Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The (Accidental) Flash

I don't like to get dressed in the morning. Not one bit. Especially when my plans for the day include television, reading, and blogging. Who needs all that clothing? I'm on summer break and I don't feel the need to dress like a soap opera actress if I'm not leaving the house. (Did you ever notice on soap operas they are all dressed up to sit around their houses? Probably because they have so many visitors since nobody uses the phone on the soaps. Nobody seems to work on the soaps either. I want to live in a soap....but I digress.) I also tend to sleep with nothing on. This is not meant to entice or titillate, it's just hot here in Florida. My point is, I don't like to wear a lot of clothing at home. But since clothing is a necessity in case Sonny Corinthos should stop by, I drag the process out by getting dressed in stages.

Stage 1: walk around with nothing on for a while. Hey, I live alone and I'm on the 4th floor, so shut up.
Stage 2: put on underwear. Avoid the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder, aka the bra.
Stage 3: put on a long tee-shirt, in case I spill coffee.
Stage 4: shorts or pants, bra - only if I am getting the mail or actually venturing out doors.

So today is no different than any other day when it comes to dressing. I was just in the middle of Stage 2 when I decided to open the blinds in my room. The light came pouring and .....did I mention that I live on a canal with lots and lots of boats? Being on the 4th floor I don't usually worry about being seen in my various stages of undress, but today there was a very beautiful, very large sloop docked outside my window. Its mast had to be at least...well...four stories tall. I know this because there were two tanned blonde men up on the mast doing whatever it is that tanned blonde men on very tall masts do and we were directly in each others' line of vision. It was as if they heard me open the blinds - which is fairly impossible - or they have some sort of man radar that goes off when a half-naked woman is within view. Either way, it was an Accidental Flash.

I snapped the blinds shut and sent up a prayer that they didn't see the boobage. Maybe there was a glare on the windows. Maybe they couldn't see through the tree branches. Maybe their man radar didn't go off. Seconds later I heard the sounds of two men clapping and cheering. So much for the maybes.

It seems they did, indeed, see the boobage.

I'm sure everyone has been a victim of the Accidental Flash at some point or another. Today was just my turn.

I won't be leaving my apartment today.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Childhood Meme

The Meme: What 5 Things do you miss about your childhood?

I got tagged by Modigli. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Mo! Perfect timing since I was just in my hometown. I also helped myself to some copying and pasting from your post for the rules. Hope you don't mind.

Rules to this meme:

Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place. Add your blog's name in the #5 spot. Link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross pollination effect.

1. This is Ali
2. It's the End Of The World As We Know It
3. More Than My Luggage
4. Modigli
5. Babbling Brooke

Next: select new friends to add to the pollen count. Of course, no one is obligated to participate, but what's the fun if you don't play along? On that note, feel free to tag yourself if I didn't list you here, but you'd like to do it.

Ghost Writer
Cannot Be Trusted
Upstate Girl

So, the five things I miss about my childhood are:

1. My corner. Our basement - as I have mentioned before - was a speakeasy back during prohibition. It was huge, the entire length and width of our house, and had all the original fixtures from its less lawful days. My parents pretty much handed over the basement to my older brothers, who gave legendary parties down there that people still talk about 25 years later. In one end of the basement, my brothers took it upon themselves to make "Brooke's corner". They built shelves out of old planks and bricks and filled them with my books, toys, Barbies, and records for my record player. I had an easel, a kitchen set (interesting to note since I went on to become a chef), and a ladybug table and chairs. I would play down there for hours on end, and even if my brothers were having friends over, I was never sent away. It was my corner, and I could play when I wanted. Often their friends would join me in my corner. Usually they were stoned. I would bake them little cakes in my Easy-Bake oven while they waited patiently at my ladybug table. Good times.

2. My birthday parties. Again, legendary to this day. And again, my brothers played a major role. You must understand, I have four older brothers - and I'm the only girl - and while I wasn't spoiled, they did like to make a fuss now and then. My birthday parties were a big fuss. Eunie - our housekeeper/second mom/all around fabulous person - would make her famous fried chicken. My brothers would set up games like hide-and-go-seek and penny-on-the-shoe. I would actually wear a dress. My parents would deal with 30 screaming little girls tearing through the house. And the presents! Actually I don't remember the presents much. I was too much of a party-girl even then to care much about the presents. Hawaiian Punch for all my friends!

3. Summer vacations. Our house was half a block from the beach. Our town was a major resort area. It is actually on an island. Summer camp? We don't need no stinkin summer camp! The beach was our summer camp. I would wake up in the morning, inhale my bowl of sugar-laden cereal, put on my bathing suit, grab a towel, and yell "Moooooooooooooommmmmmm, I'm going to the beeeeeeeeeeeeeach!!!" Her reply was always the same "Sit by the lifeguards and I'll be right theeeeeeeeere!!!!!!" And then I would walk myself down to the beach. Can you imagine? An eight year old walking herself to the beach? Couldn't happen in this day and age. The lifeguards loved when I came down. They were in charge of holding my glasses while I was in the water, which they used to burn greenheads to a satisfactory crisp. When the rest of the family arrived we would all set up the chairs into a giant semi-circle, and my friends and I would spend the day playing in the water, making drip castles in the mud, and rolling around in the hot sand. Til the ice cream man came - then all hell broke loose. The bell would ring, the kids would scream - "THE ICE CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAM MAN IS HEEEEEEEEEERE!!!!!!!!!!!", and there would be this mad dash of kids running up to the bulkhead with their ice cream money. Trying to carry all the ice creams for everyone back through the hot sand was always entertaining for the adults. But that was our job, that - and making sure that the *shoobies didn't feed the flying rats.

