Saturday, April 30, 2005

Oh Rental House, Rental House.... Wherefore Art Thou, Rental House?

House-Hunting: Day Two

I am languishing in utter despair, as there are no cheaply charming rental houses to be found this week.

Yesterday my friend Matt and I toddled on over to St. Petersburg to eyeball a quaint two bedroom/ two bath rental in the "highly desirable" Kenwood neighborhood. As we wandered the property aimlessly I decided that it was, indeed, a highly desirable location for drug dealers, prostitutes, axe murderers and burglars. In fact, the house was so insecure and tempting for burglars, that I felt like donning dark clothing and breaking in myself-- only the slumlord realtor kept getting in the way.

Lesson One: stay away from cheaply charming rental house ads.

Realtor-Speak Translator

"A rapidly gentrifying neighborhood"
Half of the crack dealers have moved out and there's a Starbuck's coffeeshop twenty blocks away

Your neighbors, who are legally insane, can stare directly into your bedroom

"Large yard"
Acres of weeds and black widow spiders

"Renovated 1920s bungalow"
Original bungalow was destroyed by termites or fire and has now been completely covered by ugly vinyl siding

"Highly desirable neighborhood"
The best place in town to buy highly desirable drugs

"Original hardware"
Hardware does not work

"Family neighborhood"
Neighborhood is full of juvenile delinquents running amok and stealing cars


Thursday, April 28, 2005

House Hunting: Trials And Tribulations

To-day was Day One of house-hunting, because I've decided to move away from my rather sketchy neighborhood and rent a house with a friend. House-hunting is a bit easier than it sounds, as it doesn't require a special license or gun, and houses just sit around doing nothing in particular rather than fleeing in an alarming manner.

However, the process is still a bit tricky for a neophyte such as myself.

This afternoon we looked at what was supposed to be a rather charming 1920s bungalow with hardwood flooring and an adorable breakfast nook. In reality, our obviously deranged realtor offered us a tiny disaster of a house that was clearly designed for blind circus midgets. It would NEVER have enough room for all my books, my furniture, his piano and his wooden kung fu sparring dummy. So sad.

Tomorrow we look at another house. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Back By Popular Demand: More Odd Art

This incredibly lovely oil portrait by Benjamin West (1738-1820) depicts the dead politician Benjamin Franklin as he manfully attempts to electrocute himself while surrounded by half naked little boys. It's quite charming in a mildly odd and child-molesting sort of way. Note the powerful brushstrokes that create his wildly waving hair. Admire the obnoxiously pink babies playing with the mysterious machine as the very heavens split open to shine the light of hope and dangerous technology on the scenery. I especially love the dramatically billowing cape and the decorative parchment he's holding...

(click to enlarge)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Polyevolutio Compello-Libri Syndrome: A Debilitating Disease That Is Often Overlooked

I've been posting for a few months now, telling delightful little anecdotes about my life and whimsically attempting to entertain those who stumble across my little blog. But today I am temporarily dropping the humor to reveal something deeply personal about myself: I suffer from a rare and gradually debilitating neurological disorder called PCLS (Polyevolutio Compello-Libri Syndrome). I suppose I'm taking this step in order to bring attention to the fact that this disease receives very little attention or federal funding.

Many people don't realize that this disease can severely impact the lives of those afflicted, who make up approximately .01% of the population. However with enough publicity, perhaps the National Institutes of Health will bestow a grant to PCLS researchers and physicians at the University of Phoenix to study the subject. And perhaps someday people like me will receive the help they so desperately need.

There are several theories on what causes the disorder. One theory is that PCLS is caused by a hypothalamic abnormality telling the brain to produce chemicals that induce the sufferer to purchase far too many books than are humanly necessary.

Another theory is that there is something wrong with the visual processing center in the
occipital lobe, causing the brain to be unable to recognize the fact that there are, in fact, more than enough books already in the house. The end result of both theories is the same -- excessive book-buying and extreme clutter of the living space. Eventually, a mild form of dementia ensues, causing patients to wander aimlessly for hours through musty old bookstores and coffeeshops.

Symptoms And Diagnosis
The symptoms of PCLS usually begin well before puberty but, because these signs can occur in any combination, sufferers (also known as "bibliophiles") do not always see them as an indicator of a larger issue and don't consult a physician until the disorder has had a chance to develop over several years. Unfortunately, this delay can only make things worse, as the more advanced the disease, the more difficult it is to treat and the more likely it is that a bibliophile will suffer from cashflow problems and a lack of available living space.

