Thursday, May 29, 2008

WTF?!? (wrangle the fundamentalists)

I think I'm going to move to Canada

Haiku Ode to Modern Pharmaceuticals

Oh shiny capsules,
Containing wondrous relief--

I have a sinus infection. Isn't that awesome?!?

Let me 'splain; I have been feeling like a truck ran over me for a week and a half. I've had constant sinus pressure and headaches that retreat only briefly with aspirin and decongestant, major exhaustion, barely dragging myself through the days... and it just today finally occurred to me (and not until I woke up with a mild fever) that, hey, maybe there's something legitimately wrong with me. Am genius, thank you.

So thank God for antibiotics, I say. Supergerm breeders or not, they sure come in handy sometimes. Hopefully they will also lead to more frequent posting, since the aforementioned exhaustion was cutting back severely on my output.

Have also postulated that symptoms may have had an affect on my perception of Casino gaming floors as seventh circle of hell. Also, that flying yesterday probably did not help.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas

I'm in Las Vegas for the first time.

I do not like it here.  

Part of is personal. I'm not interested in gambling. I don't like crowded noisy places. I can't stand the sensory overload of the miles of casino floor one has to walk through to get anywhere. Flashing lights, loud music, along with the random bells and alarms of slot machines, crowds and smoky air combine to make me want to curl up in a corner and cover my head. But then, I tend to be somewhat easily overwhelmed, especially when I'm tired, and I can see how other people might find the atmosphere here exciting and intoxicating.

Atmosphere is not the thing that's really bothering me though. I was going to write a flippant piece about how many times I've heard in the last few years that Vegas has really become a family-friendly city that also caters to people who have no interest in gambling or wild nightlife, and how that's perfectly true and you should definitely bring your children here to see the dancing fountains if what you want them to learn from this family vacation is Boobies! Boobies! Boobies!

But I'm too sad to make (much) light of what I've seen here. The emptiness in this place is sickening and heartbreaking at the same time. 

I'm not sure what's worse- the desperate people who are trapped here, working and trying to salvage a better life for themselves without being sucked in and destroyed, or the ones who come voluntarily. I know not everyone here is an addicted gambler/alcoholic/prostitute. You don't have to tell me that plenty of healthy, well-balanced people come here to have a little harmless fun and then they go back to their healthy, well-balanced lives. It still makes me sick to my stomach. Because the people here? So many of them do not fall into that category. And the ones who do? Must be willfully blind, hardened enough to see the suffering around them and blithely ignore it in pursuit of a good time. 

I want to curl up in the middle of the strip and cry for this city; for all those caught in the grip of this soulless beast of greed and lust and indifference that swallows anyone too weak to resist it. 

For the ones; young, and old, male and female, rich and poor, desperately trying to fill themselves with momentary pleasures and material things, temporarily appeasing the misery they don't understand how to escape. 

For the innocent-eyed young girls I've seen, freshly scrubbed and obviously well-off, walking around dressed like a dirty old man's idea of what a naughty schoolgirl should look like, oblivious to what really lurks behind the stares they draw. 

For the unkempt man stretched out, half-conscious, in front of a storefront, ignored by the hordes of people jostling along the sidewalk. 

For the blank-eyed people I see sitting in front of slot-machines in every casino. They have different faces but they all wear the same hopeless expression. 

For the man on the street corner with the Bible, shouting at passersby about redemption, and not understanding that assaulting people with the gospel is just as bad as assaulting them with anything else, and worse, because if you beat someone over the head with something good, they'll turn way from it afterwards even when it's offered gently. Even when it's the only thing that can save them. 

I want to cry for them because each and every one of them is no more nor less than a person. They are my brothers and sisters. They are myself. And they are suffering.
I am in Las Vegas for the first time and I do not like it here. 

But I feel guilty for wanting to leave.


Monday, May 26, 2008

MamaPajama Speaks Her Mind

Holy cannoli, my mom wrote a book in the comments section of this post! Actually it's a poem. She's good at those. Someday I'll tell you about the time she rhymed her way out of a Turkish prison using only her sharp wits and a hairpin, but not right now.

(In the second line, I think she means "emotionally scarred" although it's true that I was often emotionally scared as well)

I'm visiting Michael in Las Vegas, where he's stuck working for at least another week. I wanted to publish a post about this place, but it's hard. There's a lot of complicated stuff knocking around in my head that doesn't want to come out nicely and sit still on a computer screen and I'm too tired to wrestle it into submission right now.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Worst-Movie-Ever Contender


I really like Keri Russell.

I really like Nathan Fillion.

I really hated the movie.

I'm sorry if you're one of the people who loved it. So, so sorry.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Soon, my friends

Super Jess is Almost Here.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator. Get more Jess slogans.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Clinical Research Study

Study reseaching boyfriend-deprivation in neurotic females. Subject is in the 30-35 age range, and short.

Bf initially called away [due to job-related travel] for two weeks. Subject anticipated missing bf somewhat but subject's initial discomposure was minimal due to the fact that subject was busy with work and moving and soon realized that:

[{time-normally-spent-with-bf} + new-part-time-schedule] - sleeping and eating = %&^#%@  Um, no, wait.. it was.. carry the one, add sleeping, no, subtract... no wait *^%$%#^ getting calculator...

