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Welcome To The Winter Of My Discontent (With Links!)(And updated seventy times!)

November 26, 2005

It is Saturday, two days after a Thanksgiving where the primary cooks were supposed to be my cousin Bridge and myself, but which naturally turned into my mother pretty much doing everything, while giving us "important," non-cooky jobs like, "wash the potatoes" and "turn on the oven and stand over there." The meal was excellent, though, and the fact that I did not actually perform the bulk of the cooking does not prevent me from taking full credit.

"I cooked Thanksgiving dinner," I am telling everyone. "I made that."

But I lie.

I hope all of y'all who celebrate the holiday enjoyed your own; I hope that you all ended up spending the late night at someone's house (read: mine) listening to the menfolk play the guitar while the women stared, fascinated, at a surfing movie El Dukay stuck in the DVD player.

Dukay has this...I guess we can call it a "belief" about surfing DVDs. He thinks that, no matter what the gathering, no matter what kind of music we're playing or food we're serving, a surfing movie must be playing on the television set. On mute.

Dukay believes this creates "ambiance." I believe it is weird, but I am, apparently, in the minority, because anytime ANYone comes over, they are immediately sucked onto the sofa, where they stare, transfixed, at a bunch of criminally tanned men doing half pipes or whatever the hell all over my television screen.

Seriously! Come over, you will see this. Dukay keeps the movies on rotation. He is not kidding you with the surfing movies. It would even lead one to believe that one of us had ever actually...surfed. In reality, we have not. In reality, surfing scares me slap to death. I can hardly even swim. And aren't surfers the ones who are always being eaten by the sharks? YES THEY ARE. And don't sharks already kind of...like me? YES THEY DO.

But, um, anyway. That is neither here nor there, and has absolutely nothing to do with this entry. This entry is not about how Dukay and I met (he swears he's working on it), nor does it include pictures of the dogs (I swear I'm working on it). It is a whole nother thing entirely.

See, now that Thanksgiving is over, it is, of course, time for the shopping. This year, I decided I would get an early start, and try to have all of my shopping done before Monday. This is funny. This is funny for very many reasons, but possibly mostly so because I do this EVERY YEAR. Every year, I do my shopping early. Then, some time in mid-December, I start to loathe all of the presents I have purchased, and so I buy new presents. THEN, around Christmas Eve, I am paralyzed with certainty that I Have Not Bought Enough, and so I shop again, and then everyone receives a multitude of presents, few of which make sense, none of which were requested, and ALL of which I hate.

Really, this is what I do. And...wait. Does this sound familiar? Because I believe...yes, indeed, I have complained about this before. Heh. I am both predictable AND wasteful! What a magical combination!

Anyway. Yesterday, I spent all day shopping. Being horrified of anything involving a mall, I only went to these cute new boutiques that just opened around the corner from me. Turns out THAT was a good idea, because know what they had there? Mimosas! Mimosas for the shoppers! AND everything was 20% off, and their stuff was really cute, so you know. I bought some things. For...um. Myself.

Unfortunately, that is not the holiday spirit. That is Grinchy. So I had to down my mimosa and give myself a stern talking-to.

"You are shopping for other people," I scolded me.

(That I is a bitch. Me just wanted some nice things, man.)

Eventually, I did manage to purchase a few things for friends and family, but for the most part, I dislike going out to do Christmas shopping. I feel oddly pressured, and really, I would rather sit at home with a glass of wine and order everything online. So that is what I did: I went home, poured a glass of wine, settled in with the dogs on the couch, and began an ordering frenzy which guarantees many, many visits from the hot UPS man. (The one with the big shoulders.) Obviously, this is win/win for all parties. Except my Visa card. My Visa card is quaking in fear.

Now, in the above-mentioned frenzy, I managed to stumble upon some excellent deals for presents, and I was thinking, "Self, people should know about these deals! People should know that there are attractive, cool gifts for other people, gifts that do not cost a lot of money, and which are available to everyone, The Shoppers, who need gifts this holiday season, but who do not want to spend an arm/leg. If ONLY I knew how to show those gifts to the world!"

I am embarrassed to report that I was contemplating sending a mass email to all of my friends before I remembered that: oh. I have a website. And, duh.

So I am going to show them here. Because I am helpy today, and it's Saturday, and I just don't feel like moving right now. Couch = comfy.

Now, while Robyn remains the expert on Christmas giving, I am going to attempt my own little list of excellent holiday gifts. But to make this more sporting, I am going to give myself Rules, and as such, all of these gifts run under ten bucks. Ten bucks! (Okay, yes, plus shipping, but we are going to ignore that for now.) Ten bucks is, like, two mimosas, y'all. It is three packs of cigarettes, or half a blowjob from that one lady I keep seeing in midtown (she has a sign).

So, without any further ado, I present you with:

Miss Doxie's Kick Ass Ten Dollars And Under Christmas Gift Guide, You Are WELCOME, World!

We shall start classily. Know what is cool? Art. Art is always cool, and possessing some knowledge of art always makes you seem more interesting. When I am trying to seem interesting, I say things like "Bauhaus" or "Rembrandt." That is why I am so fascinating to everyone.

Or...wait. That's right; I'm not! But whatever, because art remains interesting, and that is why these are such a cool idea. These are fifty postcards in a lovely box, featuring all manner of important modern art pieces. What is especially nifty is that they're about 4 by 6, which means you can either give the whole set to someone who loves art (at a very practical $9.95), or buy them, split them up, and frame them in standard frames (like this one, which is fifteen bucks, but also the only example I can find of what I'm talking about; I am sure you could find the same thing somewhere else and keep it under ten, is what I am getting at with all of these words), and then THAT is very lovely, as well. And will take care of ever so many gifts for all of the artsy people in your life. See?

