Sunday, December 31, 2006

goodbye 2006… and good riddance!

2006 was a life-changing year for me… here’s my year-end-review.

January started out rough, to say the least! Tension with a co-worker led to my changing from one Omnicom agency to another… leaving work and people I love behind. Three days after, I found myself mourning the loss of my best friend in Texas, who passed away from liver failure due to unmanaged Crohn’s disease, and landing a new, much higher-paying job – all on the same day.

Most of February and March were bogged down with drama and stress from Marla’s death – dealing with her material possessions, her family (who all lived far enough away that they left me to deal with many details), her “church”. Marla was the first person I’d ever lost, close to me… I went through some depression, was sick (a lot) – but was busy at my new job and made it through.

April marked tax refund time – and again, my refund was eaten up by the IRS and some honest mistakes with past returns. Celebrated 7 years of marriage and I turned 29 without any big to-dos – just a small, friends-only party at the house.

May and June… what a summer!. It was mostly taken up with work. The new job, while good money was very draining and completely unrewarding professionally. Personally, I felt pretty abused every day I was there. Somewhere in there my best friend from college, Shana, got a great new career opportunity as a Special Education teacher… nervous and scared, she’s turned out to be a natural at it – and is, even now, raking in accolades.

June 19th was my first time on stage doing stand-up comedy. I believed, for the first time, I was doing what I was MEANT to do. The feeling of finding something I was good at was a feeling I’ll never forget.

June 30th was the first of a couple of trips to Springfield, Illinois. I got the wonderful chance to meet Dr. & Mrs. Zoom – two of my very best friends, EVER. I fell in love with them, with Springfield… and I started pondering moving, needing a change from Dallas.

In August, my best friend from High School and maid of honor, Renee got married to the love her life – Reddy. I found out via email – they eloped in Hawaii. I spent most of August praying for a job opportunity and hoping I’d get to visit Springfield again, very soon.

September 15th marked a change for the *much* better! I interviewed with a fantastic company in Springfield and had a job offer the next week. Plans then began to relocate… STRESS CITY! I had a great send-off party with some awesome karaoke… My second stand-up comedy showcase was also in September. I had another great performance, with great comics sharing the stage, and a great audience.

October was the end of the job that made me, well, miserable. The opportunity in Springfield was too good to pass up, so I packed up and moved – just like that! I got right into my new job, and doing comedy in Springfield. My first open mic in Springfield I took 2nd place (out of 10 comics). Shortly thereafter marked my first paid gig as a stand up comic. I also got the pleasure of opening for Mike Lukas as the Bloomington Funny Bone.

November was marked with a fantastic Thanksgiving – definitely with things to be thankful for. Most of it was a blur, but I did another opening set for Todd Yohn at Mason City Limits. Got a big house outside of Springfield – quite a “project” but it’s a house.

December welcomed me to winter and Illinois with an ice storm! I love the cold, but hated the ice. First *snowday*, too, though I had to use some of my paid time off time to cover it. Put lots of time into the house, spent $1000 at IKEA and learned how to lay self-stick vinyl tile all in the same weekend. Also achieved a goal for 2006 – acquiring an XBOX 360.

I didn't lose the weight in 2006 - or any weight. I didn't get a better handle on my health. I didn't change the world or make it a better place. I lost dear friends. I lost my great-grandmother. I even lost about 3 hours of my life when I had a low-blood-sugar/panic attack/overtired episode. I burned some bridges.

I did make some great life-long friends in 2006. I accomplished a lot professionally. I think I matured a lot, emotionally. I mended some fences. I gained back a few friends that were kind enough to take me back. I made some good personal decisions and stuck to my guns for the right reasons.

Here’s to 2007 – may it be better, brighter, and blissfully supreme to 2006.
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

it's been 6 months since you laughed at me...

Stupid open mic. Stupid contest. Stupid picking #1. Stupid 3rd place! *pout* Yeah? Fuck you! I will whine and pout if I want to.

December 19th marks my six-month anniversary of doing stand-up comedy.

I guess I thought it’d come easier. I thought I could just get up, be funny – but man, there is TONS of work to be done. I think the hardest thing is the writing. I just want to write down things that are funny – but, believe it or not, it’s best to write down un-funny things and work your way to why things are funny.

The act of writing seems counterintuitive – because I don’t write that close to how I talk – though, maybe I’m closer than I think. Friends often tell me when they read my blog they hear my voice saying it – so maybe it’s closer than I think.

So, looking back at the past 6 months – here are some thoughts about how far I have come and what I regret:

I’m glad I took Dean Lewis’ workshop. I’d have NEVER tried stand up if not for paying and forcing myself.

I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve made. Kim remains really dear to me and is tearing it up in Dallas. It was cool having a bunch of folks at my house every Saturday AM to work on material. While I hate mornings, I used to look forward to getting up and prepping for the onslaught of hilarity. And now, I’m slowly trying to build a group here in Springfield. Michael Brown and I are pretty tight, and it’s nice to have a comic friend who is honest and talks me out of doing crazy things, like that overly-racist Chinese food bit I contemplated trying out.

I regret not taking better advantage of Dallas when I was there. Dallas offered an opportunity to get up and on stage AT LEAST once a week. I was often too, well, lazy to go more than one night. It was just plain lazy not to take every advantage to be on stage I was offered. Now, I go up once a month.

I miss Backdoor Comedy in Dallas. I think the thing I miss the most is that Linda and the other comics didn’t put up with HACK – at all. You didn’t get away with it – plain and simple. Here, if you hack half of your open mic set, you get rewarded and declared the winner.

I have sworn off using notes! Thanks to Todd Yohn, I vowed never to use notes on stage again – and I haven’t since then.

I still need to write more. I tried some new stuff out, and have let myself ad-lib a bit more during my past few sets – and the payoff has been great. I may not have funny, funny, funny throughout the set yet, but I’m getting closer – and I’m proud of doing my own material. I’m proud of not going for the easy laugh – because hack or dropping the f-bomb is really enticing when you’re up in front of 25 uninterested people. But I’ve stuck fairly true to being real.

I’m proud that I have had a chance to open for 2 headliners. Both experiences were very positive. Todd and Mike Lukas were both very complimentary and encouraging to me.

I’m glad I haven’t given up, yet. I’m not saying I will – but it’s just frustrating to feel like you’re working hard, and not being rewarded or noticed. Coming in 3rd out of 7 comics (and 2 of them were brand new), isn’t too good for the ego. It’s a bit of a boys club here, though.

What it comes down to is that I want to be famous NOW!


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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

extra, extra, read all about it!

The San Jose Mercury News released an article about Google Checkout - and this little 'ol blog is featured. (need to login - user: and password: reader)

Elise Ackerman called me yesterday to talk to me about my recent bad experience with Google Checkout and eCost (just a note that I LOVE eCost, and I don't hold them accountable for what happened, at all).

My only beef, my last name was spelled wrong. But hey, my blog was still promoted. Maybe I should start writing here more often? Oh, and independant confirmation I'm a comedian! WOOT!
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

welcome to Springfield! well, that is, unless you want to do community theatre...

I can't say enough about how much I love the city of Springfield, Illinois. I love downtown, love the people, love the friends I've made – I even, dare I say it, LOVE MY JOB! Springfield has been very good to me.

Ok, most of Springfield has been very good to me.

You know that saying – "One bad apple can spoil the entire bunch"? Oh, come on - it's not so bad that I'm angry at all of Springfield (I'd still totally get jiggy with most of Springfield, if it were an attractive human type) – no, no, not that bad (and yes, I'm a drama queen)… but bad enough.

Today, I learned about a "bad apple" that has spoiled community theatre in Springfield for me.

In my previous blog entry, I talked about my recent audition for the Springfield Theatre Centre production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – and how I was frustrated with how things went… well, now, 4 days after auditions – the cast information is becoming public (and the official cast list has not been released as of yet).

And, of course, it wouldn't be community theatre if it weren't for rumors and gossip. Everything from the only female lead (the Narrator) going to a guy – to private invitations to audition (which really isn't a bad practice, if the playing field after the invite is level). But as much as I am a glutton for dirt, muck and all things related to the whys and hows of people getting cast (or not cast) – I wanted to try to keep my head level – after all, this was my first audition in Springfield, Illinois, and my first audition for the Springfield Theatre Centre.

So, let's cut to the chase, here - I didn't get a call - nothing. Neither did 2 of my dear friends. Two very talented friends, at that. I didn't get cast after giving up 5 hours of my Sunday. I didn't get cast after a great audition, and a good callback. Not even chorus – a chorus of 20 women – not even chorus.

Nothing. Zip. Nada.

Finding out today that calls were made last night – I immediately felt hurt. Disappointed in myself that I got my hopes up for ANYTHING. Believing that I'd ever be anything than the fat girl who can sing… but that disappointment in myself soon became utter and total disgust for Springfield Theatre Centre and director Bill Bauser.

