Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kerri's Favorite Things 2010

I do hate to be cliche. But, after berating most of my friends favorite time of the year, I figured I better come this week with a little more holiday cheer. Rest assured that if I had the money all 12 of you would be going home with a copy of each of these little gems that came into my life in the year of our Lord Two-Thousand and Ten. However, it would seem that on this particular occasion the best I can provide is my reccommendation and some pretty pictures. So, Enjoy!
Kerri's Favorite Things 2010
10. About a year ago, my boss gave me the best gift of our entire relationship. She took a substance that I had long regarded as rich people's less delicious bean dip and turned it into my go-to snack. Lest you think this is any indication of some sort of acquired hoitey-toitiness on my part, I should inform you that my palate only has buds for one:
Sabra Hummus It is delicious. It is not wierd and grainy, or runny and flavorless. It is rich and creamy and I have already converted some other hummus haters with this brand. Come to think of it though, I probably know someone who could teach me to make an amazing garbanzo bean smash-down.

9. Jeggings- no need to repeat my reasoning. If you don't know why then just click here for a A.A. flashback post.

8. I love Children's books, I love America, I STILL Love  the Rocky-Bam, so how could I not love this:

7.  As for adult ficiton, I have been seriously off the reading wagon. EEK! However, the most influential non-fiction book of my 2010 has been about Strengths...check out the author and do yourself a favor by taking his course, right here:


6. I am embarrassed to say it. He is lude. He is crude. But he is also gorgeous and about a million times more clever than I had previously been willing to believe. 2010 is the year when I came to understand all the hype around this guy:


5. I waited for this film, like a child innocently waits for the misleading and theologically undermining elder gent called Santa. (Sorry I had to get one last Christmas dig in) And this time, it was worth the wait. The acting, the writing, the cinematography, the social commentary--don't let 2010 slip away without seeing


4. And after that when you need a laugh... I waited too long to watch what I think might be the tightest comedy of the postmodern sitcome scene. It isn't for the easily offended, but if you are the type who appreciates a little offensiveness now and then these are your people

3. I am a very mainstream girl. I have no real desire to seek out the newest indie-anything. Sure. on occasion (meaning if Ryan Gosling is involved) I will watch a film festival darling and if my best friends brother happens to be an amazing but unknown writer I will read him. But for good or for ill I usually just trust the masses to determine what I go searching for. But the best poet, artist, musician that has influenced me over the past few months has been one folk festival treasure by the name of Mr. John Fulbright. Please, Please, Please if you are even considering liking poetry, check this guy out:

2. 2010 brought me 2 new  great nieces. They are beautiful, hilarious, unique, and largely uninteresting for the purposes of this post so we will just leave it at that.

and Finally,
1. What act of God could beat out the miracle of new life or the as yet unrementioned year of the funny? Well it is one man's rise to power. A man whose simultaneously calm and urgent demeanor takes us back to a time when we all felt a little more confident in the years to come. That man is, of course,
Jason Garrett!  Go Cowboys!
Happy New Year to all of you. May it be more August less Angst and full of new favorite things.

Kerri K.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Hate Christmas?!?!

Yes, I hate Christmas.

People roll their eyes in disgust when I say that, but for the most part it is true. Although, I certainly don’t hate Jesus or birthdays or a collective spirit of generosity. And, I don’t hate advent or carols or delicious food, either. So I guess my more precise, but less catchy, statement of belief is this: I hate the secular, para-christmas activities falling on an around the winter solstice. To further clarify this offense of mine, I have decided to create a list, formerly entitled Why I hate Christmas, but now titled, (so as to not be misleading any longer):

Reasons I hate the secular Para-Christmas Activities Falling on and Around the Winter Solstice

Volume 1

I hate Decorating

Decorating is an experience in which I always feel my femininity to be in question. People turn on their old-money chuckle and use the collective voice a lot. “Oh Kerri, I don’t think we really want to hang that ornament on this branch do we?? (insert fake-ish cough-like laughter). Why don’t we try over here, doesn’t that make more sense? “

“Oh I see,” I think to myself, “you are searching for the sensible answer about all of this? Okay lovey, what if we, didn’t uproot an allergen infested tree only to put colorful, metallic balls on it for two weeks, like the pagans of years gone by. Wouldn’t that be rich?” Furthermore, what if we (you) owned our (your) own neurosis and just said this: “take your hands of my damn Christmas tree you crazy hippy-dip, you are ruining my vision for this seasonal décor with all your kooky dissymmetrical leanings.!!!" Wouldn’t that feel better for everyone?

As you can see, my station in life as a lazy, non-visual, decorative pragmatist precludes me from decking the halls with much, if any merriment. I hate it. But not as much as …

I hate Winter

I know what you are going to say you winter-loving reader. You all always come with the same line. “Well at least in winter you can always put more clothes on. In summer you can only take so much off, right?”. Here are the three-fold errors in that argument.

Number 1: No you cannot! There is a certain point at which you can no longer put more clothing on both literally and practically speaking. Even if I can put on 36 shirts (which I assure you is what it would take to keep me cozy on some February nights) , does it really make sense to allot the extra hours it would take to toddle your way to your destination and then strip each layer off once you arrive and are enveloped into a little miracle called central heating? I don’t think it does.

Number 2: In summer, once you have taken off everything you possible can, you need only water or anything made of paper to cool yourself down. You can spray or fan yourself both inside and outside. Your limbs have free range of motion to utilize these tools because they are not trapped by 36 layers of wool suffocation. And furthermore,

Number 3: If it is 110 degrees outside and I jump in a pool, I am hot no longer. However, If it is 20 degrees outside and I stand by a fire, I must position my body in such a way that every part of me gets acknowledged by those flames. God forbid, I reach out to grab a marshmallow or, my now ash-scented hat that fell off a few minutes ago. So to sum up these weather sentiments, Summer rules, Winter Drools, okay? I think we can all put that issue to rest and move on to the worst offender of all…

I hate White Elephant Gifts

I have never been a fan of antagonism. I know there are people out there that think it is so cute and hilarious to go to a restaurant where the wait-staff berates the customers, or who love to watch television shows where people slip and fall into a mud pit and everyone has a gay old time at his or her expense. I cannot stand these things. How is it funny to get yelled at? Or laughed at when you’re losing a competition? So, my head explodes with confusion each holiday season when people get together with the express purpose of antagonistically handing out gifts of which others will get little to no use. I am a people person, however, so I usually go to these gatherings if I am invited. And the fates always have their way with me.

This year I fell for the beautiful wrapping of my friend Sarah Silverman. I opened the package to find a little something called a shelf-sitter. That is what it does. It sits on a shelf. I have to pride this organization on their honesty. Not trying to pull the wool over anybodies eyes with a name like Decorative Overhang or Ledge Adornment. Keep it simple sister, what you got here is a shelf sitter--nothing more, nothing less. Although, how something could be qualified as less than an object whose sole purpose is to sit, is beyond the borders of my imagination. So, if I did not express enough gratitude in the moment, let me say it again. Thank you Silverman  for giving me the gift that someone gave you, in a well-intended but misinformed attempt to gain your affection. The gift has been passed on to a child who, I am told will receive pleasure in watching it sit.