But what, you might say, should I get for someone who does not like art? What should I get for that person in my life who considers "high art" to be a successful evening of binge drinking without vomiting in any moving vehicles? What should I get for the person whose idea of literature is being able to quote Office Space ("I celebrate his entire catalogue!") at painful, painful length? For THAT person, my friends, how can you get much better than The Napoleon Dynamite Quote Book?

Coming in at a respectable eight bucks, this book is definitely going to several people on my own list, because if I hear, "Tina, you fat lard, come eat your dinner!" one more time, I may have to start issuing beatings. It is time for people to learn new lines from that movie. I am only here to help.

(And to issue beatings.)

Still, I understand that the above gifts are not going to work for all. Around this time of year, there is always the need for the Generic Gift, the picture frame or the vase, that you can whip out of a closet and give to anyone. And for this purpose, I like these from West Elm. They're bronzish! And running from seven to nine dollars, on sale. AND you get free shipping.

While we're here, I should also note that West Elm has this pretty 8 inch pitcher for seven dollars. It seems somehow peaceful and clean to me, in whatever manner a pitcher can inspire such a reaction. And if you wanted to fancy it up, you could always pair it with a little bag of gourmet hot chocolate, and tie a pretty brown silk ribbon around the handle. This would equal maximum Marthaness.

(Ooo! While we are on the Martha-ing, have y'all seen those reed diffuser things? They are little bottles of oil into which you stick reeds, and they make your house not smell like dog? They are awesome, but also kind of fucking expensive for a room freshener, so I have been making it my Sworn Duty to find cheaper versions, and guess what. Pier 1 has them for twelve dollars, and I have no idea what ginger peach smells like, and maybe I am a little afraid, but whatever, I'm trying it anyway, and also I realize that this is more than ten dollars but THAT IS WHY it is in the parenthesis, y'all. Parenthesis do not have to comply with the ten dollar rule. That is another rule I just made up right now.)

Another good gift is stationery. I buy stationery for everyone, all of the time, because I personally like stationery, and also I am not all that creative. Basically, if you know me, you are probably going to get some stationery from me at some point. There you go. Now you know what is in the flat box.

An awesome place for stationery is Bird In A Skirt, a little indie-online site that has these incredibly awesome notecards in packs of ten for ten dollars. They come with little ribbons around! And animals on! I kind of want about ten packs for me, but then I remember how I had to tell me that We Are Shopping For Other People Today, and so me has to grumble and get them for other people. Stupid friends. (Incidentally, and back in parenthesis, that site also offers very adorable personalized stationery sets for $12 if you are willing to splurge that extra two bucks. You get two whole more cards, too! It is both logical and pastelly.)

And...hmm. I have been sitting here for two hours already. This is going to take nineteen years if I feel the need to offer two paragraphs of commentary for every gift suggestion, so I shall now take this to the list:

This pillow makes me happy in a way I cannot describe. Plus, it's marked down to ten bucks from fifty something, so hello, bargain. Also, has owl on.

For the girly girls, I like these cute little flower hairpin sets from Bonnin designs, which claims to have free shipping, even. Also, I am oddly fascinated by this ring, because doesn't it look really nifty on their homepage? I think that's two rings smooshed together, but they're just eight bucks a pop, so two together is Still Reasonable.

Oh, and while we're talking about rings (or, I am, anyway), I think The Carrotbox has some of the most awesome big plastic rings in the universe. Many are under $10, but they're just so nifty, y'all. Definitely check out the prototype handmade section, where everything is extra inexpensive.

More girl gifts I think are excellent include good smelling candles; these really cute altered notebooks from bunnidesigns (25% off and free shipping makes each book six bucks, people. SIX BUCKS); funky but inexpensive ($4.50 to six bucks) mod switchplates; pretty silk eyeglasses cases for eight bucks; or ten dollar soaps that looks like a doggie. And, speaking of doggies, I will highly recommend pretty much anything from Crafters for Critters, where a bunch of independent designers have donated goods for the betterment of our four-legged friends. I have bought all KINDS of gifts from them, but it's all one of a kind, so...get moving.

Okay, seriously, I could go on with girl stuff all day, so here is where I give you Good Ideas for Boy Types, like these personalize-able belts from Neighborhoodies. I would like to get Dukay a camo one with pink letters that says "I'm a pretty fisherman!" but I have a mysterious and sneaking suspicion that he would not wear it.

He is a pretty fisherman, though. I like waders! They are rubber pants you are not allowed to pee in. (Believe me on that; I went fishing one time.)

Anyway. You could also go for any of the many entertaining tee shirts at Threadless, all of which will run you an even ten bucks. I love them kind of unreasonably. I want a shirt with an octopus holding its little teddy bear. LOOK AT ALL THOSE LITTLE TENTACLES. COME HUG ME WITH YOUR TENTACLES, MR. OCTOPUS.

And...moving on. For the babies in your life, I adore these cute little $8 handscreened tee shirts. I also love these teeny little crocheted booties for ten dollars. It is almost enough to make me want to have a bab...wait. Never mind. I said nothing.

Now, for larger children, I am partial to creative toys, because I am just like that (you may have noticed this above; seriously, could I link to any more independent craftspeople today? Independent craftspeople, you owe me a drink), and so I like play-doh and beads (fifteen THOUSAND beads. Parents of the world, this is what I send to your children. Which is why I owe you a drink. Happy vacuuming!)

Also, Lite Brite has gone flat screen. I can dig it.

Hopping on the train of thought that leads us back the general gift front, you can always go with fun something-of-a-day calendars, like this one from the New Yorker, or this one with Sudoku games. (I have recently become kind of obsessed with Sudoku. Blame Ziz for that; I would never have started doing anything that challenges my mind on my own volition. I prefer to keep my mind flabby and unexercised. Like thighs; I want my brain to be like thighs.)

Now, books are always a good option, and to celebrate the upcoming opening of the new Narnia movies, there's a paperback reprint available now of the original full-color The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe book. For the more adventurous, you could give a book about the odd questions doctors are asked at dinner parties (yes, it's a nickel over ten bucks, but let's be flexible, folks). Or you could take a hop over to profanity with On Bullshit, which is an entertaining read. On bullshit.

