Blog, Sweet Blog

Archive for the ‘scribblings’ Category

Mood: la dee da
Music: Little House on the Prairie-“A Most Precious Gift”


tall, distinguished, famous...not pretty



Dear Answer Lady:

I need your advice. I’m a huge Abraham Lincoln fan, but I can’t grow a Lincoln-esque chin curtain to save my life! To make matters worse, I’ve started growing hair out of my ears and I have more back hair than a county fair Tilt-a-Whirl attendant. What gives? Even though I’m a little bit fascinated by my new ear buddies, I know they need to go. I’ve tried everything…trimming, punching, praying real hard, but they keep coming back! What should I do?!!

Yours truly,


Ear Wig


————————————-

Sorry dear, but this is the mailbox for Ask an Engineer!, the nation’s leading weekly romance and “lifestyle” advice column written by an engineer.  Answer Lady‘s mailbox is located at help@answerlady.com.

If I may…Ask an Engineer!‘s official position on unwanted ear and body hair is ew, grody. However, unwanted hair is a common affliction and Ask an Engineer! neither judges nor mocks any reader’s unfortunate, grody circumstance.  Off the record, Ask an Engineer! suggests tweezing the offending hair(s) or retaining the services of a professional skilled in the art of electrolysis. Ask an Engineer! further suggests that trimmed hair always grows back and that it is not an effective or permanent hair removal technique…ditto for punching and praying.

Finally, Ask an Engineer! thinks a smooth, baby face can be very nice and kindly reminds you that, while Abraham Lincoln was one of our nation’s brightest and best leaders, he was a horribly unattractive man and should not be upheld as a standard of male beauty.

Happy Holidays!


The Ask an Engineer! staff




*Ask an Engineer! is a real idea I thought of pitching to some weeklies for a couple of seconds.  It’s kind of based on an email I sent my ex once. The idea was that people would ask me questions and I’d respond with a mixture of absurd, engineering analysis and folksy, homespun humor. I know, it’s been done, but never with an engineer…I think.
Mood: The usual
Music: Some stupid VH1 reality dating show


Look there! A visual metaphor for my hopes and dreams!



I got my first “professional” writing rejection today.

I sent this to the McSweeney’s Lists site last week and received a very nice rejection email  from the editor a few minutes ago.  I wrote it specifically for the site and I thought it was pretty good…not good enough, apparently.  I would have liked to know why they didn’t use it, but I’m sure editors never do that and the reason is probably “not funny” or “needs punctuation.”  It was my second submission, but I thought the first one was even less funny than this.  Oh well. I’ll keep trying.

So, since this piece has been officially released from the burden of McSweeney’s publication, I offer you…

A survey of alcoholic beverage bottle label motifs which portend certain dire, vomitous consequences for the hapless consumer should she or he choose to ingest intoxicating quantities of said beverage.

The angry sea captain

A werewolf, mummy, or other creature of the night

Two or more dogs, copulating

A clown, mime, or any member of The Insane Clown Posse

Senator Joseph Lieberman

Any currently-serving Supreme Court Justice

A road map

Any farming implement

A winking elf or gnome

A winking monkey, sloth, or porpoise

Anything winking, really

Jesus

*ed.  ok, I guess this isn’t that funny, but I was really happy with it when I emailed it off.  I think I can do better, but trying to write jokes or purposely funny stuff is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Mood: Still filled with the beaverishness
Music: Sunn O))-Cursed Realms (of the Winterdemons)


Dear Fiction Lovers,

As promised, moments ago, here is the second part (Part 1 can be found here) of our thrilling, though as-yet unnamed collaborative novel on downsizing, outsourcing, and the cruelty of youth.  I hope you like it.

Sincerely, your biggest fan, etc.


Anna

—————————————————————————————-

Allison automatically flopped out of bed at half-past seven in the morning.  She stumbled and weaved her way through a field of dirty clothes to the bathroom toilet and threw up.  She recounted the story of last night in the tea leaves of the toilet. Date. Brad. Señor Verde’s. Chile rellenos. Margaritas.  Small talk. Jobs.  What are we doing? Cry. Cab. Wine. Sex. Cry. Hangover.

