel grateful to something for getting to see it--for knowing that you've been the recipient--for knowing that you could be the benefactor in some way. Being a human is terrible sometimes but being a human is mind-blowing, too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
T. S. Eliot

Can you have that feeling of missing for something that never existed in the first place? I have this feeling of achy nostalgia that is directly related to a scene in my life that hasn't even taken place. I can imagine it--the most insignificant details of it as if it happened, like it happened not long ago at all even. But I know it hasn't. In my not-memory, my hair is freshly washed but completely unstyled and it moves light as air. I can "remember" those parts, tactile sensations and I miss it. I wish I was back there in that very fleeting moment that never happened. Have I got such a vivid imagination that it can make me so sad and aching against my will? That's not fair. It's my brain, I want to be in charge of it.

It makes me wish I had the strength to force a moment to its crisis and create it for myself just so that when I remember it, it at least makes sense.