Tuesday, January 31, 2006
So Then I Said .............
............. to the man behind the counter at 7-11, "Fortunately, the only thing left on today's to-do list is a long hot bath."

For Ike - Avocado Soup Recipe
Take two or three very ripe avocados and cut them in half.
Pull out the pits.
Cut them in half lenghtwise again, then peel or cut the skin off.

Drop them into the blender and add roughly a half cup of sour cream for every avocado, and about 3/4 cup of chicken broth for each avocado. You can adjust this to taste.

Blend until it appears slightly fluffy.

It's good as is, but the following, alone or in combination, are great ways to dress it up.

Fresh Pepper
Chopped Tomato
Lemon or Lime
Grated cheese

Its basically just a base to play around with, what you like, what you have laying around. Let me know if you find anything good.

It can be served either hot or cold, and is EXCELLENT either way, but I slightly prefer it cold.
You can come home after a long hot day and whip it up in minutes.

It doesn't keep at all, not even frozen, so just make what you're gonna eat right away.
Its great if you has guests, because you can make it, put it in the fridge to cool and go on with your cooking, or serve it while you wait for the entree to finish cooking.

Let me know what you think!

Another Actual IM Conversation
Thérèse says:
Do it.

Valancy Jane says:

Thérèse says:

Valancy Jane says:
Do who?

Thérèse says:
With what?

Valancy Jane says:
Right now?

Thérèse says:
Why not?

Valancy Jane says:
On the phone?

Thérèse says:
When do ever NOT on the phone?

Valancy Jane says:

Thérèse says:
Well... Where, then?

Valancy Jane says:

Thérèse says:
Oooh, good call.
But... During?

Valancy Jane says:
When else can we meet without being discovered by you know who?

Thérèse says:

Valancy Jane says:
Surely you don't mean that early, before our coffee?

Thérèse says:
Well no. After coffee, but before the other one comes around, right?

Valancy Jane says:
Just us this time?

Thérèse says:
You didn't like last time?

Valancy Jane says:
Who WAS that guy?

Thérèse says:
You're asking me?

Valancy Jane says:
Well, who gave him a key?

Thérèse says:
Wait, didn't the janitor let him in?

Valancy Jane says:
The janitor was there too?

Thérèse says:
You don't remember?

Valancy Jane says:
With what you put in my coffee?

Thérèse says:
Wasn't that the janitor again?

Valancy Jane says:
Weren't his hands tied?

Thérèse says:
Yes, but licorice is hardly sturdy.... don't you remember the other experiments we did?

Valancy Jane says:
Did you just use 'experiments' and 'remember' in the same sentence?

Thérèse says:
Don't pretend you haven't done the same thing twice already today.

Valancy Jane says:
Are you talking about the time with the electric mixer and the soccer player? 'Cause you KNOW I only did that ONCE.

Thérèse says:
No no, I'm talking about the "neck massager" incident that involved the firemen.

Valancy Jane says:
Oh. How many times HAVE I done that?

Thérèse says:
At least seventeen.
Wait, you meant so far this month, right?

Valancy Jane says:
Would I expect ANYONE in our circle of aquaintance to remember more than a month back?

Thérèse says:
Oh, good point. Especially not after that whole flame-throwing thing.

Valancy Jane says:
Did you MEAN for that to hit the janitor?

Thérèse says:
Well, he was trying too hard to get a close look!

Valancy Jane says:
Weren't we all?

Thérèse says:
But it's not all of us that were holding a mop at quite that angle.

Four jobs you've had in your life:
Assistant Manager of a candy store
Tour Guide/Custom Bear Maker at a teddy bear factory
Telemarketer of travel clubs, diet pills, binoculars, and adult videos

Four movies you could watch over and over:
Breakfast at Tiffany's (I relate a little too much.)
Great Expectations (Have you ever noticed how much green is in that movie? They all wear green. And Gwyneth, we all know how I adore Gwyneth.)
George of the Jungle (Oh shut it. Of course it's ridiculous and silly. But it makes me happy.)
Drop Dead Fred (The opening lines cinched my love right away, when the little girl responds to the fairy tale of the 'good little princess' with "What a crock of shit.")

Four places you've lived:
El Cajon California
Millville New Jersey
Albuquerque New Mexico
Apple Valley Minnesota

Four TV shows you love to watch:
Most Haunted (hilarious)
Old reruns of Living Single that play during my lunch hour. (Maxine amuses me to no end.)
Travel shows
Ike's vlogs

Four places you've been on vacation:
Ensenada Mexico, my favorite place.
Washington DC with my brother and the best adventure buddy ever, Josh Buckman.
Boundary Waters along the border between Minnesota and Canada, best camping ever.
San Francisco, inconvient, crowded, expensive and lovely.

Four websites you visit daily:
Myspace (I know, I know, everytime you log on to myspace, God kills a kitten.)

Four of your favorite foods:
The giant rolled tacos at the corner mexican food place
My avocado soup
Bunny's sandwiches. She just has a knack for sandwiches, any kind.

Four places you'd rather be:
Well, the mexican food place on the corner, now that I'm thinking of it.
In my own backyard, the one I don't have yet, picking sweet peas, and luxuriating in my happy plants.
Riding horses on the beach in Mexico.
Taking the day off and making breakfast for all my lovely blogger friends who have flown in for a visit.

Monday, January 30, 2006
So Then The IT Guy Said........
............ while staring at the photos of the Employees of the Month, of which he is one, "What a bunch of dorks."

Its Official. I'm Getting Old.
Wanna know how I know?

Ok, so Sat. night at Rock Bottom, it's late, I've been talking with Devin and Dufel and I start to lean on Dufel's shoulder. A lull in the conversation, and my eyes start to drift shut.
Just then the bouncer comes over, shines a light in my face and tells me no sleeping in the club.

In my long and checkered history of club behavior, I've been reprimanded more than once for my actions on couchs in dark corners of clubs.


That's it, I'm an old woman now. Hand me the keys to a minivan, and a aura of respectability. I'm ready now.

Another Actual Conversation
Receptionist - "Ok, I've got mail for people that used to work in this department. Who wants to be Don and who wants to be Frank?

IT Guy - "Ooh-oh, may I be Frank?"

So I Printed Out ..............
............ one of the black and white photos my brother had taken of this proposal, and put it on a frame on my desk.

Now it looks like the display photo that comes in a frame, and I feel like it needs a small engraved plaque that reads, "No, I really DO know these people."

So Then I Said ..........
............. "Wow, you're all so chipper this morning, I had to snort a line of cappuccino mix to keep up."

Happiness is .........
............ painting your toenails a daring shade of deep red, 'Femme,' and going out dancing with Coworker, She of the Lovely Curls.

............ calling your girl, you know, the one you can always call when you need her. *blows kisses to Devin*

............ utterly wrecking the pedicure the next morning while you squish around barefoot in Bunny's garden, while putting in stepping stones.

........... sitting with Bunny's kids on her porch in the warm sun, tuna fish sandwich in hand, watching a red tailed hawk, so fat that it look like a chicken, riding warm updrafts overhead.

Sunday, January 29, 2006
So Then Peter Said ........
................ "My toes are happy. 'Cept that one."

Saturday, January 28, 2006
The First Time I Met Bethany.......
........... I thought she was cute as a bug.

Now, my brother and I are about as different, personality-wise, as night and day.

And he always dated really lovely women, just never one I felt any spark of friendship with.
The best I could say was that I couldn't think of a single bad thing to say about them.

But Bethany. She told me she'd named her coffeemaker.

I adored her instantly.

And now she'll be my sister.

*choking back tears*

My beautiful darling big brother is getting married.
I couldn't be more happy.

She'll be good to him, I know.

I can't wait to get tipsy at their wedding and sing "Endless Love" on a table.
Kidding. (slightly)

Friday, January 27, 2006
A List Of The Toys On My Desk
Bubble wrap (it's totally a toy the way I use it)
Glitter pens
Stamp pad (again, it's a toy the way I use it)
Two paper drink umbrellas
Two pens with Jack balls on the end, pirate and Charger football player
One small granite rock that I like the shape of
One pink wind-up crab
One small red fish stuffed animal, a gift from Coco
One mini LiteBrite
Two rubber duckies, pirate and receptionist, a gift from Lou and anonymous, respectively.