“Fuck.” Allison unfurled a wad of toilet paper from the roll and blew her nose into it.  “Maybe I’m getting too old for this?”

She stood, gracelessly, and walked over to the sink.  The bathroom mirror reflected a red-eyed, pale, hung-over, but pretty brunette in her late 20’s.

“I don’t know.  Is 32 old?”  She asked the sobering drunk in the mirror who kept pulling at and stretching her face.  “You don’t look 32.  You could still pass for…”  She squinted her eyes tight and cocked her head to the side.  “…28?”  She slapped the underside of her chin a couple of times and practiced saying her assumed age.  “Twenty eight… I am 28…TWENty eight …Twunee ATE…TwenTEE ATE-ee…maybe even 27?”

She smiled and playfully, arched her left eyebrow, and pointed a finger gun at the mirror.  “Yeah, that’s right…you’re Allison Fucking Haley and you’re young, popular and sex-.“

Allison Fucking Haley took one last, pitying look at the pretty drunk girl in the mirror before retching the last of last night into the sink.

A glassful of Anti-throwupy Seltzer whatever (Allison had a rare, but powerful immunity to branding) and a super-hot shower later, she was busy playing Fashion Show.

Fashion Show was Allison’s term for her borderline psychotic trying-on of everything in her closet (and on her floor).  It usually only manifested itself on the bad days, when she felt nervous or hated the sight of the girl in the mirror.  Most women try on a few outfits before leaving the house.  The smart ones plan out their outfits for the week on Sunday night.  Allison wasn’t a plan-ahead sort of girl, but she rarely had a problem with deciding what to wear.  If she hadn’t decided on something within the first fifteen or twenty minutes, she was playing Fashion Show.

Allison had been playing Fashion Show a lot lately.  She’d already been at it for 45 minutes and was in the middle of taking off a flouncy, long, gray blouse, blood red cardigan, black tights, and knee high boots combination she liked to call Bohemian Rhapsody #3 on good days.  Today she called it, “too Bohemian.”

“I’m going to get fired.  I’m going to get fired. I’m going to get fired.”

The blouse Allison had been pulling over her head suddenly snagged on something and stopped moving, trapping her inside.  “And then I’ll be homeless…” She pulled at the back of the blouse with both hands and heard a faint, ripping sound.  “…and I’ll have to sell drugs.” She unhooked her favorite black bra from outside of the shirt, freed the blouse, pulled it and the blouse over her head, “…and give out hand jobs for hobo chili”, and threw both of them on the ground.”

Ugh, forget this.”  She slipped a pair of midnight blue, skinny jeans from one of the closet hangers and pulled them on.

“Yassmen is going to walk into the art department today and fire people on sight.”  Allison did her best impression of Yeseam Yassmen’s icy-weird, snobby Southern drawl for the empty bedroom. “You there, young man with the glasses…and you, weird girl…”  Allison plucked a baby blue, Mates of State t-shirt from the floor and put it on.  “…please collect your sad things and bric-a-brac and take them outside.”

She grabbed a vintage, green angora cardigan from the back of her desk chair and stepped into a pair of pewter-colored, metallic flats.  She walked to the full-length mirror in the corner of her bedroom and took a last, quick look before walking into the kitchen.

The clock on the microwave was a welcome sight.  “8:45. Ok, not bad.  I’m going to be late, but not late late.”  She put on her sunglasses and a scarf, put her keys into her mini-messenger bag, and walked out into the stairway of her building.

Allison speed-dialed Jacob the moment she stepped out of the apartment building.

“Good morning, sexy”

“Why Allison Haley, it’s been ages since last night.  How are you?”

“Hung over, a little sad, stressed out.”

Jacob made that annoying tut-tut sound.  “Sorry to hear that, dear.  Are you calling in sick?”

