Wednesday, December 07, 2005

You don't mess around with Jim

So about a hundred years ago (okay so more like 15 years ago), Preppygirl and I were driving my little Ford truck from western New York to Fort Lauderdale (a long fucking drive). Of course we were very poor at that time of our lives (like sooo much has changed there right) anyway because we would rather spend our money on beer, stopping at a hotel would have been ludicrous. Well my little S10 came fully equipped with nothing but an AM radio (which I love am radio now like late late night listening to Art Bell but that is another story) anyway, I had brought along a little tape player (remember we called them "jam boxes"? that sounds so retarded now doesn't it?) and plenty of batteries.
I took the first shift (after Preppygirl's dad had to pay to have a new battery installed on my truck~I hope I remembered to pay him back for that), I drove for several hours and then Prep took over. I wanted to make sure she was set with music and snacks so she could concentrate on driving. So, she choose the Jim Croce greatest hits tape (seems she loved Jim Croce as it reminded her of her youth) and we put it on loop and I fell asleep. Somewhere around Washington DC I woke up to Prep weaving on the highway and her hands down around my feet trying to access the "jam box". I was like "what do you need?" and she screams at me "I fucking hate Jim Croce!" It seems that his greatest hits tape only had about 6 songs on it and it had been playing for several hours driving her slowly insane. I still laugh when I hear Time in a Bottle or Bad Bad Leroy Brown. I'm afraid that one road trip ruined old Jim for her.
Several years later when Prep came to my bachelorette party in Chicago, she brought me a little gift. It was a collage of she and I in some of our more "interesting" moments and there in the middle of our picture was a tiny head of Jim Croce.
ah...photographs and memories.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Captain Amy Morgan and the 5th Graders Unnamed Love Story

Okay my next trip up to the city was for a little play called "A 5th Graders Unnamed Love-Suicide".
I took my friends Amy and Allison, both were experiencing one of Jimmy's plays for the first time and neither knew what to expect. Like me at the Helen Project, they were in for a surprise.
So we drive up and we are on I55 getting close to Chicago and I notice a black trans-am darting in and out of traffic and I think to myself "watch out for that guy". I was in front of him and I look in my rear view mirror and see him drive right into a semi. The trans-am bounces to the left and spins out and goes into the median. Allison and Amy don't see this because they are looking forward and I calmly say "I think I just saw a bad accident, turn around". They turn around and see the immediate aftermath and we all sorta panic and wonder if we should call 911 or what. Allison gets on her cell and dials, the operator tells her she needs to call a different number for the area we were in and we are like what the fuck? Of course we are still driving north so we are now nowhere near the accident. She called like 3 or 4 numbers and finally we gave up and decided an ambulance was probably already there. We have no idea what ended up happening but it was scary to think if I'd been one car behind instead of in front.
Anyway, we arrive at the theater and of course have to go to Charmers ~ the greatest little art deco gay bar located right next to the theater. While we're there I try to explain to Allison and Amy about how small this theater is and what to expect. When it was time for the play, we walked over and purchased our tickets. We went into a small room with folding chairs arranged in a single row around the rectangular room. It was probably only about 6 feet from one side to the other. The actors come out and they are dressed like 4th graders. The play is about the death of one of the students named Johnny. He is killed by a handgun that goes off and everyone assumes it is a suicide. The other students perform a play that Johnny had written before he died. It is really kinda depressing but was really powerful in it's simplicity. I enjoyed it very much.
Half way through the play, during intermission Amy leans over and says to me "when do we go into the play?" I laughed my ass off. She thought the whole time (which at this point is almost an hour) that we were in the waiting room watching some "pre play" skit.
Thankfully after the play, Allison decided not to drink at all because she was a little sick so I got to enjoy myself and not be DD. I still wonder what happened to trans-am guy.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Folk Duo

I decided I'm going to learn how to play guitar and be in a folk duo with ChimpJones. This is just so we can sing the song "let the mystery be" by Iris Dement. It will most likely be the only song in our repertoire but it will be awesome. We are currently taking suggestions for names of our duo so anyone have any suggestions?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kids say the darndest things

WARNING: men may be embarrassed reading this post.

