Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This is what my life has been reduced to

Some of my favorite Blake quotes to be immortalized on The Internets.

"Project Playlist is a bitchcake with f*ck-you icing!"

"(Sigh...) this is my favorite gun."
A Nerf gun, in case you were wondering.

"I want to fight that skeleton soooo bad. But that stupid Griffin is in my way! Just look at him! He's taunting me. Do you see him taunting me? He's totally taunting."

A few seconds later...

"You can put that on your blog."

More to follow.
I'm sure.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Out of my mind

With boredom.

That is why I am posting twice in, like, four hours.

Someone give me a good book to read.
Or a title of one.
Whatever it takes.
I feel like my brain is going to liquefy and leak out my nose at any moment.

I heart my job.

A couple of things, while we're at it.

As they say on ICanHasCheezburger.
What? You don't know what ICanHasCheezburger is?
You suck.
Click on the link and discover greatness.

Will someone please explain to me why I have 6 different kinds of chapstick in my purse?
I've only had it since last Thursday.
I think I need an intervention.

I'm sick of painting my nails black and gray, but I don't know what other colors to paint them.
It's not even close to Spring yet, so I can't really do fun happy colors like pink or blue. Lest the InStyle monarchs swoop down and carry me off to the place where they send offenders who also carry fanny packs and do that whole "dark underneath, bleached on top" hairstyle. Note to those people: it does not make your look pretty. It makes you look like a skunk. A skunk who carries a little nylon pouch around it's waist.
I am not talented enough to do a french manicure.
Nor am I classy/sophisticated enough for red.
Don't even say that I should leave them unpolished, because that's just cruel and wrong.
I kind of miss having acrylics, because you didn't have to paint them.
But I don't miss them that much because they destroyed my nails for almost a year and they are muy expensivo.

Someone sent the office a huge tiered arrangement of Ferrero Rocher truffles. And wouldn't you know, it was still sitting in the same spot when I walked in last night.
So I had to be locked in an office alone, for an entire eight hours, with a dozen Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolate truffles. Unable to leave.
Yeah, that was fun and I don't hate myself at all. That's a lie.

Also, will someone please tell me why I am constantly having conversations like this:
M: So...how much do you love me?
B: Yes, you can come over and do laundry.

Bored and Stupid

Some reasons why this week promises to be kind of amazing

-Gabe is coming to town (!!!)
-New Years Eve shenanigans at Bradley and Christopher's. There's going to be a bubble machine. A bubble machine. How much cooler and sophisticated does one get? Answer: one does not.
-I have a three-day weekend
-My same-sex hetero life-partner, Molly Elizabeth herself, turns 25. I've already begun composition on her birthday tribute blog post. Just kidding. (Okay, not really)
-This is coming in the mail. Yes Blake, this is indeed what happens when you leave me alone in a room with a computer and decide that killing insurgents in an imaginary desert is more important than preventing me from squandering my paycheck on really adorable things. I hope you've learned your lesson.

My goal is to hopefully one day post something that makes sense and/or means something (didn't we just elect our nation's first bi-racial president? Or isn't there, like, a war happening somewhere?). But my brain just refuses to function at normal capacity at 2 am.

Sue me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry and Bright

What's with all the warm-and-fuzzy posts lately?
I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm not even drunk, or anything.
Oh well.
Sarcasm and spite to return soon, I'm sure.
Even they need a vay-cay every so often.

But anyways

It was wonderful, thanks for asking.
Even though no one bought me a new car or laptop or paid my speeding ticket (note to self: pay that or find someone who will pay it for me...M-O-M).

I rolled into my parent's house around 4 am Christmas morning, with none of my gifts for my family wrapped. I think requesting that I drive that night after work instead of in the morning was my mother's way of ensuring that I didn't drag my entire family out of bed at the crack of dawn like I do every year. Yes, I'm 23. Don't judge me. It's freaking Christmas, people.

This year, I let everyone sleep until 10.
They'll get around to thanking me later, I'm sure.

Santa (aka my super-great mother) brought me a tea kettle, some new knives from Chicago Cutlery, some jewelry, new Oneida flatware, a new purse (it was a very Dolce and Gabana Christmas at the Sullivan house...my sister got TWO. But that's just because she's a brat), a pair of brown boots from Aldo that are so wonderous I want to be buried in them when I die, and a bunch of other stuff.

My Dad got Janie, Joey, and I the Shepherd Ferry Barack Obama poster (you know, the one that says "Hope").

Janie gave me a beautiful scarf from Urban Outfitters.

Joey left our presents in Providence.
But that's okay, because they probably weren't wrapped anyway.

After gifts and coffee by the fireplace, we ate some pancakes and played with our new toys, and then realized that it was 1:30 and we were supposed to be at Tom and Beth's house by 2.

We joined Tom, Beth, Sophie, Ethan (and their new Wii), Gramma, Grandpa, David, Jenny, and Jenny's friend Danita who has been to so many of our family gatherings, she is like one of us (only african-American....and I use that term because she prefers it to the word "black", and I respect her enough to honor her wishes even though she calls us "white"...that's how much I like you, Danita) for eggplant parm, apple pie, and some of the best red wine I've ever tasted. And I've been to Italy. So, what does that say about my uncle's good taste, huh?

We decorated cupcakes, and Ethan used an entire bottle of sprinkles on one single confection.
We conducted our traditional grab-bag, and everyone fought over the wireless, battery-operated ligthtswitch (except for me because I got an iTunes card...to go with the iTunes on the computer I don't have).
We played Wii tennis and Sophie cheated. I'm pretty sure she gets that from her dad, because Beth is way too nice to ever cheat at anything.
We sat around on the big L-shaped couch, which magically fits all 14 of us (I told you it was magic), and talked for hours.
When we got home, Janie and I watched Tivo-ed episodes of "Little People, Big World" and passed out.