4. Playing in the street. There was one street in our town that had about 40 kids on it. No kidding. Every family had anywhere from three to eight kids on this little tiny beachblock. All the surrounding blocks had tons of kids too, just not quite as many. We lived two blocks away and had five kids. (sad that people don't have big families like that anymore) So we would all migrate over to that block and play whatever game was going on that day. During the day it was usually street hockey. (I was the only girl who played street hockey. I had four older brothers, remember? I was practically a boy until my breasts showed up.) Usually in the evening we would play Kick the Can until it got dark. Then we played Ghost in the Graveyard. Pretty much the same game, but the ghost part made it spooky and rid of us of any annoying sissies. Back then our parents didn't worry about us walking home alone after dark. Life was sweet.

5. Snowball fights on the beach. You haven't lived until you've had a snowball fight on the beach. I still have such strong images in my mind of the forts we built, the gray of the ocean, our dogs running maniacally around in a perfect state of bliss. Coming home to hot chocolate, stripping out of our sandy snowy clothes, and sitting in front of the fire til our clothes were dry again and we could go out and do it all over again. It seemed so natural to us back then. Now I realize how lucky we were to grow up in a place where playing in the snow on the beach was a normal part of winter.

I just noticed that none of my memories have anything to do with school, but are all about partying. Interesting. I do have great memories of school - but that will have to be another blog.

*Shoobies is the local term for tourists. It has two meanings. It refers to the old days in Atlantic City when tourists took a day trip to the shore by train. They would bring their lunch in a shoe box and then eat on the beach. Its more modern meaning usually refers to people from out of town (Philly in particular) who wear shoes to the beach - a major no-no for locals.

Raindrops on Roses

And when the rain came
She would shift in a way that nobody could foresee
It was a primal calling from the wilds
As if drums were beating within her
She sometimes wondered if they could hear them
These drums that made her blood run hot
And her skin flush red
The storms outside became her own inner storms
And she would lose herself in them
When she slept
The storms subsided

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Our House

I did something today I promised myself I would never do again, but I just couldn't help myself. I was drawn in like a moth to the flame. Like flies to shit. Like...why do these analogies include bugs? I hate bugs, they are creepy crawly....sorry. I'm back. I'm distressed by what I saw today. And in order to fix this distress, I'm going to need about a million dollars. I'm a little distressed about that too.

I'm in my hometown in Jersey this week, and one of my favorite things to do is ride my bike on the boardwalk in Ventnor, then on down to Margate (no boardwalk in Margate, it got washed away in a hurricane before I was born) and then down to the Longport Point. I grew up in Margate, in a fabulous house, one of those houses that people still talk about with fond memories. It was the house that made everyone feel welcome. I was shattered when we had to sell it, but unfortunately I had little say in the matter being that I was only 12. There was a lot of family strife going on at the time, and our house was a casualty of war.

So today I took my bike and went for a ride. It's a perfect day here, not too hot, not too cool, light breeze. I was having a wonderful ride. And then I did it. I tried to stop myself but my bike seemed to have a mind of its own. I rode up to my old street. I stopped. I parked my bike. And I sat in front of our old house.

And I cried.

I didn't cry because seeing the house brings back memories - even though it does. I didn't cry because I resent that we had to sell it - well, not anymore I don't. And I didn't cry because of how much I miss living here at the shore - even though I do. I cried because our house, the house that so many people loved and still love to this day, is now the shabby house on the street.

Nothing has been done to it. Nothing. No gardening. No painting. No sprucing up. Nothing in over 20 years. It sits there - peeling, chipping, rusting; with broken windows and long-dead rosebushes. It is, in a word, unloved. It has not been loved since we moved away all those years ago.

And even worse than being unloved, it is empty. Nobody is there to live in this wonderful, warm, welcoming home. Nobody appreciates the basement that was a speakeasy during prohibition, and all the spooky rooms where the hooch was hidden. The porch with the ocean views. The beautiful stained glass windows. The marble fireplace we sat in front of on cold winter nights. The tiny backyard where our dogs would play. The amazing architecture, the hand-made crown molding, the gorgeous parquet floors (oh I'm sorry, the gorgeous parquet floors are covered with carpet now, the one thing the buyers did do to the house. Who the fuck carpets parquet floors???)

To backtrack a bit, we sold the house because we had to - long long story that I don't wish to go into here. It was just before the casinos really hit in Atlantic City, and the buyers got their summer home for a song. A summer home. My house became a "summer home". Nauseating. A year later it had quadrupled in value. Today it is worth 10 times what we sold it for. Despite their good luck due to our family misfortune, the new owners never truly had the chance to enjoy their summer home. Shortly after they bought it, their daughter was killed in an accident. I don't think they ever really recovered from her death. Now they are very old, and very ill. They have issues with their remaining son. (I found all this out from the next door neighbors, who when I told them that I had grown up in the house - and they saw my distrees - were more than willing to fill me in.) And so the house sits, run-down and neglected. A casualty of war again.

