About Me

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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Blog Location

Purchased my own domain name.  Haven't quite figured out how to get this to redirect to the new location.  If you're looking for Mixed Number, click the link below:


I will have this all redirected in the days to come.

~ Pandora

Friday, June 15, 2012

So Dumb So Dumb So Dumb So...

And sometimes you think about the idiot you were talking to yesterday, and while you have this long diatribe in your mind that is beyond stellar, by the time five o'clock in the morning comes, all you really want to say is...

You are so dumb... You are really dumb... for real.

And then you remember, no one said it better than this guy so...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Close Quarters With Brain Zaps

You walk into the elevator in the downtown skyscraper.    Another stranger steps into the elevator with you.  You push the 10th floor button and ask the stranger which floor she needs.  She tells you 10, the door closes, and what should be merely seconds feels like the longest moment of your elevator experience thus far.

You stand on the opposite side of the elevator, pretending that this is an acceptable distance between you and this other person.  Close quarters with strangers should be quick and painless.  But suddenly this lady twitches a bit and let's out a quiet "shit!"  You turn your eyes in her direction but say nothing.  A few seconds later she does it again.  You finally ask if she's okay and she responds with something like, "Oh, I stopped taking my Lexapro and it's giving me the brain zaps."

You're standing there looking at her thinking, "this is normal casual elevator talk, right?  I mean, everyone talks about their withdrawals from anti-depressants in the elevator.  No big deal..." and then you can't help yourself.  You say, "Brain zaps?"  She says, "It's like these little lightening bolts go off inside my head.  They literally shock me.  It's been happening all day."

At this point you're asking yourself and The Universe how it is that you ended up in the elevator with this person, but you are so used to strange happenings you go ahead and say, "Did your doctor tell you to stop taking the Lexapro?"  She says, "No, I just decided I didn't need it any more so I stopped taking it and... ah!  There it goes again!"

Looking at the lights at the top of the elevator panel, you're praying that 10 shows up right about now, but still you say, "Obviously, we don't know each other very well, but I think you may want to take one of those pills today and then ask your doctor the best way to come down from it.  Those pills adjust the chemical makeup of your brain, which is basically a thunderstorm of activity anyway, and now you've had three brain zaps between the 1st and 10th floor.  Doesn't seem good to me.  If you can't play it off in here, you're not going to do very well today."

This was a rather bold statement for you to make to a stranger in an elevator, but brain zaps in close quarters can be a moment where bold statements may very well be supported.  The bell finally dings, the door opens to the 10th floor, the stranger looks at you and says, "I guess you may be right.  Do you think it'll stop if I take the pill?"  You walk out onto the floor and say, "I know nothing of brain zaps, other than they can't be good."  You walk down the hall to the conference room, reflecting on how much you hate elevators and praying this lady isn't coming to the same meeting as you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Timing Is Everything

So yesterday morning I’m sitting at my desk and Mr. Toenail’s phone starts going off. 

At this point, I have heard enough of his recent conversations to know that this is the ringtone of his latest bedroom interest. 

Just as the phone starts going off, some passerby whose voice I don’t recognize says, “Hello Toenail!” (of course, he doesn’t really call him Toenail… that’s my name for the dolt) 

Toenail, though, has answered his phone just as Passerby says hello, so all Passerby hears in response is this low and somewhat sultry voice respond back to him with, “…well hello….” To which I can hear Passerby stop in his tracks, just outside Toenail’s cubicle wall, and respond with, “Uh… what?” 

Right then Toenail says, again in a low and sultry voice, “…and I was just thinking about you… hmmm…” Passerby then gets almost hostile and steps into his cube doorway saying, “You were what?!” 

I can at this point hear Mr. Toenail turn around rapidly in his chair, shocked by the sudden entrance of hostile Passerby who must feel somewhat violated until he realizes that Toenail hasn’t been talking to him at all and he walks away embarrassed as I start falling out of my chair silently laughing because… that was the best Monday Morning Moment I’ve had in a while.

Sometimes it is good to sit next to a dolt like Toenail.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trolling Through Tripe

Oh yes, my friends, I just can't let this go.

"Girlie Decor That Won't Freak Him Out" and totally freaking me out. "He's more likely to hang if your place doesn't ooze estrogen."