Of course, I will caveat this with all of what I'm about to say being based on what I've "heard" – I don't know firsthand – and, honestly, I don't know anything about Mr. Bauser, personally – having only met him twice, and briefly both times. But I know me – I know my potential…

I know what I saw – 50 or so adults try out – 15+ females called back, and not one of them being given the one role they all hoped for – The Narrator.

I know that some of you will say that it's the director's decision who to cast – and by any means the director sees fit – but – I watched each and every one of those ladies take the stage, giving up their Sunday – and singing their hearts out for that one part. As someone who has musical directed before, there were at least 5 women at auditions on Sunday who could have done very well with the role. Not only well, but great. I'm not even counting myself as part of that group.

But were any of the women who diligently prepared, showed up (some of them on Saturday, only to find that the auditions were moved to Sunday), waited, performed, and got their hopes up cast as the lead?

No. Not one.

What transpired since Sunday's "official" auditions has only been relayed to me through the grapevine of local Springfield thespians - and that from Bill Bauser, himself – that Mr. Bauser allowed a number of people to audition for him after the official auditions and callbacks were completed.

The most shocking part of the story seems to be that Mr. Bauser not only called someone outside of Springfield proper to audition for the show and the female lead, but gave this young woman a private audition after all the other auditions were complete.

Maybe this woman was the best for the role – that's not what I'm arguing here. What I am arguing is that there were completely capable women who showed up at the auditions and did a great job – only to be snubbed for someone Mr. Bauser hand-picked.

Its fine you didn't pick me – I'll deal with that myself – but to so underhandedly cast the show? That's just not right. The issue here, really, isn't whether or not I got cast – but whether or not the playing field was level up front. It wasn't – plain and simple.

I'd not be upset, at all, if Mr. Bauser had said, from the get go, that he had the lead already cast. Tell that to everyone, up front - let them know that the part is not available. I've auditioned for shows like that before, knowing full well a lead, or many leads, were not available. And just like in this case, I was fine with not getting the lead - I am completely not fine with not casting people who ACTUALLY SHOWED UP!

Why, Mr. Bauser, would you not respect the time and talents of those who actually showed up at auditions – even after you cancelled the initial date, last minute, causing them to rearrange their schedules? They had enough respect for you and your time to show up on Sunday – in force, and yet you have completely, well, given the finger to them for doing so.

Why, Mr. Bauser, would you not cast one of the 15+ women you called back from a pool of 30+ women? Maybe your concept of "callbacks" is different from every other theatre I've ever worked with – but usually it's to narrow down the field or to check chemistry. What was a well-organized audition process quickly became nothing but a charade before you privately cast the lead.

Why, Mr. Bauser, would you tarnish not only your own reputation but that of Springfield Theatre Centre and that of Springfield community theatre in general, by doing something so completely lacking in integrity? It would have shown a heck of a lot more integrity to have moved the auditions to ALL be on Tuesday if that was the only day that you thought the girl you cast was available. Put everyone on a fair playing field – all on stage at the same time – and have a bit of accountability while you're at it. Maybe it's your own insecurity in your decision that led you to do something so completely unprofessional. Community theatre or not, you're a leader, people tend to expect more from leaders.

And where was Springfield Theatre Centre's leadership in all this? That's an even bigger question, to me.

Is this the impression that STC wants to make on new people to not only Springfield, but also to community theatre?

Is this how STC treats their volunteers? Because, like it or not, giving up 6 hours of a Sunday is volunteering to be a part of STC.

Is this the way that STC lets their "staff" work? Where are the checks and balances? Every community theatre group I've been a part of in the past has had rules and standards of what is and is not acceptible. This hardly seems acceptible in light of the fact that there was more than one woman at the auditions who could have done the part, and well.

I guess I've rambled on and on to say this – I enjoyed meeting so many great people at the auditions – and many talented, wonderful women – strong women who could have easily stood on that stage, being completely deserving of the applause that comes from that opening night… Instead, the person who was cast was done so in a manner that may be hurtful to her own reputation, not to mention that of the show, in general.

Maybe what you did, Mr. Bauser, wasn't wrong - but how you did it WAS. It was completely unfair, disrespectful and lacking in integrity - and, sadly, has completely soured my thoughts on Springfield community theatre.

And while life's not fair – much like John Lennon – "I expect more!"

I guess, Mr. Bauser, I expected too much from you.

P.S. I am fully aware that this blog entry may result in never doing theatre in Springfield, ever - and, while that'd be sad, because I feel I have a lot to offer - if that's the decision made by directors or staff, I'd respect that decision. If I have to make enemies -I'd rather have that come from being honest and up front about my feelings and thoughts. This way, at least people know EXACTLY what I think and what I said - it's out here, in black and white, for anyone to see - on a level playing field.
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Monday, November 06, 2006

i hate the world today

Ugh! Have you ever woken up and just had this feeling that your day was going to suck? Yeah, that is me, today.

Maybe it’s because it’s overcast and chilly… maybe it’s because I am disappointed about getting my hopes up yesterday... maybe it’s because I’m tired… maybe it’s because I’m realizing that I’m, well, nothing. Though, it could be a completely different reason.

I miss Texas today. I miss my friends there. I miss the familiarity. I miss my dog, my house, my stuff, my husband. I miss the opportunities a BIG city can give.

Yesterday I decided, against my own best judgment, to audition for Joseph…Dreamcoat here in Springfield. I don’t want to go into tons of details – but for about 6 years of my life (about 10 years ago, now), musical theatre was my life. I was good at it – even being paid. After I got married/moved to Texas, I kind of stopped doing shows. Hubby and I tried out for a few things – and in my 8 years in Texas, I did 2 shows – in both I was a chorus member. My last audition in Texas, for Seussical with a theatre group in Denton, and had a traumatic experience (short version: I got a callback and then completely forgotten about at callbacks).

I decided to audition to get to spend more time with my friends, to meet new people, and to possibly rekindle the passion I once had for theatre. I was totally ok with being in the chorus – after all Joseph doesn’t have many women roles (1 lead, many chorus)… and I wasn’t, at that point, being unrealistic in thinking I had a good shot at getting in.

First off, I have to say that the auditions were very organized. From registering to how they handled the dance/voice auditions – I was impressed. Things went fairly quickly. Simple enough: if your number was on the callback list, you needed to be back at 4p. I got a callback!

For those of you who know me outside of this blog, you know that I have some pretty serious self-esteem issues – but I have to say – that I totally held my own in the vocal auditions. I would even venture to say that I was tied with the girl I’d say was first – if you were to score it that way.

I got tons of compliments – and I started to think – “WOW! I really could get the lead!” So, callbacks – 4pm. We sat through all 25 kids who danced in groups of 5 and then sang, individually. Then the 15 called back ladies were asked to sing the first verse of “Jacob and Sons”. The guys were to sing the first part of “Close Every Door”. So the ladies lined up, and one by one, we all took center stage and sang the same 14 measures… some of them belting that “E” as if it were the only note that has ever mattered in their lives, some barely hitting it, and some of us doing well.

Out of the 15 or so called back women, about 6 of us did well. Again, my ego steps in to say that I think, vocally, I was the best.

Then they kept 5 ladies – a varied group - from a young girl (who had an amazing voice), to one of the local stars-in-residence. They looked at those 5, and then had them stay for another dance audition.

I suck at dancing, so if that was the deciding factor *sigh* no wonder I wasn’t good enough. I’m never good enough.

And comedy – don’t get me started. Another open mic this week – which will probably be the only show I have for a while.

It just sucks that I’ll never be anything other than the fat girl who can sing well. Or the wannabe comic who is only seen as marginally good because she’s a girl.

I just want to be really good at something. And I want people to see it – to notice it. I am tired of being unnoticed. I’m tired of being seen only for my size.

I should just give up. Realize that the stage isn’t for me – I’m destined to warm a chair behind my desk – doing things behind-the-scenes for stars and bands and big deals – all the while being sad because I’ll never amount to anything of any type of measure.

So, I’m sitting here, at my desk – drinking my venti double-pump white chocolate mocha with one pump of peppermint and daydreaming out my window – wondering if I’ll ever be someone or something.
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Comedy & Illinois Update

I just posted a big deal to me blog on my site about my first show in Springfield and the after effects.

Check it out!
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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Google Checkout Catastrophy or: Buyer Beware!

So I had a horrible day - and it was all because of Google Checkout.

Please share this with EVERYONE you know - I don't want what happened to me to happen to them!

Dear eCost

I know this isn't eCost's fault - but I thought you guys should know about my experience shopping with you today (Order #xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx), and, subsequently, choosing to checkout with Google Checkout.

I have shopped with eCost before and have had a great experience, previously. The products have been fairly priced, if not WONDERFULLY priced, and the shipping and delivery has been great. Today, I thought of eCost as I was ready to order a new LCD monitor. I found the FujiPlus (eCost part 3481400) on your bargain countdown and, immediately, purchased it.

