Y’all. Whew.

The semester is over. It’s over, and a new one doesn’t start for almost a MONTH! And in that time, I have so few plans, it’s ridiculous. And the plans I do have are as follows:

  • Spend this weekend in VA with Rachel and Annabelle shopping and baking.
  • Bake cupcakes.
  • Write/edit some articles.
  • Put up my Christmas tree (finally).
  • Go Christmas caroling.
  • Spend Christmas in Charleston with la mia famiglia.
  • Spend New Year’s…somewhere. I don’t know where yet. I have some options.
  • Watch movies.
  • Run.
  • Eat.
  • SLEEP.
  • Start thinking about what to teach next semester. Maybe make some copies.

Oh it’s going to be FABULOUS. If you’d like to join me for any of these things, let me know. I’m open to company for most of them.

I’m Engaged!!!

Well, actually, L-Josh is engaged (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!). I just had a dream about getting engaged. Again. I have engagement dreams fairly frequently. As it turns out, I’m slightly obsessed. I even found my ring yesterday. It’s on this page, and if you guess which one it is and buy it for me, I’ll marry you. Wait…

Anyhoe, I dreamed that I got engaged to a lawyer who was an above average dancer with a solid understanding of my favorite musical. I don’t know what my favorite musical was in the dream, but I know that the lawyer proposed while re-enacting a dance sequence from it that involved dipping me straight back as I propped a red-sequined high heel on his shoulder. The ring was gold with rubies and diamonds arranged in an odd sort of Mondrian pattern. I didn’t really like it at first, but then it grew on me. Much like the lawyer grew on reality.

He wasn’t real at first, see. He was a character that Rae and I wrote into a story (which perhaps explains why he was so perfect for me), and somehow he became real and fell in love with me. I mean hey, it happens (in my dreams) all the time. This one involved too much red for my taste, but all in all, it was a pretty good proposal. If it had involved the ring from the last proposal dream, it would have been perfect, but I would also accept one of the rings from the page I mentioned earlier.

I’ve Fallen Back (And I Can’t Get Up)

Man, y’all, I don’t know if it’s the time change or the fact that I’m still getting over a cold or perhaps this weekend’s rockin’ good time, but I am exhausted this week. I’ve literally been asleep every night before 10:00, and I’ve had no trouble sleeping until at least 7:00 every morning. Now, normally I’m all for a minimum of 9 hours of sleep, but only because I don’t usually get it. I pretty much always get 8 hours, but 9-10 every night seems a bit excessive, don’t you think?

In related news, I had a dream last night that I peed cauliflower. Like a whole floret. Incidentally, it didn’t flush. See my twitter feed for more details.

Phil, Paul and Bret: My New BFFs

I’ve been having really vivid dreams lately that involve everything from celebrity sightings to grand theft auto. A week or two ago, I dreamed that I stole a van and ended up in the van INSIDE a building at a camp. I don’t know exactly how I got the van in the room, but no matter how many points I tried to make, I could not turn the thing around to get it out. And last night, I had sort of a loosely strung together dream involving the following musicians: Phil Collins, Paul Simon and Bret Michaels. Here’s how it went down…

L-Josh and I were at a restaurant. There was someone else there with us, but I’m not really sure who it was. We were sitting in a booth, and the wall of the booth was probably 10-12 feet tall because on the other side of it, there was another level of the restaurant. If the wall hadn’t separated us, then our heads would have been right at the feet of the people on the other level. There were stairs leading from one level to the other by the entrance, and this was the kind of place where you give your name when you order, and they call your name when your food is ready.

So we’re sitting there in our booth, and we hear the name-caller say, “Bret Michaels,” and we all look at each other and kind of laugh, probably thinking that someone was being funny when they gave their name. And then the name-caller says, “Phil Collins,” and we’re all like, “What??” And we look over to the stairs just in time to see Bret Michaels coming down from the upper level to get his food. The first thing we notice about Bret is that he’s not wearing a bandanna, which is a relief at first because we think, “Oh good. That means the bandanna isn’t holding his hair on,” which was our previous belief. But then we realize that he’s wearing a really awful mullet wig.

