Jun 27, 2004

we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, the place where we celebrated our one year anniversary six months ago. the waitress brought dessert and i looked at it thinking, "this is obviously not sorbet." i was about to complain. she lifted up the lid, exposing the velvet box underneath. then it was surreal, dreamlike, and i couldn't believe what was going on. chris was suddenly on one knee. i won't ever forget what he said.... and then he asked the question.

and now we are engaged.

Jun 26, 2004

bank jackie

i have an interview for a bank. upon hearing this, a friend suggested i simply open my own bank.

are you tired of bank tellers always asking for identification whenever you want to make a withdrawl?

(inside a bank. there is a bank jackie teller and a short, fat puerto rican man wearing a torn and dirty t-shirt as the customer.)

bank jackie teller: (wide eyed and smiling) would you like all that in hundreds, mr. trump?

and are you tired of having to push all of those annoying buttons on the atm in order to get cash for the nudie bar?

(bank jackie atm is shown. it spits out a constant stream of cash as customers drive by. cars don't stop or slow down; the drivers simply roll down their windows to collect their money.)

are you tired of getting turned down for loans?

bank jackie associate is sitting at a desk, smoking, feet up and shoes off. a shady looking man in a mask walks straight to the vault.)

bank jackie associate: taking out a loan?

customer: yeah.

bank jackie associate: sounds good.

bank jackie. in a world where hard working americans are constantly frazzled by daily banking transactions, we're here to help. stop in today for your free sno-cone.

i'd be the most popular bank on the block. for about a week, until i was forced to start charging for the sno-cones.

Jun 25, 2004

i've got some balls up in the air as to my "career." i've got an interview next week outside the company, and i've got my general manager and another general manager both trying to recruit me for a higher management position within my company, at the two different locations. i'm frazzled and can't figure out what's best for me. i guess no matter what, i'm going to walk away from this making more money, unless, of course, all my balls come flying down and smack me right in the face. getting hit in the face by balls: not a good feeling.

generally speaking, of course.

i don't handle stress all that well. it's a good feeling to know that i'm being fought over within the company, but it's a better feeling to know that somebody else may want me, too. i just feel a little guilty over the whole thing. is it so wrong to explore all of my options? i'm saying yes to everyone right now, but soon i'm going to have to say no to somebody, maybe two somebodies. i feel like i'm dating two brothers and then some other guy from, like, seattle or something. one woman i work with is encouraging me to drop the balls and go back to school to be a teacher.

"you'd be a good teacher," she keeps saying. i keep imagining myself in front of a classroom saying, "fuck the reading assignment, let's all get hotdogs." it reminds me of when i briefly entertained the idea of moving to japan to teach english. at the end of my stint, you'd have a bunch of japanese people running around saying, "like, um, well, yeah." i'd also probably teach cursing, but, again, not on purpose.

in other news, chris and i have purchased airline tickets for los angeles in august. i'm quite excited, mainly because my body feels at home in the pacific time zone. what feels late central standard is just a little bit early out west, and so i'm bound to be on time to all of my engagements.

all swell always ends swell.

Jun 24, 2004

i told my boss exactly how i feel. what a novel idea not to keep things bottled up. too bad my eyes starting watering like i was some sissy girl. okay, so what if i'm a sissy girl?

the cheese and i went to the schaumburg library. this is perhaps the biggest library i have ever been in, ever. i'm talking it was the size of hershey, pennsylvania. the different sections were designed like store fronts. there's a cafe. the cheese was amazed to find that schaumburg had two copies of some obscure book, when arlington didn't have any. the whole trip blew our minds; of course, we are easily impressed.

i need a root canal. i've been putting it off for years. years. so many years that i can't properly count, since i've been lying about it for so long. "i've needed one for the past year," i'd say, when indeed it had been three. "it's only been six months..." when actually it had been since the late nineties. i'm afraid. i'd rather wait for the tooth to just fall out. no, i don't want that happening either. maybe if i drink more milk, it will heal itself. then i can write a book on how ignorance works better than flouride when it comes to dental care.

the cheese and i have passed the 1.5 year mark. we've been living together for 1 year. now if that doesn't blow the mind, then i don't know what does. sometimes i fear that he will grow bored with me- then i remind myself of what a bundle of excitement and adventure i am, and i instantly feel better.

we got a check in the mail yesterday. it was for three hundred thirty dollars, and it was unexpected and undeserved. so i think we're going to blow it all on jell-o.

