Thursday, October 29, 2009


"You never looked at my updated resume," sayeth J.

"I totally did. I printed it and made notes on it, the day you sent it to me. I told you that."*

"No, I put 'My wife is a hot babe.' into the text to see if you caught it, and you didn't."

"I have it right here; I''ll get it right now!"

*Pulls out resume, immediately locates "My wife is a hot babe."*


My H has resorted to trickery!

It was only a matter of time really; I'm kind of an a-hole.

*This is true; apparently I just wasn't as thorough as one would have hoped.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shut up, Facebook. Shut UP. Also, beware the email forward. And try not to cry at work.

To start with, Southwest must have canceled their direct flight to Columbus, OH, and it's like, seriously killing me. I hate US Air. But I just can't justify a connecting flight to Ohio. It don't make no kinda sense. So, in short, you have hurt me Southwest. Deeply.

But you know what I am not going to do with this information? I am not going to post it on Facebook and make you all read about it. Because it is fucking boring as hell, and the only place I am going to put you through such boredom is here, on my own blog.

But did any of us sign up for this with Facebook? Didn't we just want to reconnect with high school friends? Didn't we want to post pictures of ourselves looking hot, and then only tag those pictures, and untag all of the unflattering ones? Didn't we want to discuss our book club reads in peace? Maybe some of us wanted to create a list of all the plays we have ever seen in this life, but goddamnit, that was our prerogative.

To be sure, there are some FB status updates I love. There are those people that are hella funny, and then there are those that really have no sense of humor, but they are so lovable and positive and upbeat that they make me smile all the time.

To be further sure, one might argue that I could not spend glorious minutes of my life reading the status updates, but that's just not practical. I spend a lot of time waiting for planes to take off, and also sometimes watching live TV with commercials (I know: what is this, 1867?). What am I supposed to do during those times?


Yes, I need to back off the Facebook as well. It is sucking the life from me faster than my television. (Oh, which, by the by, the one-hour a day? Not going great. More later.) There was once a simpler time when we didn't have to know what 400 acquaintances were experiencing at any one time, and I want that time back.

This morning Grace forwarded me an email, and wrote: FML.

And I was all: I am so happy you wrote that, because - what the hell does it mean??

Fuck. My. Life.

Okay, I feel about 126 since I didn't know the acronym (I do know that WTF means "why the face?" though). But also - Facebook? For JC's sake: STOP SAYING IT. People use FML all the time in their status updates. Temper your MISERY, friends!

So what now? I can read less, butI can't quit cold turkey. Can I delete everyone and start over? I have to tell you, I know we're all excited about the World Series, but I think the status updates every inning may kill me. Not to mention the stupid Yankee jokes.

And now, out of the bitter barn, and time to play in the hay!

Oh shit, nope, one more thing: I made someone cry the other day. At work. Am a mean, cold Swede.

I can assure you I save my vitriol for the Internet only, so I didn't yell at this person. Something I did (ahem, email forward entitled "FYI") was forwarded on just as callously, and well, repercussions. And ripple effects. You guys get it.

In short: beware the forwarded FYI. I think I shall avoid it at all costs for the rest of my life.

Oh, and another life lesson: never put ANYTHING in writing that you don't want shared with the masses.

(HA! Sayeth the blogger. I am pretty sure I can never run for office now.)

But you guys know what I'm saying.

And on that note, in this entry of absolute nonsense, when I talked to my wise, sensible husband (who is like, my corporate shrink, as he is is pretty reasonable. Although I am sure he wishes my work stories of woe were a little less long-winded.), he was a little taken aback by the crying.

Ah, crying at work. I don't do it. Well, I did it once, and even then I did my best to hide it (to be fair, this was an extreme situation of harassment, but that's another story). I have never cried in front of a coworker or superior at work. I just don't do it. It doesn't mean sometimes I don't want to, I just try to avoid it at all costs.

I did explain to J, however, that women cry. And sometimes at work. It happens. And I don't find it particularly shameful, though I would gauge by J's reaction that men do. "You know how the dudes at your work just call each other and scream?" I asked him. "Well, same deal. But women cry."