Upon visiting physicians, the primary complaint of those with PCLS is the difficulty encountered in obtaining a specific copy of an especially interesting volume. Other indicators of the condition include irritability, callused or ink-stained fingers, squinting, a familiarity with Proust or Miller, the urge to use big words like "exacerbate" and an overwhelming urge to accumulate vast amounts of literature that don't fit comfortably in the space at hand.

My particular symptoms have displayed themselves in a number of ways: the removal of a television due to lack of space; the stacking of books where books wouldn't normally go; the excessive number of trips to various bookshops; the long and rather earnest literary conversations with bearded strangers lurking furtively in corners; the inability to walk past an attractively priced leather-bound volume on anything that sounds even remotely interesting.

The disease can be difficult to diagnose, and once recognized, it is nearly impossible to treat. Experimental therapies have tried a combination of drugs and reality shows, to no avail.

So please, write a letter to Congress today. Demand more funding for the research of PCLS, so that someday sufferers will be able to live normal lives by restricting themselves to buying only one or two books a month. We can find a cure!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Terrorist Threat In Weeki Wachee, Florida! Mermaids Live In Fear.

This charming young Girl-About-Town has been sadly neglecting her blog as of late, due mainly to being terribly overworked as well as entertaining a houseguest, eating raw oysters at the Crab Shack, drinking cheap beer at the I Don't Care bar and generally just loitering irresponsibly...

More Alarming News: one of my favorite cheesy Florida attractions is now being targeted by terrorists!

Weeki Wachee, home of the underwater spandex-mermaid show might now be classified as one of the vital pieces of our nation's "key critical infrastructure", and is apparently high on the list of potential terrorist targets. Federal funding is certain to follow, in order to enable local law enforcement to "harden the target", which could range from installing surveillance cameras and armed guards to equipping the mermaids and concessionaires with AK-47s, or possibly giving Weeki Wachee some sort of nuclear bombing capability.

However, details remain sketchy; Homeland Security officials would not comment on the specific details due to national security concerns, but that does not prevent locals from speculating on such horrible scenarios as terrorists poisoning the water, bombing the water slides, creating remote control killer alligators or firing torpedoes at buxom mermaids as tourists flee screaming. Not only that but speculation is also rampant as to which additional targets are included on the classified list... could Cypress Gardens, home to the acrobatic tandem water skiers, possibly be next? And what about the Monkey Jungle and Dinosaur World-- should they also have to worry?

No one questions the fact that theme parks like Disney World are a potential target, because EVERYONE hates their high ticket prices and unbearably long lines, not just the terrorists. But some may wonder why Weeki Wachee is also being targeted...

It has long been rumored that the underwater mermaid show is, in reality, a covert operation funded directly by the NSA (National Security Agency). While many know that the mermaid program was begun in 1946 by a former US Navy frogman, few realize that the military relationship continues to the present day.

"Operation Mermaid" captures feral mermaids in the wild and immerses them in a year-long intensive training course that teaches them to attach electronic eavesdropping devices and explosives on enemy ships and submarines. In addition, these shy creatures can be trained to detonate underwater nuclear warheads, recover lost weapons on the ocean floor, and immobilize enemy divers by tearing their air-supply tubes and capturing them for interrogation. In fact, this program was considered so valuable during the Cold War, that there was a very real threat of combat-mermaid escalation between the superpowers.

While times have changed, these mermaids remain an important national resource to be protected-- no matter what the cost.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I Can Only Be Four People At Once

This is a day in the life of "L", if the particular day happens to be today.

Not only was I fulfilling my current job duties (scowling irritably at developers, crying, swearing at a crappy modeling tool, printing ginormous pieces of paper, etc.), but I had to temporarily fulfill my old job duties as well (scowling irritably at developers, crying, looking at error messages, swearing at pagers, etc.).

I was four people today, one of whom is in China, one of whom is recovering from the Boston Marathon, one who is sick with the flu, and me -- the charming young person you see figuratively squished at the bottom of the phone booth at top.

Good Night.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Taxes, Budgets, Shredders And A Houseguest

I have been posting somewhat sporadically this week, due to a houseguest leading me astray in a terribly irresponsible manner.