When I saw it today I felt like it was calling out to me - as if it is waiting for one of us to come back - wondering what it did to deserve to be abandoned and ignored. I am terrified that it will be sold and torn down like Maloney's; like so many of the beautiful old homes here at the shore. I just can't let that happen to our house.

And so I need a million dollars, at least, to save our house. Lottery tickets, prayer, and begging are all included in the first plan of action. I haven't worked out the second plan yet. Clearly if I knew how to make a million dollars - I would already have a million dollars. Maybe even two.

I'm definitely a little distressed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Movie Quote Tag

I got tagged for movie quotes by a few of my fellow bloggers. You have to understand, I am a movie freak. I loves me my movies. And I love quoting them - as I have already done in my blog (a la Hedley Lamarr), my comments (Anthony, well done with the Gone with the Wind quotes), and even my profile. But I am not going to list my favorites from the classics (Jaws, Casablanca, The Godfather, etc) like they are doing on the AFI special tonight. Trying to attempt this would send me into anal-retentive orbit and could possibly make my head explode. I am just going to randomly list quotes that have cracked me up over the years.
So, without further ado, and in no particular order:

-Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.
Clemenza, The Godfather
Shut up! I know what I said, but its sacreligious to leave the Godfather out.

-Colonics for everyone!
Jeffery Goines, 12 Monkeys

-Fezzik, tear his arms off.
Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Hicks, Aliens

-Hey where the white women at?
Sheriff Bart, Blazing Saddles

-I'm going to beat your head in with a crowbar until you go away.
Terence Mann, Field of Dreams

-Where's the rest of this moose?
Arthur Bach, Arthur

-Shut up, I'm having a rhetorical conversation.
Max Bialystock, The Producers

-Oh gee, thanks Dave, bang-up job so far. Extortion, coercion; you'll pardon me if I ask you to kiss my pucker.
Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects

Yes, I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door.
Leonardo DaVinci, Ever After

-Welcome to Pacific Tech's "Smart People on Ice".
Chris Knight, Real Genius

-Seven years of college down the drain.
John 'Bluto' Blutarsky, Animal House

-That's a big Twinkie.
Winston Zeddmore, Ghostbusters

No doubt I will be adding to this list over the next few days. Yes, I am that anal. Please add your own in the comments section. Or not.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Other Side of the Fence

I have this fear. It's not something I talk about, or something I even think about too often. But it's there, and it seems to be gaining strength as my life moves forward. I'm sure it's something others fear, but of course as most fears go, it seems unique to me. It's not a fear of heights, or spiders (though I really don't like creepy crawly things), or even any one of a thousand phobias that seem to plague the world of dysfunctional humans. No, my fear is not so much on the surface, it is more inward.

I fear that I will never really be happy. I don't mean that I'm not a happy person in general, because I am. Most people that know me would probably describe me as fun, silly, goofy, easy to be general a happy person. But I am one of these people that is always thinking life would be better if I were living somewhere else, if I were doing something else, and sometimes - if I were with someone else. I fear that I will live my life forever longing for a different career, a different person to be with, a different place to live. I fear I suffer from "grass is always greener" syndrome.

I've felt this way for as long as I can remember. Maybe it started when I was in eighth grade, after my parents divorced and it was just mom and me in a new city. I ached for the way things used to be, the house we used to live in, the friends I used to have. I would walk the mile back and forth to school every day, imagining what it would be like to move back home. Everything would be perfect then. Eventually we did move home, and though it wasn't perfect, I was happy to be back. But something had changed, I had disconnected from things. There was a wall up now that hadn't been there before. Sometimes I wondered if we would have been better off staying in the new town. Sometimes I wondered what it would be like to go back. And so began the cycle.

I went about my life, coasting along, becoming part of the local scene in my hometown, yet always feeling like an outsider looking in. When I went backpacking in Europe, I think I felt truly comfortable for the first time in my life. Friendships were fast and furious - a few days in Paris, a week or so in Rome, bouncing from place to place - friend to friend - quick good-byes and then on to the next adventure. Nobody got too close, and no real time to wonder what might have been.

In Australia, I was more than comfortable, I was truly at home. I fell in love with the country, a boy, everything that was Australia. I never wanted to come home. This was home. But life has a funny way of tossing you curve balls when things seem perfect, and two years later I was back in the states, wishing I was in Sydney, where everything seemed so right. For years I lived my life in the state of "temporary". I wanted back to Sydney so bad I could think of nothing else. I wouldn't get in a serious relationship (why bother? I'd be going back soon), I wouldn't go on trips (why waste the money? I need it for Sydney), I wouldn't even get a magazine subscription...until finally I couldn't take it anymore. I knew I wouldn't be going back to live there. It was the time I was there that made it perfect, going back could only lead to disappointment.

