Friday, March 31, 2006
So Then I Said ........
........ through hysterical laughter, "Uh, Nick? Sorry to call so late, it's just that you know your friend Jon? Well, uh, his phone cut out before we could explain that it was just a prank call, and so you might wanna let him know that's its ok, and we're not the Wisconsin State Police and you're not really being investigated and ...... oh look that's him CALLING US BACK, not only did he totally roll over and tell us where to find you, he's calling us to make sure we got it?"

And Now I'm Done With That.
I'd always set age 25 as my deadline for not being angry at my parents anymore. I've lived away from them for going on 8 years now. Everyone has their own timeline for healing, but to me it felt as though if I really focused on moving past it, there would and should be an end to it all.

Last night I had a very vivid dream of my mother. In this dream she said exactly the sort of things she would and does say. All the old frustrations were there, the ones that make me think nothing will ever change between us. But something happened at the end of the dream and I woke up in the stillness before dawn and sobbed and somewhere in the middle of it all, the bitterness was gone.

My mother and I had much the same start on life. In the worst sort of way. And I have always wanted to forgive her. To say, "So you were a bad mother. I forgive you." But the lie she wanted me to live, that she was a GOOD mother, that was just adding infection to injury, as Bunny would say. And so time and nature couldn't take it's course, and the wound just wouldn't heal.

At the end of the dream she and I were discussing my blog, the reason she hasn't spoken to me in well over a year. I remember saying that she just shouldn't read it. "If you could read it, Mumsie, and really HEAR me, hear ME, then I think you reading it would do us a world of good. But I don't think you can," I said.
And then in my dream she showed me where she'd printed and cut out some of the few nice things I'd written about her and in that moment it struck me that the ghost of what should have been haunts her more than I.
That I while I hurt for the mother I wanted to love, her hurt for the daughter she wanted to love her probably isn't lessened by fact it's her fault.
That regardless of the fact that she created this reality, it wasn't what she wanted either.
That at least I haven't been so obviously replaced, as she has been with Bunny.
That the most painful messes a person can find themselves in is one they created themselves.

And in the richness of my life, I can pity her poverty.
So I won when I fought my demons.
Maybe it was a closer call than I wanna acknowledge.
Maybe all that seperates us is that I got one more good night's sleep.
Maybe I had one more lovely person in my life than she.
Maybe, but for the grace of God, there go I.

And I can now extend her the forgiveness she won't ask for.

Thursday, March 30, 2006
Ask Miss VJ,
Dear Miss VJ,

I miss my girlfriend as we live a distance apart. We're going on holiday in July to Prague for five days. Where can I take her in Prague? Can you recommend a restaurant or concert as a romantic gesture?
What can I do to make it a special time for her?

Yours Worriedly & Panicking;
Concerned Small Person

*sitting on a stool next to a record player*

*practicing her french, repeating phrases from the record*

Dear To Whom It May Concern,

Prague is lovely, I honeymooned with my 2nd(who was also my 8th but that's another story) and 5th husbands there. Consequently, I saw nothing of the city but hotel rooms. And a cab. But that's also another story. I like Prague.
What were we talking about?
Oh, right.
To make it special for her, I suggest -
Showing up.
I suspect this will do the trick.

Miss VJ

*flips the record over*

Next question, please.

I'll Just Never Understand It.
I mean, I understand it perfectly, it'll just never stop being weird to me.

I found the profile on myspace of the Jr. High group and wanted to add it because it would be an even easier way to stay in touch with my kidlets.
And I was promptly rejected with a message from the youth pastor saying, "sorry, but i can't add you to [group name]-- your content is a little mature for j-hi and you have some direct links to friends w/stuff that is definitely not for j-hi."

Here is the supposed 'mature content.'

Does anyone else think this is funny?

Does anyone else think this is sad?

And why do I make them nervous? What is it exactly about me? I mean, in all honesty, I live a very quiet respectable little life. I work in a nice little office, go home to my cats and water my plants and read old books and get to bed on time. When I really wanna make mischief, I make prank calls. I mean, seriously, where's that smell of scandal coming from? Why have I always made them so scared? What is it exactly that they're afraid I'll do?

Is it because they rightly sense that I don't live in constant fear of their personal idols of appearances and shame? I mean, I'm supposed to kick my cousin out of my top 8 because her picture is racy? Sorry, she means something to me and do I have to remind a youth pastor that God doesn't only love the shinyhappypeople? She's a part of my life, whether or not we set up our lives or our myspaces the same way and why do we need to 'protect' the Jr. Highers from that concept? If he thinks they can't understand loving someone HE would call a sinner, than he's seriously underestimating them.

I think my response will include the point that if Jesus had a myspace, a hooker and a tax collector would be in his top 8.
And if he thinks my content is a little 'too mature,' I'll go with that, in any context you like.

Another Actual Conversation
Engineer - "Hello?"

Receptionist - "Hi. There's a package here for you."

Engineer - *excited* "Is it big?"

Receptionist - "I don't really feel comfortable discussing that. Could you please just take it out of the lobby?"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Ask Miss VJ
Dear Ms. VJ,

I have been given the opportunity to take over the world with a male friend of mine. Though world domination does sound appealing, would this make the strictly friends relationship seem like more?

Signed- World Dominatress?

*standing with her back to a mirror, twisting around to look into it and make sure the seams up the back of her thigh-high stockings are straight*

Dear World Dominatrix,

It really doesn't matter, darling. People may CONQUER the world in pairs, but they never RULE it that way. One of them always has the other killed. It sorts itself out. So buy a really tiny yet effective and original weapon, like a poison guitar pick or something, keep it secret until the last minute, and go kick some ass.
Oh, and please remember that I think you're pretty, have no real objection to being ruled, and I KNOW about the poison guitar pick.
I think we understand each other.

Miss VJ

*strokes one of her hairpins*

*gets odd glint in her eye*

Next question, please.

Happiness Is .......
...... talking to someone on the phone, punctuating the conversation with emoticons in an MSN window, while directing each other around myspace to see each other's friends, and handing the mailman a letter to that person.
All at once.

The first time I met my cousins was at a campground on a late afternoon. I remember it, the air was so golden it seemed thick. Vernon and I, both about 3 years old, simply looked at each other and wandered off to build a playhouse out of sticks. He had a plan in mind, and he'd sized me up as his kinda partner. My grandmother said she never saw two kids become friends so effortlessly. The only thing I didn't understand about Vernon was what on earth other people found so surprising or complicated in him.

My aunt is, well, I don't want to sound as I'm judging her, but she's never seemed at peace. Her whole existence seems chaotic in a way. My father says she has her own issues with drugs, but my father likes to feel superior and prolly says the same thing about me. Wouldn't surprise me if she did, though.
In the midst of her whirlwind, Shawn and Vernon grew up.

Shawn lived as he died. Quietly. Uncomplaining.

Vernon was not like Shawn. He was a man of action and outburst. He had a strong sense of justice and there must have been so much in his young life that seemed wrong.

When we were about 10, his mother complained that Vernon was loud and angry and getting in fights. My father said all he needed was some time around a MAN and invited Vernon to visit for the summer. Of course once Vernon was here he paid him even less attention than he did to us, but maybe that's just as well.

I saw the angry Vernon once, but for the most part he and I had an easy, understanding friendship. We kept busy and rarely said much. And in those long afternoons, I'd see him smile. I knew he liked me because I understood him.

He was an incredibly tough little guy. If he would have gotten into a fight with a tank, I'd have bet on Vernon. The one time he ever shouted at me was the time my brother, having figured out that Vernon was the youngest of the three of us, made some joke about us being in charge. I thought Vernon was about to chew through the fabric of time. This just WASN'T RIGHT to him and he was gonna DO something about it.

As we all grew up, Vernon channeled that notorious energy and drive in mostly positive ways. He got married, had two beautiful children.

And then the final injustice, the senseless death of his brother/best friend. Once again Vernon was pitted against a reality he couldn't change and couldn't stop fighting.
He had to DO something.
I'm not sure what drove him to take up the thing that killed his brother, perhaps he needed to rewrite it, and cheat death again and again. Maybe it gave him relief from reality. Maybe it had always been a weakness of his. I don't know exactly. But I understand it. And him.
He overdosed and died about a year after his brother.

Where ever Vernon is now, I think it matters to him that I understand.

Another Actual Conversation
Daniel - *drops two mentos into a bottle of pepsi*
*watchs it foam crazily*
*does it again*

Valancy Jane - "You guys really are my kids in a way, aren't you?"

Happiness is ......
........... letters. Big fat ones.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I'm Wearing An Orange Shirt Today ......
......... and purple shoes.

Life is colorful.

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ,

I've been given the ultimate power to eliminate one metephysical aspect of life from planet earth. But I can't decide. There's the intruding 'sleep' factor. Eating as a necessity, now that would solve a lot of problems too. Inability to breath under water? Should I choose to eliminate 'death' and face overpopulation? The possibilities, and consequences, are endless.

Help me Miss VJ, you're part of my only hope!