As an incentive, the checkout offered the ability to get $10 if you used Google Checkout. I've been very fond of Google products, until today, so I thought - "Why not!" and I placed the order. I went about my morning and found an email later saying my credit card information was declined and that I needed to re-enter it.

Figuring I had made a typo, I promply updated the information only to find my card was, again marked invalid by Google and my purchase not finalized.

I then looked at my Wells Fargo online statement and found not one, not two, but a total of 5 charges equalling the amount for my eCost order. All of them marked pending, and all of them, obvioulsy, approved by my bank.

That's nearly $1000! Now, because I used my debit card - my card and my checking account were frozen. The timing could not have been worse, as I had dozens of errands to run today, before I pull out of Texas tomorrow to relocate to Illinois to start my new job on Monday. Adding to the issue was that my rent check is to clear tonight - with no problem - until Google Checkout processed charges over and over again on my account.

I phoned my bank and they were unable to release the pending charges that Google had said were never authorized. Wells Fargo verified that they were, in fact, authorized and that the problem was with Google Checkout.

Then began the nightmare that I am still going through. There I was, in my car, driving around Dallas with tons of errands to do, trying to figure out how to get a hold of someone at Google to call my bank to release the pending charges. I found a main contact number at Google and it turns out Google does not have anyone you can talk to in real life - only via email. At 12:30 I sent an email via Google's help system - and when I got a receptionist on the phone at Google, I was told that I had to have a first and last name to be connected to anyone.

So, I'm stranded, in Dallas, my moving funds completely tied up - unable to use my bank account and panicking about losing my new job, as I will be unable to relocate as planned without my money being returned.

After getting back home, I phoned eCost and spoke with one of the kindest, most wonderful customer service poeple I've ever talked to. I let her know the issue and all but begged her to get me on the line with someone who could help me find a contact at Google - surely eCost has a person who has a name of someone at Google. I'm sure the customer service person was following protocol - and by the end of the call, she had let me know that Jill at the Corporate Office was going to call Google to get things worked out. That was at about 2:45CST today.

According to my bank records, none of the funds have been removed from
pending on my account - there are still 5 charges showing up as approved by my bank.

I have not been able to reach anyone at Google. I have sent 3 emails
and 2 messages through Google's "help" center.

After spending nearly 4 hours on my cell phone and getting none of my errands done today (tires fixed, oil change in my car, etc) - the $10 coupon that I was offered to use Google Checkout has cost me nearly $100... not to mention the time and stress of trying to get this remedied.

As of this email my monies have not been returned - nor has anyone from Google called me or returned my contact email or messages. If Google is going to be acting as a merchant processor, there needs to be a way to reach them in the event of such an "emergency". And I do not use the word emergency lightly here, as it has, in fact, ruined not only my day, but potentially jeopardized my relocation and my new job.

I would strongly suggest to eCost to re-evaluate its relationship with Google Checkout. I would hate for this to happen to another customer.

Thank you -

cc: Google Checkout
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Friday, September 29, 2006

that makes me a sad panda...

Today's the first day that I've been really sad about leaving Texas. Actually, with all the moves I've had, this is the first move where I've ever been really sad.

I'm leaving a lot behind (even if some of it is just temporary):
  • My dog, stuff, house, husband
  • My friends - You have no idea how hard it is to know I'm going to be so far away. And I know we're just a phone call or email or IM away - but it's never the same when 1200 miles is between us.
    • Shana - my longest "best friend" in my adult life. We've been through SO much. I'm glad your path led you to Texas, even if you *do* hate it here. You and Ph'lip have a great thing that's worth working on. Keep that good mix of conservative and realistic. I love you so much!
    • Betsie - I guess I should tell you now that you've quickly moved up to "best friend" status. You and John are remarkable people. I am going to miss meeting you guys for dinner, movies - but most of all, will miss giving you a big hug and seeing you in general. <3
    • Kim - the thought of another girl in comedy workshop irritated me for a while... but I'm SO glad we got to know one another. You are so strong, smart, witty, and YES, FUNNY. Don't give up on what you want. You have tons of time and energy to get whatever it is you are aiming for. Knock em dead on the 14th - I wouldn't expect anything less. And, for your birthday - I'm going to get you a domain name, hosting and build you a website - whenever you're ready - just email me. Loves ya.
    • Laurie - My most favorite (non-) hippie ever. You get to take care of Allan's powerstrip. I really appreciate you being an ear, a shoulder and a lot of fun. You're a GREAT mom, and I hope one day to be half as great of a mom and wife as you've shown yourself to be.
    • David - It's not often you meet someone older, wiser that you would hang out with. From the minute we met and talked, I was really taken by your wit and intelligence. I hope we can still IM from time to time. And thank you so much for introducing me to Clifford and Reggie. You're a fabulous friend - and I count you one of the dearest.
    • Micah - The thought that we won't be able to steal a lunch every week or so really bums me out. Thanks for always being a sounding board and for just listening and not trying to be a "man" and fix everything every time I'd talk to you about something. You have a level head, are slow to anger, and are, quite possibly, the best damn HTML developer (other than me) that I've ever met. You are such a great father - and Val is so lucky to have a man like you. I'll miss our inside jokes and making fun of "you-know-who(re)". Best guy-friend, ever.
    • Alan - We've been through so much... C.I Hoax, TDDB... Thanks for being the voice of reason when I didn't want to hear it. Thanks for being a go-to when I needed technical expertise. And thanks for bailing my ass out more times than I can count. I love you.
    • There are tons more folks I should list here, but I am all teary and having trouble typing.
  • My comedy - Just getting started, and I felt kind of like I was accomplishing something. I don't really know what - but something. Now, I'm going to have to start over. Proving myself all over again. Paying my dues starting from scratch. And maybe I won't be good in Springfield.
  • My comedy buddies - Doug, Kim, AJ, Tom, Jack, Ryan, Matt, Shaun and Jack. You guys have really made me think, laugh, laugh-cry and even pissed me off (who wants to follow that bit about the ant diet, Tom? NO ONE!).
  • Jack - Thanks for being so supportive of new comics. It takes a bitter, jaded, angry, but loving old man to still put so much time and energy into helping us baby comics grow up. You are a gem. I'll be emailing you often to ask you about how to start up a room.
  • Backdoor Comedy in Dallas - Linda and the folks @ Backdoor have been really great to me. If you can, please support them -
  • My boss - Despite a SHITTY day yesterday, Reggie has been the best boss I've ever had. He's given me more than enough rope to hang myself with too many times - but he's always been there to cut it right before I choke to death. I lashed out yesterday a bit, maybe just because I was upset about leaving.
  • My new truck - Leaving it with Mike. I'm kinda scared to drive it, but yeah. My truck.
  • My dog - Did I mention I love my dog?
  • familiarity - There's something nice about knowing where everything is and how to get there. Re-learning is sometimes frustrating.
  • My co-workers - Sure, my office has a serious set of issues, but I really work with great people.
    • Harley, I'll never have as great of a work husband as you (unless I meet a Gay Jewish guy with a sense of humor, then you'll be replaced).
    • Lisa, I respect the crap out of you. You put up with so much and always keep cool. I hope you know how valuable you are.
    • Matthew, hang in there. Your talent won't be overlooked. And no, you can't get me high before I leave.
    • Ellen, you are smart, funny, talented and dedicated. Don't let that be taken advantage of.
    • Karen, for a pretentious bitch, you sure are a great friend. I am glad that a bad account experience yielded such a great friend.
    • Sarah, you sure do work hard, even if you're a rental. Keep being the shining light you are. No matter how much I bitch and make fun of some FC folks, you are truly the real deal. I'm glad we met.
    • Linda, I know we didn't get much time to get to know each other - but I admire your smarts and your sense of humor. Give em hell and keep them laughing at the Monday meetings.
    • Billy, I'm so glad I got the chance to meet you. You are one of the most genuine people I've ever met - and you have really been here for me in good times and bad. Do what's best for you and don't let your talents go to waste. I'm glad to call you "friend".
    • Robbie, you know your shit! One of the only guys (you and Micah) who does front-end as well as I do. Keep "working that magic."
    • Rene, I'll miss you saying good morning every day. And hearing you sip your coffee - and your perfect makeup. Keep them lips red!
    • Troy, I don't know what to say except it was fun working with you. And every time I think of you I always think - "It's always the quiet ones."
None of this sadness is to diminish the excitement of the move -
  • A new town - new places to explore.
  • A 10 minute drive to work. Yeah. Uh huh.
  • New people - I've already made some great friends - and I am going to get the joy of spending every day with two of my bestest friends ever.
  • New job - A company that respects me already - offering me opportunities that haven't come up for me in my past jobs. I just got an email about a meeting to get a certification - and it's on my 2nd workday.
  • Seasons - yeah - I like cold and winter. I just hope it's ok to have my window open a teensy bit at night...
  • A chance to re-invent myself. I don't know - maybe just a chance to let go of some things that are haunting me here.
  • New comedy experiences - a new set of "buddies" (I hope), new clubs and maybe the chance to be a big fish in a small(er) pond?
So, with that, I'm going to pretend to work. 3.5 more days of work left.
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murder, murder in the night air

Last night, another epic dream.

