IQ™ Test

Everyone told me I should start working out. Join a gym, they said. A new year, a new you, they promised. It’s never too late to start a healthy lifestyle, I was told. Funny how these so called “advocates” of mine neglected to mention the destructive side-effects of exercise.

I didn’t realize the negative repercussions myself, until last week when I walked past a mirror twice and flexed my arms both times, wrote a list of which workout clothes I would wear for the week, and flipped through the TV section of the paper to highlight the programs I would watch during my workouts.

And then it hit me: my god, I’ve become a meathead.

When you decide to buy into the fitness hype and start working out, no one ever tells you that there is an inverse correlation between healthiness and interesting… ness. In just one short month I have become totally boring.

[Sidebar: I was going to put an exclamation point after the word “boring,” but then decided against it. See what I’m saying? Even my punctuation has become uninteresting.]

I present to you further evidence:

Exhibit A:

Natasha: “Hey Jenny. Farnsworth and I are thinking about catching a movie and then drinks afterwards. Wanna come?”

Me: “No thanks. I’m going to the gym tonight.”

Nat: “It’s Friday night. You’re spending your Friday night at the gym?”

Me: “It’s the best night to go! It’s one of the few times I can get on my favorite elliptical machine. It’s right under the fan, great view of the street below, and the TV comes in clearer than any of the others. Have fun at the movies, though!”

Exhibit B:

My notebook, normally reserved for quirky anecdotes and observations to write about in my blog, is now filled with cryptic scribblings like this:
Seated row: 10 reps x 3 sets @ 40lbs
Lat pulldowns: 10 reps x 3 sets @ 60 lbs
Hip abductor: 15 reps x 2 sets @ 40 lbs
Hip adductor: 15 reps x 2 sets @ 60 lbs
Treadmill: 20 min @ 5 incline, speed 4.5

Exhibit C:

Vivian: “Hey Jen, it’s Viv. So what’s shaking, bacon?”

Me: “Nothing much. Oh, can you believe this? So I go to the gym on Tuesday and they totally rearranged all the machines! The ellipticals were where the treadmills used to be, they switched the regular bikes and recumbent bikes around. What the hell? Whose bright idea was that? Sheesh. Hey – how much does your gym cost? Is it a lot more than mine? I’m sure it is, since everything in New York is so expensive. Do you use those ab machines? They look super painful to me. I keep seeing women using those weight ball things – I wonder how well they work…”

[time elapses]

Me: “Viv? Vivian? Hello? Are you still there?”

Vivian: “Oh, yeah. Sorry, I just zoned out for a minute. Jen, we’ve been talking about working out for the past twenty minutes, can we please change the subject?”

Exhibit D:

When I stopped by the bookstore yesterday, I set down my copies of Ms. Magazine and Mother Jones*, and instead bought the latest issues of Shape and Muscle and Fitness. Now, not only am I boring, but I’m not even a feminist anymore!

I spent some time this weekend plotting out a few data points, and discovered the shocking connection between IQ (Interesting Quotient™) and CMW (Cumulative Monthly Workouts). The results were alarming:


My research shows that the point of no return is around 14 workouts per month. Once you start to exercise more often than that, your Interesting Quotient™ will plunge to depths from which it may never rise. Even at a modest 8 workouts per month, the IQ™ drops dangerously close to dullard levels.

This, of course, begs the question: is it better to be fascinating and flabby or boring and healthy? There are so many sides to this complex debate – I don’t know. I guess I’ve got a lot of thinking to do. And blogging. Writing usually helps me clear my mind, and I’ve already got topics for the next few entries so I’d better start working on them.

Coming up next week on Run Jen Run:

Tuesday - Feel This. Does This Feel Like a Muscle to You?
Wednesday - Hey! The Orange Gatorade Isn’t Half Bad.
Friday - Point/Counterpoint: Cucumber Water v. Lemon Water
*In the interest of full disclosure, I have never actually read Mother Jones. But I do always pick it up when I’m at the bookstore. Oh, I also never got that root canal without Novocain, and I’m sorry for misleading Oprah and all her viewers.


