My recommendation for anyone with terrible PMS is

to get a dog!

OMG you guys.

This is kind of day I was having on Tuesday: I was mad, at everything. Not just at my uterus but at my clothes, my own face, and the air. The air was on my last nerve. I had it so bad that I BOUGHT LUNCH FOR A NUN and it cheered me up for less than five minutes.

Matthew and I had had the dog idea for a few weeks and had gotten attached to a couple of dogs online who didn't work out. Through Petfinder we connected with adoption agencies, filled out paperwork, had a phone conversation or two, and were waiting for people to call us back.

Through this process, I realized just how particular - some might say prejudiced - I am. I was literally incapable of imagining a future with a long-haired dog. "Ew," I'd think when I saw a photo of a collie. Matthew and I agreed that I was kind of a bitch. "I'm sorry, I want our dog to be more like a pig," I said. That is, short-haired and maybe fat.

I was starting to feel like a animal racist, a charlatan among supposedly loving owners, and had to keep reminding myself that I was totally open to special needs animals, three-legged dogs etc, and not a bad person.

On Tuesday, PMS Ground Zero, I decided I was going to a shelter and coming home with a dog otherwise I would continue to get in fistfights with all the oxygen molecules invading my space.

I started at the Northside SPCA and spent almost two hours walking up and down the kennel, poking my fingers through the chain linked gates, and choking back the hose water, dogshit, and urine-scented atmosphere.

I took a few dogs out into the side yard to play with and observe but none of them called out my name, which is what I expected them to do. I wanted our eyes to meet through the chain link and I want to fall madly, deeply, into dog love. I also wanted them to be housetrained, good with my brother, and not a total spaz since we don't have a fenced yard.

It didn't happen so, dejected, I left. I called Matthew for the address of the other SPCA location in Sharonville and knowing that I was already sad and my pants were too tight, thought rush hour traffic on I-75 couldn't make matters much worse.

In Sharonville I perked up because the facility is nicer and newer with three kennels and MEET AND GREET ROOMS. I associate meet and greets with rows of Sharpies and 8x10s not a big red bucket of liver treats but whatever. I used the hell out of my meet and greet room.

I walked through the kennel, looked at the dogs through their glass doors, and wrote down at least ten tag numbers. I returned to the front desk, got the story on each, crossed a few off based on their history, and proceeded to annoy the crap out of the guy who had to bring me dog after dog, one after another.

When Matthew got off work, he drove up to meet me and I pointed out the ones I liked. We narrowed it down to two, went BACK to the meet and greet room, and another employee who didn't seem annoyed by my interview tactics, brought the dogs back. One of them, the one you see sleeping with her tongue stuck out in the photo above, caught my eye with her brindle stripes and blue eyes. She's a husky shar-pei mix, her name is Patsy, and when she licked my face my PMS disappeared. Swear.


Waking up in hotels

Elliott Bay, Seattle

Hudson River, New York

Pool, West Hollywood

a good travel day

- My Angeleno-Ukrainian cab driver knew where to get 4:30 am coffee on the way to the airport and drove the wrong way up a one-way street to get me there. Love.

- One of our flight attendants was a transsexual. Awesome and beautiful.

- A dude read Jane Austen on his Kindle one row up.

- I dropped my license in the bathroom and was called me over the PA, “Will Jessica RONCK…NER…RONC…RONCK…NER please identify yourself to a flight attendant? What I should have said was, “Only if you mispronounce my name very slowly one more time.”

When I went to the rear of the aircraft, the stewardesses stared at me from behind their food cart and said, “We never would have recognized you!” They looked at my almost expired five-year-old license again, “You look like a mom this photo and now you look like a rocker!”

Why thank you ma’am.

NOT that moms can't rock. Duh.


laughing quietly to myself

About how Matthew made fun of my peacock tights and then every girl I saw that day commented on how rad they are. I bet him before we left the hotel that I'd get compliments and he didn't believe me.

Thanks ladies.