A couple of days ago I am with my family at a restaurant. I take my 4 year old into the restroom with me and make her come into the stall since there are other people in the bathroom and I dont want anyone to "steal" her. She uses the toilet first and I decided I needed to go too. I happened to be wearing those "period" underwear (do all women have these?) and she notices the stain and says very loudly "Mom, you have a stain in your underwear. I think next time you do the laundry you need to use stain remover on that." I hear muffled laughing coming from the next stall and I'm sure that lady is picturing skid marks or something.
Oh the unfiltered honesty of children.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

My most embarrassing moment

I decided to share this little story with you all. It's taken me some time to be able to talk about it but I think I'm finally ready (sniffle sniffle).
I was 24 and travelling through Europe with a friend (Kristen). We were in Munich and Kristen was tired from the train ride but I wanted to explore. A cute guy (Mike) came to our hostel and handed out flyers promoting his "bike tours" so I decided that sounded like a great idea. I figured out the directions and made it to the meeting place and signed up. I was feeling pretty good and a little slap happy from being over tired but it was a beautiful day for a bike ride.
So, Mike takes us all over the city which is gorgeous and we end up in a park with a pristine river running through it. He stops and proceeds to get naked. Totally Naked! He tells us all to get naked because we are jumping in the river. So, there are about a dozen of us tour takers and about half were taking their clothes off. I'm just standing there debating on what to do when Mike says "c'mon Shannon ~ don't be an American prude, be adventurous. Have FUN!". Did I mention that he is totally naked?.
Well, I had promised myself that one of the things I would do in Europe is to go topless (at the beach) and I hadn't done that yet so I was seriously considering doing this. Then Mike said "just wear your bra and panties then". "Alright, jeez". So I take my shorts and top off and realize I am wearing these tiny little "jungle" printed underwear that my friend Cathy had given me for the trip (she seemed to think they were approprate for travel wear.) Let me tell you that I am not a tiny little girl with a tiny little bottom. I'm not grotesque or anything but lets just say I'm "fluffy". So I walk as delicately as possible over to the group and prepare to jump in. Then Mike says "okay Shannon, you're first. Here, we'll help you." "UH, help me what?" I say. Then he informs me that we are climbing a tree and using a rope swing to jump in by. He says we are supposed to swing out far enough to swim to a small island in the middle and from there we would take the current down river. It was too late to back out now so I start climbing. I realize that as I'm climbing my underwear are not covering the important area that they needed to be covering and that the two guys who are "helping" me climb this tree are probably seeing more of me than necessary. So, I am hurrying to get ahold of the rope and get my ass (and vagina) in the water as quickly as possible. I reach for the rope and slip and fall ~ I do land in the water but I don't make it out far enough to swim to the alotted island where we were to go. The current is super strong and it starts carrying me down river immediately. My contacts are going up into my eyeballs and I'm sputtering trying to get my breath. Mike jumps in and tries to help me get across and I don't have any idea what the rest of the group is doing because I am long gone by now. Mike helps me get to the other side of the bank and tells me to grab onto a bush that is hanging in the water. He tells me to climb out. What the Fuck? Climb out? I thought this would be a nice leisurely swim and that it would come to a nice easy slope where I could walk out gracefully with my pride and my underwear intact.
Well, I grab onto the branch and the current is so strong that it pulls my underwear off. I am not kidding! I grab them and now have them in my hands and have to CLIMB out of the river with my big ass aimed right at Mike the bike tour guide. He was staying to help me out and I assured him I could handle it and he could go on down river further. He got the hint and went a little ways up to climb out himself. I climb out put my jungle underwear back on and say to him "uh, real fun Mike. Thanks". I still have to face the rest of the group and the guys that saw my cootchie on the tree rope. Great, I think to myself. One of the wives has a video camera~ there goes my political career. I still expect to see my "moment" show up on one of those TV video shows.
No one in the group said anything to me but I imagine they were laughing their asses off while I was sputtering and flying down river (I would have been). We all got back on our bikes and stopped for beers, I had the biggest glass they sold. It is definitelly my most embarrassing moment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

For those of you who love a good quiz.