The entry you are about to read contains references that may be upsetting to the weak-stomached. Parental discretion and eating cessation are advised. Rated M for Mature due to disturbing imagery and mild drug reference.
Last week, I was on the phone with my friend Vivian, having what was I’m sure an important philosophical debate, when I heard a sound that is all too familiar to cat owners. It starts with a wheeze, followed by a chuk-chuk-chuk, and then the inevitable explosion of cat puke, which in my case, typically lands on an important document or new pair of pants.
Normally I wouldn’t be so worried about a hairball, since it comes with the territory, but ever since the last health scare I had with one of my cats a few months ago, I’m a little overprotective. I hung up with Vivian and immediately started the search.
I went to all the usual locations:

  • Bathroom rug? Checked out fine.
  • New gym shoes? Still untouched.
  • W-2 forms? Clean as a whistle.
  • Living room sofa? Vomit-free since 2003.
  • Great Aunt’s Oriental rug? Oh for the love of all that is holy!

And there it was – the entire contents of my cat’s stomach laid out for me to behold. But…why was it blackish-green? I started to freak out a bit. Why did my cats keep getting sick? Was it possible that, like canaries in a mine, they were reacting to some toxic chemicals in my house that had yet to affect me? I ran around the apartment looking for Maddox and Zahara* to determine which one was sick. Zahara was fast asleep in my underwear drawer (which now explains all the claw marks in my bras) so I knew that Maddox had to be the culprit.
I found him on the linoleum floor of the kitchen, curled up next to the now empty container of catnip I had forgotten to put away after refilling their cat toys earlier that day. Maddox had essentially consumed half a kilo of high-grade catnip in one sitting (street value estimated at $4.99), vomited the majority of it back onto my rug, and was now coming down off the biggest buzz of his life.
As soon as I picked him up, Maddy let out a squeaky, green-toothed meow, looked up at me with dilated pupils, and then immediately began purring and kneading my arm. I gently set him in his cat bed, turned on a soft light, covered him with a blanket, and sang him to sleep with a little, “No Woman, No Cry.” I then brought a bowl of food next to his bed, knowing that he would wake up with a case of the munchies like he’d never had before. It had all the makings of a Public Service Announcement: This is your cat. This is your cat on drugs. Get the picture?
*I’m so excited to announce that I recently got court approval to officially change my cats’ names to Maddox and Zahara. Now I am just trying to decide between Amadeo-Jolie-Pitt, or Jolie-Pitt-Amadeo.

Gym Dandy

Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six. Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six. Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six.

I grab my iPod, water bottle, and keys as I walk out the door.

Two five one five three six. Two five one five three six. Two five one five three six.

I only have to walk a block and a half, but it’s bitterly cold so I pull my hat down over my ears. I am now at the gym. I go to the gym now. I am now a gym-goer.

It’s intimidating, this new culture, particularly at my gym. My gym is a sanctuary for people who look even better when they sweat. The realm of the beautiful people with tight stomachs and muscular calves.

We have cucumber water in the locker room water coolers. Did you hear me? Cucumber water!

Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six. Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six. Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six.

While I normally would have shied away from this world, knowing it was not my own, the lure of rotisserie chicken and flat screen TV’s was too much. I rationalize: if they weren’t hunting for my species, why would they have set a trap just my size?

Each week that I successfully complete my workouts, I reward myself. Sometimes with Spongebob Squarepants stickers on my calendar, but mostly with disguises. A new black sports bra, fashionable capri sweatpants, a shatterproof indigo water bottle, my shiny new red lock. I try to blend in as best I can.

Two five one five three six. Two five one five three six. Two five one five three six.

There is a hierarchy, even on the machines. I break people down into six different categories:
A. Those who do not turn on the TV’s
B. Those who read books while on the machines
C. Those who read pop-culture magazines while on the machines
D. Those who watch the news or PBS
E. Those who watch network dramas or highly-acclaimed sitcoms
F. Those who watch trash

I will not even pretend that I fall into any category other than F, despite the fact that I did watch part of an A&E documentary on these two female boxers a couple weeks ago. However, while my innate tendency is to fall firmly in the trash category, I have acquired the chameleon-like ability to adapt to my surroundings, even if I remain a shade or two off from my neighbors.