As you can see, we're very stringent about our holiday traditions in my family.

Today brought more Christmas-y activities.
Kind of.
Okay, the only thing that really made it Christmas-y was that we got gifts.
And as long as someone is giving me a present, I'll call it whatever the heck they want me to.

Blake's mom took Bryan, Lara, Blake and I out to dinner at Gabatoni's, which always looks like a freezeframe from the movie "Goodfella's." My kind of place.
Note: We were supposed to go to Ginger, but Bryan hate's aisian food (he sucks at life), we had to make other arrangements. As much as I wanted to go to Ginger because they have fried tofu that is to DIE for, there is no way it could have been nearly as interesting as our night dining with central Illinois mafiosos. So, thank you for being difficult, Bryan. Your unwillingness to compromise added flavor to our evening, and I forgive you for depriving me of my beloved orange-tamarind dipping sauce.

Blake and I had yet to exhcange gifts, and Blake's mother had forgotten to give Lara one of her presents and also had a little something for me (including a really awesome purple stocking!!!), so to the apartment we went.

I was really excited about giving him his gifts because I put a lot of thought (a LOT) into them this year.
He got a Calphalon omlette pan, plastic glow-in-the-dark zombies, Guiness pint glasses with vintage adverts on them, and custom "Shaun of the Dead" and "Evil Dead" character cartoon prints (apparently, supporting this weird zombie fetish of his is the only way I can convince him to like me).
Wouldn't you be excited about those really awesome gifts?!

Not as excited as I was about what he gave me:


With a pink controller.
And and AND... Rockband 2.

He's a pretty neat guy sometimes.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Love Letter

Some people write love notes to their significant others.
Some people write them to their children, or their friends (the author's friends, not the author's children's friends....that's just a little odd and creepy)
Heck, some people even write love notes to their pets.

I think my significant other is just peachy.
My friends and family are the best.
And my cat is the closest thing in my life to a child, and I love him with the unconditional love that I can only imagine comes as an accessory with actual offspring.


This is not a love letter to any of those people.
And yes, my cat does count as a person.

This is a post about my complete and total adoration of my hairdresser.

Her name is Jenni.
And she's fabulous.
My friend Stacey, who also gets her hair cut by Jenni, once said that Jenni is "the only woman in the world who she would go gay for."
If this woman told me to shave my head because it would look good, I would do it.
The girl knows what she's talking about.

Jenni and I had our first appointment at a time in my life when I was recovering from some very traumatic hair experiences. One involved a haircut in England, which might not have been so bad if it had been in London or at Toni and Guy like I should've done, but in some salon in Hull where my hair was thinned within an inch of it's life. A very difficult feat, trust me. The woman responsible should've been given a Nobel Peace Prize for defying the laws of physics. The other involved my regular (albeit medicore) hairdresser coming down with the flu, and a replacement appointment with an elderly gentleman who had obvious cut hair during the first World War, and felt the need to cut my expertly crafted side-bangs straight across, thus resulting in a nightmare we now refer to as The Great Hair-tastrophe. To this day, my father refers to it as 'The Cleopatra Wig", which would have been really funny if it were actually a wig and not my real hair. And this was in America, people!

Naturally, being in the stylist'chair made me nervous at this point.
But by the time I was stateside again, I needed a bipartisan act of congress to make my hair presentable.
I'd just moved back to Springfield, permanently this time, and I wasn't really committed to the old adage that haircuts fall into the "you get what you pay for" category. Mostly because I'd patronized the most expensive and upscale salon in town, and wasn't all that impressed.
Taking a leap of faith, I decided to try a little salon down the block from where I was living at the time. From the outside, it looked like a suburban split-level. This normally would've been warning sign numero uno in my book, but I was Europe-ified and into trying new things and such. So I just kept telling myself, "it's only hair. It will grow back." While fending off a panic attack at the same time, of course.

Enter: Jenni.

Let's just say that I haven't been the same person since that day three years ago when this wonderful goddess of a hairdresser worked her magic on my head.
I didn't even bother looking back.
This woman performs miracles when there are seemingly no miracles to be had.

I have sent practically everyone I know to her.
And they've all had the same reaction.
"Oh.My.God. She is AWESOME."
Yeah, I know she is.
She even cut Janie's hair. If my little sister lets her touch her head, you know she's the real deal.

I constantly get complimented on my hair.
The cut, the color. Everything.
My response: "My hair girl is awesome. Here, let me give you her business card."
Even my mother's friends (who are in their 50's, by the way) think my hair is fabulous.
And it has nothing to do with it's fabulosity in it's own right, let me assure you.
In fact, i have been told multiple times (by men, of all species) that my hair is my *best* feature. I was hoping for sparkling personality and biting wit, but whatever. Beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.
When I sit down in the chair, I tell her to do whatever she thinks is best. Whatever she wants. Because I trust her judgement and her talent.
Do you know what? I don't think I've said that to anyone else. Ever.

She understands my protective nature of my side-bangs (which are a gift from the Heavens, am I right?).
She didn't think I was crazy when I casually mentioned the possibility of pink hair.
She pretends not to notice when I touch my dye-job up at home in between appointments because I'm too busy or lazy or poor to come in to the salon. Although it looks infinitely better when she does it, let me tell you.
She is genuinely interested in my life, and asks me questions and remembers things.
She cuts pictures out of magazines when she sees a hairstyle that she thinks will look good on me.
She doesn't care when I show up to our appointments in sweatpants and no make-up.
She comes in at 7 am for me, because sometimes that the only time I've got.
She is a wonderful person, and a great friend.
And, not most importantly but certainly helpful, her prices are so freaking reasonable that I was still able to afford her when I was working in retail. Part-time.