So your family isn't lactose intolerant

Jane and I opened her parents' fridge and counted 33 sticks of butter and 13 tubs of Graeter's ice cream.


because that always used to bug me

When did I become someone who uses the word "fun" to describe inanimate objects?


laughing quietly to myself

About Jocardo's comment on a group of girls: "I wonder if they prefer Jacob or Edward?"

Note: good for you if you don't get this reference.

Ps I just saw the movie with my cousin so I'm not that cool.


Hog wild for bacon

Have I ever mentioned that I once interned for an airline magazine? It's just one of my many high/low points in Seattle. Because of my internship, the title of Delta's September Sky Mag story on bacon, "Hog Wild for Bacon", reminds me how much I hate puns and alliteration.

Those months that I wrote blurbs, spotlights, and my crowning glory - a full-length article on women's pantsuits - for Frontier and Midway airlines, I had a hard time not turning all my thoughts into clever puns and annoying titles. I would give you an example but I paid a doctor a lot of money to remove that part of my brain with a melon scoop.

Bacon is the salty bad boy of pork. Meat eaters have been living high off the hog for thousands of years -- but today folks are doing sizzlin' stuff with bacon.

That sentence means that someone sat in a cubicle going, "Pig...pork...hog...wait...hog wild...high off the hog...yes! Yes!" Shiver.

I should tell you, though, that there's some useful information in Delta's bacon piece, lest I make the mistake of not giving credit to good research:

The Bacon Show blog, one bacon recipe per day, every day, forever

Bacon Salt, kosher, safe for vegetarians. I suspect that this is not a good idea. I could be wrong.

Bakon Vodka? Am I screaming out of fright or having an orgasm? I honestly don't know.


laughing quietly to myself

About how the agent who checked us in at the airport happened to be the neighbor I cussed out when I saw that he already had Christmas lights up WEEKS AGO.

He seems like a very nice man.


Late afternoon corn maze sunlight

Ohio. Round on the ends and hi in the middle. The Heart of It All. So Much to Discover. Ohio.

Oxford, OH


Hoaglin bacon

The second road trip I took in September was also to Indiana because I JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH. I'd made a date to eat bacon with Ali Schumacher on September 5 when the tour rolled through Indianapolis. She was to pick me up at the hotel at nine am and take me to a place called Hoaglin To Go Cafe & Marketplace, a place that in the interest of time and syllables I'll just call Hoaglin, to eat bacon.

Ali gets happy when talking about Hoaglin bacon, eyes rolling around in her head happy. She practically composed a bacon sonnet for me. And since she and I used to record cassette tapes of ourselves singing together (badly) in high school, I could absolutely see her doing a bacon lounge song. She would wear a feathered boa and dramatically gesture with a crisp piece of bacon around her face and in front of the mic. 

I called her that morning at eight am on September 5, filled with remorse, and croaked her name into the phone, "Ali?"

"Are you sick?" She asked me.

"No," I said, "but I only slept three hours on the bus ride from Madison and I might die if I don't go back to sleep." I meant it, too. It was going to be a long day, not the kind of day one sleepwalks through and then crawls into the bunk when the show goes down. I had a lot of work and I had guests, my future parents-in-law, and I had to be on, to whatever degree of "on" I could possibly attain.

"I promise to come back and eat bacon with you soon," I said.

Which I did, less than a month later.

I took the Megabus back to Indianapolis and hung out downtown, reading in Borders, until Ali got off work. She had warned me that she had a yoga class to go to and I happily imagined myself sitting in the back, sniggering and trying to catch her eye in the mirror. Six or seven years ago I went to her yoga class in Tucson and was reminded that a) I want to like yoga, but BORING and b) Ali and I should not be allowed to go to any class together, ever.

I learned this first in ninth grade English and later in gym, chemistry, and physics. We get in trouble because we get the giggles, the church giggles, the kind you put your hand over your mouth to block and they escape through your ears. Then you get in trouble via a disapproving look from your mom or your teacher asks you if you have something you'd like to share with the class. Which you do not because the whole reason you were giggling in the first place is so dumb and not funny to anyone else, you can't even explain.