However, unlike my brother, I did manage to complete my taxes before the April 15th deadline. I am one of those poor, deluded souls who actually tells the unvarnished truth on my tax form; if this were widely known, I would be regarded with a great deal of suspicion as to my undoubtedly communist and dangerously un-American tendencies. To make up for this I procrastinate as long as humanly possible, just like every other red-blooded patriotic American.

Luckily, we are now only required to send in small vials of blood and our left thumb, which is quite a bit more convenient than the traditional arm and leg. I did waver a bit over deductible items and business-related expenses, however. Should I or shouldn't I deduct those adorable little outfits I occasionally wear to work? Should I deduct alcoholic beverages as they could be considered medical expenses? And should I account for beauty products as legitimate professional expenditures? Anyway, I shouldn't quibble over details. What's truly important is that our government receives as much money as possible in order to best purchase even more bombs, as well as to fund programs that tell poverty-stricken Africans not to use condoms.

After completing my taxes, I decided to create a little budget based on the prior year's activities. As you can see, misc. comprised the majority of my expenditures. To the best of my knowledge, misc. seems to be mainly things like cotton balls, trashy magazines and lipstick.

The whole budgeting thing was a bit vexing, so I decided to just sit around using my paper shredder, which is highly addicting. It cheerfully warns me not to shred a) paperclips b) neckties or c) my fingers -- which is rather fortunate, or who knows what sort of havoc I might wreak? So instead of wreaking havoc, I spent a rather pleasant twenty minutes just shredding old receipts and credit card offers; I love shredding; it's a bit like popping bubble wrap, so I had to stop myself before I shredded everything. It's my favorite Christmas present ever; when I received it I spent ages just shredding everything I could find; in fact, it's calling my name now...

Yet Another Post On Odd Art Until I Do A Real Post...

This painting "Man of Leisure, King George" by artist Kayti Didriksen depicts President Bush after the classic style of Manet's "Olympia", which portrays a beautiful French courtesan. The artist has painted the president being presented with his oil-themed crown by Vice President Dick Cheney, easily recognized by his stiff and uncomfortable posture. Truly a modern classic with its heroic sensibility and powerful political imagery, this piece also seems to pay homage to Napolean's favorite artist, Jacques-Louis David. No other artist has managed to so completely capture the grandeur and magnificence of this type of government.

The vivid composition, powerful symbolism and subtle palette indicate a truly great piece of art, which is sure to become one of the twenty-first century masterpieces. Like Munch's The Scream and Van Gogh's Irises, this piece is destined to be copied onto posters, mugs, T shirts, mousepads, notebooks and napkins for years to come. Truly, we live in the best of all possible worlds to have such artwork in it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

You Can Call Me Master Yogi

I have returned from my very first yoga class.

I pretty much sucked at most of the positions, because I have no sense of balance. However, there were three things that I did MUCH better than anyone else in the class:
1.) relaxing
2.) breathing
3.) the "Corpse" position, in which you generally just lie around pretending to be dead.

However, I did not feel very spiritual or "in touch" with my life essence, possibly because I was staring at so many beautifully sweaty muscles. I had NO idea that so many hot men go to yoga class, and I now feel strongly compelled to attend yoga class every day. I may give up my career to become a professional yoga-master just so I can watch beautiful men twist themselves into those fascinatingly bendy positions all day...

But it also kicked my butt, so I am going to be very lame and go to bed.

Monday, April 11, 2005

A Balmy Sunday, During Which I Wear A Very Large Hat And Go Out With The Girls

Despite the fact that I had the day off, Sunday was balmy and generally gave one a full sense of joie de vivre. To celebrate, I donned terribly exciting stockings and my second favorite hat before trotting on over to the Vinoy for brunch with the girls: Debbie, Bill, and Carlos The Puerto Rican With A Twist.

Brunch was lovely, despite the fact that I may physically be unable to ever eat anything again; I am quite sure that we consumed at least thirty five pounds of fresh crab, ostrich, cheese, berries, fresh cream, pate de foie gras, Eggs Benedict, berries, teensy tiny little mushrooms, mimosas, berries, oysters, mangos, and yummy little fruit tarts that were covered in berries. Not only was the food wonderfully delicious and full of yummy berry-ish goodness, but we also had a wonderful time being horribly catty and princess-y. We debated the merits of Mr. Right vs. Mr. Right Now vs. Mr. No Way In Hell, gossiped about people we didn't know and traded various sordid and naughty innuendoes in a terribly sophisticated manner.

