Activating Chao Camp: Absence of Dignity

July 4th Weekend, 2009: a bunch of fools descend upon Anna Beth Chao’s home in Monroe, Louisiana for four days of beer, music, Sonic, and whatnot.

Anna Beth, Allison and Pamie talk about a number of issues, including the state of their hair (or lack thereof), their superpowers (or lack thereof), and dignity (or lack thereof). Look for a super-quick cameo by Chris Huff.

(And apologies for all the post-derby-bout bruising all about my arms and chest. You’ll soon see why they’re the least of my problems.)


Yesterday I made a list of people I needed to call to schedule appointments. At the top of the list: allergist. Mom called yesterday morning and said, “Have you seen the wheat doctor yet? I really want you to be able to eat bread again.” I think the next time I come to town, she’d like to be able to serve “normal food” again. It’s very difficult to eat like a proper Polish girl without pierogies. Also, I don’t like life as much without pierogies. Continue reading

I promise I’m not dead.

I’ve just been incredibly busy.

I could write about my current work schedule, and the different jobs I’m juggling concurrently in books, television and film, and have a deep discussion about trying to have it all in a town where you’re never done trying to have it all while trying to keep some semblance of a personal life intact. Continue reading

more excuses

I’m glad Irwin’s giving some excuses as to why the very last thing I want to do right now is write a blog entry. It’s 12:30 in the morning and I’ve just finished writing something that’s due tomorrow. This is the first night in a week that I got home from work before midnight. I got home at 11:15. I’m crazy tired. Whacked-out tired. Tired like I just realized I originally typed this without Irwin’s online pseudonym and then wondered what would happen if I’d outed him and then I giggled because I still need to get him back somehow for capping on my hair last week.

Holy crap, it’s early, but we just left here and now we’re here again and do you know what we’re supposed to be writing right now?

You look good today, pamie.

[after a beat]

[Pamie runs to the bathroom and fixes her hair, which was messed up because it was cold and raining.]



[a few seconds later]

You look lovely today.

Would you do me a favor and tell Irwin what you just said?

[into phone] Why you busting on my girl?

Did pamie tell you that she only looks lovely because I told her to pull herself together?

[I know both parts of this conversation because these two are sitting ten feet away from each other.]

Did you see her when she came in?

Oh. Actually. Well. I don’t know if I should say anything, but my friends have this expression… “Rode hard and put away wet?”

I am through with all y’all.

And as Irwin mentioned, last Tuesday I thought it was Friday. Actually, just about every day this week I thought it was Friday. When you leave work on Monday when it’s actually Tuesday, it might as well be Friday. I woke up Tuesday at 5:30 (I’d gotten home at 12:30) for my 7am call thinking I was late. Full-on late-for-school-missed-a-test panic, walking down the hallway chanting, “No, my call is seven. My call is seven. My call is seven. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.”

So I’m sorry I’ve been away. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve had a headache in my eye for three days. I’m gonna go try and get a couple of hours sleep.

[Note: This doesn’t mean if you’re my friend you get to stop calling or emailing, going, “Well, you seemed so busy.” I need you to call me, understand? Pretend I’m away at camp or school and this blog is the postcard I sent that says, “I’m having a great time. Please send pictures of home because I miss you.”]

A Night With Mousy and the Puppethead

We walk into the tiniest little Tiki bar on Sunset, where “Everybody Plays the Fool” is on the jukebox, mashed-up with some reggae beat. We take a seat and wait for Tom and Frank, who are meeting us for a drink before we go to dinner and a movie.

Frank and I talk about the tiny Tiki bar, and how it feels like being in New Orleans — it’s hot, and there are all kinds of different people hanging out who are obviously locals but wouldn’t appear to ever know each other in real life, and sometimes when you order a drink, the bar breaks out in chants and songs.

We invite Tom and Frank to dinner with us at the Mexican place between the bar and the movie theater. When Tom learns we’re planning on seeing “Corpse Bride” — because I love Johnny Depp and stee loves me — he quickly tries to talk us out of seeing the film. We defend it, saying it has a good review on Rotten Tomatoes, but Tom’s not having it. He tells us everything he thought was wrong with it. Frank interjects, “This, coming from the man who’s friend didn’t like The 40-Year Old Virgin. After a moment, we laugh and agree that Tom’s dumb friend’s opinion now negates all of Tom’s opinions on everything, ever.

We walk to the Mexican restaurant. It’s clear within minutes after ordering drinks that there is nothing on the menu that Tom or Frank — a vegan and a vegetarian, respectively — can eat. stee tells the waiter, “We have some vegans? So we can’t eat here.” He says it like we’re dealing with old people, or pregnant women, or someone who can’t eat anything that isn’t pureed. He says it like an apology. After a long discussion about whether or not Tom can eat a bowl of guacamole and call it dinner, Tom shakes his head. “Oh, no,” he says. “Now we’re going to end up on the blog.”

We drop cash on the table and head down the street. Stee argues that we should drive to the next location.

“It’s like, three blocks.”

“It’s far.”

“I thought you guys were all, ‘New York Forever!’ Come on, walk.”

“It’s far.”

“We’re halfway there already.”

I win. We walk. We pass the movie theatre showing “Corpse Bride.”

“I heard this movie sucked,” stee says.

“Yeah, but I heard it from this guy who knows someone who hated The 40-Year Old Virgin.”

“Well, what kind of moron would be friends with a moron like that?”

Tom and Frank decide this is the perfect time to complain about their representation on the blog. Tom is upset about an entry that is pretty much a love letter to his work.

“I called your hair mousy. What’s wrong with that?”

“Mousy? Is never a compliment.”


“No. Never. This is not what you say to people to their faces.”

“But I meant your hair looks better now.”