God help me...
God help us all...
This tripe annoys the hell out of me.  

Yes, I'm still receiving the stupid Cosmo magazines and I was a bit irked since I thought my  forced subscription would end in June but... I apparently have July to look forward to.  So I thumbed through it and ran across stellar advice like the importance of choosing the right shade of pink so when the man you're interested in comes to visit your home he won't be put off by it.  I learned that a man that puts his hands in his pockets and leaves his thumbs sticking out of his pockets and pointing toward his groin while talking to me, or anyone else, is apparently quite eager for me to know he doesn't have a rabbit in his pocket and he may be interested in being happy to see me.  And my favorite was the "Bonus" page where I got to answer yes or no to questions like, "Would you give up a year of your life to sleep with Ryan Gosling?" and "Would you lick the entire end zone to get to swipe Tim Tebow's V card?" and my personal favorite "Would you vomit in front of your crush in exchange for a free Louis Vuitton bag?"  (And right here, in stellar Pandora style, this is where I say:  WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!  WHY ARE YOU READING THIS?!?!)  

So I started ranting about this in my head on Friday.  By Saturday I found myself skimming through men's magazines to see if they were even remotely close to this stupid.  I trolled around through Esquire and while I found an article about Michael Fassbender outshining Ryan Gosling simply because he grew a new beard, I also found, unlike Cosmo, a News&Politics section with nice tid bits written by the same fellow who came up with this gem:  [politics] ...according to Aristotle, a truly veteran scribe, is the result of humans being the only herd animals capable of speaking to one another. Or shouting at one another, or giving to each other the ol' bazoo, for all of that, although there is no translation for "bazoo" in the ancient Greek. Thus, for our purposes here, this blog will be about politics in its most basic form — to wit, how we speak to each other for the purposes of governing, or choosing not to govern, ourselves as a small-r republican political commonwealth. It will be the policy of this blog not to treat ignorance with respect simply because that ignorance profits important and powerful people. It will be the policy to operate on the principle that, while there may be two sides to every question, rarely are they both right. If this blog sees a man walking down the street with a duck on his head, it will report that it saw a man walking down the street with a duck on his head. It will not need two sources for that. It will not seek out someone to tell it that what it really saw was a duck walking down the street with a guy on its ass. It will be the belief of this blog that, as Christopher Hitchens once said, the only correct answer to the question, "Is nothing sacred?" is "No." And there will be fun.  -- Charles P. Pierce
(Yes, I love the gentleman that wrote that little bit there.  I spent much time reading through his blog.)

I actually wasted a good portion of my afternoon today reading through the stupid Cosmopolitan magazine from cover to cover just to make sure I wasn't missing some hint of intelligent writing in there somewhere.  And nope, nothing... I came up with nothing except for perhaps a few diminished points in my own IQ because I think I permanently injured certain parts of my intellect in reading the thing.  I will never forget how important it was for me to read that a man loves his own penis so much that it is mathematically impossible for me, as his woman, to ever satisfy him as often as he has spent time satisfying himself.  Oh yes, they didn't teach me that one in college!  And I will always find useful the tid bit of how deep freezing my undies will be an "excellent and sexy" way to stay cool during the summer.  Wow... I wish someone would've told me that when I first moved to Phoenix 12 years ago.

So as I was ranting about this on the phone to another gentleman friend of mine, he asked me if I had checked other magazines just to make a more fair and complete comparison.  I got off the phone and went straight to Maxim because, in my memory, that magazine may be as close to the male equivalent of Cosmo there is.  What did I find?  Oh sure, I found Hometown Hotties and Helpful Hotties and Haha Hotties, but even in the midst of the more rock eating tripe I noticed that there were still some valid and interesting news articles like Navy Seal Hunt for Al Qaeda.  

From there I trolled through Men's Journal and GQ and found every single one of them had a section for news and politics and articles about successful businessmen and adventures, even in the midst of "spice up your bedroom" articles and racy pictures of famous women.  And I started having this moment where I wondered if all women's fashion type magazines were this ridiculous.  

I checked Elle magazine which had a portion for "news" but apparently "news" is Alicia Silverstone going green with her makeup (oh yes... this is important information... I'm so glad I ran across that because I'd actually forgotten who she was until she joined the religion of going green and still found a way to keep her makeup sacred).  I looked at Red Book and, while it also appeared to be a few steps up in terms of content, there still was little more beyond what one might consider "the woman's physical world."  