Ha. You're All Gonna Be SO JEALOUS When You Hear This.
Who do you think is coming to visit me a week from tomorrow?

We're talking an A-list blogger, sexy as sin, BEAUTIFUL human being, people.

Any guesses?

Please submit your guesses in the form of MS Paint drawings of all the fun things we should do together.

Oh, wait.
Did that just give it away?

Well, anyway. Please submit drawings of all the fun things we could do together, on our day of fun.
Keep it clean.
Or not.

I'm going to wallpaper the steps up to my apartment with the pictures, so she's TRULY frightened by the time she gets to the door.

*goes out and stocks up on craft supplies and liquor*

Y'all have NO IDEA how excited I am.

List* Of Things I See On My Morning Commute That Make Me Happy.
The two elderly women that use their morning walk to pick up trash.

That red-tailed hawk that often sits on the lightpole on the merge from 125 to the 52.

The man I let pull out of the gas station into the backed-up lane I'm in, ahead of me, letting another woman in ahead of him. See how much easier it is when we're all nice to each other?

Flowers are starting to grow on the side of the freeway. The poppies will come up soon.

A man walking a dog and smiling so big you'd think his face would split. I waved.

* I like lists today. There might be more.

Happiness is ...........
.............. Svenny back to being a student, as opposed to an employee, so he's free to spend his afternoons on MSN.

Frankly, I think you should ALL quit your jobs and log on to amuse me on MSN. I feel I deserve that much.

Thursday, January 26, 2006
Happiness is .......
.......... when your boyfriend thumbs through the article you showed him, in Glamor, about women who blog, and says, "This is dumb. They should have interviewed YOU. You have all kinds of things to say about your blog."

Don't They Understand?
This morning they had to do some electrical work in the conference room next to the lobby. So this morning my computer and my coffeemaker were unplugged.

Yes. No internet and no coffee.
Frankly, they might have just as well have unplugged ME.

It was like a near death experience, being without internet all morning. The screen seems brighter, the ping of my email twice as sweet.

Or maybe that feeling comes from the triumphant return of sweet caffiene to my veins.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006
This Afternoon I Had A Passionate Love Affair But It's Already Over.
She's renting it to someone else as we speak, prolly.

I love this house. And more importantly, it loves me back. I mean .............. seriously. Look at it.

But people who have gobs of cash laying around, and flexible schedules, got there first.

It's a perversion of destiny.

I don't understand how this house isn't mine.

On a completely unrelated topic, I heard K-Fed rap.
It wasn't the worst thing I've ever heard, but saying that I should also point out that I've heard raccons mate.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Valancy Jane says:
*needs a massage very badly*

Jonny says:
how about a message?
or a marriage?

Thérèse says:
I'd like one of those, please.

Valancy Jane says:
One of each, please.

Thérèse says:
Yes, exactly.

Valancy Jane says:
Aw, what the hell. Two of each, please.

Thérèse says:
See what happens when you offer, Jonnykins?
*marries veaj*

Jonny says:
Yes. Yes I do.

Thérèse says:
There's one down...
*looks expectantly at Jonny*

Jonny says:
**Marries VJ and 'Rez, twice each**

Valancy Jane says:
Wow. A freebie.

Jonny says:
Well, it's Wednesday. Freebie day.

Valancy Jane says:
So oddly and ironically enough, the postman just asked, "Did you ever get married lately?"
I swear, that man is WEIRD.

Jonny says:
those were his words?

Valancy Jane says:

Jonny says:
I feel you should write down everything he says.

Valancy Jane says:
I almost said, "Only three times, just now, on The Internet."

Jonny says:
The secret of happiness is never to let anyone come away from a coversation thinking they're weirder than you.

Because I Want To And I Can.
I'm eating a salami sandwich for breakfast.

I love being a grownup.

Sometimes I listen to the same song over and over, all day.

Sometimes I do laundry on a friday night, and go to bed early.

Sometimes I stay up half the night to read poetry.

I name everything in sight.

I put the coffeemaker on the bedside table.

I talk to strangers.

And thats all the explanation I have or feel obligated to offer.

Because I want to. And I can.

So Then 'Rezzie Said .........
.......... "I just called to hiccup at you."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Only Here ........
....... do schools close for high alert days in fire season.

It makes up for all the snow days we never get.

I Miss Her Everyday, And Twice On Sunday.
That cold morning in January, at one of my grandmother's houses, in Texas. A small, dusty border town. I'd gone to catch my breath, as it felt that the bumper car of my own emotions had strapped me on front as a masthead.

I'd just come back from a walk. Dusty border towns are a good place to let yourself think. I was coming off the worst 18 years of my life. I was 18.

I remember the sound of the phone, jarring the quiet morning.
I remember the cold touch of the tile counter under my hand.
I was acutely aware of the floor beneath me, the shape of the phone on my ear.
I remember feeling like I couldn't speak.
I remember it all like it was yesterday.

But there are 7 years worth of jokes only she'd understand, 364 Sunday afternoons of tanning in her backyard I've missed, and a million times I've picked up the phone and it isn't her.
And I'm equally aware of that.

I still miss her determined little chin that said, "Dream on, boys" and her laughing eyes that gave them a bit of hope and the smirk of a grin that said either way, it was all a big joke.

I miss the faint smell of roses in your room, because you dried every one the boys ever gave you, and hung them upside down from the ceiling.

I still miss borrowing her shoes.

I miss her refreshing advice, that usually included the words, "Oh, screw them" in one context or another.

I miss watching her write, the way she'd dash off long notes so quickly.

I miss how she never carried a purse but always seemed to have a pen and some crumpled sheets of notebook paper on her person somehow.

I miss marveling at how there really wasn't a petty or jealous bone in her body.

I miss how she could infect you with simple giddiness, just by racing cute boys off the line at a traffic light.

I miss the bitter-oh-so-sweet nights when we'd talk about painful things that had happened, with someone who UNDERSTOOD.

I miss 39cent cheeseburgers and how she owned more beach towels than anyone I've ever known.

I miss getting caught by the tide, getting soaking wet, and trying to get home in her aunt's car with the suede upolstory, without getting it wet, which involved stripping down to towels and sitting in strange positions on the seats and praying we wouldn't get pulled over.

I miss the days when we thought we'd go to college together.

I miss the days when Lissy used to smile easily. There's been a hint of bitterness ever since.

I miss the days before I'd seen her body torn, literally, into three pieces.

I miss a best friend that can't be replaced.

I miss her like she died yesterday. And I miss her like she's always been gone.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Valancy Jane says:
My gmail account shows 100 spam emails. I feel like I should win something.

Thérèse says:
Ha ha ha ha hah a.
You DO win.
You win spam.

Valancy Jane says:
Like an anonymous love letter.
That would be a great selling point for an email account.
"An anonymous love letter for every 100 spam emails!"

Thérèse says:

Dear Val0nñcy Jàn3,
You must allow me to tell you how much I ardently admire you.
For only $12.99!
For your health!

Valancy Jane says:
That should be a font. "Spam font"

Monday, January 23, 2006
So Then I Said ..............
.......... to Dulce, "What? Re-arranging your furniture and watching Weekend at Bernie's, and Weekend at Bernie's II is a TO-tally respectable way to spend an entire weekend. It IS. Stop looking at me like that."

Shut it.


I am a fascinating creature, with an exciting and adventurous life.


Just not this weekend so much.

Me and my VCR worked overtime.

(Yes, I have a DVD player, it's just that it's working not as much as not working, prolly because I used it as a candle holder on Christmas and wax dripped into it. Again, shut it. I know I'm a dork.)

So my grand collection of VHS and I fell in love with each other all over again.
They even got their own mahogany bookself this weekend.
In the living room.
Standing proud.
Outdated, out-smated.
Don't pretend you don't wanna come over and watch Drop Dead Fred or While You Were Sleeping or Earth Girls Are Easy or Groundhogs Day or Monty Python or George of the Jungle (shut it) or Aladdin or To Catch A Thief of .......................

