regrettable food

i don’t know if any of you ever had the privilege of viewing the ancient weight watcher recipe cards with extremely hilarious commentary, but just the other day my mom sent me some links to a couple other photo galleries of a similar nature. i started out grinning, then laughed a few “huhs,” then chuckled, and soon i was downright guffawing. here are just some of the highlights:

bran-plus for minus people
son of cooking with 7-up
patty cake patty cake baker’s shame
10 pm cookery
interior desecrations

the above are just some of the ones i have already looked at, but there are quite a few more galleries. if you go to the main page and scroll down to “the institute of official cheer,” and click on “the gallery of regrettable food,” more smiles await. hehe.

bank letter

this was sent to me by my sister-in-law, and i was chuckling all the way through. it is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by a 96 year old woman. the bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the new york times.

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire salary, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, prerecorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh and blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery . Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

1. To make an appointment to see me.
2. To query a missing payment.
3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there
4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home
7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact.
8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will the n be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement. May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

finding my way

i’m positively freezing, but i’m not helping any matters by eating frozen yogurt. i was browsing online, and came upon this site for chocolate truffles, and can’t you just see the drool running down my chin. hehe. it was then that i remembered the vanilla frozen yogurt, sitting in the freezer just waiting to be devoured. so i dumped on some toppings – chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, and coconut – and am polishing off the contents as we speak.

while we’re on the topic of… well, ice cream, basically… i’ll let you in on one of my innumerous oddities. you know how you blow on soup or something hot before you eat it? well, i oftentimes catch myself doing that with ice cream. i guess it has to do with extreme temperatures… and in all fairness, blowing on it will make it slightly warmer, right? (pause) right? guys??

anyhoo… the other day i was thinking, as i have been known to do… and of course what am i to do with those thoughts but jot them down. not sure what got me onto this particular line of thinking, but so often these days i ponder the seeming dead-end that is my life. at times, i feel like a little kid, and people tell me, “you’re young!” and of course, in my mid-twenties, i am still young… but that’s all relative.

when i was little, i had “all the time in the world.” i guess it seems like, when you reach a certain age, you’re carved into stone – your personality, abilities, propensities, etc. of course, you can meet new people, learn new things, whatever… but your basic interests are pretty much set. i used to think i’m “young at heart,” but i think the only reasons why i feel young are because a) i look and sound like a kid outta junior high, and b) i don’t feel as learned or experienced as someone my age “should.”

i never went to college or had much of a social life (save a few years involved in my church youth group), and feel like i missed out on opportunities that could have shaped me as an individual. i don’t feel as “well-rounded” as i should be. i feel i often have interesting thoughts and ideas, but can’t always put them into words, because i’m so limited.

right now i’m doing what i have to, and i wish i had the time and energy and motivation (and money) to do more of what i want to. but more importantly, i wish i knew what i wanted. i feel as if i’ll always be “finding my way,” trying to figure out what i want to do/be “when i grow up,” and i hate thinking in those terms.

i’m not sure if i believe that everything happens for a reason… but i do believe life is – to an extent, anyway – what we make of it. there are things to be learned from every experience… and right now i’m trying to figure out what i can learn from my own situation. a big part of me feels lost, and i don’t know if all this is pointing me to the direction of god’s arms… but i’m afraid even if i run to him, i’ll still be stuck. stuck because i’m meant to learn something from this, and it won’t be “over” until i have. i know – in theory – that god only wants what’s good for us, and he knows better then we what that is… but i just can’t see the big picture.

isn’t one curse more than enough?

becky included a link to an article entitled, “called to the home – called to rule.” this has fueled a discussion of the particular opinions of this author, who goes on to discuss god’s intention for women, which boils down to her basically staying within the home; the article cites proverbs 9 as an example of its point. i would have to wholeheartedly agree with the statement that, “the woman who labors to provide for her family while trying to maintain her role as wife and mother voluntarily takes upon herself both the curse of [laboring for provision] and the curse of the woman.” and here comes the proverbial “but”… and here is my response (not thoroughly pondered at this time, but nonetheles):

the author has a lot to say, and she does use scripture to make her point… but i would have to agree that there are some things that just aren’t feasible in this day and age. although, maybe that’s because we don’t wan’t them to be feasible; it would be “inconvenient” for us. if woman were to quit their jobs for the sake of obedience to god, i suppose we really would be relying on his provision in our lives, because most of us probably would not be able to make ends meet. this article really did nothing but make me feel guilty, because on the one hand i’m “obeying my husband” who told me i need to have a job (even when i was unhappy with one place of employment, he made it clear i would have to look for another one), and on the other hand i’m disobeying god who – apparently – desires that i reach my full potential as a woman by staying at home. so… are those woman who have a careers out of their homes considered legitimate? or is it only if they’re doing domestic chores (and perhaps don’t porift monetarily from it)? we could analyze this point of view to no end, i’m sure, but i just don’t think it’s realistic. don’t even get me started on those woman who don’t have kids (are they then allowed to work, because they don’t have to go through childbirth and child rearing?) i say that only because i was given rather harsh counsel by my pastor before getting married, when i told him i wasn’t planning on having kids (at least, not right away). eh… i don’t know. i haven’t reached any sort of conclusion on the matter. :P

ten years in the making

back in september of ’95, charlene gave me a blank journal. it’s very plain and simple, and has a claude monet painting on the front; it even came with some free monet postcards in the back, but i never used them. as much as i love to write – especially when things aren’t going well, as they so often are… er, aren’t? – it took me a while to fill the pages. perhaps because my written attentions were otherwise directed to my online journal, as well as to handwritten letters to various friends and acquaintances.