Jun 22, 2004

teaching myself to play texas hold 'em poker, mainly because i want to say "i flopped my nuts." that's what you say, right? my self-training so far has consisted of losing multiple hands of yahoo poker and writing out a cheat sheet. before tonight, i thought a straight flush was when you didn't dilly-dally after pooping. alas, i'm always so wrong about so many things.

i want to play games with boys. i've got bowling down, but i need work on pool and darts and spitting and target shooting. this poker thing should be a snap, as long as i keep my cheat sheet handy. and also perfect my sleight of hand.

i'd better take target shooting off the list. don't want to accidentally blast off my own knee cap. instead, i'll join the plumber's union 374 softball league.

Jun 19, 2004


i'm outside listening to birds when i think, "what an interesting hobby bird-watching would be!" well, not interesting as in "this picture of chef boyardee making ravioli while wearing only one strategically placed red bow... is interesting," but interesting as in, "that jackie is always picking up new nuggets of information- she's so dang interesting!" that's what i was going for, see.

on a lark (pun intended), i decided to see how many kinds of birds are native to illinois. now, i would have guessed in the neighborhood of about eight or nine. i mean, you have your warbler, your sparrow, a robin or two, and your common owl, complete with spectacles and a library book. how many other freaking birds can there possibly be? go ahead. guess.


there's 427 on the illinois checklist. i just don't have the kind of time to invest in such a complex project. i do, however, still want a high-powered set of binoculars. also, a glass of milk.

Jun 18, 2004

those breathe right strips really work. and their website is really informative. my snoring i.q. is off the charts.

i don't snore. i do sometimes talk in my sleep, but they have yet to invent a shut-up-right strip. my partner has a tendency to snore. for the past few nights, "we've" experimented with the strips. he comes into the bedroom with that adhesive on his nose looking like he's recovering from a fight down at the pool hall. "oh! my nose! now i'll never be a teen model!"

our bedroom is as quiet as a nunnery after light's out. everybody, the two of us, both get to sleep. i am no longer waking up with a start, wondering if it's thundering outside. the only time i wake up with a start is if i sleepily announce, "but i don't want to go to space camp," and then hear it. otherwise: nunnery.

i doubt my partner will be happy i'm announcing his snoring struggles via internet. but, hey, i didn't use any names.

Jun 16, 2004

i woke up this morning unable to open my right eye. the pain was akin to what montana might feel like were it to be shoved beneath my eyelid. after several frantic attempts, i was finally able to blink. however, i could not keep it open for longer than a second. this made it very hard to apply my make-up.

i had a big meeting i was supposed to attend today, about forty-five minutes away. i got into my car and managed to go halfway down the block. when i realized, though, that i'd probably need sight to drive, i had to turn around and come back home. i was now up to keeping my eye open for 30 seconds at a time. while this was an accomplishment to be celebrated, i'm afraid it wasn't enough.

at home, i passed out for a few hours and then awoke at noon. i could keep my eye open for a full minute before having to squeeze it back shut; now the pain was only as if a smaller state, such as wisconsin, was wedged beneath my eyelid. again, a success, but, in the broader picture, not enough.

i tried watching tv for a while when i was up to about three minutes without having to shut it other than for normal blinking. i was watching an episode of 'step by step' that involved cody being adorable when suddenly, i couldn't hear anything. i thought my ears had blown. my mind raced- no sight, no hearing, i was morphing into helen keller! i told myself to calm down. then i picked up a book and slammed it against the coffee table. it made a loud banging sound that made me jump. so i could hear. that was good. it was the tv that had the problem, not me.

which was bad. because while watching cody is fun, it's nicer if you can hear his voice.

after about half an hour, the tv fixed itself. it still feels like a state is in my eye socket, but i think i might be okay. even though my cornea is burning.

prognosis: not so good.