*sitting at a big white desk with oodles of cubbyholes*

*nibbles on a very tiny sandwich*

Dear Man With Ultimate Power Who Sounds As Cute As My Friend Ike,

Make everyone love each other as they should. This will make sleeping feel like less of a waste of time, everyone would share so we all got a decent meal, if properly harnessed I'm sure it would help with breathing underwater, and very little would change for you.
Might not help the overpopulation issue, *coy wink* but it'll be more to love.

Miss VJ

*licks stamp in a series of 8 tiny dabs of the tongue*

*sprays letter with perfume*

*drops it on a silver tray*

Next question, please.

Letter To My Adopted Little Brother
To clarify my remarks in the church foyer, here is the long version.

I know you're confused by what you hear around you about sex. I know what you hear from even our very liberal church and what you hear from your friends, it doesn't match up, not even a little.

The timeline, that seemed to confuse you most, and no wonder. Your friends say oral sex is as casual as a handshake, adults tell you no nakedness until you're married.
There are two systems, it would seem, polar opposites. Although, and this probably doesn't surprise you much, the people that profess each extreme most often live in a more middle ground sort of way.

So kiddo, I'm gonna take a unique stand here. I'm not gonna tell you what to do.

See, kid, the consequences of your actions, whether I choose them, whether you choose them, whether anyone else chooses them, are gonna be on you.
So you might as well pick 'em for yourself.

There are no rules in life. Only consequences.

And the most beautiful thing about growing up is freedom.

Make your own set of rules.
I will tell you anything you want to know, about the likely consequences of various actions, so you can do whatever is most likely to bring about the life you want.
You've grown into one of the kindest and most perceptive teenage boys I know, and oddly enough I don't worry about you much. Well, kinda a ton, and kinda not at all. Does that make sense? I worry that the world may not always be kind to you, but I don't worry that you'll be reckless or unkind.

And when in doubt, just surround yourself with the wisest and kindest people you can find. Hard to go wrong then.

P.S. I love you, kid.

So Then The New Marketing Guy Said ......
.......... "The Easter Bunny is actually Jewish. Don't tell anyone, he likes to keep that a secret."

Another Actual Conversation
Salesguy - *opens the front door, looks at the Receptionist and laughs*

Receptionist - "Ok. I'm not saying the laughter is unjustified, but what have I done ALREADY, already this morning? You JUST walked in."

Happiness is ..........
.......... a compliment war on myspace with a stranger who doesn't feel like a stranger.

.......... watching a favorite movie from childhood, White Christmas, and finding it just as magical as I'd remembered.

.......... compliments from Nick. I'd be smitten with him because of them, if I wasn't already.

You, The Internet, Are Freakin' Beautiful.
You've made a whole lotta happy.

I've never been more proud to be friends with The Internet. And a talking circus horse. And a closet door. And Nick.

Monday, March 27, 2006
Lets Show What This Baby Can Do. *UPDATED YET AGAIN*
Today will be different.
We've got a job to do.

Nick's had a rough weekend.

And begins the Comment-A-Thon.

I will not be posting or chatting today.
(Somewhere my boss would be cheering if he knew.)

I will be commenting.


Think of the comments section as a big open house.
(Nick, I hope you don't mind that I'll be hosting The Internet on your blog.)

Anything you've got to say, say it there.
Link there.
Hang out and leave a long string of comments.
Buy Nick a virtual drink and slug him gently in the virtual arm.
Girls and secure men, flirt with him shamelessly.
Post there in the comments if you want.

Think of all the love The Internet has ever shown you.
Those supportive comments to heartfelt posts.

It's time to give back.
We've all become friends via this strange new blogging thing, much as the blog-less might never understand, so lets show how much that really means.


Update - As of 10:52am, we have 365 comments, but we still need your help to make it to our goal of 1081 by midnight tonight.

Update - As of 11:52am, we have 513 comments. Come play folks, the water's fine.

Update - As of 3:15pm, we have 881 comments, only 200 left and they're going fast! Join us!!

Friday, March 24, 2006
So Then I Said .......
............ "It tastes like chicken."

I don't want to talk about it.

This Is Why I'll Prolly Elope.
My soon to be sister in law, the lowest drama person that I've ever met, had to call and ask me what length my hair will be at the end of May.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I'll prolly be the same way when my turn comes.

In the meantime I have to go RSVP for my HAIR, which I find terribly amusing.

(I love you Bethany.)

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ,

I'm posting an online personal ad to find the girl of my dreams, and I'm having trouble deciding which picture to use. Which should I put up: one of me naked and holding a rifle over my crotch, one of me naked with a party hat over my junk, or one of me about to tongue wrestle with one of my frat buddies? Help, I can't decide!

Studly in San Diego

*stretches luxuriously, even pulling her feet out of her maribou trimmed slippers and wiggling them*

Dear Studly,

All of them, Dahling. You want a potential date to really get a sense of who you are. You might also wanna post one of those pictures of what you did to your frat buddy after he passed out, so she'll know when you take her to a keg party in your cousin's garage, that the most important rule is Don't Pass Out First.
Make sure you do her that favor, Studly.

Miss VJ

*tickles the end of her nose with her feather pen*

Next question, please.

If You Tried To Tell Me ........
........... that there is anything in the world

more beautiful

than my Coco and my Lou

I'd never ever believe you.

Thursday, March 23, 2006
Happiness is .........
.......... when as your boss is leaving work, he says, "You got some beer, right?"

Yes, free beer at work again.
Today, I blogged and drank beer.
You want my job.
You'll have to kill me to get it.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Fred - "I don't like telling people about my love life."

VJ - "Me neither. They get jealous."

So Then I Said ........

........... "Someone once accused me of making Coco up. And it's a fair ac­cus­a­tion, really. I WOULD make Coco up if I didn't have her."

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ,

My housemate really enjoys listening to ridiculous Scandinavian heavy metal music. Should I saw his ears off or is there way to deal with this problem and remain on the right side of the law?

Jonny Opinion.

*sits at elaborate dressing table, combing her eyebrows*


Dear Darling Opinion of Mine,

There is a much simpler solution to your problem. Lock him in his room again, but this time with his beautiful girlfriend. I guarantee she will sort this out for you.

Miss VJ

*fishes the olive out of her martini*

Next question, please.

Ask Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ

I quite like this girl I know, and try to talk to her when I can, how should I proceed?

- Mook, as usual, confused

*laying on her stomach on the heart shaped bed, kicking her slippered feet in the air idly*

*nibbles sushi from a tacky gold plate*

Dear 'Mook as usual,

This is simple.
You should buy an old scottish castle, or a lodge in the mountains, or a big forbidding house on a lonely stretch of coastline. Doesn't matter exactly, other than it must be large and secluded, so that when your evil brother/ghosts/her ex husband begin to terrorize her, you're manly arms will be the only she has to turn to.
Then, employ her as a housekeeper/nanny of your niece and nephew(twins)/stable manager.
Oh yes, you'll need to furnish the evil brother/ghosts/ex husband and the manly arms. And the twins.

Or you could just really listen when she talks, and be nice to her and let her see how funny you are. That might work too.

Or there's liquor.

Good luck!

Miss VJ

*sits up and hunts for her lipstick in the bedside table*

*carefully reapplies*

Next question, please.

Ask Miss VJ
I've recieved a lot of responses to my first Ask Miss VJ, let me share, if only to illustrate how many engineers read my blog.

Dear Miss VJ,

You must live in a different world. Obviously NOT the world of engineers. You don't just *happen* to find yourself with a girlfriend. There has to be a defined boundry between friend and girlfriend and that transition usually only occurs AFTER an awkward question has been asked. You won't find a lot of engineers stopping traffic and kissing a guy in the middle of the road.
I submit that your advice is good and well as long as NEITHER of the two parties are engineers.

I should also note the phenomenon of the 'faker engineer.' These engineers and not true engineers. They dress nice, are always cleanly shaven, and suck as engineers. Yes, they are just stepping through on the way to management. They usually are the first to get married.


Engineer Bob

Dear Miss VJ,
I would like to respond to Engineer Bob's comments.
Not all engineers fit in the box. I am an engineer and I don't fit in either one of those categories, yo. I don't suck as an engineer, nor do I have hygiene problems. I am however part of a band called Fakin' It so if that's what you mean by fakers, then... okay. I'm a faker.
But otherwise, I disagree. I mean... just last week I found myself all of a sudden accidentally having a girlfriend. It happens.
Engineer 'Rez
Dear Miss VJ,
I would sort of disagree with Engineer Bob. An engineer might need that sort of distinction between girlfriend*/not girlfriend*, but the criteria for going from one to the other can be adjusted for the other person. Namely, if the other person doesn't need to hear the awkward question to be asked, then the engineer doesn't have to ask the question. The engineer can just wait for a sign that the other person considers the engineer her* boyfriend*.
Same logic, different criteria for changing the mental flag attached to the friend/girlfriend* involved.*
All genders are switchable here, just assumed the engineer was male for the sake of not writing "him/her/them" everywhere.
Engineer Fred

Dear Engineers,
You love me.
So after thinking long and hard about this, and by that I mean actually putting pants on and wandering out onto my balcony, I've decided to clarify my earlier point.
*wanders behind ornately painted screen*
What I said earlier about not asking, *pants are flung over the screen* well, it's like this.
*walks back out, wearing fishnets again, and tying her robe closed*
There is one moment in which you can ask, if you can sense it at the time.
It's the moment where you already know, and are asking as a way of affirming what has already happened. Don't ask unless you already know. Like marriage proposals or whether you look fat.
See? While it's phrased like asking, it's not really asking.
Miss VJ
*shuffles into her maribou trimmed, high heeled slippers*
*picks up a REALLY trashy romance novel*
*flops down on a heart shaped bed*
Next question, please.

