Category Archives: ramblings

dear vampire weekend, i give a $#*@ about an oxford comma

as much as it pains me to say this, i stand corrected about an itty bitty, curly little mark. and here’s why.

i have never been a fan of the oxford (serial) comma. i find it superfluous, and just flat out don’t like using it. if–and only if–a sentence is ambiguous without it, then i make exceptions.

i began my writing career in newspapers, which would explain said exclusion. (the AP style is so cool–obvy.) but when i moved onto consumer advertising, the exclusion remained. (see! nobody likes the dang thing.) then i got a job at a pharmaceutical advertising agency and everything i thought was right turned out to be dead wrong. my copy editor tells me the american medical association manual of style says i must use it. and so i do. but only at work, damn it. in my personal writing, my resistance to this oxford–aka, serial–aka, harvard–comma has remained steadfast.

until today. (doom and gloom, people. doom. and. gloom.)

while editing a friend’s résumé, a google search about commas slapped my grammatical rebellion into submission. turns out, not only does the AMA require its inclusion, but so does my beloved MLA. (son of a bee sting, babe. i was wrong all along. ouch. that stings.)

henceforth, my commas will appear here, here, here, and even right there in front of that 3-letter conjunction. bummer.

so, who cares now, oh ye merry lads of vampire weekend? my buddy and fellow editor/writer, radigan, does. and–reluctantly–i now do, too.

“home is wherever i’m with you”

coming home to tejas always spins a twinge of nostalgia–a little bit heartwarming, a little bit blasé–in my heart and mind. i lose myself in the familiarity of it all. the roads. the expansion. the southern fried delciousness. the open fields. the manic weather. the smells in my mother’s kitchen. my friends. my family. the accents. the pace. apartment complex after apartment complex. cookie cutter stability. the ever-sprawling suburbia. the blatant disregard for trees and land to make room for yet another mecca of shopping centers and chain restaurants designed solely for convenience. smoky bars. (i forgot how much that stale stank seeps into your clothing and hair and remains even post shower.) the ease and humility of my upbringing.

eventually, though, you leap out of the nest and learn to fly (to the far reaches of the great white north, in my case), leaving behind everything you’ve ever known. and then–then, you do something crazy like fall in love. real love. the kind that leaves no question, no doubt. the kind that wraps you in blankets soft as kittens, sweeps you into the stars in one fell swoop and links your heart to theirs with just one look.

and you realize, home isn’t defined by its locale at all. it’s a feeling. it’s a movement. it’s a smile. it’s knowing that this, THIS, is where i belong–right here with you, wherever that may be.

edward sharpe & the magnetic zeros say it best for me in this striking tune, “home”:

home / let me come home / home is wherever i’m with you

home / yes i am home / home is when i’m alone with you

tattoo infatuation, aka “tattooation”

they (who are they, anyway?) say once you get your first tattoo, fuhgeddaboutit. like flies on shit–wait, that’s a terrible analogy–strike that. reverse it. like poppin’ a pringle, once you start, you just can’t stop. eh. i didn’t believe it. this so-called tattoo addiction must be a farce. it took me 28 years to get this virgo sign inked on the back of my neck (hizzle was in attendance and squirming more than me, i think), i can make it through life without another.

busted for writing on the benches at DA's, local 'toga dive bar.

famous last words, right?

last may, i got my 2nd tattoo at mooncusser in provincetown, mass, with the ex and two of the most amazing women you will ever meet. (hi donner and laura!) it was there i protested, “i only want one more. no, i swear–just one more.”

tired from an early drive to p-town, hence the disheveled appearance.

but now here i am itching for my 3rd (fleur de lis for my cajun heritage) and thinking about the perfect 4th (outline of a dove) and 5th (equality sign). ruh roh.

i’ve got tattooation, and i’ve got it bad.

manic account part 2: skyline studios, NYC

6:30 p.m. in the hotel lobby. hello, mister president. why yes, i’d love a stella. 7 p.m. let’s walk. still drizzling. thankfully wearing “the” hat in preparation for this weather. run down (or is it “up?”) 36th street in heels. dodge angry drivers. arrive at skyline studios for inaugural clio healthcare awards. acquire badges. greeted by waiter wielding tiny shots that look like urine samples. tastes, i presume, much better than urine. best greeting ever. meet folks. shake hands. shuffle to the bar. take in the sights. lap around the place. more hellos and nice to meet yous. chat up fella from sister agency in irvine. more shot-wielding waiters–this time, pomegranate something or other in little syringes. oh, who’s that beautiful woman? play with motion graphics. weird. more bar shuffling. get grub. meet a few good chicagoans while shoveling cheese and cracker in my mouth. awesome. chew, chew, chew. speak. smile. laugh. play mexican wrestling game. get arse kicked. her turn to play with the motion graphics. more bar shuffling. more hellos and nice to meet yous. admire work. more chatting. time to hear the winners. holy crap! we won a silver lady! pose with the lady.

