Wednesday, August 31, 2005
I'm surrounded by beautiful people.

Stretch with his 'new friend'.

Sleeping 'Rezzie Beauty

Ruan, who is as lovely as he looks.

David, playing barefoot.

El Jefe. Doing his El Jefe thing.

Jonny, who is beautiful in ways we can't even scientifically identify yet.

Gorgeous JMsy who seems to have no idea how gorgeous he is.

Devin, who has the prettiest profile of anyone I've ever seen. She should be on coins.

Ike, you're almost too pretty to look at directly.

One picture of David is never enough.

Brent and bonus Stretch picture, mocking street signs in Russia.

Dream Come True
Natasha (left) and Laszlo (right)
There is a great little petshop where I buy all my bird supplies and get all sorts of useful advice from, just down the way from my apartment.The owner has an open top cage of bunnies in her shop, where you can reach in and pet them and pick them up, the friendliest little bunnies you can imagine.One warm afternoon they were all napping, a big fluffy smushy pile of bunny butts and snuffly whiskered noses and I wanted more than anything to be a bunny for half an hour so I could join them and snuggle in.The other night, JR let me hang out with his bunnies, Natasha and Laszlo, on his bed for a while and I got to be in the middle of bunny butts and snuffly noses and sniffly sniffs and hops and velvet fur and it was as nice as I imagined.

Laszlo and I

Telling Natasha secrets

Yes, JR and I broke up, and no, I don't want to talk about it yet, even to my best friend, the Internet.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005
VJ and Lou Do the Zoo (say it aloud, its fun)
Sunday after church (and a jamba juice stop and Lou's memorable line, "Gosh, if I see one more person I know here at this mall, I'll swear.........") we headed off into the El-Cajon-in-August/sweating-in-places-you-didn't-know-you-had-like-the-back-of-your-earlopes-and-your-kneecaps sort of heat, to the World Famous San Diego Zoo.

See, the zoo is so frickin' big, and the price high enough that you feel obligated to get your money's worth and see every animal on display. This will kill you.
Thankfully we were on free passes from Lou's lovely grandparents, so the pressure was off. We boarded the tour bus, which gives you a brief glimpse at about 70% of the animals. While on the bus, I got a new nickname, from the bus driver/tour guide.

"Will *pointed look at me* EVERYONE please quiet down so everyone can hear?" he said.

"By 'EVERYONE', he means me, doesn't he?" I asked Lou.

"Yes," said Lou and the woman in front of us who up until now had been speaking only spanish to the woman with her.

After the bus tour, we figured out what else we most wanted to see. I bought a small plastic snake in the gift shop and draped it around my neck in such a way that it moved a bit when I spoke or moved. Then we went into the Reptile House and watched people FREAK OUT, thinking it was real.
That's FUN.

Then of course the petting zoo. You can't imagine I'd go to the zoo without petting something, do you? Of course not. Even if there was no petting zoo I'd find some way to pet an animal.

*imagines showing someone a picture, "This is me riding a camel at the zoo" and them saying, "They have camel rides at the zoo now?" and saying "No. This picture was taken by a security camera."*

*giggles giddily at thought*

As we left the zoo, there was a little booth by the gate, with a older man guarding an ink stamp on a chain. "Self-Service Return Stamp" the sign read.

The man explained that due to insurance reasons and a complaint, zoo employees could no longer stamp the back of your hand, for fear of hurting you. He just had to guard the stamp and make sure no one stole it.
He told me to go ahead and stamp myself.

"Anywhere?" I asked.

He looked confused, I guess he'd never really thought about that before.

"I guess," he finally answered.

"More than once?" I asked.

He grinned. "Go nuts."

Eight stamps later (including one each on mine and Lou's faces), we headed out. We stopped by her grandparents' house in Pt. Loma and were invited back for dinner. In the meantime we wandered down to OB where no one guestioned the stamps on our faces or the snake still around my neck, where we saw a drum circle and the ocean and bought fun jewelry and a bumper sticker that reads "Love > Fear".
Then back to Lou's lovely grandparents for "eat more, eat more!" dinner.

Poor dude is so busted.
So there is some guy in our warehouse who has apparently been carrying on a flirtatious email conversation with a girl at another company.

How do I know this?

He accidently CC'ed the entire company on his last email to her.

If he gets in trouble for this, I'm going to email her and tell her she'd better go out with him.

Another Actual Conversation - Coldplay Concert
Brother's Adorable Girlfriend - "So, are you going to be disapointed if you don't see Gwyneth Paltrow tonight?"

Sister - "Hun, I've got a cold beer in my tummy, dim lighting for my eyes, and a overactive imgination in my head. Every skinny blond who's face I don't clearly see, that's Gwyneth. I've seen her SIX times already."

At the Crossroads.....

"Dear Lenny and Carol," I wrote on the card, "Crossroads Cafe gave me music and coffee and David Timms. Two old favorites and one new........."

The card was framed and given to the owners of a now closed coffee shop. MY coffee shop.

You know, I can think of dozens and dozens of coffee shops that I used to go to, and only two that are still in business. I think since the customers of coffee shops are people interested in live music, eventually it's just a bunch of musicians earning tips off each other. How long can that work?

I heard a couple of days ago that they were planning on closing, and my little heart broke. Nothing compared to how David and Chris and the gang feels, not to mention Lenny and Carol, but they can talk about that on the blogs they don't have (yet).

They keep trying to explain to me, the little VJ-come-lately, exactly how magical it all was, especially in the begining. Naturally they feel that I can't understand.
Of course I really can't. But I've had things like that in my life, where for a while everything was so RIGHT. Brent's college group, for one. That one year at Dance Camp. I know that feeling, that desire to hold on to it, even though everything in life has an ending. Not that we have to like it, of course.

But I had a taste of it all, that's why I became so hooked on that cafe. The music, the art on the walls, the iced jasmine tea, and most of all, the people. The fact that everyone sitting around you looked like they could be the next act, and quite frequently were.

Sunday night I was headed home after hanging with Lou (post of zoo-y Lou-ness to follow) when I got a call from David, who had just gotten a call from Lenny. "Come on down, it's our last night."

I was kinda worried about David. He seemed in such a rush to get there, but when we got there, it was like he couldn't seem to slow down. I felt like I needed to say something, do something, but I couldn't think what that could be. I actually resorted to saying "take a deep breath" at one point. But then the regulars sat down to play a last set, and by the middle of the second song, you could see that this is what they needed and he'd managed to sort himself out.
I'm glad they had that chance.

And as for me, and the time I spent at the Crossroads, I feel the same way. I'm glad I had the chance.

So Then I Said ........
............*squeezes in between seats, hugs co-stars and then the camera pans away from me because no one can climb up stairs in an evening gown gracefully, to the losers doing 'she deserved to win' look, then the camera pans back to me as I reach the clear glass podium (so everyone can still see my roped-up-to-my-neck cleavage and does the obligatory gloved hand over heart gesture and prepares to gush*

"I'd like to thank all the voices in my own head, really, you guys have always been there for me. I'd like to thank my third grade teacher, Miss What's-Her-Name, for really inspiring me to name things. And most of all, *waves gloved hand toward the orchestra* oh PLEASE don't start the music yet, most of all I'd like to thank all the inanimate objects on my desk, Bettina, Boris, Svenny, Joey, Lucy, Kiki, 'Mookie, Elton, Brenda, and Lipper for making my world such a friendlier place."

Monday, August 29, 2005
Actual Text Message
"So Coldplay concerts smell like pot, clove cigarettes, vanilla and beer."

