Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How to know when you maybe need new tires

When giving a demonstration on the Admin section of the Driving Lessons to the departmental management team - one that you didn't even know you were going to give until 30 minutes prior to the meeting - and someone asks, "Where did you get the 15-day deadline that you just entered?", you answer: "OUT OF MY ASS."

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Remember, in the movie Major League when they called that guy and asked him if he wanted to manage in the major leagues and he said, "I'll have to call you back...I got a guy on the other line about some tires."

Well, somebody called me in early April about some tires. Actually, they called somebody I know. Someone I've worked with on & off for years. And they told her that they had these tires, but they wanted to make sure that they sold them to someone with a wealth of tire experience. Someone with planning and direction and strategic vision for tires and this colleague of mine said, "Then you want kalisah." And she gave him my number.

So dude calls me. And this is not some tire salesman we're talking about. This is the Founder & CEO of the tire company. And he calls ME, wanting to talk about tires. So yeah, I'm willing to talk about tires. And we make arrangements to talk that evening.

(And that night, I posted that "Something's Coming.")

So we talk on the phone. And I find out a bit more about these tires. And they seem like pretty good tires. So that Friday I took the day off and I went to the guy's office to talk some more. And to, you know, see where these tires are made. And I gotta say, that was the coolest damn tire shop I ever saw.

He called this first meeting at his shop "exploratory" but we were supposed to meet again some time the next week for more in-depth conversation about these tires. Only I never heard from him again.

Shit. It's like DATING again.

Just know that I really, really wanted these tires. You know, since my car was just repaired so nice from that accident. Nice, new tires would be so awesome.

This morning I was driving in to work and having this conversation with myself:

Me: (sigh) I wish I had some different tires.
Me: Well no one's going to knock on your door and offer you some. If you want new tires, get off your ass and go get you some new tires. Dammit.

Then that afternoon? Yeah, guess what? The tire man? HE CALLED. And here I thought he just wasn't that into me. (That was the day of the Phenix post.)

I've since been back out to the tire shop and met with the president & VP. This past Friday I went once more to meet - at length - with the CEO. And he said they really want to sell me these tires. In fact, he said I WOULD RECEIVE AN OFFER ON THESE TIRES VIA EMAIL BY MONDAY!!

This is a very BIG THING for me, since I've been driving on my current tires for nearly eight years. In fact, they're the only tires I've had since I graduated from college. So changing tires is a very big deal.

Once the tire deal is sealed, I can't wait to tell you more about them and why these new tires are such a great opportunity for me.

Well this is hardly turning out like I'd planned AT ALL

Yesterday, when it was sunny and warm, I was forced to spend FIVE HOURS at the Medieval Times Family Cookout, where, as I mentioned, those who deigned to speak to me attempted a conversation based upon the career of my husband. (You'll understand, every woman at the party who works out of the home is either a nurse or a teacher, so, by virtue of having ovaries, I necessarily couldn't have anything interesting to say about MY OWN life or interests. )

Also, the hostess guzzled beer the entire afternoon, forgetting entirely to even put the hamburgers on the grill until nearly four hours had passed, but she never offered anything but sodas to her guests. Which was quite unfortunate for me, as alcohol could only have improved my disposition greatly.

I sat quietly in the living room for quite some time, though there wasn't even any interesting reading material other than handgun magazines and museum replica catalogs, where one might order a copy of the sword used by Sean Connery in The Highlander, or perhaps Liv Tyler's dress from LOTR.

Today - the day that the boys are fishing and the day that I had set aside to enjoy the pool and bask in the rays - it is dark and cloudy and cool. I am heartsick, especially given that I wasted such beautiful weather yesterday. They tried to get me to go along on the fishing expedition but I knew that it would be exceedingly BORING to me even though I'm anxious to know that My Kid has finally caught his first fish. He's been fishing in lakes around home several times and always comes away distressed, often in tears even, that he can't seem to catch ONE FISH. They have hired a guide to take them out on this river today and they all assure me, and My Kid as well, that he will SURELY catch something today. I sincerely hope so.

Although I rather like the mail-order bride, who is pretty and funny and happy and fat, I would prefer to be left alone to read then to make everyone feel like they must make constant conversation with me, although I fear I come off as rude and ungrateful if I disappear upstairs for too long at a time.