I was back in Wisconsin... at my grandma/grandpa's house. I just remember the house... the yard... it was definitely there.

For whatever reason, I'd apparently killed someone and tried to hide the body. And while I was hiding the body, I ran across another body near where I was hiding mine. AND I RECOGNIZED the person.

The guy's name was Troy. I remember thinking he was engaged to my friend, Sara, but that he was killed and never found before they got married. Sara never found out what happened to him.. it'd been 2 years since he disappeared and Sara had met a new guy (named Troy as well) and married him earlier this year.

When I got home, I was visibly shaken (what with murder, and hiding the body, the discovery of Troy's body and whatnot), and so my uncle, Tim, called a lawyer.

The lawyer came to the house, and I had explained what I had done. I was clear to say that YES, I did kill whoever it was I killed (don't remember who it was)... but that I did not kill Troy ... and I juts happened to find his body while hiding the other body. I did not kill Troy.

Lawyer said I..d get pinned for both murders and began working on my defense.

The lawyer started going through my medicine cabinet looking for what medications I was on. He ran across something and started talking about a defense of being temporarily insane. I argued I wasn't insane... that I meant to murder, but my main concern was not getting pinned for Troy's murder. I didn't kill Troy.

And then the lawyer said I..d have to call Sara and tell her that I was the one who killed her fiancée. Being that I didn't kill her fiancée, and that Sara was my friend, I got distraught and locked myself in the garage.

The lawyer and my uncle and grandparents tried to get in... and I woke up just as I decided that a good way to off myself was with the hedge trimmers.

Yeah. Uh huh. Fucked.

What do you think? Come on... give it to me.
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

what dreams may come...

Ok, last night, I had some seriously fucked up dreams. So, for my dream interpretation friends (or acquaintances), go ahead, gimme your input.

I don't usually dream so vividly - but last night was a definite exception.
First Dream:
I started out in a group - a big group, then we all went on our separate ways. Everywhere I went, I would encounter someone who wanted to fight me... it was like an epic kung fu film, but I was totally using my hands, and they were as well. Ok, so it was more of a kung fu meets fight club.

So, this went on for some time. I was winning each battle - but, of course, every battle got progressively harder - much like how every level in Mario Kart got harder and harder.

Here's the part that disturbed me - the last person I fought was a child. Probably 11 or so years old. And the kid nearly beat the shit out of me. But, I came out, victorious.

Eventually, I realized that I was trying to get through all the battles to get back to the group - as a winner. And I did.

I woke after this dream and felt physically sore and tired. I also felt as though I'd been talking. Though I don't remember any dialogue in the dream.

Ok, now dream two... after I woke up from dream one - I fell back asleep and had another vivid dream.
I was in a large building with many rooms. I want to say it was a stadium. And there were tons of people camped out everywhere. I was in charge, or some other such, as I remember trying to find places for everyone to sleep - and places to get wheelchairs in, etc.

There were so many people - I was trying to get everyone into a spot to sleep, and there just seemed to be a never-ending stream of people who needed somewhere to stay. I found them all places.

There were people EVERYWHERE. Stairwells, etc - I remember feeling overwhelmed... Concerned that I'd not find enough room for all the people - and everyone needed a place to sleep. And I needed to find somewhere for me to sleep. I called my hubby and told him to bring my new Aerobed to the place so I could sleep. He arrived with it, but there wasn't anywhere left. I looked everywhere for a spot to lay down, but there wasn't anywhere left.

I started to cry, but at the same time was relieved that everyone else had a place to sleep.

That's all I remember.

Yeah, fucked up.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

movin on up...

Sorry I've not updated recently. I'm in the process of relocating to Springfield, Illinois - I start my new job on October 9th - and plan to drive - leaving Dallas on the 6th.

So much to do - my car needs repair. The control for the fan/AC is screwy, need new back brakes, and my power steering has a slow leak. After that's fixed, I need my tires rotated and an oil change. I have folks coming to give me estimates tonight on the car (thank you, Craiglist).

I have to pack, too. Mostly clothes. The new company's relo'ing me - so big stuff will come later. I have to make a trip to IKEA for a few organization items and a few boxes, with handles, to help make the storage/packing process easier.

I have a client who's about $2k behind in paying me. After an email where the owner of the company thought my being upset I've not been paid yet was "funny" - I am giving them till EOD (5pm) today to tell me when payment will be sent, or I'm taking their site down for non-payment until I get paid. They use their site and an application to work directly with their clients, so taking it down will literally cripple them. Ihate to go to those measures, but I need that money - and I don't need the attitude. I have all the power here.

In other news, 7 more days at my current job. I'm so happy to be getting out of here. I was hoping it'd be a great opporunity, but it's turned out to be a dead end. Live and learn.

That's all for now - more to come soon :)
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ha ha ha ha *cough* ha haha hah

Did you miss my show @ Backdoor Comedy on 9/9? Maybe you couldn't make it - maybe you don't even live in Dallas.

Well, never fear, the video is HERE!
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Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11... a non-blog...

I don't really have much to say on this, the 5th anniversary of 9/11, that hasn't already been said by someone much more eloquently than I could.

So, I'll share with you this brilliantly written piece: This I Believe: That Old Piece of Cloth.
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Thursday, August 24, 2006

"It bends, it twists, it sometimes hides, but rarely does it break. It sustains us when nothing else can."

click to view the color image from the artist's website.

"Hope is a wonderful thing,
something to be cherished and nutured,
and something that will refresh us in return.

And it can be found in each of us,
and it can bring light into the darkest of places."

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Sunday, August 13, 2006


It's been seven months since my best friend, Marla, passed away. There's not been closure with her family. The one item of hers that her brother said he'd get for me, I never recieved. The items that were in her storage unit (and a few of my items) were never recovered. It makes me sick that her family didn't take action and my best friend's items were auctioned off to strangers. We offered to go through things, box them up, send them to Goodwill or something... but her family never took action - never sent the paperwork that would have allowed us to deal with her things the right way.

Then there was the $500 in stuff that was ours that was in her storage since we all moved to this house... nothing that couldn't be replaced, but still. It's just the principle.

Last week, eGreetings sent me a reminder that Marla's birthday was coming up - August 20. She'd have been 36 this year.

Here's where the mindfuck comes in... after Marla died, I met Steve & Becky... who have very quickly become 2 of the best friends I've ever had.

Becky's birthday's coming up... August 20 - she'll be 36 this year.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

how to live happily...

Seth Godin has a very good article (How to live happily with a great designer) - here

If you own a business, work with creatives or are a creative - take a look at his take... good stuff! I printed it out and hung it in my cube (and no, I'm not a designer, really).
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

fun with spammers - farmers insurance

Part 1 - Unsolicited "Career" Emails from Farmers Insurance

Here's the correspondence - after the SEVENTH email of this type I've recieved from someone at Farmers over the past 2 months - I replied with my standard Farmers Spam response.

From Farmers Agent to Me:

Dear Applicant,

We have reviewed your resume obtained from We offer the opportunity for you to be in business for yourself with the Nation's third largest Auto, Home, Life, Financial Services and Business insurer. Farmers will help license, train, and put you in your own Multi-Line Insurance Agency.

You may continue your present job and earn full income while training. If you would like the independence of self-employment with a major company backing you, if you desire unlimited earning potential and the ability to earn what you are worth, this could be what you have been looking for. Our standards are high but the rewards are well worth it.

Advantages of Farmers Agency Management Program:
May continue your present job while training
Complete Career Training Program
Financial assistance your first two years
Unlimited earning potential
Independence of self-employment

If you would like more information on Agency opportunities in Dallas and surrounding areas, please call, fax, or e-mail our Agency Development Center.

Donny Jones
District Manager
Farmers Insurance Group
(972) 283-2996 phone
(972) 283-2006 fax

My standard response to Donny Jones (if that's his real name):

Eventually someone's going to turn you guys in for your bullshit spamming.

Remove me from your lists. I am now contacting Farmers Corporate office to report this, the SEVENTH email, I've gotten, unsolicited - I am also reporting you to all known agencies who deal with SPAM and CAN-SPAM laws.

Donny then responds to me:

It's not good to use profanity.

Me, to Donny "Fucktard" Jones:

It's not good to break the law and to send unsolicited email - fucktard.

"Fucktard" Jones to me:

Be sure to include a copy of this one when you contact our corporate office... I'm sure they'll be interested in your professional demeanor.