So Then Lou Said .........
......... "You look like Au-" *pauses, looks at my outfit again, reconsiders* "You look like you feel like Audrey Hepburn."

I'm SO TOTALLY with the band, ok?
David and Christopher rocking out on Sat night.

I showed up at twilight and sat on a picnic blanket and ate chinese food and listened to great music and got David to smile when I winked at him and hung with that cool 'We're with the band' crowd and shared ice cream and carried amps to further cement my 'I'm with the band' image.

So Then Stretch Said .........
.......... "It's easier to date coffee when it has a face."

So Then Kathy Said .............
.............. "This is fun, I haven't driven since my head injury."

Another Actual Conversation
*long, contemplative silence in the car*

Lou - "So, I'm thinking it would be really cool to have a top hat made out of pancakes."

VJ - "Yeah, totally."

*long, contmeplative silence in the car*

Another Actual Conversation
Sister - "So I mentioned on my blog that one of the people on my sidebar aren't real, that they are the joint creation of 'Rezzie and I, but no one has correctly guessed which one."

Brother - "Thats because your imaginary personalities are more life-like than most people's real ones."

So Then Lou Said ............
.......... "It's like six feet of PURE ABS" as she watched a snake slink across it's enclosure at the zoo.

So Then David Said ...........
........ "Where is your suitcase?"

Yes, 'Rez. He was refering to my purse.

Another Actual Conversation
Valancy Jane - "Hi, can I please have the Kiwi Berry Blast in a large, with a shot of the 'Energy Boost'?"

Jamba Juice Girl - "We're out of energy today."

Valancy Jane - "You and me both, chica. You and me both."



Just because she uses phrases like -
"My stomach tied itself in a knot and sulked somewhere near my navel"

"he's gallavanting off to Princton all aglow"

"I think I have sand in my braces"

Love her, it's easy.

Friday, August 26, 2005
So Then Daniel Said ...........
............ "I'm still the Prettiest Princess when I'm sick."

Another Actual IM Conversation
David says:
I am playing saturday night with lenny, christopher and robert

VJ says:
I'll be there.
Whether you want me there or not.
But it would help if you told me where you were playing.

David says:
*tips off his own stalker*

Another Actual Conversation
SalesGuy - "What's with the casualwear today, [Ma Homie in Marketing]?"

Ma Homie in Marketing - "I forgot the company bowling thing was canceled."

SalesGuy - "You didn't get that email yesterday, that it was canceled?"

Ma Homie in Marketing - "Actually, I WROTE that email, and I still forgot."

I have a goddaughter.

I know, I've never mentioned her.
I don't have a picture to show you.

I haven't seen her in a long time and it hurts.

This is hard to talk about, I really wanted to be part of her life, and now due to circumstances I can't control, I don't even know where she is.

I had this friend, back in the day, I'll call her Gina. Gina was pretty, funny, smart. I'm not sure where exactly the breakdown in the system was, but Gina just stopped being smart when it came to men. There were a lot of them, and they weren't good ones.
Not for lack of options. Plenty of nice men would gladly have loved her.

Gina got married to a marine. He was not the worst of her choices, certainly, but he could have used some growing up. Gina got pregnant and had a beautiful baby girl, Hannah Elizabeth. I was her godmother, and I took it seriously. With a pair of way-too-young parents, I knew she'd need someone like me. I was in, for the whole nine yards.

Gina and her husband had issues from day one. Gina eventually ran off with someone that I vaguely knew. Her husband never forgave me for happening to know the guy that she ran off with, and accused me of aiding and abetting them.

He got Hannah.

He took her home to Texas, last I heard, and I'm NOT invited to contact them.

Hannah is six now. There is no way she could know that I'm out there, that I'd start a college fund for her, and color pictures with her, and push her on the swings until she giggled from the heady feeling of flying so high on a swing that you bounce out of the seat a little, that I'd listen to her secret crushes and buy her frilly little girl dresses and cowboy boots and carry her on my shoulders and frame her artwork and build tree forts with her and remember her favorite color and buy her a canopy bed like every little girl wants and always have stickers and skittles for her in my purse and buy her the cool bandaids with Dora the Explorer or the Wiggles or whatever she wanted when she scrapped her little knees and take her to the fair and go roller skating with her and swing her around until she laughed and love her madly even when she was whiny or crying or rebellious.

Every time I think of her, I feel as thought I've failed her.
But I did buy her her first barbie doll, when she was 8 days old. I acted quickly, and I'll always have that.

Last time I saw her, she looked like me.
But she'll never remember me.

So Then JR Said........
............ "It's feeling better, I've made it a point not to lift anything more than my digital camera."

How Much Do I Love My Fans?
I've gotten more than the average trickle of overly-kind "I read your blog and like it" sort of emails lately.

Which seems odd to me because I think my blog has been crap lately.
But then, I ALWAYS think it's crap lately.

Not that that has EVER stopped me from promoting it to the four winds, until at parties my friends say things like, "Yeah, you BLOG. We get it. We understand that you're going to write about this. No, I will not repeat myself now that you have a pencil in hand. Yes, I HAVE the blog address. Yes, I've checked it out. Once, why do you ask? What? I said it was cool, I'll go back and read it again, alright, alright. Sheesh."

And even though I once mocked Ike for handing out business cards with his blog address on them, the sad truth was that I was just jealous my order hadn't arrived yet.

Yeah, I talk about my blog at parties.
I'm that much of a dork.

But then you people send me such sweet encouraging emails, that make me think that maybe I'm doing a good job of plastering my soul up to be read, that my emotional streaking is actually appreciated. You guys compliment me on the things I secretly long to be complimented on and for that I will love you forever.

I try to respond to each and every one, and I try to be witty and appreciative and not disappoint and not be snotty and to say that I love you too in a way that doesn't sound trite, and it's a challenage, and if I missed you, I'm so sorry, I just never expected to get the love I always craved and I'm not always sure how to respond.

I suspect you all of being the nicest, most perceptive, smartest people on the face of the planet. My vanity leads me to believe that you are all either saints or Nobel Peace Prize winners or book critics for the NY Times. And I know you are the sort that sends out kind, encouraging emails, which automatically makes you a hero, and the world needs more of you.

I think today I will print out each and every one of them, (What? You didn't think I would DELETE a single, solitary one of them, do you?!?!) and I'm going to throw them on my bed and roll around naked on them.

Madly in love with her fans, singularly and collectively,
Valancy Jane

Another Actual Conversation
Coworker, She of the Lovely Curls - "My stomach hurts, why does it hurt so bad?"

Receptionist - "What did you eat this morning?"

Coworker, She of the Lovely Curls - "Lets see, nothing much ................ For breakfast I had chocolate milk and imitation crab."

Receptionist - "Well, that would do it."

Coworker, She of the Lovely Curls - "I think it was the chocolate milk."

Receptionist - "Sure, hun. Couldn't have been the IMITATION MEAT."

Thursday, August 25, 2005
This is FUN.
Try your hand at being a cartoonist. I did, and I'm famous. Or rather, I should be famous. Same thing, right?

They are all of me, in a sense that they look like me, in a way, and don't, in a way, but they don't look like me in a way that's very ME.

View my art and make your own. You could even SAY something in yours.

Lobby Life

Postage Stamp

A Walk

I'm sleep deprived, does it show?

Happiness is ............
.......... when Ike burns you a cd back when he was visiting, but you forget about it and it gets stuck in the recesses of your cd case until this week, the week you could really use the lift of falling MADLY IN LOVE with a cd of Jem.