After brunch, we waddled on over to the the Florida International Museum, where Carlos and I ogled obnoxiously opulent jewelry while discussing the benefits of owning our very own personal tiaras. While I firmly believe that one tiara is really all that one needs, Carlos felt that a larger number might be more appropriate. The friendly salesclerk at the giftshop assured us that multiple tiaras are quite the thing, as she owns 78 pairs herself.

After the jewelry, we tottered over to the Princess Diana exhibit, because we just haven't seen enough overhyped media tributes to Royalty living in such incredible opulence. I looked at her moldy old tap shoes, her suitcases, her grammar books, her ceramic animals, her photos, and the endlessly looping film of her fantastically expensive funeral procession -- next to which the staff had thoughtfully placed a rather large box of kleenex for those who were feeling very emotional about the whole thing.

They also had The Wedding Dress, which took up an entire room with the grandiosity of its billowy poofy puffiness; we could barely squeeze in against a wall to peer at its heaving swells of frothy lace, poofy silk, poofy crinoline and overwhelmingly huge fluffy puffiness. It constantly rippled and heaved in an alarming manner, covering wheelchairs, suffocating tourists, and blocking the exits; we barely emerged alive.

Of course, the immensely glorious and meringue-like puffiness of The Dress reminded me, as it does almost everyone else, of Plato and his Allegory Of The Cave from the seventh book of the Republic.

As everyone knows, Plato used this allegory to depict the multitude of mankind as sitting around in a cave with nothing to do and no television to watch. They sit facing away from the entrance, but towards the shadows thrown by a fire onto a wall; these shadows are cast by artificial objects being passed back and forth, their images greatly distorted by the flickering flames. The majority of mankind gazes at only these shadows all their lives, but a few enlightened ones switch their gazes from the shadows to the painful light emanating from the cave's entrance. Dazzled and blinking, they emerge into the world of nature, where they learn to ignore the shadow images and only see the real objects that transcend the shadows. Absolute ideals of Truth and Beauty are then revealed.

The Princess Diana wedding dress represents the Absolute Ideal of poofy fluffy puffiness, transcending all other billowing fluffy things, which are as mere shadows cast onto the wall of the allegorical cave. Nothing can even begin to compare to the swelling immensity of its Royal frothiness, which eclipses all else. It truly stands alone: ideal, perfect, complete -- the epitome to which everything else must strive.

I am truly humbled.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Ooh, What A Line!

My friend the tickgirl was in town last night, so we popped on over to a couple of the local "meat markets" to go trolling a bit.

I had a married Turkish jeweler named Ghengis try to pick me up. His general line ran something like this: "Darling, you are the most beautiful woman here, and I say this from the bottom of my heart, darling. I've been everywhere-- Sweden, Australia, London-- and you are one of the most beautiful, darling. Do you understand that I say this from the bottom of my heart? And my wife, I love her, do you understand? Darling, can we be friends? And friends can call each other, do you understand? Darling, if I gave you a plane ticket to New York, as friends, you could stay in one room and I could stay in the other, as friends, do you understand darling? So, can I call you?"

I almost sprained my face from laughing so hard.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Actual Searches That Have Brought People Here (Part 3)

do french fries contain embalming fluid?
lizard people and george bush
brad pitt's farts
castration guillotine
Phobia for easter grass
sea cucumbers weird facts
cockroaches prison san quentin
Mikhail Gorbachev shape shifting reptile
catfight gallery
charming wasp waist female corset
female midget art
salivary gland
effervescent nerd
giant rubber clown dummies
las vegas stripper in frog costume
pony domestico fetish
scared to see pulmonary doctor
"Wayne Newton" lederhosen, photo
mariah carey's mole
dirty italian phrases
"man breasts"

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I was so busy watching the Terri-Schiavo-Pope-Funeral channel that I almost missed the latest news: Floridians are now allowed to used deadly force outside, as well as inside, the home! I was so excited to hear about this piece of legislation because, quite frankly, Florida doesn't really have enough violence. In fact, despite the drug murders, road rage incidents, serial killers, fundamentalist lunatics, hurricanes and alligator attacks, the state has become so dreadfully dull.