Me to Donny "Dickface" Jones:

Dear Dickface,

My email to you was neither unsolicited, nor was it in violation of any laws - US or otherwise.

So, for the last time, don't email me, you donkey raping shit eater. Further emails will be considered harassment and dealt with as such.

Thank you,
A Loyal GEICO Customer

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

emo jane strikes again...

Gah! Vacation was WONDERFUL! Not only was Springfield, Illinois charming - the company was even more WONDERFUL! I left Texas knowing I was about to spend the weekend with 2 dear friends, and returned with 2 best friends. That's truly heaven - not because of my gain of deeper friendships, but the giving of my friendship.

Buried a hatchet today, too. It's funny how anger and hurt can cloud your vision of what's truly important. And in that the simple sending of an email (though hard to write) - and getting one in return - a door to a dark, dank, scary place is now closed. It's replaced now with something more like a window - letting in a fresh, cool breeze. Satisfied not because I got to speak my peace, but because I now have peace.

Work is good - my last job, if you left for even a half-day, things just went CRAZY. Too many external influences... but getting back to my desk today, it was nice to find that everything was in it's place - that I had managed my responsiblities so well that nothing went nuts when I was gone. Real delight - not from knowing that I fixed things, but from knowing capabilities lied in the premeditation and planning of good projects.

I got 2 hours of comedy writing in today. I have about 5 new bits to try out with the comedy buddies on Saturday. And I have to just buckle down and DO this. NO MORE EXCUSES!!! NO MORE LAZINESS!!! I WILL GET UP THERE @ THE BACKDOOR ON THURSDAY NEXT WEEK!!! NO EXCUSES!!! I want to be gratified by my persistence to not give up - that seems better than being instantly satisfied by the lazy way out.

Better than happiness at anyone else's expense is knowing that I'm growing content in the good situations, and changing those that aren't.
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

proof... proverbial... pudding....
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3 out of 3 third-world children can't be wrong...

I've gotten a virtual onslaught of emails wondering how the Comedy Showcase went... so here's an update (sorry it's so late, work's been crazy, what with getting ready to go on VACATION!)!

Man I love the stage... love love love it! The comedy showcase went really, very well. My fellow workshoppers and I took the stage at the Addison Improv - and, honestly - everyone did so well. I was super impressed by Doug... I was hoping for quite the story the next day (we saw him leaving with a HAWWWWTIE!), but he made it through. He was my comedy buddy from day one, and he did so well! Love you, Doug!!

I had the chance to make some great friends during the workshop - Kim, A.J., Jack - all of whom have been incredibly supportive -and we've kept in contact since. A little over half of our group (plus a newcomer, Matt) get together at my place on Saturday AM's to share ideas and work on new material.

I cannot tell you how much the workshop helped my confidence. Most of you know, I'm an attention whore - and getting up on the Improv stage after nearly 2 years of not performing on a regular basis - I just knew it was where I was meant to be. God that feels so good...

I felt confident and very calm - excited, don't get me wrong - but like I was sitting in my living room with about 125 friends, cutting up, making fun of Jared the Subway guy and my fat ass... it was so amazingly exciting.

The crowd was good as well - lots of my friends showed up - and, thankfully, very few of my enemies (except those I've made since then, bitches). And most of them I trust to be honest with me - so the compliments and comments I got - while not *all* positive - have only served to make me want to work harder.

Not bad for my first time. It was definately better than my first time having sex - but that's another blog, or maybe a bit... dunno.

And it's good to have a stranger write something nice about you... Comedy Critic (about 8 or 9 down on the page, you'll find a review of my set - look for Amelia (along with reviews of everyone else's set that night).

I think I've finally found something I'm good at. Something I've worked *VERY* hard at, but good at. As easy as music has come to me in my life - it's never been as fulfilling as this... I wish I could put my finger on why.

I'm spending lunches, now - at least an hour a day - working on new material. I'd say for every 10 ideas I come up with - I have 2 that are "good" and probably will whittle down to 1 that I'll end up doing.

I'm going up a week from tomrrow @ The Backdoor... I'm super excited and then hope to be going up there or at other Dallas OMN's (open mic nights) regularly. Even if open mics are all I ever do - I'm totally cool with that. I just want to write, challenge myself, grow as a performer, comic and writer, and be proud of what I put out there. None of that "I'm gonna try some new stuff out" mentality - every time I get up - I'm going to lay it out.

And what if someone doesn't like it? Meh, you can't please everyone all the time - hell, I can't even please a few people sometimes... But I can know that I really did do my best (and if you know me, you'll know I'm a perfectionist and that I'm super hard on myself) - and that really is all that matters.

Thanks to our "instructor", Dean Lewis, who is not only a gifted comedian, but also a great teacher. A a big thanks to my big bro's and sis's - who've been here in Dallas doing this for a while - and have been extremely encouraging: Bob, Jack, Angela, Sheri, Shaun... thank you guys for being at the showcase, for showing up to the workshops, for being honest and offering constructive criticism and for really giving me lots to think about, to mull over, and to apply to my comedy and my life. I hope that as a new comic, I can "represent" Dallas as well as you all have.

Oh and the video? It's coming - tonight. I should have the DVD in my hot little hands before bed tonight, I'll put my nerd hat on and convert it to 15 different media types and I'll post a link so everyone who wants to can check it out.

So, what's next? Open Mics - lots and lots and lots of them! And I'm so excited!!!

In general, this is another thing in my life falling into place at the right time - I'm finally figuring out not only what it is to be happy - but also what it is to be joyful. It's a an awesome feeling.

Tomorrow I leave for a much-needed and much anticipated vacation and will be back next Wednesday. Sweet, sweet relaxation, here I come... and yes, I'm taking my notebook with me.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ha ha ha...

caution: blog contains sexual innuendo.

T-minus 5 days until my big debut as a (wannabe) Stand-Up Comic.

T-minus 5 days... and am I nervous? Nope. Not in the least. I mean, shit, what's the worst that can happen? I feel no worse than I do right now (last week's workshop - I left feeling as if I'd started back at week one and the bits I worked so hard on fell flat).

I still have to tighten my set - I have 2 bits left to tighten - then my bits will be super-tight. I plan to edit tonight, put together the set tonight - then run through it and tape it tomorrow over lunch to time it out. I need to get the rythym right... and make sure that I leave room for breathing/laughing.

7 minutes. 7 minutes of magic. That's more time than I usually take to get off. Heh. Oh yeah, I'm funny.
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Friday, June 09, 2006

setting sail...

Please excuse for a few moments if I become "Emo Jane"... I've been spending so much time writing comedy (my new stand-up obsession) - I have to get out some serious thoughts now and then.

A few weeks ago I made a post about my birthday and did a mini-rant about friends... and how I felt let down, and discouraged with some of them. Trish had a great comment back about the ebb and flow of adult friendship... and it made me go "Huh!" and really think about my perceptions.

I think this year was particularly hard for me because my best friend, Marla, wasn't there to celelbrate with me. And while I did a great job of focusing on the friends who did make it - I started to get a bit distraught at the fact that a lot of the people I consider friends - well, they really aren't.

I don't want this post to be about how this or that person is a bad friend, because, frankly, I'm just as bad of a friend in some cases. I'm not one of those "Pot", "Kettle" people - well, not most of the time.

What I really wanted to post about is about a couple of new friends I've recently made. And while not detracting from any current, old or now defunct friendships in my life - I wanted to share a bit about this friendship.

For the first time in a long time, I've had the opportunity to meet and now get to know a couple of people who I feel completely open, honest and "myself" with. Honestly, it's not all that comfortable at times - because people like this tend to make you not only see the good things about yourself, but evalute those things that need changing... but man, that's what the essence of a true friendship is - isn't it?

Anyhow, all of my neurosis, all of my insecurity, all of my drama, all of my vulnerability - these people seem to just take it all in stride, and never stop reminding me that I'm pretty damn cool just how I am. And it's not all puppies and kittens and roses - I also count on these people to call me out when I'm being ridiculous or stupid... and to give me that necessary kick in the ass that I need... but when I had a rough day - they sent me flowers... which are now sitting happily on my desk and put a smile on my face each time I see them...

They never forget to let me know that even with all my issues - they still love me just as I am.

It's such a rarity to find - people like this. I found one of them about 10 years ago now, at college. I found one about 9 years ago - who I later married. And now, I have found two people who are very quikly becoming very dear to me...

And not even because they are wonderful, talented, witty, charming, remarkable people in their own right - but because they make me want to be all of those things - and more. And make me want to be ok to just be me.

I love you guys.
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Sunday, May 21, 2006

a blast from the past...

I found a CD from when I worked at the "Nazi Death Camp" with Catpants - and it had the following illustrations (done by Catpants) saved on it. Why are they funny? Cause they are totally something my then-boss would have done!