Got it! =Excess of time to Work altruistically on behalf of the US Government bare-handedly taking dangerous known criminals and possible terror suspects like menacing Mexican immigrants into custody

Complete important and virtuous organization and housecleaning projects including cooking meal for large party and inviting key leaders in the Middle East to make peace over subject's special Peacemaking Pot Roast

Fly to Africa with Brangelina to selflessly adopt sickly Somalian child and work on behalf of suffering humanity everywhere while looking stunning and sophisticated and having lots of pictures taken

Read lots of books.

Subject experiences endorphin parties and high seratonin teenagers levels when reading books, except if they are boring books she is forced to read by educational torturors (i.e. Machiavelli's The Prince). Subject reads several excellent titles including, but not limited to: A Billion Lives  by Jan Egeland, and  "Socialism Is Great!" : A Worker's Memoir of the New China by Lijia Zhang.

Week two: Subject runs out of reading material, faces stark and hollow prospect of living without books until either able to, 1) Unearth packed library card for current library that sits, taunting her, a mere block away*  2) make trip to library in last city lived in for which subject is not going to give up her card, no not ever.  

*Library sits taunting, not card, card likely packed in Handels' garage, thus taunts from much further away

Week two, second half: Subject finds herself missing bf at random and annoyingly frequent moments. Subject raises arms to the sky and overdramatically curses the fact that her workplace is across the street from bf's favorite restaurant thus providing ample reminders of bf's absence, leading to severe angst and emotional torment heartburn. Subject reports that these purple pills have no effect in reducing heartburn or angst. 

Week two, third quarter: subject melts into a puddle and runs into a drainage ditch and/or spontaneously bursts into flame. Feels convinced heat would feel less excessive if bf were suffering alongside her (granted, he is in hot hot desert place, yet surely there is air-conditioning in his hotel and he can sleep comfortably). 

Ongoing study plans to follow subject through coming weeks while bf is held indefinitely in a tiny trailer in the middle of the Nevada desert by a team of evil mariachi-playing midgets who force him to conduct commercial satellite tests by aiming remote at sky and trying to make Lifetime for Women play cheesy made-for-television movies on unplugged tv set residing in trailer..

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Davenports Part III

This is my brother Sean.

I like to call him Seany.

He loves that.

This is a story about Sean.

We ate fast food occasionally when I was a kid. Go on, click on the link, you know you want to. It was way exciting. However this one time will live on in infamy, because if it's one thing my family does not do, it's forget. Unless it's something you'd want them to remember. In fact the recollective powers of my relatives (and, I must admit, me as well) are directly connected to the depth of embarrassment the subject feels upon the memory of said event being resurrected. The more you want it forgotten, the longer we will continue to torment you with it fondly reminisce. In other words, Sean loves it when we tell this story. Not. But I'm sure none of his friends read this blog, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't either, so he probably won't mind. Right?... Sean?...

So this one Sunday we were going through the drive-thru an BK on the way home from church. Sean, three or four at this time, was an adorable little freckled redhead, although something of a rapscallion. The woman at the drive through ask Dad if we needed, "salt, pepper, or ketchup." Sean must have heard, "Sean, pepper, or ketchup." because a huge smile spread across his face and he declared in a tone of wonderment, "She knows my name!" For this he earned the nickname Seany Pepper. 

Years of torment ensued. The only upside was that sometimes we were too busy calling him Seany Pepper to tease him about Mom & Dad finding him in the carrot patch when he was a baby (a reference to his hair color that never failed to infuriate him). 

I love you, Seany P.

Fun With Photo booth

Am alien. Am alien with morning hair. Am taking over this planet. Surrender all your cookies.

(Luke [far right] is mini-me alien apprentice. Looks intimidating, no?)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Once Again

So I moved today. Yes, again! Why can't I find a new hobby?

I'm back in the town I lived... oh, several moves ago, and I'm trying to settle in as well as I dare knowing that I may well be moving again in a few months. On the plus side- well okay, this place IS the plus side, the only drawback is the possibility that it's temporary. I won't be too disappointed if I end up moving though, 'cause Zachawy is coming to live with me!!! I'm excited about the idea of looking for a place together. It will be the first time in a while I've been able to look for a house/apartment rather than moving into someone else's already-established place.

But even more exciting- the local wild parrot flock flew over my house today! So cool. I'm going to see if I can get them to land in the tree in the backyard by leaving seed out. If you've never heard of wild parrots watch (or read) The Wild Parrots of San Francisco. The documentary is better than the book but they're both interesting if you're a bird-lover. Or even if you're not.

I also started a new job and I really like it. You'll never guess what I'm doing because it's so totally unlike me.* In fact, why don't you guess what my new job is? The last** person to correctly guess in the comments wins... one of the spectacular items that I went to the trouble of moving and then decided I didn't want. In other words, I will send you some old, discarded crap! Don't all rush to comment at once, folks.

*This may or not be sarcasm, I can't tell you because it would give the answer away.

