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August 30, 2001

Tune In, Drink Up?

Okay, so I'm watching a rerun of "Friends." It's the one with Susan Sarandon and she's some hoity-toity soap star teaching Joey how to take over her role on "Days of Our Lives" -- which is, of course, not shot in New York, where "Friends" is set, but that's okay, since "Friends" is also not shot in New York. Whatever. That's not what this is about.

So, this soap character is famous for two things: slapping her costars and throwing drinks in their faces.

Now, I've seen "Friends" enough to know that these characters drink coffee. Lots and lots of coffee -- and usually only when they're at Central Perk. In this particular episode, the gang has inexplicably switched to water -- and everyone has a nice tall glass of it while hanging out at Joey's apartment.

Guess why.

Yup. Susan Sarandon is going to be there after sleeping with Joey (yeah, whatever) one afternoon and every single person in the room will have a glass of water ready for Susan's hydro-tossing needs.

Oh, wait. There was one other episode in which the gang imbibed delicious New York city water: the one with Brook Shields as Joey's love interest. See, she'd seen him on "Days of Our Lives" and started stalking him. Good thing she was gorgeous. They had some sex (yeah, whatever) and when he broke it off with her, sure enough, the entire gang was assembled in his apartment, swilling the clear stuff, just waiting for the opportunity to soak him for sport.

I have no problem with water-drinking or even water-tossing, for that matter. Here's my thing: of course your character is going to get wet. See all that water? Joey, I know you're an idiot, but you could see that coming, right? I mean, there's never ever ever ever ever water unless you're gonna be wearing it.

I hope he understands this.

Whenever I see reruns of "NewsRadio" I want coffee. I don't drink coffee, but these folks rely on it so heavily that I find myself craving the stuff -- which, by the way, was found by Berkeley researchers to contain more carcinogens than a cigarette... ew -- and I don't even own a coffee maker.

When I used to smoke, watching "Reality Bites" made me want to chain smoke. Watching "Chocolat" made me want to binge on chocolate. "Pulp Fiction" made me want to, well... you see where this is going.

It's a good thing I don't have cable. I understand there's a lot of sex there.

Posted by bonnie at 1:54 PM

August 16, 2001

Can an Insomniac Still Dream?

So I have this affliction I've named Summer Insomnia. Every summer since 1990, I've gone as long as ten weeks with no sleep. It started with a migraine. I don't really get migraines anymore, so I think now it's become a psychosomatic habit.

I really thought I'd get through this summer without a visit from the insomnia fairy. Then August 5th hit. Some sort of post-full moon heat wave crashed into the Hollywood Hills and I couldn't get to sleep. "No matter," I thought. "'Tis just one night." Yeah, right.

So... here's what I've learned this time around:

* Oprah comes on twice a day.
* So do Leno & Conan.
* Newspapers are delivered between 3:10am and 3:50am.
* The mailman lady wears shorts.
* My landlady's cat was originally named Adventure, but he never really responded to it. He likes Alphie better.
* The upstairs neighbor's sex life is much less interesting than it was a few months ago.
* My dial-up connection is fastest and most reliable before 5am.
* I eat less food but more frequently when I don't sleep.
* With all these hours, I still procrastinate.
* Every game of Free Cell is, in fact, winable.
* Madame Cleo is on every channel at some point each day.
* I see dead people.
* Unwanted hair removal is a national epidemic.

I'd like to take a moment to express my shock over that last discovery. I guess, as hair goes, I'm bodily bald. I only recently bought tweezers (something about nearing 30), my legs only show the finest blonde pseudo-stubble about five days after shaving, and I've never had to bleach, wax, or otherwise melt or burn hair from my... regions.

So, maybe I just haven't been paying attention. Based on the hours of infomercials I've logged this month, I'd guess that the average woman spends a great deal of time focused on the removal of her unwanted hair.

Wow. I guess I need to be grateful for my pale, Irish-Scottish... uh, roots. I'm sorry, my brunette sisters. I always thought "removal of unwanted hair" meant pulling a stray off of your tongue.

Posted by bonnie at 1:55 PM

August 2, 2001

My Favorite Tool

There are two types of people in this world: those who have the ability to assemble Ikea furniture and those who do not.

Perhaps there are more than those two types, but there are - for certain - those two.

For those whom the word Ikea has no meaning, I'll elaborate. Ikea is the company that furnishes the MTV Real World houses. It's a store whose furniture designs are in the homes of every LA resident I know.

Ikea furniture is packed in boxes. Contents of these boxes include particle-board (pressed potato flakes) slats with holes bored through mid-way; smaller slats with different holes, some bored through all the way; a crisp white sheet of paper with drawings (no words) indicating the box inventory and the state of said inventory, once assembled properly; assorted screws and dowels; and - most essentially - an Allen Wrench. These are the ingredients for ultra-mod furniture of the '90s (and yes, I do mean '90s).

Most of this furniture is inexpensive enough to toss with each move, mainly important because the disassembly/reassembly or transportation of assembled Ikea furniture tends to render the furniture items unusable - or, at the very least, unstable.

Know this: the only tool necessary in assembling Ikea furniture is an Allen Wrench.

I once was asked to assist a client in assembling a computer desk for the computer I'd been hired to integrate into the existing network. When I mentioned that this work would be at my regular consultant rate, the client paid someone else in the office to do it. When I re-entered the room a few hours later, the desk was... well, what my Mom would call "catty-whompus" and none... none of the screw-type items had been used. In fact, the crisp white instruction sheet remained folded neatly in its air-tight plastic wrapping. Turns out the employee had selected a power drill and hammer as the tools of choice in constructing his masterpiece.

I'd always had a "he-rubs-me-the-wrong-way" sort of relationship with this guy and now I knew why. People who know how to assemble Ikea furniture should only be subjected to interactions with others who know what to do with an Allen Wrench. This has become my opening line when meeting Potential Mr. Bonnie Gillespies:

"Finish this sentence. Ikea furniture is best assembled using _____."

Correct answers include the word Allen. Incorrect ones come from other tools.

Posted by bonnie at 1:56 PM