I mean...have you read my blog? I could have written that book, people. On bullshit, indeed. Sir, you have no idea.

And, finally, if all else fails...have you considered a surfing DVD? Because I hear they're great at parties.

Now, I showed you mine, so you show me yours. Y'all tell me your own brilliant gift ideas. My Visa is waiting. And it is sore afraid.

Ooo, Shoppy Update:

The lovely Miss Bonnin, of Bonnin Designs, has emailed to let us know several things; first, her site is working again. Or should be. At any rate, it was briefly dead. It has been (or will be) revived! Frankenstein like! Only with jewelry.

Anyway, Miss Bonnin would like us to know that yes indeedy, she does give everyone free shipping, and ALSO, you can get a 15% off coupon by going to bussbuss, then to haute shops, and then to jewelry (or you could just click there. ME = HELPY.) That is where the coupon is (scroll down), and o, happiness, it abounds.

Seriously. One word: HELPY.

Also, incidentally, y'all are awesome with the gift ideas. Please keep them coming; I am loving (and, um...buying) everything. (And if your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry; moveable type thinks anything with lots of links is spam, and so I have to approve it. It is silly, but it is, apparently, how I roll.) Kisses! Now go buy rings!

Another Update! Again!

I just received an email from Jen at Sweet Pea Handcrafts, and she is kindly offering all of you pretty Miss Doxie readers 10% off of your purchases. Just use the code CRAFTY at checkout, and voila. Voila, I say! Be sure to check out her line of handmade aprons, which are very sweet and maybe one wants to come live at my house this holiday season. For when I'm...uh. Cooking. Obviously.

Good LORD Stop UPDATING This Entry Every Seven Seconds

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I should probably just write a whole new entry already, as opposed to updating this one every time I get within six feet of a computer, but...lazy. I'm kind of lazy. And (dude, for ONCE) I don't have enough to say to justify a whole new entry.

But here are new things:

1. Uh, because I'm an asshole, I forgot to link to the site that originally gave me the idea for the ten-dollar-and-under gifts. See, what I did, was that I bought a bunch of these, which are the best and most adorable stocking stuffers ever. Seriously. Hi. I bought them for everyone. Including people who are reading this site right now. ENJOY YOUR BOOKPLATES, PEOPLE!

Pink Loves Brown also offers very cute personalized stationery, but did I remember to tell y'all that? Nope. Because I'm an asshole.

2. This site sent me an email and wanted me to let y'all know that they have several products for under $10. I haven't had time to check it out, but there you go.

3. Totally unrelated, but y'all, last night, I went out to a nice dinner party with Dukay, and spent the majority of the evening with him before I realized that he was wearing (1) a plaid shirt; (2) a plaid blazer in a different plaid; and (3) corduroy pants with hundreds of birds emboidered on them.

I mean...what the hell? Is someone missing a grandfather? Because: found him. Dukay just turned seventy-six. For Christmas I'm going to get him a new hip!

4. I linked to this site above, but justjenndesigns has more than cute little onesies. This gift set is twelve bucks, and these little totes are only eight dollars. I don't see how I can afford NOT to buy them.

5. Thank you all for your excellent suggestions! Except for the one about the arm! I am still kind of terrified about the arm thing. But everything else has been awesome. I really have bought, like...everything, including:

6. THIS. And I recommend that you do the same.

I would say goodbye, but I'm sure I'll be back in an hour with something else. I'm just annoying that way.

Posted by doxie in I Got Drunk And Bought Shoes Online | permalink | Comments (63)

Law Students, You Are Asking For Trouble, And I Am Now Forced To Bring It.

November 18, 2005

Law school? People, what the hell? Do you...I mean, seriously? You want to know about law school? Hee. OKAY!

Law school sucked! The end.

No, not really. I mean, yeah, it DID suck, but that's not the end. I will go into detail momentarily IN NINETEEN PARAGRAPHS. First, however, I will note that apparently, you all have a burning, itching desire to read about the following. This is how the votes went down:

1st place: How I Met Dukay

2nd Place: Dog stories/dog photo essay

3rd Place: Law school stories

4th Place: Ziz Stories

Honorable Mention: Stories about the Amish; stories about accidentally showing my boobs; stories about getting drunk and falling down; stories about falling down; stories about throwing poop; photo entries of my art; stories about high school dramas; stories about my need to obsessively purchase bohemian skirts whenever I visit the city of Charleston, South Carolina; stories about interesting New Years' Eve experiences; stories about shoes; stories about the trouble I got into as a child (NONE, NONE at ALL, as I was an angel princess. I am offended, madam.); stories that involve conversations; and, finally, romantic love stories about Bo falling passionately in love with someone while they sat together on my couch and drank pink tequila.

Plus, Sarah B would like for us all to fuck democracy. Heh. Dude, y'all are funny.

OKAY. So, anyway, that's the tally, with an overwhelming number of requests for the Story of How Dukay and Doxie met. And you guys, it is a super good story. It spans years. People who know this story request it at dinner parties! It is THAT good! Really! Which is why...I am not going to write about it.

But guess who is! Dukay. Internet, hold on to your collective hats. My boyfriend is coming for you. And probably your daughters. Lock them up immediately.

Seriously, is this not a perfect idea? Thank you. It was mine. At some point last night, I officially announced my intention not to rest until Dukay has provided me with his version of our "how we met" story. And Dukay has agreed. Because it is safer to just agree with me when I get Like That.

But here is the thing about Dukay: Dukay tells lies. Dukay is a procrastinator, plus he has an actual job, so he's all, "Oh, my joooooob, so important, I have to woooork," and I'm like, "Pssh. Whatever. Write me a story now, slacker!" and as a result of this difference of opinion, we will probably end up coming to blows. So, I was thinking, that if you would like to help me...uh, "gently encourage" Dukay along in his writing efforts, please send me an email with "Dukay" mentioned somewhere in the subject line, and I will forward them all to him. At work.