So, 
 for all the incredulous toward my grinchitude, these are my first three problems with X-mas time. Although, it does occur to me that this year I saw and participated in some not-so-bad Christmas spruce ups and it has been pretty warm here in Texas and that unicorn shelf sitter did give me inspiration for this week’s post. So for this year only, I suppose I should say that the season has not been half-bad.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Mucho Amor,

Kerri

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday Night Lies


1  Chicken Lo Mein Kids Meal

1 Sweet and Sour Chicken Kids Meal
1 Order of Chicken Eggrolls (comes with 2)

Please tell me, does this sound like a meal for one person or two? Because the girl at the counter yesterday felt the need to clarify whether I required 2 plasticware packets for this order. Why would she ask me something so insulting? Do I look like the type of person who orders two meals and two eggrolls to devour on a Friday night? Am I that overweight, unattractive and off-putting that she thinks that all I have to do on my evening off is plow through a smorgesboard of asian cuisine while watching a chick-flick and pretending to clean up my studio apartment? The nerve!

To her credit, that is exactly what I was doing that night, so in the most technical of senses, she was right to question me; but doesn’t it seem prudent to just assume that I am ordering for 2? After (somewhat huffily) implying that yes, I would be needing two plasticware packets, I walked out to my car and wondered at myself.

Why lie? They were kids meals after all and I did intend to save some for lunch the next day, so why not be a woman about the whole issue, tell the truth and spare Shu Shus the loss of one packet (which I am sure adds up after a while if people are just taking them willy nilly for face-saving purposes). Truthfully, I wasn’t even disappointed in spending my evening this way, to the contrary, I had been looking forward to it, planning it even, but the problem was that on some level, I had been judged rightly and that tends to make me squirm.

I realized this a few months ago when I had a meeting with my professional mentor. She is always asking for honesty so I basically told her that I honestly had never planned to be a working woman and going to a job day after day was really becoming a buzzkill for me. She of course looked at me like a naive, entitled, lazy disappointment of a student. She reminded me that it isn’t completely realistic to be a housewife sans husband and children. I started crying.

I went home feeling sick to my stomach sure that she had misunderstood me. "I don’t feel like she was listening", I thought, "or maybe I was just stumbling over my words too much" or…Could it be that she understood me perfectly? I mean yes, she has her own beliefs and biases that she might attach to the facts of my life but she has that right. So does the Shu Shus girl. I don’t get to choose their reaction to who I am. But that is exactly what I attempt to do when I edit and talk around my point and try to be pleasing instead of authentic.

I am a double-meal ordering, aspiring housewife. That might be unhealthy, crazy or worse, but it is the truth. It is my own problem or pride and no one else's. So, I guess this is my apology to Shu Shus

Sorry for lying about your plasticware.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adventually...

I will always remember my first Hannukah.

I was living overseas with Leelee and, at the time, with my friend Nat as well. Leelee and I are Christians and Nat is Jewish and so we decided that this was a great time to share faith with one another.

Each night Nat schooled us in Hannukah happenings:

We utilized our resources of old candy box and Oreos sent from home to play the dreidel game.

We lit our potato-constructed Menorah in the window sill each evening.

We ate deliciously oily Latkes in rememberance of the oil that God provided to the israelites in the Temple.

and,

We learned and prayed new Hebrew blessings, my favorite of which was the Ha-Motzi or Blessing for Bread.

When it was our turn to share, I did readings in celebration of Advent, a tradition that was actually as foreign to me as Hannukah but that God had compelled me to look into on this particular year.

Advent is a time of waiting...

and waiting....

and waiting....

We sing songs like O Come, O Come Emmanuel-- the minor chords reminding us how eerily, depressingly  long Israel awaited a savior.

And we relate.  Because we are waiters too.

When will I find love?
 How long 'til I get pregnant?
 What needs to happen for me to escape to this job, city, sin?

And some of us, myself included,  are the most obnoxious of kids in the back of God's Mini-van.

Are we THERE yet?!?!

Now, as anyone who has ever seen a good coming-of-age film knows, the answer is no! We are not there yet. The vast majority of our time on this planet is spent traveling with occasional arrivals-- and to be honest it is probably kind of annoying to God that we can't take a minute to look at all the beauty that surronds us as we get there. It is good to be eager, to live in expectation of what God is going to do, I don't mean to malign that practice one bit. I live by this practice. But it is also good to thank God for our daily bread--that which sustains us as we wait...

"Baruch Atah YHVH/Adonai,  ("Praised are You, Lord, our God,)
Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam -  (King of the Universe)
Ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz." (Who brings forth bread from the Earth)

In Bethlehem lies the realization of all the world's hopes and fears, or so the song goes. May you live this advent season with more hope and less fear and with thankfulness for the Bread of Life.

Kerri K.

P.S. Want to try something pretty darn meaningful for advent? Check-out http://www.adventconspiracy.org/

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How do you like them, Apples?

Single though I may be, I have always thought of myself as a mother—most likely because I have always been shaped like a woman entering her second trimester (cute, skinny arms and legs paired with an ample baby-storing mid-section). In the fashion-biz I am what they call an “apple”, and for all my single and not so single ladies out there, I know that you know the trials and tribs of dressing right for your body type.


I still remember when I first discovered the magic of empire-waist baby-doll dresses. I was in the 6th grade and happy as a clam. There have been other moments of apple-bodied victory throughout the years—tank-inis and your classic V-neck Tee, not the least of these little heaven-sent cloth kisses, but this summer I was taken aback by the new lean, mean closet dream that flew into town compliments of Target.

An apple has two wardrobe goals when she gets out of bed each morning:

1. Do everything in her power to showcase those gorgeous gams.

2. Try and limit the number of people who ask when the baby is due.

These goals seem incompatible at times, particularly when you are talking jeans. In the past, apples have oft been given an “all or nothing” scenario. You can show off the legs (and the belly comes along for the ride) or you can cover the tum, tum (with a pant that wholly swallows your entire lower half). I know it isn’t exactly a sophie’s choice situation but c’mon, it sucks.

So when I walked into Laura’s house last August, before heading to a meeting together, I was amazed at what I saw. Laura is always a striking woman—strong and statuesque with a good amount of come-hither thrown in. But, on this particular day I was drooling even more than usual. Her legs were astonishing, I could see every inch of them and yet, I wasn’t embarrassed for her or her four children.

Other people had the same reaction, thus frantic whispers traveled around the meeting.

“Check Laura Out!”
“What is she rocking?”
“Where can I get some?”

The answer would come to me later that evening. This crown jewel of the jean world had a name and the name was

Jeggings!

I know, it is unfortunate, a gross sounding name, truly meant for mockery and if they weren’t so invaluably awesome (forgiving where they need to be and tight where it counts) I would have to boycott them on that count alone. But ladies, they are that invaluably awesome!

And you will never guess who agrees with said awesomeness, I mean deep sigh of pleasure—bite down on his own finger kind of agreement! Find out who, right here (click on the second sneak peek on the page). Yes, yes, I have never been so proud to bear the Jegging name.

So, apples of the world unite, you gotta get your jeg on, and for what it’s worth my little pear friends, I happen to love the look on you A-shapes as well.  But if you disagree then please speak to your sisters!

 What is the must-have item for ladies with a petite uptown and a party downtown?

Other body types feel free to chime in too!

And if some male-type has actually made it to the bottom of this altogether girly conversation starter, do tell-- do you agree with our celebrity gentlemen about the allure of the jegging, or do you prefer a good mom-jean (nice high waist with a taper)?

 Would love to hear from you!

Kerri

Sunday, November 28, 2010

R.I.P. My Dreams!