My luck hasn't been the best lately, what with all the explosions and speeding tickets and technological catastrophes that seem to follow me from day-to-day.
But on Tuesday, I had an appointment with Jenni.
I walked out of the salon feeling as though none of that bad stuff could weigh me down anymore, if only for a second.
I felt like a new person.

Also, Jenni who can dye someone's hair pink and a). not make fun of them for suggesting it and b). not make them look like a transvestite.

If that isn't miraculous...

Well, then I don't know what is.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm a nerd

What can I say?

Books have always been a very important part of my life.
I read three or four at once.
I earmark milestones by recalling what piece of literature I was reading at the time.
I can have conversations based entirely off references and underlying content in early 20th century British children's lit (no, thank YOU Kingston upon Hull).
I walk out of movies saying, "that was a lot like this book I read one time..." and not the other way around.
Shakespeare is my homeboy.

Basically, I'm a freak.

In case you haven't noticed, the Universe has been sending some bad luck my way lately. I think it might be the rearing of the ugly head of the bad karma that obviously resulted in enjoying The Punisher; War Zone.
Wait. That happened after all the bad crap.

So anyway- bad luck.
The Other Molly recently experienced some car-related misfortunes of her own that involved a lack of suspension and the interstate. I feel for you babe, really I do.
Except did your car become a flaming ball of death? While you were driving it? Yeah, I thought not. I still win.
Molly's response to our mutual karmic funk was that we needed to go spend some time in an ashram in India doing Yoga and eating brown rice and chanting. You know, stuff like that. Also, it would be warm. Do you see why we're the bestest of best friends?
My obvious reaction to this idea (after I sampled prices of last-minute plane tickets to Bombay and considered donating a kidney to finance this little jaunt), was "that happened in that book that I love."
And then, I thought about how that book changed my life.

Yes, I read a lot. And every book I read has an effect on me. Whether it's light-headed infatuation, or nausea. I also remember practically everything I read.
Unless I'm being tested on it in a class. I've always wondered why that is...
Despite the sheer volume of not only the number of books I've read in my lifetime, but also my personal library, it seems odd to me that I can say about so few books what I said about "that book that I love" (don't have a conniption, I'll get to the title in a minute).
It really and truly became a huge part of who I am at this very moment.
Which is another way of saying... it changed my life.

Two years ago I took a class in which the professor had us write a paper about the ten books that were most important to who we were. Not necessarily life-changing, mind you. Just books that were significant to us.
I could only come up with seven.
Although my list was shorter than the suggested length (he didn't like the word "require" because it infringed upon our ability to think for ourselves...did I mention that he is one of my favorite teachers EVER?), I can honestly say that each of the books on it had a profound and lasting effect on me.
So, if you have any qualms about me and my personality...
Take it up with these guys.

1. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.
Yeah, it sounds a whole lot like something that might be written on a leaflet that crazy homeless evangelists pass out on the streets. That's what I thought, too. Molly made me read it, and I honestly did not have high expectations. I was very, very wrong. It's a beautiful book about love and forgiveness and a whole new way of looking at religion, not to mention life. It's not preachy (which we all know I have little-to-zero patience for), but simply offers a very ingenious, and I may I say more tolerant, way of interpreting theological stories and teachings. Oh yeah, and Moore is the funniest freaking person on the planet. Funnier than me, even.

2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
You know how sometimes when you're driving in the car and you're in a very emotional mood, whether it's angry or sad or happy, but you can't quite verbalize it and the suddenly a song comes on the radio and your eyes light up and you shout "that's it! That's how I feel!"? Total kismet, right? That's how this book was for me. Complete and utter serendipity (PS- isn't that a fun word?). This book is the aforementioned "book that I love", and it came into my life at a really difficult time. Without getting into too much detail, let's just say that I was struggling with some really painful and difficult decisions that had definite potential to turn my life upside-down. I've never been more afraid of anything in my life, but I also felt that if I didn't take these scary, yet necessary steps that I would not be able to be true to myself and what I needed out of life. Enter: Elizabeth Gilbert and this kick-ass book. After reading this true story of how Gilbert walked away from her life and consequently ended up living in Italy, India (ashram!) and Indonesia for three months each, I knew that if she could find the strength to turn her world upside-down, then so could I. What makes it even better is that she's not a character, she's a real person! Her story of finding herself helped me do the same (please note: I did NOT copy that from the dust jacket. I just really adore this book. And I'm really hokey sometimes.)

3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
So, I may or may not have cried my way through the 18 hours it took me to read this book. I also couldn't put it down. It really is in a class of it's own. A young girl is sexually assaulted and then murdered, her family left to believe she has disappeared. She is sent to heaven, where she has to opportunity to observe her family and friends lives progress without her. She watches how her absence strains and changes them. She watches her murder remain unsolved and her killer uncaught. This story didn't just make me cry for the characters. I cried for all the real people who lived this, who are still living it. I cried for my mother. I cried for my sister. And I cried because I'd never realized before this book how very fortunate we were, we ARE to have escaped those nightmares.

4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This is one of my first memories of a "real" book. Rather, one that didn't have a plastic cover. In fact, it's cover was so old that it was in constant danger of disintegrating whenever someone would touch it. It's not the story so much that moves me, though that has merit in it's own right as well. My grandma would spend hours reading to me before I was able to do so myself. She loved the words on the page as much, if not more than I did. And this is the memory that reminded me that reading was a gift, and never a chore. She may buy my Christmas presents at the second-hand store, but at least she gave me that.

5. Dry by Augusten Burroughs
Let me preface my adoration for this book by saying that it should be required reading. For everyone on the planet. An autobiographical account of the author's own battle with addiction and rehab, and all the mental frames of mine that resulted. Much like other books in my life, this one fell into my world in the same sort of serendipitous manner. Reading it really helped me understand the emotional science of addiction, thereby enabling me to better understand certain people I love that were going through the same kind of thing. It also made it clear that in a way, we all go endure our own addictions and handicaps, and the obstacles that come along with those. Also, Augusten Burroughs is pretty hilarious, which makes this and any of his other books well worth reading. Clearly, I really have a thing for guys with great senses of humor. Too bad he's gay, right?