I decided to stay in Jersey and make a life for myself. But again, life threw me a curve ball. Somehow my brother convinced me to move to Florida. The excitement of a new place and a new life brought back that old feeling of anticipation. Is that my problem? Am I an anticipation junkie? Possibly. I don't know. All I know is that now I am at another crossroads: it's been close to five years here in Florida, and I'm not really happy - again. The heat is oppressive, the people are obnoxious (not all, but the majority), and the payrate for teachers is among the lowest in the country. I have friends I love, and family (though having family here is both an argument for and against staying here, if you know what I mean). Do I stay, make a real life for myself, and let go of the past? Or do I give in to this ache I am feeling and move back to Jersey? I miss the change of seasons, the smell of the ocean (you don't smell it in Florida for some reason), and knowing just about everyone in town (and the pay is substantially better). Florida does offers a lot more opportunity to meet someone - my hometown, well, not a lot of single men with a full set of teeth left. I wish I just knew what to do. Why can't I just be happy? Why is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? I just want to settle down and just be - on the right side of the fence.

It's so not fair that life doesn't come with an instruction manual.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Single Grey Pachyderm Seeks Same....

Name: Lucy The Elephant
I am a: 125 year old woman
Located in: Margate NJ
Seeking a: 100-150 year old man
Body Type: Curvy
Turn ons: standing, staring, seeing my image on souvenirs
Turn offs: hurricanes, winter, gum

About Me
Hi! I never thought I would try this internet dating thing, but here goes! My name is Lucy the Elephant. I'm 65 feet tall, 90 tons, and can be seen from eight miles away. I'm 125 years old (I know, I know! I don't look it. I hear it all the time!), and I've lived in Margate, New Jersey my entire life.

5 Things to know about me:
I love people, which is a good thing since I have them running all over me all summer long! I am a historical landmark. It once took me seven hours to move two blocks. I live on a prime piece of oceanfront property. I have windows in my butt.

I'm looking for a nice, solid guy who likes the beach. That's pretty much it. Please include a picture with your response! Caio!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What Flavor Am I?

I'm packing for a trip to Jersey, so no time to write a real blog. So many ideas!!! My mind is a-glow with whirling transient nodes of thought, careening through a cosmic vapor of invention. My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

Ok, so I stole that from Hedley Lamarr. I'm also stealing today's blog idea from Jeff Haines. Thanks Jeff!

According to this website -
What Flavour Are You? I am Chocolate Flavoured.I am Chocolate Flavoured.
I am sweet and a little bit naughty. I am one of the few clinically proven aphrodisiacs. Sometimes I can seem a little hard, but show warmth and I soon melt. What Flavour Are You?

Not in the mood for chocolate?
What Flavour Are You? I tashte like Alcohol.I alsho tashte like Alcohol.
Heh. Heh. I taste like beer. I like beer. Buy me a beer. I'm not drunk, I can drink plenty without... What was I saying? Beer. What Flavour Are You?

Mmmm....I like chocolate. I like beer. Two great tastes that go horribly together.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Road to Blogdom

So today is International Webloggers Day. How lucky am I that I joined this community only a week before such an important event! I hope it's a paid holiday, especially since I have done little else today but read blogs and watch Buffy reruns. Speaking of which, who do I call about paid blogger vacation days anyway?

Many people are taking this opportunity to write about what got them started on the road to blogdom. Because I have not had an original thought all day, I will follow suit. Besides, it's a good story. Well, I think it's a good story. You may not. If you don't, I'm sure you will inform me of this in the comments section. Keep in mind I am very sensitive, so if you don't like my story, go fuck yourself.

My mom called me last week to tell me that she ran into the mother of a boy I knew a long time ago. She told me all about how successful he is now, married, kids, blah blah blah. I had a massive crush on this boy in junior high that dissipated in high school after a night of smooching on the beach. Not that he didn't smooch well, but it just sort of didn't live up to my adolescent expectations. I thought there would be hearts and flowers and angels singing. Instead I got sand in my underwear and a hickey on my collarbone. After we hung up, I did what every other single white female does in the 21st century after hearing about a lost love - I Googled him.

His name is not all that common, so I got about 1000 links - which if you know anything about Googling - is not a lot. In comparison, my name brings up 3,000,000 links, all due to some writer named Christine Brooke-Rose who is clearly taking up all of my Google space. And dammit - now I have added yet another link to her name. Anyway, I looked at some of the sites that listed his name, but couldn't seem to locate him. I even hit the images link to see if I could find a photo, but the only picture was of a middle-aged man with receding hair and very unfashionable eyewear. I searched again under the links, and finally found the website of where he works. Right job and right area, must be the right one. I clicked on his name, and the picture of the middle-aged man with receding hair and very unfashionable eyewear popped on my screen. To say I was completely and utterly freaked out would be an understatement. I could actually feel myself going into shock. This guy used to look like George Clooney - now he looks like George Costanza. I suddenly felt....oh my God....old.

In my middle-aged panic, I began frantically Googling every boy I had ever had a crush on, dated, or known in even the slightest biblical sense. The ones with the All-American boy names were impossible to find unless I wanted to devote the rest of the summer to sorting through the 11,000,000 or so links, so I crossed them off the list and decided that they are still hot. I found a couple of my Aussie exes, and thankfully they looked good - different - but still good. I found a few others that looked pretty much the same - a little older - but still pretty much the same. I started feeling a little better. I could feel my legs again. I decided to Google the aforementioned beautiful boy from my Maybe I'm a Little Gay post. I typed in his name, hit search, and then images.