Jun 15, 2004

the original:

the version that jackie made:

i know, i know, it's quite impressive. look out art world- jackie and her oil pastels are on the loose, bastardizing one famous painting at a time.

Jun 14, 2004

there were 32 ads in the sunday paper for dental assistants. 32! i didn't know there was such a demand, but i suppose it does take a special person to suction a mouth and then arrange those sharp silver instruments ever-so-neatly on the paper lined tray. and not just any shmuck can tell you where to spit without sounding vulgar.

32 ads. and yet there was only for one for dog groomer.

another thing i noticed in the paper was an ad for aldi cashiers. aldi is the place where you can buy six weeks worth of generic food for approximately $4.97. their prices are outrageously low- and yet they pay their cashiers $11.62 per hour! unbelievable. a cashier making more than $11 per hour? with paid vacation? my hourly rate as an OPTICIAN was $12.16. i was barely making more than an aldi cashier. of course, my new rate ain't that much better, but let's not be discussing that now.

looking through the want ads puts me in a strange state of mind. it makes me think that i can do anything, from truck-driving to installing fire alarms to being a chemist to a caterer to, yes, dog grooming. there's a world of options out there! then i put down the want ads, inhale deeply, and understand that there's only a few things i can do while maintaining a manageable level of happiness. too bad dental assistant would not be one of those things.

Jun 12, 2004

the first thing my dad said was, "this apartment smells like gas." i'd been smelling gas for the last two weeks, but a) i wasn't sure if it really was gas and b) i didn't know what to do if it was indeed a gas leak. so i let it be. chris was pretty much on the same wavelength as me. "it smells like gas, but i don't feel like telling anyone about it."

so my dad moved the stove and proceeded to take a lighter and set the entire gas line on fire. he just flicked the lighter and, *poof*, the entire rope connecting the stove to the gas line went up into flames. i immediately freaked out, but my dad assured me that it was no problem. "so what if part of your kitchen is on fire? it's no big deal." he rationalized, "it's better if it burns than if it doesn't." i didn't see the logic in this.

i called the maintenance people, and a mexican was dispatched to the apartment in under ten minutes. he inspected the area in question and then came back a few minutes later with another gas rope. he must have had a box of these things lying around somewhere. which makes me think this happens all the time. biweekly, even.

"so what's the worst thing that happens with a gas leak?" i asked my dad, to make small talk.

"it leaks and either the apartment blows up or you die from carbon monoxide poisoning."

"oh. so it's a lose-lose situation?"


well, thank god that's taken care of now. we'd have let it go on for months, years, without taking any sort of action, until one day i either went to work with no eyebrows or, perhaps, dead.

speaking of dead, later we ended up talking about jaclyn dowaliby. does anyone remember her? they made a movie about her starring shannen doherty as the mother. jaclyn was a girl who was in my grade school in midlothian who was kidnapped and killed. i was always obsessed with her when i was little, because i had kind of known her, she had my same name, and she was a little girl like me, only dead. i had almost seen her as a sort of sister figure- my helpless, sweet, midlothian name-twin found slain in a basement. she had lived only a few blocks away. maybe we would have grown up to be best friends. at least i assume we would have, if only the unspeakable hadn't happened.

there are certain figures that i feel incredible bonds with. jaclyn dowaliby has always been one of them, more so when i was little. she even looked like me, a tad, with her dark hair and brown eyes. looking at pictures of her now, on the internet, i am shaken. another incredible bond i have always felt is with anne frank. i am certain, about 97% certain, that if past lives do exist, my past life was anne frank. some people like to think they were cleopatra or some other sexy egyptian; i think i was a girl in an attic keeping a diary. she seems more optimistic than i would have been, but maybe living through her life hardened me for this one. even when i look at pictures of anne frank, i feel that connection. when i read her diary, it was like reading an old journal, or blog, entry that i had scrawled out a few weeks ago. i'm not a mystic, but i'm just saying- there's something there.

anne frank and jaclyn dowaliby. how can i explain? i can't. all the gas fumes have gone to my head, and i'm not being coherent.