Oh, this is not how I'd hoped my extra-long weekend would be. No, not at all.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

By the way . . .

I meant to tell you all that I will be out of town over the holiday weekend. We are going to stay with some friends in Arkansas. Big Daddy & Elijah will take a fishing trip on Sunday. My plans include availing myself of the friend's backyard pool and reading several books.

It should be a very interesting vacation with many grand stories to tell upon our return, given that:

1. The family we are staying with is our friend's dad. He is on his fifth marriage, this one to a mail-order bride from Latvia.

2. The town we're staying in has a population of 25,000.

3. We're going to a cookout at the friend's mother's on Saturday. Her husband has been known to greet guests in his authentic full suit of armor.

4. From my bedroom window, I can see a huge nuclear power plant cooling tower. Just like on The Simpsons.

5. One sister and her husband are evangelical Christians. She told me she didn't like the movie "Sideways" because she just couldn't get over that one man having affairs when he was engaged to be married.

6. The other sister is the "beauty" of the family. She wears lots of frosty eyeshadow, lots & LOTS of black eyeliner and has spiderweb eyelashes. And a really bad weave.

7. People in Arkansas's idea of making small talk with me is, "So, what does Big Daddy do for a living?"

OK, I'll save SOME of the excitement for later. Hope your holiday is fun & relaxing. I'm expecting BIG NEWS on Monday . . . I'll share soon!

Thursday, May 26, 2005


I TOLD you. David Hasselhoff . . . hee hee.

And the Saints sing: "Henceforth and forever, Amen! And Amen!"

There is a god. And it seems He doesn't like Britney all that much either.

Season Finales

Did you catch Lost last night? Holy CRAP!

I've seen enough season-ending cliffhangers to know exactly what was going to happen here. Big Daddy thought that right before they blew the hatch open, someone would come walking out of it. But I was right - BOOM . . . and wait til fall. The really weird cliffhanger in this show, and the part that's still creeping me out, was the supposed rescue of the guys on the boat that turned out instead to be a re-enactment of "Deliverance" with those freaky bad guys taking the boy. Even Big Daddy got skeeved out by that one. He just sat there dumbfounded staring at the black screen and saying "What the FUCK???"

Desperate Housewives
This one was good. I loved that they answered so many questions - that Zach really IS Dana and Deirdre was his crack-ho MOTHER and Mary Alice is the one that KILLED her!! Whoa! I had read that one of the husbands was going to die, but I'd incorrectly guessed Carlos. (It was Rex.) They had advertised the show as a cliffhanger but I wouldn't call it so. If you'd heard a gunshot when Mike walked into his house and you didn't know if it was him or Zach that fired, THAT would have been a cliffhanger.

To be honest, I enjoyed last week's episode - where we found out what happened to his leg - better than the closer this week. If I had it my way, I would have joined the two and made it a two-hour season finale. Looks like Sela Ward will be back as a regular next week. Do you think they'll get the two of them together? I think they'll just use it for sexual tension myself. I think it destroys his character if they put him in a relationship. Note to producers: More Dr. Foreman next season, please!

The OC
This was a good one too. I was hoping for some action and I got it! Do you think Marissa killed Trey? I DO!! (But I'm sure Sandy will get her out of it next season.)

Ummm . . . I have a confession to make. I don't really watch 24. Big Daddy & My Kid do. They're totally hooked on it. But I have no idea what the finale entailed. I did, however, tour President Palmer & Tony yesterday and more than one person came up and said, "I'm so glad they didn't blow you up!" so I do know this: Tony lived. Other than that, all I can tell you is that Tony is WAY cute in person and President Palmer has a voice that will melt chocolate. Sorry, I didn't get any photos this time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Driving Lessons: the Exercises

OK so check it out. Last week we had our Driving Lessons training classes, right? And it went well. I mean, nobody ran screaming from the room or anything. My boss is being a real prick about telling us not to "celebrate too early" and using all these sports metaphors about the game not being won yet, but what else is new?