6. Into the Wild by John Krakauer.
Confession: I did not read this book until after I saw the movie. Result: I did not merely read, but totally consumed it. I think most of us know the story: privileged white kid shuns his opportunities and goes in search of meaning across America with no money, identification, or vehicle. Eventually he ends up in the Alaskan wilderness where he dies. This book is not the story of his death, however; it is the story of his life. In the short time he pursued this life of adventure and wanderlust, he touched the lives of everyone he met along the way. He was also able to develop his own ideas about harmony and family based on readings and philosophies of transcendentalist writers. The fact the it's a true story adds to it's fascination, and really has the ability to inspire whoever reads it (i.e. moi) to get up off their butt and make their mark on the world.

7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scot Fitzgerald
I think that this book gets a bad rep. Everyone I know considers it one of those novels that high school English teachers *make* you read, thereby making it the devil in literary form. Everyone except my mother. She bought it for me one year for Christmas for that reason. And because I love my mommy, I read it. This time, it was through the eyes of someone who didn't *have* to read it, but wanted to experience the same joy and rature that it gave to someone I admire. Let me tell you, it's a completely different story. All the nuances about love in a classist society are shockingly more apparent when one is not being graded on their ability to look for them. Not to mention the fact that the descriptions are completely...magical. I suppose the best way to appreciate something so timeless and classic is to understand why it became that way in the first place. Thanks Mom!

I've got some more possibilities to add.
I need to mull them over first.
Didn't you know? This is a very exclusive list.

Gonna go read a trashy romance novel now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Am I The Only Person This Stuff Happens To?

The Universe attempted to tell me one of two things on Tuesday night:

1. I should not be eating tater-tots at midnight.
2. I should consider wearing less make-up.

Whilst baking those amazing nuggets of potato-y goodness with the oven set at 450 degrees, I bent down to inspect the browning progress (burned is a good way to describe my tot style). When I opened the oven door, I felt like someone punched me in the eye. Oh, and I smelled burning hair.
So that was a good sign.
According to the bathroom mirror, the oven was attempting to burn the mascara off my eyelashes.

"Ow" is right.

Now I have miniature red burn marks underneath my eyes.
Plus it hurt like hell.

But for some reason, I don't think I'll be following either of those suggestions anytime soon.

Thanks anyway, Universe.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

C'mon baby, light my fire.

Didn't I just post about how much I despise The Doors?

I guess it's time to talk about last Friday.
I feel like I've told the story a billion different times (which is not exactly untrue, if we're being honest).
But, I think it's important to record the play-by-play so that next time my car decides that it wants to burst into flames, I have evidential proof that lightening does in fact strike twice.

Note: although the car in question technically refers to one that was actually my sister's at on point in time, it was my car first, and in my possession at the time of it's demise. Therefore, the usage of "my car" shall henceforth apply to the automobile as it is mentioned in to proceedings below.

Here goes.

Friday December 5, 2008

9 pm
Molly and Lara depart from Springfield, thus beginning their trek across the vast expanse of interstate 55 in order to make their way to Chicago and, ultimately, Molly's parent's home.

10 pm
Molly and Lara stop to use the restroom in a gas station near Pontiac, IL.
Discover toilets look as thought they may be carrying a new strain of the Ebola virus.
Are forced to review the fine art of "hovering."

10:45 pm
Molly and Lara pass the Exxon/Mobile power plant just outside of Braidwood.
Notice a burning rubber/sulfur smell.
Turn off heat, thereby making the smell disappear.

10:57 pm
Molly and Lara decide they are cold.
Turn heat back on.
Nasty smell returns, however now the car is surrounded by semi-trucks.
Molly observes the temperature gauge on the dashboard to ensure that the smell is not one that indicates that something is wrong with her vehicle (i.e. overheating).
The gauge remains stable, if a little on the "cold" side.
Decide the smell must be the result of exhaust from other cars.
Turn the heat back off.
Smell disappears, once again.

11:04 pm
Although the heat is still off, the smell returns.
With gusto.
Molly and Lara being choking on the fumes and decide that this is what the showers at Auschwitz must feel like.
Molly decides that they will take the upcoming exit (approximately 1/2 mile) , pull into a gas station, and call AAA to investigate the problem.
The temperature gauge remains the same.

11:05 pm
Molly picks up her cell phone to call her mother in order to inform her that she and Lara will be later than expected, as they are experiencing some minor technical difficulties.

11:06 pm
Black smoke begins to pour from the ventilation system.
Lara: Molly, maybe we should pull over now.

11:07 pm
Molly pulls over on to the shoulder, still in the process of calling her mother.
Three things now happen simultaneously: 1). As Molly shifts the car into "park" 2). her mom answers the phone call which Molly has now totally forgotten about because 3). she looks down and notices that the radio, clock, and entire center console are orange and producing smoke.

11:07:36 pm
Um, Mom? My car's on fire. I have to call you back.

11:08 pm
Molly: Lara, we need to get out of the car.
For some reason, Molly has the state-of-mind to remove her keys from the ignition and hang on to her phone as they are evacuating.
She also glances down at the temperature gauge one last time.
It is the same.

11:08:16 pm
Our heroines realize that it is December, and therefore 19 degrees outside, and return to the car for their coats. Subsequently, they are able to reach the rest of their belongings including a purse, duffel bag, and miscellaneous bag each.
The continue to evacuate south of the vehicle, and turn around just in time to see flames shooting out of the front end, including underneath the hood.

