It's not easy being brown

In defense of the lemming mindset, I have found that being a lemming is fun and rewarding. (And if you don't click that link, you'll have no clue what I'm talking about. So click it now. I'll be here.) For more than a year, (it was once part of Television Without Pity's Off-Topic Blather forums) I've found this online community to be warm, supportive and fun. The concept that we're lemmings is both a joke and pretty serious. We do have a tendency to heed each others' advice on good bargains, methodology and experiences regarding everything from makeup to workout schedules to home improvement projects. I feel comfortable saying that we are generally more concerned with our own (and each others') insides than outsides. Like Morpheus tells Neo, "The body cannot live without the mind." All that is to say, I enjoy the Looking Good forums immensely.


And, here's the but ...


Why must we all agree on everything all the time? For example, we're planning a LolaCon. Some people are working very hard behind the scenes to create some really fun and amazing opportunities for us to enjoy. I doubt I'll be able to afford a trip to New York City this fall, but I am saving my pennies. (It seems so greedy to want another trip just months after a two-week vacation in Italy, so I try to brace myself for disappointment. But I still really, really want to go.) The current issue is that, apparently, some lemmings want to bring significant others or friends. Other lemmings do not want any outsiders allowed. Both points of view are equally valid, which is why I can't figure much of a compromise. The moderators of the Looking Good board have insisted that a definite decision regarding non-posters be reached. So, just allowing a each individual to make her own decision is out. I disagree with that approach, but it's valid. Not to decide is a decision. I also understand that the moderators, who have taken on a great responsibility in paying for, running, coding, designing, organizing, etc. the board are probably loathe to make any one lemming feel alienated from the rest of the group.


The high-maintenance aspect of this gathering is foreign to me. I've attended two out-of-town BuffyCons. At the first, I knew no one. I had developed relationships via email and AIM, but I had met no one. Almost three years later, and now I count Saucy, Kariyaki, Boliver and Gorimek among my friends; Dynagirl is easily my best friend on the planet. She's the (bad pun ahead!) Dynagirl to my Electrawoman, Sars to my Regina, the Ben to my Matt, the Willow to my Buffy. The second far-away BuffyCon involved 15 hours in a car with five other people who I had only met in person once or twice before (but we had all gotten to know each other really well, I must admit) and then hanging out among a crowd of 40. That's right! Forty. I met and chatted with one girl, whose screen name I didn't even know, and liked her a lot. It was months later when someone commented on my use of the phrase coined by this fantabulous person, "the gaymaker," that I figured out the great girl from RedneckCon was NancyDrew! Oh? I've also hosted two BuffyCons in my home. So, I'm all about nervousness, anxiety, stress and fear of the unknown. I've also really, really enjoyed myself.


To my way of thinking, huge gatherings of people who share interests are fun when you make up your mind that you're okay with being out of control. One attendee cannot reasonably expect to get to decide what another attendee says, does or who she brings. I have found, as mentioned previously, the most wonderful people amid a sea of strangers. I have found that some people who are brilliant online lose a bit of their luster in person. I've discovered the brilliance of silent lurkers, and startling insecurity in self-appointed leaders.


I was hoping that writing this lengthy diatribe would help me sort out my thoughts, boil them down to a few bullet points, and hopefully offer some constructive insight to other lemmings. Sadly, I have no conclusion to share. I feel no differently about the issue than I did before I started writing. Pooh.

Pressure

[dum da dum da dum dum, da dum da da dam da dum dum]


1. What do you most want to be remembered for?

Sincerity, generosity and honesty.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?

Indigo Girls: "A lesson learned, a loving God, and things in their own time, In nothing more do I trust."

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?

Maintaining a relationship with a medical student who literally lived someplace different every month. Seeing her graduate with honors, knowing she couldn't have done it without me.

4. What about the past ten years?

Graduating from college and standing up to The Man (a.k.a. a former coworker I not-so-affectionately call Mr. Grope 'N Feel) are the first two that come to mind.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?

