The Adventures of a Girl Who’s, Like, Totally Old Enough

Posted on August 21, 2008


A play in one act, inspired by my most recent trip to the movies.

Girl Who’s Obviously No Older Than 13: Two tickets for Tropic Thunder, please.
Box Office Worker: That will be fourteen dollars. And I’ll need to see your ID, please.
Girl Who’s Obviously No Older Than 13: My ID? Why?
Box Office Worker: It’s rated R. You need to be either 17 or be accompanied by an adult.
Girl Who’s Obviously No Older Than 13: Oh, well, I’m afraid I don’t have my ID with me today. [Turning to her friend, who's maybe 12, tops.] Do you have your ID with you?
Her Friend, Who’s Maybe 12, Tops: Um…no. Let’s just go see something else.
Girl Who’s Obviously No Older Than 13: I wish they would hurry up and mail me my new ID.
Box Office Worker: Who? Who do you wish would mail your new ID?
Girl Who’s Obviously No Older Than 13: Er…the state. Like, the DMV. I’m waiting for my new ID that says I’m 17.
Her Friend, Who’s Maybe 12, Tops: Let’s just get out of here, Katie.
Box Office Worker: Look, would you like to buy a ticket for another movie? There are people waiting.
Girl Who’s Obviously No Older Than 13: [Whispering to her Friend, loudly enough that anyone in a five-foot radius could easily hear.] Let’s just get a ticket to something else and then, like, sneak into Tropic Thunder. [To the Box Office Worker.] Yes, since my new ID hasn’t arrived yet, I believe I will buy two tickets for…Pineapple Express.
Box Office Worker: That’s rated R, too.
Girl Who’s Obviously No Older Than 13: Fine! Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, okay?
Box Office Worker: That’s two tickets for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Enjoy your movie.


Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 9 Comments

Telephonic invasion

Posted on July 29, 2008

As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I are among the few remaining people on Earth who don’t own a cell phone. In fact, at last count, I believe it’s down to us, a handful of off-the-grid survivalists in Montana, and a stubborn Kalahari Bushman named O’wa.

I realize that it’s a little out of the ordinary for a iPod-toting, blog-authoring technogeek like myself not to own a cell phone, but it occurred to me the other day that I barely even use our landline. I often go four or five days at a time without speaking to another human being over the phone. Apparently, my beef isn’t with cell phones, per se; it’s with the entire concept of telephonic communication.

If I had a time machine, I’d probably travel back to 1876 and punch Alexander Graham Bell in his smug, beardy face. Then, while I was there, I’d do whatever I could to prevent Colorado’s admission to the Union (but that’s an altogether different story).

To recap, I’m not just a Luddite. I’m actually an antisocial, unpopular Luddite. With a grudge against Alexander Graham Bell. And Colorado. Just so we’re clear.

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 12 Comments

Antelope versus Giant Electro-Butterfly

Posted on July 28, 2008

Antelope versus Giant Electro-Butterfly
Images Thrown Together in Five Minutes Using Paint Shop Pro
Part Two in a One-Part Series

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 4 Comments

Valentine’s Day Wishes from Apropos of Something

Posted on February 14, 2008

I noticed a sign outside my local Baskin-Robbins this morning that encouraged would-be customers to “Celebrate with a VD Cake!”

As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing less celebratory (or less celibatory) than a VD cake. Hell, I’ll take a urinal cake over a VD cake any day. Do I even want to know what constitutes thirty-one flavors in this context?

Happy Isolation Day!

As always, Apropos of Something invites its readers to celebrate our officially-sanctioned Valentine’s Day alternative, Isolation Day. If you’re not familiar with the holiday, here’s an excerpt from last year’s Isolation Day entry:

My wife hates Valentine’s Day. I mean, she hates it. As I’m reminded on an annual basis, she feels that it’s a contrived, overly commercialized holiday manufactured by the evil triumvirate of the greeting card, candy, and floral industries that only serves to perpetuate the idea that romance should be confined to one day per year. I should note that she doesn’t reject the notion of Valentine’s Day in that all-too-common way where she tells me not to buy her anything or take her out to dinner, only to get upset when I don’t take the initiative to do so of my own accord. Trust me — if I were to walk into the house today carrying a stuffed bear with little red hearts on its paws, the consequences would be too terrible to mention. Seriously.