Phil Collins looks like Phil Collins.

Well, after Bret and Phil (who are apparently dining together) pick up their food trays, they turn around to realize that they can’t go back up the way they came down. I’m not sure why. So they start looking for another way to get up there, and we suggest that they climb through our booth.

Josh demonstrates, and Bret Michaels immediately follows her up and over, but Phil Collins is standing there looking at me uncertainly, and he says, “Are you sure that’s ok?” I reply, “Look. If Lauren thinks it’s ok, then it’s fine.”

Then I was in a house, which I won’t go into because it got really weird at that point, and this post is long enough as it is. The important thing that happened there was that Paul Simon came in, and I said, “Ok. I just have to ask. What is a roly-poly little bat-faced girl?” to which he replied, “She was a prostitute named Marilyn in the town where I grew up.”

So now you know. Bret Michaels is actually bald but hiding it, Phil Collins is very concerned with propriety and restaurant etiquette, and Paul Simon sings about a hooker named Marilyn in “Call Me Al.” You want answers. I dream ’em up.

Hey Thursday, I like you.

It’s been a good day so far. I woke up after dreaming that I was at an art camp. I think I dreamed this because I read this last night before I went to bed. Anyhoe, I was at this art camp, and I needed supplies, and then I stumbled across a supply room that didn’t have anything I needed. So I think I gave up on art and went to the cafeteria. And I guess it was parents’ weekend at art camp or something because everybody’s families were there. And the brother of the guy in front of me was way cute and flirting with me. And as I was flirting back, my mom walked up and got in line with me. And then the cute guy asked me if I wanted to go eat candy in his truck with him, and I said, “Yes, yes I do, only I’m not so sure about the truck. But I’ll sit on a bench with you or something.”

Then I woke up and thought, I love it when cute guys find me desirable. Good dream.

Then I tried to scan some documents that prove my relationship to George Washington (yes THE George Washington) and my descent from a 12th century British king, but alas, I couldn’t get Whitney’s scanner to work, so I just read through the documents for a while, and that’s how I found out I’m related to G.W. and Ynir King of Gwentland.

Then I tweeted about it.

Then I wrote an article about two-letter Scrabble words that will probably not help me beat Whitney or my mom or the Beattys (or anyone else for that matter) at Scrabble. It’s the spatial aspect I find challenging, not the words. I can make some words. I just don’t know where to put them. You have to be good at words AND Tetris to dominate in Scrabble, and I am unfortunately only gifted in the former.

But the article is done.

So then I made some Punjab Choley and couscous for lunch and watched 30 Rock for a little while, which was, of course, wonderful. It was the one where Liz follows Floyd into the AA meeting where he spills his guts about his trust issues, and then she tells him all her weird stuff to make it up to him.

And she has some WEIRD stuff.

And while I was watching 30 Rock, a Census2010 worker came to the door to ask me some questions about the occupants of this house on April 1, which I answered not knowing that L-Josh had already mailed in their Census2010 form. So I don’t know why he had to come over here and interrupt my 30 Rock/catch me still in my jabambas at 2:30 in the p.m., but I’ve decided that if anyone catches me not yet dressed that late in the day again, I’m just going to open the door saying, “I’m a freelancer. I work from home. I have actually earned money today.”

Or I could just shower and get dressed in the morning.

Then I took a shower, and while I was in there, I had a revelation about the plot of my Neil Diamond musical, I Am…I Said. I can’t tell you about it yet because it’s still not fully formed, but I CAN say that things have been enormously simplified, and the main character and I now have a lot more in common, which is going to make it much easier to write.

And also, I’m clean.

Back to the Questions

Well good golly, I had completely forgotten about my formspring page until I was notified earlier today that someone had asked me a question. And let me just tell you, it’s a doozy. We have to get through several more, however, before that one can have its turn. So let’s start where we left off, shall we?