So we had decided that after everyone went through the class, we would then assign them some driving exercises to do on their own time back at their desk. And we wanted to set up these exercises in teams because that's how they'll actually be driving when this thing goes live on July 1, and we wanted to make the exercises as realistic as possible. So I assign the creation of these exercises to this other manager because it seemed like it was going to be a real pain (what with creating the job teams AND creating the exercises) and I really didn't want to do it, so technically I guess I was dumping and not really delegating (I learned that in my very helpful HR training class that I had to take yesterday that was not only enjoyable but beneficial and not a waste of my time AT ALL) . . . but whatEV. I told her to do it. She likes being included.

So this other manager, she creates these exercises. And today she emails them out to the department along with their deadlines for completing them. AND THE BITCH ASSIGNED AN EXERCISE TO ME!!

TO ME! The only person in the building who actually knows how to drive this whore. SHE ASSIGNED ME AN EXERCISE!!

Holy crap WTF is wrong with people?

Monday, May 23, 2005

You know what we should do?

This would be a good day to snark on some celeb photos, ya want to? C'mon, it'll be fun...

Donald Trump and his new apprentice

Is that really the proper photo pose for a boss and his employee? Is this how he posed with his prior (male) apprentices?

It looks like Mike from Desperate Housewives, doesn't it?

But it's really the Queer Eye guy.

The Olsen Twins

Don't you think it's time they started making appearances at events SEPARATELY? Maybe NOT be photographed cheek-to-cheek? Just a thought.

Nicollette Sheridan

Just because you play a cheap slutty tramp on TV doesn't mean you have to act like that all the time! Really, we'll remember who you are. So could you maybe start dressing - and acting - your age? Also, your name? Sounds like a stop-smoking aid.

Orlando Bloom

There are times that you look really hot to me, and then there are pictures like this, where your face looks like it's about to slide off the front of your head.

Christina Applegate

From now on, she must be referred to as "Tony Award nominated-actress Christina Applegate." And in case you forget that she is a SERIOUS ACTOR, she'll remind you by dressing like a banker.


Rumor has it she's pregnant again.

Helen Hunt

IMHO, she is not aging well. It may have something to do with being too damn skinny and undernourished.


Speaking of undernourished...it's sad really. She was soooo much more attractive as her old self.

Carla Gugino

I don't know who she is, but she looks like a younger, prettier, more tastefully decorated Melanie Griffith, huh?

Bryan Adams with Paula Zahn

Dude, he is REALLY not aging well. Does he have a disease or something? He looks unnaturally thin, which, apparently, is a theme today.

Jessica Simpson

HA! She looks ridiculous. She is so on my Worst-Dressed Hollywood list. Do her 15 minutes seem to be winding down, or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

It is high time for Tom Cruise to SHUT THE FUCK UP

The whole publicity tour to promote his romance with Katie Holmes is bad enough.


Tom Cruise, I hope this will all end very soon . . . with the violent implosion of your career.

Enough already.

If there's one thing that really rubs me the wrong way it's exaggeration used as a tool to impress me.

It does not.

Marketers can be THE WORST. We have an excellent case study in this going on right now with the approach of the American Idol finals. It has gotten completely out of hand.

First, there's the television ads on Fox. They are touting this as "The television event of the year!" Wha...? It's a silly talent show. With people in the audience holding homemade signs. I've seen pep rallies that were bigger "events." The Oscars. The Superbowl. The Red Sox winning the World Series. These are "events." AI barely rates above a "trainwreck."

Now, the folks from one of the drivetime radio show here have gone out to LA to report LIVE! From the AI Finals! Woo-hoo! Two loudmouths from Memphis, Tenn., are sitting in an empty Kodak Theater at 4 a.m. California-time reporting on how there are "tons of celebrities everywhere!" for this "event!" Dude, there is not one single person even remotely associated with AI that I would consider an A-list celeb. And I've been to LA. Contrary to popular belief, there are not celebs just flooding all the streets everywhere you go. And I seriously doubt that Ashton & Demi are going to show up for the finals. Brad & Angelina? Better things to do, I'm sure.

It's American fucking Idol, guys. You can tone it down a notch or two. Seriously. I'm not buying.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I can not say this emphatically enough:

Andrew Lloyd Webber is a musical genius.

I can't think of any other living person I would dare say that about.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

This is why people make so much fun of soap operas

What the hell's happened to Hunter Tylo?? She used to be so pretty. Now she just looks like she's had WAY TOO MUCH PLASTIC SURGERY.