Take the 80's Song Quiz. I scored "102.35" and I swear I didn't cheat.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Conversation with a four year old:

Me: Why did the chicken cross the road?
4 yr old: I don't know.
Me: To get to the other side. (fake laugh)
4 yr old: (genuine laugh)

4 yr old: Hey Mom, why did the car run over the chicken?
Me: I don't know, why?
4 yr old: Because he was crossing the road.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Feel Good Movies

I already posted about movies that are sad and yet we torture ourselves by sitting and watching them but this post is about movies that are so happy they make you cry.
Rudy was on this morning and I had forgotten how much I love that movie. If you haven't seen it, it's a true story about a young man who wants to attend Notre Dame and play football. It's one of the rarest kinds of movies that brings you to tears of joy. I cried the first time I watched it (several years ago) and I cried again this morning (I've already admitted I'm a dork). Plus I was surprised to see that Vince Vaughn was in this movie as well as Jon Favreau (hmmm, wonder if this is when "Swingers" was born?)
I've been trying to think of other movies that have made me cry from joy and not stemming from some death or trauma. I need help.
Can anyone think of any?

PS. go watch Rudy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

charlie & the chocolate factory

Unfortunately, this movie experience started off on a bad note because in a nearly empty theater, this huge teenager and his girlfriend plop down right in front me and my daughter. “Nice” I said rather loudly, “sit right in front of the 4 year old”. Isn’t there an unwritten rule that when you go to a movie and there are open seats, you “stagger” until you absolutely must sit directly in front of someone? My husband says it’s equivalent to choosing the urinal right next to someone already peeing.

Anyway, on with the review.

I keep hearing about how this is not a remake but a totally different Charlie (truer to the book, blah blah blah). Seriously, how different can you make a story about a crazy guy who opens his chocolate factory to 5 kids most of whom are damaged in one way or another? Well, this movie explains why the original strayed a bit from the book ~ because it needed to.

I thought this movie dragged especially the first part of the movie where everyone is looking for a golden ticket. They didn’t show the frenzy and excitement of the search. I’ve been trying not to make comparisons to the original but am finding it impossible, so bear with me. I miss the trippy vibe of the original, and it was so pure. The computer graphics seemed overdone in Charlie. Maybe because I’m an artist who still likes to pick up a pencil and feel it in my hand rather than use the computer, I think too often the computer is used in lieu of coming up with a real creative solution that is tangible and “real” and therefore reads real on the big screen. The oompa loompa is the perfect example. Having one man play all the oompa loompas really disturbed me, I kept wondering how they procreated. At one point you do see him dressed as a woman and I guess it’s supposed to be funny but it creeped me out quite honestly. Those scenes just screamed “HEY EVERYBODY LOOK AT HOW GREAT WE ARE AT COMPUTER GRAPHICS, ISN’T IT AWESOME THAT WE CAN DO THIS!! I just didn’t think it was necessary is all. Plus I hated the song and dance numbers mostly because I couldn’t understand the lyrics. I need the psychedelic words flying across the screen telling me why Veruca’s a brat and who made her that way.