in any case, there is only one blank side of a page left, and i am wondering just what those last words will be. i went back to brewed by myself over the weekend, and sat for about an hour or so in one of the leather chairs, listening to my mp3 player, sipping a spiced chai, and jotting down my thoughts. i could have kept going, i suppose, but my wrist was aching and i didn’t feel like dwelling on those particular things anymore.

as painful as the process can be at times, i really enjoy flipping through the pages of this old book. i’ve always loved collecting/using stickers, and the front and and back pages are absolutely covered with a variety of them (added to as i came upon another i liked or someone gave me). interspersed throughout the text are colorful bandaids (unused, of course), drawings, inspirations quotes, pictures from magazines, articles, poems, haircut ideas, notes, unsent letters, postcards, tickets stubs, and even a story i started writing a long time ago. if it were put together in a more organized fashion, i would say it makes up an interesting little chronological scrapbook… but it’s so messy and haphazard, as it reflects my state of mind.

among the articles saved (and protected with leftover book covers from junior high) include one about the death of princess diana, and one about the passing of christopher letournea (jane’s cousin). it’s so odd to look back on these things, and vividly remember the day of the event, remember saving those items and what i felt at the time. brrr – makes me shiver.

it’s so strange to look back and see how i have… not necessarily “grown,” but “evolved,” as a person. so many things remain unchanged, but now i see things through the eyes of a slighter older, slightly more experienced person.

here’s my first-ever [extremely pathetic] entry:

september 23, 1995 – well, just today i got this “multi-purpose” book from charlene… charbug is such a sweetie! :) well, it’s about 9:30 p.m. on saturday, and we in fact just got off the phone with charlene! and just a couple seconds ago i started crying, because i miss char so much. whenever we all talk on the phone, i never know what to say and it’s just not the same as when she’s here in person… you know? i also feel terribly bad because char challenged me to read a proverb a day… but i always find a reason no to. it’s weird… i <3 god so way much… but when it comes to reading the bible and going to church, i, well, feel so guilty because i just get a “go away” attitude. i know that if i wanna change i have to take the initiative; but it’s so much work and i start getting lazy and don’t want to bother, or sometimes i feel like being kinda bad. does that make sense? well… i’m gonna go. gosh… i’m sure having a lot of stress about school (biology!) these days! oh well.

and a few more tidbits:

4.1.97 – i just feel so lonesome & hopeless, like there’s no way out! i know i could take a hold of my life, but it would take so much work & effort! i don’t wanna start & just end up quitting again! :P =sigh= i can still identify, although i might use a different set of words.

3.3.98 – i hate myself. filled a whole pages with this, over and over and over… and in a cool pattern!

02.24.01 – haven’t written in this thing in ages; oh gosh, more than two years, to be exact. one might assume just start a new journal, since i’ve essentially started a new life, but i just assume fill up these pages first. (pause) even tho so much has happened over my silence, i am at a loss for words, for so many things have not changed, and that’s a sobering, scary thing. you would think that as one gets older, she would dismiss her petty worries and focus on things that really matter. but, unfortunately, some things never change. i am still me at heart, and that means a never-ending struggle with myself (my existence, importance, appearance, etc.) and god. =sigh= i am so sick @ heart for who and what i am, and the lives that are affected by that. (pause) i can see myself heading off into this exhausting, never-ending analysis of my issues and all that happy nonsense… but i do that all the time, every day, and it’s all i’ve done in the past, every day, and in this journal, every page… and how come i can’t reach a conclusion? perhaps i’m just scared, because i know the answer and don’t want to face it. but no, not more analysis, okay? i’m sick of it. karla is sick. of everything. and things will remain that way. for whatever reason. i still don’t understand. never will. still hate myself and wish i were dead, but it’s not that simple. ohmigod, how i wish i could just disappear. what’s the point, what’s the point?

11.06.05 – wow, i thought i had written in this thing more recently, but i guess not. i know i always say it, but how time flies. sometimes you think you won’t make it through the day, the week… but then a week becomes a month, and a month a few months, and before you know it, another year has gone by. and yet i still feel pretty much the same, maybe worse for the wear, but definitely not wiser… i am very unhappy and discontent at this stage in my life… i guess i’m doomed to forever feel this way. what a fucking waste… i don’t know how to be happy – “joyful” – while enduring these negative things… ironically, one of the only things that seems to be going well these days is my job…

the final page actually isn’t at the end up the book, since i started pasting postcards and other various items from the back of the journal. it will feel odd writing in this for the last time, and it will take a while and some searching before i purchase another paper journal.

charlene and her boyfriend, jon, announced recently that they [finally!] got engaged, and since they’ll be having a little shindig at their providence apt. before heading off to cali (for good??), she was on my mind, and i thought it would be neat reminding her of her gift ten years ago, and letting her know it’s been put to good use. *grin* (yeah yeah yeah, that was a major run-on sentence.)