Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Falls

Forgive me for I intend to skim over the details of last night. The downtown scene has officially gone sour! I hit up all the usual bars -- Rosen's, Harvey's, The Annex, The Drink. It was same old, same old.

One noteworthy bit was the Independence Day decorations at The Annex. The place was adorned with cheap, plastic red, white, and blue star spiral-shaped mobiles. The cocktail waitresses, bartenders and go-go dancers were decked out in military fatigues. But the strangest of all were these life-like soldiers in combat gear equipped with rifles. There were two, one on each podium, positioned on the go-go dancer platforms. It was creepy and odd; I'm still haunted by those images.

A couple humorous things I witnessed were three different sloppy drunk chicks taking a dive -- two on the dance floor, one in the middle of a street intersection. Another source of entertainment was a dude on the dance floor of The Annex with the worst hairstyle I've ever seen. I don't know if he was trying to conceal a receding hairline or what, but his hair, which looked like the result of a perm gone awry, was combed forward in the most awkward fashion. My guy friend dubbed it "the waterfall."

That pretty much brings me up to speed to today where it was a relaxing day at the Savage Lifetime pool with friends. I did a careless job with the sunscreen application as the red streaks and patches on my arms and shoulders indicate. Oh well. Tonight I'm lookin' forward to Ratatouille! I'd write more, but I have a sleepy kitty on my lap. Speaking of, I may need a cat nap myself.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cell Phone Etiquette 101

I screen my calls. Who doesn't?!? It's one thing to screen calls, but quite another to be on the opposing end, fully aware your call is being screened. If you send me to your voicemail before 6 full rings or 36 seconds, whichever happens first, I know my call is being screened. Don't ask how I know -- I've got a lot of free time. Hence the reason I never send callers to voicemail before the allotted number of rings with the exception of me clumsily hitting the reject key by mistake. Even if it's a case where mitigating circumstances prohibit me from answering my phone, I try not to break this rule for I don't want to concern others I am 1.) avoiding them 2.) upset with them 3.) not in the mood to hear their lame stories.

Cell Phone Etiquette Tip #1: If you're a habitual screener, the least you can do is allow said Rejected Caller the common courtesy of thinking you missed their call rather than dismissed!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Step 1

I dug through my plastic container of miscellaneous notebooks and papers to find a 3-ring binder containing my last work-in-progress, a chick lit novel. The good news is I skimmed a couple pages and I didn't absolutely hate it. It does, however, need a great deal of work. The bad news is my last revision was dated 7-14-05. What the fuck have I have been doing the last two years?!?

Deborah's Diet

8:05 am: Bag of Cheeto's
10:20 am: Bag of Grandma's mini vanilla cookies
11:05 am: Slice of pizza and Lay's potato chips
2:32 pm: Bag of Grandma's mini vanilla cookies

So Deborah and her sister started a deal where they must give $1 for every pound they gain at the time of their weigh-in every month. Should we place bets on how much she'll be forking over in total?

Case of Blah's

Much to my dismay, the thrill of this blog is wearing off. For the past couple months, the excitement of coming up with topics to post about overshadowed the grim reality of my horrendous job. I was just happy to have a reason to write and an audience, albeit small, to listen. Alas, back to reality. I realize my job still blows and more importantly, my current career path to writer is the equivalent of me stumbling around blindfolded in a jungle full of wild animals.

Every few months or so, I re-evaluate my goals as a writer and think about what I need to do in order to become serious about my writing, but in the end, my intimidation leads to discouragement as all motivation goes out the window. Oftentimes, I think my life would be so much easier and I would be so much happier if I wasn't cursed with the desire to write. It truly is a curse!

Why couldn't I strive for a clear-cut profession? Even if writers go to school to perfect their craft, it's not like they graduate and become licensed writers. They don't receive a legal document authorizing them to write. Nope, it's not until you see your name in print that you can officially call yourself a writer. And even then, it's a long road to success. Very few make enough to support themselves as full-time writers.

Sorry for the Debbie (not to be confused with Deborah) Downer post, but this is my mood today. I need a wake-up call; time to get my shit together and do some actual writing.

Keepin' it Real

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gnarley Marley

Friendship is a Curious Thing

Do you ever wonder why your friends are friends with you? I can't imagine it's easy being a friend of mine. I'm aloof. My verbal communication skills are virtually non-existent -- just ask anyone who's attempted to confront me. It's not in my nature to be generous or compassionate. I suppose I can be funny at times, but only if you're into sarcasm and dry humor, bordering downright cruel. According to my own mother, "mean-spirited." If you consider that a positive trait, the only other attribute I can think of is I'm very easy-going. I'm up for anything whether it be clubbing or camping! Other than that, not sure what I bring to the table.

Seriously, why are you still friends with me?? I can't help but wonder...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Not your Ordinary Sunday

I feel a tad foolish about my latest adventure. Only one of my friends knows because she was with me, but the rest of my friends will most likely read it here first. I did something yesterday that will stay with me the rest of my life!

Ever since I was 16 or so, I've said I was going to get a tattoo. Lo and behold, 10 years later, I can finally say I followed through on that statement. I was getting a little worried that ship had sailed for fear I was simply getting too old. Arguably, I probably am too old, but dammit, I was determined to get one! Plus I can check another item off my 'Things to do Before I Die' list! I'm on a roll this year...

It's been years of back and forth on my part. Indecision plagues me in every day life. Anyway, I always liked star tattoos and I wanted the "tramp stamp" even though I'm way past the age of 18. I really liked the lower back tribal tattoos, but I figured I probably wouldn't like that in 10 years. So...I just got three small stars tattooed on my lower back, and boy, are they low. Lower than I anticipated. Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself, so I'll backpedal a bit.

My experienced tattooed friend agreed to go to the tattoo parlor with me. We forever have a bond now. I'll think of her every time I see my tattoo. :) The place is called Aloha Monkey in Burnsville and it's where she went for her last tattoo. Lucky girl is going to the Bahamas next week with her hubby and in-laws so she couldn't get a tat since you can't swim for three weeks. She actually wanted to get one on her toe and then wear a band-aid over it, but this tattoo place refuses to do them on toes because they said it looks like a blob over time.