It was a prenatal yoga class.

"How many weeks pregnant should we say you are?"

We went back and forth and decided that I am eight weeks pregnant.

ps I AM NOT.

We got to the class and I changed into my pajamas which happen to be yoga pants. Ali had warned me that the instructor might read from a book of verse at some point and might use the words YOUR PRECIOUS BABY and please for the love of all that is holy I should not look at Ali if and when that happened.

I made it through most of the class without pause - I now know that I prefer prenatal yoga because it is so easy except for the two times that I almost passed out because I stood up too quickly - until the instructor asked me in front of everyone "how far along" I am.

"Eight weeks," I said calmly, trying to glow just a touch.

"Then you won't need a pillow for this next one," she said.

During the next move, the one with our legs up against the wall, some with pillows and some without, she read us passages about trusting that just as our bodies knew how to make a baby (oh do they!) so will they know how to have a baby and yes, our precious, precious baby etc. What is it with the word precious? I agree that babies are precious so why does that word make me want to punch myself in the eye?

After class she congratulated me on my fictitious pregnancy and I said thank you.

"I haven't told many people because it's so early," I said. "Thank you," and put my hand over my stomach.

"I just found out in the car!" Ali piped up and smiled sheepishly.

We studiously avoided eye contact, left the building, and with the fake pregnancy and prenatal yoga out of the way, resumed preparation for phase two and the whole supposed point of my second Indiana road trip: bacon. 

The next day we went to Hoaglin for lunch after stopping at Goose The Market.

Goose The Market has, in addition to recipes on their website like Coconut Bacon Bars with Poplar Whipped Marscapone, not that I know what those last three words mean, a Bacon-of-the-month club. Would you like to receive one pound of artisanal Indiana bacon every month? Because you can. Would you like a Bacon Club t-shirt? It's yours.

Part of me wants to join but I'm battling the other part that can't believe what an unbelievable pain in the ass it is to make bacon, even with my Bacon Wave. It's a mess. Regardless, bacon is hot, bacon is in, bacon is a fucking phenomenon right now and whether I join the club or make it at home, bacon is the IT food. I blame Atkins.

At Hoaglin, I was on the verge of getting a bacon salad with a side of bacon out of sheer perversity but at the last minute, I caved and got my bacon side with egg salad and curried chicken instead. And it was good. REALLY GOOD. I approve, my vegetarian waitress approves, and I get why Ali planned out the whole field trip.

I'm still trying to figure out why, when I recently flew Delta, bacon was one of the Sky Magazine cover stories. Why exactly bacon is SO popular, as not only food but a topic of discussion and hard, cutting-edge 35,000 feet journalism? Until I crack the code and learn which pork lobbyist nailed whom, I'm eating.


what I learned today

Do not put the kitchen sponge in the microwave for five minutes. You will start a fire.


today's lofty goals (so far I'm 3 for 6)

1. Play Fleetwood Mac on vinyl.

2. Figure out how to wake up to a large body of water outside my window every single day.

3. Deal with the apartment's ladybug infestation. I.e. start killing them instead of just flicking them around.

4. Get enough work done so that I can take a motorcycle lesson from Andrew tomorrow. Related goals for tomorrow are don't fall off, don't drop the bike on my leg. 400 pounds seems heavy.

5. Read a chapter of The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

6. Try the new Bud Light Golden Wheat

Losing the plot

I am asking myself how hard can it be just to blog every day for a month. It's BLOGGING. THERE ARE NO RULES. I could theoretically show up every day for thirty days, type "Hi", pat myself on the back and call myself a NaBloPoMo success story.

When I woke up in Seattle this morning, I started to feel bad about how hard it is for me to write when: 1. My brain filled back up with preoccupations like getting ready to catch a plane back to KY and 2. I remembered that if my personal NaBloPoMo point was to get used to writing again, I'll be fine because that's slowly happening.

