Grace should be my middle name.

Location: United States

Monday, November 29, 2004

What I Learned Over My Thanksgiving Break

When my sister showed me up at a party in the way of talents, I realized that I have many talents, but they just aren't the kind you show off at parties. I need a party talent. Suggestions welcome.

I have not lost the ability to sleep past 7 am, which I thought I had most certainly lost. 3 days in a row, 10 am, baby.

My little sister did not know my birthday. She got the month right, but I'm not entirely sure that wasn't by accident.

It's a good thing I didn't buy Elf. Everyone else in my family did.

And finally, not to diss on a huge Thanksgiving tradition for many people, but the Macy's Day Parade, I have decided, is one big snore. The high school bands. The multitude of cheerleaders. The lip-sinking C-List celebrities. And D-list celebrities - that means YOU, Raven! The huge balloons that we see year after year after year. The silly and trite comments by Katie Couric and Co. Seriously, who writes that stuff? I was all about knowing that the Barney balloon was exactly the length of 16 killer whales, seriously, what would I have done if you hadn't said that, Katie. Dude, if I was Katie, I'd have NONE OF THAT. In short, I learned that the Philadelphia Dog Show that follows the parade is a much better way to waste time before a big day of eating.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

My Movie Reviews of Movies New and Old, Seen and Unseen

The Incredibles: AWESOME. Must see.

Christmas With the Cranks: I'd rather pick at a small vein with an exacto knife.

Sponge Bob: I don't think so. When looking for a kids movie, go with the Incredibles. See Christmas with the Cranks.

The Edge of Reason: Bridget Jones: Not bad at all, and that's probably saying a lot because I wasn't enthused about seeing the first one, fell asleep and had no desire to see it again. 2 prissy British guys fighting like girls was the highlight for me.

National Treasure: Fun. Not great, but it didn't hurt me in any way whatsoever to see it. Good compromise with 10-year-olds for getting out of Christmas With the Cranks. Besides, a movie that is all about the possibility that there could be hidden treasure out there somewhere is fabulous with me. Not that I'm going treasure hunting anytime soon. But it's just nice to think that there are some secrets out there, you know? It also adds an element to the "What's Better Game"...Vikings, Ninjas, Pirates AND Knights are all pretty sweet.

The Polar Express: I'm all for it, except that one of the two 10-year-olds I took to see National Trasure thought Polar Express was beneath her. I wonder what that makes me for being Ok with seeing it.

Whatever the name is of that dancing movie with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and J-Lo: Yeah, I thought it was going to be bad and it was confirmed within the first 10 minutes. Good call on switching theaters.

Elf: Great Christmas classic, but I'm glad I didn't buy it because everyone else in my family did. And little sister needs to stop watching it. No seriously, STOP.

Steel Magnolias: Apparently, there is some point during a small indulgence in Lifetime that you know you're in it for the long haul.

Big Fish: More people should appreciate this movie. If you don't get Big Fish, you can never enter a deep and meaningful friendship with me. Unless you're my dad, because you get All the King's Men...I'll let that slide.

And on a side note...
Nothing makes me more hostile than missing the previews. Out of the 3 movies I saw the last 5 days, 2 of them, I missed the previews. I feel jipped.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

What You Might Have Heard If You Were Out With Me Last Night...

Scene One

Acquaintances #1 and #1 of a friend who Grace was just introduced to: Ok, so tell us ALL the dirt on her!

Me: Dirt...hmmm...dirt...

Acquaintance #1: Yeah, the DIRT!

Me: I don't know...

Acquaintance #2: Come on, something really good!

Me (having absolutely no idea, because my friend doesn't DO dirt): Well, when she was like in second grade she was Marta in the Sound of Music.

Acquaintance #1: Marta? Which one is that?

Me: One of the little girls.

Acquaintance #2: Oh, ok...well, who were you? Gretel? Maria? No no, you were one of those Nazi soldiers!

Acquaintance #1: Oh yeah, she was totally a Nazi soldier!

Me (in what you will find to be a failed attempt in being funny): No, I was actually a nun...chuckle chuckle.

Acquaintance #1 and #2: Oh, I could TOTALLY see you as a nun!

Me (to friend who has not heard conversation that just transpired): They told me they could see me being a nun and I just met them 30 seconds ago!

Friend to acquaintances: No, no, Grace likes boys.

Scene Two:

Guy is making moves and succeeding with trashy looking female with old school Victoria's Secret thong underwear totally hanging out of the back of her low-rise jeans...and not in a good way, if that even exists.

Others snicker at the table. Friend says, "I'm about 4 seconds away from making a laser eye surgery joke."

I laugh. Other guy at the table says, "What?"

I repeat for her, "laser eye surgery".

Guy says, "I know, I heard what she said, I just don't get it."