Back, Ages Ago, I Used To Blog About My Lair.
The secret lair I would someday have.

'Rez says I need to bring that back.

In my lair, I have 18 different doorbells. For no particular reason.

Just there for you to play with, find a fun combo of, wile away the time until I get (dressed and) to the door.

18 doorbells, a big church bell, one of those triangle things that the ranch cook would use to tell all the cowboys that chow was on, and maybe a whole keyboard strapped to the doorframe.

Dear Miss VJ
Dear Miss VJ,

Love the robe!

Ok. Now for my question. Ahem.

I have a... um... two, actually. Two "friends" who are both perfect for me, and for each other. We've all gotten married to each other countless times. (You know, in several of those spontaneous renewal of the vows ceremonies that usually involve throwing ice cream and a trampoline, among other things.) It's a unique relationship triangle, not completely unlike that of Betty and Veronica and Archie's.

My question to you is, how can I get the world to understand without judging? I figure if anyone can help, it's you.

Anonymous. (cough)

Dear Anonymous,

I'm a big fan of all the poetry you've written.


The answer to you problem is simple.
A beach house. All of you need to live together in a beach house with lots of hammocks. You know, for sleeping and sleeping. The world will get over it's jealousy when it discovers the adorable coffee shop you guys run. Nothing endears you to the public like sucess and coffee.

Miss VJ

*packs her bikini*

Next question please.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The Very First "Ask Miss VJ"
Dear Miss VJ,

I have this...uh..."friend" who's seeing this girl, and he really likes her. But, like, he doesn't have a lot of experience with relationships, and he doesn't know how he should ask her to be his girlfriend. Should he, like, just ask her, or give her something special? What should I...I mean, my "friend" do?

Mystified in Mira Mesa

*relaxes on a chaise lounge and bites the end of her cigarette holder*

*looks serious for like, a whole minute*

*rolls up the sleeves of her pink satin robe*

Dear Mmmmmmm,

Darlink, you overthink it. Don't ask. When someone is your girlfriend/boyfriend/both at once* you just KNOW. Somewhere along the line, you've both dropped anyone else and it just becomes natural to refer to him/her/he-she/them* as your significant other. While this rarely happens for both of you at exactly the same moment, at some point, you'll know. And there won't be any of that terrifying asking business, and more of that *wiggles eyebrows* business business.

Have a drink. Enjoy the ride.

Miss VJ

(*Miss VJ does not discriminate)

*slinky walk across the room to the bar*

*pours a drink*

Next question, please.

Survey Says -
1. Do you still talk to the person you had your first kiss with? Naw. I would, but we've lost touch.

2. What would you do with 1,000 plastic spoons? Paint them with nail polish and stick them in Coco's front lawn. It's fun, right Lou?

3. What did you do when you were in school in the 2nd grade? Read ahead in my books.

4. What is the best thing about your job? Every - fricking - thing. Right now you're reading the best thing about it.

5. Do you have a crush on more than one person right now? *grins mysteriously* You hope, don't you?

6. Are you against same sex marriage? I have no real opinion on homosexuality. I DO have an opinion on denying rights to your fellow human because you think you're right and they're wrong.

7. Did you vote for Bush? No matter what I say, yes or no, I will get a deluge of emails from people telling me that I want people to die and I have no understanding of what's happening in Iraq. All I will say is that he has the SUCKIEST job on the planet and for that I wish him well.

8. Where are you going on your next vacation? Well, the next one that's for sure is the end of May, when I'll be taking some time off to help my brother and Bethany with their wedding stuff, and entertaining my out of town cousins.

9. Have you kissed any of your myspace friends? Oh yes. Lots of them.

10. Are most of your friends guys or girls? It's about even.

11. Do you own any furniture from Ikea? Oh yes. Bookcase, lamps, barstools.

12. Last book you read? The Arcanum, a history of porcelain. It's great, I've read it twice. Shut up, I am FASCINATING and not boring at all.

13. If you could have one super power what would it be? To fly!!

14. Where have you lived most of your life? Up a tree, on the swings or nose in a book.

15. What was the last convo you had about? A coworker wanted to know if a cute sales rep was still in the lobby.

16. Where do you see yourself in four years? Working from home. And blogging.

17. What's your favorite smell? Scotch tape. It's the smell of possibilities

18. What is your favorite sound? That little sigh people sometimes make after a really good kiss.

19. Are you moody? Not really.

20. Favorite movie of all time? Just one? Breakfast at Tiffanys is the favorite that never dies.

22. Have you ever gone to therapy? Yes.

23. Have you ever played Spin the Bottle? Yes. It was much better therapy.

24. Have you ever toilet papered someone's house? Of course. It wasn't even that long ago.

25. Have you ever liked someone and not told them? I managed to keep on crush to myself for going on two years, but it came out via email recently. I'm not exactly known for keeping these things to myself.

26. Have you ever gone camping? Yes, it's great.

27. Have you ever had a crush on your siblings friend? Heck yeah. That was about 80% of my crushes growing up.

28. Have you ever gone to a nude beach? Sure.

29. Have you ever gone streaking? In a manner of speaking.

30. Have you ever had a stalker? Yeah, I kinda miss her.

31. Have you ever gone skinny dipping? Hell yeah. Great fun.

32. Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? Many's the time.

33. Have you ever gone to a party where you were the only one who was sober? Rarely.

34. Have you ever been in love? Hell fucking yes.

34. Have you ever felt betrayed by your best friend? Not really.

35. Have you ever lied to your parents? Yeah, it's necessary survive them.

37. Have you ever been out of the country? Mexico loves me. Mexico tells me everytime I go.

38. Have you ever thrown up from working out? Yep, back in my ballet days.

39. Have you ever gotten a haircut so bad that you wore a hat for a month straight? No, even if it was bad, I'd just dress it up with some glittery clips and bare it. Life is too short for that kind of limiting vanity.

40. Have you ever eaten 3 meals from 3 different fast food places in 1 day? On road trips, yeah.

41. Last song you listened to? Staralfur by Sigur Rios. Nick sent it to me, and I'm in song-love.

42. Have you ever spied on someone? Dufel's naked neighbor.

43. Have you ever slept in the same bed with the opposite sex? I love these innocent questions.

44. Have you ever seen your best friend naked? Most of 'em, yeah.

45. Who was the last person who called you? My boss.

46. When was the last time you slept for more then 12 hours? Ages. I can't sleep that long unless I've taken some sort of medication. But if I do, I'll sleep for a day and a night and a day again.

47. Have you ever been arrested? Have I ever blogged about that?

48. Most embarassing CD you own? Barry Manilow? Justin Timberlake?

49. Do you play any sports? I'm a mean skeeballer. I don't mean a good one, I mean I'll chuck a ball at your head if you get a better score and then I'll take your tickets.

50. Have you ever had surgery? *puts hand over nose* Why? What have you heard? Kidding, no surgery.

Ask Miss VJ
I've decided that my new display picture makes me look like I write a sluttly love advice column.

So I'm gonna.

Keep in mind that my only qualifications are that picture and my extra dose of charm.

Please email any and all questions from you, "your friend" or something you read in a trashy romance novel, to

Another Actual Conversation
VP of Marketing - "So. What was on that cell phone?"

Receptionist - *grins* "The phone has been reclaimed but it's owner."

VP of Marketing - "You don't have to tell me who's it was, but what was the picture of?"

Receptionist - "As he put it, 'the happiest place on earth'."

*long pause*

Receptionist - "No, he didn't mean Disneyland."

So Then I Said ......
......... in a company-wide email, "Cell phone found. If you can tell me what the wallpaper picture is, it's yours. *giggle* Very nice, by the way."

Traffic Report.
The traffic stopped dead on the freeway this morning.

I could see a news helicopter circling ahead, so I figured whatever had happened, it must be a big accident.

Then I saw a small private plane circling, so I figured it must be REALLY big.

But it wasn't until I saw a large dark bird circling that I began to worry.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Another Actual Conversation
Engineer - "Hi."

Receptionist - "Hi."

Engineer - "Is that package for me?"

Receptionist - "Yes."

Engineer - "Really?"

Receptionist - "No."

Engineer - "'Cause I've been waiting for it."

Receptionist - "Someone else's package?"

*long pause*

*Receptionist and Engineer stare at each other with a sense of dread, from the inevitable wave of tasteless jokes*

Engineer - *glint in his eye, starts to speak*

Receptionist - "Maybe you should go back into the hall, come back in and we'll try this again."