11:09 pm
Molly places a call to 911.
911 operator: 911, what's your emergency?
Molly: Yeah. So, I'm on I-55, just south of exit 253 and my car's on fire.
911 operator: Oh my god. Are you serious?
Molly: Um, yes? My car. It just burst into flames.
911 operator: Is anyone hurt?
Molly: Nope.
911 operator: Are you a safe distance from the car?
Molly: You betcha. But, you might wanna send some firemen or something. It's pretty out of control.
911 operator: Right. They're on their way.
Molly: Super. Thanks a bunch!

11:10 pm
Molly's phone rings.
Ruth: Didn't anyone ever tell you that you can't call someone, tell them you're car is on fire, and then hang up on them?! Are you okay? Stay where you are. We're coming to get you. Hold on, your father wants to talk to you.
Ray: muffled sounds as the phone quickly exchanges hands Molly, do not panic. Do you hear me? DO. NOT. PANIC.
Molly: Really Dad, we're fine.
Ray: Just CALM DOWN.
Molly: Dad, I'm totally calm. Honestly. Cool as a cucumber.
Ray: Stop freaking out!
Molly: Not freaking out. But I should probably go. 911 is calling me back.

11:12 pm
The car is totally engulfed in flames.
Molly and Lara watch from a safe distance.
They then look at each other, and start to laugh hysterically.
Molly wonders secretly if the temperature gauge has moved at all, and contemplates going to check it despite the towering inferno in front of her.

11:13 pm
Something pops, sparks fly.
She reconsiders.

11:27 pm
Firefighters, ambulances, and the Illinois State Police arrive on the scene.

11:29 pm
A friendly state trooper lets Molly and Lara sit in the back of his warm squad car as he takes their statements.
Molly remarks that this is the only time she's ever been in the back of a police car.
She and Lara cannot stop giggling.
Are sure that the trooper thinks they're on drugs.

11:45 pm
Molly's Uncle Dave, who is a policeman 10 minutes south of the...scene...arrives.
He takes one look at the car and explodes into fits of laughter.
Says he will sit with the girls until Ray and Ruth arrive to pick them up.

12:01 am
Fire is extinguished.
Official statement is complete, including a copy for Molly's own personal memorabilia.
The girls exit the squad car in favor of Uncle Dave's car.
They drive to exit 253 and pull into a parking lot to wait for Molly's parents.

1:15 am
Ray and Ruth arrive.
They begin the drive to Chicago with Molly and Lara as passengers.
Remark that their passengers smell like burning car.

2:30 am
The four weary travelers arrive at Molly's childhood home.
Ray and Ruth depart for bed.
Molly and Lara shower in an attempt to remove the burning car smell from their hair.

3:05 am

Special thanks to:
My parents, for not having massive coronaries and driving and hour and 15 minutes in the freezing cold to rescue us.
My Uncle David, for being on the ball, driving really fast, knowing "cop-speak", and sitting with us so we didn't have to go to the police station.
Lara, for still being my friend even though my car tried to kill us.
The good people at Ford, for making such a fine automobile.
Fabreeze, for doing it's job and getting *the smell* out of our coats.

Our gloves
My dress pants
the Taylor Swift CD
Assorted pieces of paper and Tupperware.

Other highlights include:
My brother calling to ask if my near-death experienced had given me a "new perspective on life", my sister crying when I told her about the incident NOT because her sister could have been seriously injured and/or killed but because the car was now a steaming pile of metal, realizing that we don't have that kind of insurance coverage on the car, and my mother trying to explain the situation to my grandparents the next morning (really amusing, let me tell you).

In retrospect, if my car had to blow up this was the best possible scenario for it.
Did I really just type that?
We weren't in a residential area. We were able to get all of our important belongings out in time. Neither of us were injured.
If we had pulled over any sooner, it most certainly would have to a gas station because those are really the only well-lit areas off of the interstate, especially at 11 pm. And, according to the fire department, there was no way to prevent the fire. It was going to happen no matter what we'd done.
I don't even want to think about the possibility of being at a gas station when it happened. That's just scary.
If we had pulled over at a later time than we actually did... let's not even talk about it.
Normally I bring laundry home. Not to mention the fact that we were supposed to drive to Champaign to pick up Janie's bicycle. There would've been no way for us to get either of those things out in time, which means that we would've either injured ourselves trying to do so, or lost them. I mean, material possessions...but still. Minimum loss.
I also considered bringing the cat home with me because he gets antsy and lonely when I leave him for long periods of time. If he had been in the car, well...
I don't even want to think about that, either.

Not to mention, if my sister had been driving I can tell you right now that she definitely would not have been as cautious as we were.
She never freaks out about anything. Ever.
Always very level-headed, that one.
She's almost totally calm all the time, until you place her in an extremely high-stress situation (par exemple: when one's car catches on fire while one is driving it). Then she melts down and doesn't know what to do.
Or, she would've ignored the warning signs and continued driving because I am far more paranoid than she is.
For once it paid off, I guess.

You might call this the best worst situation possible.

Also, my mother told me the next day that when I initially called her and said "my car is on fire", she assumed I was exaggerating (as I am wont to do on certain occaisions). It was only when sahe spoke with my uncle, who coroberated my story, that she realized the magnitude of the situation.
But, let's be serious people. Yes, I exaggerate sometimes. It's a theatre thing.
However, when I exaggerate, it's about my need for new shoes, my weight, or my current GPA.
Never have I once produced an exaggeration that involved fire. Let alone a fire that necessitates my parents leaving the warmth of their bed and driving and hour and 15 minutes in the middle of the night. In December, no less.

So, let this be a lesson to all.
If I call you and tell you that something is on fire?
Well, you'd freaking better believe that it's acutually, you know...
on fire.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh, and as long as we're talking about music

I have some confessions to make.