I needed this weekend. Badly.

So Then My T-Shirt Said .........
.............. "My boyfriend went to the NAMM Show this weekend and all I did was shlub around in this t-shirt."

Saturday, January 21, 2006
Another Actual Conversation
VJ - *finds full margarita from last night, when she fell asleep disturbingly early and never finished it*
*jokingly takes a sip*

David - "You want some ice for that?"

VJ - "No."

David - "Why not?"

VJ - "Because. It's not even 9AM. And ........"

*exchange a look*

*simultaneously, VJ shrugs and David reaches for the ice*

I love weekends.

Friday, January 20, 2006
Bunny says my homework this week is to daydream more.
About what I want out of life.

So I'm gonna daydream real hard, and print it out and turn it in. Maybe I'll get a gold star sticker. She really does give them to me sometimes.

I want to wake up to light coming in my windows. Maybe some music kicks in, and then the happy bubble-gurgle of the coffeemaker. I lay in bed, adjusting slowly to the idea of getting up. I might be alone, or next to someone I love. There's plenty of room in this daydream for love and kisses.

But there definatly isn't an alarm clock. I get up when my body is ready. It prolly is fairly early, but no slaving to a clock. No counting my rest in 9 minute increments, or my morning in countdown to the time I need to leave.

There is good light in the room. Good windows. Maybe what wakes me up, without me really realizing it, is my birds singing as they see the dawn. They do that.

I own a nice robe and slippers, and they never get kicked under the bed.
As I sit up, my big old dog Kate sits up a bit stiffly and shoves her nose against my leg. Each of us with only one eye open, we shuffle through the kitchen, where Kate sits down by the door. Dulces is purring and rubbing against the cabinet door, while Max feigns disinterest from one of the breakfast nook chairs. A can of cat food in the dish, a cup of coffee in my hand, and Kate follows me out onto the deck. She sniffs all the corners of the yard on her morning rounds while I settle into a chair. The view could be exotic or breathtaking or ordinary. It doesn't really matter, there is plenty of magic in the eye of THIS beholder. But there WILL be trees in my backyard. A back yard is useless without a tree big enough for a tree swing.

I open my other eye. Gradually.

Then it's time to think about breakfast.

I go through phases in what I want, but today I cut up some fresh fruit and make some turkey sausage.

Kate looks longingly at the sausage.
I give in.
And give her two.

Then I tug on some walking shoes and Kate and I head out on our morning walk. We briskly meander. And yes, it IS possible to meander briskly.

We pass the trashman and say hello. He asks if I wanna buy something for his daughter's school's fundraiser. I say yes, and when I find a catalog of wrapping paper thrust into my hands, I'm relived that it's something I'll actually enjoy.

I buy a newspaper and read the headlines to Kate. She shakes her head gravely.
We buy chicken broth and fresh tomatoes.

I see a woman with a brightly covered headscarf and wonder where she is going. I suspect she, in some form, will appear in my writing that day.

Arriving home, I remember that today is my day to clean the bathroom.

I pour another cup of coffee and check my messages. One from Denise. Someone brought her animal rescue a baby owl with an absess on its foot and it needs to be feed every few hours and she's swamped with her 8 year olds scout trip and both of the twins are sick with different things and could I PLEASE just take the owl because it's eyeing the hampster and she isn't particulary fond of the hampster but it's Danny's school science project and would I call her back about the owl?

I smile because it's silly for Denise to call from next door when she knows I'm going to say yes, and she's not going to wait and will prolly be over bef-

*doorbell rings*

Denise can't stay, but the owl can, in the aviary on the porch. She tells me her daughter insisted on naming her George, despite knowing that the owl is a she. I mentally tack on the last name Eliot and leave her to get acustomed to her temporary home without my scary presence.

I haul in the now empty trash cans.

I take a shower and let my hair air dry.

I get dressed and add "shower curtain rings" to the shopping list.

I make a cup of tea and head down the hall, sliding a bit in my socks on the wood floor. Somehow I know I won't write anything good if I don't giggle and slide down the hall.

My office has butterly yellow walls, a big window and lots of plants. Helix the parrot says, "Crackhead!" just as I taught him. Then he tells me I'm getting fat. I don't recall teaching him that.

I always take a deep breath as I open my rolltop desk. I don't know why.

From my desk chair I displace an indignat Maximus, who heads for the window sill.

For the next few hours I'm happily immersed in writing. A novel. A travel brochure, written from my journal notes when I stayed there. A blog post. I don't know. This part is bit fuzzy.
If I get stuck, I IM 'Rez or Jonny.
At around 11:50 I wander into the kitchen and eat handful of olives, real ones from the Arabic market, while I make a bagel sandwich with chicken and tomato.
Kate forgets that she doesn't like olives and begs for one.
As usual.

I give her one.
As usual.

She drops it by her water dish and looks at me with mournful eyes.
As usual.

I eat as I make the rounds, checking food and water on all the pets. George Eliot is calmer.
Magellan is getting bigger. Which is good except for the fact that he likes hiding in that one little arch of the 'mayan ruins' and is prolly gonna get stuck one of these days.
The gold fish are ridiculously happy in their new pond in the back. Luigi almost propels himself up out of the water to get to the food I drop in.
Hazel laid some more eggs.

I uncoil the hose and water the plants in the front yard.
I pick some sweet peas and put a few vases around the house. And one on my elderly neighbor's porch.

Sweet peas make me think of Bunny and I call and chat with her for a while.

I throw together a small greek salad and wander back to my office. I answer a few emails. I spend 15 minutes staring at the collage of pictures on my wall, of my toes in various oceans and lakes and rivers. I think about how I don't have one of my toes in the artic ocean, and whether I would want to stick my bare foot in. I decide worry about it later, specifically in four months when I go to the tip of South America.

I write until about 4:40pm when I get stiff from sitting and run out of excuses to clean the bathroom.

After that, I start a soap with the chicken broth and garlic and potatos. I light the grill on the porch to grill some eggplants and eat half an avocado right out of the peel, with garlic salt, while I cook. I open a bottle of red wine and pour a glass. While the soap cooks, I run a vacuum over the living room rug and find a book in the couch cushions. I end up curled up on the couch with the book and wine when I hear my soup start to boil over.

I rescue the soup while a couple of my friends start to arrive, letting themselves in. I pour more wine and we set the table and eat.
After dinner we lounge around and tell stories and play card games with rampant cheating.

Then we wander down to the corner store for popcicles and come back and sit outside until it gets too chilly and we hug and air kiss each other.

I go back in and load the dishwasher and grab a slice of bread and wander back the living room to find that book. I find that one of my friends has arranged the decorative marbles in a vase onto the edge of the bookshelf, spelling out, "I like marbles and you."

I read for another half an hour, then brush my teeth and cover the birds. I slide back in between the sheets and drift off to sleep, daydream blending into dream...........

About The Toothpaste.
Since you asked.

I was brushing my teeth and somehow a bit of it got IN my bellybutton. I have no real clear explanation.

Thursday, January 19, 2006
Things I Am Ridiculously Enamored With.
  • My new winerack. She's pretty and simple and looks as if she BELONGS in my kitchen. Can't beat her $3 price at a yardsale. She's just endearing, somehow.
  • Martinellis apple juice bottles shaped like apples. There must be something cute I can use them for, I hate throwing them away.
  • Flowers. I buy them for myself every week. I'll never be convinced that they don't have very gentle, sweet, earthy things to whisper if I make friends with them.
  • My car, Gwen. I commissioned a portrait of her. That hangs, framed, in my room. She feels like my partner in crime. Sometimes I kiss her on the hood when I'm going in for the night.
  • The name "Magnolia May" for a little girl. (Yes, you can steal this name if you'd like, provided your child will be interesting and have a good laugh.)
  • The Internet.
  • My boss. He bought my love with cappuccino and a paycheck.
  • Going home at night. The thought of a long soak in the tub, a glass of wine and the company of either David or a good book, that's heaven.

Top 30 Keywords
Visitors to my site come from the following searches.