The One Where I Almost Strangled An Old Woman With A Plastic Bag In A Chinese Resturant. Accidently.
My mother and I were having lunch in a chinese resturant. It was good, and nearby, but I've never been back.

The table was small, and crowded with a lot of plates and boxes and tiny little teacups. We had so many leftovers that my mother suggested getting a bag from the waiter and taking it home.

Since it was the middle of the afternoon, the place was pretty deserted. And the older couple in the booth behind me had been so quiet, I didn't notice that they were there.

The table in front of me was so crowded that I didn't want to shake out the plastic bag in front of me, so in a joking manner, that was sure to embarrass my mother, I shook it out behind my head, noisily.

My mother looked horrified. I thought it was just that I'd made a little noise.

But then I noticed that she looked REALLY REALLY horrified.

This was why.
Suddenly, I felt resistance on the bag.

My mother says the woman just froze when the bag went over her face, spoon in hand, midair. She says that the woman never moved even after I pulled the bag away.

I don't know.
I never once looked back. I just got up and walked out of the resturant.

Happiness is .........
............ taking three rolled tacos, the last third of a bottle of wine and a book on the history of porcelain to bed with me. Boring is beautiful.

............ hearing that someone you love is handling a very difficult situation with courage and grace. I worry about her sometimes, and to see firsthand how strong she is, it's encouraging.

So Then I Sang ........
............ the cashier at the corner mexican food place, "I don't mind spending every day, out on your corner in the pouring rain......."

Monday, March 20, 2006
Rules Of My House
  1. Food is never to be eaten at the table. It's for puzzles, flower vases and candles. In a pinch it can be used as a buffet. Acceptable places to sit and eat include the couches, the floor, or my bed.
  2. If a cat is sitting on you, you are excused from getting yourself a drink or standing to hug a new arrival. You may remain seated without guilt.
  3. At least one member of any dinner party must drink as much as the hostess, to avoid making her feel like a lush.
  4. The coloring books are for anyone. If the mood strikes ........
  5. Please make quick entrances and exits. The front door remains the last line of defense against a militarist dictator in training, my cat Maximus. You think I'm kidding.
  6. The tube of red lipstick and the mirror are the guestbook.
  7. Provided it's not toxic to them, feel free to feed leftovers to the pets.
  8. It you say "I like this song" you MUST get up and dance.
  9. No one dances alone.
  10. We will talk during movies. Deal with it.
  11. Feel free to change the music.
  12. No stuffed animals are mistreated. Just 'cause it bothers me.
  13. Please don't freak if something gets spilled or broken. It happens.
  14. I purposely set up the room to NOT revolve around the tv. However well meant, suggestions on how to better achieve this affect are not solicited.
  15. Solicitors welcome.
  16. No delivery man is EVER given less than $5. EVER. I don't care how little is ordered.
  17. If you have something strange or demented to say, please aim it directly and loudly at one of the neighbor's walls.
  18. I'll jump in the pool if you will.
  19. Prank callers have sanctuary here. I'll never rat you out.
  20. Hugs are the prefered greeting, goodbye and sentence punctuation.

Sometimes I Think .........
.......... that Heaven and Hell will simply be that we are put in the care of those we have cared for, dependant on those that were dependant on us.

Wonder Walkabout.
Yesterday I left my house at 11AM. On foot. With no particular aim, other than the vague idea of going to the library.

I got to the library but it wasn't going to be open for a few hours, so I went to look at the birds in the petshop.

Then I wandered along Main St, and found a tiny cramped little arabic gift shop. If I hadn't been on foot, I would have instantly bought the small coffee cup and saucer set I found there. Each cup and saucer was a different base color and they had butterflies painted on them, and the handles look like wings. I'll go back and pick them up when I'm not walking. The price tag of $15.00 seemed rather low, and when I asked, she said it was $25.00. When I go back, I'll gladly pay it. I'm willing to be overcharged and it's still far less than I'd be willing to pay for it.

After one unpleasant stop at Kragen Auto Parts, where I let them know exactly what I think about the fact that they've sold me the wrong part four times now, and they're idea of remedying the situation is just to refuse to help me any longer. They got an earful, and I have some phone calls to the corporate office to make.

After that, I popped into another little shop and bought some cute knicknacks. Then I got picked up by ZezZee, who happened to be washing her car across the street, and we went to a late brunch at Bunny's. What can I say other than that time at Bunny's is good for the soul.

ZezZee dropped me back near where she'd picked me up, and I went to the library. I booked a timeslot for a computer, and did some browsing in the used bookstore there. I took one of the books across the street to an irish pub and drank a Guiness and read until my time for the computer came around.

I emailed Nick, (Hi Nick) and then wandered home with all the loot I'd picked up.

Borrowed from the library -
One Shakira CD/DVD of one of her concerts.
One CD of arabic music. The cover has no English words, just a picture of, oddly enough, Elizabeth Hurley.
One cookbook with ideas on how to cook a big meal on the weekend, and then incorporate the leftovers into new and interesting meals for the rest of the week.

Bought -
An owl shaped flyswatter
An owl shaped green ceramic oil lamp
Kitchen timer in the shape of a pear
A small hanging coatrack
A bottle opener
Kitchen shears
A cheese slicer
An egg slicer
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, paperback
The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, paperback
Silas Marner by George Eliot, hardback, printed in 1929, with a red cover and very smooth pages
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, hardback, printed in 1941, green cover with a sketch of Manderley across the cover like a band. I already have at least one copy, but you always need a backup of the favorites, to loan out. "Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again......"
A Room with a View, by E.M. Forster
Living by the Word, by Alice Walker
Know Your Parakeets from The Pet Library
Tequila Mockingbird, a collection of animal cartoons from The New Yorker by Leo Cullum.

It all got kinda heavy by the time I walked home around 5:30 pm, but it was one of the loveliest days I've squandered in a long time.

Happiness is ........
......... brushing Maximus. Never was there such a handsome creature so happy to be made handsomer.

......... feeding Dulce canned cat food. Maximus is rather indifferent to it, but to Dulce it's $0.39 of heaven and her eyes light up with joy.

It's it lovely to be able to make something so happy, so simply?

Friday, March 17, 2006
The Way Home.
The thing I love most about this time of year is that I drive home in my favorite hour of the day.
Just after sunset, 'til complete dark.
The 'dim.'
The 'witching hour.'

Admittedly, San Diego can look dry and brown under the noonday sun. The rocks look brown, the ground looks brown, the plants are a shade of green that is almost brown.

But just after sunset, the rocks look rosy, the shadows turn blue, the plants perk up and look greener, the sandy topsoil gleams a pale pink while the deep red soil peeks through in streaks. The eucalyptus trees stand navy blue against the slightly lighter sky, the lights shine out yellow against the shadowy sides of the hills.

And it smells like heaven. Warm sage, cool breeze, nightblooming flowers, spicy dirt.

Whenever I'm away from San Diego for long, it's this that I miss most.

Another Actual Conversation
Expeditor - * looks down to where Valancy Jane is sitting on the floor behind her desk drawing ducks on a poster*

Valancy Jane - "There is a perfectly rational explanation for this."

Expeditor - "I doubt that."

Valancy Jane - "Well, anyway, wanna come play in my craft corner? I'll let you sniff the glue stick."

Expeditor - "On second thought, perhaps there IS a perfectly rational explanation for you."

So Then The Cashier Said .......
................. as I stood in line early this morning, "Last minute art project?"

Coco, I'm coming to your play tonight.

*maniacal giggling*

Happiness ISN'T .........
............... when you have to post the meeting room schedules on the doors of the conference rooms and you have to put on on the door of the glass "fishbowl" room while the owners are having a meeting and theres no way to do it without making them all look up at you for one awkward moment and THEN when you are a few paces away, you realize that you posted the WRONG schedule and you have to walk over there AGAIN and have them all look up at you awkwardly AGAIN.

............... when you take a walk and it aggravates your old hip injury (because of all the stretching and forcing your leg to turn out, I've realigned all the ligaments in my hip and the ball is sitting in a slightly different way in the socket), so that the ball of your hip rubs through all the cartilege and is just rubbing bone on bone in the socket and after years of this reoccuring you know that all you can really do is 'take advil and stay off it' and the limp you pick up, to 'stay off it' throws you lower back out.

But late last night there was a mysterious knock on my door and when I opened it, my apartment manager shoved a pair of brand new walkie talkies in my hand, said, "They'll need batteries" and was gone before I could even recover. And that's happiness right there.

Oh and 'Mookie sent me a version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" sung by a Bulgarian girls choir. Life is full of surprises.

Happy Birthday Cols!!
Today is Cols birthday and I wish her a field of daisies, with a parade of marching bands circling it.

I wove my Collywobbles!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006
I Love Grocery Shopping
Clothes shopping I could do without.
It's not that I dislike it, its that I have no attention span for it.
I have a very ADD wardrobe.
As in, I walk in, pick up something vibrantly colored or velvet, buy it, and wander over the bookstore.
No wonder nothing matches.

But grocery shopping. That's another story.

Oh how I love grocery shopping.