i'm very excited about the possibility of going to los angeles in the month of august. i want to see if any of my preconcieved notions are correct. will it be teeming with illegal immigrants offering to mow my lawn? will the smog be so thick that i'll be able to swim from one end of the block to the other? will jennifer lopez be waltzing around while six photographers from the E! network, all disguised as bushes, snap photographs of what's she eating, where's she scratching, and how she's reapplying her lip gloss? i don't know.

san francisco was a great place to visit. i felt like i had entered a storybook land, or an episode of 'full house.' seattle was fantastic, also a storybook land or perhaps starbucks commercial. vegas, also storybook land or episode of 'world tournament of poker' mixed with the software title '12,000 alcoholic beverage recipes.' that's where i've been out west so far; when i imagine los angeles, i see a dirtier, flatter, yet star-studded near-chicago. maybe i'm wrong. maybe i'm right. maybe i'll accidentally knock down the hollywood sign while careening around in my rent-a-car looking for the in-&-out burger.

either way, i'm excited, and i hope to spend time at the beach and at various los angeles monuments, such as the bowling alley used in 'the big lebowski.' i'm also looking forward to meeting chris' friends, who shall be my friends by default. ah, de-fault. the two loveliest words in the language.

Jun 10, 2004

one of those days with the wedgie that won't quit. every four minutes, i'm yanking at the butt of my pants in an attempt to set free my undies from the trap they have uncomfortably nestled themselves into. after a while it's habit; i'm grabbing at my butt while talking to customers, and i'm sticking my entire hand down the back of my pants to shlep out my bunched in panties while having Serious Discussions with upper management on why sales are so low. only after the sixth or seventh time do i consciously realize what i'm doing. my automatic thought after bashfully retrieving my hand is, "no wonder i'm single." but, the thing is, i'm not. i'm in the kind of relationship where it's not only acceptable to pick at my own ass, but it's also kind of expected. that's why life is good right now. that's also, however, why i feel like i was 'carefully avoided' today by certain peers. ah, to hell with them.

you give, you take, you stop buying fancy underthings.

Jun 9, 2004

the ad:

we are looking for a highly motivated, creative individual to spearhead a marketing campaign for a fortune 500 company.

the recruiter:

wanna sell sox tickets?

it's tiring being jackie. i'm supposed to get promoted in one month. do i want the promotion? should i keep looking for other jobs? if i get another job that advertises itself as a career opportunity as a leader in some grand financial company, will i end up telemarketing spoons? will i be going door to door selling coupon books?

i discussed my career follies with friends yesterday. they said, 'you should be a stand-up comic.' we all had a good laugh over that. but maybe that's what i should do. work on my material. get in line for next season's "last comic standing." i'm not the funniest person out there, but, yes, i am one of the funniest people out there. especially because i steal other people's jokes.

i will be a writer one of these days. not any day soon, but perhaps by thursday of next week, time and tv schedules permitting. however, what's going to pay my bills? retail management at an eyeglass joint? perhaps. cold-calling people in an effort to sell batteries? doubtful.

warning to those of you wanting to major in marketing communications. run now. run to your local graphics design department, or english class, or accounting school. maybe start driving trucks for a living. take a culinary class at the community college and apply at applebee's. do anything else. be a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker.

i've seen the future, and the future's seen me. now we're just trying to decide where to lay down.

Jun 8, 2004

at work, the six of us spend two hours deciding what we're going to eat for lunch. silvia walks around with a pen and a pad of paper asking everyone, "what do you want?" they ask her back, "well, where are you going?" and she replies, "i don't know. what do you want?"

it takes us more energy to decide what to have for lunch on any given day than the total amount of energy we exert in helping patients for that whole particular week. then there's the clamor of no correct change. we pick one unfortunate soul to go pick up our order, and i give them my debit card. "charge mine," i say. silvia gives a debit card as well. diana only has five bucks; linda only has a twenty. mary's got a handful of quarters, and john's left his wallet at home. so it goes, and two people always end up paying for 75% of the order. i spent 30 dollars at boston market the other day. for a small salad.

sometimes i say, "i'm not eating out today. i brought my 'healthy choice' entree." this results in silvia getting a pouty look on her face. "lunch is fun," she insists. "you can only have fun if you order out like us."

i give in. "fine," i say. "where are you going?"