Due to my wife’s general distaste for all things Valentine’s Day, we’ve celebrated our own alternative holiday on February 14th for the past six or seven years — a holiday we like to call Isolation Day. To celebrate Isolation Day, we basically just spend as much time apart from one another as possible for the day and carefully avoid doing anything vaguely romantic when we are together. It’s a terrific day to clean out the gutters or grab a bite to eat at Taco Bell instead of buying roses or making dinner reservations at Chez Coûteux. Best of all, it leads to great conversations like this:

Me: “What do you want to do for Isolation Day tomorrow, honey?”
Her: “Nothing.”
Me: “Cool.”

Want to join us — and by “join us” I mean “stay the hell away from us” — in celebrating Isolation Day this year? Just explain to your significant other why you won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day, make other plans for yourself, and have a great time sticking it to the confectionery-floral-military-industrial complex.*

Happy Isolation Day, one and all!

*Apropos of Something is not responsible for any damages incurred while explaining to your significant other why you won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year.

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 2 Comments

Yes, this is the second time in the last six posts that I’ve mentioned unicycles

Posted on February 13, 2008

Okay, I was on campus this morning and saw a guy riding a unicycle to class. Mind you, there’s an inch of snow on the ground, but that’s beside the point. Here’s the important question: if my first, barely-repressed instinct upon spotting him was to run up and push him over, does that make me a sociopath?

I’d argue that it’s nothing more than Newton’s Third Law. For every action (i.e. riding a unicycle to class), there is an equal and opposite reaction (i.e. getting knocked over and laughed at).

Who’s the real sociopath here — me or the uni-tard? I think the answer is obvious.

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 3 Comments

Beverage Report: Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper

Posted on February 3, 2008

Tootsie Roll SodaLong-time readers with elephantine memories might recall my review of Diet Dr Pepper Berries & Cream from a couple of years ago. If not, here’s a quick recap:

Avoid this drink at all costs, live a good life, and pray you don’t end up in Hell where I suspect this vile liquid will be served with every meal. Diet Dr Pepper Berries & Cream is like drinking carbonated cough syrup with about six tablespoons of aspertame mixed in for good measure. Seriously, this stuff is the kind of grotty where you take a sip, nearly spit it out, and then take another drink because it couldn’t possibly taste that bad. Guess what? It did. You just got punk’d by Diet Dr Pepper Berries & Cream.

So, ignoring both past experience and my own better judgment, I sampled Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper — the company’s latest Franken-beverage — earlier today. Now, it’s time for someone out there to ‘fess up. Who among us was clamoring for Tootsie Roll soda? ‘Cause that’s apparently what Dr Pepper is bottling and selling these days: goddamn Tootsie Roll soda. With cherry. And maybe a hint of prune juice?

Seriously, yuck. That being said, I’d still prefer quaffing an entire 24-pack of this cherry-chocolate abomination than sip another teaspoon of the Berries & Cream variety. <shudder>

Quaff-o-Meter Score: 11.2/100

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 30 Comments

Ruminations on mortality

Posted on November 12, 2007

When I someday depart this little blue marble we call Earth, I can only hope that the loved ones I leave behind are able to solemnly proclaim that I died just like I lived — locked in a brutal struggle to the death with a giant pterodactyl.

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 12 Comments

(I’m Everything I Am) Because You Scare Me

Posted on September 13, 2007

CelineAs I was riding the elevator back to my office after class this morning, I was joined by a peculiar man sporting a Celine Dion t-shirt and a vaguely disconcerting gleam in his eye. Yes, a Celine Dion t-shirt. In public!