"Spaceport Trailer Park" (Google)
My rank - 4th

Unattended children sign expresso and free puppy (Yahoo)
My rank - 2nd

"tegan and sara" AND "i'm going to call" lawyer diarrhea (Google)
My rank - 1st

Where to buy TWINKIES in Thailand (Yahoo)
My rank - 15th

"that lonesome road" "saturday night live" (Google)
My rank - 63rd

"the kiss" vj day egreetings (Google)
My rank - 4th

,fair housing act,pet deposit.minnesota...(cat) (Yahoo)
My rank - 38th

augustine "the church is a whore" (Google)
My rank - 42nd

bits of fabric (Google)
My rank - Not sure. I lost interest in looking somewhere around 400, but I did find some interesting links in the meantime.

Busgirl movie trailer (Yahoo)
My rank - 1st

devin harris seen with girlfriend (Yahoo)
My rank - 10th

Draw a Claustrophobic person (MSN)
My rank - Dunno, can't find me

elephant table centerpiece (AltaVista)
My rank - 107th

ghetto proms 2004 (Yahoo)
My rank - 8th

good angel vs. little devil tattoo (Yahoo)
My rank - 4th

"charger girls" avocado (Google)
My rank - 10th

gwenyth palthrow cruisin (Google)
My rank - 3rd

"getting ice off cars" (Google)
My rank - 1st

Is open MRI ok? (Yahoo)
My rank - Can't find it

"Guy Browning" + blog (Google)
My rank - 111st

j tease paintings (MSN)
My rank - 1st

"lou ness" (Google)
My rank - 121st

jr. highers using alcohol (Yahoo)
My rank - 7th

"must explain the existence of everything else" (Google)
My rank - 1st

mexican recipts (AltaVista)
My rank - 11th

"My Catfish Friend" (Google)
My rank - 7th

my cat pees in my plants (MSN)
My rank 19th

"pool in our clothes"wedding (Google)
My rank - 11th

pictures of lindsey lohan in a bathing suit (Yahoo)
My rank - 6th

And Sometimes .........
........... you fall asleep reading an old favorite book
and wake up at 3AM
because you left the light on
and you remember that you fell asleep before you checked the lock on the front door or covered the parakeets,
so you cover them
and go to lock the door
and see that it's raining so you open the door
and step out onto the balcony and it's a
cozy rain, that seems to bring the sky down
and everything smells like a well tended garden.

And sometimes you take a deep breath and curl your toes
and hug your arms to yourself because it's cold
and think that a lit-up pool with raindrops hitting it is prettier than it sounds
and then think that you're going to be alright
and slip inside, feeling glad that you didn't accidently lock yourself out because you do that

Bad Days Come.
And they also go.

But there is a new rule. No yelling at me before 7 AM. I feel this is fair.

Incidently, I think the first omen that yesterday was going to be a waste of makeup was when I was brushing my teeth and got toothpaste in my belly button.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ten Top Trivia Tips about ValancyJane!

  1. Ostriches stick their heads in ValancyJane not to hide but to look for water.
  2. Fish travel in schools, but whales travel in ValancyJane!
  3. It can take ValancyJane several days to move just through one tree.
  4. It is impossible to fold ValancyJane more than seven times.
  5. Human beings are the only animals that copulate while facing ValancyJane!
  6. It takes more than 500 peanuts to make ValancyJane.
  7. In the Great Seal of the United States the eagle grasps 13 arrows and ValancyJane.
  8. ValancyJane can pollinate up to six times more efficiently than the honeybee!
  9. ValancyJane is only six percent water.
  10. ValancyJane is the world's tallest woman!
http://thesurrealist.co.uk/trivia.pl" method="get" style="background-color:#5F5F42;color:#CFCF95;padding:4px;text-align:center">I am interested in - do tell me about

Happiness is ..........
.......... when a friend says, "Here's my gold credit card. I dare you to try going over my limit buying nothing but drinks."

Jonny, you're a prince.

Can I ..........
............ just say today officially sucks, and I got that memo before 7AM and can I not say more than that right now because I don't want to rehash it and cry AGAIN today, and can I just have lots of comments and emails full of love and can I get longs lists of ideas on how to be really nice to myself?

Can I?

'Cause that would be really nice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
This Made Me Laugh So Hard That I ......
........ snorted.

Then hiccuped.

And finally choked.

Don't forget, there's a page two.

BR Always Says My Life Is Surreal, And Wonders If I Exaggerate.
If there was ever a day when I suspect you won't believe me, it's today.

Ok, so Mick tried to kill himself. And in the midst of my confusion as to why the worlds most happy-go-lucky bird would try to off himself, I'm faced with a more mystifying problem.

Ok, I figure he just chewed off those little pieces of string from his toy. But when he somehow managed to tied several of them together INTO A SLIPKNOT, that's where it gets hard to understand. And then he stuck his neck through it. And I came home to him jumping off his perch.


He didn't even leave a note.

He's fine, incidently. I cut him down, and got a nasty nip for my trouble.

Poor Mick. What could drive him to this? He and Gillian are kissing as much as usual, no trouble in the love department.
Did he get some shocking news?
Is he being blackmailed?
Does he need birdy prozac?
Was it the rock music?
Was this just the grand finale to his re-enactment of Romeo and Juliet, and he chose hanging because he couldn't find an apothecary?


Freak accident?
Attempted murder cover up?



If you'd like to send a cheery card to Mick, email them to feel.better.mick@gmail.com or email me for a snailmail address. Flowers and millet seeds also accepted, but no please, no ballons. He might try to pull one over his head.

Another Actual Conversation
Dufel - "Whatcha doin'?"

VJ - "Cooking Indian food."

Dufel - "Oh cool. What are you doing, cutting potatoes, stirring in curry?"

VJ - "Uh, actually, at the moment I'm boiling a foil packet, as per the directions on the box I bought at Trader Joes."

Dufel - "Oh."

VJ - "I was so cool for a minute there, wasn't I, right up until 'foil packet'."

Happiness is ..........
.......... understanding from unexpected places.

*blows kisses to The Internet*

Monday, January 16, 2006
So Then I Said ........
........ "it's like this church and I are having the worlds most civilized divorce and we're sharing custody of you kidlets."

I left my church.

I was the last of my old crowd anyway.

Devin still came around sometimes, but she shared all my same frustrations.

I stayed so long because I've invested so much of myself into the Jr. High group, and to leave my precious kidlets seemed unfathomable.

The differences between the church and myself run deep in both of us, and it would take forever to explain them. So I'll try to keep it short.

I'd always known that I didn't fall in line with ALL the church's doctrine, but I'd felt that we agreed on the few important things. To not agree completely didn't bother me, but eventually I felt the pressure, to think twice before saying what I really thought.

There was really no place for me, other than the places I served. And thats unhealthy and unbalanced. There was a college group. I went. I tried. Twice. The second time, unlike the first, I actually made it home before I started crying. I tried to share during prayer requests the difficult situation with my mother. I was cut off, told that she meant well, and that just wasn't having enough love for her. We then moved on to another prayer request. "So I bought this new outfit, and I'm really nervous about what my friends will think when I wear it tomorrow...."

Other than the college group, my only other option was the Newly/Nearly Marrieds. Yeah. They didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with assuming that all the college age people would move on to newlyweds. Of course, in this church, most of them did. Or they left.
I didn't feel like sitting in the college group like the retard that got held back from the next step in life, when I was, in fact, proud of my choices that had kept me single to this point. And as much as the thought of sitting in the Newly/Nearly Marrieds by myself to make a statement, amused me, I only have so much time that I'm willing to spend making a point to people that prolly wouldn't get it anyway.

Which left the option of leaving.

I have questions. Ones I couldn't ask at my church without being acused of searching for justification for past/present/future actions. Such as, "Can anyone show me the actual verse that says we shouldn't have sex before marriage?" I felt it's a relevant question. I would have been hauled aside and questioned extensively about 'what's going on in your life?' After a 20 minute lecture on purity, I'd leave without an actual answer to my question.
I'm not claiming it doesn't exist. I just want someone, ANYONE to show it to me.