10 second pause where friend and I look at each other and with our eyes say, "You have GOT to be kidding me."

"Oh, like he needs his eyes repaired because she's so ugly?"

Scene Three:

My friend and I return to the table after taking a lap around the bar while guy has watched my purse for me.

Guy: You let me watch your purse. I very well could have gone through it to see if you had any condoms in it.

Me: !!!! (followed by uncontrollable laughter)

Guy is, of course, confused.

Friend: Condoms are the last thing you'd find in Grace's purse. Is anyone in the mood for some hot fudge milk shakes from Steak and Shake?

Guy: Wait, wait, wait, are you just going to let her change the subject after saying that you don't get any tail?! That wasn't cool!

Me: !!! (more laughing)

Guy (will NOT give it up): Come on, you can't let her get away with saying you can't score!

Me: !!! (more laughing because have absolutely no idea how to explain why this whole conversation is completely ridiculous to be discussing with me and if this poor tool even KNEW, he would die, just die)

Friend: What I'm saying is that Grace is absolutely the last person to F---.

Me (thinking, GREAT SAVE and GOOD CALL!): YES!

Guy: Hmmmm, Ok.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Things for Which I am Thankful

* Little sister who asks Grandma, "Hey Grandma, have you taken your Asafax yet?"

* Twizzlers

* That stuff you shake on your carpet before you vacuum it that smells like Gardenias

* Decisions I made 6 months ago

* Friends and family who helped me through those "decisions" of 6 months ago.

* Giulty pleasures like lesbian rock

* My dad who when I saw him on Saturday said, "Hey, I have something for you!" and it was the 1949 movie "All The Kings Men" which I have been wanting to see for a long time. Because the book, "All the Kings Men" is important. Perhaps even more important than "Amelie" to me. If anyone understands this, it is my dad.

* My job

* Perk of my job #1: I get those headshot pictures that go in the yearbook for FREE...NOT thankful that I did not know about this BEFORE the picture was taken, or I might have used some lip gloss.

* Bangs

* My sister who cut my bangs and gives me fashion advice, even if it does come out as, "I like the shirt, I like the skirt, I DON'T like the shoes." And even if she asks me questions like, "Dude, you were an art major, why can't you match clothes?"

* My sister who said, "Sort of makes you want to lock your doors at night," regarding things that absolutely SHOULD make you lock your doors at night.

* Perk of my job #2: I get drawings that say To: Ms. G. My favorite is of "Robin the Easter Cat, surrounded by Easter eggs." Easter cats are interesting. Drawings of Easter cats given on November 18th are even more interesting, if you ask me.

* My ringtone

* Pirates

* Margarita shampoo

* Margaritas

* The O.C.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past, Part III

2000: In honor of my sister coming home for Thanksgiving during her first year at West Point, I also got to come home. Thanks Dad! While on the outing to see the traditional Thanksgiving Disney movie, my sister and I sat down with everyone else in 102 Dalmations, looked at each other and said, “I don't think I can sit throug this!” So we dipped out – such rebels. On the way home, apparently justice found me for being that rebel when I got pulled over for “swerving”…luckily I got no ticket and the cousins and sisters in the car kept their mouths shut about it. I was sort of pumped because I had a boyfriend to drive and pick me up from the airport that year and that was the first time I had experienced that. It worked out well for him because I am such a treat. It worked out well for me because he had a truck and took me on a Home Depot on the way home from the airport. I was having various pieces of masonite cut in different sizes for painting class. The Home Depot employee turned to the boyfriend and said, “You goinna let the WOMAN make all the decisions?” I love it when that happens.

2001: I spent Thanksgiving break locked up in my apartment with my best sculpture friend who moved in for the weekend. There we went running, worked on a HUGE research paper and studied a lot. We also watched the Breakfast Club, saw Harry Potter, danced to Starship, cooked food and spent the actual Thanksgiving dinner with other ragamuffin college students who played the guitar and were really fun, making it a terribly great Thanksgiving. The one disappointment of the weekend: I didn’t score Neil Diamond tickets for his show on Sunday night.

