Gotye & KC — Ermahgerdified.

For my muses: Kate, Leah, and Beezus.

A friend sent me this, and I’m gonna have some fun with it — at Gotye’s expense. And, KC & The Sunshine Band’s.

First, the video.

Here are some of the lyrics — ERMAHGERD-STYLE.

Now and then I think of when we were together

NER ERND THERN I THERNK ERF WHERN WER WER TERGERTHER

Like when you said you felt so happy you could die

LERK WHERN U SERD U FERLT SER HERPER U CERLD DER

I told myself that you were right for me

I TERLD MAHSERLF THERT U WER RERGHT FER MAH

But felt so lonely in your company

BERT FERLT SER LERNERLER ERN YER CERMPERNER

But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

BERT THERT WERS LERV ERND ERTS ERN ERCH I STERL RERMERMBER

And now, for a little KC.

I want to put on my my my my my
Boogie shoes
Just to boogie with you, yeah
I want to put on my my my my my
Boogie shoes just to boogie with you, uh huh

I WERNT TER PERT ERN MAH MAH MAH MAH MAH BERGER SHERS JERST TER BERGER WERTH U, YER WERNT TER PERT ERN MAH MAH MAH MAH MAH BERGER SHERS JERST TER BERGER WERTH U, ER HER

I don’t know how to explain the phenom that is ERMAHGERD. All I know is it’s some wacky meme that is awesome at wasting my time and making me laugh so hard I SNORT.

Why yes, I am easily amused in case you were wondering.

(courtesy derp.com)

You get the idea.

Fuck. I need a job.

Normal paranormal

My new pal, Madame Weebles has been waxing rhapsodic about spectre sightings. These posts got me thinking about my own encounters with ghosts. I’ve had quite a few.

I do believe in ghosts and no, I’m not in need of electro-shock therapy or a padded cell at Trembling Acres. Some folks believe, others don’t. ‘Tis the way of the world.

I grew up in an old house in Illinois’s Fox Valley in a town called Wayne. The house, a Victorian, was built in 1887 for a colonel from the Blackhawk War, and eventually other families of course. My family has lived in this house since 1966, so it’s safe to say we know every nook, cranny and nuance. Plus, we know all the noises and moods of the house — it’s the backbone of our family. Not only has it sheltered us from extreme weather, it also has witnessed our tremendous victories and our saddest moments, our great loves, huge losses and plenty of joy and laughter.

This house is also haunted.

I had my first encounters with a young woman –who appeared to be around 18 or 19 –when I was little. She was dressed in a Victorian dress, her brownish (?) hair styled in a loose bun. She was tall and slender, and had a serious gaze. I don’t know who she was — perhaps she was the colonel’s daughter. It wasn’t unusual for me to find her sitting on my bed at all times of the day and night when I entered my room, or woke up for whatever reason. We’d just look at each other and she’d smile, then fade away. I never feared her –something inside me told me she meant no harm to me or anyone else in my family. My childhood kitty, Squeaky Fromme (yeah, long story), did not like her however. Squeaky hissed and growled whenever the ghost was in attendance, and it got to the point where whenever I heard a hiss, my ghost friend was waiting for my acknowledgement–it was as if she couldn’t get on with the rest of her haunting UNTIL I gave her a thumb’s up. Over time, Squeaky’s hisses became a Pavlovian response: Hiss=ghost.

The other presence I see and feel quite often is my grandfather, Evan R. Chesterman Jr., affectionately known as Pop Pop. He was a Southern gentleman and lawyer from Richmond, Virginia who had a big heart and a cute sense of humor. He was adored by those who knew him, and his death in 1980 knocked the wind out of all of us. His spirit hung around those first few years following his death. Usually, I’d hear him first, “Jewya,” he’d say in that wonderful Virginia drawl, “Hi, sweet girl.” I’d turn, smile and stare. He’d disappear just as I’d start to speak, and he always had a smile on his face. The last time I saw him was when I was in California in the apartment I was renting in Highland Park. One cool morning in February, I found him sitting on the couch in the living room — staring at the Picasso owl print above the fireplace. He looked tired, but happy to see me. I stood for a moment, with my hands on my hips and when I moved toward him, he got up and quickly disappeared. As he wafted away, an aromatic breeze of Virginia fir trees — one of the scents that surrounded his house in Richmond — filled the room. It felt like a hug.

Next up … stories involving another family’s ghosts who dig me.