.......... when your company offers free food for no particular reason other than to be nice to the employees.

......... when the company offers free food and no less than 8(!) of your kind coworkers stop by your desk to make sure you got some, offering to bring you some or cover your desk.

Quote of the Day
"In other news my dogs Farley and Molly ate a bunch of old sponges and a nightlight last week respectively. On my dog-sitting shift. My parents aren't too happy with me at the moment. Wish me luck with that."

So Then David Said.........
.............. "Turtles walk slowly, I don't trust them for that reason alone."

Wisdom In Unexpected Places
Off the wrapper of a tampon* "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you ARE."

On the tag of my teabag "Anything too stupid to be said is sung. - Voltaire"

*if it seems that I'm pushing this product, yes, in fact, I am. Buy them, ladies, just do it.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Ike: it's been sort of nice for me to get back to my writing roots, moving back home.
I missed writing

Valancy Jane: I love writing.
Sometimes I just sit and write about how much I love writing.

Ike: sometimes I dictate to a writer how much I love writing

Another Actual IM Conversation*
Ike: I do love google

Valancy Jane: God loves google.

Ike: I do believe that
I dont' think God would use 'ask jeeves'

*using Google Talk. Yes, I love my MSN, but hey, it's google, you gotta try it out.

So in addition to all the deli's I have at my beck and call, there is a man, Jack, that comes around this neighborhood every day with no set menu, but every day there are different choices, and he rattles them off from a little card his chef prints out, options like mandarin wraps and thai chicken salads and southwest wraps, etc. Lunchbox Gourmet, if you are in the area and interested.

And if you're nice to him, he has more.
His chef, Sergio, makes a few select meals that he considers too exotic and good for the comman undiscerning hoards, and Jack stashs them for the people he considers good enough.

Today I dine on a tomato tortilla wrap with chicken and grapes and walnuts and celery and lettuce and a light cream sauce.

And I extend my pinkie, because now I belong to Sergio's elite eaters.

Happiness is NOT ...................
............. a bug bite on my eyelid, a painful, swollen, hurts-everytime-I-blink, *looks closer*, dear-sweet-mother-if-that's-a-ZIT-I-will-kill-myself, no-wait-it's-a-bug-bite, a-bug-bite-on-my-EYELID-PEOPLE-do-you-understand-how-that-hurts!?, pressing-on-my-eye bug bite.


Any suggestions? I'm hesitant to rub anything on it because it's so close to my eyeball.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Defending My Title
Jonny has 8 new fish. Like any sane person should do, he has asked me for naming suggestions.

Ok, so they are in sets. Pick a set, any set.

"Big Tiger"
"Panda Bear"
"Little Tiger"


"The Poet"
"Lemon Tea"

"8 1/2"

"Valancy Jane"

Knowing My Key Demographic
Actual searchs that brought people here.

Prank Phone Calls in spanish - Crap. They're on to me.

ninjas vj - Crap. They're on to me.

nude jogger mount helix la mesa - Crap. They're on to me.

Reason Number 8,116,752 That I Should Carry A Camera
Even though I love my job madly, there are days when I'd rather be at home, soaking endlessly in my bathtub, reading magazines and sipping sangria.
I was thinking that this morning on my way to work, as I sat at a stoplight behind a big truck, and watched all the commuters sipping coffee and rushing to someplace they'd rather not be, and it was quite depressing.

Then I noticed that the neck of a bass was sticking out the drivers window of the big truck in front of me, and in his rear-view mirror I could see his hand on it, playing leisurely.

After a few moments the light changed and he hurridly put it aside, and I waited patiently. No, of course I didn't honk at him to hurry. He's my new hero.

Ever Wondered What Happens If You ........
........ stick a brillo pad on the end of a straightened coat hanger and stick it in a bonfire until it's smoking, and then swung it aroung you?

Kelly and Christy find out. I love my friends.

Happines is ....................
................ fan mail. Thank you. *stands on balcony and blows kisses into the crowd, a la Evita*

*warbles* "Don't cry for me, Argentina, the truth is I never left you, all through my wild days, my mad existence, I kept my promise, don't keep your distance........."

Ok. I'll stop that.
I promise.
If there was ever a way to lose your fan base, me singing, that's one. So is admiting that I know the entire score to the musical Evita, probably.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005
A Long Overdue Thank You
My first aquaintance with death came at age nine, when my pet rabbit, Snowball, died. Yes, I, the future Naming Queen, had a pet rabbit named Snowball. I was NINE, people, and I thought it was highly orginal and creative, and unlike so many pets named Snowball, mine in fact did look like a snowball, so bite me.

So anyway, he died and I was crushed. Now, I'm not going to bash my parents here, I'll just say that they didn't understand me very well, and I was lucky my aunt visiting for the weekend on her way through town. My father was just going outside dig a hole and drop him in, but my Aunt Kitty stopped and stalled him. She asked me if I wanted to wrap him in something, and I brought out this little mini-quilt I had just finished, grateful for the suggestion. She cut a little bit of his hair off and put it in a little box for me.
She gave me a little goodbye ritual, essentially, a way to say goodbye. One I realized today that I still use, more or less. I thought of my Aunt Kitty today as I saved a feather from my little Ikey's bird cage and cleaned up the scraps of the fabric I had wrapped him in.
A ritual that makes me feel as thought I've properly said goodbye and can remember and let go all at once.
A ritual that makes me feel at peace with the harshest fact in life, death.
Thank you, Auntie.

Random Beautiful Images

Coco and I, in a diner. Early. It was OH SO EARLY, can't you just tell?

JR is adopting these bunnies from a shelter this weekend. The girl (behind) we are going to name "Natasha", and we haven't decided on a name for the boy (in front), although, yes, "Boris" is a frontrunner.

My kidlets skipping on the beach. This picture makes me wanna make this world a safer, saner and cleaner place.

New Fall Marketing Campaign Slogan
Valancy Jane, Influencing Today's Youth Since 1980

A Sparrow Falls
He was my morning bird, you know. All my other pets were sluggish in the morning, not wanting to wake up, but not my little Ikey-bird.

I would uncover his cage first and he's be bright-eyed and friendly and hop on my finger for a morning hello. Then he'd sing as I uncovered the other birds and opened the blinds and pretty soon he'd have all the birds singing and the cats would get up and stretch.

So as hard as it was to bury his cold little body last night, it hurt the most this morning, when it was so ........... quiet.

He was buried in great state. I made him a soft and pretty coffin, lined with a paisley satin in the colors of his feathers. I wrote him a little note on the inside of the lid, and David and I took him to Bunny's house.
We dug a hole under the pepper tree in the middle of the yard, at an angle that will give him sun on chilly winter mornings, and shade on hot summer afternoons. As I struggled to dig in the hard soil, I handed the shovel to David and said, "Ikey-bird would have wanted you to dig his grave. He, er, always spoke so highly of you."

Bunny's kids did a great funeral procession and after we put his coffin the hole, the boys added some birdseed and flowers, and Philip sweetly(?) offered to kill a few of the local wild parrots to bury with Ikey-bird to give him some slaves in the afterlife, but I drew the line there. It was nice to laugh for a moment, and I'm sure Ikey-bird would have approved of a little laughter at his graveside.

