Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Never-Ending "Getting to Know You" Survey

I am one of those people who incessantly fill out, and forward, those "getting to know you" emails that fill your inbox. Probably because I was the one who forwarded it on to you.

I'm not sure why I relish filling out personal information so much, but maybe it's because I think the more you know about someone the stronger your relationship is with that person.

Well, I hit the mother load...

The longest and best getting to know you survey around
What's your name?:Jeanne
Ever used any other names?:Jeannie
Do you have any nicknames?:Jeannie, Jelibeanne
Where were you born?:In a hospital
Where do you live now?:In a house
When were you born?:On a Friday morning
What is your sign?:Stolen
What is your Chinese zodiac sign?:Tiger, tiger burning bright
Are you married/single/divorced/widowed/taken?:Taken? As in abducted? How awful! But no, married
Do you have any children?:Five 4-legged ones
What are your parents names?:Legally? I think Joseph and Elizabeth, but they went by Pat and Betty
Do you have any siblings?:After me, there was no way they could top perfection
Are you closer to your Mom or Dad?:was always close to both of them. More protective of Mom though
Are your parents still together?:Uhm... they're in the same plot. Does that count?
What kind of home do you live in?:3-bedroom Ranch
What are your living arrangements?:Me, my husband, our five 4-legged children
Do you have any pets?:No. They own me
Do you collect anything?:Do books and magazines count?
What do you do for a living?:The more I think about it, the more philosophical the question actually is...
How much money do you make in a year?:No, no... will not fall into that trap. Then people want to borrow money
What kind of vehicle do you drive?:A tiny silver Toyota
What color is your bedroom flooring?:Uhm... wood color?
How big is your bed?:Not big enough for two humans and five 4-legged children
Do you sleep with any one/thing in the bed with you?:With my husband to the right and kitties all around
Do you like thunderstorms?:I sleep so much better through them, but when awake it's the lightening that fascinates me
Do you know how to swim?:Like a fish
Do you know CPR?:Not as well as I should
Would you rather fly, take a bus, take a train, or drive on a trip?:Flying through a cloud bank is almost a religious experience, but there's nothing like seeing the USA in your Chevrolet!
When did you graduate from high school?:Yes
What high school did you graduate from?:Lindbergh High
Do you sing in the shower?:No often, but I can belt out a mean Janis Joplin
Do you read on the toilet?:It's a family tradition started by my grandfather
Food?:Not picky, but salmon
Restaurant?:Amigo's Cantina in Kirkwood
Holiday?:Not a holiday person
Clothing item?:Hoodie from the Biltmore Estate
Scent?:The ocean
Shampoo?:Whatever is on sale and doesn't test on animals
Non-alcoholic beverage?:Sweet tea
Alcoholic beverage?:Don't drink much, but amaretto sours bring back fond memories
Store to shop in?:Ikea, Target and HomeGoods
Author?:Too many to choose
Actor/actress?:Benicio del Toro
Movie?:Again, too many to choose
Book?:White Palace
Director?:Kevin Smith
Musical artist or group?:Inxs or Nine Inch Nails
Song?:"Need You Tonight" since it was sung to me in concert
Music genre?:Rock
Ideal vehicle?:'68 Chevy Impala
Sport to watch?:Football
Sports team?:St. Louis Rams and St. Louis Cardinals
Sport to play?:Don't often play sports, so we'll keep it low-key... catch
TV show?:House or Bones
Card game?:Solitare
Board game?:Scrabble
Been arrested?:No
Been in jail?:I've visited historical ones...
Stolen anything?:Hearts
Cheated on someone?:Yes
Lied to a friend?:Yes
Lied to a relative?:Yes
Lied to someone you were in a relationship with?:Yes
Killed anything?:Yes. I worked at an animal shelter
Hit an animal with your vehicle?:Yes.
Called out of work for no reason?:Yes, but that was forever ago
Skipped school?:No. Too afraid of getting caught
Gone bungeee jumping?:No
Gotten a tattoo?:Many times
Gotten a piercing?:Many times
Been in a fight?:It's been a long time
Lost a fight?:I don't think anybody won
Done any gambling?:Slot machines
Cheated at a game you were playing?:Does cheating at Solitare count?
Pretended something was worse than it was for sympathy?:I am an only child. Of course!
Made a prank phone call?:At a fifth grade slumber party
Been drunk?:Yes
Been drunk enough to puke?:Yes
Puked on someone?:I don't think so
Peed your pants since being an adult?:I don't think so
Fainted or passed out?:Passed out but could still hear everything when I needed to get my reconstructive plastic surgery on my face
Seen a dead body?:Yes
Seen someone die?:No