“If you wanna run with the big dogs …. “

” … you gotta learn how to shit in the tall grass.” My sage advice to Mr. Romney, courtesy of my late-Southern gentleman grandfather.

The presidential campaign is well underway and we’re already seeing some world-class bitching, pissing and moaning (and not to mention straight-up lying) from the Mitt Romney campaign. Oh, but Mitt’s whining is epic.

Last week, Boston Globe reporter Christopher Rowland wrote a great story about how Mr. Romney left Bain later than the “official” 1999 date. Of course, Mr. Romney and his minions got their tighty whities in a bunch about the “accusations” (SEC filings sporting Mr. Romney’s name past 1999 aren’t “accusations”) and demanded the Globe print a retraction. The editor said no, of course, since the story was reported using cold, hard facts.

Bravo to the Globe and to Mr. Rowland to not bowing to the pressure of a billionaire who happens to be the former gov of Massachusetts.

Of course, the Obama campaign took this info and ran with it. And rightly so. In a recent interview, President Obama said  — paraphrasing here — that if Mr. Romney wants to use his success at Bain as his ticket to fixing the economy, he’s got to be completely open and honest about his entire tenure at the company, not just certain years. Oh and he has to release all of his tax returns.

Now, Mr. Romney is demanding that the President apologize for his comments, a request that met with a resounding NO from the POTUS. Why should he apologize? ‘Tis all fair game, correct? I mean, Mr. Romney is on the steering birther wagon by not disputing the whack-job part of the base that’s deep in his corner..you know which part I’m talking about — the folks who STILL believe the President wasn’t born here. By not slapping those folks down by doing what McCain did during the ’08 campaign (Google “Crazy McCain Lady”), and by  trying to keep Bain from being uttered by reporters during pressers, just proves that he lacks the courage and the integrity to lead this great country.

Mr. Obama’s unemotional yet firm NO is to be expected. He knows that there are other things that need attention during this campaign, so others are telling Mr. Romney to put his big boy pants on. My fab fave comment comes from my mayor — Rahm Emanuel on ABC’s “This Week”:

“Stop whining,” Emanuel said. “If you want to claim Bain Capital as your calling card to the White House, then defend what happened at Bain Capital.”

Mayor Rahm gives good face (courtesy of gawker.com)

Now that Rahm has spoken, can we please get back to the important issues?

What a difference a year makes

On July 6, 2011, I started this blog. I had no idea how it would turn out or if it would even last more than a few posts. There was always the chance that I’d grow bored and dump it like a bad boyfriend. Hell — that could still happen, but I doubt it because this is just too damn much fun. It’s my own creation that hails from the most mysterious, silliest, contemplative parts of my soul.

With the exception of a few posts where I find inspiration in another news story or in normal everyday human behavior, I never truly know what I’m going to write about until I click on “new post” and start typing.

It’s that very moment when I feel the most creative and free. I feel fortunate to have this innate ability (some might argue with my word choice) to create and write, and I’ve learned that the more I do it, the (hopefully) better I get. To me, writing is a release, a comfort and a source of nourishment. It’s what I long to do for a living.

When I started this blog, I was unemployed and uncertain of my future. Sadly, that’s today’s theme too. It’s been 17 months since I was laid off from my job at Modern Healthcare magazine, and very little has changed. I’ve had a few, brief freelance assignments, sent out countless resumes and went on a bunch of interviews. Southern California was my home for roughly 6 months — and I long to make it my permanent home, dog willing. I do believe that will happen but it’s just a matter of when. While I love Chicago, Southern California just suits me better. There’s a comfort level I’ve never been able to achieve in Chicago — a concept that is lost on so many folks, but not on those with whom I am closely yoked.

A year moves quite fast these days. Time moves faster when you’re not working, by the way. It wasn’t unusual for me to experience a myriad of emotions within a 24-hour span. Brutal, yes, but I learned a great deal about myself, and have realized it’ll all work out — life has a way of making things just so. Sure, the path is riddled with crap and more crap, but it’s worth it all in the long run.

So, thanks for your support. I do plan on writing more political posts since we’re smack-dab in one of the biggest political pig fucks of all time. What’s happening in this presidential election season breaks my heart, makes me laugh and gives me hope.

Odd, yes, but it’s not unlike what I’ve personally experienced during the past year.

Have a piece of advice pie!