I said goodbye, and shoveled the dirt over my little friend.
That's death. As much as you hate it, you can't do anything but bury them. There's no second chance, no way to fight it, no one more thing to say. The only peace comes when you treated them well in life, which I think I did. In his short life, Ikey-bird had about three names, got to see something of the world, and was dearly loved by two owners. Its like Bunny said when someone asked her if she was going to send flowers for her grandmother's funeral and Bunny said, "No. I sent them while she was alive."
I gave my little bird all I could, with a kiss on the head for topping. So the wound will heal, and I'll be fine, but I'll be a little red-eyed and moody for a while, because I loved him and he was too young and it sucks and I miss him so.

Another Actual IM Conversation
VJ says:
I think we need to install wifi in her ('Rezzie's) head, so that we can track her and talk to her anywhere.
We could be the voices in her head!
That would be FUN.
Don't pretend you haven't always wanted to be the voices in someone's head.

Gilly says:
I have always wanted to meet the voices in my own head

VJ says:
*pictures what they would look like*
I think they would look like my friends.

Gilly says:
I think so too

VJ says:
A motley collection of people that don't seem to match because we're all so weird in different ways.

Gilly says:
including small children

VJ says:

Gilly says:
and some animals

VJ says:
Wow. Gilly, you understand me.

Monday, August 22, 2005
So Then I Thought To Myself ..........
.......... "You can't write moments like this, you can't make them up. You can only write about them once they've come" as I stood outside, next to David, as someone nearby lit off a single firecracker into the night sky and we stood and watched it fall, slowly, not speaking.

Quote of the Day
"In fifteen minutes I'll be picking up my friends from work. They'll change in the car and we'll arrive in plenty of time for 80's night. I'm wearing three layers of black eyeliner and sky blue eyeshadow that fans out for miles. You get a free beer if the lesbian running IDs thinks you're in costume. I'm wearing fishnets, a black tulle skirt, and a fedora. Hot hot hot. The day of work wrapped up for me and I'm dying for a gin martini. I can't fucking wait. Summer is over next week. To celebrate, we went out and partied every night for 15 days. On Tuesday my flight attendant friend and I danced on a clawed up pool table to Queen. There's a limited amount of time before this becomes unacceptable. God bless small, southern college towns. Today I can grind my hips up on my best friends with a bottle of beer in my hand, and in three years, I'll be a problem drinker. Now I'm just young and dumb."


Happiness is ..............
.......... when your friend Ruan shows you his new photo blog and already knows which photo you're going to love. See it here.

I Probably Love You If......... (idea stolen from Lou)
.......... If you've NEVER ONCE said, "It's just a [reference to the species of any of my ailing or deseased pets]."

.......... If you play an instrument. Barefoot.

.......... If you've ever asked me to name something for you.

.......... If you can open jar lids and reach things off high shelves.

.......... If you don't panic when I cry. It happens.

.......... If you've ever told my you loved me, via MSN messenger.

.......... If you take lots of pictures and send/give them to me.

.......... If you don't mind explaining complicated aspects of your profession/hobby/something you do well.

.......... If you let me stick my finger in what's cooking, to taste it.

.......... If you've ever brought me flowers.

.......... If you like yourself and are at peace with the world.

.......... If you are linked on my sidebar.

.......... If my cats like you.

.......... If you call me on my bullshit, but I only listen to you if you are equally as quick to tell me when I've done something right.

.......... If, when in doubt, you just offer me tea, toast and a hug.

Another Actual Conversation
Random TV Character - "This is such a BETRAYAL, Karen!"

Other Random TV Character - "It's my LIFE, Sophie!"

*Coco's Little Bro and Coco's Boyfriend wander into the living room*

Coco's Boyfriend - "What are you guys watching?"

*Valancy Jane looks at Coco*

Valancy Jane - "This is such a BETRAYAL, Karen!"

Coco - "It's my LIFE, Sophie!"

*Coco's Little Bro and Coco's Boyfriend look at each other*

Coco's Little Bro - "Lets go play Legos in my room."

Happiness is ..............

........... a friend that says exactly what you needed to hear, at the moment you needed to hear it.
David, you've done that so many times, probably without really trying.
Thank you.
Your friendship makes me like myself more.

Can I ask a favor?
I know a sick parakeet isn't a big deal to most people out there, but my little Ikey-bird is sick and he's going to the vet at 4 (the earliest my boss would let me go) and I'm worried about him, sitting alone at home until then, because he means the world to me.
If you pray, could you?
The God I worship says "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God."

Happiness is ..........
.......... birthday party with hamburgers, adorable kidlets, the movie 'The Birds', Lou enjoying her new bird, prank calls and most of all, LOU.

Lou, you're a princess and a pea, a saucy grin and a wide-eyed stare, a monkey and a martini.

Note to Coco Bean

You know how I mentioned that that one guy likes you and said you were surprised and didn't know and and how you could never tell who liked you?
Just assume everyone on the planet is in love with you, and you'll be wrong very few times, ok?

So Then Lou Said ............
............. "I don't WANNA blow up again."

Another Actual Conversation
Gilmore Girls TV Show - "You're the biggest virgin in the world!!"

Valancy Jane - "There's only so much of a virgin you can really BE."

Coco - "Unless you're amish."

So Then I Said ...........
........... "I wanna live in a shampoo commercial."

So Then Coco Said .............
.............. "I am NOT a cat toy!"

So the San Diego Blood Bank calls me a lot, as does the local chapter of the Red Cross because they always seem to need my blood type.

Not that I mind of course, it's just giving up a little time for someone that could really be helped by your blood, but when you get like three phone calls in one weekend from people begging for your blood, it starts to feel a little eerie. Eventually all the phone messages start to sound like, "I vant to suck your blood!"

Another Actual Conversation
Awesome Rock Chick - "So, what's your name?"

Internet Star* - "Well, that's a matter of some dispute."

Awesome Rock Chick - "Well, if you ever start a band, thats the best name I can think of for it. 'Matter of Some Dispute'."

So Then Lou Said .............
............ "Starbucks helps me be a better Christian."

Moments Before ............

.............. Shane lobbed a jenga block at my head.

Another Actual Conversation
Receptionist - "Good morning [French Executive]. You're wearing my favorite color today."

French Executive - "Oh, my green shirt?"

Receptionist - "No, the lovely beige skin thing you're wearing. It's very IN."

*long pause*

Receptionist - "Yeah, so I like the shirt."

Sunday, August 21, 2005
So Then David Said ............
........... "You're assuming that everyone is rational like you, and thats where you went horribly, horribly awry."

Friday, August 19, 2005
Another Actual Conversation
Valancy Jane - "So, Lou, want your birthday present now?"

Lou - "No, it's ok."

Valancy Jane - "You sure? See, it's just that .................. well, you might prefer to have it now."

Lou - "Naw, it's ok. Unless it's like, ALIVE or something..........."

Valancy Jane - "Er, so, uh, you want it now then?"

Lou - "Are you serious?"

Valancy Jane - "Yep."

I'm sad to say, I AM one of those people that get so caught up in a concert experience that I buy all their cds after the show and bore everyone with trying to explain exactly what they missed.
So today I have three cds of Seth in rotation, but really, you should too.

Salvaging Something Shiny From The Junkyard That Is Forwarded Emails
I believe- That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe- That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe- That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I believe- That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe- That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe- That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe- That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe- That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe- That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

Ruan designed this.

Coco thinks it should read, "I'm SO TOTALLY Blogging About This" and for she and I, I think that would sound more true to life.

I also want one that says -

Internet Star*
*no, not that kind.

or maybe one with this quote by Dooce -

I tried to come up with the simplest explanation of a blog so I said, "You know how when someone barfs and they can’t believe that the green peppers they ate in a burrito last night just came up whole, completely undigested up through the esophagus and back out their mouth, and the first thing they want to do even before wiping their mouth is tell someone about it?"