1. I hate The Doors. Hate 'em. I don't understand their talent, nor do I comprehend their eternal "genius" label from rock aficionados. It just sounds like throaty carnival music to me.

2. I cannot abide Christmas music on any day other than the day from which the genre derives it's title. It's unnecessary and cruel. Maybe this makes me a party-pooper or buzzkill or Scrooge, but whatever. I blame the retail industry.

3. I kind of love Taylor Swift's song "Love Story" (and by 'kind of', I of course mean a whole lot). I know it's pop. I know Taylor Swift it 18. I know the video sucks and the lyrics are contrived in such a way that appeals to pre-teen girls. I don't care. Every time I hear it on the radio, my heart skips a beat. And, I died a little inside when the CD met it's melt-y doom in the firey depths of my car last Friday.

I said it.

Just Don't Ask Me To DJ Your Next Party

Apparently, I have really bad taste in music.

I know, it came as a shock to me too.
In fact, it occurred to me (as most things do) while I was in the shower.
There's just something about the hot water and my peppermint soap and my cat whining because I've been out of his line of sight for more than twelve seconds that makes the environment prefect for epiphanies.
The harsh reality of my less-than-perfect musical tendencies was what I happened upon today.

Stay tuned: tomorrow I'm going to figure out how to solve the budget crisis.

Now, let's be clear: bad taste is not to be confused with lack of respect.
I have plenty of respect for decent music. Which is probably why my penchant for musical bastardizations is such a mystery to me.

I grew up in a household where we listened to The Beatles and The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. That's how cool my parent's were. (do YOUR kids listen to Skynyrd? Didn't think so.)
This part makes sense, because my parents are products of the era that pretty much shaped the world, pop-culturally speaking. In other words, they knew what good music was.
In fact, they still do. My Dad is often the proud owner of the best tickets his credit card can find whenever people like Paul Simon (the singer, not the dead senator...obviously) or Crosby, Stills, and Nash come to town. They're in they're fifties, by the way (do YOUR parent's jam out at super-awesome concerts with America's rock legends? Didn't think so).
As such, we were only exposed to what can only be described as "non-crappy music."
They also did a pretty good job of sheltering us from...you guessed it: crappy music.
In fact, I wasn't even aware that the 80's and early 90's had musical movements (which is pretty amazing considering I was actually born smack-dab in the middle of one of those decades and was most certainly lucid for much of the other one, but whatever), until high school rolled around and we got VH1 and I started watching a whole lot of "Pop-Up Video".
But that's another story.

I also didn't know who people like Nelson and Poison actually were until I became friends with Marie, and she proceeded to warp my fragile little Sgt. Pepper's-shaped mind with cassette mix-tapes and foolishness like tight-rolling and day-glo.
She's so 80's sometimes.

My siblings even managed to inherit out parent's cool music genes.

Do those actually come in genetic form? Can we maybe use my obvious lack-there-of as final proof that I am really adopted?
I'll look in to it.

But, back to the music.

Joey loves his classic rock.
Truly, madly, deeply.
He's even got more than his fair share of Led Zeppelin posters in his old room at my parent's house. One of them might even be a cloth tapestry.
Such a good little flower child, he is.

Janie loves it, too.
But she's more into the singer-songwriters.
For example, Jack Johnson and John Mayer. While their respective musical talent might be debatable, no one can deny the mass-appeal of their respective abilities to write amazing lyrics.
Also, I'm pretty sure that both are on my sister's freebie list.

In addition to their individual tastes, they share a mutual adoration for Dave Matthews and his band of merry-makers.
Or just simply DMB, if you wanna hang with the cool kids.
They don't just love him.
They worship the very ground he plays his guitar on.
Every single summer, you can count on them camping out and spending insane amounts of money on a whole week's worth of Dave tickets when he makes his yearly pilgrimage to Alpine (may it rest in peace).

Now, I've enjoyed a Dave Matthew's concert or two in my time (no not like THAT, Mom).
I can get down with some Zeppelin.
I own Jack Johnson AND John Mayer albums.
I have almost every single classic-rock "pioneer" band on my iTunes.
John, Paul, George and Ringo are good buddies of mine.
Johnny Cash is listed as one of my favorite artist on both my MySpace and Facebook.
I even enjoy a little Dylan from time to time, although I try to keep it to a minimum because my mother hates him (which is strange to me, because wasn't he like the voice of her generation, or something?).

Not to mention that I'm consistently surrounding myself with people that hold vast wealth's of knowledge concerning modern music, as well.
Chelsea brought me The Kaiser Chiefs and The Shins.
Molly gave me David Gray and all the music from the "Alias" soundtrack.
Blake had introduced me to...everything else there is to know about music as it exists in the present day. Seriously. Good thing he makes really great mix CD's.

If all of the above is true, then why in the blue hell am I drawn to such awful melodies to complete the soundtrack of my everyday life?
I mean, if it's somewhere on the top 40 and is written by someone who had also starred in 3 movies/TV shows this year and has the words "baby girl" in it, count on me to crank up the volume when Ryan Seacrest introduces it.
No, I don't actually listen to Ryan Seacrest, but you get the picture.

I don't know what to do, or how to stop it.
I am at a loss.
Songs like "If I were a Boy" (Beyonce), "Leavin'" (Jesse McCartney) and "So What?" (Pink) cannot be good for my health and well-being.
Yet I still love them so (are YOUR musical tastes this lame? Didn't think so).

Send help people.
Send help and Rolling Stone now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

If You Wanted To

You could buy me this bed.

And a new laptop.
And a new car.

And plane tickets to Alabama.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Post About Nothing

Kind of.

Is it just me, or does cauliflower look like a bunch of little brains all squished together?

Let me back up.