(Please excuse all typos, my poor grammar, etc. This was written at 30k feet with some wang in front of me who insisted on pushing his seat allll the way back, causing my computer to rest in my crotch. It’s tough to type when your elbows are in your nostrils, fyi.)

A year-and-a-half is a long, long time to be unemployed.

Especially for someone like me.

I’m starting to get bored and restless. Soon, I’m sure I’ll consider partaking in some sorta-middle class white woman WASPy adventure somewhat along the lines of “Eat, Pray, Love.” However, my outing would involve more cacophony and box wine. And dudes named Braulio, Hank and Cash. I’ll give it some clever title that will help my “brand” — “Binge, Douse, Snark” — or something. I’m still toying around with it and as always, suggestions are welcome.

One of the many downsides to being job-free for this long is allll of the unsolicited advice I’ve received. Yes, I’ve touched on this before but one particular piece of advice keeps coming up — kinda like the gag reflex you have when you think of what it would be like to fuck Bill O’Reilly. (Sidenote: I wouldn’t fuck him with Ann Coulter’s snatch. Wait…I’m not even sure she even has a snatch. You know what though? I don’t wanna know because I believe that knowing would scar me for life.)

Carry on, Julia, and START YOUR OWN BUSINESS. YOU’LL MAKE TONS OF MONEY.

Yes, that is the sage advice I’ve been getting from folks as of late. And, here’s a version of this conversation.

“You know what you should do, Jules?”

“What’s that?”

“You should start your own business!” Advice guru puffs her/hisself up, as if he/she has solved allll of my problems and then some. Smug facial expression takes over.

“Um, well. No.”

“No, why? It’s a great idea!” He/She gets more animated.

“Well, first of all, I’m not a business woman. I’m not an entrepreneur.” I say, with an exasperated sigh.

“Oh, you can go to school for that!”

“Yeahhh…I don’t see that happening.”

“Why? It’s a great idea! Start your own business!”

“Ok, if I should decide to do this, what type of business should I start?” I ask, eyebrows raised, jaw set, arms crossed over my chest. Waiting. This, I gotta hear.

“Well, what do you like to do?”

“Ok, first mistake. This isn’t high school. This is not ‘What Color is Your Prison Jumpsuit” or whatever that half-wit philosophy is.” I calmly reply.

“But, it’s a business, you’ll make a ton of money!” Arms raised! Smile huge!

“DOING WHAT?” I really don’t want to be Captain Obvious here.

“Well, you like to write, correct? And you worked in the movie business? And you taught film once upon a time?” Now, they’re looking at me like I’m touched in the head.

“Yep.” I say. Well it is true.

“You could start a business doing all three of those things! But just START A BUSINESS YOU’LL MAKE TONS OF MONEY!”

“Oy fuckin’ vey,” I say, sotto voce. I squeeze my eyes together tight and let out a big-ass sigh. The imaginary wall I’m banging my head against is causing me a real headache.

“Look, I appreciate your help. I do. You’re very kind. But you’re missing the point here: I have zero interest in starting a business. None. Zip. Nada. Zilch.  Not interested. I’m not an entrepreneur….” I get cut off yet again at this point.

“But… but you’re smart! How do YOU know you’re not an entrepreneur? You could go back to scho-“

“No, no more school. ESPECIALLY in a field that I have absolutely no interest in. None. Zip. Nada. Zilch. So going into even more debt for yet another ridiculous degree ain’t in my cards.” I’m exhausted by this point. I’m met with a snippy hand gesture and an even snippier head bob. The guru is also bored by this point and is starting to inspect one of the many pieces of David Yurman joo-ree she’s wearing, or pondering which Tory Burch flats she should purchase next. If the guru happens to be a guy, he’s slowly stroking his soul patch, pulling out his iPhone or contemplating which micro-brew he prefers with brauts.

By this point, the advice guru lets out a little sigh of disgust and a pitiful ‘Well, I tried to help’ look and writes me off as a failure. Soon, he/she and their Earth-shattering advice is gone, but not without a few more words of advice.

“I hope you’ll take my advice seriously and start your own business. It could be good for you!”

Shoot me. Shoot me now.

I don’t mind advice. In fact, I welcome it, but it has to be good advice.