So I kind of knew I wanted the stars beforehand, but I did look around at the pictures. There were a couple cool tribal suns I saw, but I didn't know if that was something I would want forever. Also, I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I was incredibly nervous for the unknown. I was super curious to know what getting a tattoo felt like. My friend described it as deep scraping of the skin which made me very anxious to get one, as I'm sure you can imagine.

I had an older female tattoo artist. She said she would place the stars where she thought they should go and then I could decide if I liked the placement. I kind of assumed she knew best so I didn't really question it at the time, but when I got home last night and really took a look in the mirror, I realized the bottom star is really, really low! Not so sure I like that, but not much I can do now!

So the pain was not nearly as bad as I was expecting. It hardly hurt at all -- there was just one point where I actually flinched. It helped that I didn't have to face the needle because I wouldn't have wanted to witness that. When I got my tongue pierced way back when (twice, in fact), I closed my eyes both times. It may sound weird, but afterwards I felt relieved more than anything. I was glad I had finally done something I'd been saying I was going to do for soooooooo long. And I felt good knowing what it felt like to get a tattoo. I satisfied my curiosity!

Another reason I decided on plain stars -- it's just the outline of stars by the way, in black, was because I intend to add on to it in the future. Perhaps color in the stars or add little sunbursts, etc. The possibilities are endless! My friend plans to go back and get these really cool sparrows on her lower back, but she has to save up money first and get an estimate from a guy who didn't happen to be working at the time. I'll probably go back when she does to add more because I already think my tattoo looks pretty boring. If I wouldn't have been such a wuss, I probably would've gotten something more intricate, but at least I know what to expect now.

I also considered getting the stars on my pelvic area, but I was too scared for that. My friend has one there and she said she had to lie down and stay super still while taking shallow breaths. I'd have been way too nervous for my first time! But maybe next time, I'd have to hope I didn't get fat though because that would look terrible if it got all stretched out!

Speaking of fat, I'm not posting a picture yet of my tattoo. I ran outside today in this miserable heat and I don't know that I've ever felt that self-conscious before! All the hard-core female runners were out in their sport bras, sporting their six-pack abs. My friends get pissed at me, so lemme clarify, I don't think I'm fat, but I think I could stand to lose at least five pounds!! I would never feel comfortable enough to jog in just a sports bra because my stomach is NOT flat.

Another thing I want to say in relation to this is that ALL females have a complex about their weight. I have some super skinny friends that rattle off things they dislike about their body at the drop of a hat!!

Anyway, I got a little off-track, but my tattoo seems to be healing pretty nicely. My friend said it would scab over, but I'm thinking mine may not. Still, I'm going to wait a bit for pics. You'll have to use your imagination in the meantime!

My tattoo artist asked what my mom would think of my tattoo and I responded with, "Well, I'm 26 so I don't think she can say much." To which she replied, "You'd be surprised. I once was tattooing a guy of legal age down in Florida and his mother physically yanked him out of the chair during the middle of it and they left." Crazy! I think my parents will just shake their heads and ask why...

After getting inked, which only took about ten minutes, my friend and I headed over to another friend's house to grill out. We all went to high school together and it was just FUN to hang out and laugh with them. I can't remember the last time just the three of us were together -- probably not since high school. It's funny how so much time can pass and yet, you get together and it's as if nothing's changed. I laughed so hard I got a side ache multiple times last night. It felt really great; I desperately miss that camaraderie.

p.s. Marley hates my computer -- he wants my undivided attention!

The Royal Treatment

I know, I'm behind on posting. Busy weekend! Here goes.

Even though I swore I was sick and tired of downtown bars, guess where I found myself Saturday evening? Just can't stay away. I met my friend at our usual meeting place, the parking ramp across from The Quest.

We made our rounds, starting with Rosen's, then Old Chicago, and ending with The Annex. When all three bars were dead, we were about to call it a night at 11 pm. Dejected, we headed to our cars, but during the walk, both managed to find back-up plans. She drove to Major's in Bloomington to meet up with one of her friends and I called GC, who was on her way to Bellanotte so I backtracked that direction.

GC was with her best friend and her cousin, whom I'd met the night at Acme Comedy Club. She happened to be celebrating her 21st birthday. As if I needed another reason to feel old!

GC and her BFF are regulars at Bella so they've gotten to know a few of the older gentlemen who frequent the place. After we all bought our first round of drinks, mine an $8.50 Captain Coke, the drinks just kept on coming from different men! The owner of one of the downtown clubs bought us drink #2. Halfway through the drink, he ordered a round of lemon drops. Approximately a minute and a half later, we were toasting Washington Apples. Barely had time to blink between shots!

Then we moved on to club NV to meet up with their other friends. Mixed feelings about the name of the club. GC and her BFF know the bouncers and door staff so there was no waiting in line or cover charge. While waiting in line at the bar, GC began talking to the random in front of her. When he asked what she wanted, she told him, "3 Grey Goose/pears." Nice work on her part! It was quite possibly the best drink I've ever had. Tasted like candy!

After the delicious drink, GC decided we should make a stop at the club, Aqua, right next door. Rather than wait in line, GC went right up to the bouncer and said, "Are you from North Dakota?" After they bonded over ND talk, the bouncer unclipped the velvet rope and let us in.

The embarrassing part was when we didn't have enough cash for cover. It was $10 a person. We were about to leave -- I was halfway down the exit stairs when GC called me back and we snuck past the door check woman.

Aqua was pretty cool. GC immediately started chatting up a random in VIP who invited us to join him and his crew -- half were women who shot us evil, bitchy looks the entire time. VIP dude poured each of us a shot of straight vodka so we grabbed a pitcher of orange juice to make mini screwdrivers in a double shot glass! I hadn't had a screwdriver since college -- it was a little rough going down, but we were troopers.

After our stint in VIP, we went back to NV for more dancing and fun. I assume I probably had another drink, but it's a little hazy. I do remember cutting myself off by turning down a shot when a Bella guy showed up and insisted on buying Birthday Girl another shot.

There weren't any funny guy stories, but I was approached by a Wingwoman. She pointed to her friend and said, "This is my friend. He's a really nice guy and I just want him to meet a cute girl with a career and a good head on her shoulders and you look like that." When I asked why she didn't hook up with him, she said he was like a brother to her.

She tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Isn't she beautiful?" and introduced us. She kept repeating that. He and I talked a little, but then I told him I had to find my friends, even though I knew exactly where they were, dancing in a large group just a few feet away. So the entire time we were dancing, he and his friends were standing right next to us. Kind of awkward, but oh well.

He was "okay" as far as attractiveness, but I was super turned off by the Wingwoman doing his work for him. It made me wonder if there was something wrong with him. Why did he need a girl friend to pick up women for him? Was he shy? Desperate? Either way, turn-off!

It was yet another crazy fun night with GC. In a brief phone conversation the following day, she claimed that was the most she'd had to drink in four years. Meanwhile, I was thinking, wow, I wasn't even the least bit hungover! Hmm, not sure if that's a good or bad thing...

1408 Brings Thrills

Horror isn't my genre so I'll spare you the review this time, but my mom and I saw 1408 (based on the Stephen King short story) this weekend. Very good! How can you not like John Cusack??

Friday, June 22, 2007

When the Shirt Doesn't Fit...

Earlier this week, Deborah said she tried on a cute, pink button-down top at Wal-mart, but the largest size they carried (18-22) didn't fit. Her solution: buy candy! Depressed and discouraged, she made a beeline for the candy aisle, purchasing several bags of assorted chocolates and the new dark chocolate Snickers bar she'd been searching for the past few weeks.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Career Motivation

In a very uncharacteristic move on my part, I asked for a raise yesterday. Shall I reap any benefits as a result? No clue. It was my second request and I've threatened to leave so many times, my company knows I'm full of empty threats. They don't take me seriously and why should they? By now, they've come to realize I'm seemingly content to stay at a lousy, dead-end job they could train a monkey to do. Mind you, I did ask a new boss (one of four) who genuinely respects and cares about his subordinates so here's to keeping my fingers crossed!

Last week, I chatted with a friend online regarding my work dilemma. He suggested setting a goal of finding a new job by Labor Day, which got me to thinking about the role motivation plays in life's decisions.

Friend: it's not like you're going from great job ---> great job
how would you describe your job?

depends, off-hand i'd say terrible because it's not challenging
but some days i enjoy not having to work, no pressure etc

Friend: sooooooo ur just lazy?
: P

part of it
if i'm going to work hard, i'd at least like to do something meaningful though and corporate life will never fulfill that
or at least get paid tons of money in exchange for hard work

A new job by Labor Day sounds feasible. But here's what it comes down to: I don't care. Personally, I wouldn't get anything more out of another job unless it involved writing or working with animals. Granted, I'd love to make more money. Who wouldn't? But if I made more money, what would I do with it? If I were smart, save or invest; I'm realistic: I'd just spend more. However, over the last year, I've had my sights set on purchasing a condo or loft, preferably in the downtown area. For the meantime, my motivation stems from that aspiration. That's not to say I won't later cop out from the huge commitment attached to owning property.

On the flip side, for as much as I complain, you may be surprised to learn I don't always find my job that bad. For one, if it weren't for my boring job, my blog may not exist. If anything, I'd probably only post half of what I do now. In that respect, I am grateful for my dull, mind-numbing job. That, and all the Deborah material.

Here's the part where we're all reminded of Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) in Office Space.

Peter Gibbons: The thing is Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.

Bob Porter: Don't...don't care?

Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's something else Bob, I have eight different bosses right now.

Bob Porter: Eight?

Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Deborah Does Grammar

"Why doesn't nobody feel sorry for me?"

"Ouch! That hurted!"

"Nothin's not going over."

"I tripped and almost felled."

"That's mine's."

"He balded his head." (balded = shaved)

Lucky Nose Rings

At some point, I plan to start a blog/column about dating and relationships. I've been addicted to this one, Single in the Suburbs, told by writer Sara Susannah Katz, a divorced, middle-aged mother of two. I love the way she uses her neurotic, witty humor to detail her online dating experiences.

Excerpt from her last installment:

Sunday, 1:30 a.m.
I brush my teeth, take my meds, and as I’m washing my face I realize that something is missing.

My nose ring.

Oh no. It must have fallen out in Kevin’s bed. I’ll mention it to him tomorrow but the chance of finding that thing — a silver post and teeny rhinestone — is almost nonexistent. I don’t want the hole to close up so I find an earring and try poking it through the hole. OUCH! I can’t even find the hole now. I take a deep breath and try again. OUCH! This is agony. I run downstairs and get an ice cube to numb the spot. One…two…three… OUCH! I am tempted to just let the damn thing close up, but this little nose ring seems to have brought me good fortune and so, like a baseball player who insists on wearing his lucky underwear, I will wear this nose ring even if it kills me.

I finally get it in on the third try and now my whole face is throbbing.

Priceless!! The exact same scenario happened to a friend of mine in college, almost word for word. Freshmen year, as a declaration of our newfound independence, we went to the local tattoo parlor in town where she got her nose pierced and I got my tongue pierced.

To her delight, a few weeks later, she hooked up with a guy she'd had her eye on since the first week of college. The only difference in her version was she interrupted their hot and heavy make-out session to puke in the sink of his dorm room, but it was back to business after that minor mishap! Romantic, no?

Hours later, she stumbled home, disheveled hair a mess, to find us sitting in the center of our dorm section. After getting the dirrrrty details, another friend of mine suddenly blurted out, "Where's your nose ring?"

Shocked and horrified to discover her nose ring missing, my friend was forced to shove a stud earring through her nose. I can't recall if we persuaded her to phone him right then and there, or if she waited until the following afternoon, but she later called to ask if he'd found her nose ring in his bed, or perhaps beside the sink. No such luck.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sweaty Shirt Fund

I almost walked into the guys' locker room yesterday. The club near work is under construction so they temporarily switched the mens' and womens' locker rooms and boy, is their side disgusting. Also due to construction, the club will not be open June 22-29 so that's just fantastic news right as I begin my marathon training. Running sucked yesterday. 5 days off + drinking + late-night, greasy food = bad.