See, it started a while back, when I was still with JR. We'd been dating for quite a while, marriage was discussed and so I made a list of women who's marriages I envied, to go to for advice. I thought that the list would have women who exemplified the guidelines I'd been taught. Surprisingly, at the end of the list, I re-read it to discover that I envy a lot of second marriages. Or parents of blended families. Most of the best mothers I know happen to be divorced, remarried, or never married.
Some flourished in more liberal enviroments, and others adopted a veneer of guilt, that in deep discussion it became apparent they didn't truely feel.

I realized that my peers, the young people around me, where entering one of three kinds of marriages.

One, the Jr. High relationship. The one where they bought, hook line and sinker, the same dating advice that I gave to my Jr. Highers. Nothing wrong with the advice, per se, but somewhere between Jr. High and 25 the nature, the whole purpose of my relationships changed.
And it was painful to watch them marry, knowing that in a month they'd be hollow-eyed and disillusioned, plain to see.

Two, the Ones That Didn't Wait. They were routinely stripped of leadership, and shunned on a personal level, until they quit coming or 'repented.' Most choose to quietly quit. Because of course the repentance couldn't be a one time act, they'd be forced to recount it to every youth group, to 'make some good come of the tradgedy.' Oddly, their relationships seemed to fair better, based on my own personal poll.

And Three. The Virginity By Technicality. The brides that walked the aisle with one virgin hole on their body. These girls seemed most likely to befriend me. And I think I hated them most. The ones that offered ideas and tricks, "other stuff" to avoid intercourse. Just wait it out, and don't get pregnant.
That's not purity.
That's birth control.
And frankly, if I wanted to be a hypocrite, I'd at least sign up to be a hypocrite thats actually getting laid. Why go halves?
Their marriages seemed to fair about 50-50.

Were these my options?

I have lots of questions like this. On many issues.

I guess it boils down to, I'm not afraid of having these questions. I'm not afraid to surround myself with people that don't agree with me.
I don't ask that everyone agree with me.
I wouldn't hold it against them if they couldn't answer my questions.
I am not in the least afraid of the answers.

But I can't last long in a place where they're afraid of my questions.
Where no answers are offered because the question makes you look bad.
Where the question would get me put in a sort of remedial christianity class, before I infect anyone else with my questions.
Where it's required that I only tell the children the official church doctrine and not tell them its an open issue with a few viewpoints and to look it up themselves. (Really, whats so scary about that? Any heart that seeks God, God will reveal Himself too.)
Where they can't or won't hear me. Talk to me. See me.

I'm bitter, admittedly.
I don't hate anyone at my old church.
I'm just frustrated and worn out.

And if I wasn't so frustrated and worn out, maybe I'd have had an answer for the boy in my class that immediately demanded to know what church I was going to, so he could join me.

I'm not sure there is a church, a place for us.

And maybe the church should worry less about my credibility with the kids, and more about that sad fact, that there may be no place for us.

Another Actual Conversation
David - "What are you doing?"

VJ - "Watching Mick and Gillian re-enact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, it would appear."

David - "Really?"

VJ - "Well, now it appears that Mick is doing the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp with one of the toys. And people wonder why I don't feel the need for cable TV."

BabySitting Resume
My Other Homie In Marketing just welcomed into the world his third son. And he anounced that he is accepting applications for babysitters.

I like red and shiny things, so I'm applying. What? His newborn son IS exquisitly lovely, but he IS red and shiny. I'm just sayin'.

Name: Valancy Jane

Address: The Postage Stamp Petting Zoo

Phone Number : 619 261 2659 (and I expect prank calls this time, OK?)


ZezZee - She's likely to point out that I let her wear whatever she wished. No stifling her creative urges. Even if what she wanted to wear was small weapons.

Bunny's Four Boys - They will no doubt mention the hot day when I wanted them to drink more water, so I taught them the motions for tequila shots, and urged them to show their mother. "Look Mom, look what VJ taught us!" *licks back of hand, sprinkles salt, licks hand, tosses back a bit of water, then sucks on lime* Thats me. I make learning fun for the kids.

The Judge Next Door - When he adopted two two year old boys and a newborn, I was the only sitter who could bargin with the two year olds to stop playing with knives, by offering them sticks instead.

The Jr. High Kidlets - I've taught them all sorts of things their parents never had the time to expose them to, likehow to throw a punch and how to drive a car backwards through a drive-thru.

And of course, My Own Childhood BabySitters - If there is anyone who knows how creative I can be at remaining in control of the situation, it's them. There's the one I freaked out into leaving, by sneaking out and cutting off the water and power to the house while she watched a scary movie. Or the over-zealous child development major that showed up with a long list of "educational activities," I let her think I was deaf. Or the one I got fired by waiting until I knew my parents were almost home and hiding in a linen closet and letting them search for me, while the babysitter said, "REALLY, she was RIGHT HERE a minute ago, I SWEAR."

Special Skills

  • tree climbing
  • funny voices for stories
  • horseback riding (indoors if it rains)
  • own my own petting zoo
  • knows all the messed-up versions of songs, like "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg...." for sing-a-longs
  • good-sized hips for baby holding
  • same height as most kids
  • large collection of craft supplies on hand
  • high chaos tolerance

And remember that with me, First Aid is not just a certification, it's a lifestyle.

Another Actual Conversation
Receptionist - "Does this caution sign mean I shouldn't use these stairs, or just that I should ........."

He Who Keeps The Building Together With His Bare Hands - "... use caution? Yeah. Be careful not to trip, fall, fold, staple and/or mutilate yourself."

Receptionist - "I'll use the front stairs."

Happiness is .......
............ a boyfriend that reads your blog and ............... well, that's actually happiness right there. Certain ex-boyfriends *cough*JR*cough* never read it.
But anyway.
Happiness is a boyfriend that reads your blog and buys you stamps.

Friday, January 13, 2006
My First Dose Of Working Mother Guilt.
Yesterday, David went home on his lunch break to check on his baby fish. He asked if he could let himself into my place to get a heater and a smaller tank, and of course I said yes.
When he got back to work, he told me that my baby finches where out of the nesting box and learning to FLY.

I wanted to be there for their big moment!

But I did get a re-enactment from David, and an encore from the babies.

They're so precious!

Coco and Lou, it's not long now until they're ready to go home with you guys!

I'm So Gonna Get Fired.
This morning I was coming down the stairs and as I approached the landing I could hear one of our expeditors coming up, he always runs up really fast.

So I crouched down behind the rail and when he came around I jumped up and said, "Boo!"

Only it wasn't my friend, the expeditor.

It was the CEO.

And he was not so very amused.

Come On, Internet. I'm Dissapointed In You.
I've had my phone number posted on the internet for like a day now. (#25)

I have not been prank called ONCE.

Sheesh, people.

Thursday, January 12, 2006
It's Not A Road Trip Unless -
  • it begins in the dead of night, and you watch the sunrise somewhere over the desert.
  • the highway you're on has more big rigs than cars
  • you form a New Song Obsession
  • the map gets all refolded wrong, and a corner of it dunked in someone's coffee.
  • approximately 6,591,345,877 new inside jokes are born
  • someone breaks down and pees in a place they'd really rather not, i.e. a field, a gas station bathroom, a pepsi bottle .......
  • someone sings
  • somone farts
  • the driver shares his/her theory about getting through traffic
  • someone falls asleep while driver is sharing his/her theory about getting through traffic
  • a diner waitress that looks as though she's 100 years old, wearing very pink lipstick, takes your order
  • you make some sort of major life choice on the way, which you may or may not keep when you get home
  • you have at least one run-in with a potential serial killer, or at least thats the way you tell it
  • you wave at a complete stranger
  • you fill the cupholders with kleenex and trail mix bags and ketchup packets, so you have to hold your own drink between your legs
  • everyone has at one point said, "We HAVE to do this more."

Craigslist Amuses Me
Gee, I wonder what happened to the birds, that she doesn't need the cage anymore?

"Backyard remodel forces parting." Now are they going to have a remodel, or did the goats remodel it already?

Telescope -"Used to watch the neighbors" "I have tons and tons of toys for big and little kids...too many to list..come by and take a look" This scares me a bit.

"Bob" is going to catch hell from his wife when she finds out he's doing this.

"Will fit in conventional opening if header is compliant" Oh those naughty Italians.



