Opinion Poll: Sir Mix-a-Lot

So here I am, with one bottle of Absolut Mandrin (sic) and one bottle of Berry Fusion Pucker and one simple goal: create the ultimate 2008 cocktail. Sure, Natasha and I took a bartending class together a few years ago, but it was a lecture course – no hands on! We didn’t learn jack!
Based on the comments from my last post, I can already see that there are far more creative budding mixologists than me, so I have decided to leave my fate in your hands. I’m looking for the best creative drink recipe using my two base ingredients…
…and anything else you might suggest.
I’ve already tried the two together, and although it’s got a bit of a kick, it’s not half bad. I call this drink the Flattop:
not as bad as you might think
Once I get a few more recipe ideas, I’m going to gather up all the ingredients and my digital camera, head over to Nat and Farnsworth’s apartment, and see if I retained any of that bartending knowledge. They will serve as my guinea pigs, and the tastiest drink will win the title of 2008 Drink of the Year! Plus, I will name the drink after the person who suggested the winning recipe and think fondly of that person every time I pop a few Advil after an all-night bender.
So far, we have two suggestions:
The Blind Pegasus, submitted by Peggasus
• Mandrin vodka
• Berry Fusion Pucker
• Fresca
• Frozen raspberry garnish
The Strodelicious, submitted by Strode
• Mandrin vodka
• Berry Fusion Pucker
• Malibu rum
• Two ice cubes
I think these both have great potential, but I need a couple more options, so put on your drinking caps (groan) and let me know if you have any recipe ideas! [NOTE: please – I beg of you – do not suggest any drinks involving Southern Comfort. My mouth just started watering, and not in the good way, typing out those words. Oh… college…]
Updated Recipe List (and yes, I’m too lazy to do links right now, sorry.):
The Sour Fist, submitted by Vahid
• ½ shot Berry Fusion Pucker
• ½ shot Absolut Mandrin
• Drop into pint of Guinness
The Spicy Elf, submitted by Arwen
• Mandrin vodka
• Berry Fusion Pucker
• Cointreau
• Reed’s Gingerale
The Norovirus, submitted by Dan
• Berry Fusion Pucker
• Absolut Mandrin
• Frozen Waffles
• Blend into a smoothie
To Sir With Love, submitted by Sir
• 1 1/2 oz Absolut Mandrin
• 1 oz sweet & sour mix
• 1/2 oz Death Pucker
The Stranger, submitted by Anonymous
• Berry Fusion Pucker
• Absolut Mandrin
• Absinthe (FYI – it’s actually legal now in the US)
The Eclectic, submitted by Shari
• Berry Fusion Pucker
• Absolut Mandrin
• Club Soda
• Serve over ice
The Boris and Natasha, submitted by Natasha
• 1 shot Orange Vodka
• 1/2 shot Cointreau
• 1/2 shot Berry Fusion Pucker
• Pomegrante Juice
• Shaken Well – served with a squeeze of lemon/lime
The Brando, submitted by Dustin
• 1 shot Mandrin
• 1 shot Berry Pucker
• 40 oz. Steel Reserve
• Shake well and serve in 7-Eleven Big Gulp cup with a straw.
The Newman’s Own, submitted by Dan
• Berry Fusion Pucker
• Absolut Mandrin
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Serve over mixed greens
Okay, I’m going to need to do some serious shopping this weekend. I’ll keep you updated on my progress…