Allison snorted, “Are you kidding?  That’s like begging to get laid off.  I’d rather leave Clearwater the old fashioned way…through random, brutal downsizing.  No, but I’m going to be a teensy bit late.  Would you be my favorite boy in the world and cover for me if anything should, you know, come up?”  She crossed the street to the coffee cart near the downtown bus stop and gestured her way through a large coffee purchase while Jacob spoke.

“Dangit Allison, I can’t.  I have a meeting at 9:30 and you’d better be here before it’s over.  You know how it’s been around here lately…like the Great Purge but without all the nice Stalin.”

“Crap.”  Allison added a large amount of half and half and brown sugar to her coffee and stirred it.  She leafed through her mental employee directory for another patsy.  No one else came up.  “You know Alan got fired, right?”

Jacob repeated the name a couple of times out loud as if that alone would transfer Alan from forgotten to remembered. “Alan…Alan.  Who’s Alan again?”

She made her way to the line of commuters at the bus stop.  “Alan Lambert…from Accounting?  Nice guy…big chin…he helped you move last summer.”

“No way!  The Chin got fired?  He seemed like a lifer.”

“I know, right?  He’d been there for 15 years.  It’s like the worst lottery ever.”

“Totally.”

“Wanna know the really fucked up part?

“Go on…”

The downtown bus stopped at the curb.  Allison stepped on, showed the driver her Eco-Pass, and found a seat.  “Yassmen didn’t even have a meeting with him or bring HR down.  Someone called his house and left a message…”

“Nuh-unh, really?”

“…with his seven year-old daughter!”  In a deeper voice, she joked, “…and when your Daddy gets home, tell him he doesn’t have a job any more.”

“Wow, that’s some evil shit right there.  I’m pretty sure Yassmen is the Devil, Allison.  She’s gotta be.  It’s like she runs on human misery.”

Allison drained the last of her coffee.  “Yup.”

“Wait, how do you know so much about The Chin’s home life?”

“Jen told me.  She’s keeping track of them all…like a modern Domesday book for corporate deaths.  You should check out her scrapbook.  It’s sick, but kind of…beautiful, in a way.  She’s doing a website too.”

“You two are weird.”

“Oh,and you’re not?  I’ve seen your apartment, Jacob.  The Sailor Moon is getting to be a bit, how do you say, creep-a-roo?”

“Hey, manga and anime are very well respected-“

Allison cut him off.  “I don’t have time for your nerd babble, Jacob.  I’m already late for work and I’ve already heard this, numerous times.”

She sighed and watched the passing buildings of downtown KC, her adopted home.  It was early autumn, her favorite time of year, but the street trees still thought it was summer.  It had been three autumns since she left art school and she hadn’t yet gotten the hang of the whole day job, “career” thing.  It had been getting better, but the layoffs and constant threat of downsizing had a way of arresting her development.  She’d spent three months of Saturdays looking for another job in a publishing house art department.  There didn’t seem to be any jobs like that left in the city.  Unfortunately, the drama at Clearwater was being played out on stages all over town.

Jacob was talking again. “What’s that?”

“I said, don’t be hurtful, Allison.”

“Ugh!  Are you coming to my show tonight, or what?”

“What’s this now?  What show?”

“Don’t even.  I told you about this, weeks ago.  The collective’s semi-annual…tonight…at Le Space…my pictures…remember?  You said you’d come!”

“Oh, right…that adorable little hobby of yours.  Are you showing the photos with the little kittens and the ice cream in the bathtub…”

“No, head trauma…” an elderly woman turned toward Allison and frowned disapprovingly.  Allison frowned back then turned the other way in her seat.  “…that was last time, and it was called, Kitten Me Softly.  This is the new one…with the bathroom graffiti?”

In a bad, French accent, Jacob answered. “Oui, but of course I vill be zer, Mees Arbus.”  Jacob dropped it.  “I’ll even wear a jacket.”

Allison tried a sultry purr, “Mmm, you know just what I like, don’t you Daddy?” and then it was gone.  “Oh!   And come early.  And bring some wine.  Do you have any raw meat?”

“What?!  No.  Why?”

“Violet Strange is doing a show next door at midnight.  It’s new…something about her father, the Moon, and menstrual cycles.  She said she needed more raw meat.”  Allison signaled for her stop.