One night, I was on the elliptical machines between CNN and a cooking show. I chose Oprah and went undetected. On another occasion, I was on the recumbent bikes flanked by an Economist reader and MSNBC. I had no choice but to watch Masterpiece Theatre. Frickin’ Brits. But once, one glorious morning, I stepped atop a treadmill and was bookended by MTV Road Rules and Laverne and Shirley. I felt neither remorse nor pain as I walk/jogged through almost an entire episode of Celebrity Fit Camp. It was heavenly.

Two five one five three six. Two five one five three six. Two five one five three six.

So tonight, I am writing this entry in my head while watching American Idol, which is challenging because I’m also trying desperately to remember the combination to my slick new red lock. Serious workout people carry bags to the gym with important things in them that need to be locked up, so I needed a serious lock. But I’m also afraid that I will forget the combination and have to ask the manager of the gym to get a bolt cutter to free my bag of important things, which really just happens to contain a Chapstick, a pack of gum, and wadded up newspapers to make it look full.

Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six. Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six. Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six.

I have seen all I can take of American Idol, so I sit down on the mat like that man just did and stretch my legs like that man just did. He is much more flexible than I am, but I don’t let this break my spirit. I just fill up my water bottle, twist my back a little like that woman just did, and walk down to the locker room.

Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six.

My shiny red lock does not open.

Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six.

I tug harder, but it still doesn’t budge. Perhaps I forgot to go past zero twice.

Twenty-five fifteen thirty-six.

Oh god. I can’t ask for a boltcutter. Should I just abandon my Chapstick? But suddenly I remember that I prepared for exactly this type of emergency. I take off my shoe, fish around for the now damp and blurry piece of paper, and let loose a deep sigh of relief.

Fifteen twenty-five thirty-six.

I grab my bag of important things, stuff my water bottle and iPod into it, and head back home.
Fifteen twenty-five thirty-six. Fifteen twenty-five thirty-six. Fifteen twenty-five thirty-six.

One five two five three six. One five two five three six. One five two five three six.