So, I made curry with carrots, peas, potatoes, and brown rice for dinner last night. It was pretty delish, if I do say so myself (even thought I can't take credit for the actual sauce because I used this little guy right here…but I didn't over-cook anything, which is a pretty big deal if you're me). Blake thought it needed more ginger. I'm beginning to think that he feels the same way about ginger as I do about garlic. To paint a little picture, The Other Molly once told me that if I had the ability to put garlic on cold cereal that I probably would. To which I would respond that such a claim is preposterous as I draw the line for use of garlic as a condiment at Cream-of-Wheat and Snickerdoodles, thank you very much.

Just be glad you're not my boyfriend.

But, back to the curry.

Yummy? Check.

Filling? Check.

Fattening? Check.

Especially since we decided that some adult beverages (most of which rhymed with "flewdrivers) were a necessary part of our after-dinner Rock Band experience.

And fortune cookies.

And sorbet.

Did I mention that I had spaghetti for lunch, leftover from my weekend in The Chi? (Thanks Mom!)

I woke up today and contemplated hiring a forklift to drive me to work.

Who invented carbs, anyway?

They should be tarred and feathered and then forced to eat seventeen servings of pasta, only to then attempt to fit into their Seven for All Mankind stovepipe jeans.

Very unforgiving, those jeans.

Naturally, lots of green stuff was on my imaginary menu today.

Specifically, a salad.

Because I think I read somewhere that the FDA has declared green Mike-an-Ike’s unsuitable when counted as a serving of vegetables.


So I packed myself a salad (and may I just take a moment to talk about how freaking FANTASTIC Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing is? I am not a particularly supportive fan of light dressings. I’ve always felt that if the dressing tastes like chalk made of aspartame, that it will render the salad unpalatable after only a few bites, thus depriving we, the eaters, of the nutritious value of the greens themselves. Which was the point of the salad in the first place, am I right? But this dressing…it’s like the heavens parted and the hand of the dear Lord himself reached down to endow Barack Obama with perpetual badass-ness and happened to brush a ginger plant along the way, thereby creating this magical accoutrement . And I promise that my enthusiasm has almost nothing to do with my undying love for Paul Newman himself…le sigh…And end sermon). To go along with this salad, I had an apple, some celery, carrots and the dreaded cauliflower.

The cauliflower, you see, has been lurking in my fridge for a good week and a half. It was purchased with the intent of roasting it sprinkled with some curry powder. What is it with me and Indian food lately? Maybe it’s a hold-over from when The Other Molly and I were living out a-London-ways. Someone stop me before I break down and find a recipe for naan…

I finally decided to cut the darn thing up, in hopes that it would help motivate me to actually eat it. In the process, I kind of wondered why it hadn’t gone bad yet. As I was eating it for lunch today, it occurred to me that the reason it had remained unspoiled all this time is because it’s all smooshed together so tightly that it takes forever for whatever it is makes veggies go bad to actually attach itself to it. And it’s this physical construction which makes it look NASTY.

A fact which, unfortunately, also occurred to me as I was eating lunch.


I guess I should’ve clarified that this tangent was not going in the direction of vegetative sciences and molding properties of root vegetables, but more in the direction of how cauliflower skeeves me out because it looks like cow brains that have been run through a Cuisineart and a trash compactor, respectively.

Because it really does.

Another thing that occurred to me as I was eating lunch is that Clive Cussler does not know how to write female characters.

Why am I reading Clive Cussler, you might wonder.

I needed something to supplement to void in my life after Twilight made its grand exit from my life (and I was able regain normal human brain function).

I figured Clive Cussler would be a literarily-appropriate second act.

And not in a good way.

I was correct. If you’ve ever read either, you know that I speak the truth.

However, in his introduction to his female lead character had just getting out of bed, wearing a halter-top and shorts.

A halter-top.

Are we kidding me, Clive?

No one wears halter-tops to bed. Or anywhere for that matter,

Unless you’re patronizing the Fried What?! booth at the Illinois State Fair.

Then it’s kind of a necessary fashion statement.

I swear that, for the sake of my own sanity, I will post something that makes sense.


It’ll probably have a lot to do with the story of how my car exploded and almost killed me and Lara.

Until then, I’m just going to sit here and think about how even though I should really just drink some tea and go to bed when I get home, I’ll probably have some of my Mom’s spaghetti and maybe a cookie.

Or three.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

As if things weren't bad enough...

Remember how my laptop was assassinated?
Remember how after my laptop was assassinated, I got a speeding ticket?

Well tonight on the way from Springfield to my parent's house my car caught on fire.

And, all of this within the last five days.


No, you didn't read that last sentence incorrectly.
It caught on fire.

And not a tiny little insignificant someone-didn't-put-their-cigarette-properly-kind-of-fire.

The whole entire car spontaneously combusted.

It's actually a pretty amusing story.
That I will tell at a date in the very near future.
But not right now.
Because Lara and I are currently trying to get over our smoke and burning gasoline/plastic inhalation-related injuries.

But other than that, we're fine.
We managed to get all of our bags, coats, and our purses out of the backseat.
My Express Editor black dress pants, on the other hand?

Let's just say that I may need to do some shopping tomorrow.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dear Joey

Today you turned 21.
I can’t even believe that.
Currently, at the age of 23, I don’t consider there to be a vast difference between myself and a 21 year-old. But I do consider there to be a big difference between the two of us. Don’t misunderstand—it’s got nothing to do with your level of maturity. It does, however, have everything to do with you being my little brother.
I guess I’d better get over that frame of mind real quick.
Especially because you’re taller than me.

Unlike the day Janie was born, I do not remember the day you joined our family (and, as you already know, I apparently remember EVERYTHING).
I don’t remember feeling displaced.
I don’t remember feeling upset.
I don’t remember feeling mad or wary or even jealous.
I take this lack of memory to mean that I could only have been grateful for your birth into this world to stand forever by my side as my brother.
And grateful am I still.