2002: It was an off year for extended family Thanksgiving celebrations, which was sort of sad to me. But I had a feeling that good things were in the air when I found out that my sister was bringing home her boyfriend. I also had the pleasure of hosting Ellie. Other guests included my sister’s best friend and her sister. For everyone counting at home, that made it a Thanksgiving of 10 women and 3 men; the men being my dad, my grandpa and my sister’s boyfriend, who now, incidentally, is her husband. The boyfriend/now husband said all of 3 sentences, probably because he was a little overwhelmed and probably because either didn’t have any opinions about J-Lo’s 6 carrot pink diamond ring and Aaron dumping Brooke for Helene, or if he did have opinions about them, he probably didn’t want to voice them in the presence of so many girls. It was my parents 25th wedding anniversary and we had cake and champagne. When I emerged and saw my grandpa, he said, “THAT doesn’t look like champagne!” which was really hysterical at the time. That year, I had my first adventure into blind-date territory that I should tell you more about some time. I had a gaggle of sisters and Ellie right there with me, within spying distance, making it one of the best covert dating operations ever. The date was cool, especially because all of us, including the guy and my posse had ice cream afterwards. In the car on the way for ice cream, my sisters said, “Ellie was right about your car!” Apparently, they were taking bets on what sort of car he would have. My date was disappointed to find out that Ellie had guessed it would be a “family car;” but I think he should be pretty thankful that’s she guessed “family car” and not “homo-car”, seeing as he drove a Jetta Station wagon. Ellie and I dipped out of festivities early to get back to Tallahassee for the big game, which was fabulously cold and fun. Only disappointing in that we didn’t get to rush the field.

2003: I made my first attempt at bringing a boyfriend home for a national holiday. It was a somber one though because my grandpa was very ill. Best quote of the weekend goes to my baby sister who exclaimed “BRICE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY SISTER?!” while we were piling in the minivan. Brice, was my sister’s boyfriend, not mine. Middle sister (her again! See installment 1) had a 103 degree fever and passed it on to me and my boyfriend, but not before we were 1/2 way to Gainesville for the big game. I stood and cheered through that FSU/UF game with a 102 fever, but loved every second of it. It was great for us Seminoles, especially me because my BF, who had a UF degree, did NOT wear any Gator clothing. He wore a Switzerland shirt, being neutral. I have to say that I sort of considered that some very highly convincing evidence that I am one of the most powerful people in the world (a subject I should tackle another time). We crashed at Beatrix’s pad and woke up at 5 am with major chills. Not wanting to get her sick right before law school exams, I somehow packed and loaded stuff up, wrote a note and drove 2 hours home. Then I laid in bed for 3 days, THANKS middle sister for punctuating another Thanksgiving by striking me with sickness! Also, thanks BF for letting me drive, no really, thanks.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past, Part II

Ok, so the dates got a little confused in the first installment, but I’m sure it’s not bothering anyone as much as it’s bothering Ruthie, so I’ll just continue:

1997: This was an “off” year for Thanksgiving with the maternal side of my family. Which means it was an “on” year for us on Christmas. It’s sort of like a formula. Basically, the years where FSU plays UF in Tallahassee, Thanksgiving is celebrated with their respective “outlaw” family because everyone wants to go to Tallahassee for it and if we were to do Thanksgiving, that would make things too complicated. So, since it's OFF for Thanksgiving, it's ON for Christmas. However, on the years where FSU plays UF in Gainesville, those are the ON years for Thanksgiving because after a bad experience in the Swamp, where beer was poured and spit was spat, many of my relatives will not step foot in that stadium, ever. 1997 is notable for the fact that it was my last Thanksgiving at home before college. So anyway, this year, everyone was in Tallahassee, or celebrating with their in-laws. Except us. We were spending it at my uncle’s beach house. But we never really got our act together and we were discussing hauling all the food to be cooked up there. I suggested, since it was just us, that we could screw the cooking and have turkey at the Golden Corral. Everyone else thought this was a great idea, so that’s what we did. So yes, we were one classy family back in 1997.

1998: On my way out to drop me off for my freshman year of college, my father told me that due to expensive plane tickets at Thanksgiving, to make sure that I made friends with someone from Texas so that I could go home with them for Turkey Day, which I totally did. I was really impressed that Ellie's family seemed to eat Mexican food for every meal - and they're not even remotely Mexican. They took me to the Alamo, where I asked the famous question, "Is there a basement in the Alamo?" which I totally already knew the answer to; however, I was enlightened to the fact that though there is no basement in the Alamo, there IS actually a basement to the gift shop of the Alamo. We also went to Best Buy at like 6am or something and I bought Dixie Chicks and Jewel CDS. Hey, 1998 had some rough times, don't make fun. The relatives back in FL made a movie for me where they told gross jokes and talked about Pee Wee Herman. I learned in this video that even when you go away from home for college, some things never change because in the video not only did the relatives tell gross jokes and talk about Pee Wee Herman, but Grandma also laughed so hard she wet her pants, which is just so typical of Grandma. Oh, and thanks, Getamac, for getting a close up in on the wet spot on the chair. That was award-winning.