Been in love?:Yes
Been married?:Yes
Loved someone you couldn't tell?:Yes
Fallen for a friend?:Yes
Had sex with someone you were not in a relationship with?:Yes
Been the person someone cheated on someone else with?:Yes
Dumped someone?:Yes
Been dumped?:Yes
Lost someone you loved?:Yes
Cried because your heart was broken?:Yes
Loved someone so much it made you cry?:Yes
Done something illegal or immoral?:Yes
Been high?:Yes
Bought drugs?:No
Sold drugs?:No
Broken something when you were angry?:Maybe accidentally
Punched an inanimate object in anger?:I tried it. Not me.
Lied about yor age?:Yes
Had your license suspended or revoked?:No
Been in a car accident?:Yes
Gotten a ticket?:No
Given a gift "just because"?:Yes
Forgotten someone's birthday or your own anniversary?:Maybe?
Bounced a check?:Yes
Had an overdrawn bank account?:Yes
Kissed someone of the same sex?:Yes
Age range?:5 years younger to 10 years older
Height?:My height or taller
Build?:Average to thick
Hair color?:Matters not
Hair style?:Long
Eye color?:Matters not
Religious preference?:Technically Catholic, but have become very disillusioned and right now consider myself more spiritual than religious
Political affiliation?:Liberal
Ever worn glasses, contacts, or braces?:Yes, yes and yes
Describe yourself in 4 words::Funny, quirky, passionate, giving
Describe your perfect mate in 4 words::Funny, smart, passionate, strong
Name 4 places you have lived::My parents' house, college dorm, my apartment, my parents' which is now my house
Name four occupations you have had::Cashier, PR & Marketing Assistant, Spa Coordinator, Executive Assistant
If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?:This is undoubtedly going to set me up for failure, so I pass
Do you miss someone right now?:Absolutely
Do you have a crush on someone right now?:Why not?
What shoes did you wear today?:Barefoot so far
What are you wearing right now?:Jammies
What time is it right now?:10am
IF you could vacation any 2 places in the world, where would they be?:I want to go to Poynton, England and see the Anasazi Indian ruins in Durango, CO
Name 4 things you'd rather be doing right now?:Sitting on a beach, sitting in a hot tub, horseback riding, getting a facial
When was the last time you wrote someone a letter and who was it?:Not a letter writer via longhand. Hurts my wrists too much
Who was the last person to write you a letter?:I get a lot of credit card offers...
Who was the last person you got an email from?:Kimmy
Who was the last person you sent an email to?:Barry
Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?:Kimmy
Who was the last person you kissed?:Barry
Who was the last person you hugged?:Barry
Who was the last person you said "I Love You" to?:Barry
Name 4 places you have been on vacation::Charleston, SC; Asheville, NC; Portland, OR; Chicago, IL
Name your 5 best friends::I refuse to hurt the feelings of the 6th person by excluding them
Coke or Pepsi?:Pepsi
Mickey D's or BK?:Wendy's
Chinese or Mexican?:Mexican
Cats or Dogs?:Both
Fish or Birds?:Neither
Reptiles or Amphibians?:Neither
Early Bird or Night Owl?:Early Bird
Winter or Summer?:Winter
Spring Break or Christmas Vacation?:Christmas Vacation
Hambuger or Cheeseburger?:Bacon Cheeseburger
Chocolate or Vanilla?:Chocolate
What are you afraid of?:Landing. Hard.
What is your mood right now?:Bored
Name 4 things you like to do for fun::Read, write, try new restaurants, watching movies
Ever been skinny dipping?:No, but
Do you smoke?:No
Do you drink?:No
Do you believe in love at first sight?:No, but within an hour of meeting someone I believe you can know if you have a future with them
Would you rather have 10 aquaintances or 2 close friends?:2 close friends
If you had a child today, what would you name it?:Jill or Asher
Do you know the words to The Star Spangled Banner?:Yes
Do you like fire?:Uhm... yes?
Are you afraid to die?:I'm afraid of dying in pain
Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?:Mostly
Do you own a cell phone?:Yes
Name 4 websites you visit every time you get on a,,,
Where is your computer?:Family room
What are you listening to right now?:Today show
What is the last CD you got?:Ledbelly and Robert Johnson
What is the last gift someone gave you?:I got an Easter basket
What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?:Aw crap... So many people have done wonderful things for me. The most obvious answer is that my Mom defied her doctors after her stroke and lived to take care of me.
How would your friends describe you?:Twisted but lovable
When was the last time you cried?:I cry a lot. I think a day or two ago when I read/watched the news
What was the last thing you ate?:Chips and cheese
Do you prefer mini blinds, shades, or drapes?:Shades and drapes