Matthew and I ate at an Indian buffet with my friend Jon yesterday and I recognized something else that's slowly happening. I hadn't seen Jon in a couple of years and I described him to Matthew before we met up. Jon builds boats and theatrical sets and animal habitats at the zoo. He used to lend me his electric bike when I was in town, is going to sail to the South Pacific, and taught me to cross my eyes in a way as to ward off creeps at the bar.

I told Jon I'm tour managing now. I told him I managed Idol last summer and right now am setting up promo dates for one of the Idols who has an album coming out in a few weeks. I have been calling this promo project "something to keep me busy". I blabbered a bit more and then Jon brought up the fact that the first time I worked on the road I thought it would be cool to do because it'd be something to write about.

Ironically, that is the one thing I now cannot write about. I can't write about what happens at work because of confidentiality/legality and I'm usually too busy anyway. I stared at Jon for a minute.

"Damn." He's keeping me honest.

Because I work with a lot of Brits, the expression that comes to mind is that I've lost the plot. Which plot, though? I like my current plot. I get a huge amount of satisfaction out of work, I'm learning big things, and I'm not bored. But I LOVED writing. Jon remembers how I was in Seattle, turned on by words and ideas, with lots of time to simmer, something I don't do now.

Matthew suggested I start writing longhand again. Because I'm always on the computer, budgeting and planning, typing, talking, clicking and calculating, using my brain in a way that is pretty much the exact opposite of the slow meandering thoughtfulness, maybe I need to pick up a pen in order to simmer. Because now my brain is speeding, even in procrastination. I peek at other websites, distracting, filling up time when I could be staring into space.


Learning to sleep

2009 is going down as THE YEAR I LEARNED TO SLEEP. I have never been good at sleeping late and the only two places I remember having any success were:

1. The Harrison family vacation house in northern Michigan and
2. By the ocean in Ecuador where there wasn't shit going on, unless you count hammocks and long walks on the beach.

In extreme situations, as a Trek America trip leader with my campers partying and I had to drive 600 miles the next day, I have fallen asleep atop a 15-passenger van while bottles broke, bonfires burned, and people sang in rounds five feet away.

Still, I woke at dawn.

Now, thanks to tempurpedic mattresses and whoever the genius is behind memory foam technology, I sleep. The black curtains I hung on the windows help too.

These days I wake between 8 and 10 am and after rough nights as late as 11:30. Revolutionary! This is the first extended stretch of non-sleep-deprived time I've experienced in, if not my entire life, the last two decades. If my apartment is Chiapas, I am Subcomandante Marcos, substituting the black balaclava and bullet chain for a tempurpedic pillow and knee socks.


Missing the subway

It's possible that as a first-time car owner I'm a nicer person in a relationship. I feel more independent, much like a 16-year-old who finally gets her license and doesn't have to be dropped off by her mom at least a block away from Bogart's every time she wants to see a concert, and therefore in a better mood.

The flip side is that I'm an impatient jerk when I drive.

The other day someone took FOREVER to turn right and I had to tell them to "Step on it, asshole," right before noticing their Obama (whom I voted for) and Sands Montessori (my elementary school) bumper stickers, which meant higher than average odds that I would actually like the driver.

Who still should learn how to complete a turn before the dawn of the new millennium.

The OTHER flip side is that if we lived somewhere with good public transportation, I wouldn't be so reliant on a car but that's a whole other story.


Monica, Cathy, Sara

I miss these girls so much. Ever since I got back from New York, I can't stop thinking that if we lived by each other, I'd be smarter, cooler, and funnier.

ps What I like about the photo of me and Sara is how serious we look when five minutes after this photo was taken we resumed salsa dancing around the pool table.



unless I want to puke on her kid's dollhouse again

I probably don't need to go back to the local Tarrytown bar, Set Back Inn, with Sara anytime soon.


let's just get this out of the way

I will be hard to write today because I'm driving 11 hours to New York with Jocardo.


next year I'm going as a sexy pumpkin

I've long been a Halloween dropout and the last time I dressed in costume was in 2001 when a friend in Seattle talked me into going to a party at the Experience Music Project with her. She said there'd be a light show or something marginally enticing.