"i don't know," she replies, "what do you want?"

those healthy choice meals- you need to have about two before you can begin to feel full. and if you have two, people look at you like you're a wierdo.

Jun 7, 2004

i'm reading a book in which the man goes back in time so that he can have sex with himself.

it seemed an innocent enough tale of time travel. then it turned trashy. and let me just say that i'm strangely fascinated with it.

who writes this kind of garbage? who would publish something like that while their parents were still alive? or any relatives, really? you gotta have a little taste. of all the situations this main character could have gotten himself into- i mean, c'mon, he's time traveling, here- the author chooses to make him auto-homo-erotic.

this is not unique in time travel books, as the cheese reminded me. but it's still mildly disturbing. it still has me awake at night. if i could time travel, would i fool around with an older or younger jackie? i'd like to think not. but maybe time travel does that to you. it makes you attracted to yourself. it also, as michael j. fox has shown us, is a leading cause of parkinsons.

hello line. have i crossed you once more?

Jun 6, 2004

how many people already thought that reagan was dead?

how long do you think the news media has been waiting to publish their "reagan's life in review" timelines? because, let's face, they've had these articles set for a while. years. a decade. you think they threw all this together overnight?

i still don't know what reaganomics is. i love a man, though, who comes up with an economic theory and names it after himself.


did you know he was the original 'gipper?'

Jun 5, 2004

all the ladies at work are talking about their kids and what kind of sports they play. i never played any sports when i was little, except for that one sorry year in softball. in high school, i also avoided sports. i briefly considered joining the frisbee team in college, but, let's face it, who wants to play frisbee all the time? that's the kind of "game" that you can play once a summer, every third summer. like croquet or horseshoes. i just can't get into activities like that, unless they involve sandwiches and some kind of ball boy. the sandwiches would be for eating, the ball boy would be for general amusement.

all this talk about sports makes me think that i'm not well rounded, because i never did anything active when i was little. my mom and i used to set up the old plastic bowling pins in the basement and roll down the little plastic lettuce-head ball that came with it. that was always relatively fun until we got sick of setting the pins up again after every turn. i needed a pin boy is what i needed. my cousin and i would play tennis once in a while when we were in perhaps fifth or sixth grade. really, we played twice, each time for ten minutes. then we'd go home with slurpees and get out the legos. legos: fun. tennis: not so much.

at least, if a kid doesn't play sports, he/she/it should play an instrument. i don't know how to play any instruments. i'm not even sure of the names of most instruments. is it a banjo or a xylophone? beats the crap out of me. one thing for sure: it's not a sandwich.

i did try to teach myself guitar once. i learned three chords in three days and then dusted my hands of such nonsense and turned to conquer other things, such as making sure my rental movies got back on time and complaining about the lack of gatorade in the house. "why do you need gatorade?" mom would ask. "it's a drink for *athletes*." that's when i would throw a small object at her, such as a typewriter. it was her fault i wasn't well rounded. people have to be shaped when they're young, by their parents.

which is why, when i have kids... i'll teach them everything i know about... or at least i'll let them drink all the yoohoo they could possibly... maybe they could learn trombone while competing in rugby... well, we'll always have the sandwiches.

Jun 4, 2004

i am officially hunting for another job. i am the loin-clothed, leaves-covering-up-nipples she-predator in the dangerous forest of unspecified salaries and vague questions about ambitions. what am i cut out to do? i don't like selling things. i don't like numbers. i prefer not to wake up before nine. i don't enjoy commutes over ten minutes. i want to be the boss, but i don't like bossing other people around. i dislike wearing pants. i especially dislike wearing skirts. where can i go that will allow me to wear a robe?

i am spiraling into a depression filled with reality t.v. shows, cigarette smoke, daytime beers, and the kind of stress that makes me feel like i have lockjaw. which makes it especially hard to consume those daytime beers. i'm ready to go back to school now, but i'm not ready to pay. i don't really have the money, which is funny since i spent over a hundred dollars yesterday on getting my hair done. i guess i'm just trying to make up for all those beauty college cuts and stain-the-bathroom-tile-pink d.i.y. dye jobs. i have a hundred dollars for highlights. i don't have thirty for an application fee.