Hee. Oh, he is going to LOVE that. Seriously! Dukay LOVES nagging! Nagging is like sweet, sweet music to his darling, nibble-able ears.

But, ANYWAY. So, the second place request was a dog/dog photo entry, which I will post once I take some new pictures of the dogs. I am charging my little friendly camera right now, for that express purpose. I may even bathe the little bastards! So expect that shortly. And at that point, I will either tell the story of How We Found Out That Gimmme Is Not Gay, or the story of The Cat Food Incident. Or maybe both. I am just kicky that way.

Coming in third is the law school thing. And, that is really funny to me, because I don't think I've ever written about law school. Are y'all just sitting there, all sad, waiting for an entry that never comes? Are you like starving kittens? I kind of imagine y'all being sad, like starving kittens. I am sorry! I did not know! I will address your starving kitten needs first, because I can't do the dog entry until I have pictures, and Dukay's tackling the meeting story, and...uh, I guess fuck democracy, indeed, because I'm doing this all the heck out of order.

Lastly, before I [fucking finally] get into the story, thank everyone for the ideas; I may end up writing about all of them, because...y'all are clever! And I was sitting there, all, "Hmm. I have nothing to say," and now I have all KINDS of ideas, and it is kind of like a whole bunch of little assignments, and did I mention that I have always been kind of a nerd? With the assignments? Love them.

AND ANYWAY. HERE WE GO. After NINETEEN PARAGRAPHS of idle chitchat:

Doxie Goes To Law School
A Cautionary Tale!

People always ask me if I hated law school. And I never know what to say to this question. Honestly, I am not really sure how I felt about law school. I did have a good time, and I met a lot of great people; I also worked my ass the hell off of my body, and often went without sleeping for literally days at a time. I ended and began some of the most important relationships of my life during law school. I also clocked over seven million hours perfecting my game of Minesweeper, and consumed enough wine to fund the college educations of every man, woman and child in all of Napa Valley.

"Law school is fucked up," I usually say. And that is certainly true.

The worst part of law school (besides the Socratic method, which...I hate you, Socrates. I truly do) is the lack of sleep. I missed out on an enormous amount of sleep while I was in law school, though a lot of that was my own fault, because unfortunately I am just one of those obnoxious people who has to get her grubby little hands all over everything. That is how I ended up competing on our moot court team while also writing my law review note in my second year. It is also how, in my third year, I ended up working 20 hours a week at a pro bono law clinic, while also finishing classes, while ALSO being on the managing board of both my law journal AND the moot court board, AND serving as a student/faculty liaison for international law, PLUS this is when I started dating Dukay and ALSO had four dogs, and THAT was a fun time.

(Note to people not in law school: seriously, you guys. That is a lot of shit. Everyone who is/has been in law school just let out a little shriek and backed away from their computers in horror. They are scared of me now. They fear my spooky ability to multitask.)

Let me tell you what I learned about all of my extracurricular law school activities: they will not help you get a job. No, wait, I'm lying: okay, they help some, but they are not determinative. Don't kill yourself doing everything. Do not do what I have done, gentle readers. For I was an idiot.

Still, oddly enough, what I remember about law school is not suffering from paralyzing exhaustion, or miserably studying for civil procedure (which, wait, civil procedure is actually the worst part of all of law school, even worse than future interests and the rule against perpetuities), or trying to finish my note the same fucking night I had the rest of my moot court team over to finish our competition brief, which just happened to be due on the same exact day. All of these things have been blocked from my memory, probably due to an unhealthy combination of alcohol and delusion, and for this, I am absolutely not sorry.

What I do remember about law school is kind of a collage of things. I remember that I started law school fresh out of college in a desperate attempt to prolong the student experience by not becoming employed. I remember that back then, I was dating the boy I planned to marry, until law school so skewed my view of all things that I kicked him out of the house one morning at dawn, before then attending all of my classes for the day. I remember sitting at a bar downtown, holding the hands of a classmate I had never before spoken to, taking tandem tequila shots and crying to each other that law school is the FUCKING STUPIDEST THING WE HAVE EVER DONE, OH MY GOD, I AM TOTALLY CALLING MY MOTHER.

Because, see, law school makes you insane. There are no exceptions. Soon you will be nuts.

And it comes on slowly at first; you'll be at a party with other first years (note: in my experience, "partying with other first years" will only occur immediately after you turn in your first major memo, because prior to that, you are all too terrified to Funk). Someone will fall over during a keg stand, or fall down a flight of stairs, or SOME accident will occur, and instead of calling the party foul, as would be appropriate in such an instance, one of your classmates will instead turn to the group and say, "That is a tort."

And you will AGREE. And you will LAUGH. Because it is TRUE.

Now. You have just passed an important milestone! At this point, your soul is dead. Sorry.

I mean, don't feel bad; it happens to everyone! I myself have stood in a party and announced that the unlocked liquor cabinet is an attractive nuisance. YOU WILL DO THIS. It is going to be okay.

But seriously. Your soul is gone. Hope you weren't using it. Oh, and also, all your non-law school friends? They hate you now. "Please do not talk about the law anymore," they are thinking. "Do you not see my looks of desperation? Have you no shame? HAVE YOU NO SOUL?"

Nope! You don't. But it's kind of a good thing, because the loss of your soul is the first step toward the Not Caring. The Not Caring is awesome. It has a tendency to manifest in the second year, but fail to take full effect until some time in third year, when you will proceed to sign up for all survey classes and something taught by a guy in a cowboy hat, and you stop (a) giving a shit, and (b) attending, and yet somehow you pull off the highest GPA of your legal career. You loooove the Not Caring.

In the first year, however, You Care. Oh, You Care Deeply. You live in terror of hearing your name called. You find yourself slouching low in your seat, praying for invisibility. You lie awake at night, wondering if you should really be sleeping when you still don't have your future interests straight.