I fully intend to make a suggestion to Lifetime for a Sweaty Shirt Fund, which will benefit not only those forced to wring out their shirt after working out, but will also vastly improve the overall experience for every member of the club. You see, there have been numerous occasions I've felt physically ill when faced with the sight of this:

If this is you, do yourself and everyone else a favor by investing in nylon or alternative moisture-absorbing fabric gym apparel! I know it's more expensive, but trust me, no one wants to get within five feet of someone who looks like they've just had a bucket of water hurled at them. And don't even get me started on smell...

Oh, and if you profusely sweat, gray is NOT a good color!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Why Men Don't Ask for Directions

If you thought I would enlighten you, you thought wrong. I was merely stating the hypothetical question we may never know the answer to.

Here's one response I heard recently from a male friend:

"It's admitting defeat."

Any thoughts?? Guys?

Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten Clothing Line

After a friend informed me the cute tank top in her myspace photo was from Sarah Jessica Parker's new clothing line, Bitten, I felt compelled to check it out. So yesterday I did just that.

My very first Steve & Barry's experience was a couple years ago in Detroit when I visited the ex during his project for work at the time. During the day while he was working, there wasn't much to do other than go to the mall, conveniently within walking distance of the hotel. I mostly recall $8 college sweatshirts and my astonishment at how Steve & Barry's could sell clothing for such unbelievable prices!

They opened a Steve & Barry's in the Burnsville Center about a year ago, but yesterday was my first look-see. I must say, their style of clothing has really evolved from two years ago. They now offer a much wider variety of apparel. I've heard people express disappointment with SJP's line -- don't expect to find clothes like she wears on Sex & the City, but do expect to find very reasonably priced clothes. Style-wise, the clothes are reminiscent of The Gap or Old Navy, but a step above Old Navy with more affordable prices.

Of all things, the worst part about my Bitten experience was SJP's voice taunting me the entire time. The mounted, flat-screen TV's continually showed her talking about Bitten and her desire to create affordable clothing for women of all shapes and sizes. Blah, blah, blah. It got to be annoying real quick, but at the same time, it's so hard not to love her! Or more accurately, we all know and love Carrie Bradshaw and struggle to differentiate the two! Especially those like me who watch SATC on DVD like there's no tomorrow.

You be the judge. Here's what I came out with yesterday:

I debated over this -- jean jackets don't look right on me, but this was so cute, I couldn't resist. I love the flared sleeves best. Only $14.98!!

Just a plain 3/4 length button-down shirt. Nothing fancy or extra, but heck, only $9.98 so I stocked up for my work wardrobe. I got black, white, and pale pink.

This black/metallic silver striped tote/bag caught my fancy for $9.98.

Side note: I probably would have walked out with super cute, dark denim jeans as well, but they were out of my size!! I was bummed.

SJP's Manifesto:

"It is every woman's inalienable right to have a pulled-together, stylish, confident wardrobe with money left over to live. Get bitten."

Manifesto? Inalienable? I wonder if they have a low-budget for writers. I strongly dislike the verbiage; leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Carrie -- aren't you supposed to be a writer or something??

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Marley's First Vet Visit

Welcome to Marley's Corner. So I bought this cheap thing on sale at Target last week. Not one to pay much attention to directions, it wasn't until I nearly had the thing built that I discovered a vital blue plastic part was missing. Alas, I took it apart, returned to Target for an even exchange and got to re-do it all over again.

Marley seems to enjoy his little playhouse. When he's in this lower fort area, he likes to chase his own tail.

He had his first vet visit last Friday. The vet techs and vets were all "ooohing" and "ahhhing" over him. I would've thought they'd be so accustomed to seeing cute kittens and puppies all day that it wouldn't faze them, but I suppose they don't call them animal lovers for nothin'.

The vet said he is definitely part Abyssinian. After Googling some pics, I can really tell that's the case. Especially with his coloring and big ears. Speaking of, they discovered he has ear mites. Ew! So they said it's not a big deal, but they gave me some medication to apply twice each day for a week to get rid of the bugs.

At least his first vet exam is out of the way. He had his second distemper shot, rabies vaccination, feline leukemia & FIV test and complimentary nail trim.

It's Blogging Day

Indeed, it is. Also Father's Day, so happy day to any fathers out there, in case you're reading.

Last night was one long, tortuous buzzkill. Bitchy drunk side was out in full force -- just ask the front door bouncer at the Imperial Room. When I handed him my drivers' license, he ordered me to smile, which aggravated me even more because I thought he was double-checking my I.D. Turns out, I just looked pissed off so he thought he'd point it out! How thoughtful of him...

It was a night of dowtown bar-hopping: Old Chicago, Champps, Imperial Room, The Lone Tree. And it didn't come to an end at 2, for we cabbed it to Little Tijuana's. Fatties need food. The neverending buzzkills refused to cease particularly when my friend and I sat outside for 45 minutes after Little T's waiting for a cab. Eventually, it got to be too late, no cabs in sight, so I had to call for one.

It wasn't as terrible of a night as I made it out to sound, but sometimes having no plan really blows. Weekend tally:

Buzzkills: 1
Fun: 0

Oh yeah, my friend forced me to dance with some dork who approached us. He was the worst dancer ever. His only "move" was to twirl me -- I felt like such an idiot doing the stupid twirl. Pretty sure the rest of my friends were having a lot more fun as they mocked me in the corner of the dance floor.

Knocked Up: Funnier than your Average Flick

A friend of mine was gracious enough to see this movie for a second time in a week avec moi. Yup, can you believe it? I went to a movie, not the bar, on a Friday night!

This movie got talked up quite a bit from friends of mine. Indeed, it was rather humorous, but when you hear rave reviews, you have such high expectations. I think The 40-Year-Old Virgin reigns superior, but Knocked Up is a close second.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Jay Baruchel from the show Undeclared on the big screen! The show centered around Jay's character, Steven Karp, and his friends as they endured trial-by-error college freshmen experiences. Unfortunately, it was cancelled after one season despite it's true-to-life hilarity. Jay, his character in Knocked Up, had his funny moments, but the slacker friends (all go by their actual first names and buds in real life) of Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) lacked the character development of the uniquely defined personalities in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

However, there were two secondary characters with terrific lines: Jodi (Charlyne Yi) and Jill (Kristen Wiig). Jodi is the stoner girlfriend of Ben's buddy, Martin and Jill works at E! with Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl). Both Yi and Wiig deliver side-splitting one-liners.