First the pouring through cookbooks to figure out what new recipes I wanna try.
Then the list, part 1.
Then the list, part 2, which just reshuffles list part 1 into the exact order of how I will pass the items in the store, in the order in which I will visit the three main stores I use.

First Trader Joes.

Then the arabic market.

Then Vons.

Wandering down the aisle, picking healthy food, decadant food, cuddling the tomatoes, finding just the right corner of the cart for the brown eggs.
I love it.
The possibilities. The potential.

Once I get it all home and put away, I open the cupboards and gloat for a little while. I daydream about all the lovely things I do with the garbanzo beans, how my friends will like the pasta, how the leftover chicken will tempt me all morning before lunch at my desk.

Next time on "Ways That I'm Weird" we'll discuss my love for my dishes.

About Toothbrushes, But Not Really.
Last night as I was about to brush my teeth, it dawned on me that I still had JR's and David's toothbrushes in the cup with mine.

The words "Awwww" and "Ewwwww" passed through my mind simultaneously.

I picked them up and held them, feeling a sense of lose at the idea of throwing them away. "She'll be lonely" I thought as I looked down at my toothbrush.
I shook it off with a start.

I replaced that thought with, "Maybe she'll enjoy the peace and quiet. The space."

Yeah, somewhere along the line I'd stopped really talking about the toothbrush.

And so I picked up all three toothbrushes and blew them each a kiss and dropped them into the trash.

"Goodbye JR."

"Goodbye David."

"Goodbye to that last little part of me that fears being alone."

P.S. The new toothbrush is yellow. "Florence." I caught her winking at the flosser.

I've Always Rather Suspected ......
........ Rabbis of being the most sensible and human sort of people on earth.

They'll be the death of me.

If I'm lucky.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
What Dreams May Come
I had a dream once, years and years ago. I dreamed that I was in a car which flew off the road, and when it landed, I was dying and I felt myself began to drift forewards out of my body. As I felt myself rushing forewards, the words "MOVE BACK" sounded loudly in my ear, and with a motion like that of a person treading water, I pushed backwards into my body with such force that it woke me up.

A week or so after this dream, some guy high on god-knows-what ran my car off a cliff.

As the car stopped at the bottom, I think I blacked out for a second or two. The car had landed on the passenger side and smoke and flames were rolling out of the hood. I looked down to my right to see if Lissy (my passenger/best friend) was alright. She wasn't there, she still says she's not sure how she got out of the car. That side of the car was even more battered than mine and I was scared.

The smoke and flames where getting worse. I was still strapped tightly in my seatbelt. I knew I had to get out and fast. The windshield was shattered but still in place, and the only thing I could see through it was the flames.
The smoke was coming through the vents of the car.
I desparatly tugged on my door handle, but the frame of the car was so bent that the door wouldn't budge. I looked at the broken safety glass of the window, wondering if it was worth a glass shower to get out, and then realizing that I had nothing but my own body parts available to break it with.
I swung at it rather weakly with the side of my forearm (it was a rather awkward position, strapped into the seat of a car that's on it's side), but the glass held.

It was getting very hot from the flames.

Suddenly that dream, and the voice came to mind. "MOVE BACK." It sounded so audible. Perhaps it was Lissy, but she has no memory of it.

I struggled out of my seatbelt and dropped down to the side of the car. I was standing on dirt, throught the broken passenger window.
I looked to the back of the car to see that the back window had broken out completely, with no jagged edges, and with the car on its side, it looked like a perfect doorway.

I picked amoung the glass and stepped out the back in fresh air just as the flames started coming through the dashboard.

I don't know what this all meant, but I do know that dream about dying saved my life.

Why Shakespeare Has Always Confused Me A Little.
It's not the language.

I was the dork in school who got teased at first for being able to follow it completely, and then I got really popular around test time.

I blame my Freshman Honors English Teacher, really.

See, he had us watch in class, an old movie version of Romeo and Juliet.
But it being a christian private school, he felt that there were certain scenes that must be edited out. (Yeah, I know, seriously.)

But he didn't just cut them out.
He didn't just fast forward through them.

Oh no.

He spliced in scenes from another movie.

Back to the Future.

No, I'm not kidding.
No, I have no explanation as to why he chose that movie.

The only question I missed on the final was the one where I answered that "Marty McFly went back in time to rescue Juliet from the tomb......."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Ruan's Interview Of Yours Truly
Read here.

I Hustle Guess Your Age Booths.
It's too easy.
It feels like stealing.

"So you're what, 15 or 16?"

The closest any of them have ever guessed is 20.
Ironically, the prize for looking so young?


If I Didn't Know Better ..........

........... I'd believe the moon was a big victorian house, the sort with all the that ornate carving that looks overdone on houses but would be just right on the moon of course ........

........... and the view from the wrap-around porch would be amazing..........

........... and everyone would dress like this...........

........... and glide around the big moon-house in an endless cocktail hour and if you ever go be careful how much you drink because the effects of moon-champagne NEVER wear off ...........

........... and when you stand close you would realize that the people never really talk but just murmur incoherently and look expressively and gesture grandly, like extras in the background of a play..........

........... but if you catch one moon-person off by themselves and ask them nicely, they'll give you a piece of their jewelry, particulary the old man moon-people, they have a special fondness for us earth-people, like earth-girls and horses ...............

........... and if you wish on that piece of jewelry, you'll get EXACTLY what you wished for, for better or worse.

It's a shame I know better.

Statement From Valancy Jane's Publicist
*steps up to podium*


VJ and 'Rez didn't have anything to do with stealing video tape. There IS no video tape.
There were with me as this non-existant tape was stolen. Yes, they were both with me, but not in the same room because they've NEVER MET.

*takes an indigestion pill and leaves podium*

Monday, March 13, 2006
I Always Knew I Had Old-Fashioned Taste.

I love this. It's beautiful.

I think I wore it in another life.

Happiness Is ......
........... a hour and a half long phone chat with my lovely cousin Caleb.

When I was a kid, Caleb and I were penpals and a flurry of letters began. I sometimes think of them as my first blog in a sense, the 12 page (front and back) epistles, full of all the gossip and raptures and heartbreak of a young girl. Caleb always gave great advice on boys, and he even created a secret code for us to write in, to give our letters a greater sense of privacy.
And most of all, by his listening ear, he gave me an outlet, he helped me find my voice.

If my blog was a book, I would dedicate it to him.

One Of The Many Reasons To Love Lola.
Her shirt says -

"No, I am not married. No, I haven't got a boyfriend. No, I don't fancy your mate. No, I don't fancy you either. No, I am not a lesbian."

You love her too now, don't you?

Weather Report
So yes, it rained this weekend. Which if you know anything about Southern California weather, you know we don't get a lot of rain.
It's pretty after rain. The red dirt is much more vibrant, the air is cleared of dust and in the following week, the hills flush green for moment and a half.

Through the clear air, you can easily see the snow on the mountains. Yes, it snows that close to El Cajon. But I'm told it will NEVER snow in El Cajon. There is a significant elevation and climate change between here and there. It has never in recorded history snowed in El Cajon. The crops would all die, avocados and oranges can't handle snow.

I hate the concept of 'never.' And so, while mindful of the odds against it ever happening, I hearby promise to do at least one, preferably all, of the following things if it ever snows in El Cajon.
  • Propose to someone
  • Dance of the roof of a building
  • Rename all my pets
  • Write poetry with food coloring in the snow
  • Dash a wineglass on the ground and then glue it all back together
  • Hold a teaparty outside in the snow
  • Shave my head

Feel free to add suggestions.

Go Ahead. Use The Nice Dishes.
On Sunday morning, after another crazy Girls Night In, the pile of dirty dishes was taking over my kitchen and I didn't feel like washing a coffee mug to drink out of. So I dug around in the top shelf of my cabinet and Devin and I had a fancy tea party with the china cups and saucers, the ones I got in a misc batch from my Tiny Gramie when she closed down her antique shop.

So many of my favorite treasures came from my Tiny Gramie. My favorite silver spoon, the old brooches I wear sometimes for no reason at all, and books with that lovely old-book smell.

In fact, the other day when I read that poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, I liked it so much, which surprised me because I'd never been more than a moderate fan of his work. Then I found in my bookshelves a whole book of his poetry. It had a great old cover, and the kind of paper they just don't use for books these days. The price was lightly penciled in the cover, by my Tiny Gramie's familiar hand. It was the first time I recall feeling a sense of discover within my own personal library and it made me feel so rich.

So, in the spirit of (re)discovered treasure, I am drinking my coffee from another of the china cups this morning, and I tip my cup to my Tiny Gramie.

Another Actual IM Conversation
Valancy Jane says:
We had HAIL, for maybe the 6th time in recorded history.
I ate a piece.

Ike says:

Valancy Jane says:
Then I put a few more in my wine to chill it.

Cols says:

Ike says:
in the centre of every pice of hail is a piece of dirt VJ

Valancy Jane says:
*shrugs* Didn't kill me.

Ike says:

Valancy Jane says:
If I was a witch it would make me more powerful and do you really know that I'm NOT a witch?

Cols says:
how would it make you more powerful if you were a witch?