We all know the moon is not made of green cheese, but what if it was made of spare ribs? Would you eat it then? Heck, I know I would – I’d have seconds and then wash it down with a nice, cool Budweiser.

Well, Harry Caray, it appears as though you’ve forgotten at least one thing about me, and that is that I don’t eat spare ribs. I wouldn’t eat green cheese either, and as I’m sure you are well aware, I don’t like beer. If you were not aware of that, now you are. I also don’t like coffee.

Now let me ask you a question. Would you rather be the top scientist in your field or have mad cow disease?

The next “question” isn’t really question at all. In fact, I’m not sure it’s even a complete thought. It just says:

your first

I’ll be honest. I’m not really sure what you’re going for here, and I really don’t remember a lot of my firsts, but I’ll make a list and hope it meets with your approval. Let’s go with alphabetical, yeah?

My first…

  • apartment – Junior year of college in an apartment complex called Pirate’s Cove. Becky, Faith and Nicole were my roommates. Ask me how I damaged the coffee table.
  • boyfriend – Brandon Inscore. We dated for about a year in high school, and we absolutely were NOT making out at the bottom of the stairs after the prom in ’97 when my mom snarled at us.
  • car – A light blue Toyota Corolla named Gloria the Disco Queen. Yes, that was her whole name.
  • date – With Brandon. I’m pretty sure we went to Wendy’s and a high school basketball game. Tres romantique!
  • email address – besufern@aol.com. Don’t try it. It no longer exists.
  • friend – I don’t know. Probably someone at church? There’s a great picture somewhere of me and 3 other kids in our 3-year-old Sunday school class. I went to 2 of their weddings in the past few years, and I go to all of the other one’s concerts when I can.
  • gynecologist visit – Don’t worry, guys, I won’t gross you out. I’ll just say that when she asked me what sort of contraception I was using, I told her abstinence. She asked me how long I thought that would last, and I said, “Until I get married.” She laughed at me and said, “Yeah we’ll see about that.”
  • hair color experience – I started out with the temporary stuff, back when they still made level 1 color that would wash out in a week. I’ve dyed it so many times now, I don’t remember the first one. But it was probably red, and Jeani was probably involved.
  • iPod – I bought it in NYC, in the SoHo Apple Store, just before I ran off to Europe for the first time, in 2004. I just bought my second one last summer.
  • job – If babysitting counts, then that’s what it was. But if we’re talking about work for which I was paid and then later received a W-2, then that would be Caswell.
  • knitting project – My grandmother taught me to knit when I was a kid. I have no idea how to start or finish a knitting project, but I can actually work those needles. In fact, in middle school, I played Beth in a drama class production of Little Women. In one scene, I sat by the fire, knitting. People were amazed by how real it looked. But alas, I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished a knitting project.
  • lemonade stand – I think it was with Rebecca Booi. Her house was in a great spot, right at an intersection.
  • musical – When I was in maybe 4th grade, my sisters and I got the soundtrack of The Phantom of the Opera on double cassette tape. We LOVED it, and the next year, we all went to New York for Thanksgiving and saw it on Broadway. So to all of you who have been (and will be) subjected to my random musical outbursts, you can thank my parents for getting me hooked early.
  • NYC apartment – It was graduate housing, which meant a shared studio with a Taiwanese Canadian named Lily Lu. It was in an unbelievably amazing location that made taxi drivers jealous, but I’m still paying for it.
  • origami – It might not have been my first, but I made literally hundreds of paper cranes in high school. What? I was the president of the Japanese club.
  • pet – I had a fish in high school named Chip. He was more than just decoration to me.
  • quadratic equation mnemonic device – It was to the tune of Frère Jacques and went like this: Minus b, minus b / plus or minus root, plus or minus root / b squared minus 4 ac, b squared minus 4 ac / over 2 a, over 2 a. BAM. Still got it. I have no idea what you use the quadratic equation for any more, but that’s how it goes. Music, check. Math, not so much.
  • rifle – No, I’ve never owned a rifle, but I sho nuff did learn to shoot one at Camp Cheerio when I was 10 years old. That was perhaps the unsung verse of the Cheerio Girl song (get me to sing it for you some time).
  • second language – I have a really vague memory of taking French classes when I was very young. Did I just make that up? Specifically, I remember a “cultural lesson” wherein we were expected to eat escargot, and I almost vomited.
  • trip outside of the U.S. and its territories – Honduras, 2002
  • UFO sighting – I’ve never actually seen one, but one Christmas at my grandparents’ house, we could have sworn Santa was on the roof with aliens, burping.
  • vote – I know several people who will be very upset with me for this, but I had never voted until the most recent presidential election. I plan on voting from now on, though.
  • wedding – Not MY first wedding, of course, but the first one I attended. And I have no idea. Someone in the family? An aunt and uncle, perhaps?
  • xylophone? – It is very late, and these letters are getting harder. I remember having one of those rolling xylophones as a kid with the mallet underneath that see-sawed as you pulled it, striking the same two bars over and over again. I learned to play “Do-Re-Mi” on that thing.
  • YouTube video – Has not yet been made, I told you. Sheesh. Give it a rest already.
  • Zumba class – Also has sadly not yet happened. But it will. Oh…it will.

