Saturday, July 30, 2005

Flash (Non)Fiction #1

Flash Fiction Friday (FFF): A new concept from our acronym-loving man. JJ, our purgatorian pal, provides the topic sentence on Friday. We provide the supporting post by the end of the weekend. However, I wrote a non-fiction story. I worked hard on it, and I'm not tossing it now. So this week my entry is Flash NON Fiction. Next time I will follow the rules and make shit up.

Got it? Good. Here we go.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but in reflection not having any...interest in men that weren't ridiculously beautiful is the reason I threw away his business card. I was young, maybe 19 or so, and getting attention from some old balding man was beyond creepy to me - no matter how much money he had. I was only at his house as a favor to a friend; helping him deliver food from his catering company. But the rich guy started chatting me up, telling me I was pretty, too short to be a model of course, but that I had great hair and beautiful hands. Thanks, I think. Not like I asked for your opinion, you freak.

Did you know that you could be a hair and/or hand model?

No, I didn't know that. (And stop staring at me you creepy pervert.)

Take my business card, call me, I think we could work with you.

Then he actually touched my hair. It took every ounce of self control in me to not smack him upside the head. I put the card in my pocket with a weak smile and left. My friend was laughing hysterically. I was completely grossed out. Who the hell was that!?! My friend, through his tears, said the guy worked at a shampoo company or something, he wasn't exactly sure where. He told me his name, but I didn't pay much attention. I tossed the card without really looking at it.

It was months later when I happened to mention the incident to my mom. I don't even know how it came up. But when I told her the story, she looked at me in absolute horror. And then she was laughing even more hysterically than my friend had that day.

You threw away his card? Do you know who that was?

He worked at a shampoo company or something.

No, Brooke. Not a shampoo company. Revlon.

So he works at Revlon. Big deal. Not like he could actually get me into modeling.

Brooke, that was Ron Perelman's card that you threw away. Ron Perelman doesn't work at Revlon. Ron Perelman owns Revlon.

And that is what happens to you when you are young and dumb and only pay attention to men who are blindingly beautiful and treat you like shit. And that is why I am poor and single and have never had my hair or hands in a magazine. And I have nobody to blame but myself. Dammit.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Fractured Fairy Tale

"You have four older brothers? And you're the only girl?! You must have been so spoiled growing up! Were you their little princess?"

I get this a lot. Clearly from people who did not grow up with four older brothers. I dont know where they get the idea that I had a fairy tale childhood just because there were four boys in my house. I mean seriously, think about that image. A house full of stinky socks, stinky boys, and stinky athletic equipment. I now know where I get my super sensitive sense of smell.

I called them "the boys". To this day I still do. And I'm not saying the boys didn't spoil me in some ways. I was theirs, in a sense, and they made sure I was included in almost everything. They celebrated every first - first new teeth, first day of school, first dance recital. They created my own corner in the basement and made all of my birthday parties the event of the season. They let me hang out with their friends, and taught me all about sports. In many ways, the boys raised me.

But boys will be boys - so my fairy tale is definitely a fractured one. They tormented my friends - especially those that were unfortunate enough to develop crushes on them. They tickled me until I cried, or wet myself, whichever came first. They insisted that I needed a bra for my knees since they stuck out more than any future breasts ever possibly could. I was their personal slave - it was my job to change the channel (no remote control back then, but then again, only about four channels to choose from), to keep them fed and watered, to never ever tattle, and to run all over the house to find whatever it was they couldn't find at a given time. It should also be mentioned that I have had long nails since I was a toddler because my brothers told me the only reason I had been brought into the house was to scratch their backs.

I say brought into the house, and not born, for a reason. I don't remember exactly when it happened, but there came a time when I was very young that my brothers felt the need to reveal the truth to me. I was not, in fact, their real sister. I had been adopted. When I was just a baby, a policeman found me abandoned in a basket and brought me to the house. He felt our family would be perfect since there were only boys, and these boys clearly needed a little sister to scratch their backs and do their bidding. It was important for me to be good, or the police officer would have to come back and find me a family to live with up in Atlantic City.

The policeman's name was Officer Krupke.

For years I would pout whenever the dreaded Officer Krupke was brought up. It can't be true! I had heard the stories about when I was born from my mom. How she could hear the Miss America parade going on from her hospital room when she was waiting for me to arrive. How the whole town made a fuss because finally a girl was born. How the prim and proper lady across the street came running over in her nightgown when she heard the big news. My brothers, the big poopyheads, had to be lying.