1999: I spent most of Thanksgiving Day en route to Munich from Prague, eating a LOT of candy and playing Crazy Eights all the way. Oh yeah, and to Dr. Crider: there is a very slim chance that we might have cracked open Hamlet or the Tempest or something on that train too. But that’s a very slim chance, given my grades that semester. Arriving in Munich to snow, Eleanor and I found a hostile (notable in that there was a dude FARTING all night long inside our dorm), dropped our bags, and headed straight for the Hoffbrauhaus, where we drank huge steins of beer and ate brautworst. This night is not to be confused with the following night where we also drank huge steins of beer and ate brautworst at the same infamous beer hall. On Thanksgiving, Ellie and I were buzzed enough to get lost trying to find our way home and had to pee in the snow. The following night I would not describe myself as "buzzed"...but that's another story and only distantly related to Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past

Here at Graceaplenty we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving all week long. Here is the first installment...

To the best of my knowledge, Thanksgiving in my family has either been celebrated with my mother’s side of the family or without. Perhaps there was a time or two where we drove the 8-10 hours to my father’s side, but I don’t remember that. Thanksgivings were mostly a time to run around with cousins, and wow, were there and are there lots of them. My first 5 Thanksgivings, we’ll just go ahead and say that’s what they amounted to.

1986: This Thanksgiving is notable for the fact that I remember wearing my pilgrim costume to school. I had a pilgrim costume because the year before, my mother started making me a witch costume for Halloween, but my grandmother gave her a guilt trip for allowing her daughter to be something evil. So I became a pilgrim has stayed in working order ever since.

1990: Thanksgiving with the cousins at Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe’s. I remember playing on the swing set, the girlfriend one uncle brought that no one seemed to like, and seeing The Little Mermaid.

1991: Party at 4598! We got our geo-dome that year. I also getting yelled at by the church handbell choir director at practice before the big party. There were potato sack races and races to see who could finish a huge puzzle first. I had the little kids on my team and we were assigned the 101 Dalmations Puzzle, which, with all those spots was nearly impossible. I was bitter. Maybe that’s why I hate puzzles to this day. Saw Beauty and the Beast.

1992: Drawing a blank.

1993: We call this the Thanksgiving from Hell in my family. My freshman year in high school, someone in the family decided it would be a good idea put the whole family on a Value-Jet flight and head to Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with aunt, uncle and 3 cousins there. This was a great idea, until middle sister came down with the worst stomach flu known to man. Thanksgiving morning, my cousin was in the shower, so middle sister couldn’t make it to the toilet. She puked all over their brand new carpeted stairs. The next day, we went mall-ing. I remember being really impressed that when offered $20 for one of the chairs my aunt had saved for us to sit in at the food court, that she turned the guy down. Later that evening, my throat started to feel a little scratchy. I was a little shivery. The next morning I puked all over the floor and joined my sister in being sicker than hell. Later that day, my dad told my mom he wasn’t feeling very well and she told them that he’d better suck it up and not embarrass her. Directly after this conversation, my dad went into the bathroom that shares a wall with the dining room which everyone was sitting in and HURLS like no one has ever heard before. So much for sucking it up! Instead of taking a family full of disgustingly sick people to the airport, my uncle called up a limo. Too bad I couldn’t enjoy it because I had my head in a paper sack the whole time. I think out of 7 family members, 5 of us ended up practically on our deathbeds. I missed about a week of school and lost probably 15 pounds. My mom told me I looked like "the dog's ass." Months later, a friend referred to it as “that time you almost died” and she really might have been right.

1994-1996: All pretty much the same. Cousins, turkey and Disney movies. Except somewhere in there, cousin Eric backed off and fell off the dock at my uncle’s house while flying a kite in classic comedic style. The Polock manifests itself in us all in different ways.

Stay tuned for 1997-2000.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Isn't it Ironic...

That towards the end of my first party here, one of those in present says, "Hey Grace, have you ever heard of Jefferson Starship?"

"Ahh, I am only a huge fan and have dreamed of concocting the world's greatest lip sink to Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now...AND every party I have ever thrown had that song played at the climax until this party."

"Oh, they were playing here tonight, did you know? Tickets were $5. I forgot to tell you."

I had to end that conversation right then and there so as to not show my distress. It's ok though. Good times tonight.

Surprise of the night: My guests found the most exciting and interesting thing to be Channel 63, which monitors the gate of my apartment complex. You can sit in the privacy of your own home and watch people in their cars attempt to dial the resident and open the gate. Great half-time entertainment that I never used or appreciated until tonight.

Friday, November 19, 2004


Every Friday is "sketchbook check day." So when I say, "Ok, today is Friday, what does that mean?" and someone says, "Pizza Day!" You sort of disappoint me because you don't know what's going on...but part of me says, "Wow, that's a really good idea!" Pizza it twas tonight. It had been a while.

November has not normally been a month I'm a huge fan of. The weater is sort of grey and gross. It's the time when classes and crap gets really busy. It's crunch time. There are good things to look forward to at the end of the month, but there's a lot of cramming and stress before hand. I think perhaps moving closer to the equator has made me enjoy November more. Because, November, I'm totally a fan now. I'm sorry I spent so many years procrastinating papers and studying until 4am and taking tests and praying I'd make it through you until December. I'm sorry. Can we be friends?