I tried to be a sport and went as Cyndi Lauper meaning I put on fishnet stockings, some fake pearls, and stood around awkwardly all night probably because I was actually dressed as Madonna. Oh, and there was time when I was bartending that I was a cat.

Still, not very inspired. A CAT? I wore black jeans, a black tank top (what I wear every third day or so anyway) and had the bouncer draw whiskers on my face. Not an award-winning costume.

It wasn't until I started hanging around someone who loves Halloween like it's his job that I thought about truly sucking it up and trying to get into it. Last year I got a free pass because after working on the Rockettes rehearsals for five days with a grand total of 15 hours of sleep, I got sick and spent Halloween night on the couch cursing those long-legged beauties.

This year I was totally healthy and decided to be Coraline Jones from the Neil Gaiman book and Tim Burton movie. Others who played along:

Jocardo as "punk rocker", Dennis as guy in skeleton mask, trench coat and straw hat, and Angela.

I can't remember who/what Angela is dressed up as here but I do remember our conversation:

Angela: It's nice to meet you!
Me: Actually, we met in 1996 when I went to a party at your parents' house and I sat in their hot tub.
Angela: You were at the hot tub party?
Me: Yep.

Matthew as James Dean and Kevin as Bill Compton from True Blood. Kevin's pretty good at looking dead.

DJ Empirical in a black spandex body suit who I'm taking to be a shadow and Sarah, whose costumed nose is defiantly askew.


James Dean Festival 2009

One of the first things I did after I got home in September was go to the James Dean Festival in Fairmount, Indiana. Because now is my time to notice dead men of iconic status to whom I never paid attention before.

This was the 34th year that Fairmount celebrated their hometown boy by way of parade, lookalike contest, dance off, 50s car show, cotton candy, ferris wheel and, of course, elephant ears. It is the fifth time Matthew has attended.

Now that I can actually pick James Dean out of a lineup, I have to say that what I most appreciate about him (besides HOT) after looking through letters and journals and photos and all the crazy amount of stuff in the Fairmount Historical Museum is that he seems like SUCH A NICE FELLOW. "What a sweetheart," I thought while reading his school essays. Don't even get me started on the flower he painted for his high school drama teacher.

Also of note: a classic Indiana landscape and the turnoff to Fairmount. The smaller sign to the right says Homecoming Hog Roast. I regret not crashing the hog roast.

The Fairmount Historical Museum Shuttle is being pulled by a John Deere tractor. Hello Midwest.

James Dean's classmates from the class of 1949!

Aren't they cute?

Matthew became friends with this dude, Marlon, and spent the whole time I was shooting photos of the parade talking to him. Marlon has been driving in from Michigan for the festival since it began and introduced Matthew to James Dean's cousin.

This lady in black next to the replica of the car James crashed and died in was a straight mess. Her stockings were ripped and an ass cheek was threatening to emerge big time. She kept talking in a loud voice about how she lives in LA and just got back from Italy where she was being entertained by a "director friend". I later saw her hanging with a Japanese filmmaker who is doing a story on the festival and a JD lookalike who flies in from Los Angeles to participate and repeatedly win the contest (he lost the title this year), so I don't necessarily doubt the veracity of her story, I'm just saying that more stocking and less name dropping would help.

An Elvis impersonator, apropos since I so recently figured out who that guy is too.

And what parade is complete without a robot-controlled R2D2 posing with a kid whose shirt says REAL MEN LOVE JESUS? 


little gums big teeth

Today I went to the dentist. Before I finally got health insurance this spring, I relied on my good health, put my feet up in the stirrups at Planned Parenthood yearly, and ever so often remembered to have my teeth cleaned. Because I never had a cavity until last year I figured that teeth were low on my super sketchy health care scale of importance.

Well, yeah. They're okay. They do have french roast stained all over the backs and it doesn't want to come off. I know because I gave that dental hygienist a serious workout trying. She finally gave up, left the room to pat her forehead with her surgical mask, replenish some electrolytes, and came back to polish.