Let this be a lesson to those who are into dispensing advice: Know your audience. If the person you’re talking to is someone like me, telling them to open a business isn’t helpful. It’s dismissive and rude. It also shows you know absolutely nothing about the person and what he/she is going through. Not everyone is an entrepreneur, and just because we aren’t entrepreneurs, that doesn’t mean we aren’t intelligent, savvy, creative, interesting, innovative, etc.

We’re just not interested, see. ‘Tis not our thang.

Next up–those who insist that I get back into teaching. What’s that word again? NO.

Out to pasture

Where was my head at? How could I have missed this?

Still need some images for clarification?

Here:

How does one explain Bronies? Basically, it’s a bunch of hipster doofi who are infatuated with My Little Pony, and have made these CHILDREN’S TOYS/ANIMATED TEE VEE SERIES into a way of life. Bronies have conventions every year which draw mostly men, and the occasional gal.

(courtesy of deviantart.net)

Of all the stories I’ve read about the BronyCon, the overarching theme is acceptance. Attendees are griping about how they’re not accepted in regular society, and not discussing all of the cool shit they’re learning from and being exposed to at the Con. One Brony even compared his struggles to what Dead Heads must go through.

Um, no.

That’s like comparing fans of one of the world’s most popular rock bands to the small band of sexually retarded/frustrated menfolk who idolize toys connected with an animated tee vee show from their youth.

Whoa ..wait..what now?

I love India

It’s the largest democracy in the world, and gave us folks like Gandhi, Mira Nair, Vijay Amritraj and V.S. Naipul.

Vijay Amritraj

Aaand Aishwarya Rai.

Oh and countless PhDs, MDs, patent holders and uber-smart people. You know the types — the Bell Curve demolishers, National Spelling Bee winners, valedictorians, film directors, artists — I could go on and on but that would be a big bowl of dull. Of course there are felons and real dumb politicos. It’s not unusual for the good, the bad and the ugly to come out of India considering it’s the second largest country — population-wise — on Earth. What’s even better is the 24/7 news cycle that craves all sorts o’ stories from the farthest corners of the this planet.

Those of us who are news junkies — especially odd news — love India. So much weird shit comes out of there it’s tough to keep up.

For instance — here’s a great story for you. It is sure to warm the deep, dark crevasses of your soul. How do I know this to be true? It worked on mine.

From The Independent. Edited for, well, everything.

The ‘Tampon King’ who sparked a period of change for India’s women

Well played, copy editor, well played.

“When Arunachalam Muruganantham spotted his wife gathering dirty rags in their home one day he asked her what they were for. If he was shocked by her reluctant response – that she was using them for her monthly period – he was even more taken back by her reply when he asked why she was not buying sanitary napkins in the shop. “If I buy sanitary napkins,” she had told him. “It means I cannot afford to buy milk for the family.”

First, I’m not going to do the obvious ‘on the rag’ joke here. You’re welcome.

But what disturbs me is how a gal in India — the land of one of the fastest rising middle classes in the world — has to choose between buying milk and maxipads. It boggles my first world, well-educated, WASP senses so much so that I can’t imagine having to choose between nourishment and cotton donkeys. *shudder*

“The conversation spurred Mr Muruganantham into a frenzy of invention to try and produce an affordable napkin for women such as his wife. Such was his dedication, bordering on obsession, that he once wore a football bladder of animal blood to trial a prototype. He was forced from his home by villagers who thought his methods had become too perverse after he started collecting used napkins from medical students and storing them in his home. He was even abandoned – albeit temporarily – by his wife and mother, who believed he had gone mad.”

How does one wear a football bladder? What the crap is a football bladder? Why use animal blood–why? His obsession reminds me of the guy who invented intermittent windshield wipers. You know who I’m talking about — Greg Kinnear starred in a dull movie about him. Remember? Nope, I don’t either.

“But 14 years later, the 49-year-old, who never finished school, has few regrets. His award-winning napkins are being produced on simple machines by groups across rural India and helping to revolutionise women’s health.”

What’s great about this guy is he’s busting his ass to help the women of not only his country, but in other 3rd world countries as well. What I — and countless other American women — view as a basic need is being introduced into Indian culture as a new, basic need. Once Muruganantham dove deeper into solving this sanitary issue, he realized that there’s much more to women’s health than just tampons and maxipads. As a result of this epiphany, Muruganantham took it upon himself to teach the women in his village, as well as the surrounding villages, how to take care of themselves and their families. He started by holding workshops and from there, others took the reins and started reaching out to other villages to share their knowledge.

Bravo to them all.