Do you have any pets?:I know I answered this earlier
When was the last time you moved?:I moved home in 2001
Do you get along with your neighbors?:Mostly
Are you friends with any of your exes?:Not any more
Do you get along better with guys or girls?:Guys
How do you want to die?:Doesn't everyone say "In my sleep"?
Do you bathe daily?:Mostly
Do you prefer baths or showers?:Showers
What is your favorite sleeping position?:On my right side
Would you prefer to sleep in a warm room or a cold room?:Cold room with lots of blankets
Who was the last person who drove you somewhere?:Barry
Where was the last palce you drove to?:I drove to Target last night
When was the last time you took a "road trip"?:August 2006 to Chicago
How many DVDs do you own?:Over 300
How many CDs do you own?:Less than 50... MP3s now
What is your favorite radio station?:106.5
What is your favorite cologne or perfume on someone else?:Drakkar, Cool Water, Axe body spray
What is your favorite cologne or perfume?:Aveda's chakra scent, Bliss
What is your least favorite smell?:Cat boxes
Is it okay for a girl to ask a guy out or should the guy always ask?:Of course a girl can ask a guy out!
Do you think the guy should always pay on the first date?:I think whoever asks the other out needs to pay on the first date
Where would you go on an ideal date with someone?:City Museum
Do you like public displays of affection?:No
Would you rahter go to a theater or cuddle on the couch and watch a DVD?:I love seeing a flick in the theater, but hate everyone else in there
Do you know what the "door lock" test is?:Haven't a clue
When was the last time someone hit on you?:This question depresses me
Are you a flirt?:Oh yes...
What was the last thing you bought?:Clothing
When was the last time you stayed awake for over 24 hours?:Since an hour of sleep here and there doesn't count, it's been a very long time
What is the last movie you watched?:Beowulf and Grendel
What is the last movie you saw in a theater?:I Am Legend
Did you get anything in the mail today?:Mail hasn't run yet
Do you have myspace?:No
What was the last comment you got on your myspace?:N/A
What was the last comment you put on someone's myspace?:N/A
If you could have any job in the world what would it be?:Romance novelist
If yo could only have one food for the rest of your life what would it be?:Reese's peanut butter eggs
What would you do with a million dollars?:Get out of debt, then invest
Have you ever been in the hospital?:Yes
What is your least favorite food?:Sausage
Tell me something I may not know about you?:I would be a vegetarian if it wasn't so expensive.
In the last week, has anyone told you a secret?:No
Are you straight, gay, or bi?:Mostly straight, but I can appreciate an attractive woman
Have you ever dyed your hair?:Excessively
What were you doing for a living 9 years ago?:Working retail
Who were you with 9 years ago?:Two guys... Steven and Brian
Have you gained or lost weight since high school?:Both
What was your favorite subject in high school?:Creative writing
Were you in any clubs/sports/activities in high school?:Drama club, but hated it
What is your favorite number?:7
Do you have any lucky charms?:Not that I recall
Are you superstitious?:Sort of, but not really
Do you believe in ghosts?:I believe they could exist
What do you think of psychics?:Generally frauds, but some real ones are out there
Are you picky about grammar or spelling?:Yes
How many keys on your key chain?:Too many. Need to thin the herd
How many rings until you answer the phone?:I try for no more than three
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?:Chocolate/Peanut butter
When did you lose your virginity?:19
Who was the last relative you talked to?:My Aunt Fran
Have you ever aced an exam?:Not as often as I like, but yes
What is your most used catch phrase?:"No worries" and "Pretty"
What's the best pick-up line you've ever heard?:Never really got pick-up lines. Either dated friends or it was a mutal decision
What is the best compliment you have ever heard or received?:Any compliment is the best compliment
Do you think you are attractive?:Usually
Would you rather take a picture or be in a picture?:Take
Number of things in your past that you regret::I try to live my life without regrets, but those I have aren't on a list
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?:In a whole list of crazy things, how can I claim one as the craziest?
Do you have any bad habits?:I'm sure
Do you have any psychological impairments?:Not officially, but my friends could tell you about some
Are you taking any prescription medications?:Not right now
How long did it take you to complete this survey?:Too long
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It is the Mind that Calculates...