Also, high five for November because the past 2 days, I have gone into my closet and gotten all crazy and tried on something that the last time I tried it on (proabably about a year ago) I could barely pour myself into. But low and behold, that skirt and those plaid pants are sort of hot. Being a single working girl must be good for me. Good thing I celebrated the plaid pants with 1/2 a roll of cookie dough.

In other laughable news, I'm throwing my first party in years. Well, it's sort of a party. I mean, I'm fairly certain that there will be no dancing, no limbo, no games, no marshmallow fights and no one begging me to play Wilson Philips just one more time. It is a football party, where I will be the only one cheering for my team. The rest will be enemies.

And for my Friday Public Service Announcement for boys: Don't call a girl you have bored out of her mind and leave a message on her voicemail that says, "Hey, I was calling to say hey and see if maybe you wanted to meet up sometime and do something...I'm not sure what...I'm drawing a blank on that one, but maybe we can talk about it." You know what? Don't leave that message even didn't make her wish she was watching paint dry the night before. You know what? Boys, girls, men, women, children, NO ONE should ever leave a message like that for anyone. I hope I don't need to explain.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Oxymoronical Meeting

Was the last post cryptic enough for you? Well, I met a guy that people from work wanted me to meet. People = his mother, I came to find out. Making me leary of already handing over my phone number. The phone conversation and the message left at 6:30 on a Friday night (who does that?) tipped me off that I was not going to be swooning. But I figured I shouldn't write something off without having actual basis. Besides, like Al said, "You need a little drama in your life," even though she also said, "Man, he sounds like a complete and utter looser."

He was not a complete and utter looser. But he was completely and utterly boring. Yeah, I'm not even sure if it qualifies as funny story, but it was noteworthy in that I can describe it as extraordinarily humdrum - two words one does not often use together. I seriously sat there partaking in a conversation that made me want to pick a vein out of my arm with a spoon. I dealt with it for what seemed like a length only Mother Teresa would have endured. I felt proud of myself for that, I excused myself politely, and when I got in the car, I realized I had only been inside 45 minutes!

Anyways, good things have been happening and good things are on the horizon. Sorry to have been MIA. I'll try to do better.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Have You?

Have you ever done something you have a bad feeling about sort of because it's quasi-out-of-obligation, a lot because you're too nice, partially because even though you have that feeling it's going to be bad, that it can't be THAT bad, and if it is THAT bad, you can totally handle it, especially because you can laugh about it with your friends as soon as it's over and add it too your collection of fun stories to tell at parties?

Yeah, I think that about sums up how I feel about what I'm about to do.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Outta Here

Well, my first personal leave day ever is beginning now. I have just enough time to blow dry my hair, make up some coffee and get it started. First, mass; second, breakfast with mom; third, extraneous eyebrow removal; fourth, oil change; fifth, head north. After that, who knows?

The definites are: I will see lots of orange and blue, I will most certainly NOT wear orange and blue, the weather will be cooler, there will be no sixth graders, no one will call me Miss, Ms. or Mrs., I will wear a skirt I've been DYING to wear, I will laugh my ass off, and I will carouse a town I don't know well by being lead by those who do. Other than the fact that I will be spending a weekend college-style, who could be sure of what else?

Ciao, bellas!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

"But I Want And Oompa Loompa NOW!"

Call it wanting to have my cake and eat it too.

Call it a Veruca Salt moment.

But sometimes I just want to stamp my foot and whine. Like tonight, when I drove happily to my fine foods grocery store so pick up a 6-pack to celebrate a bonus, a 4-day weekend and a 12-hour working day. I stood in the beer section feeling very let down by the lack of Shiner Bock. How can they play with my emotions like this?! Have it one day, not have it the next, but promise that they're getting a shipment in on Tuesday. But not having it on Wednesday when I NEED it!

Unfortunately, pushing your cart back and forth down the aisle doesn't make it appear. I really think that it should.

Sometimes I want to stamp my foot and cry for green shoes in a store full of black, brown, red and pink.

Sometimes I want a discontinued Cajun Chicken Salad at Friday's and I just want to shake my fist at the waiter. They used to have it. I could count on it. Always. And all of a sudden, they rip it off their menu. When I think that I patronized a Fridays in Austria (or was it Paris?) just for the Cajun Chicken Salad, it makes me ANGRY.

This can happen with people too and is as infuriating. All those good intentions and almost-but-not-quites don't mean jack.

It's not fair. It really just isn't. But that's how it is. The Shiner situation toyed with my emotions. I got my heart set on it and then it wasn't accessible.