One thing that annoyed me in the film was how characters occasionally went apeshit on one another for no apparent reason, which I didn't find funny. It came off as more of an excuse for profanity and obscenities, which granted may have been comical, but didn't seem very realistic.

It was fun to see three guys play minor roles from The Office: Steve Carell, B.J. Novak, and Craig Robinson. I wonder if they are all friends of director Judd Apatow.

What are you waiting for? Go see Knocked Up!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sex: It is what it is

Question: Do people in their 20's use the term "making love?"

I sure as hell hope not. That sounds so terribly old-fashioned -- like what your dad said to your mom the first time know. *Shudder* Moving on...

I could research the origin of the term, but I'm lazy. I imagine it dates back to when sex was much more of a taboo topic. C'mon people, we turn a blind eye at violence and dropping f-bombs in the entertainment industry, how long before use of the words "making love" is obsolete?

If a friend told me they "made love" to their husband, boyfriend or random one-night stand, my obituary would read: wearingthepants, 26, passed away unexpectedly from maniacal fit of uncontrollable laughter. Survived by adorable kitten, Marley.

While sex is part of love, it's not the equivalent of love. If you're doing it with a stranger or someone you're not in love with, you certainly aren't "making love." You're having sex. If you want to get technical, the only thing you're potentially "making" is a baby. Or loud noises. One friend is said to sound like Chewbacca. But I digress.

I could compile a long list of alternate words for "making love" but it's hardly necessary. So why not call it what it is? Sex. Nothing more, nothing less.

Depressed? Get Married.

"A recent study suggests that marriage provides a greater psychological boost to depressed people than to happy people, even if the marriage is so-so."

Interesting article.

"It could be that marriage provides the companionship and emotional support needed to help alleviate depression."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Father's Day Gifts

Do you have yours yet? This morning I received an email from Bath & Body Works promoting their semi-annual sale for Father's Day gifts.

My dad used bar soap to wash his hair before he met my mom. He's never worn cologne a day in his life. I'm sure Bath & Body's Cool Spring modern scent foaming shave gel, body spray and shower gel rank at the top of his list!!

Marley's First Purr

I thrash around in my sleep too much for Marley, for he's been sleeping under the bed. But during my last hour of sleep this morning, he jumped up on the bed and made himself comfortable by curling his body around my neck, assuming a spooning position to sleep. When I awoke, I heard him purr for the first time! Awww. He purred again when I arrived home from work and knelt down to pet him. I've only had him a week and I can already tell he's growing -- he's filled out some and looks longer!! His high-pitched meow sounds funny...he needs to go through puberty!

Mary-Kate Olsen Joins Cast of Weeds

"Olsen will play Tara, a devoted Christian girl living in the newly developed megachurch community Majestic who becomes a love interest for Nancy Botwin's (Mary-Louise Parker) son Silas (Hunter Parrish). Olsen will appear in 10 of the 15 episodes of the show's third season, which premieres August 13."

Interesting, no?

I've got exactly two months to find someone with Showtime willing to welcome me into their home every week for my Weeds fix.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Marley & Me

Seriously, could he be any cuter??? He's no puppy, but he's pretty damn cute for a kitty! I love his facial features best. My friend determined his face looks like a mouse and he's right -- just look at those huge ears and white mouth. I like how his pink, tiny triangle nose is outlined in black.

He's been a lot of fun to have around. He's most rambunctious in the morning so I always feel bad leaving him for 8+ hours to go to work, but what can ya do? Nonetheless, he does a good job of keeping himself entertained with his wide variety of toys. What's the point of having a pet if you can't spoil him/her? The sparkly ball in this picture is his favorite. I've never seen a cat chase a ball as much as he does! My friend taught her smart feline to fetch. Perhaps Marley can learn the same -- he'd never tire of that game!

I scheduled his first vet appointment for Friday so he can get a check-up and round of shots. I think he'll do okay at the vet because he's rather bold for a 12-week-old kitten. He's not the least bit shy of humans, but naturally, he does get scared by loud noises.

I believe he tried sleeping beside me last night, but I was tossing and turning so I think he may have slept under the bed. He emerged from my bedroom this morning, but I'm unsure of exactly where he came from.

Oddly enough, he likes to lick the bottom of feet. He also enjoys attacking the glass image of himself in mirrors. Another of his favorite pasttimes is watching TV. Earlier tonight, I caught him intently watching Everybody Loves Raymond (see above).

When he tuckers out from all his heavy activity, he looks like this:

New Maroon 5 Album

Work was a tad more bearable today because this morning as I procrastinated leaving for work, I downloaded the latest Maroon 5 album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long. I liked their last album when I first bought it, but to say it was overplayed would be an understatement. Anyway, their new album sounds different, but it's fun, upbeat tempo is catchy! Me likes.

5 Miles in Hell

Why did I think I could run in this heat?!? Big mistake. My body prefers cold over hot any day of the year. I figured maybe I should try to acclimate my body to the humidity since this is my last week of freedom before marathon training starts.

In fact, I received my official participant of the '07 Twin Cities Marathon card in the mail today. I don't think the training itself will be the difficult part. I'm actually dreading the commitment of following a regimen more than anything. I hate the fact I'll no longer have the freedom to do whatever I want for my workouts.

Monday, June 11, 2007

'Big Brother, After Dark' on Showtime


"Come July 5, rabid fans of CBS's Big Brother will have a new way to spy on the show's sequestered houseguests: the eye will start airing live feeds from the house on one of its sister Showtime channels. Dubbed Big Brother, After Dark, the live action in the house will air every night from 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. on SHOTOO, a Showtime channel that airs mostly theatricals and adult flicks and is available in over 14 million homes. This is the first time the network has aired live feeds on TV, though they have been available via the internet since BB launched seven years ago. Also new for fans this summer: episodes will be available on The eighth season of Brother will air Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. And yes — host Julie Chen will be back."

Keep your Shirt on -- Please!!

If you're a guy, just because you can run without a shirt, doesn't mean you should. I realize it's like a thousand degrees outside with the humidity, but for the love of God, cover up!! Today I saw something no human being should be subjected to witnessing. As I was parked at a stop light, a pasty, white chubby male wearing green khaki shorts a couple sizes too small, ran past my car, his rolls jiggling as if in slow motion. The appalling image is embedded in my mind.