I remember in vivid detail when my brothers told me that a very special movie was going to be on television that night and that we would all be watching together. My parents said I could stay up late to see the whole thing, and I was very excited. I brushed my teeth and put on my pajamas and went downstairs to the living room. My brothers seemed to be more excited than I was, and they took great pains to make sure that they were all sitting around me when the opening credits of West Side Story came on.

I loved it. The singing, the dancing, the fighting! It was enthralling! How cool of my brothers to make sure I didn't miss this! I don't recall how far into the movie it was when I heard the Jets break into the famous Gee Officer Krupke song. I just remember that when the boys - who had been waiting for this moment for most of my life - saw the recognition in my face, and heard me scream "HEY!!!!!! That's Officer Krupke!!!!!" - they finally knew what it was like when they tickled me.

Krup you boys.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Finding Brooke

hmmmm..wonder where Brooke isI just love my site meter. So much interesting information to be gleaned from it. I find it fascinating to see how people happen upon my blog. In the last few weeks, people out of the blogosphere have arrived through a number of interesting internet searches. Most of the non-bloggers found me through Google, unless otherwise noted. I thought I would share these with you now.

Bernard Pivot Questionnaire - twice. So how come they didn't answer my questionnaire?

Angelina Jolie + Bernard Pivot Questionnaire - once. Bet that was surprising.

Maloney's Margate Closing (or similar such words) - five times. There will be more of these as the closing date grows closer. For those of you googling and finding this now -Labor Day is the blowout goodbye party. Bands, porta-potties, barbecue - see you there.

Brooke - twice. The fact that this site comes up on page two of a search for "Brooke" is kind of odd, don't you think? Granted, both times it was done on MSN - I probably still don't even rate on Google.

Brooke Burke tits - once. MSN again. Probably the same guy. I imagine he was more than a little disappointed when he didn't find Brooke's tits here.

Brooke + NJ + chef - once. Should I be concerned about this one? I'm thinking yes.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Cinderella Story

I named her Kashmir. I was in my all-things-Zeppelin phase. Her coat was soft and grey with flecks of red and looked like a sweater, and so the name was cool on several levels. She was a tiny thing, hiding behind her other litter mates when I found her at the Humane Society. She trembled all the way home, but she quickly adjusted to life with mom and me in our tiny apartment.

She was a typical kitten; she loved shoes and sinks and playing with string. She was shy around new people, but once she got to know them she was was very loving. As she grew older, her personality came into its own. She was loyal and protective. She was playful and silly - running through my room at all hours of the night, trampling across me in an effort to get me up and out of bed, knowing full well she was going to get squirted with the water gun I kept at my bedside for these late night romps. She loved the beach - we would often find her sitting on an open window ledge looking down at the beachfront some four stories down - creating a "porch" for herself that our apartment was sadly lacking. She took no crap from anyone, and was as happy to be alone as she was to have company.

When the summer came, my brothers started showing up to hang out on the beach. Kashmir hissed at them - they terrified her - these big noisy monsters who stomped through the apartment with no respect for the quiet ways she had become accustomed to with just mom and me. The boys responded by chasing her around the apartment with the aforementioned watergun - keep in mind "the boys" were in their 20's - old enough to know better. Being squirted by me was fun; being squirted by my brothers was not. From then on, it was the same routine every time. The boys came over, she hissed, and then hid under my bed until they left. The boys called her crazy, mental, a man-hater.

But she didn't hate men. Only the men that treated her badly. She loved my new pretty blonde surfer boyfriend. The moment he came in and sat on the couch she was on him, purring and rubbing. He couldn't understand what my brothers had been saying. He thought she was wonderful.

I wasn't technically allowed to have cats in my building, and eventually my landlord forced me to give her away. I took her back to the Humane Society. I brought food and toys and money. I made them promise to call me if they couldn't keep her for any reason. I cried. They assured me they would find her a good home, she was after all, beautiful.

Many months later I went back with a friend to get her dog a license. I asked if someone could tell me about my cat. They didn't seem interested in telling me anything, but finally they asked what her name was and said they would see what had happened to her. I told them her name was Kashmir. The whole place stopped. Kashmir was your cat?

