I follow my heart, and it leads me right to Jacksonville ...

For the past 18 hours, I've had "Jacksonville" by Sufjan Stevens (listen to snippets on Amazon) on repeat in my iTunes. It is quickly climbing the ranks of my "most played" list; on my home computer, where I listen to music only rarely, it's surely already #1.

Sometimes I do this - a song just reaches out and grabs me by my psychic necktie and pulls me in for a long, deep kiss. And I fall into a passionate love affair with the song, and I can do nothing but eat, sleep and breathe that song for days.

Eventually I settle into a more temperate, healthy relationship with the song, which is good, because a flame which burns so brightly can only last so long.

Did I mention that I've had, like, three hours' sleep?

(UPDATED with more appropriate song lyric as post title. The previous one - "Andrew Jackson, all I'm askin' ..." - what was that about?)


Can't sleep.

Must sleep.

It's 3:09 a.m.

Gotta be at work in six hours.

So now I'm lying here staring at the clock, watching the numbers tick slowly upward and obsessing about how even if I fall asleep RIGHT THIS GODDAMN SECOND, I'll still get only four hours and 51 minutes of sleep.

Four hours, 50 minutes now.

And we've got early deadlines this week.

I'm gonna die.


You know how I know you're gay?

I saw The 40 Year-Old Virgin this weekend. It's great, and you should see it.

I've been trying to figure out why my favorite scene in the movie (discounting the "Age of Aquarius" sequence, of course) is probably the one where Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan are sitting around playing Soul Calibur and insulting each other - aka the "You know how I know you're gay?" scene.

I'm thinking it's partly because it felt so natural - just two guys sitting around, playing video games and BSing. ("Oh, see what I'm doing? I just totally took your head off. Oh - oh, and now I'm throwing it at your body. Yeah, take that, bitch.") But it also fit in so well with the overall theme of the movie. Here are these guys who are basically overgrown teenagers - seeking sex wherever they can get it and trying to convince their friend to do the same - and they're acting like teenagers, with their video games and their gay jokes and their baggy pants and their rap music. And then Steve Carell comes in, seeking advice about the real, adult woman who's on her way over right that second, and the guys can't break out of their teenage mentality long enough to help him out. The message: While Steve Carell's character might have the trappings of a nerdy, overgrown boy, it's really his friends who need to grow up.

Or maybe I just really appreciate a well-tuned gay joke. Whatever.

Another great, really natural-feeling scene: the "hot grandma" conversation between Andy and Cal. I've been looking for snippets of it online, with no luck so far. (FUN FACT: Googling "hot grandma" is a dangerous business.)

And of course there was the chest-waxing. You've heard about the chest waxing - the real wax, the five cameras for a one-take shot, the actual blood welling up from Carell's chest. Go see the movie, man.


Notes on last night

(A word of caution: I've always despised posts that make sense only to a select group of people, but I just don't have the energy to fill in the blanks. Questions? Just ask.)

- I still have the name of a song written on my arm. (I said I liked the song that was playing; Kari found out what it was. Ain't she sweet?)

- The same homeless woman accosted us three times at three different places.

- I have a vague memory of someone humping the Bockfest goat outside Kaldi's.

- At Designsmith Gallery, you can get a stylish wooden ice bucket for only $95.

- 1 crocheted cupcake = 1 beer.

- We saw Justin Jeffre on the way back to the car. (When I say "we," I mean "people who care more than I do.")

- The Dealer guys stormed the DJ booth at alchemize.

- If I were a guy, and the girls I was with all kept going to the bathroom together, I'd be frightened. Thanks for keeping your terror under wraps.

- The guy at Inktank is the best salesman ever.

- "Get Down Tonight" is a serious contender for best disco song ever.


Kings Island!

Eileen, Jeff, Carrie and I went to Kings Island on Saturday. Woo! Fun!

I remember avoiding KI like the plague on weekends when I was in high school and had a season pass. "Feh," I'd say dismissively, "weekends are when the unwashed masses get in their RVs and drive 500 miles just to stand in line for the Racer for six hours. I shall go only on Wednesdays, when the park is empty and I can ride on the Beast five times in a row!"

So yes, we had to wait in line for quite a bit longer than I'm used to. But seeing as how I haven't taken a real trip to the park in a few years, my tolerance for that sort of thing was built up; I found I had no problem waiting half an hour for Face/Off, a coaster which takes about a minute and a half. These waits were much improved by the TV screens showing music videos (introduced by cats performing "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and that song that goes "Hey! Ho! Let's go!") and clips from Napoleon Dynamite. (Eileen, I can't believe you didn't mention the kitty music videos! I thought it was your second favorite part of the day!)