"Oh, God in heaven," you will think, staring at the dark ceiling. "I have forgotten what a fee simple determinative is. Surely I do not deserve to live."

The Caring of the first year will make you crazy and unhappy. Which is why, at some point, you will have to just loosen the hell up. And in our case, we accomplished this through a series of games.

For example, I have very fond memories of playing Asshole Bingo. Current law students! Do you play Asshole Bingo? I bet y'all do, because there is some variation of this game everywhere, but here is our own recipe:

During the first year at many law schools, you have all of the same classes with all of the same people. So you spend all day going tromping from class to class in an annoying, sixty-person-wide clump. (Psst. Y'all is...."tromp" a word? I feel like it is. Whatever, it is now.)

You get to know all the other people in your section very, very quickly. There are things about those people that you learn extremely quickly. In our section, before the end of the first day, we already knew whose hand would shoot into the air whenever a professor asked a question. By the end of the first day, we already knew that there was a girl in the back who would forever condition her every response with, "Well, as a former CFO of a COMpany..." REGARDLESS of what was being asked. We recognized these people early. Our hatred was both immediate and all-consuming.

And this is where the brilliant notion of Asshole Bingo came in. Let's say you are taking five classes: torts, contracts, property, criminal, and civ pro. And say there are five horrid classmates that always, ALWAYS have to pipe up at inappropriate moments, or who feel the need to make some sort of self-congratulatory pronouncement every time they speak, or basically just irritate the shit out of you. Say you've got five of those.

Well, you make yourself a little bingo card. And you put those names down the left side of the grid, and your classes across the top. Everyone else playing will have different cards; you can put people and classes in whatever order you choose. Plus, your friends might think that different people are more obnoxious than the ones you've chosen. Whatever! As long as you've got five names and five classes, though, you are golden, and you are ready to play.

Now, in Non-Asshole Bingo, someone stands at the front of the room with a metal cage filled with little balls and calls out the numbers to rooms filled with senior citizens. "B-12," the ball-caller might say. "D-6." This is not how Asshole Bingo works.

In Asshole Bingo, you get to mark off spots when one of those people listed on your card does something obnoxious in a class that is also listed on your card. For example, let's say "Bob" acts like an asshole in torts. Let's say "Bob" just can't wait for another student, who is struggling a little with her answer to the professor's question, to finish speaking, and so "Bob" lets out a pained sigh, raises his waving hand in front of the teacher's face, and announces, in an exasperated tone, "That is so OBviously gross negligence."

This means that you go to the spot on the grid where "Bob" and "Torts" come together, and now? You get to mark that spot. Good for you!

We had a group of ten people in our Asshole Bingo game, and every time someone would do something obnoxious in class, ten heads would immediately drop, as we scanned our cards to see whether we’d just made our bingo. I AM SURE WE WERE SO SUBTLE.

But we did not care. We were not fucking around with Asshole Bingo, in part because there was money involved. At the beginning of the week, everyone playing Asshole Bingo put five bucks into the pot. Whoever made their bingo first – and traditional rules apply, so you have to make a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line on your card – won the pot. BUT WE DID NOT MAKE THIS PART EASY.

Because you are required to actually announce your bingo. In class. Out loud.

I made my first Bingo when our classmate informed us, once again, that as the former CFO of a COMpany, she believed the property we were discussing was subject to eminent domain. And as soon as the words were out of her mouth, ten heads shot down to look at their bingo cards, and that is when I saw that the space for “Jane” and “Property” was now filled, and I had myself a real, honest-to-God, Asshole Bingo.

Which I then had to announce. I raised my hand.

“Miss Doxie?” the professor asked.

“I was just trying to figure this out last night, this eminent domain stuff?” I began. “And it wasn’t coming to me? But then, what you just said? Man, that did it, the way you just explained it, and I was like, bingo! I’ve got it now!”

Three different people cursed under their breath and threw their cards to the floor. The professor stared at me.

“So I just…wanted to say thanks!” I told him.

“You’re welcome,” he said. “May I continue?”

Several minutes later, class ended, and we were walking out when the professor came up behind us. “Asshole bingo?” he asked quietly. When we nodded, he rolled his eyes. “Please tell me it was that damned ‘CFO of a COMpany’ remark that won the game,” he whispered.

This taught us that we were not smooth. Apparently, ALL of the professors were very aware of our little passtime, and were filled with delight every time someone managed to pull off a bingo in their class. Over the year, bingo was called in numerous ways, but my favorite came from my friend Dan, who plaintively informed our contracts teacher that he'd "bingo-ing to the library looking for books about the UCC, but they were all checked out."

We had other games, too, including Word Of The Day. This involved a mass email every morning; the email contained one word that section members were encouraged to use in the event that they were called on to speak in class. Using the word earned you street cred and the respect of your classmates; failure to use the word resulted in public shaming. Some of the words chosen for this experiment included:

Pomp;
Obtuse;
Boil;
Castanets; and
Hemorrhoid.

This led to many fascinating answers.

"An interpleader action is like an STD," one brave classmate once offered, before losing the will to continue. Our ancient civ pro teacher just shook his head in disgust.

But as silly as they sound, the games served an important purpose. They reminded us that law school really isn't that bad. That you have to laugh at yourself, and that even the most terrifying contracts teacher cannot, in fact, kill you and grind your bones into a fine powder. It really is going to be okay. Really.

So...no. I didn't hate law school. It wasn't exactly a party in my pants every day, but we all survived. Everyone I knew graduated; everyone passed the bar, and is now doing what they want. It's not easy, but it's worth it, even if it costs you your soul. Sure, you'll be embarrassed at some point, but so will everyone else. You can't take it seriously, so you might as well embrace the embarrassment, announce that the contracts homework gave you a hemorrhoid, and call it a day.

Posted by doxie in Times I Fell Down | permalink | Comments (74)

AB Is Brilliant, But I Am Not.