Opinion Poll: Katzenjammer Kids

This week, I’m flying out to my Pacific Northwest home-away-from-home for work, and as soon as I get back, I’m heading back up to my cabin-away-from-home again with Dee-Dee, Nat, and a whole assortment of other characters to celebrate Natasha’s birthday.
Throughout the course of these two trips, I hope that I will encounter much drinking, karaoke, fishing, mystery, and intrigue. But in the meantime, I have an enormous favor to ask. Since the introduction of Pickles the Cat into my family, my other two cats – Kodo and Podo – have become insanely jealous. Today, one of them chewed off the shoelaces to my running shoes and another one vomited on my kitchen counter. Now that I think about it, those two events might have been related.
I think they’re just crying out for attention, and I know Dr. Spock would tell me to not reinforce their bad behavior, but he’s dead and I’m alive, and ain’t nothing gonna change that.
When I try to think back to when their outbursts began, it was actually long before Pickle’s arrival. I kind of think it started when I changed their names from Mr. Lionel Richie and Ms. Dionne Warwick to Kodo and Podo. Maybe they liked the flash… I’m not sure. It’s not like they ever sing. But whatever.
So I figure it’s probably time to change their names again, and that’s where you come in. I’ve got a few options below, but am really open to new ideas. As with the last time we did this, here’s a brief bio on each of them:

Boy Cat:

kodo mit skull
kodo lobster

Height: 14”
Weight: 13 lbs
Eyes: Blue
Age: 7 years
Sign: Taurus
Best Feature: Prominent nose
Likes: Trying to escape out the back door, sitting in window plotting escape route, medicinal catnip (for glaucoma), napping, attacking his sister, eating shoelaces, looking at spiders but never actually doing anything about them
Dislikes: Not being able to escape, collars, showers, hats of any sort, being placed underneath the laundry basket

Girl Cat:

City cats

Height: 12”
Weight: 10 lbs
Eyes: Blue
Age: 7 years
Sign: Taurus
Best Feature: Pearly white teeth
Likes: Apples, screaming, pacing in circles, eating plastic grocery bags, licking yogurt cartons, napping, stretching, feathers
Dislikes: Vacuum cleaners, ironing boards being opened, collars, bonnets, dishtowels tied around neck like a cape, manicures
So dear friends, please help me.

Q: What should I name my cats?

a) Komodo and Pagoda
b) Puff and Stuff
c) Barack and Hillary
d) Donnie and Marie
e) Bootsie and Mittens
f) Fat Boy and Little Girl
g) Other (please explain)

Opinion Poll/Mystery Photo Quiz

Okay, since I do whatever other bloggers tell me to do (except post pictures of myself in my new boy-cut underwear), I went back on my way home and took a photo of the alleged home pregnancy kit.
But upon closer inspection (and by closer, I mean a sneaky hip shot photo taken while hordes of dogwalkers strolled by), I’m really not so sure.
I once again look to you, internets, to help me determine what this is.
[click to enlarge]
So with this – the first ever combination Opinion Poll *and* Mystery Photo Quiz – I beg of you… tell me! What the heck is this?
A. Home pregnancy kit – pregnant
B. Home pregnancy kit – not pregnant
C. Broken oral thermometer case
D. Broken anal thermometer case
E. Toothbrush of some sort
F. Broken potato peeler
G. Kazoo
H. Other (please explain)

Opinion Poll: Etiquette

Q: If you hopped into a cab that smelled of human feces, would you:
a) Immediately tell the driver you forgot something and make him drop you off after only one block
b) Breathe in and out of your mitten the entire ride home
c) Hold your breath until you passed out and just hope that the cabbie would roll your lifeless body onto your front sidewalk after snatching the $20 bill out of your clenched fist
d) Say loudly to no one in particular, “Is it me, or this does this cab smell like human feces?”
e) Hang your head out of the window like a dog
f) Other
I did one of these.

Opinion Poll: What’s New, Pussycat?