It probably goes without saying that I am in love with almost every semi-youthful, semi-not-disgusting male comedian on the planet, right? Obviously my first and true love is Conan. But guess what? He is married.

Jimmy Fallon? Married.

Stephen Colbert? Married.

Jon Stewart? Married.

Jesse Carey, (who is actually a writer for Relevant Magazine but funny enough to be a comedian)? Married!

And, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your worldview, I am not in the habit of going after married men, even in my imaginings.

But, there has always been one lovely hunk of funny who I could really depend on for my “I am going to become famous one day and then I will totally be in his league” fantasies. That man is Mr. Seth Meyer, head writer for television’s longest running and most well respected sketch comedy show, Saturday Night live. He is the anchor for Weekend Update and to date the funniest guest on late night television shows, in my less than humble opinion.

I also understand, from my faithful attending to each and every interview he has ever given, that his is a family of sports watchers, particularly football, which is a nice bonus to his already ample offerings of looks and comedy. And, because it is completely reasonable ,I always project onto all my celebricrushes a latent Christianity just ready to burst forth once they settle in with a nice down-to-earth, refreshingly “Jesus-ey” kind of girl such as myself. So that settles that issue, and all is well in dreamville.

Until...

I am youtube stalking him last night as a part of my things I am thankful for online musings, when what should my ears hear from his sweet wit-soaked lips, but the dreaded words of fake-crush death—

My girlfriend and I…..

What?!?! Seth Myers has a girlfriend? Well Seth, why hasn’t she come up in your dozens of late night interviews? Don’t you think that is a little misleading?

He continues,

Remember when I was here last year and I told you about her dad’s goat?

Last Year!?!? How did I miss this? Sure, last year was rough at this time what with Conan getting abused right in front of the whole country and all, but was I really so neglectful that I have now been imaginary cheat-dating at the expense of some poor stupid supermodel (one presumes) that is in love with Seth Myers? What’s a girl to do? Some have implied that I might have more luck in my actual dating life if I spent less energy on things of this nature, but that’s just silly. So who do you think, I should move onto next? Anybody know of any single, cute, comedians I should be obsessed with? Tell me your suggestions in the comment section!

And, be sure to check out some of the changes to my blog!

 I hope you like the new background for a new season. Also, you will notice that my posts are now organized for your reading pleasure according to the three areas of my tagline: Silliness, Singleness and Spirituality. I have also created my first of many semi-permanent blog pages entitled Single Cinema. And finally take a look at some of my favorite blogs which I finally figured out how to publicize (all of these changes are on the right hand of your screen).

What about you? Know anyone who might like August Angst? Anyone silly, single, or spiritual? Pass the word along! More readers means more feedback. More feedback means better writing. Better writing means better posts! I am Thankful for you, hope your holiday was sublime!

Kerri

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Anthropomorphic Yolk ...

It has been previously publicized that my year of the man proved somewhat lacking. Even more so? My month of writing about my year of the man! However, the Lord (or perhaps just my own greed) has provided me something of a consolation prize for this time in my life and it is: Bum budda bum bum bum bum (cue your best Oprah impression)--My year of the fuuuuuuu-nnneeeeeeeee!!!!


That’s right, two jobs, bi-annual retreat planning, church life and family obligations notwithstanding, I somehow made it to see five comedians in the past five months. You will remember that this very blog sprang forth from my mind during Conan’s Legally Prohibited Tour back in May. A few months later my friend Liv got me Kathy Griffin tickets and I in return got her seats to Aziz Ansari in Houston. For my money, and please do not perceive this as comedic infidelity to my little Coco Bean, Aziz Ansari had the best show.

Conan is probably a better writer, but the variety show feel is not my preference. Let’s just keep it to the jokes sirs and madams. This is my problem with Kathy G. as well because her stories are so meandering and I am so uncertain as to whether she will ever return with the punchlines to the gabbled tale that she started half an hour ago, that I have mini panic attacks all throughout her set. Worth it? Yes!!!! But still anxiety provoking. Plus she swears an awful lot.

Aziz on the other hand, insistently dressed like an old-school haberdasher , and stood before us for an hour of pristinely delivered first-date, crazy-family, rap-culture japery that one hopes will be uploaded to the youtube sooner rather than later. Keep the funny coming , Aziz, and I think (because I cannot fit these in anywhere else) that you should name your next special Anthropomorphic Yolk.

Now for the astute mathlete out there, you realize that if my claims of 5 in 5 is literally true and not simply one of my many hyperbolic indulgences for writing’s sake , then I have yet to divulge the final pair of comedians that I have seen this fall. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert make up that twofer completing my jowl-aching hilarity tour. In true single-lady style, I bought tickets for myself and similarly care-free buddy Christina to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear(Someone’s learned her lesson about showing up to these things solo!).

 Christina is my friend who hates it when people misuse the phrase “begs the question” which, I think we can all agree, begs the question: what does it mean to beg the question? I knew Christina would be a good travel companion because even despite her touch of linguistic pretension (a quality we share), he girl is not above a bit of good-natured jiggery-pokery in an effort to get the best seat possible in a crowd of 250,000. We were not, as in my prefigurement, sitting on the laps of Jon and Stephen gently wiping the sweat droplets off of their moist foreheads betwixt their dueling comedic bits, however, Christina’s sojourning spirit did get us up to the second echelon of seats, a feat which would have had me on the verge of tears within minutes, were I to have braved this journey alone.

So, there we sat listening to songs like this:


And reading signs like these:


And hearing the truth like this:



And the truth is that there is a lot to be frustrated about in life, a lot of obstacles, a lot of jerks, a lot of dissension and honestly a lot of vocabulary words that are hard to fit into one anniversary article.

But there is also a lot to talk about and write about and laugh about together. Levity is good. Life is seriously funny, even more so now that Conan O’B is back on T.V. May all of you Anniversary readers have a year of the funny in your future!


***Special thanks to Amy Adams, Brad Pitt, Laura Prepon and Drew Barrymore for providing the 13 mystery words and phrases found in this article and for being active participants in my Real Life year of the funny!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Silver Post-iversary Contest

I’ve told you before about my high school boyfriend D.J. Qualls, right? Well we used to play a little game together which I will call Opinionitis! After many nights of four-hour talks on the phone, you can really learn a lot about a person, despite what disenchanted mom’s and dads might choose to believe! This is what Deej learned about me: there seemed to be nothing no matter how large or microscopic in the finite or metaphysical world, for which I did not have an opinion—and a strong one at that--


I ranted about things like:

• Why computer geniuses could not make a less offensive operating noise for people trying to explore the world wide web via AOL

• Drive through Windows

• The permissive sexual mores of our time

• People who eat chicken and call themselves vegetarians

• People who pretend to like Coffee

• The Nazi Regime,

and

• Blue Cheese

I raved about things like:

• The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who demonstrated his love for us in this: while we were still sinners  died for us, justifying us by his blood and saving us from God's wrath,  

and,
• Frito Pie

Qualls thought this was cute, but made it his mission to seek out something for which I had neutral thoughts and feelings. And so he would try and sneak a little something into each of our conversations:

“Hey what do you think about the new football field? Shaggy hair on guys?Karate?Hinduism?Three Pronged electric cords?”

He caught me without an opinion once or twice, but generally that is a most difficult thing to do.

I took a personality assessment that called this trait of mine, connected.  It said “nothing is without meaning to you, because you see how everything interconnects”. So there you have it folks, you can stop rolling your eyes and stretching out the word O-PIN-YUN-ated, when you describe me. I am connected, thank you very much, things are very meaningful for me.