I mean... are we really made up of nothing but fashion and makeup and fumbling around in the dark trying to figure out what to do with this man's bing bang?!  And... has it ever even occurred to you to  ask the man himself what he'd like you to do with his bing bang instead of try to read it in some stupid magazine that's probably giving you incorrect advice anyway?  I mean, think about, if it's mathematically impossible for you to satisfy his needs for his own bing bang more than he's satisfied that need himself well... seems to me like he might be a pro and tell you exactly what you need to know but... guess that's expecting too much from a woman that needs to pick the right shade of pink pillows so the poor guy doesn't freak out when he comes over for some dim sum.

...sigh...  I digress...

Anyway, just as I was about to throw in the towel, I remembered Vogue.  And maybe it's because I was so discouraged and depressed by the lack of truly engaging material, or maybe it's because I really do think they have a well put together "fashion magazine," either way, Vogue Magazine wins Pandora's Pick Of The Night award.  

I wasn't interested in the "fashion" or the surface hoopla, I was merely trying to find something that, well, perhaps the same guy that reads the Death Race 2012 articles in GQ (before or after he's done looking at nearly naked pictures of Jennifer Anniston) might find interesting.  I was seriously having this moment where I thought it was quite possible that all editors of women's magazines think very little of our capacity to enjoy, retain, and discuss something other than our appearance and our apparent need to constantly please a man.  When I found this article about Danny Boyle as the art director for the Olympics, followed by this interview with Usain Bolt, Jamaican Olympic Runner, and then what ultimately rang my winner's bell was when I read the following sentence in a letter from the editor: For an industry that should be about empowering women of all shapes, sizes, and ages, too often the image of attractiveness it has projected has been entirely at odds with that message.  

So... I have no doubt that the same minds that read Cosmopolitan magazine have ZERO interest in the articles I just linked you to, but at least I know (particularly as a woman that doesn't read fashion magazines of any kind at all until they are forced upon me because a friend of mine thinks it's funny) for my own personal well being, there is at least one magazine out there that has something of interest for the more discerning and intelligent female reader (and there may be more, but I pretty much met my lifetime quota on the reading of fashion/tripe/sexcapade magazines today) and knowing that there is at least one does two things for me: 

1) lets me know there are women out there that instinctively know not to buy hot pink pillows and zebra print throw rugs in an attempt to keep a man from running and... 
2) means I will sleep much better tonight knowing that the astrologer for Cosmo assures me, and every other female Leo on the planet, that on June 27th Venus is going to tell me to invite a man over for a candlelit dinner and we will do much bonding.  

(...sigh... dear God ladies... we can't all be having candlelit dinners on the same night... and... you may need to make sure you're not oozing too much estrogen because that isn't good for bonding... 
I, on the other hand, may be oozing too much testosterone since I'd rather read about The 50 Most Powerful People In Washington, choose basic Earth tones for my house, and then have a meeting of the minds over a glass of wine at the dinner table because that's really where the foreplay begins, ladies... but, you go ahead... deep freeze your panties and worry about those damn pillows....)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fanny Packs Aren't Very Zen

So I take these morning walks with my dog.  It’s one of my favorite things.  I walk the canal, the sun is coming up, the water looks pretty, ducks everywhere...  It’s this moment where I let my mind go off into the stratosphere and wander into any direction it decides to go.  It’s like my walking meditation moment, the way I start my day and simply breathe before I don my Land Agent persona, and it’s a sacred moment in which no one, aside from a random good morning from a passer-by, should bother me.  Seriously… don’t bother me, I’m thinking… it’s that moment.  So when I’m suddenly stopped by some voice that hits me like a  tree limb to the eye, I’m not overly enthusiastic about it, particularly when it’s a strange man who has decided to make a random comment about the length of my walk.  And what this man doesn’t know is that he has completely disrupted a thought process that I was having and has now irked me because his very appearance is enough for me to lose anything abstract inside my mind and I can’t even hear a word he’s actually saying to me because I’m so irritated by his unwelcome interruption that all I can do is glare at him from behind my sun glasses, as if to say, “Please don’t talk to me strange old man with a fanny pack,” and simply turn and walk away.  And the entire rest of the walk home all I could think about was my stupid reaction to that stupid old man and how I lost whatever concept I had going because I was brought down to Earth by a man sporting a fanny pack and… I didn’t even know people still used those things.  I went from intellectual stratosphere to fanny pack man.  

