October 1, 2005

Just like a fairytale: Except not at all

In a bizarre parallel with Disney’s so-charming-it-could-be-lethal “Princess
Diaries,” I discovered to my great surprise this morning that I am a bona fide princess. Who knew? Babette Cole it would seem as she’s written a book about it: Princess Smartypants.

Now if I’d known that I would someday rule a country (one, apparently, where they ride around on motorcycles with crocodiles) I might not have spent the better part of my 20s getting my doctorate in Snarkology and Lobotomology at Spankytown University, my alma mater. But be that as it may, I know now, and I intend to rule my realm with an iron fist.

Among my first proclamations:

1. Henceforth, all crocodiles must wear protective helmets when riding motorcycles.

2. As Dr Pepper does make the world taste better, it shall be available in all establishments that offer beverages. Pibb Xtra is not an acceptable substitute.

3. Jon Stewart shall be my prince–no arguments.

4. The new national anthem shall be the theme song from “The Jeffersons” because if I have to have it stuck in my head all the time then so should everyone else.

5. To hell with the natural balance; I want armadillos, wombats, badgers, and platypuses to run wild in my country. And I want citrus trees. And no spiders.

6. Ultra-low-rise pants will not be sold or worn in my country. In fact, better just ban Abercrombie & Fitch altogether.

7. New holidays: John Cusack Day, Marshmallow Fluff Day, and all Wednesdays (so people will be sure to be home in time to watch “Lost”).

8. As our first act of aggression, Smartypantslandia will declare war on George W. Bush. Not America—just Bush. The entire military force of Smartypantslandia (which I’m guessing is just me and a bunch of Harley-riding crocodiles) will descend on the White House, stick George’s head in the toilet, and give him swirlies until he agrees to stop being an idiot.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I was really nervous about being royalty at first, but now I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’ll be sure to invite you all to my coronation.

July 26, 2005

The Girl’s Got Moxie: Two warriors enter the arena; only one will leave alive

On the final day of my 27th year on this planet I did one of the stupidest
things I have done in my entire life: I drank a Moxie soda. To be fair, Larry
was the one dumb enough to buy it, but then he had the good sense to
stop after the first swallow. But let me back up a moment.

We were up in Stowe, Vermont, for my birthday weekend. Stowe is one of those charming little artsy towns full of quirky shops. It was in just such a shop that Larry spotted the Moxie in the soda fridge. He’d never heard of Moxie, though I had a faint notion that it was some kind of cola, and the boy’s
a daredevil so he bought one. We stepped out of the store into the sweltering
heat as Larry took his first swig. It was like one of those cartoons where a
character accidentally drinks a bottle of Tabasco sauce. I’ve never seen
him react to anything in quite this way. There was swearing, and blustering,
and a look of absolute violation. It’s entirely possible that steam came
out of his ears. He declared it to be the foulest thing he’d ever tasted,
so, being the person I am, I demanded a taste.

There are no adequate words to describe the putrescence that is Moxie soda.
But I’ll try. First off, it tastes a bit like black licorice and gym socks
marinated in cough syrup. The minute it hits your taste buds you can feel the
bile rising in your throat and your whole nervous system gives a little shudder of revoltion. And just as you’re starting to recover, the aftertaste hits you. And if such a thing is possible, it’s actually worse. The
bottle proudly states the year 1884 and I couldn’t help but wonder if
this was a bottle of the original batch. But at least the name finally made
sense because you’d need a hell of a lot of moxie to make it
through one of these bottles.

But as I said, it was the day before my birthday. My 28th birthday. And so, in a fit of insanity, with a touch of near-suicidal birthday bravado, I declared that I would drink the entire Moxie. Even if it took me all day. One of us was coming out of this alive and it wasn’t gonna’ be the soda!

I hoped.

Larry, usually the thrill seeker, was looking at me like I was nuts. But I
stuck firm to my decision. And the day got hotter. And the Moxie got more and more revolting. Now flat and warm, hours later I was still at it, plugging away diligently, stopping for long periods to recover. Determined not to let this one thing beat me. There may be a lot of things bringing me down, I said to myself, but this soda isn’t gonna’ be one of them. No, sir! Nuh-uh. Noooooo way.