Quick question: Why do people talk to you when you have a mouth full of sharp instruments, a hose, and their hands? Furthermore, don't ask questions! My answering is going to end badly.

She was nice, I liked her, and if we were in any position besides her shoving her hands into the back of my throat, I would have talked to her. Instead I just raised my eyebrows.

I now know that I need to brush my teeth gently for a couple of minutes every night, not attack them violently for thirty seconds. If you look at my and Matthew's toothbrush in the cup in the bathroom, his is the one that looks almost new even though he brushes religiously. Mine is the one whose bristles are flattened and bent at a ninety degree angle. And evidently if you take a good look at my gums, mine are receding because I am brushing them straight into oblivion.

Maybe, in light of that, it's not quite as bad that I'm also GRINDING MY TEETH AWAY. They are becoming flat, I am told. My theory is that I've adapted this habit to compensate for the gums situation. Do I really want to have tiny gums and long teeth when I'm an old lady? Hard to say.

Either way, I signed up for a bite guard, an acrylic piece I'll wear in my mouth at night and hoo-boy is Matthew going to be pumped. My bite guard is sure to make for some hot make out sessions.


Hopefully a good pedicure will erase the first year of college

So my mom has decided to clean out the attic. What this means for me is that every time I go over to my parents' house to do laundry, I get a box of my old stuff to go through. We'll decide what to throw out and what to keep and judging by the three boxes I sifted through last week, the choices pretty much make themselves.

Some of the things I threw away: torn up leather sandals from 1992, 19-year-old papaya-scented hairspray, a city No Parking sign that I'd hung in my bedroom in an attempt to feel like a bad ass at age 16, and photo developing solution two decades past its expiration date.

Somethings I found and kept! CISV village t-shirts circa 1986 from my camp in Newcastle, England. This week I've sported my old sweatshirt from Iceland and shirts from Korea and Norway. The fact that I can still wear a shirt I wore in 1986 says much about how freakishly fast I grew as a kid and how flat-chested I have remained as an adult.

Also of great joy and fear in equal parts is the big, big box of letters that I received, and much more painfully, sent over the years. At some point after high school, Andrea sent me all the letters I'd written her since ninth grade. I've read a couple and they make me want to put my head under a pillow and scream. And weep. And then scream.

And then there's this postcard:

Wow. Seriously?

I remember so well what it felt like to be me back then and it wasn't often comfortable. I was kind of awesome but I also sucked. I would never, for any price, go back to that time. I was mature in some ways and stunted in others. I meant well and had a big heart but oh, I was a shithead. I wanted to be a bad kid, much worse than I ever was, I wanted to get in trouble, but I was too shy to make much happen.

And I wrote about it all A LOT. In the letters, my long drawn-out explanations and insecurities are punctuated with unintentional hilarity but there is only so much I can take at once. Ever since the first night the box came home and I shuffled through the overflowing envelopes, howling and shrieking, I have glanced at it sideways and then quickly made myself busy.

Example: my cuticles look GREAT today. Perhaps, in giving myself a frantic manicure, I can file down all memories of high school.

Much easier on my self-image are the letters from others, my favorites so far being from my cousins Mary Beth and Lauren. Holy. Crap. From when I was 12-17 years old and they were three and five years younger than me, we wrote letters that have ART PROJECT written all over them. I don't know what I'm going to make out of these but something must be done.


Don't insult me, Cooking Light

I have in my notebook lists of potential writing subjects, lists I started weeks ago, but instead of mining my lists for stimulus, I am staring at the brick wall wondering if I should cook fish tomorrow night with pecan- or walnut-crusted breadcrumbs.

I was about to write AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE COOKING except that is not true; since I recently stole the Cooking Light magazine from the dentist office, I've been steadily working my way through its pages making every single recipe that doesn't a) Look totally gross b) Contain goat cheese or c) Seem just plain silly.

Silly recipes are those based on sandwiches. I mean, JEEZ. Even I, who can enjoy the whole cooking process until right at the end when everything is supposed to be hot and ready to eat at once and then I have a mini meltdown that requires an extra glass of wine, understand how to make a sandwich. Don't insult me, Cooking Light.