Well that was fun! And exhausting. I’m going to bed. Join me again tomorrow for more blogging fun!

My Thoughts Exactly

In trying to come up with an answer to today’s question, one thing sticks out more clearly than anything else, and it is exactly the thing my amomymous commenter mentioned in the comments on the previous post. But let’s start with the question:

What is one of the most unforgettable moments in your life and why?

I think it’s interesting that all of the most unforgettable moments in my life are unforgettable because of the other people involved. Sometimes they were good friends, sometimes they were old friends, sometimes they were unlikely spontaneous friends, but they are always in the forefront of those memories.

For example, one summer at Caswell, when we were maybe 15 or 16, Emily Furr Hogan, Julie Gilstrap and I stayed in a room completely separate from the rest of our youth group, and I don’t remember anything else about that week except for the fact that we were constantly singing “Welcome to The Best Stuff in the World Today Cafe” (by the great Kyle Matthews) with two different lyrics in one place because we didn’t know which was right. And we met these guys from Ahoskie/Aulander who were staying in the room next to us, and we hung out with them all week, and one of them sat in a tree outside our room, and it was creepy. And Rhetta wouldn’t let us hold the room key because she thought we’d lose it, and then she accidentally locked us all out of the room. I’m willing to bet that Emily and Julie don’t remember much else from that week either, but they remember those things.

And then there’s the time HP-M and I went to Paris, and those creepy Parisians in the restaurant wouldn’t leave us alone. And one of them whispered in my ear, all sleazy and French-like, “You are so pleasing to me.” Then he followed me into the bathroom. Ew.

I will never forget the unbelievably thunderous applause that erupted in that camp in Puerto Rico when Spunky and the Plate Tectonics took the final bow at the end of our epic lip-sync routine.

And I will never forget the moment I realized I had threatened to fight a group of random girls outside the ‘Bou, and that they were not my beloved hoes.

There are unpleasant moments I’ll never forget either – like finding out that the boy I liked was interested in one of my best friends (this happened on several occasions), or the day ECU’s School of Music faculty told me I could no longer pursue a degree in their program (apparently I’m not a good singer), or my great-grandmother’s funeral. But the redeeming thing about all those moments was the people surrounding me and supporting me through them. And it was because I dropped all my music classes that semester that I got to take Biology with my friend Becky, which MORE than made up for the disappointment and hurt pride I felt because of the music thing.