One thing in particular that has been popping up on my meaning-meter lately is this blog. Next week will be my 25th post, which might not sound like much, but I had a lot of worries about this little baby of mine:

• Maybe it won’t be funny

• Maybe I am not a very good writer

• Maybe no one will ever look at it

• Maybe I will care if no ever looks at it

• Maybe I will be such a bad writer and care so much that no one is looking at it that I will give up and go back to no writing at all

But here we are 5 months later and I feel proud because it is mine, and because you guys have supported it with comments, compliments, advice, etc. So to say thank you and to celebrate my 25th blog post I want to include those of you who have taken the time to read my thoughts on some very meaningful and some very meaningless material. I want to do this by using your very own words, here’s how you can play along:

Submit the Topic or Title of my 25th Post – You can see that I have thoughts on the most random and profound subject areas, so I should be able to write a funny and/or spiritually meaningful article about any subject that you give me! (Topic Ex: Elephants, candy corn) (Title Ex: Feeding Candycorn to Elephants)

Submit mystery words- these words are not the main topic, they are just funny words that you would like to see me incorporate somehow into the body of the next article (ex: lemonhead, viscous, epiglottis, ect.

• Submit any blog ideas that you would like to see rolled out over the next 25 posts (ex: blog page ideas, taglines, contests, posts, etc.)

Readers whose topic, title, or mystery words I use will be given credit using your celebrity pseudonym, so if you don’t have one yet, this is a great chance to get one! Also, Post 25 will not go up on time, I hope to have it up by Thursday, but if not it will be the next Tuesday.

Thanks for Playing!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Calling all Big Books

Well, as promised, I went to see the Social Network, took a week off from writing, read this great article, and spoke with many of you about the nature of my blog-sin. Honestly, I feel almost all atoned up and I am cautiously but honestly moving forward with this little self-hired writing gig. But, before delving straight into some snarky, self satisfied commentary, I want to transition by opening up the “big book” conversation. And in this particular instance I am not referring to the Bible.


Instead, I am talking about a concept that my friend Kate Hudson brought to my attention a few years ago. She asked me once, if I, unlike a couple of other friends, thought she was a “big book”, meaning someone whose life and personality has many chapters, stories, mysteries and yes ,even contradictions. It is this amount of depth after all , which might make each one of us all the more frustrating or enticing to become acquainted with and Kate who is quite like me wanted affirmation that she was layered enough to be hated and adored. I would and did argue that each of us like Whitman himself, are “large, containing multitudes”. That means, Kate Hudson is a big book and you are a big book and so am I.

This feels salient to me at the moment because I know that sometimes I concretize things in my writing that are actually quite fluid. I write from an exaggeration of my point of view which means these little life vignettes that I share seem BLACK and WHITE as I type and post them. I like writing in black and white because I amuse myself an embarrassing amount with my own rigid versions of stories. But, I do believe in the gray in between. My entire life, in many ways, is the gray in between. So this morning I want to leave you with a few chapters from my big book and I would love for you to do the same in the comments section .

Chapter 1: Luddite Blogwriter

Chapter 2: Objective Hyperbolist

Chapter 3: Extreme Moderate

Chapter 4: Extroverted Homebody

Chapter 5: Lost and Found

Ok, Tag your it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Right to Write???

Have I mentioned that I hate internet communication? Because, I do. I think it has the potential for such veiled evil. I’m not even talking about dangerous child predator or stolen identity stuff.
No,
I am talking about a level of unprecedented self-involvement that has come to characterize this generation.
I am talking about forfeiting intimacy with a few in exchange for fandom from the many.
I am talking about misconceptions, misdirections, etc, etc, etc.

Why then, did I start a blog?

It is a fair question, especially from those with whom I have ferociously debated the concept. In a nutshell, I created August Angst because Kelly told me to. As a good friend she told me that I wasn’t a writer if I wasn’t writing and a blog might just give me the accountability that I needed.

I looked down my nose at the idea for a few weeks and then had a come to Jesus with myself.
 “Here is the thing,
I have to write to be a writer.
I don’t write when no one is looking.
I have no time for any submitting work.
Somethings gonna have to give.”

So, I decided to start a blog.

It would be my craft practice. Not a diary. Not therapy. Not something that would take the place of mature and direct communication with those with whom I am in relationship. And until yesterday I felt pretty good about having reached those goals.

But here is the only problem. I don’t know that I have the capacity to write something that isn’t in some way therapeutic. As much as I love to peruse the thesaurus and diagram sentences, at the end of the day writing is always therapy. And that is probably why a few weeks ago when I was feeling fragile, I decided to write about dates from last year.

I did not jump into that writing lightly. I thought about each person who had been gracious enough to pay for my meals, movies and museums and I considered whether they might ever be privy to this little NON-DIARY. It didn’t seem like they would (though I certainly knew there was a chance) so I proceeded with my snarky commentary—knowing that it revealed more about me than each of them.

Yesterday I found out that those little snarky comments had been discovered by at least one of my blog-characters.

And I mean, in all fairness to myself, I have yet to reveal anything horribly tragic about anybody. And I haven’t broken trust with anyone with whom I remain in relationship. But, I still feel like someone should stick my nose in a corner and make me think about what I have done.

It isn’t that I think my words have crippled anyone, in fact I have been assured this is not the case. But I can’t seem to shake that golden rule flippin’ around in my head, so I have to wonder what might happen for me if I came upon this post :

“Tips # 7-15 as learned from the overly dramatic blog-writer”.

7. Don’t be a weirdo 8. Brush your hair 9. Shut up for a half-second 10. What is with all the obnoxious laughing ? 11. Stop interrogating 12. Ever heard of a tweezer? 13. Get some speech therapy for that disgusting smack of yours 14. Try not being the loudest person in the restaurant 15. Don’t be a DB and journal about this date online, like some kind of reject seventh grader

It wouldn’t ruin my life.
I’d probably laugh at a clever line or two.
I might even show a friend in a rare moment of unfrazzled maturity
But,
On my worst and most insecure day, I suspect I would remember one of these clever retorts and cry into my pillow.

So, what ‘s a Golden Rule Honoring, Storytelling girl to do?

I think I’ll start by watching The Social Network this coming weekend . Looks dark, disturbing and philosophically similar to myself when it comes to some of these world-wide venues for communication.

Hoping to be back next week,
until then going to let the angel and devil on each of my shoulders duke it out for the win.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sleep Tight?


People, something has gone awry. I don’t mean to belabor the point, but I think it might have to do with this last birthday. Back in July, as far as one could tell, I was a healthy, vibrant, woman with her whole life ahead of her. Now, just 2 months later, I seem to be in a state of rapid decline.

Two weeks ago, as many of you are well aware, I retched for the first time in 16 years and then spent the evening getting out of bed every 2 hours to lie toilet-side “just in case”. This week I awoke (from an otherwise precious slumber) writhing and screaming out in pain due to a rare and terrifying charley horse. The last, and only other time, that I have experienced a charley horse I was twirling my megaphone and hanging with friends in the choir hallway at BHS circa 1998.

So, in light of this odd return of old afflictions, I felt it best to get myself logged on to the Wikipedia for a little information and reassurance that I was not exhibiting the signs of any horrific and incurable disease. In hind sight, this was not my best decision.

