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Before Obama was President…

4 Feb

The second annual eBay Secret Santa Gift Extravaganza happened again and I’m ready to talk about it. I chose Mike, a scientist, to draw the names for us and I received this email:

Dear Joanna,
I have been appointed to be an independent and unbiased coordinator of your Secret Santa event!  Or as it is known in Ireland, “Chris Kindle”, or in Spain, “Amigo Invisible”.
Your assignment:  Wendy
Have fun!

Disclaimer (per Wikipedia):
“A Secret Santa event in a mixed-gender setting can often be marred by the anonymous provision of inappropriate gifts with the potential to cause embarrassment to the recipients. Typical gifts of this nature include many inappropriate objects, such as inflatable penises, dildos and pubic shampoo…”

He kills me.

My bidding did not go well. My plan was to force archivnoten into participating in Sweater Thursday on Christmas day but I don’t think my gift arrived until 2009. Hoping to get something there in time, I bought a placeholder gift but I accidentally chose an international seller and it arrived even later. Anyway, I blew it. I’ll let her tell you about her gifts, as per the user end agreement which I am just now getting around to upholding.
My Santa was Whitney, as scrawled upon the box.


A life-size glass head! How unexpected!

I emailed the seller to confirm receipt and asked WTF is this glass head? His reply:

Good Morning Joanna ,

THANKS for letting me know it arrived in good condition ! The glass head was intended as a display head for commercial use – that is why it is the anatomically appropriate size. We use them to display eye glasses.  Others have used to display hats. These are the more common uses. However, here on Ebay people have been more creative. Some people have filled them with items; one person used a low wattage bulb to make a lamp (not recommended); sold a number of them to an Army Officer who made a memorial homage to his fallen men.  If you or anyone else can use more, please let me know and we can save you money on combined shipping and purchase of more – especially case lots.

The head was obviously a plea for the return of last year’s feature – Who Would I Do and a Hat. Who am I to deny the people?

The hat: I’ve been into all shades of gray lately, if one can be into grays. You can roll up the brim if you want to but I like to wear it TALL.
The do: Chef Anthony Bourdain of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations.

He’s undeniably an aged version of The Moderatalist, minus the Midwestern charm, the physique, and the clean lungs. I bet he doesn’t eat tuna out of the can like David does, but same thick roiling curls. Same lanky gait. (Same ear piercing.)

Tony has a blog and one of his posts is titled the same as one of mine! A common reference to a shared pop culture? No way. It’s a promising sign of our shared future, traveling the globe, exchanging irreverent, witty banter.

Less promising? He hates vegetarians. I can change.

Here he is eating squeevilskweasel.


This post involved a transmogrifier.

1 Jan

I am writing the post you are about to read on January 5, 2008. It will sit quietly wherever wordpress puts it until January 1, 2009: my future and your present. I hope you’re impressed. My intention is to have my 2007 self tell my 2008 self what went down in 2008 CE while my older and wiser 2009 self smugly looks on. Here we go.

So, who is president?
Well, both teams were weary and wary of drivel, so they made smart choices: Obama and McCain. The debates were like a bucket of ice water on a long hot day. Oh, right, and Obama won. The world went nuts. He’s not out yet but nobody’s paying any attention to Bush.

How much does gas cost? A gallon of milk?
Oh, come on. That’s boring.

Um, what’s your deal then?
I am still single. It remains doubtful that I will ever find someone who appreciates me as much as I do. Tragically, I am still dogless but, forward projection, 2009 will be the year of the dog. My white patch has become more pronounced.

The professional version?
I successfully graduated about two weeks ago. I don’t have a job, yet, but I’ve sent my resumes at least a dozen places. I spent a lot of time designing it, time I should have spent job hunting. I’m ready to get the hell out of here. Anywhere. The job outlook is pretty good. Just waiting for the offers to start pouring in…

How about some highlights?
At some point Whitney compromised my camera. I don’t like to think about that now, as it still has that new camera smell, but it is inevitable.

I tripped in public and drew blood. It wasn’t pretty but I was due.

I farted in a professional setting and got caught.

My car finally died on me. I beat the hell out of it with a collapsible plastic snow shovel before its final tow to the junkyard. Now I am limping along without wheels.

I ordered a vodka martini straight-up-on-the-rocks while wearing a dress. And a false mustache.

I made five new friends but sweet baby jay I miss the ones I already have. Not once did I dance with David and that hurts so bad. I just want to lounge around in charming pjs at Darcy‘s place and eat snacks. But I am so out of cash for domestic travel.

You know? The highlight reel is pretty short. It was kind of a year to hunker down. Bring on 2009 already. Is that a shitty attitude to have on the fifth day of 2008?

36 hours in Boston.

4 Jan


Happy 2008. I went to Boston for New Year’s and I used my new camera to document people sitting around tables having drinks. Here we go.

First we went to Border Café for margaritas as an homage to Mexican Tuesdays. Here I am holding up an unraveled version of the tomato rose we were calling Darcy’s doorbell. You have to ring it to enter. There is a front door and a back door. Ask the Mad Nerdess if you want specifics.