Enter Sandman

Well, I haven’t found my Latin lover yet, but I am pretty sure I know what the Spanish Inquisition was like.
On Saturday, I went out with Nat and her sister Baby G to listen to some boy music because Nat’s boyfriend is in twelve different bands, one of which was playing that night. Prior to the band starting, we all made a quick run to Walgreen’s to pick up earplugs and candy bars, because that’s how we party. We opted for the flattering blue earplugs that were noise reduction rated up to 33 decibels. Oh, and I got a new Hershey bar with caramel. It was extra creamy, just like the wrapper promised.
Shortly after arriving at the bar, Nat and I saw an empty stool and set our coats on it. The gentleman next to us teased us about there being a one coat minimum per stool. I laughed. And thus began the Inquisition:
So are you ladies here to see the bands?
Yes. How about-
Are they any good? Who are the bands?
Actually, I don’t really know. My friend’s boyfriend is in one of them.
Reeeeallly? [It’s important that you understand the way this man said the word “really.” There’s a movie character from like, the 1940’s or 1950’s, who had a pencil-thin mustache and would drum his fingers together while working at some front desk somewhere and say, “Yessssss?” and “May I help yoooooouuuuu?” and “Oh, reeeeeeally?” in an overly dramatic and high-pitched manner. Because it was exactly like that guy.]
[Nat had just handed me my beer when I turned to her to draw her into what I suspected could be a strange conversation, yet she had somehow completely vaporized. Her body had reappeared halfway across the bar, next to her sister and boyfriend. I was all alone.]
Uh, yeah. So he’s in the band, but I’ve never heard them. Are you here to see any of the bands?
No. So where are you from? Were you born and raised in Chicago? Have you lived here all your life?
Uh, no. I’m originally from Wisconsin. [MORON! Why did you say that?]
Reeeeallly? Wisconsin? You’re kidding? Where in Wisconsin?
Milwaukee. [Why are you saying these things? Stop answering!]
Reeeeallly? Milwaukee? So is your family still there? Do you have a big family? Brothers? Sisters?
I have three brothers. [Good, Jenny, you’ve found your lies.]
Reeeeallly? Three brothers? And so are you the youngest? Do they call you the baby? I mean, would they actually say that you’re the baby of the family?
No, they would say I was the girl.
Mmm hmm. And so how long have you lived in Chicago? Do you like Chicago?
Yes, I like Chicago a lot. Do you live here? [Maybe if I ask a question he’ll stop asking me questions. Flawed logic, I now understand that.]
Yes. So what do you like to do for fun? Do you like movies, the arts, literature, what?
Uh… sure [glancing over at Nat, who is engaged in some hilarious conversation with a group of friends].
Okay, so if you had to pick just one of those things to do, and you could only do one thing, what would it be?
Uh, movies, I guess. [Seriously, Jenny. WTF? Why are you still answering these questions? Are you doing this just to have something to write about, because that’s really f*d up.]
Reeeeallly? So what movies do you want to win the Oscars? Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? How about Walk the Line? Who are your favorite actors?
Brokeback Mountain was good. I didn’t see Walk the Line – was it good?
Huh? I don’t know, I didn’t see it. But if you had to pick one movie to win the entire Oscars, what would it be?
King Kong.
Yes, really. It was brilliant.
Did you cry?
Of course.
Reeeeallly? Now, had you seen the original? Did you know how it ended?
Reeeeallly? Well, who was it who got you to see the original? Did you just watch it on your own, or did someone tell you to watch it? A friend? Mother? Father? Boyfriend?
[Oh please tell me that this 10 minute rapid fire question session was not just one really elaborate prelude to asking me if I have a boyfriend.] You know, it’s been so long, I just can’t remember. And speaking of a long time, I should really go join my friends now.
Okay, I just have two more questions.
[Are you f*ing kidding me?] Okay.
So how would you describe your musical tastes?
Yes, really. Okay that was two questions – gotta go, bye!
I quickly grabbed my drink and rejoined Baby G and Nat, who had a guilty look on her face.
“Sorry Jen, I didn’t know what to do.”
“Oh you knew exactly what to do. Abandon your friend in enemy territory. Godammit, Nat! You just disappeared!”
“Jenny, I said I was sorry. Maybe you were enjoying his company, how do I know?”
“Um, I think you heard him say ‘Reeeeallly’ at least three times if I’m not mistaken. I could’ve been clubbed and thrown in the back of a van for all you knew.”
“I was keeping an eye on you. You seemed to be doing just fine.”
“Yeah, I was just on a frickin’ speed date, and I didn’t even know it. Nice. I won’t forget this, you know.”
“Look, Jen. I didn’t know how to get you out! We never came up with an exit strategy for these types of things.”
“How about you yank me away with a cane à la Sandman?”
“Hey, maybe that’s it. Just work the word ‘sandman’ into a conversation, and I’ll know to pull you out.”
“So when I turn to you and scream ‘Sandman! SANDMAN!!!!’ as I’m being chloroformed and dragged out on my heels, then will you know to come get me?”
“I’ll be there immediately. Are we good?”
“All is forgiven. Alright, let’s head in. I think the bands are starting.”
“Now you’re pushing your luck, Nat.”

Heart Breaking

“Whatever you do,” she sighed, “if you decide to get married someday…”
I stood next to her in silence for a few long seconds while she played with her ring, gathering her thoughts. She measured her breathing, taking control.
“Just make sure he loves you more.”