Valancy Jane says:
I might be crazy. And do you really know that I'm NOT crazy?

Cols says:
i KNOW you're crazy

Valancy Jane says:
I've begun acting as if all the things that SHOULD be true, ARE.

Ike says:
i love you

Mystery Beckons.
Late last night, the world was starting to feel like a rather flat place. There's only one cure for that. A mini wonder walkabout, a stroll, eyes peeled for mystery.

I found -
  • a car with snow (yes, SNOW) on the windshield.
  • a boy on the porch who suddenly stared out into nothing and burst out laughing.
  • a library, closed for hours, with all the lights on, and nobody inside to be seen.
  • a trail of bloody dog footprints that went on for several blocks, ending in an apartment complex.

So Then I Said .............
............. "It seems so decadant to be using a cup with a saucer this early in the morning."

As If We Didn't Know.
It’s official. Love makes us crazy.
For one, it causes serotonin levels in the brain to drop, which may lead people to obsess about their lover. (The levels of serotonin, a chemical produced by the body, are also low in people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder.) Next, it ramps up production of the stress hormone cortisol, leading to slightly higher blood pressure and possible loss of sleep. Finally, a scientist at the University of London has found that when people look at their new loves, the neural circuits that are usually in charge of social judgment are suppressed. All in all, love kind of leaves you obsessive, stressed, and blind. And we love it.

Happiness is ..........
.............. when the lovely Karen goes back and reads my archives, leaving sweet comments as she goes.

Karen, I heart you utterly.

Friday, March 10, 2006
It's Time To Play - Vote For The Scariest Ad!!!
This one?

This one?

Or this one?

The Virtual Cafeteria Table
Lets swap stuff, for no particular reason.
I'll make a list of things I'm willing to trade, if you want any of it, make me an offer with something of yours.
I'll put this on my sidebar soon and add more things as I think of them.
Beginning at my desk.........

My mini ferris wheel paperclip holder, with five striped and one white paper clips. Says, "SDGE - Sempra Energy Utility" on the side. Offers for this must include the words, "and I promise to twirl it at least once a work day and say 'weeeeeeee!' and I will never use the stripey paperclips ever 'cause they'll be lonely without each other."

One misc bag of strange things found in my desk when I started working here.

My rubber band ball. Two years in the making, with a rubber band from each day's mail. Bounces well. Offers for this had better be handmade. **UPDATED - GONE**

A small notebook with all the stamps that came on the evelopes of bills in one day. You can even request the day. I'll throw in a lipstick kiss mark.

Make an offer. More will be added.

So Then Lola Said ........
.............. "I love the sound of glass bottles hitting the inside of the dumpster."

Another Actual IM Conversation
Boy - "You're cute when you're drunk."

Girl - "Awwww, you're cute when I'm drunk too."

Thursday, March 09, 2006
The Three Rules Of Being A Good Bridesmaid
Show up.
Shut up.
Drink up.

I Will Make You Brooches - Robert Louis Stevenson
I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of birdsong at morning and star-shine at night.
I will make a palace fit for you and me
Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.

I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom,
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.

And this shall be music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.

Happiness is ..........
................ the last line of My Best Friend's Wedding.

"Life goes on. Maybe there won't be marriage. Maybe there won't be sex. But BY GOD there will be dancing."

Another Actual Conversation
VJ - "So. You wanna come over tomorrow night for Drunken Laundry Night? Sit on the washers, drink cheap beer and all?"

Lola - "Sure! Say. I have a question for you."

VJ - "I didn't do it. The sheep are lying."

Lola - "Ok. But its not about that."

VJ - "Oh."

Lola - "Do you still have the walkie - talkies?"

VJ - "Yes. I haven't returned them yet."

Lola - "And have you been playing with them?"

VJ - "No, I ................................ yes."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006
They Just Discovered It ..........
............ and I already want to own one as a pet.

Welcome To The 2006 OAWW Walkie Awards!!
*lights dim, music swells, and a spotlight appears on Valancy Jane, who is wearing the Bjork swan dress, only with better tailoring*

Good evening, Internet.
If you missed the pre-show, everyone from my sidebar made brilliant entrances down the green carpet, 'Rez designed everyone's shoes, underwear was thrown at Jonny, Ike taped and hosted the entire pre-show, and Cols began a water fight which caught on surprisingly fast considering that we were all wearing borrowed couture.

Tonight we honor those with enough Internet clout and kindness in their hearts to refer readers to, well, moi.
Which is noble and a great use of your time.

We begin our awards with the Third Runner Up for Most Refers.

*Belinda the Pink Elephant shambles on stage, pauses a moment, squint into the bright lights. She is wearing a replica of Gwyneth's pink dress, with Harry Winston jewels.*

*VJ pulls a jellybean out her egg purse*

*Belinda continues her prosession toward the podium with the envelope*

*VJ opens the envelope*

*three glittery stars, one bolt and a beer cap fall out*

And the winner of the Third Runner Up for Most Refers is .............

..................... NICK!

That's right, the sexy stud on the unicycle, come on up and accept your award!

Nick - "What a surprise. Due to my recent lack of blogging, I never expected to recieve such an honor! VJ is my favorite blog and I'm glad to contribute to her popularity. Don't start the music yet. I'd like to thank her personally for keeping me laughing and just when I'm sure I can't blog anymore, inspiring me to write a good post. Thanks VJ!"

*Belinda shambles back offstage to her dressing room*

*VJ straightens her hair after the passionate Adrian Brody-style kiss from Nick*


Ok, the Second Runner Up for Most Refers Award goes to -

-*looks over at wings*

Pssst. Belinda. BELINDA. Yes, now.

*Belinda saunters out, now wearing a slouchy black dress, dark eyeshadow and frenchbraided hair, a la Gwyneth's goth dress that one year*

*VJ takes the envelope*

Thanks, peaches.

*VJ opens the envelope and some sand, a newpaper clipping and the haunting smell of sweet perfume drift towards the floor, as well as VJ's purse, which falls open, scattering jelly beans everywhere*

*Belinda begins sucking them up her trunk like a vaccum*

Ok, the Second Runner Up for Most Refers Award goes to .................

............ BakeTown!!

Get up here and flash some cleavage at your admiring audience!! Watch out for the jelly beans.

BakeTown - "Gosh! I wasn't prepared for such an honor. I don't know what to say. I wish I had worn a better dress today. xoxo OOOooooo I love my prize!!!"

*VJ giggles*

Yes, we really DO like you, BakeTown.

Ok, the award for - *gets bumped by Belinda who is trying to get at the last black jelly bean that's rolled under the podium* - for the First Runner Up for Most - Belinda, can you get the envelope for me please?

*Belinda reveals that her dress is tear-away, revealing the white flowy dress Gwyneth wore that year she was still engaged to Brad Pitt, which is surprisingly slimming on such a curvy elephant*

*Belinda pulls the envelope out of her trunk and hands it to VJ*

Ok. The award for First Runner Up for Most Refers goes to -

*VJ opens the envelope, and some hair clippings, a business card and a red jelly bean fall out*

.................. Ike!!

*Ike runs onstage and stands thisclose to VJ*

*VJ kisses Ike on the nose*

*Ike and VJ have a brief chat, unheard by the microphones then Ike turns to the podium*

Ike - "*looks at his prize*
oh Valancy Jane, this is precious! The key to your heart, I'm so honored, you make me such a glad person.
*takes out chingling keyring and fits the key to VJ's heart conveniently inbetween 'Rezzies and Svennies. Jingle Jangle*
I would first of all like to thank Google, who's ease of blogging services has revolutionized my life and given me long term rear perspective, which is something I never posessed. No pun intended.
*puts arm around VJ*
I would like to also thank my beautiful subscribers and frequenters who follow every link I put on my site like blind sheep. Did I promise greener pastures or what?!
*sheep baaaaaaaa baaaaa*
And finally, these links would be nothing without the helpful support of HTML in general, who's encoded insider language has confused/expediated our use of online services everywhere.Thankyou, stay in school and subscribe to me! Thankyou! Vive la Valancy Jane!"

Yes, Ikey, life IS beautiful.

*Belinda ambles offstage, but trips on the edge of her gown, causing it to tear away, revealing that green Jennifer Lopez dress*

*Belinda blushes, and crosses arms and truck across her chest*

Er, *VJ does a little dance to distract the audience* so.



*VJ is saved by Jon Stewart coming onstage, and delivering some terribly witty jokes*

Thank you Jon. I love you forever. Call me next week, we'll hang out. You know, like we do all the time and stuff.

*Jon looks puzzled but continues offstage without saying anything*

Ok. *looks offstage at the wings and nods*

So. The Grand Prize Winner for Most Refers is ..........

*Belinda saunters out, wearing this dress, and an apple in her mouth*

*VJ giggles nervously, attempting to decide if this is actually funny*

Thanks Belinda. *takes envelope and opens it*

*about four pounds of glitter, one hair pin and a live butterfly fall from the small envelope*

The Grand Prize Winner for Most Refers is ......................

................... 'Rezzie!!

I knew there was a reason I loved you so!!!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Most Refers herself!!