  1. The Mouth Beautification System
  2. The "Real-Damn-Quick" Tanning System
  3. The No-Frills "Lip Plumper"
Ahh, thems was the days.
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Friday, May 12, 2006

it's natural...

Growing up, a lot of things came easy to me - eating an entire box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, jumping really far off of the swings, getting off of the teeter-totter when someone I didn't like was at the top, singing, burping the alphabet...

For college, I picked a major that came easy to me - music. I spent time in places where things felt natural (church, to name one)... and I've tried, and failed, at things that I thought I was a natural at, but turned out not to be.

Take the violin playing - since I was *very* young... I was never going to be the best at it... always trying to live up to my mom's "legend" (she was one of the best fiddle players ever - Doug Kershaw even asked her to join his band)
Manual labor.

And now my newest "doesn't come natural to me" hobby - stand-up comedy.

For the past 4 weeks I've been in a Stand-up Comedy Workshop. And, until today, I was convinced this was something else I thought would be "natural", but would end up, like many other things, a failure.

I've had a very hard time trying NOT to be funny (the core of any stand-up act is REAL emotion and REAL situations that aren't funny, on their own). Then, you've got to spend a GREAT deal of time writing. My ADD makes this difficult - ok, ADD and my laziness.

AND I've needed to do more rehearsing than I've ever had to do for music or theatre event.

Then you have to edit, edit, edit.

And just when you think you found the "aha!" moment - and your comedy "bit" becomes something you are proud of - you can fall flat when an audience doesn't respond.

My only audience, at least for the next few weeks - are a group of 7 other comedy wannabes and the instructor.

Getting up in front of the class today - God, I love to perform (not the first time I've realized this, but it was a new infusion of the excitement). I stood on the stage in the bright lights - a few inches away from the microphone - and took a deep breath, filling my lungs with the smell of wet, stinky feet and stale cigarette smoke... and this feeling overcame me...

I love to perform. I love it. It's what I want to do forever and ever and ever. This is what I'm meant to do.

I went through my 3 under-rehearsed bits, and I believe I did what they call in comedy as "killing" the group. I killed. People consistency laughed - and that's really something with a group that has become very analytical about comedy (I don't laugh as much anymore when I watch stand-up - I'm too busy trying to find the top, premise, punchlines, tags, etc)...

A number of my classmates did critiques - and most of them told me how funny I was - and how great I am at this.

The moment, though - that really made me *believe* I'm not just a fat, ugly loser who is chasing yet another unattainable dream - doing something that feels unnatural and forced - was when the instructor (a man who's been in comedy MANY years, has MANY great performing accomplishments, has shared the stage with greats like Seinfeld, etc) said - "Amelia, you've really got something special. You are one of the most naturally talented performers I've ever seen in my life."


And I was on a high - for about an hour - till the rub showed up... My lifelong dream of making it as a singer wasn't going to happen. Maybe replaced with another performance path - but this was definitely a wake up call.

Singing is the most natural thing I do. I really believe I'm better than about 95% of singers out there. I never had to work hard at it. It's the thing I've thought most about - what I wake up thinking about, the last thing I think about before falling asleep.

I guess I could try to make myself believe I could do both - but who really would take a comedian turned serious musician, well, seriously? I mean J-Lo will always be a DANCER first - no one takes her singing career seriously - there aren't even many folks who take her acting career seriously.

So, I guess I need to stop throwing the pity party here... and focus my efforts onto something that isn't necessarily "natural" but is something - when I put in the work - I seem to be very, very good at.
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Thursday, April 27, 2006

the duh-vinci code

Sure is a lot of hubbub about "The DaVinci Code" movie coming out... sure is a lot of hubbub from folks who haven't read the book.


The part about all this that compels me to blog is, specifically, Christians who are speaking out against the book as tearing down Christianity.


The book is FICTION. It's clearly stated it is FICTION... and for those people who want to bury their heads in the sand - people have been talking about these same "theories" about Jesus' lineage for a long time (very very long time).

Not even Historical Fiction... it didn't even say that.

But now that it's a best-selling book, and soon to be a movie - every church, minister and Christian business is jumping on the bandwagon to make money off of this movie.

Take, for instance, this website from Tyndale House Publishing > DaVinci Didn't Convince Me. Among other things, the site is designed in somewhat the same feel as TDVC official movie site (sadly, DVDCM's site lacks the intriguing content of the official site). And, if you don't want to visit either site, I'll share with you a few tidbits from the DVDCM site.

Capitalism. Gotta love it. Way to go Tyndale House - you bottom-feeders. And I hope this does the opposite - I hope it DRIVES people to see the movie (which cannot be as good as the book - and the book was good)!!!

First, the homepage has some great stuff - heh... - this is a gem:
"... blurs the line between history and fiction, leaving readers, and now movie-goers, thinking that Christianity is based on a lie."
AND my favorite...
"Learn the facts behind the fiction that is SHAKING THE FAITH OF CHRISTIANS WORLDWIDE..."
Now, as a Christian, and as SOMEONE WHO HAS READ THE BOOK - it didn't shake my faith at all. I read this FICTION book for entertainment. Shake my faith? HARDLY!

Blur the lines? Of what! The book IS FICTION.

Is this the state of Christianity? The state of Christian faith is one *so* delicate that a book or movie could shake it?

Stolen by Dan Brown!

Entire churches are doing sermon series on how it's fake. DUH. And the lemmings are putting their [Cartman voice on] Dollah in the box [/Cartman voice off] - buying into how this movie is evil and horrible and ruining Christianity.


I had a similar personal experience with someone about 6 years ago at Fellowship Church of Grapevine, Texas. I'll keep it brief:
I was on the music team for 2 years and seldom used on the platform... and when I asked why, I was brushed aside. Finally, the situation came to a head when I was told I wasn't needed for the service the weekend after Christmas. I had cut my Christmas vacation short to be back to sing - and was shocked when I was told that I wasn't needed and that the music directors at the time would talk to me the 3rd or 4th weekend of January.

Unhappy with that answer (why wait 3 or 4 weeks, let's just settle this), I went up to the church Saturday night and confronted Rob and Lianne about it (they were very shocked to see me). After the service, I was told the two reasons I was no longer on the music team... "I wasn't the image they wanted to portray from the stage". Part 1 - my appearance (overweight) and Part 2 - the biggest part (which goes with this blog entry) - that the Jr High Minister's wife told them I was working on a website that was "Satanic". Or rather, Oprah-esque (new agey).

They simply could not have that image on the platform! And I was cut lose, without even asking me my side. They didn't even know the name of the website in question, nor had they seen it. All of that based on one person's false representation - based on gossip.

Here is where my tie in with this DuhVinci stuff comes in - Lianne (music leader person) said to me - LITERALLY - "I would not feel comfortable going to such a site, it may hurt my faith. I certainly would not even consider going to it if I were alone."

I remember laughing a bit and asking if she was serious. She was.

Long story short - the meeting ended with my husband and I never returning to Fellowship Church, even after asking for one of the pastors to get involved and mediate the situation. A certified letter to Ed Young (the senior pastor) went unreplied to.

Yeah - hurt her faith. A website. Yeah, right.

Anyhow, back to somewhat of a point:

If one's faith is so weak as to be rattled by a book of fiction or a movie, such a person should first figure out what they believe and WHY. Why is their faith so shaky as to be blown by this or that?

I didn't see the Jews going all ape-shit over "The Passion of the Christ". And to them, Jesus being the Son of God was fiction. They weren't all going crazy over how this movie would hurt their faith and numbers!

Just, wow.

Yet another reason church just isn't for me (that and the aforementioned bad experience with places like Fellowship Church).

I'll close with some words that were on a sign above the door to my 9th Grade History Teacher's office:
"Ignorance is Expensive".
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Monday, April 24, 2006

sponsored by the number 29

I turned 29 Saturday. One more year to the big three-zero! I don't feel almost 30 though - I still feel 24... but I know I'm getting older, because I see college kids and think they're in High School. *sigh*

My birthday was kinda - well - ho-hum. Maybe part of it is that this is the first birthday in 6 years without Marla. Or that Rick and Joy (who managed to not nearly wreck my birthday for the 3rd year in a row - they weren't invited this year) aren't a part of our lives anymore... or that Lisa is in Tennesse - or that my friends from my last job (who numbered nearly 40 at my last party) are now a small handful of folks (I do love them, though).... I dunno. It was just a shitty birthday, all in all.

Some of you may think I'm talking about you, below - and maybe I am. And for those of you who I don't talk about (namely those I don't have a beef with - you already know I love you).