The very first picture listed was him. Black and white. Shirtless. Modeling. Yes you read that right, modeling. He is in his 40's, and he is modeling with no shirt on. I wasn't sure which was more shocking, seeing the middle-aged man with the receding hairline or the uber-stud in his shorts. I clicked on the picture, followed the link, and came upon a blog. What the hell is this? What the hell is a blog? Some sort of online journal it seems, where people scan pictures from local magazines of half naked men. I'm in. (The blogger actually described him as beefcake). I decided to click the Next Blog button at the top of the screen, and three hours of reading later, I was signed up and writing my first post.

And that is how I found myself on the road to blogdom. I am spending more time on my computer than ever, which is hard to believe, but it has been a fabulous creative outlet. I did hesitate about putting my real name on my blog, but I figured as long as I don't mention real names or sexual situations, I should be ok. Besides, now I may actually pop up on Google!

Hurricane Preparations

This goes under the heading of "I did not write this but I wish I had". This was an email from a friend written for all of us in the Sunshine state. After reading this, I'm baffled as to why property values here have skyrocketed and everyone seems to want to move to Hurricane land.

You all should be aware of hurricane preparations, but in case you need a refresher course:

We have entered the peak of the hurricane season. Right now, you can to turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some radar blob down in the Caribbean and making two basic meteorological points.

(1) There is no need to panic.

(2) We could all be killed.

Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Florida. If you're new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by "the big one."

Based on our insurance industry experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness plan:


Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three days.


Put these supplies into your car.


Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween. Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in Florida.

We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:


If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets two basic requirements:

(1) It is reasonably well-built, and

(2) It is located in Wisconsin

Unfortunately, if your home is located in Florida, or any other area that might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they might be required to pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they got into the insurance business in the first place. So you'll have to scrounge around for an insurance company, which will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop you like used dental floss.


Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors. There are several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:

Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap.

Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you get them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands will be useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.

Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have to sell your house to pay for them.

Hurricane-proof windows: These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane protection: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so. He lives in Nebraska.

Hurricane Proofing your property: As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc...

You should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool (if you don't have a swimming pool, you should have one built immediately). Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into deadly missiles.


If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned out. (To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at your driver's license; if it says "Florida," you live in a low-lying area). The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred thousand other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.


If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them now! Florida tradition requires that you wait until the last possible minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with strangers over who gets the last can of cat food. In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:

23 flashlights. At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.

Bleach. (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the bleach is for, but it's traditional, so GET some!)

A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be useless in a hurricane, but it looks cool.)

A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators. (Ask anybody who went through Andrew; after the hurricane, there WILL be irate alligators.)

$35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can buy a generator from a man with no discernible teeth.

Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers stand right next to the ocean and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for everybody to stay away from the ocean.

Good luck, and remember: Its great living in Paradise.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


It's late, and I'm tired - and uninspired - and I promise to stop rhyming now. But I would like to go all geeky here and send out a thank you to all of those in the blog community who have made me feel so warm and fuzzy during my first week here. You have been encouraging, accepting, and thought-provoking. You have also been peculiar, twisted, and sick - which must be why I fit in so nicely. But most of all, you have given me more than a few laughs.

It's been especially flattering to be mentioned in others' blogs, so I want to send a special thank you to those that did this: Josh, Lemorse, and Kid Sis. Air kisses and golf claps all around.

So now it's my turn to send out a little good karma. For a must-read, check out MoDigli's blog, particularly the Nutritious AND Delicious post. Mo - I will be using that expression for the rest of my life. Thank you!

And since we are talking about karma here, I have to share this little story that I think of every time the word "karma" comes up. This is a snippet of a conversation I heard between two co-eds on campus last year. This is not something I read on the internet, or heard from someone else. I was actually lucky enough to hear this first-hand.

Co-ed #1: "He is like such a dick! You are so, like, better off without him."
Co-ed #2: "Oh I totally know. I am like so over him. He doesn't deserve me, he'll get what he deserves, like that whole comes around thing theory, ya know."
Co-ed #1: "Oh I totally believe in that! That comes around goes around thing.....uhhhhh .... Karma Sutra!"
Co-ed #2: "Right! That's it!"

To this day I wonder what they were majoring in. God, I hope it wasn't education.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


9:00 am - What I plan to do today

1. Do laundry
2. Vacuum and mop
3. Dust
4. Pay bills
5. Call mom
6. Make beef stew
7. Work on story
8. Read book
9. Organize school paperwork
10. Pick up suitcase

9:00 pm - What I actually did today

1. Watched HGTV
2. Ate a beef burrito

Friday, June 10, 2005

Maybe I'm a Little Gay

Several years ago I met a new boy, I'll call him P. He was a friend of a friend of a friend; good looking in an offbeat way, funny and smart - we met and hit it off instantly. (I've always had a weakness for a quick wit and a washboard stomach) We became friends, in fact, the group of us morphed into a new little posse. Things started to progress in that easy, natural way into the more-than-just friends realm. We had that "click" moment one evening when the gang was at his house; he pulled me onto his lap and we sat and chatted for hours. Later, my friends told me they had never seen him do that. He told me that he had heard that I had gone out with an ex-boyfriend the night before, and he asked how it went. He seemed more worried than jealous; he may have been wondering if things were over before they had a chance to get started. I told him that it was just an ex, that we were friends now and - he lived 2000 miles away. I told him that he was meeting us all that night, so he could see that we were just friends. P seemed happy about that.