“Gross. I hate performance art.  And no, I don’t have any raw meat to spare…for that.”

“Oh, don’t be that way.  I like Violet and I’m just trying to help her out.  K, sooo…you, Le Space, seven o’clock, sexy jacket, cheap wine,…”  Allison flashed back to the dream publishing job she used to love and the grim warzone her workplace had become.  “Oh, and try not to get fired today, ok?  Kisses!”

The bus pulled up to the curb two blocks east of 3M (or Mini Monkey Monolith on account of it looks just like a squatter version of the featureless, obsidian, ape magnet in 2001: A Space Odyssey) or, as it was more commonly known, Clearwater Publishing Plaza.

Jacob replied, “you’re one to talk Latey McLately.  See you soon.”, then hung up.

Allison put away her phone and hurried the rest of the way from the bus stop to her cubicle.

<!–[if !mso]> <! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –>

Allison automatically flopped out of bed at half-past seven in the morning.  She stumbled and weaved her way through a field of dirty clothes to the bathroom toilet and threw up.  She recounted the story of last night in the tea leaves of the toilet. Date. Brad. Señor Verde’s. Chile rellenos. Margaritas.  Small talk. Jobs.  What are we doing? Cry. Cab. Wine. Sex. Cry. Hangover.

“Fuck.” Allison unfurled a wad of toilet paper from the roll and blew her nose into it.  “Maybe I’m getting too old for this?”

She stood, gracelessly, and walked over to the sink.  The bathroom mirror reflected a red-eyed, pale, hung-over, but pretty brunette in her late 20’s.

“I don’t know.  Is 32 old?”  She asked the sobering drunk in the mirror who kept pulling at and stretching her face.  “You don’t look 32.  You could still pass for…”  She squinted her eyes tight and cocked her head to the side.  “…28?”  She slapped the underside of her chin a couple of times and practiced saying her assumed age.  “Twenty eight… I am 28…TWENty eight …Twunee ATE…TwenTEE ATE-ee…maybe even 27?”

She smiled and playfully, arched her left eyebrow, and pointed a finger gun at the mirror.  “Yeah, that’s right…you’re Allison Fucking Haley and you’re young, popular and sex-.“

Allison Fucking Haley took one last, pitying look at the pretty drunk girl in the mirror before retching the last of last night into the sink.

A glassful of Anti-throwupy Seltzer whatever (Allison had a rare, but powerful immunity to branding) and a super-hot shower later, she was busy playing Fashion Show.

Fashion Show was Allison’s term for her borderline psychotic trying-on of everything in her closet (and on her floor).  It usually only manifested itself on the bad days, when she felt nervous or hated the sight of the girl in the mirror.  Most women try on a few outfits before leaving the house.  The smart ones plan out their outfits for the week on Sunday night.  Allison wasn’t a plan-ahead sort of girl, but she rarely had a problem with deciding what to wear.  If she hadn’t decided on something within the first fifteen or twenty minutes, she was playing Fashion Show.

Allison had been playing Fashion Show a lot lately.  She’d already been at it for 45 minutes and was in the middle of taking off a flouncy, long, gray blouse, blood red cardigan, black tights, and knee high boots combination she liked to call Bohemian Rhapsody #3 on good days.  Today she called it, “too Bohemian.”

“I’m going to get fired.  I’m going to get fired. I’m going to get fired.”

The blouse Allison had been pulling over her head suddenly snagged on something and stopped moving, trapping her inside.  “And then I’ll be homeless…” She pulled at the back of the blouse with both hands and heard a faint, ripping sound.  “…and I’ll have to sell drugs.” She unhooked her favorite black bra from outside of the shirt, freed the blouse, pulled it and the blouse over her head, “…and give out hand jobs for hobo chili”, and threw both of them on the ground.”

Ugh, forget this.”  She grabbed a pair of midnight blue, skinny jeans from one of the closet hangers and pulled them on.