This humidity is killing me. Begrudgingly, I did a 6-mile jog yesterday in the heat, but today was simply unbearable so I went to the club and did 7 miles on the treadmill. Afterwards, I was doing sit-ups on the mats when a woman and her totally out-of-my-league personal trainer took the mat beside me. I've gotta start going to the club more often.

Am I Crazy, or Just Plain Stupid?

A little of both. Most definitely.

I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to blog about the latest addition to my family, Marley. If you don't like the name, blame my friend : P (btw, I just learned how to do that emoticon a few days ago). We were sitting around trying to come up with names when he saw the book, Marley & Me, on my coffee table. It kind of stuck in my head and I'm sick of thinking of names so the poor thing is out of luck.

If you're completely shocked by my news, it was somewhat of an impulsive decision. However, last week I did write a very long, detailed blog about my love for animals and how I missed having a pet, but when I went to post it, I'd been signed out of blogger so I lost my entire post. By then, it was time for bed so I never went back to that topic.

Instead I spent the following day looking at Petfinder for a cat to adopt. Initially, I considered an older cat so I went to this non-profit, no-kill animal shelter in St. Paul called Feline Rescue. All the cats are either abused or abandoned and they are free to roam the place which is really nice. There was one black and white cat, Cookie, that I seemed to bond with, but I didn't feel ready to commit at that point.

The next day, I began searching kittens on craigslist when I came across a couple cute ones so I emailed replies to both. I called one woman and made arrangements to see/pick-up the cat that evening while she worked the overnight shift in Plymouth. It wasn't until I was halfway there at 10:00 pm that it occurred to me I could be putting myself in danger. I was driving to a random stranger's home late at night and given that I was acting on impulse, I hadn't bothered to inform anyone of my whereabouts.

Nonetheless, everything turned out fine. I showed up at the home of where the woman worked -- I'm led to believe she was a cleaning lady of some sort. Look up "cat lady" in the dictionary and you'll see her picture.

Anyway, Marley is adorable and very playful. I'd forgotten just how sharp a three-month-old cat's claws can be! But he is sweet and I was pleasantly surprised to find him curled up next to me in bed the other morning. I feel guilty that I haven't had a whole lot of time to devote to him as of yet, but I don't think I have much going on this week so I should be able to give him some much-needed attention!!

Haven't had a chance to take any pics yet, but here are a couple from the craigslist ad. Stay tuned for more Marley pics and updates.

Quizno's Secret Recipe

You're gonna hate me for sharing this story, but I can't NOT tell it.

Last week on Quizno's Day, after Deborah devoured a regular size tuna sub, we were in her car on the way back to work when she said, "Hmmm...I have a bone in my mouth."

"Where did a bone come from?" I asked.

She removed the foreign object from her mouth and placed it in the cup holder.

"From the tuna, I guess," she said.

"Why would there be a bone in tuna?"

Upon closer inspection, Deborah realized the hard, white object was none other than...the sliver of a finger nail! There was no mistaking it. That is, until the story was relayed to one of the IT dorks who sits nearby; he tried persuading her it was a toe nail.

Happy Birthday Friends!

Hope you enjoy your day!!

Round Two

Late Saturday afternoon I went to a friend's place and we drove down to Birthday Girl's house, birthday numero dose of the weekend. Birthday Girl is the mother of the most beautiful boy, baby Logan. Plans are currently in the works for him to become sponsored by a baby model agency! After playtime with Logan and delicious Cook's champagne, the three of us went to dinner at Major's while Logan enjoyed quality time with his dad.

It was a nice evening so we ate on the patio. Both friends ordered the Cajun chicken fettuccine. Birthday Girl asked the server if it was spicy, to which he replied, "No, the only spice is on the chicken. Do you want plain chicken?" Agreeing to sans seasoning, my other friend ordered her Cajun fettuccine as-is, not wanting to seem demanding because she'd complained about her nasty soda, at which point we were informed was "knock-off" Dr. Pepper. Huh? At a restaurant? Gross.

My friend ended up regretting her decision to go with Cajun-style because our server's description couldn't have been more off-base! Her dish looked like cajun soup!! The alfredo sauce wasn't even white -- it was a peach color. The chili powder was so strong that Birthday Girl and I could smell it and taste it in our throats. The one redeeming factor was you get a free dessert for your birthday. We ordered the chocolate cake and it was HUGE. I couldn't believe the size of the thing so at least my friend was able to fill up on some cake since she couldn't eat her meal.

Then when the server asked my friend if she wanted a box, she thought Birthday Girl's husband may want the leftovers, but by the time we left, she felt so ill from the stench of the fettuccine, she didn't want it in her car so we decided to "forget" and left the box on the table. Correction: it was on a pillar to the side of our table because the aroma became so nauseating. A few feet from the exit door, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Our server to the rescue!! He physically ran after us to deliver the box, savory contents and all. Garbage nowhere in sight, the box was abandoned in the parking lot.

Round two of Birthday Boy's celebration occurred later that evening. My hungry friend and I met up later downtown and did some bar-hopping, eventually winding up back at Harvey's. It was the weekend of birthdays, but 'tis the season of bachelor/bachelorette parties. Birthday Boy was with a bachelor party and another friend of mine was with a bachelorette party -- the two convening at Harvey's.

Not only was I exhausted and got a late start on drinking, but I was constantly reminded of my sober state throughout the night. I would've had to down plenty-o-shots in order to catch up to my friends. I also drove, could've left my car overnight, but I just never fully committed to getting drunk so I only had a few drinks, none of which were anywhere near as strong as the previous night.

Overall, the night was fun, but it would've been better if I hadn't been so tired. And sober. We did meet another bachelor party at Harvey's and there was one really cute guy with an eyebrow ring and tattoos. I can't recall the last time I met a hot guy. Unfortunately, he lives in Cross Lake, up by Brainerd. You gotta watch out for those good-looking types though -- the ones who know they're good-looking. They spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

So the common theme for bachelor parties is to wear white shirts to get girls to write all over them. In his group, all wore white shirts with nicknames printed on the back and his was "Pugs" but he refused to tell me the reason. I have one theory of my own. Anyone else? It's not because he has a Pug, but he does have two dogs -- a Pit Bull and American Stratfordshire Terrier. Anyway, they went to Bootlegger's and we followed for a bit, but I really don't care for that hot, crowded bar so my friend and I left right away.