They led me to a back room. The walls were covered with pictures of the thousands of animals that had come through. By the desk was a group of pictures arranged like a little kitty shrine. They were all of Kashmir. Kashmir with a hat on. Kashmir sleeping on a dog. Kashmir playing with a litter of kittens. It seems that after a rocky start in her new digs, Kashmir had taken over the place. She became the leader of the unwanted, the favorite of the volunteers. She had little interest in the potential new owners that came to visit. She only had eyes for her new brood.

I was so excited! Where is she? Let me see her! Oh no, the story continues. One night just before Christmas, a gorgeous man in a red Porsche pulled into the parking lot. He had just moved into town, he told the swooning volunteers, and he was looking for a kitten. He didn't know anybody, and he didn't want to spend the holidays alone. He was playing with some of the kittens when Kashmir, who was perched atop a file cabinet watching this scene intently, jumped down and landed on his lap. She purred and licked his face. He dropped the kittens and took Kashmir home. Two weeks later he came back and asked for one of Kashmir's friends so she wouldn't be lonely.

I wouldn't have believed any of this had the volunteers not shown me the picture that her Prince Charming had sent in. It was Kashmir and her friend, laying out in the sun on the porch of their brand new luxury beachfront penthouse. She looked completely at home, with no more fears of big scary monsters to treat her badly. As the volunteers at the Humane Society said, she was a true Cinderella story. Kashmir, it seemed, was living happily ever after.

As I write this, I realize I should take a cue from Kashmir; she was a woman who possessed numerous admirable qualities. She always stayed true to herself. She never took any crap. She made the best of every situation. She avoided the men who called her names and treated her badly. She adored and appreciated the ones who treated her well. She recognized when the right one came along and when he did - she took that giant leap of faith - and held on with everything she had. She found the life - and the porch - she had always wanted and lived out her days in luxury and love. She has become my inspiration. And she should be an inspiration to every woman who settles for anything less than everything.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Love Your Life

However mean your life is,
Meet it and live it;
Do not shun it and call it hard names.
It is not so bad as you are.
It looks poorest when you are richest.
The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise.
Love your life, poor as it is.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

How You Doin'?

I'm going to be 40.

I'm single.

No kids.

I rent.

I'm starting my third career.

How'm I doing?

See picture.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Food Network

I got tagged by Sunshine for a cooking meme. Even though I'm a little memed out, I wanted to do this one since I am a former chef. She has turned me onto cooking blogs now, and I am so grateful that I will soon be working full time as I would never ever ever get off the computer with this new discovery. So here is the meme. I am not tagging anyone. But feel free to add any funny cooking/food stories in the comment section.

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
I used to bake little cakes in my Easy Bake oven for my brothers and their stoned friends. Everyone would sit at my ladybug table and chairs in my little kitchen down in the basement. (I know I know, I've mentioned this before, but not everyone has read that post) Later, I had one of those cookie shooter gadgets. They were way cool. I remember helping my dad bake bread, and learning how to tell when to punch down the dough. Everyone in my family can cook, so just about all of my memories are food related. I still have my first cookbook too - The Pooh Cookbook - and I still make the PoohanPiglet Pancakes.

Do you have an old photo as “evidence” of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it? No, but here is my last-day-of-culinary-school picture. I'm down in the front - right in the middle - being squished by a boy. Where else would I be?

Mageiricophobia – do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat? I once had to cut up two dozen beef tongues for a catering job. I don't remember what the recipe was - some sort of anti-animal jambalaya. I was a vegetarian for 10 years after that. To this day the memory of it makes me gag. I would probably break into a sweat if I had to do that again.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown? I'm not so into gadgets anymore. The most disappointing was probably the vege/fruit juicer - they sound like a good idea, but they are really not worth the trouble. I have all the usual - food processor, coffee bean grinder, hand held cheese grater, etc. I do love my KitchenAid Mixer. It's so very pretty. I long for a Francis Francis cappuccino maker - but since they are approximately the cost of a month's rent - that isn't happening anytime soon.

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like – and probably no one else! I love mixing things up! I'm into mixing my condiments. I like mayo on everything - and often I'll add hot sauce to the mayo too - that is fabulous. I also like to mix salad dressings together. Honey on ricotta cheese. Pretzels and cream cheese. I used to go to this local place back home and order clams casino and pizza. Then I would dump the clams casino right on the pizza - to the horror of all my friends. Now it's on the menu.

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don’t want to live without?
Pasta. Even though I constantly try to give it up for carbs. A world without pasta is a world without sunshine.
Pecorino Romano Cheese - for the pasta of course.
Popcorn - I put Pecorino on popcorn too. Don't knock it til you try it.

Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer? A lot of people have said which celebrity chef they would most like to work with - and though I have found that most celebrity chefs are jackasses in general - I wouldn't mind working with Tyler Florence. If he's a jackass who cares - he's hot.

Three quickies:
Your favorite ice-cream: Hazelnut gelato
You will probably never eat: Haggis or puffer fish
Your own signature dish: Soup (signature dessert: sticky toffee pudding)

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Top Ten Signs Brooke's Anal Retentiveness is Out of Control

1o. She can't sleep if there are dishes in the sink.

9. She can't get into an unmade bed.

8. She is unable to do any type of computer work unless her apartment is spotless. (and let's face it, she is always at the computer)

7. If she breaks one nail, she cuts them all so they will be even.

6. She opens Word to check spelling and grammar for her blog posts.

5. Her spices and canned goods are in alphabetical order and are all facing front.

4. She looked up the term "anal retentive" to see if she actually is, technically, anal retentive.

3. She bleaches her coffee cups.

2. She reads her daily bloglist alphabetically - no skipping.

And the number one sign Brooke's anal retentiveness is out of control:

1. Coasters, coasters, coasters!

Brooke wrote this post in the third person so that she could separate herself from her freakish anal retentiveness and write objectively. She will go back to writing properly in her next post. Thank you.

Inside the Blogger's Studio

First, I want to send special messages to two people.
Nick, who is celebrating the two year anniversary of his extremely funny blog today. Woohoo! He also made me his featured blogger for finding his coveted Union Jack cup on the internet. Thanks Nick!
And Neil, who mentions me in his blog today....even if it is through his parents. It's a riot. Thanks Neil!

So, I asked the fabulously handsome and talented Todd to interview me. I will answer the questions shortly, but first, I am contractually obligated to explain the rules to this inquisitive round-robin. I am copying and pasting this directly from Todd, otherwise known as yournamehere and viva las vegASS, because I am lazy.

Here are the instructions:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "Interview me." "Blow me" or "Eat me" are not acceptable substitutes.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different. I'll post the questions in the comments section of this post.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here are Todd's questions for me.

1. I know you're a trained chef, so what is your favorite dish to prepare and why? It would have to be soup. I have actually been written up in the newspaper for my soupmaking prowess - and was dubbed alternately "The Soup Queen" and "The Soup Nazi", by customers and coworkers alike. Which name was used for me depended on my level of bitchiness for that particular day. There are people in Jersey who would buy me an automobile for one quart of my Cream of Tomato. Point of interest: soup was invented to get rid of leftovers.

2. If you had to live as a man for an entire week, would you give your penis a name? If so, what? No, that is just creepy. Why do men do that?

3. Explain in detail your favorite aspect of blogging. I love the creative outlet of blogging. I have always loved writing, and I feel like this is not only a great forum to sharpen my skills, but to get almost immediate feedback from people who are not friends and family. (ie: people who would not insult my stuff for fear of hurting my feelings) I am also really enjoying the interaction between bloggers, which has been an unexpected and happy surprise. So many cool, interesting, and inspiring bloggers out there!

OK fine. It's all about the neocounter.

4. Which "Seinfeld" character do you most relate to and why? I think the Seinfeld characters are possibly the most obnoxious ever created for television, with the exception of Frank *Ferret Face* Burns. At first I thought Elaine, being that she is a girl, of course. But Elaine whines too much. She is also a world-class bitch. I'm a bitch too, but not a world-class one. And her dancing is tragic. Kramer is a sponge and a general nuisance, I don't like those qualities in people. He also has bad hair and hangs out with Newman. Ick. George is a jackass, and let's face it, he has really bad hair. If I had to be alone for ten minutes with George I'd kill him. That leaves Jerry. Jerry is funny, entertaining, and is always the center of what is happening. Plus he's rich. I can relate to that even if I am - economically - at the bottom of the food chain.

5. If you're ever in Vegas can I pretend I'm with you so they'll let me in the really nice clubs? You bet! Have cleavage, will travel.

Thanks Todd! You are genius!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

If I Were in Charge of the World: Part Two

This a continuing series on how I would make the world a better place if I were in charge. Ok, it's part two of two. So it's not really a series yet. If you would like to read Part One, click here.