What say you, ladies? Have you cried at work? In front of a man? Behind your office door? Menfolk: have you ever cried? Comforted a crying lady? Felt completely comfortable doing so?

And now, to update my Facebook status. FML. I bid you adieu.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And now, a milestone.

I’m 30,000 feet above earth right now heading to Columbia, SC, taking this time to clean out my inbox and of course update my 2009 Flights Word Doc (there isn’t much I don’t record, friends.).

People: I have taken 62 flights this year.

Each flight is a small victory to me; so 62 flights in a year? Makes me damn proud of myself.

I remember the abject horror – HORROR – I suffered on my first solo mission after September 11th. It was November 2003, and I was headed to San Francisco (by way of Phoenix) on my very first business trip. I felt very adult; I was a 23 year-old kid, sent to a pier in San Fran to oversee something or other, business-wise. I was excited to get to a city I had not yet visited, even if it was for three nights only.

And then I got on that plane, and I just fell apart.

I had my journal with me, and judging by my handwriting – oh, and the fact that whole pages just read OH MY GOD OH MY GOD LORD SAVE ME I DON’T WANNA DIE LORD I AM DYING – I’d say I was in the throes of a full-scale nervous breakdown. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was… was I afraid the plane would be hijacked? Of crashing? Of exploding mid-air?

My heart pounding, I didn’t know how I would survive.

And then, I did, of course. (Though I nearly missed my flight from Phoenix, as I was at the airport bar at 10 AM ordering a liter of beer and two shots of tequila)

My trip was nice, though marred by the fact that I HAD TO GET BACK ON THAT PLANE, that minion of death and destruction.

Yeah, I think I collected my bags at Philly International and went straight to a psychiatrist. Do not pass go. Get thee to a mental health professional.

I worked through it, as y’all know. And admittedly, if you should see me on an airplane just before take-off today, I am probably still faking it a little. I look like I am reading O Magazine, but inside I am likely praying.

But oh, so much less than I ever was. And without any meds!

You’ve come a long way, HomeValley.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Life Insurance Testing with a Racist Nurse

So yesterday, I eeked out about 30 minutes of solid TV-watching. And then I whipped out my Eva Peron journal (I don't know why I always insist on "whipping" it out all the time, but let's go with it), and transcribed all of the things I accomplished yesterday.

I. Vacuumed.

I don't think anyone but J can truly appreciate this fact, but I don't really do much housekeeping. Don't get me wrong: I will do it. But usually J has to bring it to my attention. Like last Sunday, we arrived home from breakfast and my H said - not unkindly - "Hey, did you ever think about sweeping the porch?"

And I replied honestly, "Um, no. I have never, ever considered sweeping the porch."

Oh, but I swept it. I swept the hell out of it.

So yes, it is very fortuitous that my husband is very neat and clean. Or else we'd really be screwed.

Yesterday, though, high on the freedom from the shackles of TLC, I vacuumed, just because. Because I felt that the second floor needed to be vacuumed. And then I swiffered the first floor, bitches! It was an amazing moment in the life of HomeValley. Then I lit the cranberry candle and sat on the couch with Eva Peron. When J walked in shortly thereafter, he commented: "Wow, it sure feels festive in here."

"I vacuumed!"

And then Nurse Racist appeared at our door, knocked (and I swear just walked right in), kicked off her shoes and got ready to take a billion specimens. (We're applying for life insurance, like bonafide grown-ups, and this is apparently all part of the process. )

She threw all of her crap over our dining room table, then began filling out forms with lightning quickness. "Whoa, you're fast," J said. "Yeah, I wanna get outta here before 76 gets backed up." She replied, which is totally what you want in a nurse who's poking needles in your arm in the place you eat your dinner. Speed.

I did appreciate her measurements, however, which actually put me at 5'8" ("Yeah, I round up.") and my weight at a solid five pounds less than normal.

But whilst I was upstairs collecting my urine in a cup, she and J began discussing the Dominican. I am assuming that J mentioned we GOT MARRIED in that country (so may be a little partial to it), when she ranted for a few minutes about how much she HATED it there, and how awful everything was, and how disgusting the people were. And guards carried guns at the resort! And anyway, she was used to vacations where she could walk around outside. And those people were just after rich white Americans. She could feel them eyeing her up at every turn. Scumbags.