We closed the night at The Drink where there was a lot of dancing and nasty, sweaty dudes with B.O. One short dude in a green print t-shirt came up behind me and kept trying to dance with me and reaching for my hand, so I kept moving further and further away. You'd think it wouldn't take long to get the hint, but he continued to stand against the railing for the next four-to-five songs staring at me and trying to pull me toward him. Once he gave up and left the dance floor, he and his buddy stood at a table nearby so I kept seeing him out of the corner of my eye. When the bar shut down, we were forced to walk past him and he repeatedly gave me the thumbs-down gesture. WTF? There's another first in my book!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Birthday Weekend

It was the weekend of birthdays -- the celebratory part anyway. Therefore I'll hold off on my birthday wishes until tomorrow, the 11th, when two of my friends share the same birthday.

My girl friend came over Friday evening for a drink and a half of pre-gaming. Then we met up with the birthday boy at Harvey's downtown. I tell ya, you truly get your $3 worth with the drinks there. The Coke in my drink was diluted by the Captain Morgan! It was a rockin' drunk time had by all.

Highlight of the evening was when my girl friend and I were sitting at a table when a guy selling flashing Hawaiian leis approached us, handing over two leis. Confused, I kindly told the guy we weren't interested in buying a lei, but he pointed to a group of guys standing in the corner, saying he bought them for us. I believe the short dude standing in the front was the one responsible. The strange thing about it was he never came over to say hello. The guys were dorky so we never went over to thank them either, but dorkiness aside, it was the first time a random bought me a lei. Was it rude we never spoke to him after that? I'll see if I can upload a pic later so you can see what I mean by "flashing lei."

Know how I know I was drunk? As young starlets learn the hard way, a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Toward the end of the evening, my friend and I were out on the dance floor when apparently, we started hanging out with another group of dorks. It most likely started when we asked them to take a picture of us. Before I knew it, I had 10 pictures of us with randoms on the dance floor -- one a carbon copy of Carrot Top (Birthday Boy coined that). Those dudes would've been a very foggy memory if it weren't for my camera. Oh, and my eyes were shut in most of the pictures! I looked obliterated. Rightfully so.

Birthday Boy had fun. He took many shots including a free one some girl was trying to pawn off on some unfortunate fool -- SoCo Lime. I wanna puke just thinking of that.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Honk if you're Ornery

A couple weeks ago, after a few gray days, I made a comment to my friend about how nice it was to see the sun again. He said: "I'm surprised you can tell by looking out your window." Ouch. For the last four years, I've stared at the back side of a warehouse. It's a terrible view. Not only does this warehouse obstruct natural light and hustle-bustle of the city, but semi-trucks are constantly coming and going, loading and unloading, interfering with my rush to and from work each day.

This morning, a truck parked on the side of the road with its flashers on decided to whip out in front of me so he could turn into the warehouse parking lot. Apparently, it didn't occur to him to wait twenty seconds for me to pass when he would've had all the time in the world to maneuver his monster of a vehicle. I am not a patient person in a situation such as this so once his front end made it halfway into the lot, I veered into the oncoming lane of traffic, only to be greeted head-on by an approaching car. We both swerved to the side, but the road is plenty wide.

As a delayed reaction, the driver of the car blared his horn after our close encounter. It was completely my fault and I'm sure he was upset, but had I known he was in the adjacent lane, I clearly wouldn't have done that! It wasn't like I woke up this morning and thought, "I'd like to get into a head-on collision today!" I reserve my horn honking for the "bozos" (my dad's term), and to alert unaware drivers of my close proximity, but what's the point after-the-fact?

Breakfast Grease

8:49 am: Deborah hit the vending machine and returned with a bag of Lay's potato chips.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

123 Days 'til Twin Cities Marathon

So I've been averaging 6-6 1/2 mile runs. I don't intend to start training until June 19, which is 18 weeks out from the race (October 7). For the most part, I feel somewhat confident in my ability to run the full 26.2 miles, but that could drastically change once training begins. Granted, I've run nowhere near that distance, but I completed that 12-mile run with minor pain. I know I could've gone further that day, but it was like, what's the point?

As I mentioned before, my goal is simply to finish. If I went all-out in training, I think there'd be a good probability I'd suffer a major case of burn-out before the race. At least I know I'm not the only one taking a half-ass approach. I felt a sigh of relief when my friend sent me this article a couple weeks ago. Check it out.

"Whether covering as little as 15 miles as week or as many as 100, the primary goal of all marathon programs is the same: to build your endurance to the point where you can cover 26.2 miles. Hence, the common denominator of every program is the weekly or every-other-week "long run" — a slow-paced run that starts at whatever distance you can now complete and, over months, grows longer."

I spoke to another runner friend of mine the other day about how I need to find a 5K and 10K to do as part of my training regimen so she suggested the Aquatennial Torchlight Run. It'll be exciting because the race begins at 7:30 pm! I invite any and all to join us!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Did you know...

you can subscribe to receive email notification when I update my blog? Just click here or the "Subscribe by email" link in the right column.

Surely, the inane details of my pathetic life are just that fascinating...

Miscellaneous Musings

I tried my best to make this coherent, but my stream-of-consciousness worked against me, not with me. Sorry for the jumbled ramblings!

No offense to my girl friends, but 9 times out of 10, I prefer hanging out with guys. The atmosphere is just so much more relaxed. In turn, I feel comfortable, there's little forced niceness on my part. It's not catty or judgmental under the surface. You don't hear, "Wow, I really like your shirt," while one is really thinking, "That's the ugliest article of clothing I've ever seen."

Just guys hanging out drinking beer; no walking on eggshells or beating around the bush. I like blunt. I like direct. And I especially like funny. All too often, women fear offending others', namely of the same sex, but guys don't have that problem. It's considered funny to ridicule one another. As an added bonus, when a guy talks, he says exactly what he means.