"Midcentury retro Eames era" = 60's

I wonder if they'd sell me just the half a chair.

This bed "allows the mattress to breathe." Should I be concerned about that?

50 Random Questions, Except That #23 and #38 Were Missing When It Was Sent To Me
1) How old do you wish you were? 8, with pigtails and a rope swing.
2) Where were you when 9/11 happened? I was soaking in the bathtub, it was my day off. I came downstairs to find my roommate glued to the TV.
3) What do you do when a vending machine steals your money? If it appeared to be close to falling down, I'd just get another. Otherwise, I'd go get my money back from the girl upstairs.
4) Do you consider yourself kind? Yes, unless you mistreat an animal or flick my earlope. Then I'm DANGEROUS.
5) When you see a homeless person on the side of the road, what do you think? Hey look! We're wearing the same outfit! Kidding. Except once.
6) If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Prolly the back of my neck.
7) If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? I always thought Arabic was pretty, or Italian.
8) do you know any of your neighbors? Yes, too well sometimes. The guy across from me needs to close his blinds occasionally.
9) What do you consider a vacation? An undisturbed evening with a book and a glass of wine.
10) Do you follow your horoscope? Not in the least.
11) Would you move for the person you loved? Depends on the circumstances. I wouldn't be doing the person I loved any favors if I moved somewhere that made me miserable.
12) Are you touchy feelly? VERY.
13) Do you believe that opposites attract? I think Robert Fulghum said it best when he said that, "Everything anyone has ever said about love is true, just not necessarily all of it at the same time."
14) Dream job? Writer of some kind.
15) Dream car? I've kinda always wanted a cool old bug.
16) Favorite channel? I almost never watch tv, but sometimes at work I'll rot my brain for a bit with some VH1 or something. I do like the educational channels if I've got time to kill.
17) Favorite place to go on weekends? Home.
18) Showers or Baths? I love baths. I could soak for hours. I'm am such a girl.
19) Do you paint your nails? Sometimes.
20) Physically, what do you like the most about yourself? I have a great ass. And cute feet, and it sounds cliche, but I have nice eyes.
21) What do you like the least? Hmmmm. My stupid knees that cause me pain.
22) Do you trust people easily? Fairly. I don't think I rush to trust people, but I'd rather be hurt by trusting than my not trusting.

24) What truly frightens you? MRI's apparently.
25) What is your phone number? 619 - 261 - 2659 Yes. I just did that. I will be sorely dissapointed if I'm not prank called because of this.
26) Do you want kids? Yes, very much, in like 5 years or so.
27) Do you keep a handwritten journal? Yes.
28) Where would you rather be right now? At home because of a happy new development, that I will share more off later.
29) Who would you like to be more honest with? God, David, The Internet.
30) Who makes you feel guilty? Me.
31) are you a heavy or light sleeper? Pretty heavy.
32) Are you a good dancer? Yes!
33) Are you paranoid? Why? Who said I'm paranoid? *giggle* No, I can't muster the energy, frankly.
34) Are you impatient? Sometimes. Especially about presents. But give me a book to read in the meantime and I'll settle right down.
35) Who can you relate to? The Internet.
36) Would you ever have plastic surgery? Well, I don't know. I mean, I really don't see it ever happening, but who's to say that I wouldn't want a tummy tuck at 35 when my kids have stretched it all out or something? I doubt it, but never say never.
37) Would you ever break the law? *narrows eyes* Which law? And for how much money?

39) Are you Single or Taken? Taken
40) Who was your last kiss? David
41) Where was it? On the ............... doorstep.
42) What did you do today? Worked.
43) Who was the last person you talked to online? 'Mookie.
44) On the phone? David.
45) Have you ever consumed alcohol? Er, yes.
46) Have you ever drank shots? How many at a time? Yes. Well, I don't know many people that do more than one at a time, but I did have one and a half at one time once. It was a big shot and unfortunatly that half shot went up my nose, which turned out to be one of the most painful experiences of my life.
47) Ever been in the opposite sex's bathroom? Oh sure.
48) Who's house where you over last? David's.
49) Ever play strip poker? Sure. On IM yesterday with a coworker. Don't worry, I only lost a sock.
50) Ever been called hot by someone 10 years older than you? Yes, somedays I think they're my key demographic.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Mystery Solved
So this one chick is always calling here for her boyfriend, and she always seems to be calling from a vortex of chaos. Yelling, machines, wind, and last time called, she yelled "Sherlock! Watson!" in the middle of the conversation.

So finally I got too curious, and I couldn't figure out where she was.

Turns out she works in a dog grooming facility.

Happiness is ......
......... when you do the right thing and do it like a big girl and say what needs to be said and it's actually recieved well, when you were in serious doubt of it going that well. Lets be honest, the most vicious attacks usually come the first time you defend yourself.

......... and then going home and finding a postcard from your Gramie Dude, a picture of Grandpa Patrick dressed as a pirate with a parrot and eyepatch.

......... and chuckling over it while eating leftover very spicy chicken strips and a cold beer.

Unexpected Pleasures
- How good a vase a wineglass makes for a single daisy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Happiness is ......
.........A coworker who is also a friend.
Shiny, Happy Faces

Our boss's birthday party

The first time I met Coworker, She of the Lovely Curls, I was coming in to interview for her job as the receptionist. (She was moving up to order processing.) I remember thinking that she was so polished and charming that I'd have big shoes to fill, and I was nervous.

When I got the news that I'd gotten the job, I was still nervous. I bemoaned to JR, "It'll be good for me after that job in the warehouse where no one cared what I looked like, but Honey, she looks like she's never spilled coffee in her life!"

Then, on my first day, despite leaving very early, I was running late, due to some really bad traffic. This was NOT how I wanted to start my first day. I was three minutes late.
But when I got to the lobby, it was empty. I stood there maybe thirty seconds before she came around the corner, apologizing and assuming I'd been there for a while (i.e. that I'd been on time) and saying, "I'm so sorry, I ran the restroom, to wash out where I spilled a little coffee on my self."

I almost hugged her right then, for putting me so perfectly at ease without even knowing.

And as I've gotten to know her, I've learned that she's as sweet as she looks.
Despite knowing exactly how easy my job can be, she always insists on covering my desk so I can get a break.
She's my gossip and giggle buddy.
My red wine sipping buddy at company events.
My lipstick check and hair-tie loaner when I have a date after work.

But if she weren't as sweet as she is, frankly, I think I'd hate her for being so much prettier than me, and with her cute Ecudorian accent, having a nicer voice then me.

Don't lie. You're jealous. You want a work buddy like her too.
Maybe if you're lucky, her twin* will come work at your office.

*yes, she has one.

So Then I Said .........
.............. "I wrote all my thank you notes. Addressed them neatly. There they sit, awaiting stamps. Despite all the effort I've already put in, and how little effort is necessary to aquire stamps, this is the stage at which they are in the most danger of being forgotten."

I Just Wish David Would Stop Calling Him 'The Bathroom Fish.'
He knows his name. Magellan.

He was even the one to suggest it, actually.

I wish I owned a camera, because he's a cute widdle fishie and with David's help, I gave him a very cute little setup on the bookcase in the bathroom.

See, in the MRI machine, to ward off the panic, I promised myself a new beta fish and setup if I behaved. And I certainly didn't want to lose credibility with myself by not following through.

Yes, I use bribery on myself, for good behavior, which means I'm raising me to be a spoiled brat, with a sense of entitlement. Serves the world right for letting me live on my own.

With 22 pets.

I love my home. And Magellan's ("Maj" for short) little corner of it is very cute, with a 2.5 gallon acrylic tank with teal hood and base, white rocks, a sunken mayan-esque statue and a very cute plant.

He's very hypnotic to watch, the only problem being that my bathroom is too small for both David and I to both sit in there and watch him.

And yes, it's a rather strange place to keep a fish, but its better than a magazine, I swear.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Valancy Jane says:
Magic Carpet for sale? http://sandiego.craigslist.org/hsh/123999688.html

Cols says:
"If you are a Dentist and interested in some trade then we should talk."
that line intrigues me
i want to pose as a dentist and call him

Valancy Jane says:

Monday, January 09, 2006
I Was Tagged
How many windows are in your room? One, but it's perfectly angled through the other cheap apartment buildings to a view of Mt. Helix.