Eventually the weather got so unbearable we decided to scrap the cute shops
and see a movie. Sitting in the parking lot of the triplex waiting to buy tickets
for Wedding Crashers I realized it was now or never.

So I chugged the Moxie.

Then I cried.

Then I chugged some more Moxie.

And in the end I was declared victorious, though one has to wonder if anyone was really a winner in this contest. Maybe it was a metaphor for life a la The Seventh Seal. You can fight kicking and screaming and maybe you’ll
feel like you can win if you can just hold off Death, outsmart him somehow,
but in the end we all end up the same, drinking really crappy soda. No wait,
that doesn’t sound right. Oh well.

So I drank the Moxie. I should get a T-shirt, like when you run a marathon:
“I Drank a Moxie and Lived to Tell the Tale.” To be honest I did feel a certain degree of pride as I sat there gagging, my tongue lolling and my eyes watering with the empty bottle on my lap. I hate birthdays, but in my
soda-induced misery I was reminded that I was alive—like a near-death
experience. So what lessons have I learned? Well first, there’s a reason there
aren’t a lot of sodas still kicking around from the 1880s. And two, there’s
no obstacle you can’t overcome if you put your mind to it, but maybe there
are a few that are better left unchallenged.]

See the big finish slide show! 100 percent authentic action photos! (Currently only works on PCs)

posted under Rants | 4 Comments »
June 19, 2005

Merciful cheese curds of Cher!: Perhaps I have too much free time

I was sitting at work on Friday getting very frustrated with things and muttering an exotic variety of swear words when I decided that what my site really needed was a Random Exclamation Generator. Just the thought improved my mood 100 percent for the rest of the afternoon. So anyhoo, Friday night Larry did the programming and I did the list making and next thing you know, hey goody, we have random exclamations!

It wouldn’t be worth a post except that Larry pointed out that some of you
may not go to the home page because you’re using a bookmark or something,
so…it’s on the home page. Here.

A few of my favorites so far:

Flaming honey pots of depravity!

Great festering pork rinds of Hades!

Oh, malodorous narwhal of Zanzibar!

If nothing else I expect this will keep Erin amused at work for some time.  Enjoy! ]

June 10, 2005

Matt 101: An introduction to the Matts

After some recent confusion among my friends about which Matt was posting on my blog (Pavik), I thought it might be a good idea to give you all a crash course on the many and varied Matts of the Doc Smartypants world. Don’t worry, you won’t be tested on this.

Matt the Hobbit

1 2 3 4 5

Matt Fields

aka: Chef Matt, Matt the Hobbit, Mattymoo

How I met him: Matt came into CC&G while I worked

there and I recruited him to play cards with Larry. Later we worked there together and amused the ladies of Regis Hair Salon by doing the “mall dance” to the Ramones.

Currently living in: Bellingham, Wash. (with Perrycuda)

How to tell him from the others: He’s the shortest; likes to cook; fancies boys.

I once saw: him wrap his entire hand in cellophane and tape so he could shower (to protect his stitched-up thumb, which he almost cut off while cooking).

Quote: “Oh my gawd, it’s like butta’!”

Perrycuda

1 2 3 4

Matt Perry

aka: Perry, Perrycuda

How I met him: Perry knew Fields from Port Townsend and they lived next door to each other when they first moved to Bellingham.

Currently living in: Bellingham, Wash. (with Mattymoo)

How to tell him from the others: Single and looking for a lady; likes a spankin’; plays online games.

I once saw: Larry break a boat oar over his ass.

Quote: “You bastard!

Matt of the Broken Monkey Glass

1 2

Matt Pavik

aka: Matt of the Broken Monkey Glass, Matttty, Kinko’s Matt

How I met him: Worked at Kinko’s in Boston with Larry. While he was on an out-of-town trip we were at his place to feed his fish and I broke his monkey glass. The gravity was much stronger in his kitchen than on the rest of the planet.