I am dying for some adventure. Sitting around the house, applying for jobs, waiting to hear back, puttering, cleaning, watching TV… well, it ain’t me babe. There was a time in my not-so-recent past where being a lady of leisure would have held a certain appeal. I think it was because I worked at a spa booking appointments for ladies of leisure and I would feel a pang of jealousy that they could get a massage at 2:15 in the afternoon on a Tuesday and Thursday.

But they obviously had the means as well as the time to receive such services. I do not.

Which is not to say that I’m in any financial straights, but I’m not going to spend any more money than I have to when I’m not pulling any in. So I sit. And wait. And hope.

I want to work!

So in the meantime, I surf the Internet and dream wistfully of local places to visit that aren’t in any guidebooks. I mean, c’mon! If you aren’t supposed to go there, isn’t it all the more appealing?

Or maybe it’s just me…

For those of you not in the know, St. Louis is filled with local tales of hauntings and spooky tales. The Lemp Mansion is the number one example of local ghost stories. But the book The Exorcist, and subsequent movies, were based on the sad events that brought a little boy and his family to St. Louis. However, there are plenty of other attractions in the metropolitan area.

My itch to explore local 'paranomal' lore, for lack of a better word, isn't new. I can't say that it started when Tom took me to explore the Miles Mausoleum, but it did rocket from there. While it’s completely legit to visit, the tales involved in the desecration of the mausoleum make it sad to visit, but I felt no sense of spookiness. It was a rush to poke around the cemetery, but it's also quite a popular place to visit, so the illicit factor is quite low.

Recently, I happened across reference on the town of Moselle in Franklin County. A posting from the Underground Ozarks forum says (sic): "park in the church parking lot then there is a field behing it and foll ow the field back to the tree line you'll find a creek cross it and there will be an old worn road just in dirt follow that up a ways and youll see a whole old ass town up there watch out for mountian lions because they are up there - and if you remember the "yetti" sightings in missouri forever agoe this is also that place- it would be a very good place for a real the hills have eyes sort of thing so be caryful up there people around there are very wierd maby bring a gun of two" I don’t know if it would be worth the drive, but you don’t know until you go, right?

On Friday, I was jonesing to go out to Bee Tree Park down in Oakville, with it’s abandoned castle. It’s the castle that appeals to me, obviously. I know it’s fenced off and, supposedly, inaccessible, but such a thing of beauty should not be tucked away from public viewing. I’ve never seen it, so I don’t really know what I’m talking about, but needless to say, my curiosity has been piqued.

I also came across unverified information that there are two cemeteries in August A Busch Memorial Wildlife Park. Formerly an old Army training site, there are plenty of old munitions bunkers left over from WWII. Have explored some of the bunkers years ago and it's high time I go back out there. For a multitude of reasons it seems. Maybe when the leaves turn… I’m sure it’ll be GORGEOUS out there.

But over the weekend, my mind went from Bee Tree Park to another intriguing area south of where I live. Once I started doing some research, I decided that I really want to explore the grounds of the old Robert Koch Hospital. I know it would be considered trespassing. I know it would be wrong. But it saddens me that so many people died there and have been abandoned from our collective memory. My exploration would be self-serving, but it was also be an acknowledgment of people who weren’t even acknowledged with individual graves.

So maybe once I’m working, I’ll feel apt to drive to these places and explore. Once I have less time on my hands.
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Monday, April 28, 2008

Celluloid Comfort Food

A friend of mine, M., recently sent me a link of movies that are being REMADE. Movies. Not T.V. shows that are being revamped for the big screen. But previously made films that are perfectly good, generally beloved, films that have already been released into the wild. She was very upset that 'Near Dark' was on the list, a movie that I have never seen and somehow feel my life is lacking for it considering how outraged M. was. She then asked which listing ticked me off the most.