Here's what we rode:
- The Italian Job Stunt Track (hella fun, but I'm betting in 10 years people will be asking what this "Italian Job" is)
- Vortex (eek!)
- Beast (jolting as always, but so, SO woth the wait)
- White Water Canyon (where I got more soaked than I ever have on that ride)
- Tomb Raider: The Ride (feh - wouldn't go on it again unless there was no wait)
- SpongeBob SquarePants in 3-D (possibly my favorite ride of the day, if only because of its uniqueness)
- Flight of Fear (pretty cool, but, um, Paramount - why did you have to strip the ride of all its relation to The Outer Limits? Changing all the Outer Limits dialogue to generic higher-power-alien-speak was a bad, bad move.)
- The Racer (backwards; classic)
- Face/Off (fun; probably not worth the wait)
- Son of Beast (at some point, I pretty much thought every part of me was gonna break)
- Drop Zone (SCARY!)
- Delirium (good old-fashioned carnival fun; picture the Tilt-A-Whirl crossed with the Viking ship)
- Top Gun (nighttime made it slightly less lame)

The thing I noticed most about KI? Whenever there's a surface people can't reach, they throw pennies at it. What kind of sense does that make? "I just bought a 20-oz Coke for $3 - hey, an exposed two-by-four!" Sometimes there were even quarters! We decided the quarters were thrown by high-school students with no concept of doing their own laundry.

Ehh, you can kinda see what I mean.


Meet Thursday

This is Thursday (as in Thursday Next), although I probably call her Kitty Fantastico more often.

Thursday's owner lived in my parents' neighborhood, but he moved away and left her behind. (He had like 10 cats and - no kidding - a peacock.) She lived under a neighbor's porch for a few weeks and would come to visit my family whenever we were out by the pool (probably hoping for some scraps). When I learned she was a stray - and saw how cute and affectionate she was - I decided to take her home.

I've never had a cat before, so any advice you cat people have would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. If you knew either of those references without clicking the links, you should probably add a few points to your geek score.


Geekery to come - UPDATED

Note to self:

Self, take the Geek Test when you have some time. Report back when finished.

UPDATE. 34.91124%! Geekier than thou! I win! I win at nerd! (Of course, when it asked me if I lied to score better, I clicked "yes" ... then went back and checked a couple boxes I'd considered checking, but decided didn't really apply to me.)

UPDATE 2. OK, went back and unchecked everything that was not completely, entirely true and unexaggerated. New level of geekery: 31.36095%. Still pretty damn geeky. (If they had put some damn Harry Potter questions in there, I woulda totally kicked ass.)

UPDATE 3. Oh, my - I have committed a grievous breach of netiquette! I found this fun test through Melissa's blog. Go there, young traveler, and learn of rust and ranches.


My weekend: an outline

- Hooters
- Slow, slow riverboat shuttle to ...
- Bengals game (an hour late, thanks to shuttle)
- Parents leave; alone for second half. Odd, but not entirely unpleasant.
- Supposed to meet @ Kari's house. Walk back to dock w/ 5 minutes left in game.
- I hate stupid, stupid too-full, slow riverboat shuttle. New curse words invented.
- Walk
- Poor deserted seafood festival
- Traffic, traffic, traffic
- Drunk guy in parking lot offers to kill self. I give him advice.
- Give up on getting to Clifton. Change in Levee bathroom.
- Cold Stone
- Picked up
- Party. Only sober-ish ones there. Fun!
- Dance
- Scrounge for ice
- Dance
- Car
- Clifton
- Ronson mocks my love of string cheese
- Home; bed

- Wake up early for run w/ dad
- Dad reschedules for afternoon - cool! Time for breakfast.
- Check Weather Channel; heat index is 120! IM dad; reschedule run for tomorrow.
- IMing with Neil - offers day pass at his gym
- Workout - YAY healthy Kelly!
- Softball emergency - must sub for mom
- Rain :(
- Rainbow! YAY!
- Beer! YAY!
- Games begin. Am known on team for skipping, being happy
- Back to parents'
- Swim
- Decide to adopt stray cat
- Bed

- Wake up uber-early
- Run w/ dad
- Church
- Farm market w/ parents - how wholesome!
- Mom insane - has written out itinerary for impending week-long visit from grandparents
- Dad insane, too - has cooked two huge logs of sausage to make one omelet
- Aloha, grandparents!
- Lunch @ Mio's w/ Katy
- Movie - penguins v. adorable
- Shopping: champagne, coffee filters, cat litter
- Pick up cat - v. docile
- Introduce cat to house-
- That was the cat


O Canada!

Jeff wanted to know how to take the Ultimate Canadian Test, so this is the link.

In case you were wondering, I am something like "moderately Canadian" or "kinda Canadian, eh?"


Local woman becomes slightly less of a nobody

HYDE PARK - Area nobody Kelly Hudson became marginally less un-famous when a little-known local satire Web site published a story that may or may not be about her.

The Cincinnati Dealer, known mainly for poking fun at local bloggers and City Council members, ran a story that some have speculated could be about Hudson's recent spate of car accidents.

This story, if it is actually about Hudson, is expected to make her far more famous among people who already know her, know about her accidents, are regular readers of the Dealer, and are told, "Hey, that story's about Kelly!" The number of people who fit all these criteria is estimated at between 2 and 5.

Hudson, 24 - who describes her notoriety in words like "nonexistent" and "Nota-what?" - had mixed feelings about her newfound slight-lack-of-complete-unheard-of-ness.

"Are you sure that story's about me?" Hudson said. "I don't know - I've never even eaten at a Waffle House. And who's this Dealer guy, anyway? He reminds me of this guy Harold I used to see, but I broke up with that loser. He was such a tool."