Oct 31, 2007

And She's Only Had Her License for 34 Years

Tonight is my weekly date with my mom and her washing machine. We decide to call in dinner from a local Mexican place, and I stay at home to hand out Halloween candy while she goes to get the food.

I'm sitting in the kitchen, and I hear her car start, and the garage open. A few seconds later, I hear a really loud noise. A loud, something-has-gone-very-wrong noise. I wait a few more seconds and go outside.

Mom's small, brand new blue SUV is stopped in the driveway, about a foot from my car. She's standing between her car and the Fightin' Focus, looking at both of them. And then I realize what's just happened: my mom backed into my parked car. In the driveway. The car which I had intentionally parked at a weird location so that she wouldn't hit it.

The bumper of her car is all messed up. The front end of the Fightin' Focus is a little jacked up, but it still runs fine. Mom is laughing, but I can tell she's upset with herself. And I understand that - once, when I was 18, I sideswiped my brother's parked car, also in the driveway.

But the difference in those two incidents? I was 16. Mom's 50.

I think it may be time to start thinking about taking her driving privileges away.

You got your SUV in my hatchback!,

Oct 28, 2007

I Turned My Camera On

Friday, after work, the Benferno and I went to Nashville to see Spoon. While I can't say much for the opening band (other than that all of the songs had what appeared to be the exact same bass line), Spoon kicked ass.

They played pretty much everything I had wanted to hear (with the exception of "The Way We Get By"). The venue was weirdly laid out, but very spacious. Here are some more pictures, before I start sounding like a dork.

In other news, I'm up at the coffee shop, and the choice of radio station is a little interesting today. It's a soul station, which is great. For every good song they play , there are at least three terrible ones. Like right now, there's a song that reads like a how-to guide for what to do once the girl has a agreed to go home with you. Seriously - "Let's take a shower. Shower together," followed by "Rub some hot oil all over me, baby!"

I really should get out of here. I've got other things that I should be doing, but this song...it's like glue that's welded my jeans to this old dinette chair.

Rub some hot oil on me!,

Oct 24, 2007

The Girl Who Made the Prank Calls

Since we graduated, my good friend Kristin has been a "professional intern" at Jarden Home Brands. If you've ever wondered where things like plastic forks, toothpicks, lighters and coctail stirrers come from, it's Jarden. Kristin's desk is right next to the canning hotline, and she often overhears people calling in to ask a posse of older women their toughest canning questions.

But Kristin's got a better job now, and will be leaving Jarden at the end of the week. And there's only one way to make your friend's last week at a kind of crappy job a little more tolerable: prank calls.

Yesterday, I called in on my lunch break and asked how to can a kumquat. It was funny and all, but today...well, today was awesome.

Again, it was my lunch break, and I was the only person in the PR suite. Kristin suggested that I call in and ask about something silly for her amusement. At a loss, I asked my friend Benferno for something to can. He suggested possum, but it was later changed to Sturgeon (as he photoshopped one for me the other day for my bithday party fliers).

I thought up a clever backstory and called in. I said that I had been recently gifted a sturgeon by a very caring young man. It was no ordinary sturgeon, though - it was an engagement sturgeon, complete with a diamond ring in its fishy mouth. I wanted to preserve it forever - just like my love for my (non-existant) fiancee.

Some of the dialog, with Marge, the Call Center Lady.

Me: I want to preserve it forever, just like our love.
Marge: You shouldn't keep it for more than a year.
Me: Well...I mean, can I still eat it after that?

Marge: Is a sturgeon like a tuna or a stard (or something that sounded like that)
Me: It's kind of a shark-like tuna.
Marge: Let me look one up on the internet.

Meanwhile, Kristin was sending me things to ask. I was also telling Benferno what was going on - he absolutely could not believe that I had this lady on Google Image Search.

The best part of the call came when Kristin suggested that I ask how much pectin to use. Apparently, pectin is what you use when you want to make jelly. So this happens:
Me: So, how much pectin should I be using?
Marge: Honey, you're not trying to make fish jelly are you?
Me: Can you? I want to make something for my fiancee to show him that I really care. I was hoping that we could eat it at our wedding.
Marge: Well, if you do that, he may run for the woods.