If I were in charge of the world, lying would be a thing of the past. Sorry, that's a lie (Is there any doubt that I am a humorous and benevolent ruler). There would still be lying, but the consequences for liars would be very different. You see, in my world, lying would be handled by ME - with very strict rules. I have made things simple by classifying lies - and the consequences - into three simple categories.

Let's go over these together -

1. Lies on the Small Scale - LOSS.
These are the small lies, the inconsequential lies, often referred to as little white lies. The I don't want to hurt *name of recipient's* feelings types of lies. Examples of LOSS:

"Oh honey, I'm so glad your mother is coming to visit. I've missed her."
"Of course you dont look fat in those."
"You are soooo funny!"
"How did you know I wanted a vacuum cleaner for my birthday?"
"You were wonderful."

Clearly these are lies that only serve to please the other person. There will be no consequences for these - as long as your heart is in the right place(remember, I'm in charge, so I'll know if your heart is indeed in the right place). If your heart is not in the right place, the lie is moved to the next level.

Meet the next level -

2. Lies of the Medium Scale - LOMS.
These are more serious. Often people think they are using LOMS to keep from hurting someone else, but really they are using them to help themselves. Examples:

"Stop being so paranoid! She/he is just a friend. There is nothing going on!"
"Honey, they made me go to the strip club, and it would have been rude to not let her give me that lap dance."
"Oh you should definitely get your hair cut before your big date. Really short, guys like that. And don't shave your armpits, guys like that too."
"I don't know how my credit card got charged for all that internet porn! How do I know it wasn't YOU!"

These are self-serving, manipulative lies. They not only hurt others, but they are used to make others feel bad while the liar gets his/her way. These lies will result in consequences. As stated in Part One, liars will be subject to weight gain. Massive, instantaneous weight gain. Depending on the seriousness of the lie, a person could go from a size 4 to a size 24 in a matter of minutes. So if you are the type that sticks to a lie no matter what, be prepared to buy a second home for all your clothing.

And last we come to -

Lies on the Grand Scale - LOGS: These are the serious lies. The real whoppers. The ones that cause death and destruction and general mayhem. Examples of these would include:

"I don't recall selling weapons to Iran."
"Iraq poses an imminent threat."
"I never said Iraq posed an imminent threat."
"I don't see what's wrong with sleeping in a bed with little boys."

These lies go beyond weight gain. In my twisted sense of humor and logic, I have decided to employ one of the world's oldest expressions regarding lying in a literal fashion. I like to call it the liar liar pants on fire punishment. Yes that's right, when LOGS are uttered - the liar's pants will catch on fire. I know that doesn't sound like a major punishment, but once the pants go ablaze, the rest of the body will light up as well, ultimately resulting in spontaneous human combustion. In other words - *POOF* - liar no more. I originally wanted these liars to explode - but I thought that would be too violent for children to witness. Spontaneous combustion is quicker and neater and kind of cool to watch - and the small pile of ashes left over can be taken care of quickly with a Dustbuster.

This should pretty much wipe out the current administration in Washington. Actually, it will most likely wipe out politicians in general without regard for political affiliation. It will also take care of the majority of news reporters, many gossip magazine employees, various entertainers, and most of the CEO's and CFO's of the world's major corporations.

So if I were you, I would invest in stores that carry plus size clothing and cordless vacuum cleaners.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

There Goes My Hero

Many years ago I lived in Sydney Australia. Manly Beach to be exact. I moved there after working as a nanny in the Northern Suburbs, so suddenly living in a surfing community with three new flatmates, three cats and a dog was quite a change from what I had been experiencing in Australia so far. Manly was definitely more my speed. I loved being on the beach again - I grew up on the beach at the Jersey shore - and the surfers were just like the guys back home, but with cute accents. I can honestly say that living there was the happiest time of my life.

Two weeks after I moved in, my flatmates excitedly announced that Ralph and Jason were coming to stay. Jason was a former flatmate/surfer of the house, and Ralph was his dog. Now, I love dogs. I really do. But I have never heard people talk about a dog like this. They just went on and on and on. Clearly they were more excited about Ralph the wonder dog coming than their friend Jason. Ok I get it, he's the dog of all dogs. Could he really be all that cool? I mean come on - but nobody could tell them any different.

A few days later, I walked into my house and heard a very loud and unfamiliar bark. In the living room, among my many flatmates and neighbors, were two new faces. Jason - the surfer, and Ralph - the biggest German Shepherd I had ever seen.