I guess I'd offer the same advice that my mom always gave me growing up: "The only actions and attitudes you can control are your own." Too often, I give others power over me, emotionally speaking. Like, conflicts on posting boards affect me deeply. Last week, I got an email from an Internet friend that literally made me cry and ruined my entire day. Why? Who is she to me? I respect and like her, but why should her non-gentle comments make me run to the bathroom at work in tears? Of course, when I reread the upsetting email the next day, I saw that it was not nearly as harsh as I had first interpreted it to be. But that kind of reaction is kind of a victim's mindset. And I cannot stand that kind of attitude.

Less pathetically, I'm responsible for only me. If I take that responsibility seriously and not treat the feelings of others carelessly, I've done my part.


Shout out to fridayfive.org!

Shift + Refresh, dammit!

Come! On! TWoP! Now I remember why I got so frustrated with that site. It takes a democrat in the Oval Office to get the freaking pages to load.


Paranthetical sidebar here: The Southeast Dallas Democrats have invited me to join their lovely organization. TFEva read me the letter they sent last night. To which I responded, "Wait. That almost sounds like they think we should get invovled in local politics instead of just sitting around bitching about them. That can't be right! Read it again!" Hee! I think we will. And by "we," I mean "me."


I'm trying to answer Queen of Denial's poll about best and worst Buffy episodes of seasons seven and six. I just need something in front of me to help me remember ep titles, but TWoP just won't load. BuffyGuide.com it is, then. I've been trying to formulate a Top [arbitrary number] Buffy Episodes list. I thought filling out the poll would help me. But, not so much.


Over the long weekend, I rented S1 Felicity on DVD. Does that make me the lamest person ever? Did anyone watch that show besides me? I seem to recall back when Buffy was on Monday nights that Felicity followed it. Is that right? Or are there holes in my brain?

From Friday: Co-irkers are such fun!

Except for the "fun" part. Obligatory back story: Have I mentioned Poop In A Group Guy? Appropriately nicknamed PIGG for short? PIGG might only be known to Dynagirl and myself, but I'm not sure. Seeing as how I can't get my own archives to work, I've got to rely on my own faulty memory. So, PIGG is a notoriously bad communicator in the work place. He uses phrases like "let's get our poop in a group" when he means, "I'd like to have a meeting with you and so-and-so."


Tuesday afternoon, the receptionist gets a frantic phone call from PIGG, who's out of the office, natch. BTW, this freak is never in the office for more than 10 hours a week. If he's not off on "comp time," he's "helping his mom." He also attends lots of "trade shows." Anyhoo, Monday at quitting time, he asked the receptionist to send something to New York. Said receptionist sent said something to New York via Fed Ex. But! She didn't send it overnight. *gasp* Tuesday's phone call was a request that new copies of the same documents be sent again, but this time overnight. The problem, however, is that there are no copies of those documents. PIGG and his cohort are such control freaks that they have the only two electronic copies of those files on their computers. Therefore, the receptionist was asked to go to PIGG's PC, print out the documents, and send those.


Anyone who works in an office understands that a receptionist can't exactly flit about the office. Well, anyone except PIGG. The receptionist was doing her best to take care of the problem, and meanwhile got in trouble with her boss for not being at the front desk. Because I'm friends with the receptionist, I happily volunteered to take care of the problem. I was at the office so late, I missed the first 5 minutes of Buffy, but I don't care.


Wednesday passed. Thursday passed. Finally, I broke down today and asked the receptionist if anyone even knows if the materials arrived on time. The boss of the receptionist overheard our conversation, I suppose, because then she ripped PIGG a new pie hole. PIGG then thanked the receptionist for her help, who then told him that I'm the one who actually took care of the problem. Eventually, he came in here and thanked me. I said that he was welcome and that I don't mind doing it. I also said that we could all certainly learn our lessons from this experience, blah blah blah avoid future pains in my ass blah blah mailing instructions in writing blah tell our guy in shipping that PIGG doesn't need approval to overnight packages. Then, PIGG shut my office door. I groaned inwardly. He starts The Blame Game, and I just couldn't handle hearing his whining again. I've worked with the guy for three years -- his sad songs are never changing.