The Moment Was Noticed
Sitting in a coffee shop, sandwiched tightly in vintage theater seats that actually fit my odd/short little body between a very dear person and lovely stranger, listening to Seth Horan (listen here) play the bass so that the notes reverberated through my coffee with ripples I could feel through the cup in my hand.

In that moment, I was as happy as I've ever been.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Jonny says:
it was a kind of knock-on thing

Valancy Jane says:
"Knock-on" thing?

Jonny says:
domino effect
one thing leading to another
all because I ate a bowl of cornflakes

Valancy Jane says:

Jonny says:
entertaining really

Valancy Jane says:
I'm a cheerio girl myself, if I do cereal.

Jonny says:
I've never been completely at peace with a breakfast cereal that says "goodbye" before you've even opened the box
it's the sort of the thing you'd expect to see on a box of poison perhaps, or disinffectant

So Then I Said ..................
................... "I hope you win" to the man sitting alone with a chess game in a coffee shop.

Thursday, August 18, 2005
Knowing My Key Demographic
More actual searchs that have led people here.

gwyneth palthrow current boyfriend

"guy came up and asked" my feet

free moving water email greetings

danny volner murder mn

laughlin, "i want to breathe"

what does "chalk or cheese" mean

Movie Reccomendations AND Donnie Darko AND Naked Lunch

about parakeets "chest out"

tattoos on el jefe jesse james

"I'm bald" lice

track norwigian postal addresses

vlog, undress

VJ Day, The Kiss pictures

California escrow OR real OR estate "Kathy Kendrick"

Weird people, welcome.

The World's Most Random Quiz
You are freedom. You would want to go skydiving. You love riding or flying. Your dream to be free.

What word you are?

So Then I Said .................
................. "Every lobby needs a little Lou."

What Comes to Mind When You Hear the Word......
..snow? *flings body down onto ground* SNOWANGELS!!!!! *five minutes later, she freezes to death*

..rain? Walking in it, in the trees in Minnesota.

..tornado? "Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!"

..summer love? "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!"

..Jon? Robert.

..Mike? Ma' Homie in Marketing

..Shea? Lotion

..banana? B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

..dizzy? Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

..Laura? Ingalls Wilder

..Juan? My large stuffed animal horse Gwen, windows rolled down, singing along to the radio.

..white? Men in rumpled linen suits, sipping lemonade.

..peppermint? That one play I did, where I got sick and had to always be sucking on hard candy to keep my voice.

..New Found Glory? JR. He really likes that band.

..placebo? Sugar pills. Yummmmmm, sugar. juice? Diner waitresses that call everyone "Hun."

..candid camera? Dream job, man. DREAM JOB.

..sister? Always wanted one. Security.

..hate? My own fingernails digging into my palms. Blank notebook pages, filling them up with words.

..President? You could not pay me enough to take that job. High school.

..rap? My own butt.

..pop? Guilty pleasure.

..rock? Smoke machines.

..punk? Eyeliner.

..death? Six months later when you can really think about it, still feeling that big empty hole. Endless entertainment.

..duuude? You calling me?

..the end? It will be good.

So Then Lou Said .................
................. "Well, you were coming out oddly gender confused, so I started over."

So Then I Said ..............
............. "It can't be a good sign when someone is drawing a picture of you and they won't let you see it."

Five, Part 2
Five people that I love who aren't family
1- JR
2- Bunny
3- Lou
4- Coco
5- The maker of Motrin

Five things I can't live without
1- Blogging
2- New notebooks
3- Pets
4- Caffiene
5- Music

Five foods/beverages that I love
1- Carne Asada Burrito
2- Fruit
3- Tea
4- French bread
5- Tomatoes

Five things that I always have with me
1- Cell phone ("Luca")
2- Markers
3- A book that I'm reading
4- A notebook where I jot down blogging ideas
5- Chapstick

Five things I will always and forever hate
1- Running out of chapstick
2- Deordorant that fails
3- Stupid aggressive drivers that feel they have to move one person ahead of who they should have merged with.
4- Dial-up internet
5- Static Cling

So Then David Said ..........
.............. "I am a nomadic tooth brusher."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I'm a little girl, sitting on a front porch on a lazy summer day, staring down at my new red shoes. I can hear my own heartbeat, but the more I listen, the more it's a waltz-ish rhythm, and the music makes me smile. I stand and twirl once, twice. Then with a sly smile, I half close my eyes, and dance right off the porch, as the world around me is a whirling blur.

When I stop twirling, I am on a road. I skip down the road and meet up with a gypsy man and he tells me stories about the animals we pass. We pass a country fair and win a few goldfish. We come across a little girl who has my exact same birthday and she holds my hands and we twirl faster than I ever imagined I could as we travel on. A few miles outside a large city we find a kindly old rich-looking man, picking wildflowers on the side of the road, which he says remind him of his youth. The four of us travel on, me clutching my bag with the goldfish, until we reach the center of the city, a crossroads, where a kindly old woman is selling cool lemonade. We look at the signpost in the center of the city.

"Come live with me, and I'll give you a pony!",
the old man says.

"Come down to the river and we can go swimming!"
says the little girl,
and my goldfishes' eyes widen appreciatively.
The gypsy says,
"There is a view that can't be imagined,
just up that mountain."

The old woman says,
"Stay here in the city, all of you,
and see all the people."
I am trying to hear them all, but I can't hear .................

I look down at my dusty red shoes, and with a sly smile and half clothes eyes, I hold my goldfish bag to my chest. I can here it now. There it is. And I twirl to the side. Glissade, pas de chat, grand jete. I have no idea where I'm going. When I open my eyes, the air and light is different and someone is still with me. It's -

And then I woke up.

Another Actual Conversation
Receptionist - "Good morning, [company name], this is [Valancy Jane], how can I help you?"

Caller - "Yes, this is [name] from [company], and we just recieved a power supply in the mail."

Receptionist - "Is there a problem, sir?"

Caller - "Well, I didn't ORDER a power supply."

Receptionist - "Er, SUPRISE?"

*long pause*

Receptionist - "I'll put you through to Shipping."

*heart explodes*
*reduced to incoherent baby talk*

Just go here.

So Then Coco Said ............
......... "I was at PetSmart the other day and I was looking at the birds but I started to feel kinda Alfred Hitchcock-y, so I left."

Another Actual Conversation
Executive - *answers desk phone* "Hello?"

Receptionist - "Yes, there is a gentlemen down here who says he's your probation officer, and he's got a little plastic cup and he says he needs to see you."

Executive - *nervous voice* "Really?"

Receptionist - "No. It's [Vendor] from [Company]."

*moment of awkard silence*

Executive - "I'll be right down."

Receptionist - *suppresses giggle* "'K."

Random Thoughts
1. Ok, there was a lot about this guy's profile that just seemed odd, but the fact that he's trying too hard to sound like this devoted family man and every single one of his friends are young attractive women ..................... ? *hits deny* No, I don't think I wanna be his friend, even in a loosely defined, myspace kinda way.

I attract weird men.

2. If you google 'greetings from the lobby' under images, you get this.

Oddly appropriate.

3. And how do I sign up for a girafe and a hippo? Er, in the name of science, thats all.

One of my favorite places in the world.

This picture is the solution to the puzzle down at the very bottom of this page.

Reason to LOVE My Job #4,591,282 and counting.....
I love my job, did I ever mention that?