Corazones Dulces

As is our typical ritual, my friend Dee-Dee and I exchanged Christmas gifts nearly a month after the holiday had passed. Maybe it’s our way of prolonging the season, but more likely, it’s just forgetfulness. It is nice, though, to have some splash of festivity after the holiday fanfare has died down. Especially now that we will go months without a corporate sanctioned day off, through bitter January into bleak February and still brutal March.
There is, of course, St. Valentine’s Day. I have not had the best of luck with this holiday, I should admit. Last year I almost got chocolates, but that is as close as I’ve come in ages to actually celebrating this day.
But this year is all about more love, and I intend on making Muriel Rukeyser proud. This more love mantra can inform and inspire so many areas of life: platonic love, familial love, self love, and yes, Latin love.
It came to me like a bolt of lightning as I was strolling through the candy aisle at Target this weekend: I must find a Latin lover. I had one once, you know, so many years ago. His name was Raymundo, a Panamanian exchange student who lived in my dorm. It was a brief affair, as it was meant to be, but I never forgot how much he loved the band Heart. I ran into him years later, and his once thick accent was but a hint that only slipped out after several Cuba Libres. He had become so very ordinary.
My new Latin lover will be anything but ordinary, and probably won’t even know who the band Heart is. I will tell him, “They are called Corazon in your language. They are sisters. I think that one is Nancy… oh, it doesn’t matter. Just kiss me.”
And so begins my quest:
Step One: Bait
I sift through this box carefully, and examine each heart with jeweler’s precision. If I had a loupe, it would be firmly affixed to my eye right now. They must be perfect. My Latin lover deserves only the best, so I devour any heart that is not up to my standards. Slightly misshapen? Chomp! Blurry letters? Chomp! Adios? Chomp!
Why would I want to tell my Latin lover goodbye? I will never tell him goodbye, not even when we part. I will only tell him, te amo. Or perhaps I will call him mi vida, or one of the other seven phrases I have learned from these hearts. He will not mind that the only Spanish I speak comes courtesy of Necco, so strong is our amor.
The rest of this week will be spent placing these hearts in strategic locations throughout Chicago, with my phone number written neatly on the back in non-toxic ink. I must never poison my Latin lover.
It is no accident that this is the last heart I pull from the box:
I hope

Slow Night for Television

After a depressing evening of sitting at Natasha’s house watching the Bears lose to some other team, which apparently means they can’t go on to the World Series, I was a little agitated.
“Why did you make me come over here? I don’t even care about football to begin with, I haven’t watched a game all season, and now my stomach’s all upset. I feel angry and I’ve got nowhere to direct it.”
“Don’t take it out on me! I didn’t think it would be like this. It just seemed like something we should do. Here – maybe something good is on TV and we can forget all about that game.”
After flipping around for a few minutes, we caught the tail end of Extreme Makeover – Home Edition, which just made us angrier because they just kept flashing to the shot of that one guy with glasses as he would wipe away tears.
“Maybe if they would stop crying so damn much and just work on the house, they wouldn’t be so worried about not finishing on time!” Nat screamed.
“Yeah, stupid bunch of crybabies.”
“I did totally cry at that one a few weeks ago, though, where the mom had died.”
“Oh yeah, and they made that memorial for her? I totally cried.”
Once the big reveal was over, we flipped through a few more channels – trough full of cow’s blood on Fear Factor, period piece snoozefest on Masterpiece Theatre, sci-fi teeny-boppers on Supernatural – before almost giving up.
Nat was circling back to the beginning of her limited non-cable channels when suddenly we heard something that stopped us in our tracks.
“I’m a 57-year old menopausal lady, which most of you know brings things like fatigue, insomnia… I would get migraines, and in between migraines I would get daily headaches, and then I really reached the climax. I got cluster headaches. I thought there was no hope whatsoever, until I discovered Dr. Ho.”
Dr. Ho? We were immediately hooked.
During the 20+ minute infomercial, Natasha and I learned that Dr. Ho had devoted his life to the study of natural medicine. He was disappointed in the limited results of many therapeutic devices on the market designed to help patients with chronic pain, so along with a group of very innovative engineers, he developed Dr. Ho’s Muscle Massage System!
Although skeptical at first, as I watched unpaid testimonial after unpaid testimonial, I started to become a believer. Within twenty minutes, these people were relieved of the chronic pain that decades of highly addictive painkillers had not assuaged.
It all seemed so easy to use – simply attach the electrodes with gel pads to the area of your body that is bothering you, and Dr. Ho’s revolutionary invention sends electrical shocks in controlled bursts to the afflicted area. The number of uses for this magical machine were mind-boggling:

  • Arthritis!
  • Foot pain!
  • Fibromyalgia!
  • Carpal tunnel!
  • Post-stroke paralysis!
  • TMJ headache!
  • Sciatica!
  • Insomnia!