Here is what I found out:

Vomit: may result from many causes, ranging from gastritis or poisoning to brain tumors or elevated intracranial pressure

Charley Horse: Common among pregnant women and the elderly.

So, at first glance, I am either poisoned, tumored, pregnant or speedily headed down dementia drive; however you look at it, the forecast does not seem great. Then to add insult to injury, I am watching the Colbert Report yesterday and I hear that Abercombie and Fitch has had to close down due to one of the many bed-bug infestations currently ransacking our nation. Please don’t misunderstand, because I will, of course, not be in the least affected by any amount of change in the A & F chain. But, I am pretty sure, and by that I mean 100% certain, that if the professionals at a store of that caliber cannot adequately extinguish these little blood-sucking creepers then they are definitely what one might call “all up in” my little couch-bed.

And if nausea, calf-seizing, and night-time crawlers are allowed to persist, one must wonder if there are any good nights of rest in my future. But there is one ray of hope for a restful night to come-- I could go out on another date with the guy whose name and occupation I can never remember, because if memory serves, I almost fell asleep during the one 15 minute conversation that we forced our way through before watching the movie that we had previously agreed upon.  That would supply me a wink or two guaranteed.

So, as a parting gift to all you sleepy-heads out there, I will leave you with Tips # 3, 4, and 5 as learned on my date with (insert snore sound here).

3. Do not choose to go to a movie on a first date…there is no time to get to know this stranger with whom you have agreed to spend an evening.

4. A the end of your time together—love connection or not-- Do not send your date, with little more than a “peace out”, into a dark alley to find her parked car, alone. If you cannot be bothered to walk her to her vehicle, at least get in the habit of providing rape whistles as a parting gift. It is just a polite gesture.

5. And most importantly, do not use the precious conversation time that you do have discussing, much less arguing, the history of traffic on interstate  35. In fact, just to be safe, let’s just say the history of any major highway thoroughfare, should be avoided at this stage in the relationship. Save your civic deliberations for an occasion when you can really give it the time that it deserves. For pre-movie banter, try sticking with info about family, hobbies and jobs. That should be a treat for anyone hoping to get to know you better.

And as a simple bedtime treat for all you faithful readers, I leave you with this little cup of warm milk.


Until next time,

Good Night, Sleep Tight…

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Poetry


This past weekend was a sad anniversary for our country:

Remembering what it is like to fear,

What is like to grieve,

What it is like to hate and to be hated.

But this coming weekend is a holy time for many people in the world.

A time of repentance and of reflection and of course-correction.

A time of humility and of confession and of mercy.

And this is one of my favorite (and shortest, and only) Holy Day poems.

Liora calls to say I'm sorry,
and I forgive her;
This is the greatest poetry that I know.

May your week be full of grace and love and forgiveness...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Slamming Doors and Ralphing


Tonight, I had a new experience. For the first time in my life I had to have friends drive me home after puking in the single-stall bathroom of a local bar. The story would probably be sexier for some of you if it involved even the least inkling of tawdry behavior but true to form I was actually there with a church group after a fairly mature day of cleaning, conversing and celebrating labor day with my neighmly (neighbor-family). I suppose the immature decision of the day was convincing myself that 5 mini-brownies pretty much equal the size of two normal brownies and let the record show, I have, on many occasions, eaten 2 brownies without any noticeable recourse from my body. But, I hear the only constant is change. So maybe I am just turning into the type of girl who can’t handle her chocolate.

OR maybe I am just turning into the type of girl who saves her blog writing until the very end of the weekend only to find that the end of the weekend always get highjacked by something else—on this particular occasion, it just happens to be vomit. So I promised some more tips in this next post and I want to be a woman of my word, unfortunately, for now the tips are going to have to be quick and dirty. Here goes:

Tip 2 as learned from my date with the musician.

Do NOT slam a door in your date’s face. I know it seems self-evident but if you are rusty enough I suppose it isn’t. My 1st date with the musician was great. No complaints. But on date 2 he started talking a lot of music jargon and became so enraptured with the musical set on the outdoor stage that he hardly noticed me follow him inside to throw my trash away. I was inches away from a broken nose and he was moments away from being placed in the “friend zone”. It all kind of makes me nauseous just thinking about it. No wait, that seems to be the brownies again.

My apologies for having written such a disgusting post, but you gotta write what you know--Ya know? Here's hoping this a one time occurence!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August Angst

August is here.

That means we are but a few days away from THE day. God in his sovereignty knew that I was incapable of sharing the spotlight with any amount of grace or decorum and thus allowed for my arrival into this world to take place during the only month in which no formal holidays are celebrated—at least in the Americas—well, at least in the United States of America where I have spent most of my birthdays.
And of course some skeptic who is reading will feel compelled to run through each and every month to confirm that what I am saying is accurate and I just have 2 things to say to you:

1. Seek some counseling you have trust issues
2. Yes I am including no-day off from school type holidays like St. Pattys day. (I don’t want people thinking about Ireland when they could be spending those energies penning out their words of affirmation toward me.)

But, if you haven’t heard, August –even for someone as birthday-centric as myself- can be angsty. It means another year has rolled by and my left ring finger and womb both remain suspiciously empty. This realization often provokes a full day of intermittent sitcom watching and shower crying while Kasey Chamber's Not Pretty Enough plays in the background on repeat. But today as I felt the birthday blues attempt to buzz-kill me, I decided, for your benefit as much as mine, to swim through the self-loathing and into something more hilarious.

So, last year having arbitrarily deemed it “the year of the man”, I decided to celebrate my uninterrupted birthday month by calling upon friends and family to set me up with various pre-approved gentlemen in what I saw as a very mature effort toward angst-prevention. It was a hilarious and mildly successful experiment because when push comes to shove, I consider 4 free dinners and a movie or 2 a mild success. I am an optimist thank you very much!

I went on 4 dates with three gentlemen and came out on the other side with zero love connections but lots of advice. And I figured, if by any chance these musings somehow come to sit in front of some struggling single gentleman looking for a few wooing tips, then I could be of service. And therefore the next couple of posts are your August birthday gifts from me !

Dating Tips for Gentlemen as collected in Year of the Man Experiment ’09.

Tip number one comes from date number one. Date number one was with:

The Architect

The architect was a cutie. Skinny, Bieber-y hair, a hint of a southern drawl, no problems there. He also loved art and planned one of the better dates of my life including perusing a folk art fair, sharing a delicious lunch and the all-time-best art exhibit I have ever experienced. Still smooth sailing, right? Here was the problem with the architect and I can tell you right now, you aren’t going to like it. You are going to say I am too picky and deserve to live a miserable solitary existence in which the burden of planning my own birthday celebrations will always remain on me. I don’t care. I feel strongly about this issue. I can’t help myself.

The problem with the architect was that he was punny. Not in the ironic, isn’t this so stupid that we as vivacious twenty-somethings are using such a childish and simultaneously geriatric form of communication, kind of way. But rather in the, “yeah back in college all of us guys used to call it ArchiTORTURE” and now he is in a fit of laughter at his own simple wordplay, kind of way. It wasn’t good guys. It was not good.