I have also decided that tomorrow morning I will wear the following sign as I walk:

 Just because I’m walking in the same vicinity as you between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. does not mean I wish to speak with you.  Please just say good morning if you must and walk away.  

Thank You,

Random Curly Haired Lady with the little dog.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Target Practice

I have never really asked them, but I'm pretty sure one of the worst scares I ever gave my parents was when I dropped out of college somewhere around 20 to go pursue a music career similar to Jenny in Forest Gump, except I kept my clothes on and actually played in legit venues.  I was a classically trained musician, both vocally and instrumentally, and I was one wild and rebellious Pastor's daughter -- come on... that part alone meant I should've been a rockstar, right?  Give me a moment to think about it and I could create a long list of Pastor's Kids that grow up and horrify their father by moving into American Show Business (Grace Jones comes to mind).

Anyway, I dropped out of college and trolled around San Diego and Los Angeles and picked up gigs and odd jobs and odd friends and odd substances and odd stories and experiences and eventually I made my way back to college until I met Hope's dad and dropped out again to embark on what could be considered "screw up" number two.  The problem is... if it's really a problem at all... could these decisions really be considered a screw up?  It's a bit like that "meant to be" thought I had a while back, I'm not sure anything is actually a "screw up" anymore than I'm sure anything is truly "meant to be."  (here I go talking in circles again)

There's a young man I know, excellent friend of mine, the younger brother I never had, and he's getting ready to embark upon what some of his friends and family members consider a potential failure and "screw up."  He's thinking outside the box, not taking the traditional route, and preparing to leave the US with next to nothing in his pocket for a potential job somewhere in Germany and the potential promise of graduate school abroad (key word there being potential).  All of this, to some of the more influential people in his blood line (aka: parents), seems like an irrational pipe dream, but from where I'm standing, I'm saying take your two Euros and run.  And while you're at it, have your parents talk to my parents because I think my parents would've much preferred that kind of "pipe dream" compared to my Joan Baez stint on the beach, smoking a doobie with a homeless guy next to me, enjoying the sunset from my spot on the wall next to the board walk.

There comes a time, as parents, when we have to let go.  I love Hope more than anything in this world, but at some point between 18 and 20 something, I need to let go and let her fall on her face and let her feel defeat and let her feel triumph and let her become the woman she's supposed to become.  As much as my college drop-out moment probably terrified my parents and sent them into a state of deep prayer and supplication to the Lord above, they had to let me do that.  They had to let me go and experience life and learn what was wise about my decision and what was completely asinine about my decision.  They had to trust that all would be well.  And you know what?  All was ultimately well.  I'm not sure I'd ever take back that hippy chick moment of mine.  It was one of the best experiences of my young life, even as scary as it may have been at times.  It is a part of who I am now, and adds so much to the way I view certain aspects of people and life in general.  And this young friend of mine..., I have no doubt that he will achieve great things in his future.  Will it happen as soon as he hits the ground running in Germany?  I have no idea.  But is hitting the ground running in Germany a necessary part of his journey?  I am absolutely certain.

Someone once said to me, in a deep discussion of fate versus chance, that life is more like a moving target.  You aim in one direction and the target may be lying in the opposite direction but somehow you still hit the bulls-eye every time.  I don't know if that's the right way to think about life, but it's certainly a nice way to think about it (particularly when you're about to step out into uncharted territory with a bunch of nay sayers in the background).  Trust your judgment, trust your journey.  There are wrong turns, but you can always navigate your way back to the right path.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Gold Vein

My parents are married 50 years today.  We had the celebration for them this weekend.  When I tell people they've made it that long, I somehow always find myself in a situation where I have to explain that my parents actually love each other.  I'm not kidding.  When I say they've made it 50 years, most people say something like, "Wow!  How did they do that without killing each other?" or, "Wow!  Are they still happy?"  I can't properly describe how this makes me feel inside.  50 years is an accomplishment, I know this, but I also know that my parents truly love each other and to be faced with a world so dark and jaded that people assume that my parents have spent a miserable 50 years together, implying they should've been divorced long ago but they just held to the commitment regardless of the hate between them, it breaks my heart -- not for my parents, but for the world.