Now, on to Johnny Depp’s performance and this does hurt because I love Johnny Depp and think he is a fantastic actor (not to mention hot as Hell) but I kept seeing his other characters on the screen of this movie. At one point he is walking through the jungle of Loompaland and all of sudden ~ he is Hunter S. Thompson from Fear & Loathing. Of course with the Tim Burton connection you see Edward Scissorhands all throughout this film (one scene in particular is so obvious it has to be deliberate) and I found it to be distracting. On the plus side, the guys will probably enjoy bringing their girlfriends to see this Depp movie because they (the girlfriends) certainly won’t be going away talking about how hot and sexy he is. Overall I felt his version of another certain childlike adult who no one can seem to believe isn’t molesting young boys.) All throughout this version, you see Willy’s memories and learn why he loves chocolate as much as he does and I think it’s supposed to give some idea as to why he is such a nut case. I think it takes away from the character because now I think he’s just crazy because of child neglect but I’m wondering where the genius part comes in. Gene Wilder didn’t have this problem. His portrayal of Willy Wonka was more mature and instead of blaming his “craziness” on his tyrant father, we get the idea that he is a bit crazy because of his genius (There is no great genius without some touch of madness ~ Seneca). Somehow Gene Wilder managed to make his Wonka seem childlike in his ideas and visions but he maintained his maturity in a way that Depp’s portrayal did not.

So the tour is over and then the movie drags out. Blah blah blah. Totally predictable and totally not necessary little reunion and then everyone lives happily ever after. Do I recommend this movie? Well, okay if you must but if you adore the Gene Wilder version be prepared for a let down. And take a few coats so you can throw them on the seats in front of you, in case rude movie goers don’t know the rules of choosing a seat.

You're welcome to give your opinion about this movie but if you think Johnny Depp made a better Wonka than Gene Wilder I'll just think you were high when you watched it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

top 10

Top 10 reaons I know you aren't really looking for a job.
(I actually had this girl come into the flower shop/boutique where I work and ask if we were hiring)

10. You arrive at 3:30 in the afternoon.
9. You bring your boyfriend.
8. We recognize your boyfriend as someone who wrote us a bad check on Valentine's Day.
7. You are wearing a dirty tank top and cut off shorts.
6. You smell like pot.
5. You are smacking your gum in my face (and did I mention you smell like pot?).
4. You obviously haven't been to the dentist in oh say the last 10 years!
3. With the shirt you are wearing your tattoo of the tasmanian devil ripping a fart is clearly visible.
2.You ask if "Ken" is hiring (the owner's name is Kim)
1. You tell me you need to fill out an application to keep getting unemployment.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

who's on your list?

A few of my friends went to see Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson last weekend. It was an outdoor concert, not a lot of people, all ages type of laid back show. One of the girls had her 4 year old son with her and while he was making a sand castle in a small sand pile, she watched the show. She hears her son cry "mom" and when she turns around she finds a man stumbling through his creation. She scolds the man and tells him to watch out. He just stares at her chest (yes, she is one of the fortunate ones who is tiny and pretty and has a large natural bosom) ~ anyway this guy is just like "sorry" and moves on. My friend looks around and realizes people are staring and laughing at her because she just "scolded" the actor Vince Vaughn who had obviously been hanging out backstage with Willie if you get my drift.
So this friend runs to the other friend (lets call her Liza) who is with her boyfriend of 7 years and informs her that Vince Vaughn is "right over there". Well, Liza tells her boyfriend "he's the ONE", "you know ~ the one". Does every woman (and man) have a list or person who they fantasize about meeting and the significant other can't be mad if they have sex with them because they are "the one"? Well, Mr. Vaughn is at the top of Liza's list and she actually entertained the thought of running over to him and letting him know that he is "the one" so if he so desired she would pleasure him right then and there. I wish I could tell you that this story had a happy ending and Liza got to have sex with him but she chickened out and ole Vince returned backstage to visit the performers.
So this story got me thinking about my list, it had actually been the same for quite some time and I decided I needed to reevaluate it, so here is the new updated list:
1. Wolverine (yes, the character Wolverine. It can be Hugh Jackman but he has to be in costume)
2. Julian McMahon ~ I'm not so nuts about the Dr. Doom thing but he has been on "the list" since his days as Cole on Charmed. I'd also let him take his knife to me anyday as Dr. Christian Troy on Nip/Tuck too. HOT
3. Johnny Depp ~ hello! no explanation needed.
4. Angelina Jolie ~ I have not had sex with a woman before, but she is hot and I'd let her teach me a thing or two (after a few shots of tequila).
Until yesterday I would have had Jude Law on this list but I just watched Closer and I guess I just don't think he's all that hot anymore, sorry Jude.