Laura in a found necklace and Paul smooching her.


A claw and a jaunty vest.


Next we moved to Grendel’s Den because it was free and we settled in for midnight. Whitney is fond of drinking beer from tall glasses. I think so he can make this face.


Brian, Courtney, the soul patch.


Google texting.




Some of us blow our horns early.


Others wait patiently for 24:00.


Paul is a man who looks good in a scarf.


Suddenly it’s 2008 and everything is different. Our beer tastes like complementary champagne.



Here I am trying to get the waitress’s attention by boring a dimple into my face. Not working.


Whitney breaks a new year’s resolution when he snarfs beer everywhere.


Former roomies.


Also former roomies.




The next morning, we felt a little somehow at breakfast.


After coffee and homefries, my first act of 2008 was to try a new group picture technique I heard about. Instead of just having one person run into place after setting up the timer, make everyone run and also switch places between shots. Very successful!





Then we went shopping. Here Laura cries inside over some shoes she can’t afford.


I think this store is new. I’m pretty sure it won’t be there next time I visit.


Hats. I wonder who they would do?? If you think Darcy looks super cute in that one, you are right. She went home with it.


Hope your year is off to a good start.

PS. A little late, but I have another challenge for you to ignore. You are going to make some resolutions and predictions for 2008 and you are going to set it to post one year from New Year’s Day on January 1, 2009. Then we can all wait a whole year for the big reveal. I plan to write mine as if my 2009 self is quizzing my 2008 self with questions like: Who is president? Where am I moving after graduating two weeks ago? Do I have a job? Do I have a chance in hell? What’s it like to be so awesome? This will be cool because if Huckabee is elected president and I shoot myself, I can creep everyone out by posting posthumously.


30 Dec


My second Secret Santa present arrived just after we finished second Christmas with my sister and her family. Though my dog Bart was able to overpower him to gnaw at his feathers, this rooster, like all roosters, is one tough s.o.b. His special skill is pecking at your eyes. Do not mess with him. I have loved chickens since 2005. I think I will put him on a shelf over my bed and sometimes I will take him down to snuggle.


Secret Santa: My Story

25 Dec

When we decided to do an ebay secret Santa thing a few weeks ago, I immediately searched for an autographed naked poster of Queen Latifa in case I got David. No luck, but it didn’t matter because I ended up with Whitney, which I can say now that he opened his present. Whitney is not hard to shop for. He likes maps, board games, books, and he’ll wear anything. Unfortunately he’s almost impossible to embarrass, so a like-new butt plug to open in front of his family would have been wasted on him. Instead I went with something that would look nice on the pickle chair, teach him to cuddle, and occasionally cock block him.

I won two other items before winning that: a Camilla the chicken and a smaller Kermit. I learned that ebay is a dangerous place for impulsive online shoppers. Like Darcy, bidding made my heart race even when I was clearly the only bidder, I skipped meals, I couldn’t study. It was so awesome!

PS. David just texted me that I have another ebay package to look forward to. The magnet was a teaser. I hope it vibrates.

Secret Santa revealed!

25 Dec

Today is Christmas which means, among other things, I was finally allowed to open the present from my secret Santa. The participants were The Moderatalist, The Cheese Rind, and The Mad Nerdess. We had to buy our presents on ebay and blog about what we got. I was gifted with this very special magnet.


The identity of my Santa was revealed in the gift, but I think I could have guessed. Only David truly understands my thing for underboob. Thanks, David! My dad’s reaction when I showed it to him: “That’s kind of unusual.” Indeed. I’d say it’s one of a kind. I think I will put her in charge of notes to myself on my fridge. I might even write them inside of talky bubbles. She will say things like “Lay off the pudding, fatty.”

This is nice. But my favorite present this year was the gift I sent myself on facebook: a date with Gerard Butler with a note that said, “I hear he likes you.”

Merry Christmas. Hope all of your shawl-collared dreams came true.


Some late entries.

1 Nov


Okay, so I win the pumpkin contest by default because nobody else posted anything. Rather than feeling a little sheepish that no one came to my party, I have decided to feel victorious.

However, I definitely did not carve the best pumpkin. I think Shawn kind of had me beat and now I just got three late entries in my inbox. They can’t win because they don’t have blogs and I think there’s a clause about family members being ineligible but I think you will enjoy them.

From Tony:

We are enjoying your blog and the pictures of your pumpkins.  [I didn’t have to include that plug for my blog but I did.] They are most excellent.  However, I believe ours may give you a run for the money.


The first entrant is Livingston’s ‘Melancholy Pumpkin’.


This is Katie’s entry.  Called ‘Ghost With Goggles’.  I think he is a
very fast flier.  That’s why he needs goggles.


…and this is my entry.  Interestingly, you and I both went for the one-eyed pumpkin.  I strongly feel that the art movement for pumpkins is leading in this direction.  The truly gifted pumpkin carvers always emerge as leaders in these times.  I call him ‘Happy Cyclops’  He is the pumpkin that ate Ulysses.