So, I told him that he was a notoriously bad communicator. He yelled, "Bullshit!" And then proceeded to rant. He seriously almost made me cry, but that's only because my meds need some more tinkering, and I always cry these days. When I got my second wind, I cut him off and refused to let him get off that easily. He is a poor communicator. He needs to work on his communication skills so we can all get more done. I wasn't being mean to PIGG, and I honestly wasn't trying to be malicious. I would like to work more on his projects, but he's unable to communicate what, how, why or when.


The drama continues, because now he's whined to BossDaddy. Blech!

No contiene jugo de fruta!

That's what my bottle of Tropical Gatorade Xtremo says on it. The entire label is in Spanish. I really like it!


Goodness. In addition to the Gatorade Xtremo, when I stopped at my local Exxon station, I also got a large hazlenut cappuccino from the little push-the-button, stick-your-cup-under-the-spout-y thing. Woo. My mind is literally buzzing. Wow. I cannot focus. I planned to get around to an in-depth analysis of Buffy, the Fall TV line up and Dawson's Creek, but I can't do it. I can focus on neither work nor personal tasks on today's (or yesterday's) to-do list. Yesterday's list was derailed by one of those morning emails from BossDaddy that said, "Ad deadline today! Do this now." Like, when did you buy that ad? Oh, three weeks ago? And you're telling me today? But frankly, I got more done yesterday than I have in the last three weeks, so telling me at the last minute was probably the right thing to do.


Graduation dinner tonight! I'm wearing a dress!

Word to my girlfriend

Last week, SMASH to DYNAGIRL: Stupid Joss! Stupid telling everyone in every possible interview for the last six months as many times as conceivably possible that someone dies. Shut up, Joss!


DYNAGIRL: Right, right, blah blah not Spike, blah blah can't sleep, blah blah sadcakes.


SMASH: Blah blah not Spike blah too obvious blah blah speculation and consoling.


SMASH: Recounts above conversation to TFEva.


TFE: I'm no writer. Hell, I'm not the least bit creative or appreciative of fiction. But even I know that the show has to end BIG, which means somebody has to die. Dude, somebody even dies at the end of fucking Dawson's Crack.


SMASH: *howls with laughter*

A hypothetical post

You know the saying about how if you peel the labels off of your beer all fidgety like that it's a sign that you don't get enough sex? I wonder if that applies to playing with the wrapper of a York Peppermint Patty that you just ate? Let's say you're reading old recaps -- or "wraps," as it were -- of Dawson's Creek, not quite shredding the York wrapper. Are you lacking lots of action in the sex department? Or are you also smoking your fourth post-coital cigarette of the day?


Hypothetically, you realize as you're reading your fourth recap in two sittings of a show you've only recently become barely interested in that you're reading the recaps because Sars wrote them. And then you remember that this morning while getting ready for work, you decided that you'd create a category of Imaginary Internet Boyfriends and Girlfriends, similar to the Imaginary TV Boyfriends and Girlfriends. And that you'd definately put Sars at the top of that list, followed by Regina and Anna S. You also debate the ethics of having both Raptorgirl and Eyeball on your list of Imaginary Internet Girlfriends because A) they're sisters and 2) they're real people who you might one day actually meet and you'd never want them to get squicked out in person by the fact that you have an imaginary Internet crush on them plus the fact that you've been known to have a girlfriend. And you're a girl. Hypothetically.


In this same scenario, you then recall that just the other day, your significant other made a snarky comment about the irony of the number of conversations you have with Dynagirl about shagging, Buffy characters, shagging Buffy characters, Buffy characters shagging each other, shagging the actors who play the Buffy characters, Buffy characters shagging Angel characters, and so on, when you haven't done any actual shagging yourself in a while. Naturally, that kind of hypothetical remark pisses you off, hypothetically. But perhaps the truth of the statement sinks in. So, when you obsessively continue to read everything ever written by Sars because of your hypothetical Imaginary Internet Girl Crush on her, you notice your bizarre, label-peeling habit. In this situation, what does the hypothecial you do?


The easy answer is, well, go home and shag the one you're with. But the complicated answer factors in how doing so would be letting the hypothetical significant other's hurtful comment go unpunished. Do you set aside your nature, which cares about petty things like payback for snark about an unsatisfactory sex life and jealousy of obsession with fictional characters? Or do you just get it on?