I’ve always heard that it takes a big person to admit when they’re wrong, so I’m here to say that I was wrong. Dead wrong. And I don’t mean just a little bit wrong, like last week when I told Dee-Dee and Natasha that I thought Men in Trees might actually be kind of funny. I’m talking way out in left field, totally not on the same page, singing from a different songbook kind of wrong.
And the worst part is that I didn’t just hurt myself this time – I brought two innocent victims along with me. I mean, what was I thinking when I renamed my cats Mr. Lionel Richie and Miss Dionne Warwick? Sure it was funny the first time I said it, but the joke got old real fast, and those are really long names to yell when they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
“Mr. Lionel Richie! So help me, if you don’t get off that table and stop eating my small curd cottage cheese…”
“Miss Dionne Warwick! This is the last time I’m telling you – if you keep batting those glitter balls under the refrigerator, I’m not going to buy you any more!”
There really wasn’t anything wrong with their other names – Punch and Judy, or Maddox and Zahara – so I don’t know why I felt the need to mess with a good thing, but the bottom line is that I did. I messed with a damn good thing and now there’s no turning back.
So this leads me to what may quite possibly be my most important opinion poll EVER. My only option now is to once again rename my cats, so I’ve gathered a few potential candidates. However, I also recognize that perhaps my judgment cannot be trusted, so I’m encouraging write-in suggestions as well. But first, I think it’s important that you understand a little about them so that you can make the right choice:
Boy Cat
[click for larger versions]
City cats
Totally tasted like margarine
Height: 14”
Weight: 13 lbs
Eyes: Blue
Age: 6 years
Sign: Taurus
Best Feature: Prominent nose
Likes: Trying to escape out the back door, sitting in window plotting escape route, medicinal catnip (for glaucoma), napping, attacking his sister, eating shoelaces, looking at spiders but never actually doing anything about them
Dislikes: Not being able to escape, collars, showers, hats of any sort, being placed underneath the laundry basket

Girl Cat
[click for larger versions]
America's Next Top Model
No really, I'm not kidding
Height: 12”
Weight: 10 lbs
Eyes: Blue
Age: 6 years
Sign: Taurus
Best Feature: Pearly white teeth
Likes: Apples, screaming, pacing in circles, eating plastic grocery bags, licking yogurt cartons, napping, stretching, feathers
Dislikes: Vacuum cleaners, ironing boards being opened, collars, bonnets, dishtowels tied around neck like a cape, manicures
I’m going to completely trust the popular opinion on this, unless there’s a write in candidate so spectacular that I have to utterly disregard what the majority of you want and think only of myself and my kittens. So now that you know a little more about my cats, their fate is in your hands.
Q: What should I rename my cats?
1. Kenny and Dolly
2. Moose and Squirrel
3. Starving Kittens in China
4. Kodo and Podo
5. Guinness and Harp
6. Other (please explain)

Opinion Poll: In a Minute

You know how there are those things you have had on your To Do list for ages, and when you finally accomplish them, you feel like you can pretty much coast for the rest of the year? Well, I can pretty much coast for the rest of 2006 because after almost four years in Chicago, I finally crossed off the most dreaded item on my list: I got Illinois license plates.
I can’t even explain how amazing I feel – I was literally giddy when I walked out of the DMV. I found myself whistling a happy little tune, and my step had more bounce than usual. For four years, every time I would look at my old Wisconsin license plates, I would feel a twinge in my belly. The “America’s Dairyland” motto flashed at me like a constant reminder of my failure.
I hadn’t realized how stressful it had been to live a constant lie for so long. I felt just like River Phoenix in Running on Empty – always having to stay one step ahead of the law, never being able to build any lasting relationships with people, singing Fire and Rain with Martha Plimpton… it was killing me slowly.
And it’s not like I never tried to get Illinois license plates – I was all set to get them two years ago, even went down to the DMV, but was then thrown out when I brought the wrong paperwork.
“That’s not your title. That’s your application for a title. You need the actual title.”
“It’s not? Uh… oh. Okay.”
I went home and dug through my “HONDA” file, finding nothing but old registration forms and a maintenance handbook. My title was lost! After a few calls to the dealer, I was sent some paperwork to request a new title. The new paperwork asked a lot of questions I wasn’t prepared to answer, so I filed it away in the “HONDA” file, where it remained for another two years.
Then finally, after waking up once again in a cold sweat after the recurring nightmare where my car gets towed for a simple parking violation, but then I can’t produce the title to claim my car, so then my car gets sold at a police auction for $200, I decided I had better give it one more try. I sat down a few weeks ago and spent an entire day going page by page through every single file cabinet in my apartment. I found something that looked kind of like my vehicle registration, except it had the word “Title” across the top.
So that’s what a title looks like? Huh. I thought it would be, I don’t know, bigger.
I took every document in my files that had anything to do with my Honda – even the oil change schedule – and headed off to the DMV. Beforehand, however, I started concocting my story for when the disgruntled city employee tried to give me a hard time.
“Okay, so according to this form, you brought the car into Illinois in 2002. Why are you just now getting the title transferred?”
“Um… well, see… when I first moved here, I had a job really far north, so I spent most of my time at my parents’ house in Wisconsin. So really, the car spent more time in Wisconsin than it did in Illinois.”
“Oh, is that right? Well, why don’t I just call your parents right now and ask them? Is that what you want me to do?”
“No wait – don’t call them! Don’t call my parents! Okay, fine! I lied! My car never spent time there – it was always in Chicago!”
“Okay, we’ve got a Code Orange here. Repeat – Code Orange! Auction off her car immediately.”