I've come to a couple of realizations over the past few days - some good, some not so good, so I'll share them.
  • Too many people don't seem care about their word and keeping commitments. I've been known to flake... to have things come up, it's just a fact of life - but there are too many people I have in my close circle that never seem to keep their commitments. Stupid things, yeah - like showing up at a birthday party that they RSVP'd to... but still - have the courtesy to call! This isn't to discount the friends that did show up - but there were a few folks I was excited to see that just blew me off and it hurt my feelings.
  • It hurts my feelings that you won't just come out and tell me you don't want to hang out - more than just telling me that you don't want to. Honestly, I don't fucking care if you don't want to hang out, come to my birthday, join me for a movie, or whatever - but when this is the 5th invitation you've turned down, just be a grown up about it and tell me you're not interested in hanging out. Or, better yet, you're off my list.
  • It's too late for one dream, so why not try another? It's too late for me to be a rockstar... I have to come to terms with the fact that the thing I want to do more than anything - the thing I wake up thinking about, and go to bed and dream about - Singing and Performing - won't happen. I'm past my peak. It's just a fact. So, maybe I can move that dream to comedy... you can break into that anytime, right? I'm doing a stand-up comedy workshop for the next few weeks. Right now, I'm trying to not be funny (the assignment starts with just real life topics, not funny things). All leading up to a showcase at the Addison Improv and that will determine if this is just another dream with no chance of taking off (and me being out $450).
  • I get hurt when those closest to me don't recognize things that are special to me. I hesitate to air my dirty home laundry here, but my birthday - just like my anniversary, came and went without a surprise from my husband. If it makes me spoiled or naggy or a bitch to want to be surprised on special occasions, so be it... but I think I deserve a bit of special thoughts on such days. I don't want to negate what he does do, but I'd be lying to say that I am not hurt when there's not even a card or something small - a surprise to let me know I'm thought about more than just what I say I want or ask for.
Anyhow, sorry for the bitchfest, all. Just had to get a few things out (EmoJane returns)... hopefully I'll be back to my bitchy, sarcastic, humorous self soon.
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

dear neighbors...

I'm a good neighbor, I think. I keep to myself, keep the yard clean, I don't have 15 flamingoes in the front yard or 75 of those wooden "women bent over asses" stuck in the shrubs. I also don't routinely rev my vehicle's engine after 9pm, or anytime for that matter - I have a couple of parties a year, but nothing obnoxious. I don't leave trash out -and I don't put trash out before trash putting out time.

But we have a few bad neighbors, though. One, in particular, has a pair of annoying dogs. Here is a letter I'm putting on their door tomorrow:

Dear Neighbor -

I've lived next door to you for a year and a half, now - and believe I have come to the point in my neighborship that I should communicate with you about your dogs and their incessant fucking barking between the hours of 6:45am and 7:30am Monday through Friday.

I have, by my calculation, lost a total of 337.5 hours of sleep due to your pet mis-management.

As a dog owner myself, I understand that dogs bark - it's just part of what they do - but it seems that your dogs have no "off switch" once they are out of the house in the early morning. If I hadn't seen with my own eyes that my dog could refrain from his own barking (even when he is tempted to by your dogs), I would not bother you with this letter - but it's obvious that if other dogs can be restrained from barking, yours can as well.

Our wonderful city government has listed clearly an ordinace regarding such an issue: Article 1, Section 14-2, (12) The act of permitting a dog to bark in such a manner as to disturb the inhabitants of the community. Breaking such an ordinace can result in fines as well as Animal Control getting involved. I would hate for that to happen - so I'm coming to you, first.

I am requesting, respectfully that you please treat us with the respect we have always afforded you - to offer us the time we need to sleep, so as not to be fucking, crazy, mean neighbors who would simply shut your dogs up by our own devices.

Should you not be willing to honor this request - I'll be left with no recourse but to stand outside of your house sometime between the hours of 3am and 5am, Monday through Friday, singing the theme song to TV's Survivor.

Thank you,
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

care bear stare (and point and laugh)...

This week, I'll recap American Idol by renaming all the idols to Care Bear names. So, even if you hate AI, no one hates the Care Bears – wheee!

Aka – Sluts-A-Lot Bear (seriously, he looks like a total fucking manwhore)
Insignia – A manbear doggy-styling another manbear.
He's lucky he's got his looks. I thought nothing could be worse than Ace singing Michael Jackson, but Stevie Wonder – yeah, wayyy worse. Every time he sings, I envision a cabana boy – who is being punished by Jack Bauer (24) for not telling him where the canisters of nerve gas are located – and, well – let's just say – lots of drugs and pulling of pubic hairs. If you gagged Ace, tied him up with some kneesocks and hung him from a meathook in my garage and let me have my way with him – even then, not hot, not an idol. Just.not.

Aka – Can't Be Smart and Pretty Bear (you know, you gotta pick one Kellie – awww, it looks like you can't be either – too bad… [wah-wah])
Insignia – Jessica Simpson's Face + MENSA Logo in the center of one of those circles with a red line through it.
Ummm yeah – how long do you think America is going to fall for your "I'm so dumb I had no idea my retarded uncle was molesting me" game? NOT VERY LONG. I am now going to add Kellie to the list of people, who, if lit on fire, wouldn't burn, but would just melt into a pile of goo. Vocally it was seriously like masturbating with a brillo pad. But, I'm sure Kellie doesn't know what masturbating is, much less a brillo pad (le sigh).

Aka –
E.T. Bear (oh, come on – someone HAD to say it – I know you all point your finger at the TV when he comes on and say "Ehhlll eeeeee ahhhhtttt")
Insignia – ET's Head in silhouette – or maybe just a bicycle silhouette – either would do
Elliot really has a good voice (minus the head-shaking vibrato thing) – I just don't get why he's inconsistent. He and I even have a similar bad-singing habit – tilting our head back when we sing…. strange. Part of me wants Elliot to win just because he could finally have enough money to get them thar fucked-up toofs fixed. It's strange, it's like his teeth should be in Bucky's mouth, and… well, I digress.

Aka – Buffet Bear (fuck you all, you know damn well she likes buffets… no one that size doesn't…. I know! I'll give her some credit – at least she didn't admit on national TV she loves chitlins)
Insignia – Twinkie on left, door in middle – Mandisa trying to get through the door
As a chubby chik – I'm glad that Mandisa is representing for us this year. It's good that her size hasn't hindered her in the competition [hahha, I said hinder]. But let's face it, the only reason that she's not getting harsher critiques (and, really she SHOULD be getting harsher critiques) is, well – one of 2 reasons… 1 – the judges are afraid she will sit on them or #2 (more likely, as security for the judges is tight) – no one tells a fat, black woman that she can't sing the fuck out of a song if she's even marginally good. Added to that is that Mandisa is just *nice*. Not phony plastic nice, but truly nice. Thus, I will not call her a fucking fat ass again in this entry.

Aka – Mouthful O'Cocks Bear (from experience comes knowledge of what this sounds like - ok, well maybe not cocks, plural - but yeah, it's hard to understand anything being sung when you got a mouthful o'cocks)
Insignia – A bear face with a BIG open mouth
First of all, from the beginning, I just cannot be led to expect much from a guy named "Bucky". Ok, I can't understand a fucking thing this inbred backwoods hickboy is singing. It seriously sounds like he's got a mouthful o'cocks (O'cocks is, of course, a tribute to St. Patrick's Day) every time he sings. The funny thing - when he and Stevie Wonder were on the video intro - Mouthful wasn't sounding anything like he did when he was singing. Oh, and the miming of riding a bull doesn't help... seriously - I've seen REAL cowboys and they don't walk with their legs spread 4 feet apart... well, unless they're the "brokeback" kind of cowboys.

Aka – Forgets-a-Lot Bear (I mean DURRRR who doesn't know, just from watching AI from auditions, that the word is PREMONITION not RECOGNITION! SCREAM!)
Insignia – A big question mark
Fucking eh - it sucks when you really like someone but they shoot themselves in the foot and make it impossible. Like Old Yeller - you love that dog, but that stupid SOB got rabies - DUH! I actually like her voice (though it's clear she does too much throat singing)... but holy hell, REMEMBER THE WORDS! I'm so frustrated with her, I have no more to say about her.

Aka – Direct to DVD Bear (I mean, come on, she's so child theatre star that she's going to have her own direct to DVD movies someday... yes, those kind)
Insignia – The face of a girl with pigtails - crying hysterically
Thank God the stylists spent a few more hours on her hair this week. Last week it looked like roadkill, this week it looked soft and supple (I'm guessing, honestly, that they were extensions) - much like Bo Bice's hair of Season IV. This girl has absolutely nothing remarkable about her... NOTHING. I can see the covers of her DVD's now - Former American Idol Contestant BARES ALL for a few dollars. I don't see that she'll be having any type of career. Her novelty of a child star could only be carried on in the Adult industry... or possibly as a walk-on role in some ghastly WB show.