So, who's on YOUR list.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

...i'm it

I was tagged by Sherri for this book question. I'll answer it but now everyone will know how "unread" I am.
Number of books I own: Well, personally probably about 50. I tend to read a book and then if it's good I give it away. If it's not then I put it on my garage sale. So, the only books I keep are the ones that are like life altering or that I think my kids will one day read (Hobbit, LOTR trilogy, etc.)

Last Book I purchased: The Tao of Jeet Kun Do by Bruce Lee. Besides giving martial arts tips, I really enjoy that Bruce Lee says to find your own way and what works for you. It's much more than a "how to" book.

Last Book I've Read: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe by CS Lewis. This is a children's book that I've had on my shelf for years and never read. I recently went on vacation and wanted something easy to read in the car. I have all 7 books (Narnia) and want to get them read before the movie comes out (very soon). These are the types of books I'll keep for my kids.

Book I Can't Wait To Read: The Life, The Universe, & Everything by Douglas Adams. I couldn't think of any book I've been "anticipating" to come out so I just picked a book that is on my list of books to read. I don't know why I didn't read this book a long time ago, I guess I was too into my "V" stage (Vampires and Vonnegut).

5 Most Important Books I've Read:
1) Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. The first book I can remember reading and really being moved by it. I was in 4th grade. I also stole this book from the Chenoa Grade School Library and still have it on my shelf. I guess I should donate some money to them or something.
2) Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The first Vonnegut book I read, I devoured it. I spent one year reading all of his books (other favorites are Breakfast of Champions, Slaughter House 5, and Hocus Pocus). Now looking back, I find that they all blend together into the same book since so many of the characters cross over. Every graduation gift I give (High School), I always include a copy of either Cat's Cradle or Illusions.
3) Illusions or Johnathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I loved both of these books and they were very meaningful to me at a time in my life when I was searching. I really loved Illusions but JLSeagull has a special place because I remember my mom going to see the movie in the 70's and then playing the Neil Diamond record at the house. I own the CD now and the movie.
4) Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I loved this book as a child and I love it still. I can even quote some of the poems that I learned in 6th grade. I have also given this book as a gift to several people (mostly the young at heart).
5) What to Expect When You're Expecting & What to Expect the Toddler Years: Obviously life changing things were going on when I read these books. These books were so helpful to me at a time when I needed help the most on a subject I knew pretty much nothing about.

Other great books I've read but weren't necessarily "life altering": If Chins Could Kill by Bruce Campbell (autobiography ~ really funny stuff about Evil Dead and Sam Raimi stuff), Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (really interesting info about corporate businesses and the food industry), Letters of the Dragon (anthology of Bruce Lee's correspondance between his family, friends, and fans).

I'm tagging Preppy Girl..."you're it".

Sunday, July 10, 2005


I know this guy who's wife never wanted to have sex. He would ask my advice on what I thought the problem was and what he could do to make her want to have sex with more frequency.
He said she always complained about her body and said she felt too fat and unattractive. I asked him how he would respond to that and he said he would assure her that he was still attracted to her (this couple had been married for over 20 years). While we are having this converstation he happened to be looking through a W magazine that was laying on the table. When he would come across a photo of a young, thin, exceptionally beautiful (ahem..airbrushed) model, he would comment on how hot she was. I pointed out that it was interesting that he didn't make the same comments when he flipped to a page with an ordinary, middle aged, not emaciated woman.
When he really thought about it he finally had some sort of understanding about how his wife might somehow have gotten the idea that he didn't find her attractive anymore.
I told him the next time he was flipping through one of her Redbooks or Better Homes & Gardens to look for a picture of a woman who had similar features and body size to his wife and comment nonchalantly on how attractive she is. Maybe when his wife takes a peek at her, she will think "now that I can compete with". If all men did this for their wives or girlfriends then maybe we could start reprogramming the female population to believe we are good enough just the way we are.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Depressing Movies