I elbowed Nat in the arm and said, “You know what use they keep leaving out?”
“Sexual frustration.”
Nat rolled her eyes and said, “Whatever.”
“Oh, please. Like this thing wasn’t invented for that? Give me a break. Controlled bursts of electricity? Why don’t they just come out and say that you can use it on your hoo-ha?”
“You mean your cha-cha?”
“Yeah, your gee-gaw.”
Nat paused for a second, then asked, “Isn’t a gee-gaw like a knick-knack?”
“Is it? I don’t know – I got confused. I mean like your privates.”
“Okay, you did not just say ‘privates.’ What are you, twelve?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, Dr. Ho. I didn’t realize that ‘cha-cha’ was the official anatomical term.”
A few more testimonials went by, and I started to feel a pinch in my shoulder. It’s where I always hold my stress, I’ve been told. I looked over at Nat and said, “Hey, maybe we should get one of these things. I’m kind of intrigued.”
“Yeah, me too. But it’s like $200 – I’m not paying that!”
“We could split the cost, go halfsies maybe?”
“Uh, yeah I don’t think so. Especially now that I know what you want to do with it…”
The infomercial ended, I packed up my things, and headed home. I still felt a bit of the pent up rage from earlier in the evening, but clung to the knowledge that if I made it home within the next 30 minutes, Dr. Ho would reduce the price and offer me his wonderful system for just three easy payments of $49.95 each.
It turned out to be a good night, indeed.

Leslie Speaks!

The Leslie-fest continues over at Feast of Fools, as they air their exclusive podcast with Leslie Hall.

  1. Learn what Leslie and Beyonce Knowles have in common!
  2. Hear the inside scoop on her stunt double!
  3. See the photos of her transformation from mild-mannered Midwesterner to glam-rock super-diva!

Oh yeah, and if you hear a man with a really deep voice blathering on about the “blogosphere,” that’s me. Which reminds me, it’s time to get a refill on those estrogen supplements…

All That Glitters

You know that pang in your belly that so often contradicts your head? The one that tells you to do things that might not seem logical? It’s true, what they say. Trust your gut – it’s rarely wrong.

It was Sunday night and I was tired. This going-to-the-gym thing has my body discovering parts of itself once believed to be long dormant. It’s like asking me to remember what wisdom teeth do or what my appendix is for. I thought I had no use for hamstrings, and was about to have them removed.

Sushi and surfing the net sounded like an ideal way to end the weekend, said my head.
But what about Leslie, asked my belly.

I should back up.

Through the course of my regular blog surfing, I stumbled across this intriguing post at Kevin’s site about an upcoming performance at a local bar. Although I didn’t know Kevin, his entry resonated with me on some deeper level, so I left a comment saying that I might show up.

After hearing excuse after excuse from the friends I thought might be interested (Natasha: “Why are you calling me? You know I’m in Acapulco!” Seamus: “Why are you calling me? You know I’m in South Africa!” Dee-Dee: “Why are you calling me? You know I’m in Milwaukee!”), I thought about giving up. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. But the funny thing is, my belly got the better of me. When I got my final rejection from Dee-Dee, I told her that I just felt like if I didn’t go, I would regret it. And I really meant it.

So I went.

I got to the bar early, pulled up a stool, whipped out my notebook, and ordered a Newcastle. I started jotting down notes about the already interesting mix of people in the bar when I heard someone call my name. Now, contrary to what people may say about the glamorous life of an ex-amateur tap dancer, I am not accustomed to being approached by handsome young gentlemen at bars. So when Kevin called my name, I gave him what was I’m sure a very puzzled look.

“Jenny! It’s Kevin.”

[blank stare.]

“From Sweet Tartuffery.”

[happy recognition!]

“Oh my god! So nice to meet you!”

He introduced me to his charming group of friends, we ordered $2 cans of beer, and made our way back to the stage. It was critical that we stake out some prime real estate for this musical feast.