I'll be the first to admit I miss college and would give anything to go back and do it over again. This time, I'd savor every last second and every time I started to complain about papers or tests, I'd think about how much worse it could be -- wasting away in a cubicle at a mind-numbing job just so I can afford a roof over my head and food in my tummy.

Something I've begun to wonder lately is if it's only natural the 'marrieds' band together and the 'singles' band together. Of course there will always be merging of the two groups, but isn't it more fun for married couples to hang out with other married folk and singles to mingle with singles? As we age, I find it interesting that our status plays such an influential role on our friendships. Ultimately, you may drift apart or grow closer to your married friends based on your own social standing.

But I digress. Severely. Sincere apologies. Saturday night my friend picked me up and we met up with his friends at Brit's. It was refreshing to see familiar faces from the past. Hadn't seen any of them since college. It was nice to catch up, see how people have changed/haven't changed, and lest we forget, reminisce about the good ol' days. They provided many laughs -- good times. :)

This was supposed to be a post about Saturday, but too many elements got my head spinning!

p.s. The staff at Brit's threaten to "pull drinks" at bar close. God, how I would love to see this play out sometime!!

Dead Duck

Last evening, I had an unusual start to my run. Lying in the center of the sidewalk outside my apartment building was a dead female duck. Feathers and body parts seemingly intact, it were as if she had dropped dead while flying, plummeting from the sky to her untimely death. Perhaps she'd undergone duck cardiac arrest or maybe her wings simply tired of flapping or perhaps she committed duck suicide over the loss of her male companion. Whatever the cause, it was an odd sight to witness. You certainly don't see that every day.

Come rain or shine, I was determined to run outdoors yesterday. The weather has been rainy and gloomy as of late, and even though it looked like there could be a torrential downpour at any given minute, I risked my luck and did a steady 6-mile run. It rained throughout most of it, but it was more of a light drizzle that was actually quite refreshing. About halfway through, a giant, dark cloud loomed overhead, so in my head, I told myself I had to outrun it, which didn't really work out so well, but it was fun to try. What can I say? Running can get boring -- sometimes you have to create your own entertainment.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Comedy Club Chuckles

It was strange...I woke up feeling a tad homesick this morning. This partying thing is getting old, or more like, I'm the one getting old! My parents and the dogs are up north at the cabin this weekend and if gas weren't so ridiculous, I'd consider driving up today. Alas, it'll be a boring day.

Hung out with my girl crush (GC) last night -- I have yet to come up with an alternative name. I called her after work and she said she was planning to hang out with her very pregnant cousin so they were going to keep it low-key by going to Acme Comedy Club.

I'd never been to Acme (you'd think I didn't grow up in MN) and I have to say, I enjoyed it way more than I ever thought I would. I especially liked the opening comedian, Amber Preston. She cracked a lot of jokes about being a single, 28-year-old female, saying something to the effect of, "It's June. Bridesmaid season, or drinking season, is officially upon us." She joked about all her friends being married and having kids and her mom's disappointment in her uncertainty of wanting children, unless there was an "accident" at which point Preston crossed her fingers.

I know my mom shares those feelings of concern for me. She tries not to preach, but occasionally makes comments expressing her serious doubts about whether I will ever get married or have kids. She and my dad think I am destined to become a cat lady, or dog lady in my case. Oh well, their angst doesn't bother me.

For the life of me, I can't recall the next opening comic's name. I believe his first name was Matthew, but had I known Acme wouldn't list it on their site, I would have made more of a point to remember his name. Oh well. He was pretty funny too. He also talked about the upcoming wedding season, saying, "Only like 6 people care about the ceremony -- the rest are waiting to drink."

He told a hilarious story about always being "that guy" on the dance floor. You know, the middle-aged uncle or friend of the groom who makes a total ass of himself. At the last wedding he attended, he said during an R.E.M. song (the name escapes me), he busted out his signature move. Normally, this is called "the worm" but as he said, he doesn't really have the physique (aka beer gut) so in his case, he essentially does a belly flop each time he hits the ground. This last time, he didn't land quite right so there was a thunderous SMACK as he made contact with the floor. Someone said, "It looks like you're bleeding." He reached back only to horridly discover a handfull of blood. His wife rushed him to the emergency room where he received 10 stitches, conveniently located in the center of his bald spot so his doctor said, "At least we don't have to shave."

The headliner was Will Durst, a political comedian. He was funny as well, but I don't enjoy the political stuff nearly as much as every day bullshit.

I noticed there were more women laughing than men during Preston's routine and during the following male's performances more men than women were laughing. Is it solely because the different genders relate better to their own sex?

After the show, me, GC and one of our guy friends (the one who introduced us) headed downtown. I found myself at the Imperial Room two Fridays in a row. Guess who else was there? The two DORKS of course. Neither approached me and most likely didn't remember me, but now I know their hangout in case I change my mind and want to go back and get their digits. Oh baby!

I was taken back to my college days last night. We each only had one cocktail at the show so by the time we got to the bar, it was 12:30 and we had some major catching up to do. We all downed 4 drinks in an hour and half. I kept thinking back to the pamphlets they distributed to us freshmen year of college titled, "Are you a binge drinker?" complete with all the warning signs. Yes, last night I was a self-proclaimed binge drinker. At least I was deliriously happy-drunk, not bitchy-drunk which I strongly tend to be at times.

Stamp Placement

Why did it take so long for drinking establishments to place those stamps indicating you're over 21 on the inside of your wrist rather than the back of your hand? I've spent the better part of my life furiously scrubbing away at ink stain blobs. The worst is when you have 2-3 of those suckers, layer upon layer that refuse to wash off the morning before the big meeting at work or worse yet, a job interview.

Never again. Stamps on the inside of your wrist effortlessly disappear! Scrub-a-dub-dub.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Car Trouble

When it comes to cars, I know how to check the oil, refill windshield washer fluid and possibly, if it were absolutely necessary, put air in my tires. Frankly, in the back of my mind, I'm picturing the tire blowing up in my face. That's the extent of my knowledge.

As a couple friends can attest to, my car had been making this horrendous screeching noise. In fact, the only time the noise subsided was when I applied the brakes. Based on my pathetic squealing explanation, my parents concluded a belt may need replacement. Nope, turned out to be the brake pads and rotors! How little I know...