I stayed up late watching Saving Private Ryan last night. I normally don't like to watch these types of movies ~ since I've become a mother, it's just sometimes more emotion than I can bear.
I hadn't seen this movie since it first came out so I'd forgotten a lot of it. Like did you know Vin Disel was in? Paul Giamatti was in it too(of course no one knew who he was until American Splendor or Sideways).
My head was aching half way through the movie from the stress of watching it. Now, why would someone continue watching something that is so uncomfortable? I could not turn the TV off and just go to bed. I was trying to remember what happened in it and I really believed Tom Hank's character survived so I needed to stay up to make sure. "Oh shit! NO!" Tom's character freaking dies like 5 minutes before "help" arrives.
So what movies have you watched that are really just depressing and torture but you cannot stop watching?
Here are a few of mine:
A.I. (artifical intelligence) ~ damn that movie was freaking depressing.
My Girl ~ anytime a child dies in a movie I lose it. Plus then she expressed her love for her teacher and he broke her little heart. I was sobbing like a baby, I'm a dork.
Running On Empty ~ I absolutely love this movie but it is depressing, in part I think because River is dead and we'll never know what he could have become.

your turn...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

In addition to... pun intended but I hate math. After writing that last post about the school cutting elective classes I got to thinking about math.
To graduate from our High School you now have to have 4 years of math credits. Are there really people who believe that you NEED to know trig and advanced algebra to survive in the "real world"? I really think that all the math you must know to lead a productive life should be learned by the time you are in Jr.High. All the advanced math classes that we are forced to learn should be electives and the Home Ec and Art classes should be mandatory. Afterall, the kids who are not good at math are not likely to pursue jobs that require advanced math knowledge. I think art is the most important class of all. Kids need to learn how to express themselves. A good art teacher can teach how to brainstorm and think outside of the box so that those skills can be used in any profession the student decides to pursue.
Math is so conformed and rigid. Actually, it's no wonder that is what these administrators want the kids to learn, why would they want free thinking teenagers running around their schools. Now, I am not saying we should do away with math. My hat's off to the math inclined of the world, I'm just saying advanced trig and calculus should not be forced onto the right brained teenagers of the world. I still, 15 years post graduation have math related nightmares remembering anxiety over tests and homework that I just couldn't "get".
You know how they used to tie kids left hands behind their back to discourage being left handed? Well, this math invasion reminds me of that only they force artistic, creative kids to learn difficult math problems while cutting all the art and music classes. I'd love to see how these "smart" kids would do if they had mandatory art classes ~ do we think their GPAs would drop?

Sunday, July 03, 2005


I'm going to keep a running list of stupid things people have said to me.

At my former job I was asked by someone if I could enlarge a ruler for him so he could see the numbers easier. He actually wanted to use a blown up ruler to measure things with. Duh. Even after I explained to him why this wouldn't work, he didn't get it.

At that same job, I was giving one of my co workers a hard time for throwing his can into the garbage instead of walking 5 feet and putting it into the recycle bin. This ding dong airhead who was standing near me said "yeah, recycle a can and save a tree".
The same girl another day: She had just come into work and when someone asked her if it was raining out yet, she said "no, it's just sprinkling really hard". I am not making this up folks, and if you are trying to picture her in your head ~ yes she is a bleach blonde with tiny waist and big boobs.