He didn't seem to like me the first couple of days. He would bark at me when I came in the house and continue as he would follow me into my room. I knew he wouldn't bite, so I wasn't afraid. I was more annoyed by it. Hey! I live here now bub! It's hard enough being the only Yank in the house, give me a break!

Within one week he was sleeping at the foot of my bed every night. He would not allow anyone but my flatmates in my room. Every morning he would stand at my bedside, pressing his cold wet nose to mine in a silent plea to come out and play. When I would come home from work he would jump around like a puppy. Everyone noticed how he had taken to me. I often thought that maybe he was looking out for me because he sensed I was new, the outsider in the house, and needed a champion. When my flatmates would walk him to the pub, and then forget about him sitting outside in their drunken stupor, he would walk over to the cafe where I worked and park himself at the entrance. He would follow me from table to table, offering a friendly lick or nuzzle to my customers. My boss, who at first freaked out that Ralph was scaring off customers, soon changed his tune when he would hear the little voices crying to their mummies to eat at the place with the big cool dog. Ralph was great for business.

He never needed a leash. He would walk right beside you, even in crowds. He protected our house from strangers but was gentle as a lamb to people when we were out on the town. He let children pet him and pat him, sometimes to the point of pain, and he never snapped or walked away. It was never necessary to yell at him, a simple "Ralph" was all you needed to say to get his attention. He would play catch for hours and hours, and he never went after other dogs. It didnt take me long to realize that he was everything my flatmates had said, and more.

He and I would often go out for late night walks together. It was a ritual we had, a way for me to unwind after work. One night, as we walked back from the Corso, Ralph went off ahead of me to do his business, and I stood on the beachfront giving him some privacy. There were several bars across the street, and as I stood there, a few drunken boys spilled out of one of the bars and approached me. At first they were just flirting, asking me where I was from, what my name was...the usual slurred nonsense. Nothing I wasn't used to, especially since Aussie boys always gave American girls a little extra attention. But slowly I started to get an uneasy feeling. They were too close, too familiar, and had somehow surrounded me. Behind me was a 10-foot drop to the beach. I suddenly had a vision...being pushed...falling...nobody knowing...nobody they jumped down to the beach to follow my fall.....

I started to edge away, but they kept asking me questions, trying to keep me where I was. I tried to laugh them off, move slowly away, but they cut me off..and then suddenly...a flash of fur...and Ralph was standing between us. His hackles were raised, his teeth were bared, and the low-throated growl coming from him was something I had only heard in horror movies. His entire body was poised and ready to strike. He looked like a wild coyote about to shred a deer apart. The boys raised their hands as if they were under arrest.

"Woah," one of them said, "is that your dog?"
Upon hearing his voice, Ralph started barking at him ferociously. He sounded like Cujo.
"Yes, he's mine," I replied.
They backed away, just as I had been trying to do only moments before. "See ya," they said. And they ran off.

That was it. Over. Just like that. Ralph turned to me, leaned against my leg, and would not allow us to lose physical contact the entire walk home.

Ralph, my heroMy flatmates were stunned when I told them the story. Ralph had never, ever, behaved like that in public. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that those boys were planning....I don't even like to think about it. I sometimes wonder about that vision. Was it what would have happened if Ralph hadn't been there? How different would my life be now if he hadn't scared them away? Would I even be here to tell this story?

Ralph was my hero that night. And he will always be my hero. Nobody in my life has ever stood up for me like that. Nobody has ever put his life at risk for me. Stood his ground, ready to attack, four against one, only thinking of my protection and well-being. To me, Ralph will forever be my champion. The dog of all dogs. And nobody can ever tell me any different.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Big Red Letter Day

*Author's note: I did not write this. I was emailed this today, and while I'm sure it has been around and around in various forms on the internet, I still felt it was worth posting. It was apparently written by a very angry Californian. If this were to actually come to fruitition, I would immediately and permanently relocate back to Jersey. For a somewhat similar version of this that is not so kid-friendly, click here - Fuck the South.

Dear Red States:

We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the entire Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma, and all the slave states.
We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Elliot Spitzer.
You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty.
You get OpryLand.

We get Intel and Microsoft.
You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard.
You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.
You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue.
You get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families.
You get a bunch of single moms (and deadbeat dads).

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at your state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy League and Seven Sister schools - plus Stanford, Cal Tech, and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson, and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you very much!