What color are your walls? White. Damn apartment rules. I'd LOVE to paint them a buttery yellow.

Hardwood floors or carpet? Again, got no choice in the matter. Carpet. Carpet that matches Dulce's fur a little too closely, and I've stepped on her a couple times in my morning haze.

Do you get ready for the day in your room or the bathroom? Well, I shower in the bathroom, but I get ready more or less in my room, because that's where the sink and mirror are. Yes, my bathroom is so small that the sink doesn't fit.

What does your bed look like? Like this, when it's neatly made. Otherwise it's all rumpled with clothes and cats strewn across it with reckless abandon.

What does your comforter look like? This.

How many pillows do you have? 7

Do you have your own room? I share it with hermit crabs, five fish and two parakeets. And the cats, sometimes.

Is it big? Yeah, it's pretty decent sized for an apartment.

Is it clean? A bit cluttery at the moment. Clothes on the floor. I'm a little ashamed of that.

Do you have the following in your room:

Desk - Yes. It holds my VHS collection and a basket holding the blanket I put over the parakeets at night.

More than 3 sources of light - Yes. Two paper lantern style lights, the star lights, and the light over the mirror by the sink. And a tiny flashlight in my nightstand.

Phone - Just when I take my cell in there, which I do at night to charge it.

Chair - There is a chair at my desk.

Book shelf - Well, there's a small one in the desk.

Dresser - Yep, almost empty because most of my clothes are strewn on the floor at the moment.

TV - Nope. I barely have one in the living room.

CD player/stereo - A clock radio is as close as I come, but you can hear the one from the living room in there, or the birds sing.

Bean bag - No, but that would be cool.

Computer/laptop - Nope. Currently I'm computer free at home. Forces me to have some kind of life thats not internet based.

Posters/paintings/pictures - A couple. A Renoir print, a few small landscape pictures in the corner, and over my bed a painting of elephants playfully tossing small shrubs at each other, that I found at a yard sale. I'm saving space for one of my uncompleted projects, where I've taken the glass out of frames and framed cool bits of fabric that match my pillows with batting behind. That way I can pin up all my jewelry where I can see it, and it looks cool. Or it will once I finish it.

Closet - Yep, takes up a whole wall, but I told the manager I didn't want the doors because they are those horrible sliding ones that never work right anyway. I'm gonna hang a pretty curtain up. Another project in the works.

Mirrors - A full length one, the bathroom one and a few small decorative ones. Wow, I must seem vain with so many mirrors.

Bed - Yep.

Bathroom - Yep, small but cute. They remodeled it with white marble, and I just got a new beta fish tank for it. More on that later.

Clock - Just the clock radio.

Clothes on the floor - Yes. I keep meaning to take care of it, but everytime I do laundry, I'm in too much of a rush to put it all away.

Box of tissues - I think there's one in my nightstand.

Lava lamp - No, I'm afraid of them, remember?

Smoke detector - There is one above the door, outside my room. But with all the food I've burned and candles I lit without ever setting it off, I'm begining to think I should check to make sure it actually works.

A garbage can - Yep. Mostly full of new clothes tags and used dryer sheets that I find in clothes.

A locking door - Yeah. Not sure who I'd be locking out, though. Maybe Maximus, he can open doors.

Bottles of water - One in my nightstand, I think.

Cans of soda - Naw, I rarely have soda in my house anyway, except as a mixer, in a two liter.

A recycle can - Not in my room, there's nothing there I would recycle.

Mess under the bed - Hmmm, some under-bed storage tubs, extra pillows, my heating pad, my back massager (I really shouldn't keep it there if I don't want David to tease me that I molest it) and the occasional runaway sock.

Fridge - No, but I'm thinking of putting a coffeemaker on my nightstand.

Microwave - I don't actually own one, anywhere in my apartment. And it bothers me less than I thought it would.

Loveseat/couch - Nope. You can sit on the bike if you want, or the laundry basket like Dulce does.

Chains, whips, handcuffs, etc. - You'll never know.

Another Actual Conversation
Receptionist - "This is [Valancy Jane]."

Engineer - "Can I get Tung ('tongue') please?"

Receptionist - *thinks so many responses, but only says* "Yes, one moment please."

Engineer - "Thank you."

Receptionist - *thinks, 'I deserve a medal for that restraint' but says* "No trouble, he's on the line now."

So Then I Said ........
.............. "David, will you turn out the stars for me?"

I Have A New Book Of Poetry.
And I'm convinced its magical, somehow.
It has gold leaf doodle-esque illustrations on each page.
It had the illustration to one of my favorite poems on the cover, The Owl and the Pussycat, which is funny on more than one level.
If I planted the book in the dirt, it would grow a tree who's fruit was actually small animal figurines, I think.
But I'm not sure I'll try that. Yet.

Who knows if the moon's
a balloon, coming out of a keen city
in the sky - filled with pretty people?
(and if you and I should

get into it, if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
Why then
We'd go up higher with all the pretty people

Than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited, where

Spring) and everybody's
in love and flowers pick themselves.
- ee cummings

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!""However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
-Stephen Crane

The owl and the pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
And they took some honey and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The owl looked up to the stars above
And sang to a small guitar,
"Oh lovely Pussy! Oh Pussy, my love
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh let us be married! Too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So the took it away and married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
The danced by the light of the moon.
-Edward Lear

I give you the end of a golden string:
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you into Heaven's Gate
Built in Jerusalem's wall.
-William Blake

An Excuse To Rent A Baby Duck For An Afternoon........
............. 'Cause you always need more of those.

Researching a role.

Coco was cast as a baby duckling in her school play.

The only thing that made me happier than this news was when she demostrated the duck waddle and facial expression that won her the role.

My sides hurt, in the best way.

Saturday, January 07, 2006
So Then I Said ...........
................. "Don't worry, there are no leash laws for duck billed platypuses."

Friday, January 06, 2006
Unexpected Pleasures
Whole wheat croissants
"New Friend Requests" on MySpace
Seeing my plants all repotted and watered and my sweetpeas begining to sprout

And socks aren't claustrophobic, Bunny says.
You Are Socks!
Cozy and warm... but easily lost.You make a good puppet.
What Crappy Christmas Gift Are You?

If I lived in the 1920s, I wouldn't have to get an MRI.
Your 1920's Name is:
Georgetta Zola

Merry That
Merry Othodox Christmas to 'Rezzie and her family!

I'd Rather Die Of Brain Cancer Than Do That Again
I don't like MRIs.

I don't like them very much.

Ok, so after my first experience yesterday, where I reacted to the closed MRI machine like cat being pushed toward water, I was not looking forward to trying again. I spent the afternoon looking at pictures of 'open MRIs' to prepare myself. The longer I have to look at something scary, the more rational I can become. The pictures don't look scary, but of course in the pictures they don't show you all the ways they strap your head in, or how far into the machine you have to go.

No likey.

I know. There is ABSOLUTELY no rational reason to fear that machine. I know that. I never once forgot that. And telling myself that had exactly .................... no effect whatsoever. It was as if some instinct, that completely bypassed my brain, was saying, "GET OUT. NOW."

She put an aromatherapy mask over my eyes, which was fine, but when she went to strap on the catcher's mask-like head restraint, the panic welled up again. Nothing, no combination of blankets and pillows and soothing music and the smell of lavender were going to make that ok.

So finally she told me that if I was ok with the pictures being of relatively poor quality (i.e. the risk that my doctor might not be able to see what she needed and have to send me back) that she could do this sorta half-assed version, where I have no head restraints (if I promise to be deathly still) and I go in sideways.

I hated every minute of it, but by looking out the side to David, who reached in to hold my hand and tried to tell me funny stories over the sound of the machine, I could grit my teeth and remain in control of the panic.

She pulled me out at each interval, which was nice.
She gave me copy of my MRI pictures on disk, which was really nice.
Unfortunately, they're encrypted, so I can't post them.
Which is ok, 'cause it's prolly a new low in blogger exhibitionism.