Like the times I searched high and low for the Crunchy Cheesy Gordita at Taco Bell. Did I ever tell you about the search for The Crunch Cheesy Gordita? NO?! Well, it clearly illustrates my point.

Now, I have had a problem with Taco Bell for a long time. Especially since experiencing the wonders of Taco Cabana, I just couldn't bring myself, or my stomach, to deal with a second rate taco establishment. But one day, Eleanor saw the commercial for The Crunchy Cheesy Gordita and thought we should try it. Now, Eleanor is just as opposed to Taco Bell as I am, but she is a connoiseur of sorts of Mexican food, being from San Antonio. She doesn't settle for sub par Mexican food. She won't even hear of Don Pablos. She knows what's up. So when Eleanor says "Let's try The Crunch Cheesy Gordita!" I'm totally with her.

She and I went through the drive through and each ordered one. We got home, ate our respective gorditas, looked at each other and both said, "I need another!" So we got directly back in her car, and went through the drive through again. The guy at the window looked at us like we were crazy. But those gorditas were like manna from heaven in a town where the only respectable food sold is BBQ or fried chicken.

A week later, we were lusting after the Crunchy Cheesy Gordita. But to our dismay, they weren't "doing" Crunchy Cheesy Gorditas" anymore..."But could I interest you in a Ranchero Chicken Supreme?" No. Hell no. Are you kidding me?!

From the next year or so, it became a hunt for the elusive Crunchy Cheesy Gordita. Some cities seem to carry them all year round. Other cities, only a month in the Spring. So much inconsistency! Who would have known that Taco Bells do not have universal menus? It seemed this highly incorrect heirarchy. Some towns wtih, and some towns without. So unfair! Almost as unfair as Six Flags letting people pay twenty bucks to cut everyone else in line for the best rollercoasters. But that is whole other issue.

The Crunchy Cheesy Gordita situation was making me hostile, so I brought my concern to my roommate's boyfriend, who was once an employee of Taco Bell. He said, "Grace, don't ever, ever, ever eat at Taco Bell."

"But, Chris", I said, "I love The Crunchy Cheesy Gordita."

Then he asked me, "So when they don't have it and they ask you if you would like something else, do you take it?"

Well, ah...yeah...

"THEY'RE getting to YOU! You're letting them WIN!" he exclaimed and then proceeded to tell me all sorts of things about vats of uncooked meat and raw eggs. He told me enough to concern me. But not to deter me the next time I was home to hunt out my desire, which was one week later.

That week, I took my chances on a Taco Bell. Sure enough, when I ordered, they had it! Except they only accepted CASH! "WTF?!" I thought, where am I anyway, a CAVE?" So I thought of what Chris had told me and wouldn't let them talk me into some other sort of gordita. But instead, I went looking for an ATM and returned to the Taco Bell, to wait in a 30 minute line to get my Crunchy Cheesy Gordita. But I waited. And I even got two. And those two made my stomach feel like SHIT. And I have never wanted a Crunchy Cheesy Gordita since. I'm not sure what was worse, the stomach ache, or the knowledge that i had wasted so much time and effort on The Crunchy Cheesy Gordita. But those times when I wanted a Crunchy Cheesy Gordita, I just HAD to have one. And when I couldn't get one, it drove me to drinking...or at least, drove me crazy.

What about when you must, must, must have that pair of shoes. But you have a size 9 and they have sizes 8 1/2 and 9 1/2, but no 9. Or they have it in every color, except green and you desperately need green. I mean, the least they could to is have nothing even remotely close to what you want. But the fact that they have it in every color but the very one you need, just is tantalizing.

Or what about when you go all the way down to Key West and Dominique the Cat Man has the week off!? You walk back and forth saying, "I KNOW HE'S HERE. Maybe he'll come out later. Where is Dominique?" He's there 49 weeks out of the year. But the weekend you are, he's not.

That's how it works sometimes. But you know, a brown pair of shoes, when what you need is green, just doesn't help. Sometimes a Ranchero Chicken Supreme just won't do when you need a Crunchy Chicken Gordita. Like the song says, "You can't alwasy get what you want." The closer it is to being what you want, but missing that important ingredient, the harder it is. Apparently a sword swallower doesn't replace Dominique in Key West for me either. But friends who dance with pirates might.

Sometimes you push too hard, you go get that cash and buy two gorditas and then end up feeling sick. Sometimes you push too hard, special order the shoes in and they end up hurting your feet. Sometimes all your best intentions fall through and you end up NOT getting what you want, even though it was extraordinarily close. But at least you didn't get a stomach ache, right?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Let's Draw Jesus, Round 2

"So Miss Grace, what do you like to do for fun?" he asked.

I paused a second, slightly taken aback by this question from a student. "What do I do for FUN?"