But I digress. You just asked for ONE of the most memorable moments, and here’s the one that keeps coming to mind:

That day in Italy – the best day of my life as I called it – something happened that day among four complete strangers. Two days earlier, none of us knew the others existed, and then that day, we somehow became family. It was fast and brief, and I will probably never see any of them again, but in those moments, it was real. I remember sitting on the beach, talking to Chris, one of the Canadians I had just met, and we just couldn’t believe that we’d only known each other for a few hours. There was nothing romantic about it. It was just like he was my brother, like we’d grown up together. And later that night, when some Italians started smoking pot, he asked them to move so the smoke wouldn’t blow on me.

Then there was Jacque, the girl who was there with her dad (who had disappeared for a while with a woman we referred to as Joan Ph.D). Jacque was the only Christian I met on that trip, and it was an immediate bonding point for us. She was my sister, and I hope she took my advice and got some Shane Barnard music when she got home.

And finally, there was Raja. He lived in New Jersey, so we tried to get together a few times when I got back to New York, but it never worked out. I remember, though, laughing my butt off, singing Monster Ballads with him. I hadn’t had friends who would do that with me in a while at that point, and it was somehow a good reminder that I wasn’t alone – that somebody got it.

The four of us slept out under the stars that night, listening to the Mediterranean crash on the rocks below, giggling like little kids, and snuggling up (spooning) to keep warm under the flimsy sheet covering us all. At one point, we all flipped over to lie on our other side so the people on the ends (me and Chris) could warm the side of us that had been exposed.

People are often confused and/or appalled when I tell them I did this. They think it was inappropriate or even scandalous, but like I said, it wasn’t romantic or sexual in any way. It was unlikely community, but it was community at its best – selfless and non-judgmental and lots of fun. And that’s why I’ll never forget it.

What are your most unforgettable moments?

Jeware. Welcome.

Today’s formspring question isn’t so much a question as it is a request, and a rather vague one at that, but here goes:

More on Jews, Please. Thank Jew.

Friends, I’m not really sure how to respond to this, but I suppose I have several options.

  1. I could start an ongoing Jew segment, giving you the history, culture and traditions of the Jewish people. Honestly, though, I think that would be a little weird and not at all in keeping with the serious themes of online dating, disturbing dreams, food, and haircare products you’ve come to expect here. Sure, there’s the occasional bizarre writing activity, but I think I’ll save all my educational writing for Your Dictionary. I am actually supposed to write an article this month on the origins of Judaism, so keep an eye out for that.
  2. I could replace “Jew” with “you” in a sneaky reversal of the song-enhancing practice I learned from Collice and Grady, and tell you more about myself. But who wants to hear that? Oh wait. Apparently y’all do. You keep coming back here to read this stuff and asking me questions to answer (some of which are going to get REAL personal this week). So I guess in a way, I answer this request every time I post something new. Jew’re welcome.
  3. I could give you some awesome song lyrics with “Jews” in place of all the “yous,” but you have to promise not to think me racist or antisemitic in any way. I’m not talking about actual people. It’s just a word that sounds like another word. And makes every song hilarious (and sometimes horribly offensive). My apologies in advance to every Jewish reader I have. If I could do the same thing to followers of other religions, believe me, I would. I actually do it sometimes with “Mormon,” putting it in place of “moment.” That’s pretty funny too. “Where was the Mormon we needed the most?” “I’m hanging by a Mormon here with Jews.” – A DOUBLE!!

So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll give you some lyrics just like Bill and Ted gave the princesses before they got taken away by those royal ugly dudes. Let’s see…