So. Unless my doctor sees some thing that concerns her, that she needs a closer look at, I'M DONE.

Another Actual Conversation
VJ - "So after this is over, I'm going to go straight home, rip open my dresser drawers, and apoligize to my socks."

Bunny - "Don't worry, socks aren't claustrophobic. There's a screening process for socks. And if they ARE, they send them to live at my house, where the boys leave them happily strewn across the front lawn."

Thursday, January 05, 2006
Nice Things To Think About During The MRI
  • Cute teddy bears that need names.
  • Decorating the cute beach house that 'Rez and I dream of having.
  • A stiff drink after it's over.
  • That MASSIVE wedding dress. In fact, I'll imagine that I'm going to wear that massive dress for a costume party and this is the only way to get me into it, with a gurney.
  • Going to visit Jonny and Svenny in Manchester.
  • A weekend in Mexico.
  • My own apartment. I like it, ok?
  • A carne asada burrito. I'm hungry. I haven't eaten all day, because I'm nervous and don't want to puke.
  • Holding David's hand.

Ok. I'm outta here.

I can do this.

Shocking Medical News
I am claustrophobic.

No one is more shocked that me. I had no idea.
They asked if I was claustrophobic and I said that I'd never had an problem, so I guess not.

But when they put me on that bed, I started to get scared. I did what I always do when I'm scared. I remind myself that there is no danger, I'm in capable hands.

I know full well that nothing bad is going to happen to me in that tube.

And for the first time, I lost all sense of rational control. I could not keep the panic at bay. I told the doctor that there was serious danger of me CHEWING my way out of that machine if he put me in.

The angelic nurse and kindly doctor tried everything. They gave me tips, offered to take me out after each sequence.

And I'd take a deep breath and tell myself to stop wasting these nice people's time and just get it over with. And the minute they'd start to put me in, I'd stop breathing.

At this frustrated/weepy/gasping point, was about to tell them to just take the panic button away from me, ignore the screams and do what they had to do, when they offered an open MRI and lots of drugs, if I could reschedule to this afternoon.

Like the wussy little coward I apparently am, I jumped at it. And off the bed.

So that's where I'll be at 4pm today. David will be there, and he offered to draw smiley faces on my pills. This afternoon I've been looking at pictures of open MRIs and it looks doable. Freaky, unpleasant, I will want a stiff drink when I'm done (and before, but I understand thats frowned upon), but I think I can grit my teeth and breathe through it.

would you mind saying a little prayer in your own way?

Things You Shouldn't Say At A Jazz Concert, Apparently.
"Is it just me, or does the drummer look like Dr. Phil?"

"Not bad for a cover band."

"It's like being in a giant elavator, with chairs."

"Thank god they have booze."

Another Actual IM Conversation
Valancy Jane says:
Jonny, you wanna see what I'm going to think about during the MRI?

Jonny says:

Valancy Jane says:
It makes me choke with laughter.
There is just SO MUCH of it.
Including two puffed sleeves per arm.

Thérèse says:
Per arm.
It's perfect for winter, she says.

Jonny says:

Thérèse says:
Well, hello, it's not like you could wear it in the summer. Or even the spring.
You'd suffocate.

Valancy Jane says:
It is "stunning," in a way. In that I would be STUNNED to see anyone wear this.

Thérèse says:
Yes, and I would rather be STUNNED than to be getting married in such a dress.

Valancy Jane says:
You would have to use a stun gun on me to get me into it.
Afterwards, I think it could prop me up into a standing position, just based on the sheer fabric volume.

The World Is Still A Teacup Ride
My vertigo hasn't gone away in over six months and before my doctor try stronger drugs, she wants to make sure that it IS vertigo, 'cause she's not so sure now.

Which is why I have a brain MRI this morning. I'm not nervous about the procedure, just a smidge about the results. What if they find that the part of my brain that names stuff has allied itself with the part of my brain that remembers little parts of songs to hum, to EAT the rest of my brain?
Well, then I'd be crazy and with any luck I could go live at the home where Jonny works and he'd make me tea and bring me stuff to name and teach me new songs to hum, so technically, I guess that's not so bad.

Anyway, I just want to know why I'm still so dizzy so we can fix it. Because I can't fully explain how physically exhausting it is to be constantly trying to orient yourself, to walk into walls, to trip over everything in sight, to fall on my ass all the time.
It's like all the worst parts of being drunk on vodka, without the glamorous conviction that everything you say is suave and witty.

Stop the ride, I wanna get off.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Another Actual Conversation
David - "So what's with the way you slice the potatoes lengthwise, then line them up perfectly before you dice them widthwise?"

VJ - "I don't know why I do it, but I just do. It's a habit I can't seem to break."

David - "I'm beginning to suspect that you're not entirely sane."

VJ - "That's nothing. You haven't seen neurotic until you've watched my brother eat watermelon with a knife, fork and spoon."

Another Actual Conversation
SalesGuy - "Good morning Sunshine!"

Receptionist - "Dawwwww, I like it when you call me that."

SalesGuy - "You're as bright as the sun."

Receptionist - "Which, frankly, is impressive, considering I haven't had any coffee yet."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006
So Then I Said .........
........ to Lou, in the candle shop, "Awwww, a basket of kittens. Lets light it on fire."

Note To Self
Don't look down as you puddle jump.

Another Actual Conversation
VJ - "Dang it. There goes my graceful exit. I'll just have to suck it up and do it like a big girl."

Lou - "I don't know, I wouldn't rule out the ice skates idea so quickly."

So The First Bumper Sticker Said ........
......... "Question the Answers" and the one right below it read, "Support Our Teachers."

So Then I Said ............
.............. very loudly across the tidepools, "Hey David! This couple has CRABS! Come look! Er ................. I'm so sorry. Shall I shout a clarification?"

Catch A Falling Star(fish)
David and I rung out the old year in a beautiful style, by exploring the tidepools down at Ocean Beach. He has the best ideas sometimes, I swear.

Ocean Beach is a very interesting neighborhood, for you non-locals. It's the last beach community that still has apartments, that haven't been knocked down for huge ugly rich people houses. You're likely to see dreads, tie-dye sarongs, odd piercings and drum circles. I can't begin to tell you how much I love it. I'm happiest when I'm surrounded by people more liberal than myself. I'm actually considering moving there for a year.
We browsed a few shops, looking at tapestries and star-shaped paper lanterns.

We walked down the long pier and I watched seagulls and people, while David pondered the making of the pier.
Then we explored the tidepools, finding that the longer you looked, the more tiny creatures you could find. David is thinking of putting together a saltwater tank that's based on a tidepool. We saw tiny crabs, shrimp, little fish, mulloskes and barnecles, plants and stuff we weren't sure whether it was animal, vegetable or mineral. Each tidepool reminded me of a tiny aquatic dollhouse.
Another couple was looking around, and they were taking pictures. I called them over when I found a starfish, and he fished it out and asked if I wanted to hold it.
It was exciting more in idea than in reality, as the poor thing was literally scared stiff, so after about ten seconds I gently returned him to his tidepool.
I miss him.

It seemed so odd to me that 'Rezzie wasn't there, that I carved her name on the sandstone cliff at low tide.

After a lovely couple of hours, I fell on my butt. Slippery rocks, me with vertigo and tractionless shoes? It was bound to happen. I made it through a late dinner at a Texas steakhouse diner (where our table had a private oldies jukebox) then home to comfy chairs and painkillers and a phone call from Ikey and a quiet new year slipped in.

Note To Self
When you notice the new picture in your boss's office, the one of his wife with a horse, and you ask, "Oh, your wife rides horses?" it's very important not to let your verbal dyslexcia(sp?) kick in and mix around the nouns in that sentence.

Monday, January 02, 2006
Another Actual Conversation
Lou - "So people say not to run with scissors, but I find the real danger comes from running with crazy glue."

VJ - "As in, 'I've fallen and I REALLY CAN'T get up?'"

So Then The Sign Said ...........
......... "Unattended children will be given an expresso and a free puppy."

Another Actual Conversation
David - "Want one?"

VJ - "Sure. What are they?"

David - "I don't know. But they came in the mail and I'm gonna eat them."