I nervously wiped the sweat from my upper lip as I walked through the doors. I was told to first talk to the revenue department. There was only one man ahead of me, and his paperwork wasn’t filled out correctly. I quickly double checked mine as the woman with a Russian accent yelled, “Next in line!”
“Okay, so you drove the car for at least 90 days in Wisconsin before moving to Illinois?”
“Uh, yes.”
That’s it, Jenny. Keep your answers short and sweet. Criminals talk too much – that’s always how they get caught.
“All right, then you don’t have to pay any additional taxes. Just take this paperwork over to the audit department.”
I glanced from side to side, a bit in disbelief, and said, “That’s it? Okay, thanks so much!”
At the audit department, I had a choice of two employees, and went with the young ditsy looking one. I laughed as she sassed her older, no-nonsense boss. I didn’t get impatient as she took two calls while reviewing my paperwork. I joked with her about how everyone leaves the Special Darks, as she lamented the lack of Krackels in the department candy dish.
She told me I owed $143, and pointed me to the cashier. Just as I turned, ready to run full-speed over to the cashier, she stopped me. I felt sick.
“Oh wait. You left this part blank – where did you get your car?”
I didn’t look up, but just mumbled, “Dealer. In Milwaukee.”
“Okay, that’s all I need.”
I actually did a Tiger Woods arm pump when I walked out the door with my new plates in hand, my new title to arrive in three to four weeks. As soon as I got home, I called my friend Natasha to share the good news.
“Cool! So did you already put your new plates on?”
“Kind of. I got the back one on fine, but the bolts on my front plate are rusted solid, so I couldn’t get it off.”
“So wait – now you have one Wisconsin plate and one Illinois plate?”
“Pretty much.”
“Oh that’s gotta be illegal. You’re totally going to get towed!”
And me without my title.
* * *
So in addition to this being a cautionary tale for all you procrastinators out there, this also seemed like an excellent opportunity to have another Opinion Poll!
Question: Which simple task has been sitting on your To Do list for ages, and slowly eats you away from the inside?
1. License plate renewal
2. Dentist/doctor appointment
3. Haircut appointment
4. Oil change
5. Cleaning out closet
6. Calling relative/old friend
7. Other (please explain)

Opinion Poll: The Entry In Which I Become Your Sworn Enemy

I didn’t set out to become your sworn enemy. I mean, does anyone, really? I can’t imagine anyone wakes up and says, “Today I want to make at least one person hate me. Hopefully more.”
It’s not like that. It’s just that sometimes we have to do things that we know might hurt other people, but our reasons for doing that thing are really valid and outweigh the risk of making you hate us. And also, maybe I am still harboring a bit of resentment over the whole Turkish Delights thing, but that’s really not the point.
Perhaps it will help you appreciate where I’m coming from if I provide a bit of background. For the past three days, about every hour or so, I have caught myself humming a little tune. A musical interlude to break up the monotony of my day. Just a simple refrain that swirls around in my head. Over. And over. And over. And over.
And then I’ll be pulled into an important business meeting, and I’ll start thinking about deliverables and action items and takeaways, and I’ll get back to my desk, and then it will start all over again.
You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful, it’s true.