We were all sitting in the pub, drinking and laughing, when my ex walked in. I watched girls around the room snap their necks to get a better look at him, bringing back memories of what it was like when we dated. He had no idea about his beauty - no, that's not right - he did know about his beauty, he just didn't really care. It was a lethal combination. My friends' jaws dropped when he waved to me. P leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Please tell me that's not him." My ex picked me up and hugged me, and then I introduced them.

They hit it off, in fact, everyone liked him. Of course they did, he's gorgeous, everyone likes gorgeous. But to be fair, he's also a great guy. When the the ex was at the bar buying drinks, P said, "Hey, I like him, he's a great guy." (See?) He gave me a funny look and then said, "Are you sure there is nothing still between you two?" I assured him there wasn't. He looked over at the ex and then turned to me, "Because that is one good looking guy. Jesus, Brooke, how can you not be sleeping with him? Even I'd do him."

My mouth dropped and we cracked up together, but then I thought I should ask, there something I should know about you? P laughed, "No, but if I was going to be gay, it would be him."

I never thought I'd hear a hetero man admit something like that. (and so you know, my ex and P did NOT run off together) They love the idea of the girl-on-girl - I can hear erections popping from here at the thought - but the idea of guy-on-guy? Most heteros won't even acknowledge it exists let alone imagine themselves doing it. Most women don't really care about the idea of two women either way, but there are some who actually get turned by the idea of two men. Hell, the girls in Sex and the City would make a night of watching gay porn. It's not something I've ever watched...but I'm not saying the idea of two men isn't a little hot.

I have so many gay friends, both male and female, that people can't decide if I'm a fag hag or a lipstick lesbian. I'm definitely not a fag hag. I love gay men, but I don't fall in love with them and I don't spend every weekend at the local gay bars (of which there are many.) And I'm so not a lesbian. I am pretty much like most women - I can appreciate a woman's beauty - but I'm not sexually attracted to it. There are some women I find extremely beautiful, so beautiful that I take pleasure in looking at them (not that kind of pleasure...get your mind out of the gay gutter), but I never thought I would utter the words that P did about the ex, "If I was going to be gay, it would be her".

And then I turn on James today, and he is interviewing Angelina Jolie. I mean seriously, the woman is insanely beautiful. Even her name is hot - with all the zhzhhzhzhzhzhzhz sounds rolling off your tongue. James could barely keep from drooling. I sat there watching, and I realized I was actually wondering what her boobs looked like. What is up with that? How gay is that??? This isn't good. I don't know if my mother can handle her only daughter jumping the fence. OY!

I immediately called one of my gays.
Help!!! I'm gay!!!! I want Angelina Jolie!!!!
He laughed, "Brooke, everyone wants Angelina, even I want Angelina."
Really?? So I'm not gay then??
"OK, Brad and Angelina are in your living room. Now...... which one do you drag off into the bedroom?"
In my version, Brad is already naked.

Oh thank God, I'm still on the right side of the fence. I still like boys. Pretty boys, but boys nonetheless. I remember P's words.

So, if you were going to be straight, you'd be straight with Angelina?
"I'm not going straight, but I'd rather be straight for Angelina than gay with, say........Dick Cheney. So, I guess I'm a little straight."

His words stopped me in my tracks.

Well..... I'd rather be gay with Angelina than straight for Dick Cheney. So I guess I'm a little gay."

And I'm okay with that.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

If I Were in Charge of the World: Part One

If I were in charge of the world, weight gain would no longer be determined by how much you ate. Yes, you read that right. Food - and drink of course - would be for nutrition and enjoyment, but would have absolutely no effect on what you weigh. Now don't get me wrong, copious consumption of alcohol will still have the power to turn you into a legless sot in the evening and a human vomit machine in the morning, so no need to fret about missing out on these necessary rites of passage. And if you want to go the Super Size Me route for the rest of your life, don't forget to leave room for the Krispy Kremes.

But this does not mean the end of obesity. Oh no, no, no. I do, after all, have a depraved and shameless sense of humor. There will be fat people, in fact there will be hordes of corpulent butterballs everywhere you look. But these people will not be overeaters.

They will be assholes.

You see, in my world, being an asshole would make you fat. Weight gain would directly correlate with ignorance, bigotry, homophobia, rudeness, intolerance, racism, vindictiveness, chauvinism, narrow and/or small mindedness - there are a lot more adjectives I could add here, but I think you get the general idea. Even just general boorish behavior will pack on the poundage. Oh, and this will also include hate-mongers disguised as the religious right, liars, and people who talk incessantly on their cell phones when driving. Yes, I'm afraid my plan will not wipe out obesity and the many problems related to it, but it will direct it to the proper recipients.

And this way, you will always be able to see the assholes coming.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It's All About Me

I'm feeling groggy today, so my writing skills are a little sluggish. Probably due to all the time I spend tweeking this damn babblefest that has taken over my life. Anyway, I stole this list off of a great blog - The Sleepless Walrus. I hope he doesn't mind - it's probably not wise to piss off a walrus.