*Butterfly perches on the end of VJ's nose*

'Rez - *walks up to accept prize with smile frozen on face*
Wha.. wow! I'm just... so... I didn't expect this, at all!
*tears up*
I mean, this is just such an honor. A real honor.
*smiles, pauses*
*clears throat, gets down to business*
I have a few people I'd like to thank.
*pulls out scroll, rolls it out, it is 10 feet long*
First and foremost, I'd like to thank me. Let's face it. Without me, it wouldn't have been possible for me to win. So, thank you, to me....
*goes on in same vein, mentioning names and obnxiously bringing it back to self every time*
*20 minutes later*
And finally, the academy. I love my prize. It's --
*listens to what someone offstage is saying*
(dismissing him) You can't cut me off, I'm the winner.
*VJ comes on stage smiling wide in beautiful gown and shoes with glitter trailing behind her, people applaud*
*VJ whispers a few sentences in Rezzie's ear*
And I'd like to thank TEA.
*exits with VJ*

*'Rezzie pinches VJ's butt*

*the entire show turns into a circus act, complete with rousing dance numbers, involving the entire audience*

*just before the curtain closes, a spotlight falls on VJ*

Remember folks, this is an anual event in the sense that I will do this whenever I please, so if you wanna win, refer people to ME!!!!

Another Actual Conversation
Blond Coworker - "Doesn't that beeping drive you nuts?"

Receptionist - "What beeping?"

Blond Coworker - "You know, the beeping of the security system."

Receptionist - *blank look*

Blond Coworker - "It would drive me crazy."

*month later*

Coworker with all the Plants - "I don't know how you handle that beeping noise down here."

Receptionist - "I really don't know what people are talking about. I don't hear anything."

Coworker with all the Plants - "That. .............................. Right there. You didn't hear that? There it is again."

Receptionist - "Nope."

Coworker with all the Plants - "I'm standing right next to you. I can hear it plainly. You really can't hear it?"

Receptionist - *listens* "No."

*weeks later*

Executive - "I don't know how you put up with that beeping."

Receptionist - "I think I need a vacation. I've been in this lobby too long."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Another Actual Conversation
El Jefe - "I got the new roof on my house."

Valancy Jane - "Yay! Can I come break a bottle of champagne over it?"

El Jefe - "..........No."

Valancy Jane - "What if I break it on something else other than the roof itself?"

El Jefe - "Sounds messy."

Valancy Jane - "How about we just open a bottle of champagne and drink it on the roof?"

El Jefe - "It's cold out. And I don't really like champagne."

Valancy Jane - "How about I swing by for a beer in your kitchen?"

El Jefe - "Deal."

At First - Alice Walker
At first I did not fight it.
I loved the suffering.
It was being alive!
I felt my heart pump the blood
that splashed my insides
with red flowers;
I savored my grief
like chilled wine.

I did not know my life
was being shredded
by an expert.

It was my friend Gloria
who saved me. Whose glance said, "Really,
you've got to be kidding. Other
women have already done this
sort of suffering for you,
or so I thought."

Update On My New Year's Resolutions
I resolve to kiss David more.

Ok, so I'm justified in changing this to "I resolve to kiss more" I think. And I'm doing ok on that one. I even stopped traffic for one, so I give myself a A on this.

I resolve to dance in my underwear more. And to call it exercise.

I'm doing ok on this. I still need to remind myself that it's ok to make time for myself. I still feel guilty when I'm just lounging at home, I feel like I should be doing something constructive. I give myself a passing grade on this.

I resolve to know more of my neighbors by name, and not just by the nicknames I give them based on their (sometimes very strange) behavior.

Ok, B- on this. I've spent more time talking to the ones I already sorta knew, but I haven't learned the names of very many others.

I resolve to throw more parties, on thinner excuses, like finding a lost sock or it being Sunday afternoon and I kinda like Sunday afternoons.

A. I've launched the weekly Girls Movie Nights and invited more people over spontaneously. *pats self on back*

I resolve to stop letting people pressure me into assigning a commanly known label to my faith. "So you're what? Christian? Jew? Baptist? Why do you go to Mass on Christmas?" My faith is simple, and I've never met anyone that didn't understand it once I explained it, but most feel compelled to then catagorize it. "So you're what? Christian? Jew? ect..............."
Yes. I'd like to stop defining myself by who's doctrine I've choosen to wrap myself in. Because many of them believe what I believe, they just believe so much more on top of it. Instead of what I've seen so much of, people with so many beliefs that they don't have enough sincerity to cover them all, I'd like to stick to the few things I know to be true and let it grow from that, instead of rammed down my throat by someone so concerned with little, legalistic stuff. One day I might even find that I now neatly fit into one of those faiths. But the difference in the way you learn it makes a difference in the way you teach it, and I think that difference is important.

I did exactly what I knew I needed to do with this one. I left my church. I even left it tactfully and gracefully. I give myself an A+.

I resolve to drink more coffee and tea. Not more in the mornings at work, but in my leisure time with friends, to take more moments to slow down and drink in.

I've done so well on this, I've even taken up meditating. A+

I resolve not to put off anything until I lose weight. A healthy body and mind won't come from deprivation.

I'm doing ok. I still have to remind myself to stop buying clothes a size too small, to motivate myself. I'm getting better at this one. B+

I resolve to listen to more music sung in different languages.

A+ on this one, and I'm loving it!

I resolve to see my doctor more often, and not let small nagging pains become large ones. Once there, I resolve to be her fussiest patient, getting the most out of our time. I think she'll like me for it, and I like her for THAT.

Hmmmmmm. I WAS doing really good, but for the last month I've put off going back. I give myself until the end of next week to see her, or else I'm going to fail myself on this.

I resolve to stop apoligizing for what I need, and to be more in touch with what my needs are.

B+. I've been much better to myself, but I've let a few people be not so nice.

I resolve not to be angry at people for not meeting needs that I haven't expressed.

A-. I've been better at expressing what I need. Not perfect, but better.

I resolve to stop feeling guilty for having a cluttered car. Lots of truly lovely people have messy cars. Lots of unhappy people feel pressure and guilt.

Still working on this one. The habit of guilt is strong. Bless Lou, she gets on my case and tells me to hush if I apologize. She adorable that way.

I resolve to drink more peppermint tea.

Oh. I drank it all and now I'm out. So I must be doing good.

I resolve that 50% of the time when a friend invites me out, and I'm tired, to go anyway.

I've EVEN been the one doing the inviting.

I resolve that 90% of the time when someone offers me a new volunteer opportunity, to say no, and to just maybe give a little extra effort to the ones I'm involved in.

I've been very good on this one.

I resolve to listen less, and to be less of a people pleaser.

I've been choosier about who's advice I listen to, so A on this.

I resolve to talk more, and with more truth. To strangers, to friends, to myself in the mirror.

I still think I might need a little work in this area. But I'm getting better every day.

I resolve to plant more flowers, in unexpected places.

Well, I certainly planted more flowers. I haven't found any unexpected places to put them, that wouldn't be considered vandalism. But my hyacinth is coming up and I'm so happy that I gloat over them daily.

I resolve to pick wild chamomile when I find it, and to go more places that I'm likely to find it.

I need a kick in the butt for this one. I haven't gotten out hiking enough lately.

I resolve to comment more.

Only a little improvement on this.

I resolve to compliment more.

This one is fun!

I resolve to be more informed, but with fewer opinions.

I'm finding, naturally, the second part easier than the first. I give myself a B.

I resolve to clutter my desk with more photos, and fewer deli menus.

A for me on this. I've got some great pictures on my desk. I'll scan them soon, and let you guys see.

I resolve to overpay children at lemonade stands.

A+ for me. I've even stopped at more lemonade stands.

I resolve to make eye contact with anyone that waits on me in a resturant, or rings up my purchases.

Another A+ on this one.

I resolve to forgive myself more easily.

I might be getting too good at this. If there is such a thing.

I resolve to remember that forgiving someone doesn't mean not telling them when they're out of line.

Fortunately, I haven't had to do this much, and I've done good.

I resolve to mark up my books with my own thoughts.

Not bad, but I think I'm gonna stick more pens in my bookcase.

I resolve to do whatever necessary to keep from getting angry at other drivers on my daily commute. If sanity means a new cd each week, so be it.

A for me on this. I've added some great music and Jonny's gonna be sending me some cds again soon.

I resolve to find a use for most of the relationship books people have given me. I'm inherently nondestructive, but the advice contained in most of them ranges between dangerous and pointless, and no good will come of passing them along. I will use them for lighting fires, scratch paper, sketches, paintings, pressing flowers, you know, the kind of things that are actually useful.

Miss Kendra taught me how to make paper out of them and we made valentines from it.

I resolve to put no price on sanity, friendship and love. If this means my finances never become "tidy" or "in order" so be it.

What I've learned from this one is that I have the BEST FRIENDS on the face of the planet. Y'all should be so lucky.

I resolve to remember to have no emotional connection to my money, be it coming or going.

Yes, and now I'm less stressed and more satisfied with what I buy.

I resolve to play music louder when I'm alone.