“Yassmen is going to walk into the art department today and fire people on sight.”  Allison did her best impression of Yeseam Yassmen’s icy, faux-British drawl for the empty bedroom. “You there, young man with the glasses…and you, weird girl…”  Allison plucked a baby blue, Mates of State t-shirt from the floor and put it on.  “Please collect your sad things and bric-a-brac and take them outside.”

She grabbed a vintage, green angora cardigan from the back of her desk chair and stepped into a pair of pewter-colored, metallic flats.  She walked to the full-length mirror in the corner of her bedroom and took a last, quick look before walking into the kitchen.

The clock on the microwave was welcome sight.  “8:45. Ok, not bad.  I’m going to be late, but not late late.”  She put on her sunglasses and a scarf, put her keys into her mini-messenger bag, and walked out into the stairway of her building.

Allison speed-dialed Jacob the moment she stepped out of the apartment building.

“Good morning, sexy”

“Why Allison Haley, it’s been ages since last night.  How the hell are you?”

“Hung over, a little sad, stressed out.”

Jacob made that annoying tut-tut sound.  “Sorry to hear that.  Are you calling in sick?”

Allison snorted, “Are you kidding?  That’s like begging to get laid off.  I’d rather leave Clearwater the old fashioned way…through random, brutal downsizing.  No, but I’m going to be a teensy bit late.  Would you be my favorite boy in the world and cover for me if anything should, you know, come up?”  She crossed the street to the coffee cart near the downtown bus stop and gestured her way through a large coffee transaction while Jacob spoke.

“Dangit Allison, I can’t.  I have a meeting at 9:30 and you’d better be here before it’s over.  You know how it’s been around here lately…like the Great Purge but without all the nice Stalin.”

“Crap.”  Allison added a large amount of half and half and brown sugar to her coffee and stirred it.  She leafed through her mental employee directory for another patsy.  No one else came up.  “You know Alan got fired, right?”

Jacob repeated the name a couple of times out loud as if that alone would transfer Alan from forgotten to remembered. “Alan…Alan.  Who’s Alan again?”

She made her way to the line of commuters at the bus stop.  “Alan Lambert…from Accounting?  Nice guy…big chin…he helped you move last summer.”

“No way!  The Chin got fired?  He seemed like a lifer.”

“I know, right?  He’d been there for 15 years.  It’s like the worst lottery ever.”

“Totally.”

“You know the really fucked up part?

“Go on…”

The downtown bus stopped at the curb.  Allison stepped on, showed the driver her Eco-Pass, and found a seat.  “Yassmen didn’t even have a meeting with him or bring HR down.  Someone called his house and left a message…”

“Nuh-unh, really?”

“…with his seven year-old daughter!”

“Wow, that’s some evil shit right there.  I’m pretty sure Yassmen is the Devil, Allison.  She’s gotta be.  It’s like she runs on human misery.”

Allison drained the last of her coffee.  “Yup.”

“Wait, how do you know so much about The Chin’s home life?”

“Jen told me.  She’s keeping track of them all…like a modern Domesday book for corporate deaths.  You should check out her scrapbook.  It’s sick, but kind of…beautiful, in a way.  She’s doing a website too.”

“You two are weird.”

“Oh,and you’re not?  I’ve seen your apartment, Jacob.  The Sailor Moon is getting to be a bit, how do you say, creep-a-roo?”

“Hey, manga and anime are very well respected-“

Allison cut him off.  “I don’t have time for your nerd babble, Jacob.  I’m already late for work and I’ve already heard this, numerous times.”

She sighed and watched the passing buildings of the city she loved.  It was early autumn, her favorite time of year, but the street trees still thought it was summer.  It had been three autumns since she left art school and she hadn’t yet gotten the hang of the whole day job, “career” thing.  It had been getting better, but the layoffs and constant threat of downsizing had a way of arresting her development.  She’d spent three months of Saturdays looking for another job in a publishing house art department.  There didn’t seem to be any jobs like that left in the city.  Unfortunately, the drama at Clearwater was being played out on stages all over town.

Jacob was talking again. “What’s that?”

“I said, don’t be hurtful, Allison.”