Less hypothetically, I'm having a craptastic day. It's exhausting taking things personally that really aren't! Especially when it comes from so many places--BossDaddy, coworkers, folks on posting boards. Not even the thrill of defying my diet and eating five York Peppermint Patties has cheered me. Not even my new lipgloss sent from Manhattan has perked me up. Hopefully this weekend I can have dinner with TFE and our pregnant friends M and A. That would make me quite happy. The four of us conspired to introduce my college roommate and A's good friend from high school (or some such), and if we can not-subtly invite them to join us, it would be even more fun! I love people who make me laugh.


Stupid distance. Stupid ending of Buffy. Stupid sad Connor. Stupid cell phone beeping "low battery."

Sputter

I really haven't had much to say lately. I just plain didn't feel like posting. I blogged some, but when it came time to actually post, I had to ask myself, "Does anyone really care that I'm going to do yard work today? Does anyone care that it's raining outside? Or that I just finished doing yoga?"


So, I'm going to post my review of the season finale of Fastlane. Oh, shut up. You know you watch it.


The season finale was a two-parter with a big cliff hanger. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The first half, Dosed, featured Van (a.k.a. Mr. Jennie Garth) practicing his tough-guy-with-gun routine before a mirror wearing little black briefs. Not tighty whities--bikinis. No flap. Full hair and jewelry, but just undies. He made some moves on Ali Landry, who has got to be the worst actress ever to appear on Fox. And we all know that that is saying something. Truly a bad performance, even by Landry's standards.


The Hot Chick plot line was just an excuse to dose Van with some fancy whosit drug that would kill him in a couple of days. Which would have been fine by me so long as they bury him in those little black bikini panties. McG pulled a fast one on me, though, because Landry didn't do it! I picked Obvious Fastlane Plotline #4: The girl works for some evil character to bring down the undercover cops. That McG! He was actually using Stupendous Fastlane Plotline #1: The unseen baddie. TUB pushes Billie's buttons, but not before he puts a cap in Dawson's director-boss-friend guy, who Billie, Van and Deaq just busted out of prison. Billie figured out TUB's identity by the end, right after she kicks some big, bald British ass in pub to save Van and the day.


Yep, that's all the memorial aspects of Dosed. You read the part about the black panties, right?


In the second part of the visual crack two-parter, Van's all better. Our girl Billie is in ultra-low lowrise pants. Jay Mohr cops attitude, but doesn't sing any Stryper songs, which is a damn shame because I actually know all Stryper's songs. Deaq gets the creepy phone call from TUB this time. Alas, Billie trashes McG's brilliant usage of TUB by identifying him for us through the liberal use of flashbacks. TUB is actually Billie's first protege! He was the Candy Store's first undercover dude!


TUB manipulates the gang into being his collective bitch, Mohr's swearing gets bleeped out (man, I love it when they do that!), and TUB kills a second guy sniper-style. Billie, still in those ultra-low-rise pants, tells TUB that she knows who he is. He shows up at the Candy Store, even. He's boring.


Turns out, his girl is Kelly Kramer from One Life to Live, and works at a bank. She's got wicked awesome lowlights and looks great in a pantsuit. She helps our gang steal the diamonds from the bank, then gets herself followed by Billie's boys in blue. Nobody outsmarts Billie!


Nobody out violences Deaq and Van, either. The boys back the armored truck holding the stolen diamonds over TUB's car, with TUB still in it. The diamonds spill out onto the streets of Los Angeles, where a dozen or more extras start picking up what they can.


Back at the Candy Store, the boys are pretty cocky because they saved the day and "broke 50 laws." Mohr bosses the boys around, because he's in charge without Billie around. Who, he advises, should get herself to a country that doesn't have an extradition agreement to save her skin. Well! Nobody likes a Mr. Huffypants, even if he does sing 80s Christian hair band hard rock.


Well, Ray and Deaq look at each other questioningly, where is Billie? Ruh roh! Kelly Kramer kidnapped her, and has her tied to a chair in some unused OLTL set! Kelly Kramer congratulates Billie for kicking heroine, then promptly stabs her in the leg with a syringe. Whee! Free drugs! Oh, I mean, dum dum duuuum!