**See how I am tricky like that?

Edited to add: Come on, people! I engage in shameless comment-mongering and I get two comments??! WTF!? (Mom, that means Watch the Furniture) At least I know who my real friends are, sheesh.

Ru and Lisa are apparently the only readers who truly love me. As for the rest of you, I'm just going to pretend you didn't want to win junk from my basement (even though I know that can't be true) and not that you were cruelly ignoring my delicate feelings.

A picture from my college days

more cat pictures

Monday, May 12, 2008


I forgot (because I am a terrible daughter who writes mean! things! about what it was like growing up in my family) to put this link up yesterday but Happy Mother's Day everyone- a little late.

M's Day has been extended in my family anyway, since my mom is not getting her flowers until tomorrow because there was a tragic national disaster between here and the east coast that prevented flower delivery on Sunday
The internet died for the three weeks before mother's day, preventing me from ordering them at a reasonably early date I am a lazy good-fer-nuthin daughter who waited until two days before Sunday to order flowers and was too cheap to pay the outrageous weekend, rush delivery fees that would have cost twice as much as the flowers. Actually, I knew Mom would approve of my thriftiness. She was actually upset with me for spending money to buy her fancy flowers in the first place.

My mom is a peach. She raised 7 hooligans of her own (technically she's still working on it, the youngest is 17) and now she works with disabled kids. We all love to tease and bug her until she's ready to tear her hair out but she loves us anyway.


I had tetanus shot today, since I was... oh... probably ten years overdue for one. I also had my TB test (a requirement for working with kids here in CA) in the same arm. I was not looking forward to it because I do not do needles. The nurse felt bad and said giving shots was her least favorite part of the job. While she was giving me the Tdap we could hear a much younger patient expressing his or her, ah, extreme discontent in another exam room.

After apologetically telling me that my arm was probably going to hurt like hell for a few days Nurse Kimberly, said, "I'm impressed, you're being really good. You haven't cried once. Do you want a lollipop?" Of course I said yes, b'cuz when have I ever turned down candy?

Surprisingly, the promise of a lollipop actually helped quite a bit. I was less panicky while having the shot than I usually am, and afterwards I didn't get the usual post-stress adrenaline rush. I'm totally going to ask for a lollipop every time now. Nurse Kimberly, you're mah hee-ro.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Slice of potato life

Picture this: A minivan full of Davenports on the way home from church. Mom and Dad tease for a while and then relent- we can stop at Burger King on the way home. Children cheer; ticker tape streams from windows; fireworks burst in the sky above but no one notices because it's the middle of the day.

This momentous event took place every few weeks or so and was a huge deal in my family because- OMG- eating out!!!!!!

Turns out the closest you get to a fine dining-out experience in a plus-sized, one-income family, is the drive-through at BK. Yep, them were some excitin' days.

It was always the drive-through; we were never actually allowed out of the car. Dad's second greatest fear (after the exorbitant cost of buying French fries for seven children) was the idea of taking. all. those. kids. into a restaurant. Even the *ahem* casual atmosphere at Berber King and Big Donald's (as m'brother Dan used to call them when he was a wee one) intimidated dear old dad. Perhaps he was worried that we'd get kicked out for spilling ketchup on the table? Or possibly he just wanted to get home where he could "fall down" on the family room floor immediately after lunch [Oh noes!! Dad's down, what can we do?!? He's fallen and he can't get up!... Hey, where's that snoring sound coming from?] and take a nap. Hey, he worked hard to buy all those French fries.

In any case, the takeout lunches every few Sundays were the only time we ever got to eat unhealthy food, my mom being a fan of whole wheat and plain yogurt, and we considered it high living. Though, lest you suspect that we were spoiled, let me point out that there was none of this overpriced and wasteful purchasing of individual Happy Meals for us. We were not like those heathens who bought new cars and went on actual vacations! Noo, we were thrifty upstanding Yanks, and it was much more cost effective to buy each kid a burger and then split a few large fries among the whole family. As you can imagine, this led to intense squabbling and French fry envy once we got home, I think one of us may have lost a finger at one point. Don't worry- Mom stuck it in her milkshake and they were able to surgically reattach it at the hospital, (after the adrenaline had worn off the Doctor realized it was a French fry he'd reattached, not a finger, but it seemed to work okay, and hey, hardly anybody notices now).

I expect that in future years, when other people my age are telling their children about the time they went to Sea World, or historic Williamsburg, or the Grand Canyon, my siblings and I will be nostalgically awash in the memories of homemade milkshakes and individual-serving ketchup packets while we explain to our progeny why uncle so-and-so has a French fry for a finger.

I miss my nephew. :(

I keep trying to get Lib to ship him to me, C.O.D., but she won't. So Mean!

Also, Michael has deserted me for the high life. Or something like that. He left this morning for a two-week work trip. To Las Vegas. Uh-huh, I am so sure that he has to do important satellite-related testing while surrounded by showgirls! I'm totally not buying it and you can rest assured that I will be checking his shirts for lipstick stains and cheap perfume when he gets back.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Have a Little Faith

I ran across this song on another blog and I can't stop playing it; thought I'd share.