I'm a bit dark and jaded myself -- if you've read my blog long enough, you know this about me.  But when it comes to love, particularly what I've seen between my parents, well... I guess they're the main reason I still have hope.

In the weeks gone by the love my parents hold for each other has been in the forefront of my mind.  I have memories stuck in my head where I came home from school to find my dad scrubbing the front door because my mom was throwing a Christmas party.  She had made some random comment about the damn door being dirty and my dad went out on his hands and knees and scrubbed that stupid thing, without her asking him to, simply because he didn't want Mom to feel embarrassed about anything.  And I've remembered stories of her taking up fights with people that Dad would've preferred she didn't but she just couldn't help it because those particular people were running Dad through the mud and she wasn't going to stand for it.  And god bless her, the fire she can light because of the love for her husband is enough to intimidate anyone into submission.  I could go on for pages like this, but the point that sticks in my head is that these two people were a team -- they chose 50 years ago to experience life together, and they never stopped doing it.

I'm not going to pretend for a minute that any of this is a fairy tale or some kind of magical bull shit.  I didn't show up in their lives until somewhere around 11 years into their marriage.  And I don't know the ins and outs of their relationship, but reading between the lines of certain stories they've told, I do know that they've had their moments and there were times of great struggle and much decision making and work.  The point is, they did "the work."

50 years is "The Golden Anniversary."  Gold is, and I am no chemist, one of the most non-corrosive elements you can find.  It isn't indestructible, but you would seriously have to go out of your way to find the one or two things that can destroy it (kinda like Superman -- you gotta bring the cryptonite before you can truly try to take that guy down and, even then, you will most likely fail).  And my parents haven't just put up with each other because they're old school, they truly LOVE each other.  Hell... I can go visit them and my dad will still say, even though my mom is 71 and looks nothing like she did at 19 when he met her, "look at your mother... isn't that the most beautiful woman you've ever seen?"  At that moment, yes... yes Dad... she is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen... How could she not be?  There is most definitely something beautiful about both my mother and my father that allows them to have that moment, 50 years later.  Yes, Dad, Mom is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen and, at this point, you're the most beautiful man I've ever seen because I have yet to be loved the way you love my mother.

(And I will say this -- my parents never stopped going on dates and they never stopped having romantic getaways.  They did it when we were kids and they do it now.  My parents always made it a point to keep the romance alive, and I do think that is where a world of couples fail.  Your kids are going to grow up and leave you, your mate will still be there when the kids have gone so...)

In conclusion, my dad stood up and told a brief story about some young man asking him how a couple makes it to 50 years of marriage.  My dad's response was something like, "I really don't know except for it's a lot like breathing -- you're not alive unless you do it."  I have this terrible feeling that the answer he gave that man went nowhere, but for me that means -- being with your companion, your mate, is more important than anything you could possibly do without that person so... at some point it becomes like breathing because you would die if this person wasn't walking alongside you so... you do what it takes to make sure your friend, your lover, your companion stays with you and sometimes... you just breathe.

Similarly, I had made a comment to my mother about how I will never, at my age now, reach the "50 year" accomplishment.  Her response to me was, "Ultimately, it's not about the quantity, it's about the quality."  And what that meant to me was... Mom and Dad were GOLDEN the day they met.  They were two rocks that had a gold vein running through them.  Sure, they lived long enough together to reach the 50 year mark, but for both of them this has been golden from the beginning -- they always had the love that was strong enough to withstand the elements, they just happened to live long enough to put the number behind it.

God bless my parents.  I love them.  I am very proud to be the daughter of two people that see the quality in the love they have shared.  And at the end of the day, they may have been two glorious pieces of white shining quartz, eroded by air and water and fire, but they had this gold vein between them.  And while the quartz may have worn away, even in the midst of the fire, the gold vein between them remained strong and malleable, and they were able to adjust and mold and reconvene and keep the love and life between them the way they chose to see fit because, well, that is what it means to LOVE --  trust all things, believe all things, forgive, be kind, and hope... they have not failed... they CHOSE to be In Love.  And I love them for doing that.

Happy 50th Anniversary to my parents.