(Alright, thank you very much, get out of our house now.)

But she still had to put mah pee in her test tubes, so as she took care of that she began a second rant about a woman in her building who is dating a Turkish guy (I may have missed the part where J told her how much we adored our time in Istanbul), and that the Turk wants this woman to convert to Islam, and she emphatically told her NO! You cannot become a Muslim, this guy obviously just wants a green card. But her neighbor insists that her biological clock is ticking, though she's just 34, and HELLO! Women in their 40s have babies now! Isn't 40 the NEW 30?

(Alright, well, nice meeting you. Drive safe. Get the fuck out of our house.)

When she left, J stood in the kitchen, shell-shocked.

"Well, she was one of the weirdest people ever, huh?"


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Television is Making Me Depressed. No. Seriously.

When J and I were on our flight back from Buenos Aires in early August, we whipped out my brand new Eva Peron journal (I know, but it was necessary) and did some strategizing. We had enjoyed our time in Argentina so much. I had learned how to say "croissant" in Spanish (medialunas, y'all), and between bottles of malbec and The Most Delicious Sandwich on the Planet (true story), we were finally able to relax for once in our lives. (And dudes, don't get me wrong, I love me some Middle East, but driving through the desert after dark in Jordan does not exactly make one sigh with relief.) (Nor does political unrest in Istanbul, while we're at it.)

(Yay! Parentheses!)

Okay, so the moral here? In Argentina, we unclenched. We drank wine, we lounged around. We took meandering walks through Palermo and Recoleta. We saw the most gorgeous, haunting cemetary on earth, and we had the brilliant staff at BoBo to make our stay as comfortable as possible.

And so when we were on our flight home - disappointed to be leaving, but energized - we decided to jot down some goals for ourselves. I'll get into all of those later, but here was one of mine:

Melissa will limit television watching to NO MORE than one hour per day. TV inhibits all productivity.

Aaannnnddd... FAIL.

I started out doing well... But then the fall line-up was all Watch us! We are funny new shows! We are flashing forward into the future! I'm Courteney Cox, and I'm back in primetime! (Oh but FYI, giving up Cougartown will be no hardship. C'est terrible.)

So that happened. Then, lately, I have been ill. And with said illness comes a lack of energy. And with said lack of energy comes a barrage of A Baby Story, and Say Yes to the Dress, and King of The Crown, and old episodes of Jon and Kate Plus 8 (where did it all go wrong, guys?), and Oprah, and Accidentally on Purpose (I heart Jenna Elfman), and How I Met Your Mother (which I will never give up. Don't even think it.) and so many, many more.

Oh, The Biggest Loser.

And sometimes Moving Up on a Saturday.


Am sick. (I even hesitate to write these words, because I know my husband is reading them, and he is going to be all, I told you so, but yes, he told me so.)

So yesterday I was watching Oprah, and crying, because it was the show with the new lead singer of Journey, who grew up poor in the Phillipines, and was all, Good for you, man! You're awesome!

And then I thought about my own awesomeness factor, and how it has plummeted a bit of late. Because I am not out making life happen; I'm watching it happen. To other people. On the talking picture box. Last week, I was in Boston, and I spent ten minutes of my life - precious, precious life - watching Jon Gosselin on ET. The fuck? That motherfucker can't even spell his own name, and yet he is stealing minutes of MY LIFE!? I CAN NEVER GET THAT TIME BACK, JON GOSSELIN.

And I have no one to blame but myself.