“Ugh!  Are you coming to my show tonight, or what?”

“What’s this now?  What show?”

“Don’t even.  I told you about this, weeks ago.  The Loose Knit Collective is having its semi-annual show at Le Space.  I’m showing my photographs tonight.  You said you’d go.”

“Oh, right!  That adorable little hobby of yours with the little kittens and the ice cream in the bathtub…”

“No, head trauma…” an elderly woman turned toward Allison and frowned disapprovingly.  Allison frowned back and turned the other way.  “…that was last time and it was called, Kitten Me Softly.  This is the new one…with the bathroom graffiti.”

In a bad, French accent, Jacob answered. “Oui, but of course I vill be zer, Mees Arbus.”  Jacob dropped it.  “I’ll even wear a jacket.”

Allison tried a sultry purr, “Mmm, you know just what I like, don’t you Daddy?” and then it was gone.  “Oh!   And come early.  And bring some wine.  Do you have any raw meat?”

“What?  No.  Why?”

“Violet Strange is performing at midnight.  It’s a new show…something about her father, the Moon, and menstrual cycles.  She said she needed more raw meat.”  Allison signaled for her stop.

“Gross. I hate performance art.  And no, I don’t have any raw meat to spare…for that.”

“Oh, don’t be that way.  I like Violet and I’m just trying to help her out.  K, so…you, Le Space, seven o’clock, sexy jacket, cheap wine,…”  Allison flashed back to the dream publishing job she used to love and the grim warzone it had become.  “Oh, and try not to get fired today, ok?  Kisses!”

The bus pulled up to the curb two blocks east of Monkey Monolith (on account of it looks just like the featureless, obsidian, ape magnet in 2001: A Space Odyssey) or, as it was more commonly known, Clearwater Publishing Plaza.

Jacob replied, “you’re one to talk Latey McLatelate.  See you soon.”, and hung up.

Allison put away her phone and hurried the rest of the way from the bus stop to her cubicle.

Mood: Filled with a beaver-esque industriousness
Music: Björk-Frosti


Dear Fiction Lovers,

Holy crap.  I know I said we’d start this NaNoWriMo project near the beginning of the month and here it is the 10th already.  Still, better late than never, right? Right?

We’ve already had some problems.  Two people dropped off the team and I’ve had a hard time finishing my first part.  The lovely Miss Rebecca Ruhlman put up her part a while ago, but it’s going to be a little bit harder for us to finish since there are only two of us.  Don’t worry Internets, we’ll make it work.

As I said before, the as-yet unnamed story is about young, media types dealing with downsizing and outsourcing at a large publishing company.  Part 1 can be found here. Come back in a few minutes for my part, Part 2.  Oh, and since this is the first sort of collab novel I’ve ever done, go easy on us, ok?  I appreciate constructive criticism, but it might take us a few iterations to work out the continuity issues and plot bugs.  Bear with us, but feel free to comment.

Love,

Anna

Mood: Tired
Music: Emperor-The Wanderer



In a comment I left on a friend’s blog, I said something like…

Wait, you better not be talking about that bitch Anna Karenina…her blog is so dumb.

Now, I’m sure all of you have read Leo Tolstoy’s realist masterpiece, Anna Karenina, so I won’t bore you with an in-depth analysis of its importance in the canon of modern literature…we all know.  Instead, I thought I’d expand on the idea that Anna Karenina, whilst still living in late 19th century Russia, somehow has a stupid blog.  Because that’s how I like my comedy…timely and relevant.  Here are some “excerpts” from her blog…

OMG, did you see what Countess Vronskaya was wearing last night?  Fur is murder you guys!  And big pink hats should be some kind of crime.

So, the other night, Leo was all, “Anna, vat do you tink about Anna Karenina 2: Hot Moscow Nights?”  And I was all where.do.I.sign?

Guess who Count Vronsky’s crushing on?  THE ANSWER IS ME!!!!

Seriously y’all, I love Czar Alexander III.  I hope the Russian monarchy lasts a thousand years!

Peasants are stupid and the proletariat is stupidest.