Among other things, I asked if I should can the sturgeon whole, and how exactly should I go about canning something so large. Marge finally put me on hold to look up some answers, and I hung up. I couldn't keep it up - the traffic manager had walked in, and he knew exactly what I was doing. My eyes were welling up with tears from trying not to laugh at the call, at the comments from Benferno, and at Kristin im-ing back commentary from Jarden.

Apparently after I got off the phone, Marge turned around to everyone in the room and told them about my call. She then declared me "Call of the year," and told everyone that she talked to for the rest of the day about it.

Later in the day, Kristin's g-chat status message was "I don't think you're ready for fish jelly."

I don't think anyone is.

caller of the year,


The apple I'm eating right now (a honeycrisp from Wild Oats) is quite possibly the best apple I've ever eaten. It tastes like fall.

I just had to share.

Oct 17, 2007

When Things Go Wrong, Try Explosives

Girl, it's Wednesday, and you know what that means...

I'm at my mom's, doing my laundry. It also means that I'm watching Mythbusters (having missed America's Next Top Model). They're doing myths related to snow - sticking re-animated pig tongues to poles, trying to cause avalanches, that sort of thing. Anyway, they're having a hard time getting the avalanche to go - they've tried yodeling, firing machine guns at the snow, and cracking a bullwhip. It's commercial break, and the preview for the latter half of the episode has footage of snow, um, being blown up. Watching that, I can't help but think that those people have the best jobs in the world. They get to wake up every morning and make things, and when those things go wrong, they get to blow them up...for science!

And omg, they're trying to teach Carrie how to drive in the snow. It's totally making me think of my first times driving in the snow in Muncie. They're having to dislodge cones from the car's undercarriage.

Speaking of snow, I bought a winter coat suitable for Memphis tonight. It's nice - and thin.

In other news, I've been writing poetry again. A few days ago, I was talking with a friend about how I was a total slacker with regards to my poetry. He said the same thing about this songwriting. So, we placed a ridiculous, stake-less bet on our abilities. One song/poem, completed in the time between 7 p.m. and midnight, to be emailed / read upon completion. The first night, he won, finishing a dark and lovely piano song with lyrics by 9:30. I countered an hour later with a poem called "I thought I liked you, turns out I was just lonely."

Last night, we decided to go for round two of the Creative Gauntlet. By 8:30, I had cranked out two poems: one a cautionary tale about a boy, a girl, and a half-gallon of milk, and the other about Neil Diamond (because Diamonds are indeed, forever). he emailed me a song with hand claps that sounded a little like Bright Eyes' "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning".

As strange as the arrangement is, I'm enjoying being forced to be creative. I think it works for me because at my job, and in college, I got used to functioning on tight deadlines. It works well for me. Eventually, I'm hoping to somehow compile all of the songs and poems written for the Creative Gauntlet, and maybe post them here. I'm not sure yet - what I do know is that deadlines or not, it feels good.

watch your speed in reverse,

Shoes: 1, Kerry: Nil

On Monday, I wore my shiny new pair of black heels to work. They're slightly taller than my other work shoes, and have a much thinner heel. So, I'm sitting in my desk chair, my right leg tucked under me, trying to get some estimates finished (for the fourth time - I'm still not sure why I get to do math). I finished the estimate, hit print, and then got up to go to the printer. Only, the heel of my right shoe had lodged itself comforably around the arm of my chair, and instead of getting up and walking out of the room like a normal person, I faceplanted. And since I have huge windows that look into the art department, and they were all gathered around one computer, my accident had an audience.

And it was awesome.

Only now, I have raging carpet burn, on my knees. Thanks, shoes!


Oct 14, 2007

Letter to Memphis

South Main, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007:

Just photos today - there will be more real writing soon. Sadly, I haven't really got anything to say about this weekend, other than that Friday night, I went to bed at 9:30. Granted, maybe I shouldn't announce that new height in lameness. More soon. Promise. For reals.

let us be free,

Oct 8, 2007

Double Whammy Cardigan Love

So, if you've been around me lately, you know I'm more or less obsessed with Okkervil River's "The Stage Names", particularly the song "John Allyn Smith Sails". It's another fantastic song about John Berryman offing himself, only with a generous portion of the folk song "Sloop John B."