I have been feeling down, and I swear to you all: my television is making me depressed.
Now I know some of you out there can likely just watch TV, and be done with it, but I think I am somehow incapable. I am someone who walks into a room and turns on the TV before I put my bag down, as I need the company; the idle chatter serves as reassurance. I can't fall asleep very well without TV, and when a television goes on, I generally stop what I am doing and stare at it. You know how you park your kids in front of the TV when you need a break, and they just sit and stare all open-mouthed and spacy?
I am that child.
And it's high time I really, really limited my telly intake.
So today I woke up resolute. I haven't turned on the tube at all today, and I am trying to get used to the silence. I don't know that it is reasonable to cut out all TV (is that what alcoholics say? I don't think it is reasonable to cut out wine, so I'll just stop with the beer and hard liquor?) But for now, we are going to ONE HOUR, PER DAY.
That means 7 hours per week.
I am going to need your support on this one, Internet. I already feel slightly less sick today, but I know the withdrawal is coming, and I'll try to put on Jeopardy tonight. I musn't!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Universe Mocks Me.

I forgot to set the alarm clock yesterday. So there's that. Of course, I am working from home this week, so this error in judgment only affected one person this morning.

And, I still don't think he likes me very much today. He just got home, and sort of grunted at me and then ran away to the gym.

Also, I was just updating my super-cool "Currently Reading" list (in which I record every book I have read since 2004. Jealous?) and SEVEN books I have read this year are in RED. And I have no idea why they are in RED. And it is killing me. Like, why, self, did you put these books in red? I can see no discernible pattern between Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris. (Oh but what if Sookie helped build that cathedral? That would have been something.)

It is almost as bad as my password-protected Word doc, circa 2004, in which I know the remnants of a great novel are locked, but I CANNOT REMEMBER THE GODDAMN password. And every day I attempt to crack the case, and I fail, I die a little inside. Who was I in 2004? What did I think was an acceptable password?

PW: iheartzachbraff?
PW: gardenstaterules?
PW: hotsingleswede?

So there's that, too.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Regarding Douchebaggery.

Gah! So many thoughts on comments on the Douchebag post! Let's dig in:
  • I will never - ever - concede American Psycho. I actually saw the film in the theater with Vanessa when we were living in New York, and we both walked out incredibly shaken. Having sex with a woman, winking at yourself in the mirror as you do, then throwing a chainsaw on her? So. Not. Okay. I don't care what erudite social commentary we are making here. So, agree to disagree?
  • Fight Club is a great movie. I fear that you dudes merely skimmed the article (as J admitted to doing last night). Go back and read it. The author doesn't deny that Fight Club is a great film; it's just that douchebags love the film for all of the wrong reasons. As he so eloquently states: "One man’s allegory is another douchebag’s excuse to get into a barroom brawl." He actually goes as far as saying that the movie was quite prophetic. Let's all take a deep breath and go back and read the blurb. Then tell me if maybe he doesn't have a point.
  • I will concede Brokeback. I didn't love it; and I don't need to ever see it again. I stand firm that many a heterosexual male is put off by the subject matter, and thus avoids it completely, despite the heaps and heaps of critical acclaim. Was all of that acclaim deserved? Likely not. It was a provocative topic, and thus it gets an Oscar fast-track because the Academy likes edgy these days. I do think Heath was good: stilted, mumbling deliver and all.
  • Speaking of Heath, how awesome was The Dark Knight? That is one for you, Grace. That and the new Star Trek are among the movies Awesome People Love. And Clueless. And Fools Rush In starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek. Those two are goddamn charming together.
  • I think I am going to put myself on a strict two-viewing policy before I go ahead and say a movie is worth seeing. I absolutely thought Milk was one of the greatest films of the last several years, but perhaps I was in an odd emotional place when I saw it, and that is why I was so moved? I will report back when I make J sit through it. Yep, Sean Penn is a douche. No one is denying that. But if you saw Milk, you can't claim that he plays himself in every film. He was magnificent as Harvey Milk. He became the ill-fated politician. Also, Penn is responsible for directing one of my all-time favorite films based on one of my all-time favorite books: Into the Wild. I have seen this movie at least three times, and it's phenomenal. Life-changing. Read the book, rent the movie, and then download one of the all-time greatest movie soundtracks. (Which, Penn is also responsible for, by charging Eddie Vedder with the task. Brilliant.)
  • Koos, D, and I used to hold Godfather viewing parties at D's back in high school. We worship these films. It's thrilling to settle in to a day with the Corleones, any old time you catch it on AMC. Guys, it is not douchey to like the Godfather. It's not douchey to love the GF. It's just that douchey men tend to like the films (and mafia films in general), if for no other reason than it is cool to like these films. These are worlds where violence and bad-assery abound, and thus tools flock to these films. It is in the same vein that the author describes Fight Club: "Violence is really the key to understanding why this movie is so popular with douchebags." Ya dig?
  • Swingers. I do think this is a difference of perspective, fellas. But again, read the blurb: the author thinks Swingers is a great film. The issue is this: "But the point of the movie is that the non­-douchebag wins in the end. That being honest and forthcoming and refraining from describing things as "money" (or sick, ill, phat, etc.) counts more than having the right pick-up line. Douchebags see Trent as Confucious and apply his philosophy to their lives, and we continue to suffer from such idiocy to this day." Word, word, a thousand times word. Guys: when you describe anything as money - and you are not being ironic - well, I don't even have to say it, do I?