Seriously you guys, BORSCHT IS GNARLS.  If you like it and you’re not my babushka, then we can’t be friends.  Sorry.

So you see, seriously you guys (lol), her blog is dumb and so is she…yet I still subscribe to it.  Why is that?  Actually, I bet she’d have a twitter account, which is even worse.

And just because I care about you all and I hate to leave you without some visual action on this, the Mondayest of Mondays, here’s some art that I love by Sanna Annukka



04_into-the-woods.jpg

Into the Woods by Sanna Annukka


Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter - Pack of 12 (18 oz ea) image

Making my sandwiches happier since the early Naughties.



The following is an entry from my old college blog.  Please don’t poke fun and try to accept it for what it is…a junior writer’s first, boring blog.


mood: lazy

Gosh, I am lazy. Here it is, 20 days later and I am just getting to this story. Now, you are totally going to think this story sucks because there has been such a huge buildup and a lot of “Internet buzz.”  Random quote: WTF is the Internet?

Anyway, sorry. I guess I have been trying to take it easy (and by “take it easy”, I mean do nothing at all) after this past semester. In fact, this blog entry is yet another in a long line of time-wasters. I am scheduled to be cleaning the house right now, but I hate doing that, so why not blog? Why indeed? On to the story…

At some point, many weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that I really had to go grocery shopping. I had grown weary of eating fast food and home-cooked meals of crackers and peanut butter. Actually, I hadn’t grown weary of the home-cooked meals. I really like crackers and peanut butter, but I was out of both. So I waited around until the very last possible moment, made a list, and then headed to the local Safeway.

At the store, I followed my usual path from fruits and vegetables to breads (is this how everyone shops?). I had a problem in the peanut butter and jelly aisle though. For reasons I can’t explain, I usually buy Peter Pan peanut butter (crunchy, not smooth) in as big a container as they sell. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that my Mom always bought us Peter Pan.

https://i2.wp.com/www.citysackers.com/images/peter%20pan%20peanut%20butter%20crunchy.jpg

My ex-peanut butter



Maybe I have a thing for the Peter Pan mythos…you know, The Lost Boys, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, tights, whatever. Maybe it’s just the slick product packaging with its field of arterial red. After all, red can symbolize blood which can symbolize life…and I like to think I’m voting for life with every dollar I spend on large tubs of peanut butter. But I probably buy it because of my Mom.

Amway, that day was not a good day for fans of humungo tubs of crunchy Peter Pan. For one thing, there were no humungo tubs to be had. They had a tub of crunchy that was about the same size as a trial-size bottle of shampoo…no thanks. They had a good supply of smooth Peter Pan, but that just gives me the willys. I dislike smooth peanut butter for the same reason I dislike white bread. I am a fan of texture in my food. I like to be reminded that I am eating the paste formed of crushed-up nuts (or in the case of bread, crushed-up grains).

Note: As I was typing that last sentence, I glanced up and reread this line…”I dislike smooth peanut butter for the same reason I dislike white bread.” It’s a decent enough sentence, as sentences go, but I realize that it might not be the most profound thing one has ever said…even on the Internet. I might have to focus on stories with less peanut butter and more…um…love, sex, death, violence, passion, betrayal, guilt, loss, sadness, or honor if I want to make it onto NPR’s This American Life. Also, I need to revisit the lost art of spell-checking; I just misspelled “crushed”, twice.

So where was I? Oh yes, there was a serious lack of large tubs of crunchy Peter Pan. There were plenty of small tubs, a few big tubs of smooth, and some tubs of low sugar/low carbs/low taste crunchy Peter Pan…eww. Disheartened, I looked at the alternatives. There was a huge supply of Jif and a dazzling array of Jiffy. I chose the big tub of Jif crunchy for no good reason.