10 years ago, I....
1. was wondering why I was living in New Jersey and not Sydney
2. was working at one of the best jobs I've ever had and making very little money
3. fell for an old flame - yet again
4. was written up in the local newspaper for my famous soups
5. celebrated a milestone birthday

5 years ago, I....
1. moved to Florida
2. started a new job in a new field
3. discovered prickly pear margaritas
4. was wondering what happened to the change of seasons
5. could not believe how frigging hot it gets in Florida

Today I ....
1. woke up groggy
2. worked on this list
3. had some oatmeal
4. made some tea
5. brushed my teeth - it's still early yet - what did you expect?

Tomorrow, I will....
1. smile a lot
2. run some errands
3. meet a friend for coffee
4. borrow my brother's suitcase for my upcoming trip
5. write something interesting on here

5 Snacks I Enjoy:

1. poppcorn
2. fruit
3. Trisquits
4. buffalo mozarella
5. Dove mini bars

5 Songs I know all the words to, even with out the Music:

1. Paradise by the Dashboard Light
2. Boys of Summer
3. A Song for You
4. Thunder Road - actually just about anything by Springsteen
5. Desperado

5 Things I would do with $100,000,000:
1. buy houses in all of the locations listed below
2. pay off my mother's and brothers' debts
3. buy homes for my friends
4. travel the globe
5. give to charities

Top 5 Locations I'd run away to:
1. Sydney, Australia
2. Florence, Italy
3. Bora Bora
4. Paris, France
5. The Caribbean - anywhere

5 Bad habits I have:
1. anal retentive much?
2. don't take care of myself properly
3. spread myself too thin
4. spend too much time on my computer
5. procrastinate

5 Things I like Doing:

1. reading
2. taking bubble baths
3. traveling
4. being with my friends
5. I'm going to leave this one figure it out

5 Things I would Never Wear:
1. a G-string
2. a skirt up to my pupik
3. a boob tube
4. a mu-mu
5. the latest trend

TV Shows I like:
1. Lost
2. The OC
3. Gilmore Girls
4. Extreme Home Makeover
5. Anything on HGTV

5 Movies I like:
1. Casablanca
2. The Princess Bride
3. Field of Dreams
4. The Godfather
5. There are about 50 more I'd like to put on this space..

5 Famous people I'd like to Meet:

1. Brad Pitt
2. George Clooney
3. Keanu Reeves
4. Johnny Depp
5. Jon Bon Jovi

5 Biggest Joys at the Moment:
1. daydreaming about meeting the 5 famous people above
2. watching a movie with a bowl of popcorn
3. laughing with my friends
4. going home to Jersey for visits
5. Sunday morning, newspaper, coffee - extra special good during football season

Breakfast of Champions

I'm having strawberries for breakfast. Big - and I mean big - ripe, juicy, red strawberries. If there was a boy here it would be a very sexy experience, but it's just me in my jammies with a horribly stuffed up nose and incredibly puffy eyes. Damn allergies. It's not a pretty picture. At least I brushed my teeth.

As I devour my mutant strawberries, I can't help but think of how my breakfasts have changed over the years. Yes, I know it's a completely inane thing to contemplate, but at least it's keeping me somewhat lucid now that the Benadryl is starting to kick in. Breakfast is affected (or is it effected? I always get those mixed up) by many factors: age, location, finances, and of course - current trends. I'm sure there are others. Better to not get too deep with this. I'll stick with age, mostly.

When I was little, breakfast was the best meal of the day. I would race down the stairs at the crack of dawn, scamper into the kitchen, and behold the plethora of colorful cereal boxes filled with sugary goodness. Which would it be today? Crunch Berries? Count Chocula? Lucky Charms? Cheerios?!!? How did they get there?? Hmmmm...actually they aren't that bad once you dump a cup of sugar on them. Lucky Charms were my favorite. I would pick out as many of the marshmallow charms as possible so that when my brother came in he would get a bowl full of brown crunchy bits. Life was good.

In my middle and high school years, my eating habits were all over the map. I tried every diet there was to keep from going over 105 lbs. Anything over that caused complete meltdowns. All meat, all cheese, grapefruit before meals, hot water after them - whatever the current fad diet I was on was what dictated my morning meals. Until it was summer - then I would have nothing but watermelon. All watermelon all the time. Life was easy in summer.

In college, and culinary school, I was constantly surrounded by food. It became something I worked with, like clay, so I completely lost interest in actually consuming it. Unless a hangover was in play, then it was one of three things: a Dino's sub, cold pizza, or cold Chinese food. Otherwise, breakfast was the same everyday. Coffee and cigarettes. Breakfast of champions.

Now we come to the travel portion of the program - the mid 20's. Breakfast is now dictated by location. Europe pretty much followed along with college - coffee and cigarettes. Only the coffee is much stronger and the cigarettes much more expensive. Sometimes a roll was involved, but that was usually ignored. Breakfast was not only dictated by location, but also by funds. Hence the ignoring of the rolls.

Australia was a whole different story. Breakfast in Australia consisted of several choices: baked beans on toast, spaghetti on toast, Vegemite on toast, or a trip to the local fruit stand. I ate so many kiwis I'm actually allergic to them now. Things got better when I started working at the Blue Marina Cafe, then it was back to coffee and cigarettes. Again, strong and expensive. If I got to work early enough, I could attack the fresh from the oven scones. Otherwise I didn't bother with them, once you have had them fresh from the oven, you can't have them any other way.

Hong Kong is a blur. I don't really recall breakfast there. Or much else for that matter.