Yes, my neighbor and I have a deal on this one. He can have the bass on his system set at 'earthquake' and I can play my music early in the mornings. Compromise is great.

I resolve to roll my car windows down more.

Only so-so, but I'll get better as it gets warmer.

I resolve to take more pictures, and to worry about the quality of the camera or the shot less.

This is still complicated by my lack of a camera.

I resolve to not buy an uncomfortable pair of shoes all year.

Sor far so good. But I need to go shoe shopping again soon.

I resolve to call one friend before putting in a video, and if I never get around the video, no loss.

Better yet, I've been inviting friends over to watch a video with me. And then ignoring the video.

I resolve to remember that while it's always possible to live cheaper, work harder and be busier, there is no guarantee that this will make me richer, more sucessful or more important. And this is rarely the point anyway.

I haven't been more extravegant, but I have been less stressed about it when I am, meaning I get more for my money in a sense.

Over all, I'm pretty proud of myself here. I think I'm going to reward myself with a week off work in the next month.

Is It Weird In Here Or Is That Just Me?
I privately suspect that more strange things happen to me than to most other people. It sounds self-absorbed and paranoid to say so, so I let other people say so.

Last night Dufel and I were out by my car on the street by his house. We were saying our goodbyes, and I was idling staring off at a nearby house. The lighted window caught my eye. Then the naked man in the window.

I giggled.
Dufel looked, and laughed.

He was very naked. The part that amused me most is when Dufel pointed out that it was his KITCHEN window.

Dufel said that strange things happen when I'm around.

I felt obligated to point out that he was there too. That maybe I just have a better eye for spotting it.

But deep down, I don't think my explanation covers it.
Is it just me?

Happiness is ......
............... well-made hash browns.

Not the overcooked-in-spots-and-still-frozen-in-other-spots kind.

Not the floating-in-grease kind.

The perfectly cooked kind from my deli.
The kind that come right to my desk.
I don't even have to stand up.

Final Proof That The Universe Loves Me.
Today is the only morning I can ever recall craving white sheetcake. I don't care for it, generally, but this morning, the thought made my mouth water.

And a girl in Accounting brought one in.
For no particular reason.

The universe, s/he loves me.

Monday, March 06, 2006
I (heart) My Job
Two reasons.
I'm being recognized for my writing skills and am now in charge of writing company memos and such. A chance to shine/negociate for more money in my next review.

This new responsibility has so far in no way infringed on the time I spend dressing this in these.

Another Actual Conversation
Coco - "To wear the random beanie hat or to not wear the random beanie hat?"

Valancy Jane - "I think the answer to that question is always yes."

Lets Vote.
Which is the scarier craigslist ad?

This one?

Or this one?

Another Actual Conversation
Snack Guy - "I've got all your favorites in stock. Everything you like."

Receptionist - "You've got Matt Damon in one of those bags?"

Fridge Magnet Poetry
Dearest daughter of a bird
Chirp your anger to a tadpole
Answer of betrayal to each cicada
Tell who to the firefly
And the caring world will want you whole.

So Then The Teddy Bear Said ……..
…………. Yes, the teddy bear we had delivered to him backstage before the show, where he might have been relieved or he might have been disappointed but he was most definitely SHOCKED to receive such a normal type of gift from, well, US, (if you consider the small gift bag full of gooey eyeballs and the notecard which read “We came to SEE you” normal), but at any rate, the teddy bear which had a walkie-talkie cleverly sewn into it by moi, said,

“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan-iel. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan-iel. Are you scared Daniel? You should be. Your fan club is here. *sobbing* Daniel, I’m such a cuddly bear. Hold me. Love me. Stroke my furry little nose. *pause* I’ll get you my little pretty. *manical giggle* *wicked witch of the east theme*”

*continue in this vein anytime Daniel was offstage for the next two hours, including a few cameo appearances by fellow spectators during intermission*

“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaan-iel, take me out to the stage door. Your friends want to see you.”

Another Actual Conversation
Drive Thru Cashier – “Good morning and welcome to Jack in the Box. How are you doin’ today?”

Valancy Jane – “Well, my neck hurts. And I’m feeling unfulfilled professionally.”

Drive Thru Cashier – “Pardon?”



Drive Thru Cashier – “Let me know when you’re ready to order.”

Happy Birthday Jesse!
I’ve been lucky in the sense that all my life, I’ve always had one person I could count on.
At times that’s ALL I had, but it’s always felt like more than enough.

You’ve had the difficult task of being considered the smarter, more stable and better looking child and you did it without ever making me feel like less.

You always pushed me to do better, but never acted as if I’m not good enough.
You’ve let me fall apart on you, seen me at my emotional messiest, and not judged me.

Any time I’ve needed to talk, you made the time.
Any time I needed money you gave it and never questioned me.

There is a moment etched in my memory.
We were about 3 and 5, I’m guessing. We were driving somewhere, I think to the house in New Jersey, in the RV.
We stopped at a rest stop, someplace in the Midwest, the flat fields went off in every direction and you and I wandered off aways.

I stared out trying to see the edge of the field or something to orient myself, and I began to fill dizzy with the sheer size of it all, and suddenly it was all so overwhelmingly BIG and my breath caught from feeling so small.

You stuck out your hand to me, and there you looked so familiar, so definite and defineable. I breathed out slowly and we turned and walked back to the rest stop.

It’s kinda always been like that.

In The Grand Tradition Of Replacing .........

............. unappreciative men with battery operated devices and galpals, I introduce you to the new great loves of my life.

Yes, Lola and walkie-talkies. What were YOU thinking?

I love them so.

She even did the cutest imitation of Devin, who couldn't join us, so I wouldn't miss her so.

We walked around and terrorized the airwaves.

I haven't had this much fun since, well, since my mother took my walkie-talkies away as a kid, after she found me on the front porch talking to a plane. "Yes, I'm in the brown house, waving. Can you see me, Mister?"

This was just a borrowed pair, which I have to return.

Please send money to my fund to buy some of my own.

Friday, March 03, 2006
When You Ask My Friend El Jefe How He Is ......
............. he always says, "Better than I deserve."
That's how I feel today.

I'm surrounded by some of the loveliest and kindest people in the world. Today should have been a bad day.


Well, I Said I Wouldn't Regret It ..........
............. and I still don't. Not a bit.

Ok. *deep breath* This Could End Very Badly For Me. I Could, Probably Will, And Probably Deserve To Wind Up With Nothing.
Evan, I like you.

Very much.

How much took even me by surprise last night. I really HAD intended on behaving myself. Parking my car in the middle of the road, getting out, getting into your car, and kissing you while blocking traffic, that wasn't the plan.
Thats just what you do to me, baby.

Evan, you said that you didn't want to get rejected by the same girl twice.
What you don't know, what only a handful of people every knew, is what really happened when I began dating David. It wasn't a choice, in the sense you think it was. A bowling ball of fate came rolling down my alley, and I have my reasons for not blogging it or telling you at the time. If it makes a difference I'll be happy to explain it to you in person. Or not. It may not even matter at this point.

As for now, I'm not toying with you.
You are nobody's second choice, least of all mine.

So. I'm telling you this.
Whatever happens, I won't regret it.

I'll live if the answer is no.
It wouldn't surprise me if you just told me you were afraid of eventual rejection as a nice and polite way of letting me down.

But just in case you thought I wasn't serious, just in case you thought I didn't appreciate what was in front of me, I'm screwing my chances with any of the other interested men in my life. Just in case.

That's amore, baby.

Happiness is .............
.......... recognizing a moment with nothing to lose, and pouncing on it. In the middle of the road. Whatever happens, I'd do it all over again.

Thursday, March 02, 2006
Is It Just Me ..........

............. or is this picture of Marco Polo (Ruan's bear) proof that hanging out with Ike is rubbing off?

Or does it just mean that Ike is as cute as a teddy bear?

Happiness is........
........... at the end of a very long and hectic day, going home pigging out on sushi while reading an In Touch magazine.

........... going out with friends the next night, then heading home with Dufel and Devin to watch John Cleese's How To Irritate People.

........... falling asleep on the couch while watching How To Irritate People, and then being told that I'm cute when I'm asleep.

I have a nice life.

Another Actual Conversation
Barfly Woman - *to Man with Tie* "Who's tongue is bigger, mine or his?"
*points to Barfly Man*

Man with Tie - "Uhhhh, I dunno."

Barfly Woman - *points to Valancy Jane* "What do you think?"

Valancy Jane - "I think yours is longer and his is wider."

Barfly Man and Woman - *both smile*

Barfly Man - "Mine is more fun." *wink*

Valancy Jane - "I'm NOT judging that contest."

Man with Tie - *looks shocked* "Bet you never thought you'd have to judge a tongue contest."

Valancy Jane - *shrug* "That's not so strange, buddy, or particularly unheard-of in my social circle."

Statement From Valancy Jane's Publicist.
*steps to the mike*

A-hem. I know that you all have questions about the recent allegations of lies, conspiracy and the love that dare not speak it's name. And while the video is being analysed, we have no comment other than to ask that you respect Valancy Jane and Therese's privacy at this difficult time.

*leaves amid a flurry of flashbulbs*