Unfortunately, the Social Distortion Field generated by my iPod wasn’t powerful enough to prevent this guy from striking up a conversation.

“That’s a really nice iPod!”

I pop out my earbuds. “Thanks. I just picked it up a month ago to replace a broken one.”

“Awesome! So, what are you listening to?”

Gah! Why is this elevator so damn slow?


“Is that a band? I’ve never heard of them.”

“She’s a Canadian singer-songwriter.”

Did I just say Canadian? I think I did. Please, if there’s a God above, don’t let that be the opening this guy needs to bring up Celine Dion.

“My favorite singer is Canadian, too! Do you have any Celine Dion songs on your iPod?”

Sigh. “No, I’m afraid I don’t.”

A crestfallen look washes over his face. “Well, do you like Celine Dion?”

I’m already imagining my obituary in the campus newspaper, describing how this promising young professor was tragically slain after only his third week of classes — beaten to death with his own backpack by a crazed Celine Dion fan.

“Yeah, I guess she’s okay.” Nice save.

“What’s your favorite Celine Dion song?”

D’oh! What does Celine Dion sing? She sang the theme to Titanic, right? No, I can’t say that. It’s too obvious. Besides, nobody likes that song (except maybe this guy). Wait…there’s that other really annoying song…what was it called?

“I guess my favorite is ‘(I’m Everything I Am) Because You Loved Me.’ She really has a great voice.”

“Awesome! I love that song, too!” Translation: I’m not going to murder you after all!

Thankfully, before my new friend and I had a chance to discuss my second favorite Celine song, the elevator reached my floor and I scurried out to safety. I’m still a little discombobulated by the encounter, though. As it stands, Mr. Dion is about one more shared elevator ride away from taking over as my new Fedora-and-Pipe Guy here at Bovine State University.

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 25 Comments

An inconvenient truth (concerning wallpaper)

Posted on July 15, 2007

Maybe you’ve heard of efforts by companies like Dell Computers to reduce their carbon footprint — for instance, planting trees to offset the environmental effects of their CO2 emissions. Well, after spending all day yesterday stripping the walls in our living room, I think they should do the same thing with wallpaper. For every square foot of tacky, difficult-to-remove wallpaper someone is just dying to paste up, he or she should be required to strip the same square footage of unwanted wallpaper from someone else’s home.* By reducing what I call our “wallpaper footprint,” we can make the move toward net-zero wallpapering projects in the short term and hopefully eliminate the use of wallpaper altogether in the long run.

So, take heart! If we all work together, we can overcome the ever-present threat of bad wallpaper in our lifetime.

* Yes, that seashell border you’re thinking about hanging in the guest bathroom counts!

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 2 Comments

International Onomatopoeia Day!

Posted on July 9, 2007

I hereby declare today International Onomatopoeia Day! I’ll start the ball rolling…


Feel free to join the celebration either in the comments section or on your own blog!

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 8 Comments

Quote of the Whenever: Graphology Edition

Posted on June 14, 2007

“Your handwriting looks like a serial killer’s!”

Lady at the DMV when I handed her my driver’s license application this morning

Bonus: For an added challenge, I took the vision test without the benefit of my glasses. And I passed! Suck it, corrective lenses!

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 2 Comments

Beverage Report: Pepsi Summer Mix

Posted on May 28, 2007

Wherein I drink potentially nasty soft drinks so you don’t have to…

I believe the unique flavor of Pepsi’s latest seasonal beverage, Pepsi Summer Mix, is best summed up by the following “infographic.”

Pepsi Plus Starburst Equals Pepsi Summer Mix

The sweet, citrusy flavor caught me off guard at first, but as I finished the bottle, I couldn’t help but notice Pepsi Summer Mix is surprisingly refreshing for a cola. I’m not about to stock my fridge with 24-packs or anything, but it’s worth trying out if you’re curious. It’s perfect for: 1) cola drinkers who wish their Pepsi tasted a little more like Mountain Dew, or 2) people like me who see an unfamiliar soft drink label in the grocery store checkout line and can’t resist sampling it.