How to tell him from the others: Lives in Oregon; in a long-term relationship; is the only Matt so far to post a comment on my blog (as “Mattttty”).

Currently living in: Portland, Ore. (with Librarianna of the Broken Monkey Glass)

I once saw: him sing “YMCA” at a karaoke bar.

Quote: “It was wicked pissa’.”

April 8, 2005

Wedding Weekend Recap Part 3: Too Damn Sober to Party with this Crowd

OK, you asked for it, you demanded it, you threatened to slap me if I didn’t
post it, so here it is—Bachelorette Party! When you last saw me I was
heading into the hotel lobby toward feather boas and certain doom. The first
sign of the impending apocalypse came when I realized I was expected to wear a purple boa with my red shirt. But, for Courtney, I soldiered on, now also equipped with a preprinted nametag reading “Loosy Goosey.”

Our limo arrived and our driver Mr. Gay (yes, Mr. Gay) helped us all in and
asked where we wanted to go. Amber was a woman with a plan; a plan, and a big thing of vodka. So off we went to a snazzy restaurant for pre-drink snacks and some opening cocktails. I of course wasn’t drinking because of my medication (though you’ll recall I had actually lost most of that during my plane puke-athon).

At the restaurant, Amber, who briefly studied the drink menu, decided to simply order “one of each.” This move filled me with just an inkling of
awe, mostly of the financial variety, but also because of her confident delivery.

It was like something out of a movie, or maybe Sex in the City. Courtney’s
bachelorette party veil, equipped with flashing phalluses of assorted colors
was by this point drawing many stares, mostly I think from people trying to
make out exactly what the flashing objects were. One woman actually stopped by our table to tell Courtney how adorable the veil was, but as she walked away she seemed to realize that, y’know, the veil was covered in penises, and she made the most priceless expression, sort of like she’d just stuck her hand down a garbage disposal and flipped the on switch. Drinking war stories were exchanged, snacks were consumed, and some crazy (very divorced) ladies in the bathroom kept yelling at Courtney to “Run! Run while you can!”

The next stop on Amber’s itinerary was a club which looked closed when
we arrived. Mr. Gay checked it out for us and reported that it was “Goth
night” and that it wouldn’t really be getting started for a while.

Now I was torn because on the one hand Goth night was something I figured I could handle, but on the other hand I didn’t relish the notion of walking into a Goth night with this group. It’s not that I feared the Goths, but just as I wouldn’t wear a clown suit to a funeral, I wouldn’t normally show up in a purple boa and trendy shoes to hang out with a bar full of Goths. Luckily for me the other girls were decidedly anti-Goth night and we decided to head elsewhere.

As we toodled around town looking for someplace promising we passed what appeared to be a dead man lying face down in the street. He was surrounded by firemen and the like and we tried to decide if this was some sort of bad omen. We stopped so one of the girls could find a bathroom and some random college boys outside a bar reported that the dead guy wasn’t so much dead as he was very, very drunk. Apparently he just sort of toppled over face first onto the pavement.

With the mood somewhat restored we headed in to use the restroom at a festive place whose name I have forgotten. It wasn’t a biker bar, but it was definitely less preppy than other places we went. Everyone downstairs was friendly but the bathrooms were upstairs in what seemed to be a more private area where we got colder, more incredulous stares. The bathroom itself was awesome. The outer door looked kind of like a port-a-potty or something, and the inside was covered in graffiti. I wouldn’t have minded staying at this bar, but the girls wanted to dance, so off we went to continue our search!

Back in the limo I had one of those terrifying moments where a seemingly small generation gap suddenly cracked open wide like the Grand Canyon. It was when all the girls were singing along with the radio, rocking out and having a great time. I was encouraged, nay, commanded to join in, but reluctantly had to decline because I only knew one per every dozen songs played. Luckily people were getting so drunk they probably didn’t much notice. Or they just figured I was totally lame. Which, y’know, I pretty much am. But still, the only thing worse than being the sober person at a bachelorette party is being the sober uncool person at a bachelorette party.