“Yes! That means it didn’t look good before.”

Stee says, “Tom. The answer is always, ‘Your hair looks great.’ Always.Always.

“Don’t worry, Tom,” Frank says. “I always come across as a huge dick on Pam’s blog, too.”

Frank’s upset about getting recognized by his high school friend on my site, who now refers to him only as Puppethead Frank.

[But Frank. Seriously. What about Radiohead? The burlesque show?Karaoke RevolutionThe Clutch? See? Sometimes you’re a rock star.]

I take a moment to remind Tom and Frank that they both shined in the award-winning Mars Entry.

“It won an award?”

“What kind of award do they give your diary?”

“Laugh it up, boys.”

“I just remind myself that pamie’s website is about her being the character of pamie, and the rest of the world acting like complete dicks all around her and stee.”

“See? I thought I was the one who came off as a dick.”

“Oh, right. And that Mars entry? You totally gave one of my funny lines to stee. And I said it!”

The friendly insults continue through our next location. At the Tapas restaurant, I order a bottle of wine. I tell the waitress to pretend this is a double date. Frank and Tom are boyfriend and girlfriend with their dietary issues, and stee and I are on the other side.

While Tom and Frank figure out which items they can get substituted to make up a vegan meal for two, stee says, “Basically, the table goes clockwise in order of being a total woman when it comes to eating. Pam, then me, then Frank, then Tom.”

“Funny, it goes the same way in terms of being a woman, too.”

“Now you bitches are totally going in the blog.”

“I’m sure I’ll come off looking like a peach.”

I ask stee if he’s okay with me ordering for us. “Are you going to get the goat cheese and artichoke croquettes?” he asks.

“You know I was already going to. Anything for my woman.”

I order a few items, knowing that stee will not want a bite of baby octopus, so I order chickpea crepes, asparagus, shrimp, and the croquettes as the boys argue over whether or not Green Day is a punk band. I am not quick enough to hide the plate of baby octopus before it sends stee into a fright.

Frank and Tom agree that it’s way more entertaining to watch stee and I calmly argue about whether or not my ordering of the tiny animals was meant to be a cruel joke on him. This leads into a discussion of how scary spiders are, and somehow that goes back to whether or not Green Day is a punk band. I am busy with the chickpea crepes, which taste exactly like maple syrup.

Frank stares at me. “I am mostly interested in hearing why Pam hasn’t said anything. I would assume she either has a very definite opinion on whether or not Green Day is punk, or she’s so bored at the very notion of this conversation that she’s miles away, pretending this isn’t happening.”

“A little bit of both,” I admit.

The conversation splinters into discussions of dating, table manners, lentils, six-thousand dollar bottles of wine, movies we should and shouldn’t see, and whether Green Day is really a punk band.

Someone points out that we didn’t get to have dinner where we were going, or see the movie we had planned. Tom apologizes for “ruining” our evening. We then admit that we’re glad our night was ruined, because it’s been a lot of fun. And the food was better. And anything’s better than that miserable “Corpse Bride.” Who the hell would go see that?

“This food is awesome. I’m also drunk. But that’s neither here nor there.”

“Well, we’d better leave now, what with that long walk back to the car.”

“Shut up, fuckers.”

I hope I have now proven that we are all complete dicks. Not just Frank and Tom.

Call it a retraction, if you will.

dropping in

I am at a hair salon, the one I go to on Sunset, and while I’m waiting to take these pieces of foil out of my head, I decided to open my computer.

Here, at the salon, I have wireless. It is times like this when I don’t understand why people fear technology. Continue reading

i hurt my feet for him

This is the cell phone conversation I overheard this afternoon:

“Yes, well, if you want four bridesmaids and then yourself, it’s one-fifty for each bridesmaid, and then for you it’ll be about four hundred, unless you want an up-do, and then it’ll be closer to five or five-fifty, depending on what you want. Now because you’re thinking about adding your mother — another one-fifty — that might mean we should add another person, so we can get them done all at the same time. That would be another four hundred. And if you want makeup, that’s one hundred per, so add another five hundred — six, with your mother. Now your wedding is at eleven, and you have to get there early, which means you’ll have to come over at 7:30 in the morning. They’d open early for you, which would add another four hundred. So are you all set to book?”

And THIS is why I’m doing my own hair and makeup.

I did my own hair and makeup tonight. Right now, in fact, I’m sitting over here, looking super hot. This past week stee said to a friend of mine that he has a thing for girls in boots and skirts. Now, I’ve never been able to fit in a pair of boots and have missed this boot craze. But the boy is marrying me, and I’ve never been this size before, so I figured I’d suck it up and risk the potential humiliation again. Last time only Evany had to witness the embarrassment. When I finally found a pair that would go over my calves, a complete stranger walked by and said to me, “Those look cheap.”

Anyway, this time I had my pick of the boots, and I found a pair that I like. Hair, makeup, skirt and boots — I walked out into the living room with did a pose I picked up from some jeans commercial from the eighties.

stee gave a quick sideglance from his Grand Theft Auto game. “You’re sexy,” he said.

“The magic is over.”

“What? Don’t say that. I said you looked good.”

“You barely looked.”

“I don’t need to look.”

Yes, you do.”

And now I’m updating my website about it, because we’re late, because stee is still playing his game even though we were supposed to already leave.

Twenty-two days until we’re married! And then these are the only boots he can look at forever.

…Maybe he didn’t see the boots. I bet that’s it. He never got past the hot rack. The boots will be a pleasant surprise later.

No Labor

that’s the plan, anyway

Late update today. Sorry.

Kicking off Labor Day weekend a bit early, which is nice.

So, it’s been 104-106 around here every day, which is unacceptable, if you ask me. It causes me to shed.

Continue reading