Friday, May 20, 2005

After the tour

Gisele was kind enough to pose for a photo with me and Mary.

OK, let me put this into context: I can't speak for Mary, but you can see we're about the same size. I'm about 5'3" and I was wearing 3 1/2-inch heels, so I'm about 5'6" in this photo. That should give you some idea how TALL she is.

Now let's talk weight. I weigh about 120. So I'm not a big girl. However, I look like a pudge next to this girl. Funny story: when we showed her our blood donor room where people donate platelets (leukopheresis), she asked if there were any restrictions on giving platelets. She said, "I wanted to give blood after 9/11, but I did not have enough pounds!" Uhh, yeah...you know how much you have to weigh to give blood? 110!!!! She's like 6 feet tall AND SHE DOESN'T EVEN WEIGH 110.

Please remind me that she's the freak of nature and not me.

But she was soooo NOT a diva. At. All. In fact, she was extremely kind and warm and generous and she loved hanging out and making art projects with the kids and she's going to give lots of money to childhood cancer research.

So she's tall, thin, gorgeous, dating Leo, AND she's kind and warm and generous. Kinda throws the whole balance of the universe off a bit, no?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Does it really matter what you wear to work when you're going to be standing next to...

THIS? (Probably she'll be dressed differently though.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Things I probably wouldn't understand even if someone explained it to me

How a muscle relaxer can make me SPEED MY ASS OFF.

Shouldn't it, I don't know, relax me?

On the up side, I'm almost certainly burning calories. So I ate french fries for dinner.

It's a Christmas Miracle!

My back is better! It really is so much better! Yay!

Good thing, because we're holding our Driving Lessons training classes all day today. Here's hoping I don't get run over.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I'm much too young to feel this damn old

This morning I went to the minor medical center to see a doctor about my back. It was feeling slightly better after I tried Les's suggestion of alternating heat and ice (thanks, Les!) but I'm still shuffling around like a little old lady and this morning Big Daddy finally lost it with me and said, "Jesus fucking Christ, Kalisah! Go to the goddamn doctor!" (exact words)

The good news about going to the minor med is that you're in and out in an hour. The bad news is they never give you the good drugs.

I tried to post from there on my blackberry. I was testing out the process. I thought I'd made a post but it's no where to be found. Lost in Cyberspace I guess.

My back doesn't really bother me so long as I'm laying in bed. Too bad I have to go to work. We're holding the training classes for our Driving Lessons this week. I have to be there. No way I can miss. It's so embarrassing - wearing flats and hunched over like I'm 80 years old. It goes against everything I stand for. *sigh*

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Life Lessons from America's Next Top Model

Yesterday afternoon at work my back totally locked up on me (again). It does this periodically. Unfortunately I don't have any good scripts on hand so I've spent the weekend laying on a heating pad and eating Advil Liqui-Gels like candy. How come I don't have any doctor friends that I can rely on to call in the Rx I need?

So all day I'm laying in bed watching the America's Next Top Model marathon on VH1. I've never seen this show before (I typically don't do reality TV) but I really like it! Not so much the reality-here's-a-bunch-of-20-year-old-skinny-bitches-living-together-and-fighting-like-cats-just-for-your-viewing-pleasure part of it, but all the actual modeling part. So cool. And I love love love Tyra's hair that color. It's so beautiful.

But these girls? The hell? How can someone trying to become a top fashion model not know the names Christian LaCroix? Or Karl Lagerfeld? Or Hermes? Worse, how can a group of girls this age not be able to read the words "magenta" or "technicolor"? They're just not smart. Not a one of them.

Tyra. Tyra's smart. I love that bitch.

OK, so here's the part that struck me: When these models would call home, every single one of them would cry to their mother/grandmother/ boyfriend/fiance, "I'm not like these other girls...I just don't fit in with them." Every last one of them talked (at some point) about how unattractive they feel compared to the other models.

I think there's probably a lesson here for us all.

Friday, May 13, 2005

My New Favorite Word


Like an anorexic who looks in the mirror and sees a body that no one else sees, my roommate would inspect her bronzed limbs, press her index finger against her flesh and sincerely complain about being so pale.
Listen, I live in the south. And I look like it. Long hair, blonde weave, acryllic nails and a membership at the tanning salon. This is my south.