*sigh*

Looking for some excitement we headed for one of the local casinos, a huge place with a ceiling painted to look like the sky. Did we gamble? Nope! We went to the arcade, which was preparing to close, and played Dance Dance Revolution. If you’re not familiar with the game it involves dancing along to moves displayed on the screen. Courtney and Amber were making a pretty bad show of it when the arcade attendant offered to step in and show us how it’s done.

This was, without a doubt, the highlight of my entire evening. He put it on expert level and as It’s Raining Men blasted from the speakers he did the most amazing dance ever! It only got better when his little friend from the movie theater across the way joined him in the second DDR spot. The two were like a couple of pros, totally in sync with each other and the game as we all stood around laughing and cheering. Believe me; you had to be there to really understand what a perfect only-in-the-movies moment it was. After the DDR hijinks we decided nothing else in the casino could possibly compete, so we left in search of batteries for my digital and a new disposable camera for Amber.

After some brief stops the girls decided to keep Mr. Gay for an extra hour and
it was off to the final bar of the night (somewhere very college hormone meat-markety with “America” in the title). This was where the sober-drunk gap became most noticeable. I couldn’t dance because of my back and there
was nowhere to sit, so I stood at the side of the dance floor while the others
got their groove on. Let me tell ya’, nothing attracts young, virile, obnoxious college men like a group of drunken bachelorette party attendees. They swarmed en masse and proceeded to do some dirty dancing that woulda’
made Patrick Swayze proud. Courtney took time out to jump up by the DJ and pretend to play an electric guitar for a bit. The girl never ceases to amaze me. At one point an overly exuberant bridesmaid/horny college boy couple was so involved in their make-out session on the dance floor that when they literally fell into me knocking me backward onto the stairs, they never stopped to acknowledge it.

Camille (or as I like to think of her, The Empress of Georgia) and I left the
dance floor and she proceeded to have some of the most entertaining conversations with strange men I have ever witnessed. She was so smooth. One guy came up and wanted something, not sure if it was her or her feather boa, and she was like “No, you can’t have it” but then let him take one feather
with him. It’s all about the attitude and presentation, something I’ve
never been able to pull off. Case in point: One young man, who I fear took my
polite/awkward smile as an invitation, attempted to put the moves on me, but after I replied that, yes, I did in fact have a boyfriend he said, “Oh,
never mind,” and walked away. I had one other brief verbal encounter with
him later in the evening, but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Maybe
he’d begun speaking in code. Hmmm, maybe he was actually there to meet
a fellow secret agent and was trying to drop those little “The black dog
flies at midnight. Wear only yellow rain boots” contact lines. Or he was
drunk. Whatever.

As the night turned to early morning I found myself back near the front of the bar with Courtney, Camille and a man who I feel certain would proclaim himself to be 100% heterosexual. He kept telling Camille how faaaaaabulous
her boa was and then he’d offer (threaten?) to spank the three of us. He was finally kicked out after he fell off of his barstool for the third time in five minutes.

By this point I was beyond ready to bid the America Pub farewell, but that’s
an unfortunate side-effect of being 27, attached and sober. Oh, who am I kidding? I felt the same way when I was young, single and…still sober. Hmmm. Anyhoo, eventually bachelorette party victory was declared. We left, Mr. Gay dropped us back at the hotel and Larry came to pick us up. By about 3 a.m., after Amber and Camille had been shuttled home, Larry, Courtney and I arrived at our hotel and collapsed with the knowledge that in a few short hours we’d be braving that fearsome beast known as…the manicurist!]

Click here for photos of Bachelorette Party Shenanigans!

Stay Tuned for

Wedding Weekend Recap Part 4

In which Larry is encouraged to take photos in a women’s restroom!

posted under Events, Travel | 2 Comments »
April 6, 2005

100 Things You May Not Know About Me: A little something to get me back in the blogging mood

I’ve been suffering from a wicked case of writer’s block since the
passing of my kitty, so in an effort to jump start my brain I decided to make
this list of 100 things you might not know about me (an idea I got from someone else’s Live Journal a while back). Now go forth and learn 99 more things about me than you ever wanted to know!