You are an impressive person, Joseph.
Someone to admire.
Someone to marvel at.
Always a “master of your own destiny,” as they say.
You’ve never forgotten the number one rule of survival: make yourself happy first.
And then worry about everyone else.

You’ve never been shy about asking questions.
Always wanting to know “why?”, and never satisfied with a meager response of just “because.” You needed to know what string of events brought the world to exist as it does today. Perhaps this is why you love history so much.
And once you figured the “why” part out, you would of course set out to understand the “how.” This was usually done by doing the exact opposite of anything anyone told you not to do.
Like the time you bought a white mouse that was meant to feed snakes at the pet store for $1, and kept it in your closet inside a shoebox with bits of toilet paper.
Or when you were twelve and you, plus three friends, decided to raft down the North branch of the Chicago River. In an inflatable kiddie pool. In March.

You have always been fiercely loyal to those who have touched life.
The boys who were on the river with you are still your closest friends today.
I’m almost positive that everyone you meet ends up being your friend. Or, at least wanting to be.
Your easy-going attitude and unwavering face of support make others gravitate towards you. Everyone needs a friend who will go to bat for them. Whether that means answering your phone in the middle of the night because they need someone to talk to, or pretending to throw a punch or two (pretending, Mom, I said pretending).
A person who is proud of who they are.
A person who is proud of his wonderful friends, and is constantly ready and willing to do whatever he can to help them.
A person who is proud of his heritage and his family and where he comes from.
A person who is proud of all that he has done, and all that he will do.
This person is proud of all these things because that is what makes them who they are.

You, baby brother, are that person.

And after all that, you’re smart, too!
God damn are you smart.
What kind of person aces tests that he didn’t study for?
What kind of person can watch so many Adam Sandler movies and still be able to debate modern politics?
What kind of person has a subscription to Maxim and still bothers to read Time?
A YOU kind of person.
That’s who.

Bravery and passion have never been lacking in your life.
Soldiers in the revolutionary battles that you love to read about so much wish they could have been as brave as you are.
Gutting a fish (I don’t care what anyone says, that is the single act the cements your bravery in my mind).
Your enthusiasm for these things, the things that you love so dearly, is evidence of your passion for life.
Even when your temper flares (which it does from time-to-time), it is only because you care so deeply about the topic being discussed or the decision being made.
You were always an opinionated little sucker.
I know that you’re going to make some lucky woman very happy someday.
If you can finally slow down long enough for one to catch up to you.

I hope that this birthday is everything you wanted it to be.
When I turned 21, I was far away in a strange land.
Tonight, you are also far away (but not quite as far as I was).
But if I know the middle Sullivan child, you are surrounded by cavalry of adoring friends.
And somehow, I know that you’re going to make the most of this.

So buckle your seatbelt, little brother.
Today, a door into a brand new world has opened for you.
I am, without a doubt, convinced that you will not take for granted any of the gifts that you have been given.
I know that you are ready to take this new world by storm.
The question is… is this world ready for you?

We shall see.

Thank you, Joey.
For being my friend.
For being my brother.
For being all of the wonderful things that you are.

Happy birthday, Joey Doey
I love you.

Molly Pop

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Because after all, tomorrow is another day.

I think that someone must've put a Voodoo curse on me this week, or something.

Kind of like David Boreanaz on "Buffy."
Except that might have been a Gypsy curse...
And I still have my soul. So, not QUITE the same.

First, my laptop commits suicide (okay, really it probably counts as more of an assassination...but whatever).

Then, all of my cardigans have been abducted by the clothes gnomes. Rather, that is the only explanation that makes sense at this point, as I cannot find ANY of them. (PS- Marie, did YOU steal them from me? I promise to only yell at you a little bit if you did...)

Finally, the Pièce de résistance: I got a speeding ticket last night.
And I'm pretty sure I wasn't even actually speeding.


Two happier things (that seemed to have escaped the talons of the evil Voodoo/Gypsy curse that is defiling my existence), however, make my horizon just a tad brighter.

1. I am almost done with the fourth and final book in the Twilight series. This is both good and bad, as I'll probably slip into a deep depression when I'm finished much like I did with the last Harry Potter book, but I'll also be able to continue on with my life as a normal human being without the added handicap of thinking like a thirteen year-old girl.

2. Drum roll please.... it's my little brother's birthday tomorrow!
You didn't know I had a little brother?
Well, that's probably because he is currently living in the far reaches of the Eastern seaboard, aka Providence.
And he's turning 21 tomorrow.
Which means...I get to write another super-awesome mushy birthday blog post!

Which he's sure to love.


I might get beat up for it, actually.

But maybe it'll embarrass him the teeny weeniest bit.
Which will make the ruptured spleen I will undoubtedly receive as my gift on Christmas morning so very worth it.

I'm so excited I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Couch Potatoes

Still no laptop.
Bad news bears.
Maybe someone will fix it for me while Lara and I are at my parent's house this weekend.
Because that would be super-fantastic.

And because there's no laptop, I have to make this a quickie.

Blake and I are catching up on about 4 weeks and 965 gazillion episodes of Heroes, The Office, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia tonight after I leave work.
Which is funny, because I found this during my traditional daily perusal of CNN.com.
Which, of course, reminded be of The Other Molly.
And Marie and Eric, too.

Who needs to pay for their own TV when you've got friends like this?
Not I... said the little red hen.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Just Like Boston, but Without the Political Dissention

So, I spilled tea all over my laptop.
And now it won't turn on.

Yeah, I know. My genius amazes me, too.

Hopefully, my dishwasher/snow shoveler/computer repair guy can make it work again.
Either way, I will be accepting donations for a new laptop and/or emotional therapy.

Just so this post isn't totally gloomy, here's a picture of the cutest cat ever (mine) doing his favorite yoga pose:

I like to call this position "Inappropriate"