Now I eat whatever I feel like for breakfast. Sometimes I'm good and have Grape-Nuts and skim milk. Sometimes I'm bad and have pancakes and bacon. Sometimes I go out with my friends and have whatever strikes me at that moment. Sometimes I cook for me and my current squeeze. Cold pizza is still a big favorite, as is cold Chinese. Coffee and cigarettes - not so much now. I've given up the smokes and the caffeine seems to bother me more now that I'm older - see? Age is the key factor!

And then there are the days I just like to have a big bowl of mutant strawberries. So ....what's for lunch.....

The Bernard Pivot Questionnaire

I just love Inside the Actors Studio. I know James Lipton can be a pain in the ass, and that Will Ferrell is more entertaining as James Lipton than James Lipton. But I still like the show. I like that the actors actually talk about acting and the movie making process and not about which designer they are wearing or which movie star they are doing. Each interview ends with the world famous Bernard Pivot Questionaire. Nobody has a clue who Bernard Pivot is, and nobody really cares - except for James - and probably Bernard's mother.

I've imagined myself as the world famous movie star/rock star/screenwriter/director up on stage in my perfect outfit and my perfect make-up and my perfect hair, the young eager students watching me with adoring eyes and breathless anticipation, Brad Pitt waiting in the wings to whisk me off to...but I digress. Since it seems apparent that James is never going to ask me these questions, I am taking this opportunity to have my moment in the spotlight.

What is your favourite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What turns you on?
6-pack abs and a bottle of baby oil

What turns you off?
Stinky feet

What is your favorite curse word?

What sound or noise do you love?
The ocean - no wait - thunderstorms ....ok it's a tie

What sound or noise do you hate?

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Brad Pitt's personal sex slave

What profession would you not like to do?
Andy Dick's personal sex slave

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Ok everyone, Brooke is here so I can finally take my long overdue vacation. She's in charge, so whatever she says - goes.

Then I answer the students' questions about my fabulous career, and sneak out the back door to catch my ride.....

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Human for Sale

I am worth $2,213,764 on
According to this website, I'm in the top 20 in the female category, which is really quite flattering. I'm confused, however, by the breakdown of what makes a financially valuable human being. There were no dollars placed on my height, but quite a bit based on my weight (good thing they can't actually weight you). There was also no value placed on my cup size - so tell me - why is the question there? Considering my cup size is perfectly respectable, I'm thinking that some pervert came up with this one just for jollies. And why is having a shoe size of 7 worth $5000? Clearly the said pervert has a shoe fetish.

So if you decide to go on this site and find out your worth, please, leave me a comment so I can make fun of you for being worth less than I am. If you are worth more, well then, you probably lied on it like I did anyway.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Mourning Maloney's

For those of us who grew up at the Jersey shore, it's a sad time indeed. The legendary Maloney's in Margate - the bar where everybody knows your name if they aren't too drunk to remember - is closing. Every town has its Maloney's .... it's like the real version of Cheers without the canned laughter. To imagine it not being there - inconceivable!

I don't live in Margate anymore, but it's still home to me. I'm surprised by how sad I am about this. Maybe it's just a sign of the times, things change I know, but this is one place that nobody ever thought would change. Probably because it hasn't changed as long as I have been going there, and that's around...well..never mind how many years it's been. (me? go to bars when I was underage?? ya think?) I think George put a new jukebox in once, and then there was the addition of the outside patio, but not much else - if you don't believe me just check out the bathrooms. I spent the better part of my 20's drinking in the Tavern (or the Zoo as we affectionately called it), and eating (ok, and drinking too) in the Beef & Beer. I drank many beers and shots of Jack Daniels (ick), sang "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" a couple of thousand times at the top of my lungs, ruined several pairs of shoes on the beer soaked floors, got sick in the bathroom, danced on the bar, and met many a cute boy. I even worked as a chef in the kitchen the summer before I went off to travel the world. Everyone has Maloney's memories, some more than others, but everyone has them. And that's not even mentioning the annual bike-a-thon...suddenly I'm hearing Archie and Edith singing *those were the days*.....

I'll miss Maloney's - we all will. Saying goodbye to this legendary institution on Labor Day will be like saying goodbye to an old and treasured friend. The friend you always could count on to be there for you. I can't imagine what it will be like next summer to come home and see townhouses where my friend used to be.

The World of Blog

So here I am, entering the world of blog. Blogging? Bloggering? Whatever. No matter what you call it - it's a babblefest of epic proportions. I should have just called this the babblefest. Ah, see! This is the story of my life - overthink tiny things - like what should I name my blog - and jump right into major things - like going back to school to change careers. Which I did, graduated with high honors just last month, thank you very much! So I went from being a being a technical recruiter (ok that was only for one year...kind of like the transitional career...much like the transitional boyfriend...we'll talk more about that later) now becoming a teacher. Yes sir, all that education, time, and work to join one of the lowest paid professions in America. Woohoo! But teaching is a noble profession - and I am honored to become a part of it. I'm sure this blog will have much more on this topic, as well as cooking, decorating - am I the only one who is addicted to HGTV? - football, travel, general opinions, and various other priceless little tidbits.

Wow, now that wasn't so bad at all! Now I must add a picture - just because I can.
As the blog world turns....