  • “Jews don’t own me. Don’t say I can’t go with other boys, and don’t tell me what to do, and don’t tell me what to say, and please, when I go out with Jews, don’t put me on display. I don’t tell Jews what to say, and I don’t tell Jews what to do. Just let me be myself. That’s all I ask of Jews.”
  • “Jews, my darling Jews, mmmm…bittersweet memories – that is all I’m taking with me. So goodbye. Please don’t cry. We both know I’m not what Jews, Jews need. And I will always love Jews. I will always love Jews.”
  • “Jews must not know ’bout me, Jews must not know ’bout me. I can get another Jew in a minute. Matter fact, he’ll be here in a minute, baby. Jews must not know ’bout me, Jews must not know ’bout me. I can have another Jew by tomorrow, so don’t Jews ever for a second get to thinkin’ Jews irreplaceable.”
  • “Jews got a piece of me, and honestly, my life would suck without Jews.”
  • “If she would’ve been faithful, if she could have been true, then I would’ve been cheated. I would never know real love. I would’ve missed out on Jews.”
  • “Jews can’t escape my private eyes. They’re watching Jews.”
  • “Wherever Jews go, whatever Jews do, I will be right here waiting for Jews.”
  • “Tell me how am I supposed to live without Jews now that I’ve been lovin’ Jews so long? How am I supposed to live without Jews? And how am I supposed to carry on when all that I’ve been living for is gone?”
  • “I’m not gonna write Jews a love song ’cause Jews asked for it, ’cause Jews need one. You see, I’m not gonna write Jews a love song ’cause Jews tell me it’s make or breakin’ this.”
  • “For all those times Jews stood by me, for all the truths that Jews made me see, for all the joy Jews brought to my life, for all the wrongs that Jews made right, for every dream Jews made come true, for all the love I found in Jews, I’ll be forever thankful, baby….Jews were my strength when I was weak, Jews were my voice when I couldn’t speak, Jews were my eyes when I couldn’t see, Jews saw the best there was in me, lifted me up when I couldn’t reach, Jews gave me faith ’cause Jews believed. I’m everything I am because Jews loved me. Jews gave me wings and made me fly, Jews touched my hand, I could touch the sky. I lost my faith, Jews gave it back to me. Jews said no star was out of reach. Jews stood by me, and I stood tall. I had their love, I had it all. I’m grateful for each day Jews gave me. Maybe I don’t know that much, but I know this much is true: I was blessed because I was loved by Jews. Oh, Jews were always there for me, the tender wind that carried me, light in the dark, shining their love into my life. Jews’ve been my inspiration. Through the lies, Jews were the truth. MY WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE BECAAAHAAAUSE OF JEWWWWEWWWWWS!”

Are Jew satisfied?


I’m at that point in the evening where I either need to eat something or go to bed, so I’m blogging to take my mind off of those two options in the hopes that I’ll get sleepy enough to go to sleep instead of just lying there hungry. This is the problem with eating lunch at 2:00 and then not getting home until 9:00. I was out right through dinnertime, and now it’s too late to eat, and the only thing I really want to eat, I don’t have, so I’d have to go back out to get it, and ugh. It’s just not worth it.

But for those of you who’ve inquired, the chili was delicious. I ended up adding a LOT more spices – more cumin, more cayenne, more black pepper, some white pepper, and probably a tablespoon or two of salt. And it took FOREVER to cook and thicken (I definitely didn’t need to add that extra water along with the veggies), but once it got there, oh man. It was so worth it. I will definitely be making it again.

And now I’ve just spent half of a blog post that was supposed to distract me from my hunger talking about food. Good night.

BlackBerrylessness: Day 2

I promise I’m not going to update you on my PunkBerry withdrawal every day. Today was just a particularly good example of why I’m glad I gave up the crack.

I used to wake up every morning, roll over in bed, grab PunkBerry, and catch up on the Twitter 3rd shift. This was a good way for me to take a moment before starting the day to just lie there and let my brain turn on.

This morning, I woke up, rolled over, reached for PunkBerry, realized she wasn’t there, and flopped my hand down. Right on top of The Book of Common Prayer, which I picked up a couple of weeks ago at Montford Books – a used book store up the street. I got it after reading the chapter in O Me of Little Faith where he talks a lot about prayer. (O Me of Little Faith is out and available for purchase now, by the way. Go get it.)

So I picked up the book and had a little morning prayer time instead of a little morning Twitter time. No offense, Twitter, but this is a healthy change.