Let's-draw-Jesus-boy butts in, "She goes to church!"

Monday, November 08, 2004

Let's Draw Jesus!

Ok, I realize that last post was sort of depressing. The funny thing is though that I'm not depressed. Tired, perhaps, but not depressed. But I did think of something that really made me laugh and is entirely postworthy...

Now, I am a teacher by profession and also teach CCD on Sundays. My CCD class has about 6 students in it, 4 of whom are my students at school as well. One of those students who has the privilege of seeing me 6 days a week and has only spoken about 4 sentences to me total before EVER, was in rare form last night at CCD, asking questions about all sorts of stuff and suggesting that we learn how to paint Jesus in CCD. Cute idea, but no.

At CCD, I usually end the last 3 minutes of class going around and sharing our "highs" and "lows". Since it's a small class, it's sort of cool and they really like it when it's my turn. As classes go on, we're getting a little more meat on our highs and lows. You know, a little more personal then the "My low is that I worked on my science fair project all weekend" or "My low is tomorrow is Monday." Well, last night, after a lesson on The First Commandment and the importance of praying the rosary, when it came time for me to share my highs and lows, I drew a blank on the low. So I gave the only answer I could think of spur of the moment: that I had been sort of bored Friday night.

That quiet student who had suggested we learn to paint Jesus looked at me in disbelief and said, "What?! NO WAY! Why don't you just watch TV? Or you could draw or paint! OR, or, or PRAY THE ROSARY! Yeah, you could pray!"

Yes, child, I am your art and religion teacher, but there is more to my life than art and praying. Or, at least, we certainly hope so.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Forgetting my lunch doesn't make a Monday very good at all.
Hard working and nice kids make it much better, as did a kind word from a boss, peanut butter crackers and a coke.
Hearing a brilliant song on the radio helped a lot too, especially when I heard the song just as I was turning the corner for home that I like so much that I BUSTED inside, turned on the radio and flung myself on the bed and LOVED it.
Plans that fall through for dinner brought me down a knotch.
Gillmore Girls at 5pm brought me up a little.
Thoughts about undependable and crappy people brought me down.
Still, I thought I was doing better than I was around 11am when I realized I had no lunch to fill my growling stomach.
But I think I may be back to 11am.
Damn car alarms. They have to be the worst invention EVER.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


I have a friend who's time is up in getting her “ode”. This is Beatrix’s week in more than one way. Not only does she get the privilege of being featured here at graceaplenty, but she’s also doing something pretty damn cool.

Now, I don’t know a lot about things like big pep rallies at really big universities that wear complementary colors. But I know Beatrix is in charge of one that is happening in one week. And I also know that when I go visiting and my friend is on The List to get inside The Bar with no cover Always, I think that probably means something. Oh, and it's not just ON the list, it's at the TOP of the list. And, she can just say, "She's with me," and I get in too. Obviously this being in charge of a really huge pep rally in a college town is big. You know, context clues, I catch them.

So in honor of her big week where she moves into her very own hotel room, plays Halo 2 on a 35 foot screen, rides in a convertible and waves in a parade, and all her hard work and ass-kicking culminate into a fabulous production, I give you Beatrix:

When I first met Beatrix, my sister and I were waiting for our father to pick us up from a rained out tennis clinic. She was, in my memory, just a smaller, 7th grade version of herself now. I think she definitely dropped and F-bomb or two and ruthlessly made fun of some dirty little white-trash boys who had lost their bird named Sharp Tooth (or was it Shark Tooth?) in the park. By the way, who DOES that? Take their Cockatiel to a PARK? And opens the CAGE? They totally deserved the making fun. Ok, I digress...

Probably a year later, when she heard the name of my 6th grade teacher was Sister Mary Kay Moran, she said, “I think her name is Sister Mary Kay Moron,” she couldn't have been more accurate. I mean, I GUESS she could have if she had called her Sister Hairy Gay Moron before ever meeting her. But THAT would have been uncanny and psychic.

Beatrix and I kept each other posted regularly throughout high school and even more throughout college. Beatrix says things like “You don’t go back for seconds if the buffet sucks” when referring to kissing and “The Mary Tyler Moore Phase” when referring to getting a job and an act together, and both make me laugh.

A few years back, she pulled a bushwhack on I-10 at 70mph with me in the passenger seat that almost scarred me for life. Six months ago, when she did it on the Florida Turnpike, I guess I took the second a little better because 2 days later, I was pulling the same stunt in almost exactly the same place while driving HER car. Is her car? Is it her? Who could know? I do know it was sort of refreshing to let go of my granny-style driving for a nanosecond. But I honestly didn't have much of a choice.