This legislation will allow citizens to respond to and escalate public confrontations, rather than cowardly retreating. If inncocent bystanders get hit by the stray bullets, that is their own fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The bill's sponsor, state Representative Dennis Baxley, stated: "I'm sorry, people, but if I'm attacked I shouldn't have a duty to retreat. That's a good way to get shot in the back." And of course, any right-thinking American will agree; why shouldn't we fight violence with even more violence? Should we ignore our God-given right to blast the bejeezus out of anyone who dares to intimidate us? The answer is a resounding NO!

In fact, I believe that the new bill does not go far enough. As tax paying citizens, we should have the clear right to defend ourselves without having to worry about any sorts of pesky legal consequences. If I want to shoot that clearly deranged motorist who threatens me with an obscene gesture, I should be allowed to defend my maidenly person. If a scruffy minority makes any sudden moves in my direction, I should obviously be allowed to use deadly force to protect myself. And anyone who swears in a dangerous manner or cuts intimidatingly in line is clearly asking for it. Our very way of life if constantly under threat; only violent means will stem the tide.

I also propose the following as being activities that should be included under the threatening situation provision:
1. tailgating while driving over forty miles an hour
2. the flagrant wearing of mullets
3. singing "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
4. chewing with an open mouth
5. giving "high fives"

I am a proud supporter of the new legislation and plan to implement my rights as soon as possible-- whether or not they accept my proposed amendment.

The question is: which product would better suit my personal needs?
1.) Heavy-duty action, but somewhat difficult to carry
2.) Lightweight and easy to carry, but with far less impact
3.) Designed for all-purpose action, but rather awkward to tote around

Additional suggestions are welcome


And remember, guns don't kill people; people kill people. And sometimes they stab them too. So if we outlaw guns, only criminals will have guns, which means that the rest of us will be left out of the action.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Weather Is Beautiful; Wish You Were Here

To-day had absolutely perfect weather. It's really too bad that I HAD TO WORK.

I shall be frolicking on the beach soon enough, however.

The question is: should it be a.) glamorous movie star one-piece with fabulously oversized hat and sunglasses, or b.) itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini? It's rather a perplexing problem.

However, we do not enjoy trying on bathing suits under flourescent lighting, and we also do not enjoy real or fake tanning; in fact, we happen to glow in the dark. And apparently we are also no longer capable of referring to ourselves in a manner other than that of the Royal Plural. How tiresome.

We are going to bed now.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Beer: An Important Cog In Our National Machine

This weekend I helped run a beer truck for charity-- which sounds like a dream job for many, but is actually rather sweaty work for a such a dainty young person as myself. I might possibly have a nasty form of tendonitis from pouring and serving over ten million high quality beers. And by "high quality beer" I mean Bud Lite, which is now apparently the National Brew.

Hordes of drunken Floridians waved their drink tickets and clamored for more Bud Lite, which disappeared as quickly as I poured it. Crowds of hairy, balding men jostled for space at our rickety table while I sloshed beer on myself and my fellow workers. In the background, we could hear some vaguely horrid smoooooth jazz playing, but luckily it was overwhelmed by the progressively more excitable orders for Bud Lite.

It was really quite festive and Bacchanalian.

The entire process was inspirational, and I felt completely humbled to be participating in such an important event. Not only were our profits going to abused children, but we were patriotically contributing to the financial well-being of our country.

Because our National Economy is based almost completely on beer, we helped shape trends and vast market forces invisible to the naked eye. If it weren't for people like us, the entire economy would collapse completely, ushering in a new Great Depression and destroying the foundation of American finance. Together with the Breast, Beer is an important cog in our national machine; breasts are used to sell everything from shampoo to cars, and beer is the glue that holds the very fabric of our society together.

But while the Breast is highly revered and prominently displayed, Beer is frequently taken for granted. No one pays thousands of dollars to enhance their beer, and no one ever thinks about the social stigma attached to having a beer that is just too small. Beer is rarely brandished in a revealing manner, and when it is, people never notice. You never see an entire magazine pictorial spread devoted to beer, and no one ever gets terribly excited over seeing what a beer really looks outside of its case. And beer's contribution to social interaction is frequently overlooked, disregarded, or even criticized.

So today I'm running out to buy a case of beer; I want to do my best to help strengthen our economy and to contribute my part, however small, to our society. I hope everyone else does the same.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Odd Art Continued...

Yet another installment of odd art.

This many-breasted fountain was photographed at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli. I am quite impressed by the mammary abilities of this deity, and hope to glean more of its spiritual significance.

(click to enlarge)