Everything comes to me. I don't even have to stand up out of my chair.

My deli orders, the snack guy that comes around every week, my paycheck, they all come to me.

Another Actual Conversation
Receptionist - "Good morning, [company name], this is [Valancy Jane], how can I help you?"

Caller - "I'm looking for [Ma' Homie in Marketing]."

Receptionist - "Aren't we all, in some sense, deep, deep down, searching for our own inner [Ma' Homie in Marketing]?"

Caller - *long pause* "I'm sorry, wha...........?"

Receptionist - "I'll put you right through, ma'am."

So Then I Said...........
................... "and that, in short, is the complex enigma that is ...................... my hair."

Fall Ad Campaign
I'm saving up for a billboard.
Get yours here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Today, I'd really like to step outside of myself and look me in the eye.

Things to Love About the French Executive
Today, he brought his son, and his DOG to work with him.

The Lobby Welcomes Lou.
Lou, we're on. The Kind and Lovely Boss has agreed. I'll pick you up disturbingly early on Thursday, for a day of chair twirling and prank intercom messages and blogging, aka, my job. Get ready for a really distorted view on what life in the work force is like. Bring your camera and any random cds you want.

So Then I Said ..........
............ "Is it to early in the morning to admit I want chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes?"

Yes, Coco and Daniel.
The flash DOES work.

So Then I Said ..............
............. "Actually, I always seem to turn mood rings some funny color thats not on the chart. Think that means something?"

Another Actual Conversation
Ma Homie in Marketing - *skips up the stairs, making funny faces at me the whole way, humming a tune*

Receptionist - "You're a treasure."

Ma Homie in Marketing - "You're a cracker jack prize."

Monday, August 15, 2005
Things To See Before I Die, Part One
The Rock of Gibralter
A Native American rain dance
The cover of my own third novel
An ink print of my own handprint
A bank vault (relax, I just wanna see it, not rob it)
Another sunrise over Lake Superior

Your Mood Ring is Blue-Green

Inner emotions charged
Yet, somewhat relaxed

Quote of the Day
'Once I saw a sign on the front of a cinema: "The Mummy Returns Captain Correil's Mandolin"'

What I don't really want, I just sorta want it today because I'm stressed.........
I look down at my check. This is a mistake, has to be. Way too much money. I mean, I often feel that way about how much I'm paid, but I know they intend to overpay me that much. This can't be what they intended to give me. This is....................

I uncross my legs and slide my feet into my shoes. I grab my cds, my hermit crab tank, my favorite coffee mug ("Joey") and my purse. I leave this blog post open on the screen and the front door open.

I pause in the doorway, blow a kiss, then get in my car and drive home.

I throw only my favorite clothes in a small bag, but all my warm socks and scarves. The fish get carefully scooped into a smaller travel tank, and I add the hermit crabs I have at home to the small plastic tank I took from work. "Fritz and Lily, meet Raymond and Bradley." I cover the bird cages and buckle them into the backseat of my car, wedging the small fish tank inbetween and the hemit crabs get placed sideways on the floor behind the passenger seat. My bag goes in the truck, and the cats find their traveling spots, Dulce under the seat, Maximus on the passenger seat, paws up on the window to look out. I make one last walkthrow of my apartment and take my coffee stirring spoon, Anabelle and a few framed photos. I lock the apartment tightly, reconsider for a sec, re-enter and find that can of spray paint left over from some project, write "The Ark" on the back bumper of my car, then re-lock down my apartment.

There's no way that pulling our of my parking lot, my street, my little town, couldn't hurt me a bit. It will hurt my little home a bit too, but it understands, because it loves me back.

I drive east for a bit. Nothing like the desert in the evening for thinking of everything and nothing. I stop for a bit and just kick the sand under my feet and gaze at the stars. The birds get used to the car, and sing happily. Maximus gets out and sniffs around, I sit down and cuddle Dulce into peace and contentment. She is calmer and happier for the rest of the trip. So am I.

We get going until about midnight, when I check into a roadside hotel, impersonal and simple. I arrive in Albuquerque and drive past my Gramie Dude's place. She's there, she and Patrick are telling each other stories while he continues the endless foot rub that is their marriage. I watch through the window for a few minutes, but I don't go in. I don't need to. I go light a candle in the Catholic church in the old part of town, the one that brought me a strange sense of comfort when I lived there, even though I'm not catholic. I sit in the confessional and tell the kind priest that I have already done all my confessing in the privacy of my own heart, and he gives me his blessing and leaves me alone in with my thoughts for an hour, where I have the most hopeful cry session I've ever had. I when I walk out of the church, I am so light I have to work to keep the skip out of my step.

My little "Ark" car and I wind north, into Santa Fe, where I buy a silver belt that makes me stand tall and throw my hips around, and feel strong from the very core of me.

I wander through little Rocky Mountain towns, and settle in the most obscure corner of Wyoming I can find, where I'm more likely to run into Harrison Ford than anyone I know.
I rent a small room in a hotel. Maybe I work at a small town diner, maybe I just hang out there all day. I get all the old people to tell me their life stories. The whole story, the long version. I cover the walls of my hotel room with postcards of the place I'm actually in. Total immersion. They grow to like me very much.

Then one day, I kiss them all and tell them a part of me will always live there with them, and they should keep my seat in the diner for me. I drive west to the coast and then let the ocean's edge steer me home, unhurridly.

When I arrive home, I dust off my old life, literally and metaphorically, if that can be done.

Jonny asks........
1. What morally questionable act would you commit if you knew you'd never be found out? I honestly can't think of one. Consequences don't depend on someone knowing, and the choices you make, make you who you are.

2. What one thing do you most want to do before you die? I have a list, I'll post it someday soon. Maybe later today.

3. What is your guiltiest pleasure? Eating with my hands.

4. Do you secretly wish you had more problems than you do, because you feel then you'd be more interesting? Thank the merciful God in heaven I got over that phase when I was 19.

5. What is music? That noise in my head that I dance to when no one is looking, the one that makes me smile in such a way that everyone thinks I know delightful secrets. Which I do. It's a samba beat, or a waltz, something between those two.

6. Where is music? Where ever you look for it.

7. If you were to make a film called, "Not Being John Malkovich", what would the plot be? It would be entirely ad-libed by the actors.

8. Who would ghostwrite your autobiograpghy for you? Hmmmm. Dufel.

9. So, just how reliable are ghosts, exactly? Very, since I can't suspect them of being after money or sex.

10. Do you find it hard to be sincere about anything? I'm horribly sincere. Far more sincere than anyone realizes.

11. Do you frequently have strong urges to shout obscenities in public? Not obscenities as much as quasi-inappropriate words like 'poo' or 'penis'.

12. What is the funniest swear word? A well placed 'fuck' is funny.

13. "The pen is mightier than the sword". Is this why most poets are terrible ninjas? Not all poets are terrible ninjas, they just don't tell you about their secret ninja activities.

14. Did you like dinosaurs as a child? I was pretty ambivalant.

15. Do irrelvant questions and worries keep you awake at night? Used to. Now as I turn off the lights, I deliberately pick something nice to think about, and I dwell on that as I drift off.

16. Do you walk around your house naked when nobody else is home? Of course.

17. A snowball or a cat - which would last longer in hell? A cat. I don't think a cat would be phased by hell at all. Cats are some of the worlds most adaptable creatures. Cats and Ike.

18. How many hours a day do you actively contribute to the common good? I like to think I put at least 4 hours a day into the comman good.