1. I got my first pair of Converse the summer after 9th grade.

2. I think bathrooms are scary.

3. I learned the Greek alphabet in junior high just for the hell of it.

4. I have a piece of graphite permanently embedded in my left middle finger
as the result of an accident involving a Capri Sun and a pencil in elementary
school.

5. I like the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer but am kind of ashamed to admit
it.

6. I didn’t know what passive voice was until my junior year of college.

7. I still get tripped up on my 6, 7 and 8 times tables.

8. I can write upside down and backwards about as well as I can write normally.

9. I’m excellent at word puzzles, particularly cryptograms and unscrambling.

10. I do exactly as many things left-handed as I do right-handed.

11. I still feel badly about not writing to someone I promised to write to in
8th grade.

12. I have always thought elephants should come in a convenient guinea pig size.

13. I can sing all of the songs from Singin’ in the Rain and know all
the dance routines.

14. Filling in the bubbles on Scantron tests makes me uncomfortable.

15. I have left the room when a favorite character on a TV show does something
so embarrassing I can’t bare to watch.

16. I don’t really like babies but I like to buy things for them.

17. The first “modern music” cassette tape I bought was Stacey Q
“Better than Heaven” in elementary school.

18. I had a supervisor whose middle name was Tarzan.

19. I wear my socks inside out and I always put the left one on first.

20. I hate licorice and banana chips but will still try them if someone offers
me some.

21. One of my feet is a half size bigger than the other.

22. I have worn the same watch since the summer after 5th grade.

23. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until the summer before 7th grade.

24. I can’t swim.

25. For a while in high school I used to pretend to go to sleep but would secretly
stay awake until an hour or two before I had to be up.

26. I went to my senior prom two hours late and without a date.

27. The only drink I ever order at Starbucks is a grande hazelnut mocha.

28. I have never had a beer (though I did taste one or two).

29. My favorite comic strip is Get Fuzzy.

30. I once dressed up as a stick of dynamite for Halloween.

31. I love to take pictures and hate to be photographed.

32. I am uncomfortable having my name on anything I write.

33. I don’t like to touch paper towel dispensers if they are wet or my
hands are wet.

34. I have seen the world’s largest frying pan, the world’s largest
ball of twine, the world’s largest easel and the world’s largest
prairie dog.

35. The grossest indoor bathroom I was ever in was in Lawrence, Kansas.

36. I have never been to the South.

37. One of my eyes is slightly nearsighted, the other is slightly farsighted.

38. I don’t like vanilla scented things.

39. I like to collect postcards, lunchboxes and squished pennies.

40. The first CD I ever bought was a Roy Orbison Best Of.

41. I am terrified of needles.

42. I can listen to the same song on repeat for hours.

43. I am uncomfortable in red rooms.

44. I was once bitten on the toe by a ferret.

45. I really enjoy shopping for office supplies.

46. For a while when I was a kid my favorite animal was the squid.

47. I have never smoked pot or taken a “recreational” drug.

48. I was refused entrance to Canada on two separate occasions.

49. I scratch my head when I am nervous or stressed.

50. I get altitude sickness.

51. I have trouble reading road maps quickly enough to help navigate.

52. I almost always have a song stuck in my head.

53. A nurse once told me if my blood pressure was any lower I’d be unconscious.

54. My favorite hobbits are Merry and Pippin.

55. I was a movie extra in This Boy’s Life.

56. I won a major award for a Native American wolf mask I made in 7th grade
art class.

57. I always watch The Hunt for Red October when I’m sick.

58. I prefer white or yellow cake to chocolate.

59. Despite numerous keyboarding classes, I don’t type with my hands on
the home row, instead favoring a semi-conscious seek-and-hit method.

60. I often write letters or postcards and forget to send them.

61. I was a lost boy in Peter Pan and a hedgehog in Alice in Wonderland when
I was in ballet.

62. I can curl my tongue.

63. I don’t know my blood type.

64. When I was a kid I tried to teach my dog to sing Bing Crosby’s Mele
Kalikimaka (the Hawaiian Christmas song) by playing the record over and over
again.