I had this conversation with someone a few weeks ago….and I’m paraphrasing…

me: I can’t claim that I make rational or informed decisions about anything I buy. Have you seen those Burger King ads? The ones with the young office workers battling it out over who got which burger or if you can make up your own catch phrase…”I’m spicy!”? I hate to admit it, but I love those ads. They make me want to go to BK and “have it my way”.

she: Yes, but you’re an educated person. Even though you like those ads, you recognize that they are selling more than just sandwiches. They are trying to sell a lifestyle and an image. You realize that, so you are a lot more informed than most of the consumers out there.

me: True. But when it comes to peanut butter, I wouldn’t stop buying Peter Pan unless I heard that they had started making it out of baby seals, dolphins, AND bald eagles (ed. foreshadowing!). Thanks to my education, I can make informed decisions about technology products, but when it comes to peanut butter, I am as dense as the next person. For all I know, Peter Pan could be a real person who grew up to become a ruthless multinational CEO who kidnaps children in the middle of the night to put them to work in his peanut butter factory in Never Never Land. The kidnapped children discover, only too late, that the Lost Boys are “lost” because they have been chained to the same peanut press since…since…whenever that book was written!

she: Ummm, I think I have to go find my friend.



So, as you can see, sometimes I do not behave like an informed/sane consumer. With the peanut butter in the basket, I chose a couple of jars of Smuckers jelly…again, not for any praticular reason.

Having survived the Safeway peanut butter crisis, I completed my shopping and made my way to the checkout. I chose a line with an older woman on the cash register and a young kid (maybe 16 or 17) on bagging detail. When my peanut butter and jelly came up for bagging, the kid said to me, “Aha! It appears that you have fallen prey to The Great Sandwich Conspiracy!” The checker and I both ignored him. The kid waited until I had completed my grocery transaction when he hit me again.

him: Do you realize you have fallen prey to the Great Sandwich conspiracy?

me: What on earth are you talking about?

him: I see you have purchased both Jif peanut butter and Smuckers jelly. Don’t you see? Jif and Smuckers are both owned by the same company. It’s a sandwich conspiracy!

me: That’s great kid, really, but have you ever noticed that Jif and Smuckers are the most prominently featured products in that aisle? It wouldn’t be too crazy to suggest that Safeway is in league with the makers of Jif and Smuckers…perhaps they are all owned by the same company!

him: Why Madame, if that’s true, I’ll eat my hat!



I swear, on…my…life, that he said that last line. Once he uttered that phrase that hasn’t been popular in, oh, the last 50 years or so, I knew he was going in the blog. It was an odd conversation to start with, but that kid was so weird…and I mean that in a good way. Talking to him, I felt like I had been transported back to a black and white movie from the 40’s…maybe a Superman movie where I played spunky lady reporter, Lois Lane and he played cub photographer Jimmy Olsen.

him: Miss Lane!  The boss is looking for you and is he ever sore!

me: No time Jimmy! I just got a hot tip from a snitch about a meeting between the Mayor and Jimmy the Finger. I’ve got to head over to the docks. Have you seen Clark?

him: No Miss Lane.

me: That’s too bad. He’s been trying to get a line on Jimmy the Finger for months and I might need a little backup.

him: Miss Lane, I know I’m green and wet behind the ears and all, but would you take me with you? I can get some real nice pictures for your story, and this could be my big break. Please give me a chance, Miss Lane!

me: Alright Jimmy, grab your coat and hat. You may not have much experience, but you’ve got a lot of what counts.

him: What’s that Miss Lane?

me: Moxy, Jimmy…and you’ve got it in spades!



So thanks kid. Thanks for turning a boring trip to the grocery store into a funny (to me anyway) anecdote. And you thought this was just about peanut butter.

Be sure to check back in three months for my next blog entry, My Summer Reading List, or Why I Love Sarah Vowell. Ok, just kidding (hopefully) about the three months thing. I’m going to try and do these more regularly from now on….really.


an introduction





Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really me...it's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.

copyright

All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

Click the button thing below to have a delicious li'l slice o' Anna cake* delivered to your emails inbox whenever I write something new!

*N.B. Anna cake contains neither Anna nor cake.

Join 4 other followers

sorted into tiny boxes

archives

i’ve been listening to…

favorite artists this week

flickr photos

mah numbas

  • 45,193 hits
April 2020
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930