So, my tip for all you would-be-casanovas out there is this: If puns are a big part of who you are don’t set them aside to get the girl only to unleash your dirty little secret during the first year of marriage—that would be unkind and plus there is a segment of the female population out there who love a good pastor-style sense of humor—you guys are meant for one another. But if, on the other hand, you have no real legacy or commitment to punning but use it as an ice-breaker on dates from time to time--

Here is tip # 1. Do not use puns as an ice-breaker on first dates. Puns are goofy things shared with family members who already know your full-range of comedic potential, but your date has no such access to your humor resume. When I hear you use a phrase like “architorture” without then making fun of your own lameness I am left to assume that this as good as it is going to get with you, and I don’t think either of us wants that.Would I have gone on a second date with the architect had he been so inclined? Probably so, but with ample reservation.

Then again, as it stands he is probably writing a blog right now to ladies explaining why licking your plate clean on a first date might send an ill-advised message, so in the end it looks like we are even stevens, but this isn’t about punny Jo it is about me managing my own august angst and it is about you. And if you will take this little piece of advice I think you will find it keeps you from a little something I like to call a DATEsaster. (You see what I did there?)

Coming up on August Angst:
Tip 2 as learned on my dates with the Musician.
Tip 3 as learned on my date with the Oh My God I can’t remember what he did for a living because he was that boring!!!
Tip 4 as learned on the date I never got with the Holy Roller.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tellers, Keepers and Accidental Peepers


The other day I went to sign a contract for a consulting job in a bustling office down town. I had never been there before, never spoken with anyone there, never played bridge with any of them or anything else that could be considered mildy bond-forming.

In ten minutes time I heard about:
The death of one woman's sister which had taken place a year before and left her feeling lonely in the world,

The life-threatening surgery that had taken one of the administrative assistants out of the office for an as yet undetermined length of time,

And, for reasons that remain unclear I was offered an alarming amount of information about the first orgasmic experience of one of the employees passing through the cubicle row where I stood innocently awaiting a final copy of my work agreement.

Does this happen to other people, or am I alone in illiciting such ill-earned glimpses into peopl's lives?!?!

It certainly isn't a complaint, just a query. Made me think of a poem I wrote a while back and since I have been slow to post as of late I thought I'd slap it up here and celebrate a rare occasion of two posts in one day--nay hour!

Storykeeper

I used to be promiscuous with my stories,
telling them to anyone who would hear.
I know better now.
You can go back to their apartments for the jewelry
and the drugs,
and for your half of the movie collection.
But, you can never get your secrets back from someone like that.
So they walk around each day,
carrying your frozen footage,
and brag that they know you—which is only one version of the truth.
So now I am a waiter—
a pusher-awayer—
a quiet, persistent delay of gamer.
Now, that I am older and smarter and wiser,
Now, I am a story-keeper.

Capturing Characters



Note: This was written months ago, revised and I thought posted a week ago and now finally making it to screen.

So, a girl walks into a coffee shop. That girl is me. I meet another girl. She is gorgeous. She is talking with a fellow caffeine-drinking acquaintance about the Twilight series but he is unfamiliar so I wriggle my way into the conversation, true to my baby-child roots. It just so happens that I was persuaded last evening to join Laura and her family at the new Eclipse movie, so today, I have the opportunity, I have an opinion and I swoop in.

“Did you go see the new movie last night?” I asked. She had not. I told her it was creative, better than the others and a tad risqué which she liked. We went our separate ways, I to my computer bar and she 3 feet away at hers. Now, because I am, in fact, the youngest , I have excellent and time-tested eavesdropping skills. So, when I heard the woman’s friend ask “Is she (he gestured at me) “your first stranger of the day”, I felt an “old-school” exhilaration come over me. Not only had I heard their conversation, but they were talking about me!!!

A brief inquiry and I found out that she too was on a new blog adventure. She is meeting new people (one per day), writing about them and currently she is needing to know what to call me, because, “how could I not write about someone with such a beautiful smile?” I tell her my name and her friend smirks because, I happen to have a rather famous one. Then he asks me a lovely question: “Has it been mostly good or mostly bad living with that name?” I smile. It has been mostly good I say, thinking of all the cute boys who have lingered with me just a moment longer because they have an enduring junior-high crush on my celebrity namesake.

Enter cute boy who has a crush on said namesake. Gorgeous woman’s friend introduces me to the new guy who upon hearing my name, not only gets the shakes, but tells me that if I dress as the other Kerri he will let me into a show that he is doing for free. This sounds creepy as I type it out, but trust me he was just a nice kid doubly struck by my own beauty and the memory of my name- sharer in her younger days.

“This all must be great fodder for this writer woman”, I am thinking to myself excitedly. I loved that she was watching my every interaction as though I was the star of my own reality show. (Did I mention that I am a youngest born?) But all attention-whoring aside, I was impressed with this lady having committed to this character-capturing endeavor –just as any good writer needs to do. And just like any good neurotic writer would do, I was counting down the minutes until she finished typing and I could see how she would present me to the world.

Would I be described as pretty? Witty? Charming? Needy, Intimidating, gag-inducing? After what seemed like an eternity, she stopped typing and it was clear that her work was done. Looking at her website my worst fears were realized. She didn’t call me fat or dull or slovenly. She did not call me anything at all.
That little trollop skipped me. I was her character of the day and she had absolutely nothing to say about me. And I know that in the other ways the day was marvelous. After all, I had gotten offered free tickets as you’ll remember—just so long as I show up to an event that I have never heard of, in the previously agreed upon fantasy outfit. There is nothing fishy there, right? All on the up and up?

Nevermind, though. The horror of being passed over is always going to trump the flattery of a perfect stranger asking you to role-play for them at a public event. I think that is a generally agreed upon principal, right?

But guess what, the joke is on that gorgeous girl because I have my own blog and it is a place where everybody knows my name! You all would write about me if I was your stranger of the day, wouldn't you? Maybe if I dressed up as that other Kerri?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book it!


2 weeks and it feels like I outta come back with a bang. Unfortunately, despite two weeks of funeral attending, baby welcoming, mission tripping, niece toting and other fodder-filled endeavors, I am sitting here exhausted and unsure that I can come through with any significant amounts of hilarity or profundity on this particular night of writing.
But I miss this little forum and the whole point of doing a blog like this was to practice communication even when there is nothing immediately witty to say…so instead of holding out for the perfect return post sure to leave each of you in a state of dehydration (what with the tears streaming down your face and the humor-induced pee-a-streamin’), I have decided to throw another list your way— I’m calling it, Please read at least one of these books this summer if you haven’t or haven’t in a while. I am sure that by Sunday I will be back into the rhythm of rocking your worlds with my words, but until them I hope that you will start developing relationships with other authors out there, like the ones who wrote these:

With Regard to Singleness
He’s Just Not that Into You: I know this could not be more cliché, but this book is hilarious (though repetitive) and honest (it hurts so good).
Committed: This is the same author who wrote Eat, Pray, Love…I believe that should be enough of an endorsement if you read that one however if it isn’t you should know that this is a book that is all about marriage and yet somehow made me even more pleased with this whole nun-like situation I got going on here.
With Regard to Spirituality:
The tale of the three Trees: This is a children’s book. Most of us need a good children’s book from time to time, and I this is mine for this particular juncture in life. Check it out!
• Orthodoxy: I keep finding out how many people have not read this book and its killing me. He is the Donald Miller of the 50’s (or whatever time period he wrote in) people! And if you don’t know who Donald Miller is, well he is the G.K. Chesterton of the 200’s, people—go out and start reading!