November 16, 2005

Well, it must be said, again, that AB is the most beautiful, talented, sassy, and stylish web designer anywhere on the ol' world wide web. Thank you, AB, for the gorgeous site! Thank you for the working comments! Thank you for giving me the ability to (gasp) upload PICTURES, actual PICTURES, onto this site, which will invariably lead to seven million photo essay entries, and doesn't that just make everyone...happy? Yes! Of COURSE it does. YAY AB! Everyone go hire her to do y'all's own sites now, so she can make a million dollars and whisk me off to Tahiti.

So, missdoxie.com is growing up. We are officially in our third generation, people, and doesn't that make you kind of...proud? We're getting Big! I mean, I still do not know what a "gig" is, but we will overlook that kind of thing.

Sadly, as growing cannot be done without a certain amount of pain, there is also the unfortunate matter of my email. Being that I am an idiot who doesn't understand words like "gig" or "ports" or "portals", I successfully deleted about one million email messages when I was trying to set up my new account. Those include interesting messages from people like yourselves, possibly even YOU, sending me interesting facts about craft things, and your weird dreams, and all manner of wonderfulness. I deleted ALL of these. So please do not think I am ignoring you, but if you sent me an email in the past two weeks or so...well. I lost it. It has left this world and gone to live with Jesus and all the missing socks, and I will therefore ask you to kindly resend. Especially if it was something interesting. I don't have enough entertainment in my life, and I am relying on you to fill that void. Hop to!

Also! Please kindly note my new About Me page, which is updated with a picture Dukay hates. Apparently, I am in big trouble for not displaying a more flattering image of him, but I am not afraid of Dukay. When I find a picture that meets his High Standards of Whatever the Hell, then we will change it out. (Or, to put it more specifically, AB will change it out. You think I know how to do that? HA! Nope.) Also, AB created pretty new archives, making it much easier to access all of those old, pre-MT entries, if you were so inclined. It's all very professional and shiny and new.

SO. Now that I have a new website, bet you were thinking I would...write something on it. Weren't you.

Weren't we all, really?

But I waited for a while, in part because I was afraid of logging in to movable type, fully convinced that I would do so and somehow manage to delete everything AB had done, and that she would then kill me. I am not afraid of Dukay, but I do not want AB after me. She may be small, but she could kick my ass six ways from Sunday, and I do not need that kind of fear in my life.

But, now that I've been given the go-ahead by AB herself, I have, of course, forgotten all of those things I wanted to write about over the past few days. And, kind of a lot has happened, some of which was funny to me, and I wanted to write about it, but...hmmm. Gone from the brain.

And I was sitting here, imagining my individual brain cells, hanging out somewhere else, smoking itty bitty vials of crack or whatever, when I was immediately reminded that this weekend, Dukay and I went to go visit his grandmother Mimi in South Carolina. (No, wait. Seriously, this will all come together, I swear.) And we love Mimi. Mimi is one of those grand old Southern women who speaks with a low, drawling accent, and lives alone, taking care of her damn self despite the fact that she is at least 88 million years old.

When you are 88 million years old, you do not mince words. Accordingly, to my endless delight, Mimi is always telling Dukay that he is full of shit. Dukay will say something, and she'll just shake her fist at him. "You're full of shit," she'll holler. This fills me with glee. "He is!" I immediately agree. "He is absolutely full of shit. I thank you and your wisdom for acknowledging this fact."

On Saturday night, when Dukay started talking about his future plans, Mimi waved her hand and cut him off.

"Don't you be smokin' those cigarettes and makin' those big plans," she told him.

And when Dukay told her about eventually switching careers, she had a similar response:

"Don't you be smokin' those cigarettes," she said, shaking her head. "Oh, no. Oh no, no, no, no. Don't you be smokin' THOSE cigarettes."

We have no idea what this means, but we find it enchanting. "Don't go smoking those cigarettes, Dukay," I tell him later on, as he tries to decide on a parking place. "Don't you go smokin' those cigarettes and parking here."

This is a fabulous thing to say, and I encourage all of you to use it liberally. "Don't you go smokin' those cigarettes and forgettin' what you were gonna write about," you might say to me. Or you might say, "Don't you go smokin' those cigarettes and post yet another entry about nothin' at all."

So, considering the fact that those lonely little brain cells o' mine are apparently smokin' those cigarettes and refusing to cough up my memories of funny shit, we are going to do something New, a Kick Off for the new site, if you will, and for the first and probably ONLY time ever, I am taking requests.

Yes! Just like on the radio.

I get emails all the time asking me to write more about the dogs, no, write LESS about the dogs and more about Dukay, NO, write LESS about Dukay and more about your sister, NO, WRITE NOTHING, but post pictures of the dogs, NO, JUST LEAVE THE INTERNET FOREVER, GOD. And it is all very confusing.

So today, y'all decide. What do you want to hear about? Lord knows I have a story about everything. Y'all give me a subject, and whichever seems to garner the most support will result in an entry, probably tomorrow (heh. We'll see), and it will be all about WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT.

This is so democratic! Now, comment away. But don't you go smokin' those cigarettes. You'll forget what you were going to say.

Posted by doxie in The Innernet | permalink | Comments (77)

Live! LIVE!

November 10, 2005

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!

ETA: People. Calm down. This site totally breaks in Internet Explorer, so aside from suggesting you download a browser that actually works (hello, Firefox!), you're just going to have to wait until I fix it. I am really not kidding about Firefox, either. IE has a reputation for being whack.
-The Mean Web Designer AB

Edited again, 2 PM CST: Everything should be working in IE now. I need a drink. (And yes, I do design sites for cash money, whoever asked in the comments. Email me!) -AB

Posted by doxie in The Innernet | permalink | Comments (47)

Well, It's About Damn Time

November 07, 2005

Hello, internet! I am back! I took a little time there (did you notice the white blankness? There was white blankness) for various family things, and then general craziness, and then finally Dukay's birthday (Happy birthday, Jailbait!) and somewhere in there I probably should have done some sleeping, but I think I forgot, because Y'ALL, I'M TIRED.