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11... and an astonishing 61 percent of you actually believe you possess higher morals than we lefties.

By the way, we're taking the good pot, too.
You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Author Unknown in New California.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Loz's Meme

This is a brand new meme from Loz. She made it up herself. Clever girl! I'm sorry you felt left out, Loz. I solemnly promise to never let it happen again. I also thank you for giving me something to post. At the moment I'm feeling about as clever as a houseplant.

On to the meme.

1. Can you tell me your whereabouts on the evening of April 38th, 1991?
Yes, I was conducting experiments on my Big Bang theory.

2. If you could have named yourself, which name would you have picked?
Mrs. Brad Pitt.

3. What was the 29th book you read?
"It's Potty Time for Boys."

4. In your opinion, who was the hottest Apostle?
Paul. No wait! George. Definitely George. He was way hotter than Paul.

5. Dude, where's my car?
At the BMW dealership - where it will stay until I can actually afford to purchase it.

Thanks Loz! I am now officially tagging everyone who reads this.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Moving to Entertainment News:

BrookelinaIn a surprising turn of events, the role of Angelina Jolie will now be played by up and coming newcomer, Brookelina. Rumors abound regarding Jolie's relinquishment of her coveted position, however calls to Jolie's publicist have not been returned. Brookelina, whose real name is unknown, immediately vacated the role of herself to take on the challenge of becoming the new Angelina.

In a statement released to the press, producers of the Brookelina project swear that due to new technology on the market today, the public will hardly be able to tell the difference between the real Angelina and her replacement. It has been reported that Brookelina has already been fitted with an exact duplicate of Jolie's body and face, including her famous lips. When asked how she felt about taking on this new role, Brookelina's reply was, "Holy shit, look at these tits!!!"

Brad Pitt, Brookelina's BangBrookelina's immediate responsibilities will include saving the world from hunger, getting a new tattoo, and banging Brad Pitt until her head explodes.

Auditions will be held immediately to take over Brookelina's previous commitment for this weekend. Responsibilities include the packing of her mother's Boca Raton condo, enduring her mother's never-ending supply of Barbra Streisand CD's, and watching her brothers argue incessantly over who gets the stainless steel cookware. In what can only be described as a bizarre coincidence, all of the understudies previously designated for this position are simultaneously having root canal and are unable to fulfill their contractual responsibilities.

Sources say that Brookelina's lawyers are currently in negotiations to extend her contract to the year 3047.

I've Been a Bad Bad Girl

So I'm like nine years old. And I want some candy. Bad. Real bad. The problem is, I have no money. That's bad too. Real bad.

All I need is a quarter. With a quarter I can get three candy bars and four Bazookas. (Yes, I'm that old.) So all I need is a quarter. But I don't have a quarter. So I do what so many of us have done but won't admit.

I go into mom's money drawer.

But there are no quarters. There are no ones. Not even any fives.

So I take a ten.

That's reeeeeeeally bad.

Ten dollars is a lot of candy. But I only plan on getting a quarter's worth of candy. I will then hide the rest of the money and use it to buy candy until I'm 12.

I slip the ten in my shorts' pocket, run out to the garage, and take off on my bike like a little girl terrified of getting busted for stealing ten dollars from her mom's money drawer. I arrive panting and wheezing at Bowen's Candy Store five minutes later.

I reach into my pocket.

The money is gone.

It fell out of my pocket.


I spend the next three hours retracing the five minute bike ride to the candy store. I look under every rock, in every gutter, on every porch.

It's gone.

I'm being punished for stealing. I just know it.

I go home with the guilt of a little girl who just stole ten dollars from her mom's money drawer and then let it fall out of her pocket. I hide in my room for a while wallowing in my shame. Then mom calls me downstairs to feed the dogs and set the table.

I bring the dogs' bowls of food to the back porch. Sweetums runs up the steps and starts inhaling her dinner. Sundance stays in the yard, barking. He's dug a hole, and he is standing there barking at it.

This is odd. Our dogs don't dig holes - or bark at them - and they never allow their dinner to sit for one second longer than necessary. I wonder if he has tried to bury a bone, or if he just wants to prove to me that he knows how to dig a hole.

I go down the stairs. I look in the hole; hoping there is nothing disgusting in there like a dead bird or one of my brother's socks.

It's not a bird or a sock.

Lying in the bottom of the hole is a ten dollar bill.

True story.

And yes, I put it in mom's money drawer.

And I never stole again.