This was my response:

"Alright. I want you to know that this list has disturbed me greatly. And I keep bouncing between outrage over Footloose (What?!? Who could do it better than Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow? I mean really. Love me some John Hughes flicks, but this is the essential 80's flick for me. Call it celluloid comfort food, if you will), Escape From New York (Because it's freakin' Escape from New York! Despite it's flaws, I don't think it gets much better than Kurt Russell and filming in parts of St. Louis. A cult classic for a reason...) and The Evil Dead (Not my favorite film by far, but it's such a part of the American horror film lexicon. The idea of remaking this, even by it's own director, should cause rioting in the streets -- it's such an icon as well as cult classic.)

So thank you M., for causing angst inside this head of mine. Of course, if you didn't share, I wouldn't know to start petition drives to nip these ideas in the bud."

M. was completely tickled by the 'celluloid comfort food' comment. But it's true! Films become such a representation of our lives. We watch movies to escape from our lives. We love certain films for how they reflect our lives. Either we relate to the film or we want our lives to be like that on the screen. I tend to like films that are happy. Either they are funny or they are inspiring. But I generally like to leave a film feeling good about myself.

One notable exception in the movie 'No Country For Old Men.' I am glad I didn't drive when I left the theater because I might have driven my car into a wall. But the movie totally, totally blew me away. Despite being the antithesis of "feel good movie of the year."

But there are movies that you watch over and over again for certain qualities in them. And those certain qualities make you happy, whether the film is a happy one or not. My friend Tom and I recite lines from 'Heathers' as a part of our regular conversations. He talks about his "watt-ah-melon-ous" -- or his heat -- that came from watching 'The Birdcage.' I regularly chase my cat around the house, saying "Kitty!" a la Boo from 'Monsters, Inc" and my husband and I frequently advise each other to "Have fun storming the castle," taken from 'The Princess Bride.'

And these movies aren't always on your list of favorite films. But they are the ones you pop into the DVD players while you're wrapped up in a blanket on the couch eating soup when you feel kinda crappy. Others might call them guilty pleasures, but that has an implied air of embarrassment about it. Me, I have no shame...

1) Heathers

2) The Princess Bride

3) The Birdcage

4) Monsters, Inc (Noticing a trend here?)

5) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

6) A League of Their Own

7) Ghostbusters

8) The Blues Brothers

9) The Sound of Music

10) Clerks

These movies make me feel good. Some of them I would consider favorites, most I would not. I think it's due to their quotability factor. Why quote a movie you don't like and if it's not quotable, then maybe it's not worthy of multiple viewings.

But notice that none of them are on the list of remakes. Not all the movies on the list make me happy, nor have I seen all of them. But I do know that nearly all of them are indelibly marked in the cinematic history as being classics or, more aptly, cult classics. And there's a reason for that.

And apparently the very reasons that make them the classics they are, are the same reasons to remake them. Or so people who make a lot more money than I'll even see have decided.

If any from my list were to be remade, I must say that the world would be a little less bright. A little less happy.

And yes, I love 'Footloose.' It just isn't on my Top 10 List because it's not the most quotable film I've watched. But it is my youth. And had one of the best movie soundtracks next to 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' (which was never released as far as I can tell). And was simple and wholesome and reminds me off days when you tried to "beat the man" rather than just trying to tread water in the real world. And a remake will make me wonder, what's next? A relaunching of 'The Electric Company?'
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Of Course I Will... And Of Course He Will!

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Another lame-ass welcome post...

Short. Sweet. Hopefully to the point. Everyone seems to blog these days and I figure that it was my turn to jump into the abyss, even though I'm several years late to the party. Can't promise that my musings will be amusing -- or even coherent -- but I thank you all the same for stopping by. I plan to archive my adventures, as well as misadventures, as I navigate the waters of life. That sounded my profound than I wanted, but it's true. I feel that everyone has a booked trapped inside them, waiting to be written. Although I heard... read... somewhere that not everyone should publish. I think that's what this is -- my attempt to see if what I write is worth the effort for other people to read. So, welcome to my experiment. Fasten your seatbelts and hold on. I don't have a map and my sense of direction, while pretty intuitive, is sometimes on a field trip with my sanity. Read more! Read more!