Anyway. First off, thank you to everyone who was kind enough to send their good wishes regarding Sis. Her funeral was the Friday before last, and was lovely. We served champagne during the service (yes, we absolutely did, because we are made of Class and Manners) and placed a little split of her very own in her coffin. We all toasted her, and said goodbye to an awesome lady. My whole family appreciates your thoughts and prayers, and I can't tell you how generous your comments and emails were, and how they really (really!) helped lift my spirits, at a time when I was pretty down.

But that is enough sadness, and actually, I am kind of tired of being sad, and that is probably the main reason why I have been running around in the manner of a crazy person for the past two weeks. But meanwhile, I must admit that I have been a Bad Journaler, and have not let y'all know that I am in (generally) one piece. I am! Go, me! All toes accounted for! Fingers, too.

But let us talk about other things, namely that, during my unintentional hiatus, we here in the Doxie household celebrated the second most fabulous holiday of the year, that being Halloween, and that being the holiday that is most likely to make me appear deranged, because Y'ALL, I LOVE HALLOWEEN.

I do not think I have ever told y’all that when it comes to Halloween, I am kind of insane. No, really. No, REALLY, and I am about to admit the extent of my insanity, and it is going to freak you the heck out.

People, I love Halloween with an unrestrained passion. My love for Halloween is Not Normal. Nobody in my family knows where this came from. We are the kind of family that carves a pumpkin, MAYBE two, and that is all. We do not fuck about with spiderwebs and mood lighting. We open the door, dole out a Three Musketeers or a Snickers, and that is the end of the matter.

But something in my genetic makeup was dissatisfied with that arrangement, and somehow, y’all, I have become...I have become That Person who feels the need to decorate the everloving HELL out of her house. I am That Person who BUYS those full-sized skeletons, hanging witches, and packages of fake spiderwebs. I am That Person, and That Person is me, and together, we are a nutbag.

Now, before I can even begin to tell you all about Halloween at my house, you need to understand that I am really not kidding about my Halloween decorations. I go ALL OUT. I have a cemetery set up in the front yard, with little stakes that hold candles to illuminate the Scariness. There is a skeleton popping out of the ground. There are corpses dangling out of windows and standing behind doors, and a witch hangs from the lamppost. Add to this the spiderwebs draped through the entry hall around scary portraits, the black lights in the overhead fixtures, and the various other skeletons and bodies sitting in chairs, and I AM TELLING YOU, I AM YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD CRAZY PERSON.

Dukay does not know what to make of all of this, but he has embraced it as a “Charming Quirk” as opposed to “Totally Inexcusable And Morbid Freakiness,” and has himself become very useful with the decorating. I just love the decorations, and collect more every year (because, I AM INSANE), but I do have some rules. First, I will allow nothing that is too scary; second, I will allow no blood. At the end of the day, skeletons are fun and creepy, but the gore is just too much for a doorstep full of toddlers to handle. And besides, I am just not a gore fan. Gore stains, people. Gore stains.

I am, however, a fan of scary sound effects, dry ice, and strobe lights, so all of those items have been produced and used by Dukay in our creation of The Neighborhood Scary House.

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, children and their parents walk by my house, and I see their huge, saucer eyes taking in the skeletons crawling through the cemetery, the creatures climbing out of the upstairs windows, and the tombstones planted at crazy angles. They Do Not Like my house. They Do Not Like the fact that their parents point out all of the scariness, and say, "Bet you can't wait to go there on Halloween, right?" The kids look at their parents with a mixture of horror and disbelief, and while they do not speak their minds, I know very well that they are thinking, "You foolish, foolish adult. I am not risking life and limb for a goddamn Snickers bar. Honestly, that crazy woman can take her Three Musketeers and shove them where the sun don't shine."

But on Halloween night, they come anyway, mostly because their parents are either (a) pushing them up the walkway, or (b) dragging them, screaming, towards my house. And then they are rewarded with LOTS of candy, because for all the grief and aggravation I put into my Halloween decorations, there just...aren't that many kids around. So I end up with maybe twenty trick-or-treaters, but because I am a nutbag, I have always purchased nine BAGS of candy (just in case!), and so each kid in my yard receives a handful of processed sugar and all of a sudden, MAYBE I AM NOT SUCH A BITCH AFTER ALL.

But anyway. So this year, like all other years, the decorations were in full effect. Scary lights! Scary sounds! Skeletons and witches and ghosts, all about! A cemetery! A huge spiderweb! And there, right slap in the middle of the driveway...a dumpster!

And...yeah. Yeah, that kind of killed the mood.

See, what had happened, was that I went and cleaned out my storage rooms, and brought a ton of shit back to my house. And when you finally get around to cleaning out storage rooms that you have had for, oh, FOUR YEARS, you begin to realize that, uh, you really don't...want any of that stuff anymore. Look at all these magazines! you will say to yourself. They are encouraging me to wear leggings under my cut-off jeans! They are extolling the virtues of the velvet choker necklace! I don't want these magazines! I don't want any of this shit! And...AHHHHH! Here are MY cut-offs! Here is my very own velvet choker! O, SHAME! I bring shame on my household!

And so you pack everything salvageable into boxes and donate it to Goodwill, but then there's all this...CRAP, just leftover CRAP, and so you call the dumpster people, and they bring you a massive dumpster the size of Cleveland, and they plop it in your driveway, blocking the entrance to your garage. And the dumpster will then sit there, like an angry red Buddha, as you fill its insides with everything from broken chairs to those FUCKING WASHING MACHINES that nobody could ever make work.

And then it is full, and you think, "Whoa, have I got a lot of shit in my possession, if I can fill a whole entire dumpster." And then you call the dumpster people and you ask them to please get the dumpster, and take it to a place far away, where you will never again have to deal with its contents for the rest of your life, amen.