Never are tanorexics more evident than at the start of spring. That's usually when they become hypnotized by their first tan of the season, and they are unable to think sensibly until the fall.

They're easily identifiable. Their ranks include that co-worker or that woman behind the counter at the drugstore who looks as if she's spent an entire summer in the tropics, even though the last bits of snow have barely melted. Some tanorexics appear orange or leathery, but more often they're just unseasonably or consistently
. [emphasis mine]


Everyone working at the tanning salon is tanorexic. It's barely April and already their skin is the color of that one ugly crayon you never would use from your pack of 64. I realize that they probably get to tan for free, but how about a little discretion? It's SPRING - a hint of color is good.

The last week in July we're going to Florida on vacation. That means I'll hit my peak tan the first week of August. AUG.UST.

I know it's not good for me (so save the lecture), but at least I do it in moderation. These tanorexics are giving us good tanners a bad name. My tan looks goooood.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Driving Forward - The Lessons Demo

On Monday we had a demo of the new Driving Lessons class for my boss. And oh. my. god. No one should ever allow that man keys to this car. He had complaints like this:

"It says in the driving manual that I can see what's behind me by looking in my rearview mirror. But when I look in my mirror all I see is the backseat. This car must be broken. I don't think I can drive it."

"This driving manual is too confusing. It's got stuff in here like how to change a tire and when to change your oil. I don't need to know that. I mean, I guess some people might someday need to know that, but is that really necessary to tell them if we just want them to learn to drive?"

Vice. President. He gets to be Vice. President. *Heavy sigh*

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Holy shit. The Big Thing from last month just rose from the ashes.

And I could not be happier!!!!

Can you imagine how stale are the "You had me..." headlines going to get?

You just KNOW Kimberly Williams-Paisley is all, "No! NO!! NOOOOO!!!! WE were supposed to be the Hollywood-slash-Nashville power couple! Not fair! NOT FAIR!!!!"

For the record, I've met Kenny Chesney. He's about the size of my sixth grader. Now, if you will, take a look at this wedding photo and look at how TINY Mrs. Zellweger-Chesney appears next to her new hubby.

Far be it from me to deny someone a love-of-their-life-at-first-sight...but if she'd picked someone of normal stature, people would be able to really see how anorexic she is. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Public School Sex Education Inaction

Last week, My Kid had his "Family Life" classes at school. That's southern-bible-belt for "Sex Ed." The process is such: first they send home a paper for the parent to sign giving the child permission to participate in the class. The form explains that parents can view the curriculum by coming up to the school. Children who opt out of the class will be required to complete some kind of similar health assignments in the office while the lucky kids are watching THE VIDEO. Boys and girls are separated for the classes.

So I sign. What do I care? I'm sure it will all be so BENIGN there's surely nothing to worry about. I don't want him to miss out on all the fun. Sixth graders, discussing puberty? Doesn't get any more fun than that.

Friday afternoon, I'm driving him to soccer practice and he starts talking to me about the class. Sample conversations to follow:


Him: So we finished our Family Life classes today.
Me: Yeah? How was it? Did they tell you all about puberty?
Him: No, that was last year.
Me (confused): Really? What then this year? Where babies come from?
Him: Yeah.
Me: Well that seems totally backward to me, but whatever. So did they tell you how NOT to make babies?
Him: No.
Him: They told us about AIDS though.
Me: They did? What did they tell you?
Him: (appears to be thinking or trying to remember)
Me: Did they tell you how NOT to get AIDS?
Him: No (laughs) They told us how you GET AIDS.
Me: OK, how?
Him: Ummm...if a lady is pregnant and she has AIDS then her baby definitely has it.
Me: Not true. There's actually treatment for the mom to prevent it from passing it to her unborn child.

He was confused about if you could be "cured" of AIDS, so we talked a little about the difference between HIV and AIDS. Luckily, he's just had a couple of booster shots at the pediatrician the week before, so we'd just been discussing the body's immune response. I explained that there are people diagnosed HIV-positive that have lived for years without ever getting AIDS because of the treatment that's available. Then I told him about the vaccine the researchers at my work are working on.