With Regard to Writing
On Writing: I have never read a novel by Stephen King. Not into gore, and I used to think someone who produced books as quickly as he did must be a trash writer who was in it for the money. If you are still trapped in this way of thinking, please read this book. It is one of my all-time favorite memoirs. I just re-read it which should tell you something because I am of the mind that there are too many books to go around knocking on the doors of all your old (literary) flames. But with Stephen, I had to see him another time, I had to remember and relive what we had together before, and I do not doubt that in time I will go back for thirds!

Now, do you have any reading demands for me? I probably won't get to them 'til 2012 or so, but I do like to know where I am headed!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lost and Found



A couple of summers ago I was in my car, stopped at a red light, when a homeless man started eyeing me through the windshield. I groaned because my soul has yet to find a way to deal with the stress of homelessness. I feel condescending when I hand out 50 cents from my cup-holder. I feel Jesusless when I pretend not to see another human life pleading with me. I feel generally sad about this whole mess of a world where so many are overlooked.

So, on this occasion I rolled down my window to hear the request of this gentlemen only to find out that he hadn’t one. Instead, he was hurriedly trying to make me aware of a note that had been lodged underneath my windshield wiper. I got out and apprehended the note thanking my stranger-friend for his generosity toward me. The note read:

We found your IPOD on the ground
Please call us at 624-XXXX.


When I arrived at the couples house, just a few doors down from my own, they were apologetic saying that they had knocked on my door and tried to email me through my school list-serv, but nothing had worked until now. I laughed, thanked them and left quickly, but I keep that note in my desk drawer as a little reminder of their kindness.

Thinking back, I probably should have been more surprised at their generosity, except it seems that my belongings have always had guardian angels. Some people can boast surviving deathly tidal waves or car crashes and I mean to take nothing from them. It just happens that the angels assigned to me are very concerned with material things and have focused most of their attention in this realm of security.

Last night was no different. Topher Grace and I were standing around in a parking lot talking about God’s providence when his phone buzzed.” You’re calling me,” he said, and I politely disagreed. As it turns out Hal was calling him. Hal picked up my cell after it fell out of my pocket during an ice-cube war I was having with friends earlier that evening. Hal told Topher to have me call him the next day and he would bring me my phone. I wondered out loud why this man would have chosen to call Topher of all people. "Well, I texted you tonight when we got here," Toph said, so I was probably the last text on your phone. This was hilarious news to me since the previous-to-last text I got from Topher was probably 2 months ago and the last time he and I hung out alone together was probably never. What luck, huh?

Can something this inconsequential be attributed to divine providence?
I really don’t know.

But I know that this eerie inability I have to lose things, speaks to me. It allows me to live freely and without fear because someone out there, be it God or man, is always looking out for me. When I finally got home last night I realized that Topher wasn’t the only one who received a call from Hal. Liv and Collin had driven over to my house at 10:30 at night to leave a note for me about my phone, fearful that an email might not be enough.

Liv had to work at 4:30 in the morning and could have benefited from going to bed early, but she was complelled in the moment of decision, to choose my luxury over her need. That is goodness. And I believe that such goodness has a source. And that source is near to me and to Hal and even to the helpful homeless man that I don’t quite know that to do with. And this source has created and situated all of us in time and space in such a way so that we may “seek him and perhaps grasp for him and even find him, though he is not far from each of us.” I hope today is a day of finding and being found for each of you and may your personal property angels be always as diligent as mine.

P.S. In a Bonus God move, the returner of my phone was quite a handssome fellow. Drove a truck, had a dog, made me want to chunk my phone in the back of his pickup just so he could bring it to me again.

P.P.S. I will be out of town on a church trip this week, so no posts for a while. I can hear the sobs of all 8 of you now.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fourth of July-- New York

Soooooo, even though I meant to just slap up another old poem in preparation for our upcoming national day-o-celebration, I ended up writing a whole post today. Thought it was funny and interesting, got home after letting all the creative juices really steep only to find that what I'd written never really came together in any sort of delicious medley of flavors.

I guess that means that those of you who were hoping againgst hope for a little ode to the US of A will have your wish granted today. Let's call it the cherry atop the cupcake of freedom you've been snacking on all these years. Wrote this one when I was 20 years old and interning at a Multi-Cultural Church Plant in NYC. If you don't like it, I am guessing it is because you are an illiterate terrorist.

Red shirts, mini skirts,
halter tops, incessant pops,
bottled water,
only a dollar,
breathmints and sentiment,
summer breeze sweetly kissing the skin,
quiet joy and unresolved sin.
Barricades and lemonade,
baseball caps, bad raps,
starless sky,
the time of their lives,
vibrant children, young women, old men,
year after year, stand together again.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Love is in the Air

sin
Can we all just agree that airplanes should be segregated? Not in the everybody move to duh back of duh bus, kind of way, but more in the happily married to the right and searching singles to the left-- please do not forget your complimentary glass-o-wine -- kind of way. I mean would it really be so hard, to add a simple checkbox to the ticket purchasing paperwork? I am looking at you American Airlines. Check out the sample below:

Yes, I would like to participate in a wholesome mid-air mixer with my fellow travelers of the world. It only makes sense and life is short so why not?

Yes, I would like to participate in a mid-air mixer but my wife has frowned upon the idea.

No, I do not prefer to meet anyone interesting during this particular flight even though I am caged up with these people anyway and in the case of lightning strike they will become my companions in death, but no thanks I’ll just sit here reading my comic book and leaning my seat all the way back as I am sure no one around me will desire any leg space whatsoever over the course of the next 3 hours until we land and I finally get home to my hermit crabs and PSP.

See, isn’t that simple? And its possible you could even cut an unnecessary word or phrase here and there if needed. All I am saying is, it is starting to feel outright wasteful l when I get to the airport, scout out three or four handsome twenty-somethings and then inevitably get seated next to two homely women reading romance novels, within devastating view of the dark-haired guy reading Blue Like Jazz. What gives?

I mean the other day I saw an add for speed-dating, but who really has the energy or moxy to sign up for something as new and risky as that? On the other hand, for a lover of efficiency (which I am not, but take a long meandering walk with me on this subject anyway) airplane dating is just a sensible and concurrent solution to two enduring problems: in-flight boredom/anxiety and a regrettable amount of experience playing solitaire.

What can we do to realize this dream? In the hands of the right marketer I think it could boost and dare-I-say revolutionize the airline industry. So write your representatives, senators and friends in the biz until we see this change because , until that time all we really have on our side are prayers of providence. That said, I happen to be boarding a plane around 9:45 tomorrow morning. Intercession Welcome!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just a Little Crush



I have lived in Austin for 4.5 years and never during this time have I ever ventured to Barton Springs Pool for a swim. Neither have I made any efforts to become acquainted with Deep Eddy (one of the other crowd-pleasing spring pools in the Texas Hill Country). Never, that is, until a few weeks ago when it became a regular hobby of mine. I have to admit, it is a magical experience and one worthy to be recreated daily in sultry times such as these, but how does one go from complete spring-pool abstinence to weekly, sometimes daily rendezvous? The answer: girl-crush.