And they say okay.

And then you spend a few days doing other things, and staying with your parents, and preparing for the funeral, and generally not being home. When you do eventually come home, you are therefore surprised to see that the dumpster is still...sitting there. Still angry. And now, thanks to the combined evil forces of "wind" and "rain", the dumpster is now belching out old newspapers and ripped towels all about your front lawn, leading to a yard that could be charmingly and accurately described as a "demilitarized zone".

So you grumble, and pick the crap up, and toss it back into the dumpster. And you call the dumpster people AGAIN, and you say PLEASE, PLEASE take this dumpster AWAY from my HOME.

And they say okay.

And then several MORE days pass, and you attend a funeral, and a reception thing, and a drunken slide show, and then you go home and you THINK that you will not have a dumpster in your otherwise haunted scary yard, but lady, you think WRONG, because there it IS, and it has now become surly, and also it is plotting, I mean you can LOOK at it and tell that it is PLOTTING, and maybe soon it will lurch itself into the backyard and eat the dogs.

SO YOU CALL THE DUMPSTER PEOPLE AGAIN. AND THEY ARE NOT THERE BECAUSE IT IS FRIDAY NIGHT. And you HATE THEM.

But you leave a nice message anyway.

So, the weekend comes and goes, and Halloween is Monday night. And you get home from work to discover that the dumpster is still sitting there, malignant and waiting, and there's really not a damn thing you can do about it. So you embrace the dumpster, and happily tell children who gaze at it skeptically that it is a haunted dumpster. The children think you are disturbed, until Dukay gets the brilliant idea to hide and BANG on the damned thing, which makes a gong sound so deep and intense that children shriek and RUN INTO THE NIGHT, and...heh. Ah, dumpster! You came in handy after all.

(And now it is time for a very long parenthetical story)

(Honestly, I am making us out to sound like horrible people who scare children for sport, when in reality, we're actually very nice. All of the little princesses and toadstools who come up the stairs get candy and compliments on their costumes, and nobody jumps out at them. It is only those older boys, those about to enter teenagedom, that Dukay feels compelled to fuck with. And this is a serious compulsion. It is like a religious mandate, and it is His Sacred Duty to terrify them right the fuck out of their Nikes.

And we would argue about this, with me being all, "Nooo, the house is scary enough, don't mess with the kids, you might really scare them, and what if they get post-traumatic shock or something, and then they will up and SUE me, I just know they will." To which he would scoff, and claim that those boys had it coming, in the manner that he, apparently, had it coming at that age.

"What about the nice ones?" I would ask. "Don't scare the nice ones!"

"I won't," he promised.

"But you won't know which is which," I protested.

Dukay strongly disagreed.

"I can tell," he assured me. "You just watch. I can tell. I will only scare the little shits."

"Children are not little shits!" I exclaimed, horrified. "They are made of sugar and diamonds and angel wings!"

"Some are little shits," Dukay said, wisely. "I myself was a little shit. I can smell them out."

I remained skeptical, until Halloween night of last year. Dukay dressed up in a suit and a mask, and settled himself down on the front porch, directly behind where I stood. And there he sat, still as stone, not moving a muscle, as children came up the steps to retrieve their candy. Little angels and devils all got a handful; Dukay stayed still. Cowboys and vampires got their fill; Dukay did not move. I had pretty much forgotten that he was even sitting there when a boy, probably ten or eleven, came sauntering up the driveway.

The kid left his father at the front of my pathway, and came towards the house, rolling his eyes all the way. When he got to where I was standing, he barked an impatient "Trick or Treat." And as I handed him his candy, he sneered at me.

"This isn't scary," he said. "This is baby stuff."

"You think so?" I asked.

"It's stupid," he continued. "The whole house is stupid. Those corpses look fake."

"Oh!" I thought. "You are a little shit."

"Hmmm," I said.

"AHHHHHHHHH" said Dukay, jumping up from where he was sitting.

"AHHHHHHHHH" screamed the kid, dropping his candy bag and taking off down the walk like his ass was on fire.

"AHHHHHHHHH" screamed me, who had FORGOTTEN ABOUT DUKAY, OH MY GOD, HOLY FUCK, I JUST HAD A HEART ATTACK.

"HA!" said the boy's dad, who was watching as his child continued to book up the street, never looking back.

"You got him!" he told Dukay appreciatively. "Man, I wish I could do that."

After that, I never much worried about Dukay's ability to figure out which kids deserved a little heart failure with their Butterfingers.)

BUT ANYWAY.

So, we had a lot of fun this Halloween, and Dukay only scared one group of teenish boys who were traveling a la carte, without parents, and who came whacking on the door hours after all the other kids had stopped trick-or-treating. Dukay, who happened to be passing the door at the time, responded by pounding the SHIT out of the door from the inside, causing the door to actually shake with the vibration, and causing the kids to shriek like so many Little Women. And then he opened the door and grinned at him, and they were all awed, gazing at him in wonder, and asking, "Dude, that was AWESOME, man, did you just come up with that yourself?" Like Dukay is some kind of brain trust.

He is not. But he is what happens when little shits grow up.

ANYWAY. So that was Halloween, and we finished up the celebration by inviting over my sister and another friend, and drinking and watching awesome (i.e., bad) Halloween movies, such as Hocus Pocus, and my sister and I know kind of every word, and entertained everyone by saying "Amok, amok, AMOK!" for about ninety hours, and THEN we went to bed.

And were awakened at dawn the next morning, when the dumpster pick-up guy finally showed up to get the angry red beast, a full three HOURS before their posted "pick up times," and rang the doorbell to snootily ask me to, you know, move the damned CARS out of his way, because he doesn't have all DAY, you know. I mean, GOD. WOMEN.

That little shit. You know, it's just too bad Dukay wasn't still sitting on the porch; I would have liked to see that jackass run.

Posted by doxie in General Whining | permalink | Comments (28)