That’s it. That’s all I know of the song. And that’s all I know of the song because that’s all they play on the ad for this mofo’s new CD, now on sale at Wal-Mart. And in the ad, which I assume is a clip from his video, he sings in this whiney sensitive boy slow-mo look at me singing in the rain crap while he slowly unzips his little hoodie. If I hadn’t made a resolution that 2006 would be all about more love, I would kill this man and mount his head on a pole for all future whiney boy singers to behold. Like John Mayer and his mush mouth.
So anyway, this got me thinking. Barring a frontal lobotomy, how could I get this song out of my head? I emailed my friend Natasha for advice:
>>>You have to sing the whole song all the way through.
>>>But I don’t know the whole song. I don’t want to know the whole song!
>>>It’s the only way.
>>>Well, what if you just gave me another song? Like, what’s a song that gets stuck in your head all the time? Maybe I can just take that one instead.
>>>DAMN YOU!! Now you made me think of the songs I’ve been trying to get out of my head!
>>>Look, Nat. The damage is done, so just give me some ideas.
>>>Fine. Push It by Salt n Pepa, but mostly just the intro “doo doo doo / doo doo / doo / doo doo doo doo doo.” And also the “yo yo yo yo baby pop yeah you, come here give me a kiss.”
>>>Good one! That’s way better than “You’re beautiful…” DAMN IT! Now that’s back in my head! Yo yo yo yo baby pop. I’m gonna ask Dee-Dee, too. Later!

>>>Hey Dee. What are some songs that get stuck in your head and you can’t get them out?
>>>Pretty much every song Nat sings when I ride to work with her.
>>>Such as…?
>>>”Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes. Turn around. Every now and then I fall apart! And I need you now tonight! And I need you more than ever!” You know the rest. Oh yeah, and Black Cat by Janet Jackson.
>>>Bonnie Tyler’s a genius. But what the hell is Black Cat? I don’t think I know that one.
>>>You know it. You’ll know it when I hum it for you and it gets stuck in your head for three days…
After chatting with Nat and Dee-Dee, I decided that I should adopt the same attitude about annoying songs that I have about syphilis: if I’m going crazy, I’m taking someone with me.
Which is where you come in. I now firmly believe that the only way to remove an insanely irritating song from your brain is to put it into someone else’s, and perhaps replace it with another, hopefully slightly less irritating song. Behold – this week’s OPINION POLL! I’m actually going to offer fewer choices than normal because I think the most important part of this poll is for you to exorcise your own personal song loop demons.
So please don’t hate me if, later today, you catch yourself humming “You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful, it’s true,” over and over again like a crazy person. I had to save myself.
Question: Which annoying-as-all-get-out song gets stuck in your head and plays over and over and over again until you want to stab forks in your ears, but that wouldn’t even help because they’ve traced the song and it’s coming from inside your brain?
1. You’re Beautiful, by that mofo
2. Total Eclipse of the Heart, by Bonnie Tyler
3. Push It, by Salt n Pepa
4. It’s a Small World, by Walt Disney
5. Theme song from the Menard’s commercial (“You save big money, you save big money, when you shop Menard’s!”)
6. Other (please explain)