Beatrix is the first person to want to set me up, which was totally cool. It was cool because not only was it motivated by fear of me never speaking to another boy again, but also because she thought it was a good match. But hey, that’s what you do for friends. By the way, you can send your deepest desires in a mate toward my comment box and we’ll see what she can do for you.

Over the years, Beatrix has taught me a lot of things about Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth W, Vera Bradley and Toile. Dude, I didn’t even know what Toile was until she wore some recently and called it that. I’m good with context clues, remember? Dude, I just had to google that to spell toile. That's some crazy spelling!

Once I drove 2.4 hours just to hang out with Beatrix for a night because I couldn’t deal with my own drama sans panic attack and she was totally cool with it. She said to me that day, “The bullshit needs to come to a screeching halt,” (not referring to my bullshit, but to another's) and that made everything much, much better. Of course, I still had to return to the drama, but those little things make a difference. It also makes a difference when Beatrix calls a spade a spade, especially when she uses the words He, Is and F***er, instead of the words He, Is, and Spade.

Beatrix can hold her liquor like a lady in her Lilly Pulitzer dress, and that’s exactly what she is. Except for that one birthday. But we all have that one time, right?

She understands the power of Sonic. She’s into TLC. And she is one of the multitude who came to Amelie through me. She and only a select group of others, NOT including my sister (who fell asleep) can count themselves lucky to have seen Amelie with me in the theater. She was either time #3 or #4. Regardless, this is a notable fact.

She also gets a some sort of superlative for being “Understanding-of-Horribly-Ditsy-Grace-Moments”, which all of my friend are. But wow, if you can drive 4 hours north with someone, get to where her car is parked, only for her to realize that her keys are not in her possession, but 4 hours SOUTH, and when she notified you of this, you just wash your face, toss her the keys to your car and say, "Let's go!", well, then you definitely deserve some sort of award.

You should definitely have a friend like Beatrix. I mean, how many people can say they are friends with someone who starred in a school production of The Sound of Music as Marta Von Trapp back when she was in elementary school?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Motor Mouth

I was going to blog about elections and my unique experiences. But I'm just not up for it tonight. Instead, I wanted to share my mixed feelings about that new show, Motor Mouth.

Part of me thinks it's insanely funny to laugh at these poor people's expense. Part of me worries that I might be motor-mouthed someday. And part of me thinks it's wrong to make people feel self conscious about that very private thing that singing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-alone-in-a-car is. I mean, that just seems wrong. It's the one time that absolutely ANYONE can bust out and pretend their a rock star, free and guiltless. Now, VH1 is infringing on that right.

It just seems sort of wrong, sort of like how my mom says it's wrong to make fun of my baby sister when she sings at the top of her lungs in the shower and has absolutely no idea that she does it. Like it cramps her innocence or something. Well, motor mouth isn't going to change me!

Monday, November 01, 2004

It Happened One Night

These are my filtered thoughts while watching an old Frank Capra movie this weekend. Filtered because, you really don't want to know ALL that goes through my mind.

I'm glad newer movies adopted the credits-at-the-end-of-the-movie approach. Good improvement!

Claudette Colbert is a pretty hot. We both have bangs. I think my bangs are sort of hot too.

Clark Gable or Carrey Grant...hmmmm....

I think I'm Ok with moustaches as long as it's in black and white.

Overnight bus rides = Mexico = doped up on dramamine or no sleep at all

Wait, how is she sleeping? I didn't see her take dramamine!

Painted eye brows, I think are whore-ish. Yuck.

"Remember me? I'm the man you slept on last night." - not something you want a guy telling you one morning, but that's pretty darn funny that Clark said it.

I think I may start referring to my male peers as "young man"; when Claudette says it, she makes them seem so inferior. I like her style.

Telagrams are endearing, but probably no practical, or in existence anymore. That's sort of a shame.

"You look like you got class with a capital K" and "Shut my big nasty mouth" are both perfect things for the sleazy guy on a bus to say.

"When a cold mama gets hot, MAN, she sizzles!" is an AWESOME thing to say even if you are the sleazy guy on a bus.

I think I've seen this plot line before. Ahh, yes, except the setting was Rome and it starred Audrey Hepburn and Clark Gable. This one is MUCH better so far.

I think I'd be really annoyed if a guy criticized my doughnut dunking technique. I think it's a personal decision if you want to dip or soak.

"Once a plumber's daughter, always a plumber's daughter" - Damn, right, Clark!

Hmmm...a discussion about piggy back rides. That seems sort of dirty.

Hitching a ride by showing some leg - priceless.

Dad walking the bride down the aisle and telling her that he's got a car outback in case she changes her mind - off the charts!

Bottom Line: Good, classic, older movie. Cute and fun and funny. Very similar to Roman Holiday, except definitely better. Even though, I think when I play the which-is-better-game that Carrey Grant beats Clark Gable every time.