Me: OK, so how else do you get AIDS?
Him: From needles.
Me: Sharing needles.
Him: Yeah. And from heroin.
Me: Well, not from the heroin exactly, but a lot of heroin users share needles so they are exposed that way. What else?
Him: Ummm...something like...you have to...
Me: Exchange body fluids?
Him: Yeah, that's it. You can't get it like, shaking hands.
Me: Right. So, they didn't tell you how people can have sex WITHOUT exchanging body fluids?
Him: Nope.
Me: Did they tell you about other diseases you can get from sex besides HIV and AIDS? Syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, warts?
Him: Nope.
Me: (sighs) Did they tell you that the ONLY way not to get pregnant or a disease is to not have sex?

I even threw out the "a-" word to see if he recognized it.

Him: Yeah, I guess.
Me: Did they tell you that you should wait until you're married to have sex?
Him: Yeah.
Me: HOLY SHIT. (I didn't really say that out loud. But I was sure the hell thinking it.)

I realized I now MUST address this while I have a captive audience and we were freely discussing the issue. No heart-to-heart "when a man loves a woman..." quesy bullshit. Just me. Matter-of-fact. Annoyed with the school. Rolling my eyes, and "Here, I'll tell ya how it REALLY is" attitude.

Me: Do you know what a condom is? A "rubber"?
Him: (laughs) Yeah.
Me: Who told you about them? Your friends?
Him: No. Dad.
Me: Oh. Good.

I then went on to have a quick overview of the use of condoms with my son. Not how they're used so much as how they protect you.

I told him that he should definitely, definitely wait until he is much, much older before having sex. I told him that I didn't mind if he had sex before he was married (although if he chose to save himself, I'm cool with that, too), but that he really should wait until he's out of high school.

I told him that he should not have sex unless he's ready to have a baby, because that's the responsibility you're taking on.

I told him how being sexually involved with someone takes an emotional toll on you. I told him that I was 19 when I first had sex and when he broke up with me I was DEVASTATED because I had so much emotionally invested in the relationship at that point.

I told him that it's just something you don't want to have to deal with when you're trying to get good grades and excel in sports and get into college and chose your life path.

Man, that was good, wasn't it? I hadn't even practiced.

Me: If you have any questions, you can always talk to me or Dad. You may not be as embarrassed with Dad, but my answers will probably be more accurate. You might want to double-check his answers with me to make sure he's telling you the right thing.
Him: Okay.

It's the coming out of the fog that's the hardest part

I'm so confused. Defamer has been trashing this screenwriter Paul Haggis which I found kind of humorous, but then it was reported that his movie was like number 4 at the box office this weekend . . . and I'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF IT! And the cast includes Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Brendan Frasier, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Ludicris and Tony Danza. Now how can a person miss a line-up like that? Have I been too engrossed in my anti-Mormon literature? Too drunk to tune in to ET? What is happening to me?? I feel so disoriented.

They're MARRIED?


the hell?

The bride wore Carolina Herrara...the groom was barefoot. And there you have it.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Kingdom of Heavenly Hair

We went to see "Kingdom of Heaven" this weekend. Big Daddy wanted to see it because he likes those epic dramas with lots of hand-to-hand combat. I hate them. I can never tell who's who during the battle scenes. It just seems like a lot of gratuitous violins to me.

I wanted to see it because I had heard that it was quite historical. I like historical. And it turns out I like looking at Orlando Bloom's hair for two and a half hours, too.

My Kid didn't like it at all. He said he didn't understand it. Probably hasn't studied the Crusades yet. And apparently isn't too familiar with leprosy either since he never could figure out why the King of Jerusalem was wearing that silly mask.

Ummm...chainmail? I don't get it. Why did they wear that? Was it a fashion statement? Because it certainly never stopped any swords or spears or arrows in any of the movies I've ever seen.

Anyhoo, I predict that this movie will do very well overseas but will totally bomb here in the states. Because the bad guys? The ones who refused to live peaceably with other religions and tribes and peoples? Yeah, it was THE CHRISTIANS. OK, technically, it was the Knights Templar, which we'll hear lots more from when "Da Vinci Code" comes out, but Christians nevertheless since they did afterall have that big red cross on their tunics.

And in a time when Christian fundamentalism seems to be at an all-time high in this country, I don't believe too many people here are going to pay money to see Christians unfairly killing Muslims.