65. I never eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

66. My favorite Star Wars character is that blue elephant guy who plays in the
band.

67. My frogs are named Dill and Pickle and my snail is named Panasonic.

68. I used to listen to records on the faster speed all the time.

69. I like to walk to and from work with a portable CD player because it’s
like having my own personal soundtrack.

70. My car was once rear ended by a fire engine.

71. I like to make lists.

72. I once read the first part of the Bible while sitting in a doctor’s
office, but never finished it.

73. I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas four times in the theater.

74. The only movie I’ve ever walked out of was Six Days, Seven Nights
and I was being paid to watch it.

75. I have difficulty remembering exactly where certain states in the Midwest
and Southwest are.

76. I first fell in love with John Cusack when we watched The Journey of Natty
Gann in my 1st/2nd grade class.

77. Black cherry soda always makes me think of camping.

78. I’ve always wanted to be British.

79. I’ve seen the band Megadeth perform live twice (Larry’s a fan).

80. I think dark hallways are very scary.

81. I’ve watched the movie Outbreak in the waiting room of an ER.

82. I’m a big fan of refrigerator magnets.

83. I’ve been to Chicago, Phoenix and Las Vegas but never left the airports.

84. I was once in a talent show singing Pablo the Reindeer from Mexico with
my friends.

85. I learned that you can’t beat Death after I watched The Seventh Seal
as a child.

86. In elementary school my friend found a coffee stirrer in the shape of a
naked woman in her dad’s usually locked liquor cabinet. We called it Ms.
Noo (code I believe for Ms. Nude) and were so afraid of getting in trouble if
found with it that we eventually broke it in two and buried the pieces in her
garden.

87. My friends and I once performed a sleep-deprivation experiment during which
we watched Twin Peaks and recorded an hourly check-in on my mini tape recorder.

88. I still get embarrassed by stupid or impolite things I did as a child.

89. When it first came out I thought the Madonna song Papa Don’t Preach
was about a girl whose father was a minister.

90. I hate talk radio because I can’t stand listening to people argue.

91. I don’t mind being wrong but I hate feeling stupid.

92. One time in junior high I called someone back to apologize after my friend
prank called him.

93. I like gay bars better than other bars.

94. I used to think Candy was a great name for a girl (it was the 80s and I
was young).

95. I can fold notes in the shape of a throwing star or a folded shirt.

96. I occasionally lie to telemarketers.

97. I was a Bluebird (the younger version of Camp Fire Girls).

98. I have no idea what my brother’s phone number is.

99. When I was little I liked to keep potato bugs (pill bugs) as pets.

100. My favorite planet is Pluto. (Shut up, Larry, it is too a planet!) ]

January 19, 2005

A Truly Sucky Day: In which I have a truly SUCKY day!

Yesterday I went in to work late because I was feeling sick but not sick enough to skip work altogether. I braved the 10 degree weather (-6 real feel) and stumbled in just as they were finishing a production check in. Two hours later my boss practically booted me out the door (in a really kind way because she’s a kind person). That’s when I realized it’s true. The workplace really has changed. It used to be that you were considered a wuss if you called in and a model employee if you showed up, but now they treat you like a leper if you so much as cough. They look at you like, “How dare you come and infect the rest of us?” But it wasn’t always this way and I’m struggling to figure out how to unlearn what I’ve been taught my whole life.

So I faced the wind and 10 degree weather to walk back home. And boy howdy if I wasn’t rewarded with a phone call from the vet telling me that Wombat’s bloodwork came back with a wallop of bad news. It is a bad, bad thing when a vet says the prognosis is “not very good.” Being me I carefully took notes and hung up the phone and burst into tears. Half a box of tissue and some cheese puffs later Wombat and I snuggled up to read the second half of “The Time Traveler’s Wife”. Good book. Then we watched “The Hunt for Red October” because that’s what we do when we’re sick. It hit me again how truly astonishing it is that Sean doesn’t even try to sound Russian.]

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