As some of the commenters of the original article have mentioned: it's not the films, per se, it's what the douchebags take away from them.

And let's not forget, I wrote a piece about how Garden State changed my life. Douche.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

You Might Be a Douchebag...

OMG, I love this article. LOVE. Love! Bless you, Spike!

Friends: we have here a list of the Top 10 Movies Douchebags Love.

And it is as awesome as one would expect.

Please, please tell me, sisters? Have you dated these guys? Did you marry this guy? The dude that loves all of these movies? Squee! I am so excited about this!

J doesn't love all of these movies, and generally, I don't find him particularly douchey. Nay, friends, I am afraid I am the douche in question here. One of these movies - at one time - well, I wrote - oh fuck - that it - aw hell - changed my life.

Yes. As you might have already suspected: I am a douche.

Now, to be fair to me, I took Garden State with me on my recent flight to Denver. And I popped it in my laptop, thrilled to be reconnecting with it. The film is an old friend, one that got me through some very tough times as an impressionable, soul-searchy l'il 25 year-old thing.

I finished it later that night in the guest room at Far-Mor and Far-Far's, and I was spectacularly umimpressed.

(I even told Grace as much, so she can totally back me up on this.)

It was just so... so obvious. And self-indulgent. And lo, the indie-ness of it all. Medieval times? Really? It is a quirk-tastic masterpiece, and it doesn't really work for me anymore. (Because... God! Okay, fine: here is the link. It really did help me though! Don't judge.)

Old School? Fight Club? Swingers? I dare you - dare you - to check Facebook profiles immediately. Let's experiment, shall we? All those friends we suspect are secretly douchebags? Let's put them to the test.

(Oh, and I cringed when I read about the Napoleon Dynamite quoting. Because, come on. I definitely told J recently not to be jealous that I've been chatting with babes online all day. I didn't even get the quote correct. Douche!)

What are other films that should be considered here? I am going to going to have to go ahead and raise you:
  • The Godfather, Parts 1 and 2 - Look, obviously cinematic masterpieces. But. Sigh. Complete douchebag fodder.

  • AMERICAN PSYCHO. If you are male, you probably love this movie. You probably think the scene with the business cards is hilarious! You probably love that fucking Phil Collins soliloquiy. Personally? I am deeply, deeply suspect of you. This film is grotesque, misogynistic, and tremendously troubling. (Challenge given. OK, dudes. Bring it.)

  • Goodfellas - I don't think I hate this movie. I don't really like it though. Ray Liotta creeps me out, and I'll never forget an awful evening in which my ex came in drunk and put it on, despite my eleven year-old brother being present. No one says "fuck" in front on my little bro except me, alright? And also, it coincides with d-bags generally loving any film to do with the mafia. (I love my husband because he doesn't understand or appreciate mafia movies. The only one he likes is Analyze This. And seriously, that movie kills him. It's adorable. Also, babe? We really should Netflix The Godfather one of these days.)

Oh, I also find it troubling - and possibly a bit douchey - when men won't see certain films because they are uncomfortable with the content (and by content, I mean homosexuality). Brokeback Mountain anyone? Milk? I am curious to see which men among you have seen these films, and will admit to enjoying them (well, enjoy might be a stretch. These films are pretty intense. How about appreciate?)

What movies did I miss?