My Credits (scroll up slowly and hum some dramatic Bedouin music):

Liam Neeson...Godfrey
He died way too early in the film.

Orlando Bloom...Balian
Did I mention the hair?

Eva Green...Princess Sibylla
Can someone please explain the part to me where she cut off all her hair and went from looking like exotic Arabian princess to pitiful Holocaust survivor?

Brendan Gleeson...Reynald
First Menelaus and now Reynald. Does he ONLY play crude, fat warmongers?

Edward Norton...King of Jerusalem
God it took me FOREVER to figure out who that was behind the mask. OK, not "figure out" so much as "remember who the NPR reviewer said it was." Right before he died, I practically screamed out "FIGHT CLUB! It's the guy from FIGHT CLUB... not Brad Pitt, the other one. What's his name???"

Ghassan Massoud...Saladin
I heard about this guy, he's a drama professor in Syria. I thought it wasn't very PC how much they made him look like Jafar, though.

Jeremy Irons...Tiberias
I kept thinking that I recognized the name of his character. Turns out I was confusing Tiberias the man with Tiberias Israel's most popular holiday resort.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Soccer Bitches

We had another soccer game under the blazing sun today. My Kid plays soccer with Germantown Soccer Club. Germantown is a suburb of Memphis where all the rich snobby bitches live. (No offense to any G'town readers I might have. But it is true.)

This one mom - Matt's mom - man, can she talk. Not that she ever talks to me. Today, her younger son (the one sitting on the sidelines playing gameboy) had on a Cancun t-shirt. This other mom asked her, "Did you guys go to Cancun?" and Mrs. Matt's Mom talked FOR THE ENTIRE FIRST HALF ABOUT THEIR FAMILY'S CRUISE. I bet Mrs. Kevin's Mom was hating herself for asking. Or maybe not.

See, these Germantown soccer moms don't really seem all that interested in actually watching their kids play soccer. They're all chatting it up in their Juicy sweats (even though it's 85 degrees out) and then here's me, in a sundress and my Jackie-O's, stretching my legs out on the bleacher in front of me so I can catch some rays, and screaming for the kids. All the kids. Mine and theirs, too.

When Mrs. Matt's Mom cheers for the kids, she yells, "Come on, White!" or "Come on, Red!" depending on what color jerseys they're wearing that week. Her husband's the asst. coach and she doesn't even know which kid is mine, let alone what his name is.

Huh. And THEY'RE the ones considered "soccer moms."

Breaking News

Jennifer Garner's...PREGNANT??

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Project: Driving Lessons*

* It's not as cool as Helen's Project Rocket-Riding Gerbil, but it's probably not as cool a project as Helen's anyhow. And it will most certainly not win me any luxury trips to Monaco with my loved one. And teaching the staff to drive is a very good euphemism for my project, so I'm using it.

Last year I was charged with teaching our entire department - some 30 people - how to drive.

I'm like your worst Drivers Ed teacher. Only with better shoes.

So, if you're going to create a team of drivers, the first thing you have to do is buy a car. And I spent a hell of a lot of time last year on the internet researching vehicles. I test drove lots of them - some by the Big Three, others by smaller independent manufacturers I'd never heard of. I ended up settling on a car from a small company out of California. Their car is made especially for people in my line of work, which was great. It had all the features we needed.

But jeez. Picking out the car was the easy part. All work required on Project Driving Lessons after that bore absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to my professional experience, knowledge or training.

First, I had to make a recommendation to my boss on why we should buy this particular car. And that had to include stuff about money and legalities and contracts that is typically handled by money or legal or contractual people. But you know, I was learning a lot and Big Daddy (who's done this kind of stuff a lot) answered questions for me, so I was totally all proud of myself and look how professional and successful I am breaking out into this new area of my career!

My boss agreed with my recommendation and my organization agreed to buy the car. I started working with the company to build the car exactly to our specifications. I ended up building A LOT of it myself (new job skill #2). AND I ended up REBUILDING a lot of it myself because hello? I had no fucking idea how to BUILD A CAR.

The car got partly built last year - mostly built, really, with a lot of ongoing modifications - when I was practically yanked off of Project Driving Lessons to work on a project that was actually expected to raise some money (as we are, afterall, a fund-raising organization). Project Driving Lessons gets put on the back burner; I get slammed on my performance review for not completing it on deadline.