I'm going to do this thing, NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, and try to write a blog post every day during the month of November.

I'd heard of NaBloPoMo before as a kind of spin-off inspiration from NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, which I did in Seattle back in maybe 2001. In Seattle, I wrote 2,000 words daily by riding my bike to coffeeshops, putting on my headphones to listen to PJ Harvey on repeat, and meeting once a week at a bar downtown with other NaNoWriMers to commiserate over vodka sodas and secretly wonder if anyone would get a book deal for their efforts.

I did not get a book deal; I got a stack of precious, barely readable, cringe-inducing memories of the time I spent in Ecuador as a young, stupid college student who, in retrospect, I'd like to smack upside the head. I still have my "novel" and it still makes my stomach ache when I try reading it.

When I found out about NaBloPoMo last year, I didn't join because I didn't want to write everyday just for the sake of writing -- I thought I'd compromise quality of writing for quantity. Oh, ego.

Now I'd rather write SOMETHING than nothing because I'm out of sorts with writing, out of practice, and so far away from my old itchy fingers. I miss it. And if the point is to get the pen on the paper/fingers on the keyboard, then I'm in. I need NaBloPoMo much more than it needs me. See you tomorrow. xx


pancake mix

One super bonus of being home is that when I make pancakes in the morning, I have my own personal breakfast DJ:


Wherein I own a car and am feeling bridal. What happened?

Since I've been home from tour I've been reading books about Elvis and road tripping to Indiana, in fact, I've been to Indiana three times in the last three weekends WTF. I also walked from my apartment up the hill to Devou Park and found a lake with a wooded perimeter. I can walk to this lake from my couch and I didn't know it existed all last year.

I have also been buying things: a monkey statue, a monkey lamp, a tempurpedic bed and a car. All you need to know for now besides that I like monkeys and that I want to be on the cover of the tempurpedic bed catalog next year is that I'm shitting my pants that I'm suddenly a car person. I've never bought a car before and for 34 years rooted myself firmly on the side of bicycles, public transport, borrowing, begging, and stealing. Goodbye identity! You own a Honda Fit and you think it's cute as hell. Moreover, it's suddenly so easy to get from point A to point B.

And you know what else I've never done before? Gotten married. Shortly after Matthew and I got engaged last year, I forbade everyone around me to talk about it. I put a timeout on wedding chatter because I was far too busy planning the American Idol tour to plan a wedding, too. Once we found the place to have it, at Oneonta in Melbourne, KY, a place that made me laugh what with its brothel, tree house, and general store, I asked everyone to cut it out, knock it off, and only speak about it quietly behind my back. They complied.

Now I'm home, American Idol is a sweet memory, and I'm feeling bridal. Well. I mean, I will still kill myself if I start acting like seat covers matter and I have said out loud, "COLORS? Please. Motherfuckers can wear neon green up there for all I care," but I did find a chick in Seattle, a custom dressmaker, who I'm in the process of befriending and drooling all over her website.

Coming soon: I answer important and relevant questions like why have I been to Indiana so much lately, why is our culture obsessed with bacon, and how did James Dean get so hot?



this guy had a good idea

Last Conversation Piece

Juan Munoz
Hirshorn Gallery Sculpture Garden
Washington DC


note to self

The next time my laundry bag is full and I have to wash my underpants in the sink and hang them to dry over a vent above a doorway, TAKE THEM DOWN before room service is delivered. You don't really want to talk to a stranger with your panties hanging between you.

ps why did it have to be ugly white ones?

Waking up in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA


fun ways to hang out from afar while on the road

Play the trumpet. Dance.

I hate my BlackBerry

I've caught myself typing on my BlackBerry in the following places:

1. Treadmill

2. Massage table

3. Behind a pillow during takeoff, hiding from the flight attendants.

I want to wave my arms around and protest, "No, I'm not that person!" but I'm too busy on the Blackberry. Sick.


suddenly Elvis fan

Do not F with tour management. We will sing Teddy Bear in your FACE.