Aka – Eats Lead Paint Bear (I swear, he's got to be retarded or deformed or something)
Insignia – A bear and a honey pot - except the honey pot is a pail of lead paint
I think Kevin missed out on the American Junior's auditoins a few years ago. This KID has a great voice, but ladies and gentlemen, this is a SINGING competition. The majority of us "music fans" support artists by BUYING THEIR CD. Unless you are into little boys (Michael Jackson or Catholic Clergy) or are deaf, I can't imagine anyone who'd buy that! Granted, people by Ashlee Simpson - but I see that differently - I mean Ashlee Simpson's like a train wreck - this is like watching brain surgery on Discovery Channel performed by Hannibal Lector... it's interesting - but then you're like GROSS!!! The lisp, the retardorena (his dancing) and his general look freak me out. Fuck.

Kevin, you got where you are because of the judges - at this point the only reason you're still in the competition is because they believed in you, gave you a chance and now is plugging you as the worst. So before you spout your lisp-laden voice at Simon and be insulting and ingrateful - you should realize that this is the only shot at anything even near fame you'll ever have.

Aka – Titsalot Bear (GAWD she has PERFECT breasts)
Insignia – Two extremely even, extremely perky breasts
Ms. McPhee is my AIV girlcrush. She's just gorgeous and has those eyes that speak to you... Now, if she'd just stop the "giddy" game - I could really see her being a star. And her breasts - they're so perfectly shaped - and those lips. *sigh* I'm going to play girlcrush MacGuyver... McPhee, Cool Whip and Chocolate Sauce....

Aka – Shiny Happy People Bear (ok, I know, not funny, but this guy just makes me smile every time he performs)
Insignia – Just a big smiley face
I have a hard time finding fault with Taylor - except that he looks like he's 10 years older than the oldest other competitor. He picks great songs, sings them well, and is unique. Honestly, Taylor would do better if he quit the competition now - except that one of my only ROCKS (I can count on him to be good) would be gone from my weekly TV lineup. Other than harmonica, does he play any instruments? Does anyone know?

Taylor, I LURVE you!

Aka –
Christian Tourette's Bear (seriously, if there were ever a better reason that there should be no talking after the songs - it's Paris [ok, maybe Kellie])
Insignia –
A cross who's middle line is an exclamation point - a BIG ONE
Now, don't get me wrong here, I'm a Christian myself - but when these gospel women get on the stage and start singing about how they're "Thankful for thar savyah" after they sing - it makes me want to rub glass shards in my eyes. It could be becaues it's just absolutely out of place (like that woman barking on all fours in an Episcopal church service). And who is dressing this girl? She looks like the homemade second-hand Barbie clothes my mom would bring home from garage sales when I was a kid. Everyone else had great Chinese-child made dresses for their Malibu Barbie, and I had some fucked up crochet-assed half jacket that smelled of cat pee. Again, I don't think she deserves to win because I would never buy her CD... just like Fantasia - a failure as an Idol.

Aka –
Chippendale Bear (I'm not alone here in that he's this years MFI [Most Fuckable Idol])
Insignia –
A naked, well-hung bear with a bowtie
I have nothing bad to say - except that his head was almost so shiny I got distracted by the glare. Mmmmm soooo good. I'd not only buy his CD, I'd rub it on my privates.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

digital sticks and stones...

The internet isn't always good. That's a big thing coming from someone so incurably addicted. By addicted, I mean - I will die if I don't have it! I mean, I don't even remember how to use a phone book. Newspaper? Pshaw. The internet is really quite invaluable - I use it to get my news, look up contact information, reserach future purchases, shop and communicate.

And that's where the problem comes in - using the internet to communicate... I know, I know, I'm communicating *right now* in my blog with you, my virtual fan club, in hopes that I can get my thoughts out of my head and onto this screen. But when it comes to friendships and relationships and the internet, what a double-edged sword it is.

A.D.D. Moment: Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie is the best make-at-home-potpie. Hands down. Mmm mmm good.

It's no secret to those who know me, I make friends quickly and fairly easily. Many of the friends I've had the longest are people I've met on the internet. I met my husband on the internet - and I consider some of the people I trust the most to be people I've never met (or met only once) in real life.

Man it's pretty incredible how we can communicate so quickly - I can IM you right now, snark, send you a link of that guy dancing naked to that song on a video... or I can write you a long, drawn-out email about how you make me feel. I can manipulate, assasinate, commend, build up and advertise everything about you in my blog. But is that really the best way to deal with life? Is the instant nature of the internet the best way to communicate?

Over the past year, I've become one of those people who believe that the interent makes communication worse, not better.

A group of friends that, a little over a year ago had fun together - are splintered now. Instead of acting like adults, picking up the phone, or going out for coffee, it was easier for me and the other people involved to just snipe back and forth in our blogs. Worse yet are the feelings that were stirred up when certain members of the group DIDN'T say anything when it was going on.

I used a previous blog to talk about work - my frustrations, but mostly about my enjoyment of that job and the fantastic friends I made there and our adventures. However, it ended up being a bad choice, and I ended up getting fired over a nameless, detailless entry about a co-worker.

You can even use the internet to excommunicate someone! Maybe you had a falling out or a misunderstanding - next thing you know, your comments aren't replied to that you leave for them in a blog. Then your emails aren't replied to. An invite is sent to an event and you're not a part of the list anymore. Digitial excommunication. Not such good times.

Thanks to the internet, you can have a day, week, month or year-long fight with someone you claim to "not give a shit about"! You can insult everything from their shaving habits to deaths of those close to them. You can use whatever you have as ammo to get the last word in.

Things you tell someone in confidence and in a time of need or weakness are pasted up for everyone to see - with your name on it. Sent around in an email chain or IM'd as the day's hot gossip.

Recently, my private and personal dirty laundry was aired in a blog. The parties involved were having a back and forth (and sideways) in the comments, all while I'm reading things that are embarassing, private and disappointing about myself in the text.

God bless communication! God bless the internet!

But even with all of that, I am sitting here, blogging and contemplating that next instant-gratification moment when I drop that IM or email and tell someone to.... well, I digress - but isn't that the point?
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Monday, February 27, 2006

a light at the end of the tunnel...

There was a country song that said something like "There's a light at the end of the tunnel, I hope it ain't no train." It always made me laugh when I heard it (yes, yes, I had a "country phase"). It is such a good mix of humorous and serious, don't you think? You won't find out what that light is without confronting it.

So the confrontation about the life insurance I've been dreading happened. Marla's brother called Saturday and the topic came up. I have to say that I was thankful Mr. Average took the call and dealt with Brother. In no uncertain terms, Mr. A made it clear that we'd not be giving any of the money to the family - but Brother continued to appeal - asking us not to make a "rash" decision based on emotion.

He also made some great comments about how we need to "understand how hard it was for his mother - having come here during the Civil Rights Movement."

A.D.D. Moment: I was sharing this info with a co-worker of mine - telling her the story. And she said "Wow, that's reverse-racism!" Ummm, what the hell is "reverse racism"? Does that even make sense? Racism is racism - and just because you're black doesn't make it any less atrocious.

I think Brother thinks that he has my balls in a vice grip (so to speak) because the family has the death certificate (needed to get the paperwork filed)... well, my boss was extremely kind in letting me have a few personal hours to deal with everything Friday afternoon, and that included getting the death certificate from the county clerk. Turns out I was able to get that myself - simply by having the paperwork from the insurance company (and giving them a copy) - which made me a "legal representative".

I have to break here a moment and say that I think the hardest time I've had through this whole thing was when I was on the train, and read the death certificate and saw the reasons for Marla's Death:
  1. Liver Failure (days)
  2. Liver Cirrhosis (years)
  3. Something unreadable
  4. inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
All I could think of was how sick she must have been - and she'd been living with us over a year - how could I not know? Shana and I talked a bit - and she thought the same as I did. She was so sick, but always had a smile on her face - always up for doing something. *shakes head*

So, anyhow - I got the certificate and FedEx'ed the paperwork to the insurance company. Brother called Saturday... He said something about how his father wanted to help with funeral expenses and if I would send some of the money, that'd be one way he could help. That I could think about it and send her father "whatever I thought fair."

That's a GREAT idea except when I found out that Marla's truck (mentioned in a previous post) - that I thought the father had - well, he DONATED it to the church. Told Marla's other friend here to give it to the church.

I'm sorry, but if it were so important to put money toward the funeral expenses, shouldn't he have kept the truck, sold it, paid off the rest of the loan Marla had (it wasn't a large loan), and then used that money for the funeral?

And if the funeral expenses were such a burden for her (well-off) mother, then why couldn't she have talked to me about that money 6 weeks ago? Why wait 6 weeks when, I figure, if it were such a burden, she'd want that money to offset the charges anyhow? Brother claimed that he hadn't even looked at the paperwork before Saturday.


So, I said no. I'm not going to give them anything. Besides, I *KNOW* that the funeral was not what Marla would have wanted. Why should the money be spent on that? And, let's not forget, they already hate me.

Brother asked, at the end, that we think about it some more. I have. No is my final answer.

I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel: Never having to deal with that family, that church or her other "friends" ever again.
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