Opinion Poll: Checked Out

These past few days have been really trying on me emotionally. In a span of 48 hours, I renounced my US citizenship, became a Canadian, was alternately embraced and mocked by my Canadian brethren, and fell into a deep spiral of depression fueled by the resulting identity crisis.
There has been a lot of heated political debate on this site, so I wanted to calm things down a bit and open up the forum to everyone, because this should be a place where we can come together not as Americans or Australians, Belgians or Brazilians, but simply as people. Open your hearts and just imagine it, will you?
So to switch gears from talking about me and how I feel about my new citizenship, I want to spend some time talking about me and how I feel about grocery shopping.
It all began last weekend: while gathering all the necessary ingredients to make my world-famous turkey chili, I caught myself staring into the baskets and carts of my fellow shoppers. Now, this cart-staring isn’t a new phenomenon – I do it whenever I grocery shop – but something was different this time. I guess this was the first time I realized that I was doing more than just satisfying idle curiosity.
By examining the contents of other people’s baskets, I was unconsciously forming a snap judgment about whether or not I was attracted to that person. What I also discovered was that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what attracted me and what repelled me. Case in point:

  • Red grapes – attractive
  • Red Delicious apples – not attractive
  • FrankenBerry – attractive
  • Frosted Flakes – not attractive
  • Pepperoni pizza – attractive
  • Hamburger pizza – not attractive
    At first glance, you might think that I’m only attracted to someone buying things I like to eat. I considered that theory myself for a while, except that I don’t always like the things I found myself attracted to. Like, for instance, I would never in a million years eat FrankenBerry cereal, but would be completely charmed by someone who did.
    I wanted to test my theory, so I started walking around the grocery store and casually perused the contents of everyone’s carts. What I found was that, regardless of their appearance, social status or apparent mental stability, I had a visceral response to people based solely upon the contents of their carts.
    Category 1: Wildly Charming

  • Grape Nehi
  • A single coconut
  • Pop Tarts with sprinkles
  • Sprinkles
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots with stems
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon
    Category 2: Not a Second Glance

  • Orange Crush
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pancake batter
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Windmill cookies
  • Strawberries
  • Bag of baby carrots
  • Bacardi Breezers
    Category 3: Jury’s Still Out

  • Goober Grape
    For some reason, I simply cannot categorize this one. It seems absolutely repulsive as a food item, but it’s just so weird that I found myself oddly intrigued by the fact that someone was actually buying it.
    So all this analysis leads me to my latest Opinion Poll! Tell me your secrets! Voice your opinion! Bare your soul!
    Question: Which of the following grocery items would attract you most to the person in front of you at the checkout counter?
    1. Marshmallow Peeps
    2. Count Chocula cereal
    3. Star fruit
    4. Root beer
    5. A single coconut
    6. Shoe polish
    7. Brussel sprouts on the stalk
    8. Other (please explain)

  • Two Thumbs Up!

    On Christmas Eve, I was sitting on the couch with my five year old nephew watching A Christmas Story, which had been playing for 24 hours straight, when it came to the infamous swearing scene. The main character is helping his dad fix a flat tire when he suddenly drops all the lug nuts in the snow and screams, in slow motion, “Ohhhh fuuuuuddddgggge!” But he didn’t really say “fudge.”
    “Aunt Jenny, why did that boy get in so much trouble for saying ‘fudge?’ Is that a bad word?”
    “No… it’s not. But, I don’t think he really said ‘fudge.’ I think he said a swear word.”
    “Oh. What one?”
    “A really, really bad one.”
    “What is it?”
    “It’s too bad. I can’t even say it.”
    “Just say it. I won’t tell anyone. I promise!”
    “I can’t. Really – it’s just a bad, bad word.”
    A few minutes later, Adam looked over at me and said, “Was it the ‘F’ word? I bet it was the ‘F’ word.”
    I choked a bit on the cookie I was eating, and then asked, “How do you know about the ‘F’ word? Who told you that?”
    “I don’t know. I think maybe it was daddy. It’s like oh, fuuu… right? But I can’t say the end part. But it’s like oh, fuuu… right Aunt Jenny?”
    “Okay, that’s enough of that. Here. Eat some fudge.”
    I got off pretty easy with this one, since I’ve accidentally flipped on some highly inappropriate TV shows in the presence of my nephews, like the Real World Marathon. (“Why are those people taking their clothes off in the hot tub? Is that her husband? Why are those two girls kissing?”)
    For a moment or two, I worried about scarring the poor boy for life, but then I remembered that my mother took my brother and me to see Animal House when I was seven years old and he was nine. She then promptly paraded us back out of the theater as soon as one of the myriad sex scenes began, peppered with many an Oh, fuuu…. To this day she swears she didn’t know what the movie was about: “But John Belushi was always so funny as the Samurai guy on SNL! And they kept showing food fights in the previews.”
    I started to ask some friends of mine about their most awkward movie experiences and we collectively compiled a list. A list which shall launch the first Opinion Poll!™ of 2006.
    Question: What is your most awkward, squirm-inducing movie watching moment?