For those unfamiliar, "Sloop John B." is a classic tale of familial turmoil set on the high seas. Everything was going delightfully for the narrator, who was sailing to Nassau with his grandpa. Everything was lovely, that is, until they got drunk, and the narrator engaged in some fisticuffs with Grandpa. Then the captain of the ship steals the narrator's grits, and the trip immediately becomes the worst trip that the narrator has ever been on.

This leads me to believe that there is possibly an entire sub-genre of music about family vacations gone terribly awry.

Really, I wish I had discovered these songs sooner - I could have used them as a kid on some of the family vacations I went on.


Enough record geeking.

-In other news, I made my first post-Nasty Couch Incident trip to Graceland, Too this past weekend with a friend who had never gone before. I told him very little, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself despite the 20 or so loud, drunk Ole Miss douches that showed up in the middle of the tour.

- Tomorrow night, the greatest trivia team ever, "Frampton Comes Inside You" will rise again. And hopefully, this time there won't be around on airport codes. We must have been the only person in the room without a FedEx pilot or scheduler or something. However, the 80's One-Hit-Wonder round was incredible. Here's to more of the latter and less of the former.

It's late, and I think I'm going to be a good girl and try to go to bed before midnight. I think I'm finally starting to feel like staying in my house again, and reading books or watching movies, or knitting. I don't think I'll revert back to the homebody I was four months ago, but I think I've struck a nice, happy balance. Here's to that.

raises a glass to grandpa,

PS - Happy belated birthday to my brother, Kevin. He's 21 now! Woot!

Oct 4, 2007

Friendly Reminders

If you live in Memphis, and you haven't already, go vote in the city elections.

That's all.

doing her civic duty,

Oct 3, 2007

The Porches Were the Rooves of Other Buildings

On Saturday, after a long walk in Overton Park and some delicious homemade food, my friend Taco and I decided that we wanted to get dressed up and see Superbad. We split up for an hour, and I put on a bright red tea-length dress and cowboy boots. When we met up at the Deli an hour later, he had on a suit and purple shirt and a purple bow tie.

Following the movie, we both kind of wanted dessert. The Cheesecake Corner was closed, so we had to settle for the bakery aisle of the midtown Schnucks. The midtown Schnucks is a special place (aside from the fact that "Schnucks" is a terrible name for a business). It's situated on one of the busiest streets in Memphis, with no clear way into and out of it's nightmare labrynth parking lot. The store itself is tiny, dimly lit and cramped. Ceiling support columns are situated in the middle of the soup aisle. There's no way that this store can really handle the volume of people that shop there, and only minimal renovations have been made since...well, ever. I guess they can get away with this because midtown has such limited grocery options. Sure, there's the Piggly Wiggly, and the Kroger (more commonly referred to as the Kroghetto), but if you want to grocery shop without being panhandled or scared of some of the food offerings, the Schnucks is where it's at.

Anyway - so we're there after midnight, which is generally the best time to be at the most poorly designed grocery store ever, trying to find something adequate for dessert. And of course we can't agree on what we want. I'm attracted to the cake slices while Taco is craving cream puffs. He was also particularly attracted to these:

He decided that he wanted to steal the overly descriptive label. So he set about gently peeling it from the plastic, while I paced around, trying to look busy in a very "nope, nothing to see here" kind of way. The whole time, I was telling Taco that he was going to get busted, not that you really can get busted for trying to de-label some cream horns. I'm the kind of person who's never been in any sort of real trouble, though, so I tend to be a little too cautious sometimes.

Eventually, we had to rock-paper-scissors for it, and he won. Cream puffs, cannolis and Colt 45 in hand, we went back to the church. Taco decided that desserts like ours were best enjoyed at great heights, so we climbed out a window and up a round runged ladder onto the roof.

It was quite enjoyable - a little chilly, but with the fun 80's dance music from the bar across the street and the sounds of airplanes. I'd totally do it again.

In other news, I played P&H trivia last night for the first time since the break up. My team, Frampton Comes Inside You, didn't do very well, but we did have a great time. And a very dirty team name. It was nice to see my friends, too. I hate that sometimes, I get too caught up in my own mess to remember to take the time to see the people I care about.

Anyway, it's about time for me to go to bed. In the meantime, check this out. It'll change your life.

every now and then, I fall apart,