I have to admit that I, Kerri Nolastname (pronounced no-lost-nuh-may), have a huge girl-crush on Drew B., a former co-worker of mine. Drew loves spring-pool swimming and has been the first person whose mere invite got me instantly in a swimsuit, happily navigating a parking nightmare and wading through the filthy, groping seaweed that is allowed to grow free in a natural pool. This girl has the power! So, can you imagine my spiritual intoxication last week when I ran into her at the park (which I totally always go to and wasn’t hoping to run into her at) and she introduced me to a friend as her girl-crush. I quickly reigned in all of my girl-crush reciprocity glee and gave a simple “what can I say” shrug to her friend and then hurried off before I ruined the moment with persistent giggles or inappropriate weeping. So, all this heterosexual girl love really got me, (now called L.L. Cool K.) thinking…

It was tempting to avoid the girl-crush concept altogether since I know that it can be controversial for those who have no sense of humor. But upon further consideration I decided that not only would this would get me some real points with Drew, but it also gets at a topic that has been hovering all about me for the last three years or so—chemistry. What is it?!?! What do you think are the factors that contribute to good chemistry? How come there are some friends who I love deeply but who could frankly never convince me that seaweed is ok in a structure that is shaped and touted as a swimming POOL. Is chemistry linked to newness? Is it that you see something in the other person that you know you need more of and thus you are drawn to them on some meta-level of experience? Is it about immediacy as far as comfort levels are concerned? What do you think? When you hear the word chemistry, ESPECIALLY in a non-romantic sense, what does it mean to you?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Romance Religion Revealed (and other notable reunion moments)




1. Passing up the opportunity to go to an after-hours swim party in Moffat, TX population 150. Sorry guys, as totally unawkward as that sounds, I think I’m just gonna stick with the Cupid Shuffle and head on home.

2. Watching an old kindergarten buddy:
Storm the empty dance floor ,
steal the mic from the D.J.,
proclaim that the next song would blow our minds,
unleash the krunk-maker we all know as “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black-Eyed Peas. And then,
dance solo for one of the longer 3 minutes of all of our lives.

3. Spending time with BFFs Liv and Amy maniacally scheming pranks to be performed by Liv’s Husband. Should he attend the reunion as a French man? A swinger? An intriguing combination of the two? Endless possibilities.

4. Listening to a former Spanish class dreamboat ask if I am married and seem noticeably astonished that my answer was no, not in the “What’s wrong with you” kind of way in the tradition of small town church ladies, but more in the “what is wrong with everyone else on the planet” kind of way” . Thank you kind sir for this most appropriate response!

5. Running into Freddie Prinze Jr.’s old friend in the stairwell on the way out of the building and pretending to casually inquire about FPJ’s whereabouts.

Me: Oh hey there, you might know. You know who I was just remembering was that guy Freddie, are you still in contact with him?
FPJs Soccer Buddy: Yeah man, I wish he was here but I heard he was in Asia again.
Me: Oh he is in south east asia, huh? What for?
FPJs Soccer Friend: Missionary Work
Me: Missions work, huh? Neat. So, but seriously no current contact with him?
FPJ’s Soccer Friend: Yeah, no he’s just still a single man out there on his own so he’s kind of not tied down anywhere, like the rest of us I guess.
Me: and you're dead to me Soccer Friend. See you in 10 years.

So, there you have it. I remain in romantic agnosticism. But at least my friend Gwyneth facebook stalked him on my behalf and reports that he is now hideous, (I believe her exact words were, “ his hair is a little flat these days, so he is not quite as hot as we used to think.”)

Any of you ladies and gents have any interesting H.S. reunion fodder?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reunion Romance


When I was 17 and only months away from graduating high school, I took a Physics Class. This was a mistake for any academic purposes as I routinely made A’s on the content portion of exams and then promptly failed the adjoined (and much weightier) practical application portions. My classmates were literally sleeping on their drool-stained desks each day as I hurriedly asked question after clarifying question, but unlike me, they effortlessly aced each week’s test. It might as well have been an exam over their own likes and dislikes, so disparate was their preparation compared with their success. And as you might imagine, for a person who genuinely argued that perfectionism was “of the Lord” Physics, as a subject, was not fun for me.

On the other hand, the class did have its social perks. One of my closest cheerleading buddies sat next to me so we eagerly engaged in prom talk, who was breaking up with whom, and which untrained newbies would dare tryout to take our spots. (It seems only fair to mention that some have said that there still has never been a suitable replacement). Then, on the other side of me sat Leo D. , one of the most popular guys in our class and since he happened to be star-gazingly in love with my cheerleader friend he included me in most of his discussions, jokes and, if memory serves, I believe there was a one-time only invitation to a hot-tub party in his backyard. Come to think of it, Freddie Prinze Jr. , might have been at highly inappropriate hot-tub party of 2000 as well.

Freddie Prinze Jr. , sat behind me in Physics. Every day when I entered the classroom prepared for a nervous breakdown he sang me all the way to my desk: “Hey Kerri, your so fine, your so fine you blow my mind, Hey Kerri (clap-clap, clap-clap) Hey Kerri. And every day I giggled and gushed, but somehow the idea that Freddie Prinze Jr. might have been interested in me for more than a physics-neighbor relationship, eluded me. It would have taken a miracle from God for me to be unattracted to this boy. He had 4 out of 5 of the elements catalogued in my FABULOUS FIVE Boy Features List. And since it wouldn’t be nice not to share…

1. The boy shall be skinny, thin will not do, I need to see some ribs sticking out of that undersized ironic tee that your wearing.
2. The boy shall wear glasses. Smart = Hot and I know there is no evidence connecting poor vision with intelligence, but it just seems intuitive, doesn’t it?
3. The boy shall have good mandibles. I don’t know if that is the correct way to say it, it is just what I have always said. This basically means a strong jaw-line which is emphasized in moments of anger or intensity.
4. The boy shall have funky hair. (It can be shaggy, spikey or dreaded…it just needs to be something that shows a propensity for moving away from the status quo.
5. They boy shall have good facial hair. (Freddie did not have this one at the time, but neither did anyone else because it violated school policy)

So, why are we (somewhat creepily) talking about a boy from the past, not to mention pool parties and cheerleading drama? Well, mostly because I am 2 days away from my high school reunion and a brief facebook stalking endeavor a few years back indicated that Freddie Prinze Jr. was still on the market. You see I became obsessed with FPJ after breaking up with an ex-boyfriend because I realized that he was exactly like F.P.J. except F.P.J. was clearly madly in love with me and probably had to endure years of counseling for my unintentional rejection. F.P.J. became the bread and the wine of my romantic communion. He was the one to metaphorically turn to when things seemed hopeless in the love department. He became ritualized in my mind and as oft as I thought of him I remembered how he had sacrificially poured out his awkward teenage love while I was still shamefully unawares. So this weekend could be the moment I see his face again, people! This is huge! What will happen?!What will I become?!

Weigh in on the options below:
A. Romance Atheist: He will have become bald fat and grumpy and will confess that he sang to me to get the attention of my cheerleader friend because he knew she was attracted to tenors. This causes me to lose the faith and begin my life as a cat collector despite my well-documented disdain for these, the snobbiest of animals.
B. Romance Agnostic: He will not show up, allowing me to remain in the sea of mystery. Sometimes sure of love, but often pretty sure that I am too smart for all of this silly jibba jabba.
C. Romance Believer: He will have arrived early at the pre- reunion dinner and is waiting for me at the door. “You can go in there and have a taquito”, he says “Or you can come with me and we can finally begin something that should have started 10 years ago.” I pause to consider both delicious choices, wonder if it is uncouth to suggest a few taquitos to go, then err on the side of safety and join him taquitoless in the van that he usually uses to serve meals to the homeless. He has a picnic inside, confesses that each day of the last 10 years he has been planning for this moment and asks me to join him at the reunion as his fiancé.
D. WRITE YOUR OWN THEORY and POST AS A COMMENT!
I will be back on Sunday with the Results!