Quaff-o-Meter Score: 81.4 out of 100

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 43 Comments

Create Your Own Southern-Fried Aphorism Day!

Posted on April 27, 2007

Good news, everyone! It’s April 27th, and that means it’s Create Your Own Southern-Fried Aphorism Day here at Apropos of Something. I’ll get the ball rolling with this one:

“If you can’t catch the chicken, sometimes you’ve just gotta bag yourself a hog.”

Now it’s your turn to coin your own nugget of old-timey wisdom in the comments. The best one wins a prize!*

*Void where prohibited. Which is everywhere.

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 12 Comments

Too much information

Posted on April 20, 2007

So, I called to order new cable service earlier today. Not more than five minutes into the call, a customer service rep shared the following revelation: “I was an accident. My parents only wanted two children, but then I came along!”

For real. Don’t ask me how the conversation ended up at that point; I have no freaking idea. I guess complete strangers just feel comfortable opening up to me for whatever reason. Probably because they assume I won’t blab about it to the rest of the world on my blog. Shows what they know.

Is there anything deeply personal you’d like to share? I’m all ears.

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 10 Comments

T.J. McFakerson’s: All Your Favorites Under One Roof

Posted on April 16, 2007

I had a great idea for a new restaurant this morning. I’d call it T.J. McFakerson’s, and the entire menu would be made up of “loving tributes” to the signature dishes already offered at other popular restaurant chains. Just think of it as a “greatest hits” compilation of all your favorite restaurants. Can’t decide where to go for lunch? Come on down to T.J. McFakerson’s, where we proudly offer all your favorites under one roof!

T.J. McFakerson

Here are just a few of the menu items we’d offer at T.J. McFakerson’s:


Thank God It’s Artichoke Dip: You don’t need to wait until Friday to enjoy our cheesy spinach and artichoke dip! Served with a bottomless basket of tortilla chips.
Owl Wings: Nobody knows spicy chicken wings like these hooters! Served with a side of blue cheese dressing by our lovely Owl Girls. They put the “fake” in McFakerson!
Unlimited Salad and Breadsticks: What’s even better than basket after basket of our way-too-buttery, way-too-garlicky breadsticks? How about family-sized Italian salad topped with olives straight from our garden?
The Boomerang Blossom: An Australian favorite. Just like a trusty boomerang, the taste of these deep-fried onion petals will keep coming back to you all day long!


The Big Ron: Two predominantly meat patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Have a supersized appetite? Don’t be a clown — try a Big Ron!
Jared’s Submarine Sandwich: It’s low fat, so who cares how it tastes? Just 8 grams of fat (not including bread, meat, vegetables, or condiments)!
T.J. Chang’s Chicken: Lightly breaded chicken in a tangy General Tso’s glaze, served with a side of white rice. One taste and you’ll agree that this chicken is “P.F.” — pretty fantastic!
Full-o-Chick Chicken Sandwich: A Southern-style chicken breast filet, deep-fried and served on a toasted bun with two pickle chips. Not available on Sundays.
T.J.’s Baby Back Ribs: You want your baby back, baby back, baby back? You want your baby back ribs? Try T.J.’s secret recipe! Served with a side of chili.
Treasure Island Seafood Platter: Alaskan whitefish! Shrimp! Clam strips! Hushpuppies! French fries! All fried in the same oil, so they only differ in shape and texture! Captain Silver’s favorite, served with a side of deep-fried coleslaw.


Count Fudgula’s Death by Brownie: The same warm chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream served by every other restaurant on the planet! Only this one has a different name!

I think this idea has legs! What other menu items would you recommend?

Posted by Jess | Filed Under Random Musings | 11 Comments

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