if you live in the chicagoland area and want to hire me to sit around, tell jokes, and eat mars bars, please contact immediately. i can contribute lots to your company; i'll even participate in a car pool as long as my other passengers don't mind sitting in garbage while i blare bad music and knock over construction cones. why is everything under construction these days? i feel like my own construction project: i'm trying to widen from one lane to three with an expected completion date of never

Jun 2, 2004

well, i've officially fallen in love for a third time. sure, i fall in "love" a fair amount, but this is the third time i've fallen in LOVE.

the first time i fell in love was with a bookish lad who used the words "ideology" and "social ramifications" more than i use the word "sonuva," as in "sonuva bitch, who ate my last bagel?" and also the word "poopy" as in "since my last bagel was gone, i was forced to eat leftover mac-n-cheese, which is now making me feel rather poopy." he was a smart young man, and i enjoyed our time together despite the fact that these times were always a little poopy. you just can't disregard raw, physical attraction, even if it involves somebody who reads karl marx for fun.

the second time i fell in love was with my current beau, who also appreciates the word "poopy" and could probably make a few poopies right on the carpet and still have it come off as rather adorable. what can i say about chris that i haven't already said? sure, he gave me an alarm clock for christmas, but let's think about what he gives me EVERYDAY... happiness. also, tacos.

now the third time i fell in love was today, during yet another episode of "what not to wear" on tlc. this particular boy is called eric, and he really didn't need a makeover because he was so damn hot as it was. after all the shopping and the hair cutting and teeth whitening, though? goddamn fabulous. plus, his attitude throughout the show was incredible. see, girls like being made over. gay men, too. your average straight guy (and i'm sure he's straight) usually is not so good-natured. he just kept smiling and laughing through-out the whole show, and it truly won me over. also, did i mention that he's gorgeous?

this doesn't happen everyday. if you do the math, it happens to me once every 8 yrs. while that is obviously not how it actually works out, i'd like to say that mathematically, it's correct. precise.

i should probably stop watching reality-makeover-dating shows. it's healthier for me to develop crushes on fantasty figures, like johnny bravo or john goodman. not some semi-attainable reality show hunk who currently resides in chicagoland. maybe he's my neighbor, for all i know. cripes.

i wonder if he and chris would get along. i wonder why i'm such a jackass. also, i wonder what we're going to have for dinner tonight. i hope it's nothing poopy.

Jun 1, 2004

my bank does this adorable thing where they give me an "available balance" and a "current balance." the two are always completely different amounts, seemingly chosen at random by some sadist down in their account management department. today i check my online banking ledger, and, bam, the difference between these two numbers is over a thousand dollars. a thousand five hundred, to be exact. egads! and then when i attempt to find out what, exactly, is the difference between "available" and "current," that same sadist has me staring at the screen for over twenty minutes as i try, without luck, to decipher their subtleties. this is especially not good because i think i have conjunctivitis yet again, and staring in deep concentration probably does naught for the healing process.

"current" and "available" sound like the same thing to me. those assholes.

anyhow, i'm either broke or rich. i have no idea which. who is to pay for confusing the account holder?

in other non-related news, i've decided i want to go on tlc's "what not to wear." these people get flown to manhattan and basically handed a check for something like five grand for splurging. also, they get a haircut and make-over. now, i don't want anyone cutting my hair, but my highlights do need retouching, so they can do that. also, maybe somebody could curl my eyelashes. i used to try that when i was younger but would inevitably end up hurting myself. severely.

i do need to get nominated before i can go on the show, though. i need to prove that i am badly in need of this wardrobe make-over. so i have decided to wear nothing but misshapen dresses created entirely of kraft american cheese singles. "tell me about this particular dress," the hosts will say in disgust as they hold up cheese dress # 14. "it's one of my favorites," i'll tell them, "although it's missing a sleeve due to a violent encounter with a band of mice."