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me with a certain silver lady

congratulate winners. attempt to eat more than just one cracker with cheese. more chatting with her. keynote speaker time. whoa. it’s oprah’s dr. oz. notice the name of our city is misspelled on the plaque. neat. it’s saratoga, not sarasota. geesh. one more bar shuffle. more chatter. then a disappearing act from the girl. ugh. women. i guess they can’t all be like miss clio.

from toga to NYC: a manic account

i took the morning off work today to get my stuff together before heading into NYC for the inaugural clio healtchare awards. after futzing around on the ‘puter (’twas necessary to write that music post, yo), i left no time for myself to work out as planned nor did i deliver as promised one black, fluffy kidun to his 2nd home. instead, hizzle and robby will schedule a pick up. (as always, i owe you two my life.)

time to go. first, 2 stops: ATM and wendy’s nuggers (don’t judge me). speedy gonzales my way to the train station. hustle inside. 10 minutes to spare, whew. shit, where’s my phone? in the car. race back to the car. grab the phone. race back inside. oh wait, what’s this? train’s late. breathe. 20 minute delay turns into an hour. finally board. plop down. open my book, push. read, read and read. man yapping loudly behind me, “what do you mean the GPS says 8:30? did you type it wrong? that’s not right. it only takes 3 hours. i don’t understand …” blah, blah, blah. please, for the love of all that is good shut your trap. where are my earbuds? he ends his call. thank jeebus. read, read, read. ooh, beer. cafe car. heineken light and uh, sure, pretzels. why not? mmm, good beer. thank you, amtrak. yonkers. cafe car’s closed. good timing. finish reading. great book. inspired. saddened. broken hearted. i now need many beers to shake the image of precious’s pain. hello, penn station. i love this city. gather my things. exit at 31st street. hotel’s at 341 w. 36th street. i can walk. it’s raining. ugh. i still love this city. knew i brought “the” hat for a reason. ok, i’m near 341 w. 34th street. where’s the hotel? is this a joke? oh, right. 36th street, dummy. 2 more blocks. hello there, pretty lady–how you doin’? loving this city more and more. turn up 36th street. hotel. i’m here. check in. one hour until we meet in lobby. gives me just enough time to take off my pants and enjoy a pre-show cocktail.

wait. what?

hey, shopkeep: take me to your tees.

if ever there was an article of clothing i couldn’t live without, it would–without any hint of doubt–be the t-shirt. solid, burn out, embellished with graphics, v-neck, crew neck, slouchy, pocket, no pocket, whatever. as long as it’s buttery soft, and i dig it, the t-shirt is all i need.

i thought this obsession of mine began with the alphabet t’s via urban outfitters from a few years ago (my favorites: “g is for gangsta” and “s is for shorty”–both of which i owned), but after looking through the few baby pictures i managed to finagle away from my mother, every 3rd one or so shows me in a t-shirt. a-ha! see, mom. it is all your fault.

i’m glad to say i never grew out of the t-shirt craze, but i am a tad embarrassed to admit my taste has grown grotesquely more expensive. after i lost an ebay battle (jumped up to $200 FOR A T-SHIRT) for a free city super shop t-shirt designed for the uh huh her CD release, i haven’t stopped searching for that sucker–hoping above all hopes another will re-appear at a fraction of the cost. so far, nada.

in the meantime, i will continue to ogle many a tee, yet purchase only a few. must not be greedy.

my new love.

freecity_artists wanted $75

free city super shop :: artists wanted :: $75

the captain jack will get you high tonight, right hizzle?

shopbop_monrow union jack $79.80

shopbop :: monrow :: union jack :: $79.80 (on sale, ladies)

honestly can’t have enough white tees. burn out, too? double bonus. oh, and notice the placement of her tattoo. WANT.

alternative apparel_burnout v neck $38

alternative apparel :: burnout v neck :: $38

fuck yeah.

palmer cash_get off $26.97

palmer cash :: ames bros :: get off :: $26.97

although this has the potential to be overly slouchy pour moi, i can’t get enough of this perfect specimen.

modcloth_owl-t and about $57.99

modcloth :: owl-t and about :: $57.99

yellow is a pretty horrific color on me, but this is too rad not to want.

kanibal home_typewriter tee $28

kanibal home :: typewriter tee :: $28

a letter to my grandpa, a veteran

dear grandpa,

today is veterans day–a day to remember those who defend our freedom, our honor, our rights, our country. i’m not one to argue against days of remembrance, so today, i remember you.

i don’t remember what unit you were in (are they called units in the USMC?) or where you were stationed during WWII and the korean war. i know you were a fighter pilot (i hope dad will let me have your bad ass jacket one day), and i know you were a drill sergeant (were you anything like r. lee ermey?). but i have no idea what you saw, what it was like being away from your wife and sons for so long, or what it meant to you to serve in the USMC for so many years. you died when i was 10 and grandma followed you into the dark 4 years later, so i was never blessed with your stories, nor do i know if the memories were too traumatic to share.

what i do remember is how you impacted my life.

i remember coloring pictures for you and grandma until my hands cramped from that GIANT coloring book using my prized, yellow 64-piece box of crayola crayons (i was OBSESSED with the built-in sharpener. remember?) and the pride i got from seeing my finished work on display. i remember leaping into your arms without any reservation the moment i saw you. i remember admiring your patience as you stared at the train section of the toy aisle in toys-r-us, while grandma waited for me to pick out a toy (cabbage patch, please). i remember how, despite the pain of your aging body, you laid on the floor with me for hours, playing with the fisher price little people, my little ponies and barbie. i remember feeling like such a grown-up when you lent me recorded audio tapes of rodgers & hammerstein, war of the worlds and others i can’t recall.

but mostly i’ll never forget how you smiled around me–like you were finally at peace with life and in that moment everything made sense. i only hope i make you proud and that i can instill in my life half the love and patience you gave me.

thank you, grandpa, for spoiling me with extra glasses of chocolate milk, another scoop of ice cream and for never being afraid to love. and thank you, robert louis murphy, for serving our country.

i miss you every day.

love, little bit