The fund-raising project winds down and my boss informs me that I have exactly six months (until the end of the fiscal year) to get Project Driving Lessons back on track and get it implemented. Kalisah begins driving new car very, very fast and furiously.

Even though I'm the lead on this project, and it's my responsibility to make sure that the entire staff is successfully driving by July 1, the person who will eventually be responsible for the daily maintence and smooth-running traffic will be the Driving Lessons Coordinator. My boss is anxious for a knowledge transfer between me and the DL Coordinator. Kalisah secretly believes that boss is going to eliminate her once knowledge has been successfully transferred.

I create a test group made up of representatives of each of our work teams. I try to start teaching them about the car. They are completely clueless. I recommend to Boss that someone from the company come in to train our test group for a couple of days. He OKs the expense and I bring in Rick. Rick is completely unfocused and seems to be without any sort of training plan. He has no manual or step-by-step instructions. He's obviously the sales and marketing guy b/c he seems to always be trying to sell the car to us, even though we already bought it. He says, "And here's something that's really FUN..." a lot. Even though I DON'T CARE ABOUT FUN AND I JUST WANT THESE PEOPLE TO LEARN TO DRIVE. He costs our company $5,000 and everyone ends up more frustrated and confused than before he got here.

Boss threatens to cut his losses and pull the plug on the entire driving project. I argue that it's not that hard to drive and the test team could do it, I just know they could, if they would just GET IN THE FUCKING CAR AND DRIVE IT. (Anyway, we're contractually obligated. He can't "pull the plug" even though I secretly believe he wants to see me fail.) He wants to know why I haven't created any written instructions to teach them how to drive. I tell him that I figured these are college-educated people and that they would TAKE NOTES and write their own instructions. Wrong answer. What the hell do I know? I've never taught someone how to drive before. I call our company Manager of Teaching All Kinds of Stuff and ask her if she'll help me write a driving manual (new job skill #3).

The manual is just about completed. I've been feeding parts of it to the test group and they are finding that it is indeed rather easy to drive this car with these instructions. I'm a jackass for not bringing in our Manager of Teaching Things earlier in project. We schedule time in May for organized classes to teach the rest of the department how to drive.

As people begin to use the car a little bit, many more needed modifications become apparent. I spend hours on end making modifications to the car. Luckily, I had the foresight to purchase a car that I can access from home as well as at the office. Yay me. Can drink wine while working on the car at night.

So here we are, two months from turning the entire staff loose on the highway, with big tractor-trailers rocking the road and smartass teenage drivers flying around them at god-awful speeds and cops with radar guns hiding in the bushes. They are so not ready for this. I certainly have my work cut out for me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I've been working hard. Do you see all I've done? Too bad I haven't worked so hard today on my project which still needs a cool name like Helen's rocket-riding gerbil name. I'm going to work on that tonight. The name. Not the project. *Rolls eyes* Please!

It's getting ugly

And I do mean like, ewwww-ugly.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

God are you so tired of coming here only to keep seeing that same old long list posted there?

I am.

But unfortunately (for you) I don't have anything new to post. Because I have been way, way too busy these last couple of days trying to keep up with all the celebrity drama that is swirling about.

First? Demi? She is so pregnant. Whatever. It's gonna be like when that Spears girl finally admitted it and everyone went, "uhh, duh." and rolled their eyes.

And then? Tom and Katie? Jeez. Even CNN knows it's nothing more than a highly orchestrated publicity stunt for two potential summer blockbusters. And the other thing I don't believe? That she dated Chris Klein for FIVE YEARS and is still a virgin. What shit. And anyway, why does she look like she's having a seriously hard time keeping a straight face in EVERY ONE of those pictures with Tommy? Even when he's kissing her?

And let's see...who's that slutty Jessica Simpson doing this week? Johnny Knoxville? Check. Fred Durst. Check. I'm sorry, how does a celebrity think that she can make out with someone WHO IS NOT THEIR HUSBAND in public and not get caught?

And then it turns out that the only reason that fat guy is still on Idol is because there's a grassroots effort to fuck with the show and vote for the worst singer. HA! How great is that!