Wednesday, September 28, 2005

(and other stories)

The Blockbuster Video people in my town may be evicted over some stupid tax issue. When another reporter pitched that story for our paper yesterday, I almost had a heart attack. In the middle of our planning meeting, I actually yelled out, "OH NO! Not Blockbuster. If they get evicted there goes my date for Friday nights." (much dramatic waving of arms and fake fainting motions)
My editor was like, "What?!"
And I said, "Well, on Friday nights I talk to the brown-haired video boy while I get my movies for the weekend. It's a ritual."
Everyone burst out laughing and my editor said, "Jane, you live a very sad life."
It's true, I live a very sad life.

Today is my birthday. I am 25. I have no boyfriend, no prospects for a boyfriend. I work in the town I went to highschool in. My roommate is leaving in December and I have no one else to live with and not enough money to live by myself. Danger of moving back with parents could be imminent. My cat expects me to be home on Friday nights because I always am, watching movies. I live a very sad life.

But, things could improve. I think if I put my mind to it, got a new job, moved to a new place, things could be different. I am pretty cute, and I am intelligent, and who wouldn't want to date a girl with a mini-cougar as a pet? And I can write like a mad-woman.

Also-- I have the same birthday as Gwyneth Paltrow.

Really, I just ROCK, and no one knows it yet.

try the beef sauce, it's delicious. Shazaam! at

Monday, September 26, 2005

We were born in West Virginia...

Looking at the recent roll of film I got developed, my dad said:
"you guys were in rare form on this trip. I mean you were really hilarious, that's when you were writing the poetry, wasn't it?"
It's true. The trip we took to Louisville after my sister graduated from college was one of those perfect things. Timed when we were all on the same page--happy to see each other, missing being apart. All four kids in a state of "comedic commraderie," egged on by the fact our parents were laughing so hard my dad almost wrecked the car.
One photo shows my youngest sister with a crescent shaped neck pillow around the top of her head, hands in a jazz-fingers pose. She is screaming something about her dutch hat and wooden shoes. "I don't know any Dutch words, Schnecken, schnecken, strudel. Strudel, strudel, strudel," she screams in a high-pitched doll's voice.
Our brother: one shows him wearing a lampshade hat, another depicts him doing a Napoleon Dynamite dance.
Another photograph has me, and the other sister, gold foil teeth applied to happy grins.
Happy times.
Later, I will get a poem we wrote to post for everyone. We did the thing where you each write one line, fold the paper over, then pass it on. No one knows what anyone else wrote, then you read it and see what you get. Some of them were eerily well-done.
Anyway, our dad is strangely proud that his kids turned out to be weird-o commedians instead of bankers or lawyers.

"Strudel" to your sisters at

Friday, September 23, 2005

and now for something COMPLETELY different...

at dinner last night, our fam was talking about television, and our strange historical love affair with the box that has sometimes--and sometimes not--occupied our house.
Story #1: My mother, when she was my age, was hooked on DALLAS, with all the drama and big hair. She told us this after I confessed my embarrassing addiction to THE O.C. (love, LOVE, LOVE the O.C., cringe, but it's true). My parents, who were very poor, and had just had a baby (me), had no T.V. at the time because the one they owned had broken. My mother made my dad walk down the street and borrow a television from an old lady because she needed to see the season premiere of DALLAS.
Story #2: Skip ahead to me at 17, in the midst of an AP Chemistry exam complete with blue book. I am attempting to squeeze from my brain a number of chemical equations forever lost in the mire, and all I can come up with is a song, which I am obsessively and absentmindedly humming to myself when the teacher walks by and says, "Did you recently see a re-run of DALLAS?" "No," I reply. I don't know if I've ever seen that show, why do you ask?? "Because, you're humming the theme song."
I tell my parents this at dinner and my mother says it must have been burned into my subconscious in the womb. scary.
Story #3: While our dad is making fun of our mom for needing the TV to watch Dallas, the kids quickly remind him of the time the family experimented with conservative values and put the TV in the garage. One Sunday afternoon, we couldn't find him until someone opened up the garage and found him huddled in a corner, crunched up next to an outlet with the TV, a Pepsi and a pizza, watching football. He'll never live that one down. The TV was reinstalled in our living room the next day.

who shot JR, anyway? at

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

With the spinning and the reeling and the BRAIN on overdrive...

The past 24 hours have been jam-packed with nutritious excitement:
1. The lost boyfriend, prodigal and general fuck-wit screw up, has returned. Maybe more on that later, but for now, all anyone needs to know is he smelled like heaven and fed me lines. typical. boy.
2.I'm going to Mississippi to cover a group of our county's SWAT team members going down to cover the asses of the men who are protecting people and helping people after H.K. Will be sleeping in a casino with an asssortment of law enforcement guys from around the U.S. I'm guessing it will be one of the most emotional, dramatic experiences of my life, and also, that it will smell very, very bad. but i can deal. i better.
3. Tonight, I will be going on my Very-First-Blind-Date-Ever. With some guy who manages a Marsh store and has for quite some time. But while speaking to him on the phone last night I could have sworn he said something about med. school. intriguing. anyway, he sounds like a jerk because of this:
Him: "Do you play a musical instrument, by the way?"
and i said: "Piano."
and he said: "I thought so. That or the clarinet."
i respond with a: "Why?"
and he says:"I don't know. You sound like you're intellectual, and girls that are intellectual usually play an instrument and it's usually the clarinet, violin or piano."
Her: "Thanks for the label, ass-hat" (that was said in my head.)

SO, it will be dinner for free and the likely ending of: well that was nice, but I've got to go home now and thanks for never calling me again. erase me. from your memory. permanently.

too much to compute without my morning coffee at

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Time for a Change?

I feel pretty much useless right now, like I should be doing so much more. Am I even helping people the way that I want to with my work?? I don't know.
In the broad scheme of things, these stories that I write, about Hurricane victims, or people killed in car accidents, do they do any good?
Do they help others, the people who read them? Are they encouraged, or goaded into action by what I write, or am I just writing as a space filler??
Is there something else I could and should be doing? I got into this because I thought it was a way to contribute, but what am I doing, really??? Is there a better use for my talents, and if there is, what is it??
I write well. (Don't take my entries here as an example, as much of the time I ramble and wander then publish without another thought. I guess in a way, the words I type here are more analysis and therapy related than actual conscious word-crafting). How can I help other people with my writing??
Is there a use for my skills, other than what I am doing, that could benefit more lives than I have already touched? Why do I feel so useless??
Does anybody even read what I write???

pondering at

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Missed opportunities...

I always wanted to visit New Orleans, as it was the setting for my favorite series of novels, The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. But old New Orleans is gone this morning and the disasterous image that rises up in its fallen shadow is such a horrifying snapshot of the human condition that it seems impossible anything will ever go back to normal.
There is a large part of me that wants to go down there, to join in the clean-up, but I realize that my skills are largely considered useless in a time like this. I could cook, I guess, for the workers who rebuild the city. I'm a good cook. And I could paint. But no one needs a writer in times like this, instead, you become a nuisance, a target for the bullet of a person desperate to release the anguish and anger brought on by such trauma.
If an opportunity arises, and I really can go down there, I'll do it without a second thought.
For now, much luck and peace will be in my prayers for the ghost of that beautiful, violent, luscious city.