    1. Watching Blue Velvet with your parents because you just loved that Twin Peaks show. Yeah. Twin Peaks didn’t have Dennis Hopper sniffing nitrous oxide while having sex with Isabella Rossellini and screaming “Mommy!” [submitted by Jenny]
    2. Seeing your mother laugh a bit too enthusiastically at the When Harry Met Sally orgasm scene. Because really, do any of us want to know that our parents even know what an orgasm is? [submitted by Nat]
    3. Bringing a first date to see Kids. There’s nothing like a sweet tale of HIV positive teenagers having drunken, drugged out sex fests to make a good first impression on a girl. [submitted by Seamus]
    4. Watching The Brown Bunny alone and feeling so sick when you realize that the final sequence in the film is essentially full-on porn. [submitted by Dr. Greene]
    5. Recommending Body Heat to a client because of the amazing plot twists, forgetting that 75% of the movie involves Kathleen Turner in various sexual positions. [submitted by Jenny, as experienced by someone who might have been her mother]
    6. Other – please explain. [submitted by you]

    Return of a Classic

    While I was contemplating Wednesday’s entry about the politics of book clubs, I was talking with my friend Vivian and she revealed something to me that was so shocking and upsetting that I almost dropped the phone. Vivian is one of the most well-read people I know, so I was a bit speechless when, after I confessed to never having read Salinger, she dropped this bombshell on me:
    “Well, I never read anything by Judy Blume.”
    [uncomfortably long silence]
    “What? You’re joking, right?”
    “No, I just never got around to it.”
    “Come on, Viv. You must have read something of hers. Every girl under the age of 18 has read at least three of her books.”
    “Not me.”
    “Uh uh.”
    “Okay, I know you read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. You had to have read that.”
    “Jenny, no. None of them.”
    “Well, then how did you know what to do when you got your period?”
    “I read lots of science books, mostly. And Nancy Drew.”
    So this got me thinking – maybe the new theme of my bookclub will be “Something old, something new.” We’ll read a classic that we’ve never read before, and a classic that we have already read. But all the classics we have already read will be Judy Blume novels.
    I’ll have to strategically partner up the old books with the new, for optimum reading enjoyment. At some point, I’ll have to expand beyond Judy Blume, but this should keep us going for at least a few months.
    So with that, my completely non-Thanksgiving themed Thanksgiving day Opinion Poll is this:
    Q: Which of the following book pairings would make you most want to join my new and exciting book club? (Alternate suggestions are welcomed. Seriously, folks, what the hell am I going to read? Okay, fine – you don’t even have to pair your suggestion up with a Judy Blume novel. My only requirement is that you not suggest James Joyce. Seriously. I’ve had Ulysses sitting on my bookshelf for over ten years and have never made it past page 50.):

    1. Moby Dick / Blubber
    2. Romeo & Juliet / Forever
    3. The Scarlett Letter / Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
    4. Mrs. Dalloway / Wifey
    5. The Great Gatsby / Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great
    6. Catch-22 / Then Again, Maybe I Won’t
    7. Other (please explain)

    PS – Thanks, Christine for suggesting an opinion poll!
    PPS – Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Honestly, I think you are some of the coolest, smartest, funniest, kindest people I’ve never met, and you make this so much fun for me! And that’s not just the pre-Thanksgiving scotch talking, honest!