19. How many emotions are there? Enough to last a lifetime.

20. Can you keep a secret? Oh yes.

You're Prufrock and Other Observations!

by T.S. Eliot

Though you are very short and often overshadowed, your voice is poetic
and lyrical. Dark and brooding, you see the world as a hopeless effort of people trying
to impress other people. Though you make reference to almost everything, you've really
heard enough about Michelangelo. You measure out your life with coffee spoons.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Knowing My Key Demographic
"My Catfish Friend" Oh! Great poem, one of my all time faves. Read it here.

gleek tongue girlfriend - It's not often I'm faced with a sexual reference I don't understand, but ............

meth ice smokers blog - I am exactly the 100th site on this search. I'm aiming for 50th by the end of the year.

sex/humour+sexy underwear in a car - Go, have a good time, and don't tell me about it.

i have a yeast infection under my breast and it's weeping yellow stuff - I would be much more grossed out if I wasn't so hung up on trying to figure out how the hell that's possible. Under the breast?

"jeremiah was a bullfrog he was a good friend of mine" - Thats funny, because he's a good friend of MINE, and he never mentioned you.

fat maid hobby lobby - *munches animal crackers and can't think of any response to this*

"why penguins don't live very long"
There's your answer.

Hallmark greetings for someone who passed away - I would think the trick wouldn't be so much finding the right card, as finding the right deliverly service. "We deliver to the dead in two days or less."

So Then ..........
So then I said - "How and why is my cat wearing an eyepatch???"

So then Ike said - "Can anyone tell me why there is a llama behind me?"

So then Keane said - "Can we make crossing the street a little less bitchtastic?"

So then I said - "Never be the coolest person you know."

So then Ike said - "I like this plan, but it needs extra ninjas."

So then I said - "In another minute I'm going crazy, or dancing. Which might be the same thing."

So then Ike said - "You're not moody. You're just tired and it's hot and you have issues."

So then I said - "What should I wear tonight? I did all the obligatory shaving, so we have options."

So then Ike said - "And thats when it occurred to me that I had to sabotage this, in a good way."

So then I said - "I think someone is coming into my apartment every night and taking the screws out of my dining room chairs."

I Miss You Already.
Ike, I miss you. And you really are unstopable in your cowboy hat. I'm praying for a safe journey home!

P.S. Please don't tell anyone how many pets I ACTUALLY have, ok?

Another Actual Conversation
David - "You love a lot of things."

VJ - "I know, so I'm rich."

Friday, August 12, 2005
It's just a nice story. There's still wonder and discovery and magic in this old world.

So Then Ike Said ..............
.................. "These pants have more character than I do, but THEY'D BE NOTHING WITHOUT ME!"

"I just want an explination for why you have such brightly coloured odds and ends above your stove?!?!?!?!" said Ike after informing me that he's been filming my apartment all day while I was gone.

Some Random Unconnected Thoughts
1. You know theses?

Yeah, whenever you decide they aren't cool anymore/you aren't a 'Rebel' anymore/the director of the charitable foundation steps down for embezzeling funds, whatever, send your little plactic bracelets to me, please?
I have my reasons, ok?
No, I don't want to tell you why. Then you'll all know how they take rubber band wars to a whole new level and once you've tested their disturbing accuracy and the distance that can be achieved, you won't want to give them up.
Oh crap. Blew that one. Can I please have them anyway?

2. You know, only one strip of caution tape is necessary to convince me not to use the 'out of order' stall. I'm cautious by nature when it comes to bathroom stalls, the slightest suggestion is a guiding force. Putting eight rolls of caution tape across it so that it looks like my locker on my 15 birthday after my friends got to it with streamers and silly string, or what Lou and I did to Coco's lawn? It's overkill. It makes me cautious enough to use the other bathroom down the hall.

3. When you go to a country that has a lot starving people and send out the word that you're serving food if they wanna come sit through a church service, then you're an idiot and you've got it exactly backwards. Just give them the food. If they wanna know, they'll ask. People don't shy away from talking about faith and religion. They just shy away from you because think their life is only worth saving if they convert to your religion. Just give them the food, and they'll probably ask and they'll listen a lot better. Trust me, I've tried it.
Think of it as 'retaining your air of mystery.'

Admittedly Ranting.
You know that one free half hour a day I find time to read? Yeah, I really do love it when you come and rescue me from the tedium of my favorite novel. Thank you so much.

Please, Weird Girl at Work, corner me outside on my lunchbreak to blatter on about how you're mad at you husband because he stole your ATM card to put gas in his car, draining your account so that now you can't pay for your kids daycare, etc, during the only half hour of the day I DON'T have to play slave to stupid people on the phone ..................... yeah. I really like that.

The security guard at the bus station that actually used the line, "So have you ever read any other books?" to hit on me ................ yeah, that was hot and not at all annoying.

I'm begging you, if you see me trapped with a book, ask me ridiculous questions at an intervel that gives me moments of hope and then dashes them by insuring that I can't read more than three words without interruption.

Furrowing my brow, holding the book closer to my face, answering all your mosquito-like questions with quiet "hmmmmms" and "oohs" and "wows," that's how I express how much I enjoy your effort.

I think to myself, "Well, since there is no one around to regale me with stories of their upcoming gallbladder surgery, I guess I'll be forced into opening this dog-eared copy of a pulitzer prize winning novel with engaging characters and rapid plot."

Rescue me, I'm begging you.

Another Actual Exchange of Emails
VJ wrote - "Col, dear, in another life, we were sister in laws/next door neighbors and were utterly devoted to each other."

Col wrote - "Think we ever owned a tea farm together?"

VJ wrote - "*starts to respond but is so caught up 'remembering' our tea farm..................*"

Col wrote - "we were intoxicated by the smell.
once a year we were take some leaves to the hot springs nearby
and have a tea party with all of the animals.
the bees were nice enough to donate honey for the afternoon.
the local maha raja (does hand movement) specifically requested
our tea for all of his parties and coronations."

Quote of the Day
"The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur, in fact, I'm not even sure how I ended up with ten dollars canadian in my wallet."

Things I'm Writing/Would Like To Write
'Rez and I are plugging away at our novel. It will take forever, it will mention most of you, and it will be brilliant.

Ike and I decided last night to write a stage show of a man doing a vlog from after death, right before the white light. It will be vaguely philosophical "I wish I'd sent more emails" and mainly humorous, "Due to maintaince on the moving sidewalk to the bright light, I'm waiting for a shuttle bus and I have a couple minutes to tell you what I've learned so far. Be nicer to chickens and always have a comb on you when you die. Just trust me. Rumor has it at the Judgement, we will be called in the order of how many times we hit 'reply to all' on a company email that oncerned only one department. The wifi up here is excellent, but I never expected the afterlife to be so humid, really."

I'd like to write -
  • A screenplay with 'Shaw. He can pick any topic, any characters, I'd be honored to be a part. I can picture us on the floor somewhere, with pages spread in every direction like a carpet, looking for the only pencil we'd thought to bring, that we lose under the snowfall of papers every minute and a half.
  • A travel book on the summer I'd like to pack a couple swimsuits, light bedroll and a lot of sunscreen and walk up the coast of the Pacific Ocean from San Diego to, well, as far north as I get, camping on the beach and bathing in the ocean and taking pictures and meeting the sea in its every mood. I won't judge, I'll just look. Perhaps I could do a sequel of the same, walking south.
  • The foreward to the cookbook Bunny should publish but probably never will. Maybe I'll just write a foreward and stick it in her giant binder of recipes, anyway. "Bunny has never failed at anything she's done, so try her banana pecan bread."
  • A REAL car manual. "Don't put cutesy little stickers of a girl or boy bowing to a cross if you think there's a chance you're going to cut me off and then flip me off." "Car dancing really encourages head movement more than other forms of dance, because of the space issue." "Always keep granola bars (with no chocolate) and sunscreen in your glove compartment."
  • A novel for every ten I think of writing. If I get even that many of my ideas down on paper, I'm doing good.