There were three bands lined up for the evening: a punk/metal/satanic band, a hipster rap duo, and the main event – the dazzling diva and goddess of gold lamé herself, Leslie Hall. From the quick research I did on Leslie before heading out to the bar, I learned that she’s a hip-hopper from the Midwest with a penchant for gold lamé jumpsuits and a mission to rescue gem sweaters from thrift stores across the country. She has the rhythms to make your body rock and the grooves to make your shoulders lock.

The first band hurt my heart both emotionally and physically with screeching guitars and booming bass. The second band was surprisingly good, even though the female singer threw water in my face and gave me swimmer’s ear. Well, she might not have intended to throw water just at me, but I think I bore the brunt of her on-stage antics.

My newfound friends and I passed the time by exchanging dialogue on Oprah’s show dedicated to poo, and sharing our true feelings about the Black Eyed Peas song, My Humps. Then finally, as the witching hour approached, Leslie and the Ly’s made their long-awaited entrance.

I felt nothing short of giddy.


I could barely contain myself as Leslie popped and locked across the stage in her fur cape and gold jumpsuit. Her lyrics were like a drug.

I wanna thank you momma for making me gold pants. Ones I can dance in, and make romance in!

Sequin babies, bring me dollar bills. One night of pleasure, rhinestone thrills. Hey beat dazzler, gem me a sweater! Hey hoochie momma, gold pants forever!

It’s hard for me to put into words the feeling that swept over me as I looked around the room at my fellow Junior Gems. The best I can do is this:

It’s like when you were a child, swinging on a swingset in the park with your best friend. Feeling your stomach tingle as the swing goes back and the rush of wind in your face with each swing forward. Pumping your legs harder and stretching your back until you feel like you might flip over the top. You look over at your friend and smile as you pass each other mid-swing. Your hands sweat from gripping the chain so tightly, yet each time you reach the top you think about letting go and flying across the park. You can’t catch your breath from laughing and swinging and you wish so badly that there were more people in the park to see you because you are sure that no one has ever gone this high or had this much fun. But you also wish no one else was in the park because then it’s just something you and your best friend shared and they wouldn’t understand anyway. And you wish it would never end because you know there will never be a moment quite like this again.

It was kind of like that.

We waited around until the crowd had died down so we could all get our photos with Leslie. Then as we were loitering, not wanting the night to be over, we were approached by two dashing men with a tape recorder, and subsequently interviewed for their podcast. Chris told them that we were all planning on moving in together. It would be just like Three’s Company. I would probably have to play Janet, though. Damn dumpy brunettes. I can’t remember all the ramblings that spewed from my mouth, but if they decide to salvage some of our interview, I’m certain I will sound quite like the accountant I once sadly aspired to be. It might have been my third $2 beer talking, but I think I may have said the word, “conduit” at one point, and not in any way that could be construed as clever or charming.


Then finally, we suited up for the cold blast outside and went our separate ways. As I hopped back into my car humming something about gem sweaters, I thought about my belly and smiled as I reminded myself that I must always trust my instincts, because they can lead me to the most dazzling treasures.

Mars Needs Women!

Do not be alarmed! We interrupt this beat-tastic groove to draw your attention to the first official Comment Orgy of 2006.
And I can think of no better person to carry the torch than my good friend Peefer. Peefer and I met on a German ocean liner back in 1957, where he was working as a cabin steward and I was hired on as a waitress. Peefer began performing magic for some of the passengers, eventually being allowed to host his own show, with me as his assistant. Unbeknownst to the crew, I had smuggled a cheetah named Chico aboard the vessel. My love for Peefer and Chico grew with time, although it was forbidden and misunderstood. We eventually moved to Las Vegas… wait a minute. No, no. Something’s wrong. Oh my god, is my face red! That’s not how Peefer and I met – that’s how Siegfried and Roy met. Ooops!
Peefer and I met at a comment orgy where he locked himself into a virtual bathroom, and the rest is history. The boy knows how to party, people, so get on over there and show him some comment love.
Resume body rockin’.