Another Actual Exchange of Emails
'Rez writes - "Take a deep breath and enjoy the ride."

VJ writes - "Oh 'Rez, whatever sort of mess I made of my life, no one has ever accused me of not ENJOYING it."

Firsts and Lasts

First best friend: Chrissy, the neighbor girl. We had matching haircuts and matching bells on our bikes and we loved playing spy together. We weren't exactly sure what spies did, so we hid places and took a lot of "notes" in a notebook. I think we were four or five.

First car: Chevy Tahoe, blue. Named Quintin. I loved him so. I had him a month before together we rolled down a cliff, on fire.

First kiss: Kyle, in his car, at the beach, in the summer time. I remember not caring at all that the stick shift was jabbing me in the ribs.

First screen name: Valancy Jane

First funeral: Well, I put in an appearance at my great-grandmothers funeral when I was about seven, but I feel asleep on some chairs in the kitchen and wasn't really there or coherent. The first one I really attended was Roger. I remember sitting in my seat at this funeral, feeling like the wind was knocked out of me and feeling like you occasionally do in a movie, when the lead character was on a horse or in a car that ran over a cliff and you are devastated but in the back of your head you're thinking, "No, it's to early in the story for the lead character to die, it doesn't make sense, there's no closure to the plot and who's going to kiss/rescue/kill the other lead?" and realizing that this must be what people meant when they said life isn't like a movie.

First album: Faith Hill, Piece of My Heart

First pets: Jubilee, german shepard. She got hit by a car, attacked another dog and got us sued, ran away twice and let me ride her like a horse once. I loved her.

First piercing/tatooing: Ears, when I was about five.

First big trip: Hmmmm, with family or on my own? I remember Disneyland when I was about three, and there was a cart with real horses, and Pinocchio dressed character person pulled me out of a crowd to dance to a brass band and I was so happy. On my own, lets see. Loretta and I drove up to LA when I was 15 or 16, to visit NBC studios (aka, stalk Austin Peck, actor on Days of Our Lives). Loretta drove her prized '65 white mustang, and we laughed and ate Cheetos and sang "When the sun comes up over Santa Monica Blvd" while cruising down Santa Monica Blvd and felt so free.

First time skiing: Hmmm. High school leadership trip, I think. I sprained my knee about four feet down the hill and had to sit it out for the rest of the trip and everyone felt sorry for me but I wasn't sad at all because I was having so much fun making snow angels and sipping hot coco and then the cutest guy in the group took me innertubing down the bunny slope all afternoon and suddenly everyone else was jealous of me.

First concert: Hmmm. There are a lot of vague concert memories from my late teens. Maybe some country artist at the Del Mar Fair?

First alcoholic drink: Wine at my grandparents one Christmas. You had to drink to tolerate their drinking. You don't want to know how old I was.

First ticket violation: About 50 miles outside of Alburquerque, New Mexico. Speeding, of course. Jeanette, riding shotgun, had to call my attention to the flashing lights behind us, because my rear view mirror had mysteriously fallen off somewhere in AZ.

First date: Well, that's a tricky one to answer because I had boyfriends before we had cars and so I guess it would be Jeff, on of those imfamous summer camp boyfriends when I was 13, and the occasion was the end of the camp banquet. He was 16 and was quite a jock and had broken his leg at camp and I really enjoyed the fact that his crutches were taller than I was.

First myspace friend: JR or Stretch, I think.


Last car ride: Drove to work this morning.

Last kiss: JR, yesterday.

Last time you cried: Two days ago.

Last movie watched: Monty Python's Life of Brian

Last food you ate: Yogurt, just finished.

Last love: As in before the one I'm in now? Or as in the last person I felt love for? Now I'm confused.

Last temptation: Last night, eating ice cream in bed, I totally succumbed. Blame Ike, who brought it to me with a spoon.

Last item bought: Gas, I think. Or snacks for Lola's movie night.

Last annoyance: With myself, for being so emotional this week.

Last time wanting to die: Never. No matter what I'm going through, my incurable optimism kicks in and I just KNOW that somehow it will get better. I might wanna fake my own death for a while to avoid something, or just go to sleep and wake up when it's all better, but I've never actually wanted to die.

Last shirt worn: Before the one I'm wearing now? I changed out of an old Dogwood t-shirt I sometimes sleep in this morning, into a black company t-shirt that says "REAL experience/performance" but the word REAL is much better than any of the other words and is plastered right across my boobs, which is very amusing to me.

Last alcoholic drink: Last night Ike and I had a couple of those raspberry smirnoff things with dinner.

Last concert: Switchfoot with Lou.

Last phone call: Someone asking me if we were Blue Bunny Ice Cream.

Last time at the mall: About two weeks ago, with the 'Murphy Family'.

German Shepards at the Border
I think, having perfected the art of the inside joke, it's up to me to take it to another level.

I want to write a book thats made up entirely of inside jokes.

Coco would understand it all, and throughly enjoy it.

Lou would understand about half of it, and enjoy it more than Coco.

Jonny would call it a brilliant metaphor about the plight of the lower middle class and would ask if the character "Jonny" was him.

Daniel would play four different characters in the movie version.

'Rez would honestly try to crack the code, thinking it must make sense on some level.

So Then I Said ..........
......... "I don't trust people who aren't ticklish."

Thursday, August 11, 2005
Since movies seem to be the theme of the day.....
................... can we talk about how much I love Gwyneth Paltrow?

I love her so.

I love her for doing Great Expectations and Emma and Shakespeare in Love and Sliding Doors.

I love her for that slouchy goth outfit she wore to the Oscars that one year, with saggy boobs and braided hair. Not sure why but I do.

I love her for being warm and human and sweet to her fans and rather creepily obsessed with her deseased father (there, I said it, 'creepily'. Someone had to say it.)

I love her for eloping.

I love her for making a movie about a plane crash, titled 'Bounce', because that amuses the hell out of me. And I love her for making it with an ex/still friend. I love her so much I go to see all her movies when they open, even The Talented Mr. Ripley on Christmas Day.

I love her for having a mother named Blythe. Not sure how that's to Gwyneth's credit, but somehow, I do love her for it.

I love her for the fat suit in Shallow Hal.

I love her for her obsessive diet, and for breaking it when she had her daughter.

I love her for singing Bette Davis Eyes in that karaoke movie I can remember the exact plot but never the name of.

Naturally, (you guessed it) I love her for breaking loose of conventional names, and although I don't care for the particular one she choose (actually, I like it for a baby girl, but lets be honest, by age 22, she's going to have outgrown it) I love the spirit in which it was choosen. Great start, Gwynnie, call me next time, k?

Or come to your husband's concert. I'll shyly ask you for an autograph, blather something about how I'm a huge fan and that I think you carry yourself with such grace and radiance and then I'll run out of articulate words (actually I'm not sure I'll even make it this far) and hug you and you'll laugh that surprised laugh that is probably the only rational reaction to the weird, weird thing that is idol worship and pat my back in that nice way that means, 'ok, we're done now' and I'll talk about you all the way home.