Que Sera Sera

People I Have Developed Deep and Abiding Crushes On Despite Little to No Actual Interaction:

Or, These are the Daves I Know, Part II

Emily’s older brother: Emily’s older brother owns this category. My crush was born when I went to Wichita with Emily for a wedding dress fitting, and her parents put me up in his old room for the weekend. There is no easier way for me to develop a crush on you than to sleep in your childhood bed and read all of your old books about Norse mythology. Then, at the wedding, he cemented the crush forever when we were all standing around outside on this beautiful spring night after throwing lavender at the bride and groom as they ran to the getaway car, and all of the sudden he reached up and, without a word, brushed a little piece of lavender out of my hair. I think my heart stopped. I don’t think we’ve ever spoken more than three sentences at a time, but oh maaaaan that hair brush thing was like magic.

Secret train boyfriend: We’ve stood next to each other while waiting for the train nearly every morning for a year now, and we even switch to the 6 at the same stop, but we’ve never spoken. He sort of looks like if Prince Harry got his act together and started working for Merrill Lynch. I like his glasses and his ginger-colored hair and his cute flat-front charcoal gray pants, and watching his hands fold the Wall Street Journal gives my heart this fluttery little pang. I’m 100% positive he’s not my type. Also pretty sure he has a real-life girlfriend. We glance at each other, but never smile or even say “excuse me,” yet I have no doubt that he wouldn't hesitate a second to take a bullet for me, were there bullets for the taking. Sort of like those stoic yet devoted married couples from the 1950s who ate meals across the table from each other every day without a saying a word. What can I say? Ours is an old-fashioned love.

Subway sandwich artist who looked like Beck: I made Laura go to Subway with me every Monday night for two months in the fall of 1996 because I so desperately wanted to be near the guy behind the counter, the Beck look-alike who played old surf music over the speakers late at night and whose pale brown eyes spoke volumes to me while he wrapped my 6 inch ham and cheese on white in cellophane, but the minute I was near him, my tongue swelled up into my throat and I couldn’t say anything other than thank you. I thought I needed Laura for moral support, but this totally backfired on me, because he ended up asking her to come over to his house to “see some of his art.” I hate that guy.

Blue Eyebrow Man: He was the new kid my sophomore year of high school, and he was really tall and skinny, and looked really angry and really punk. He had beautiful black hair and black eyes that were so fiercely black they somehow made his eyebrows look blue, so, in one of those lame teenage girl nickname moments, I began secretly referring to him as Blue Eyebrow Man. I spent many a lunch hour trying to get him to notice that we wore the same pair of black Converse, which was clearly proof that we should be together. He never looked at me once. Funny twist: I found out years later, in college, that he was my good friend Kerry’s cousin, and that he ended up in jail.

Young bigfoot: This boy sat in the desk behind me in 8th grade English, and he was the tallest kid in our class, so he’d stretch his long legs out in front of him on either side of my desk, and they’d come up past my own. Something about this felt almost unbearably intimate to me, and I’d sit with my eyes down and stare at his sweet big feet all hour, my face warm. Occasionally I loaned him looseleaf paper. In my yearbook, he urged me to stay sweet, and “have a K.A. summer.” Tale as old as time.

Mom's Weekend

Lunar barbecues, mummified cats, show tunes. That's just how my mom rolls.

"What does this say? I got a woman wanna ball all DAY?"

My mother is coming to visit me for the long holiday weekend. I’m looking forward to this, not just because my mom is a super nice lady and will probably buy me a meal or two, but also because I learned from my dad and brother’s solo visits what a rare experience it is to hang out with just one family member away from home, and apart from all the others. I felt like I got to know my dad and brother as people, not just as my dad and brother, and it was such a nice surprise to realize I’d hang out with them even if we didn’t share genes or owe each other money.

I’ve tried to pack our schedule full of activities, and I plan on keeping her slightly buzzed the entire time, number one because my mom is a lightweight and the cutest one-drink-drunk ever, and number two because some part of me is terrified that if there’s a lull in the conversation, she’s going to suddenly burst into tears and say, “Are you having sex?!” She’s only done this once before, years ago, catching me completely off-guard and thoroughly freaking me out, and of course I immediately and emphatically said, “What? No!”, which wasn’t technically a lie since I wasn’t actually having sex at that exact moment. That was the end of it, but the freak-lightning-storm quality of this exchange has scarred me for life, and I will take her to as many museums as possible to head a replay of this conversation off at the pass.

I also shelled out a little more money than I’d planned on to buy two tickets to Fiddler on the Roof, but I think this makes up for that time I turned around in the womb at the last minute and gave her that C-section scar, and also for when I was fifteen and wrote the lyrics to Led Zeppelin’s “Hey Hey What Can I Do” on the foyer wall. Let’s call it even.


The man next to me on the train is reading Japanese for Businessmen. The book is open to Chapter 13, entitled “Delicious Cakes.” Clearly I am in the wrong line of work.

These are a few of my favorite things

Click on Abe to see more.

Stay gold

All of my Tulsa friends forwarded me this link last week, and since it’s a worthy cause, I figured I’d use the internet for good for once and throw it up here. It seems the Hampton Inn is offering a $20,000 grant to save run-down historical sites along Route 66, and picking the recipient by online vote. It’s between some lame ass bridge that was in The Bridges of Madison County, and the Admiral Twin Drive-In, a classic Tulsa site featured in the movie The Outsiders, my dad’s high school hang out, the place where my parents took me to see Rocky in my pajamas in our old ‘78 Chevy, and, more recently, the scene of my Hulk-and-red wine-induced colorblindedness that resulted in me telling off Jon’s father in London over the phone at 1 am, much to the delight of my friends, judging by how many times this story gets re-told.

As Josh said, “I never watched Faces of Death I-IV or huffed nitrous at no bridge in fucking Iowa.”

You can vote daily! Come on, let’s do it for Johnny!

Selling it

I was checking my email at work yesterday, and this banner ad caught my eye:


In case the image has yet to fully hit you over the head with a giant stick of what the fuck, let me write this sentence: it’s a pterodactyl, with state abbreviations scattered across his body. And he wants to help you find a lower mortgage rate. Right. Now, I’ve previously seen the peacock, caterpillar, weenie dog, and disturbingly penis-like elongated pig versions of this ad, but the pterodactyl strikes me as the strangest. First of all, whaaa? Secondly, look at him! This dude isn’t looking to help you save money! He’s flying around LOOKING FOR PREY. He will fucking ERASE you!

Having logged a few miserable years in the creative department of a few advertising agencies, I couldn’t help but imagine the brainstorm that led to this creation. I have no doubt that it was led by a guy like my old creative director, a total arthole who wore a thumb ring and looked like Junior Gorg from Fraggle Rock and was always closing his office door and putting on Candlebox so he could “concept.”

“So I have this idea, and stay with me here, because it might seem a little out there at first, but so did the eBike campaign at first, right? Anyway, it’s like this pterodactyl, with tiny old-fashioned cash register keys representing each of the 50 states spread all across his glorious wingspan. And he helps you find lower interest rates! Or refinance your mortgage; whatever; we can deal with that in the copy. A pterodactyl. PT. It was a flying dinosaur. No, no, not a T-Rex, Dave. Well, for one, too obvious, plus I think the T-Rex is more of a college loan dinosaur. Just stay with me for a second and hear me out. Did I let you down on the bank thing with the snowboarders? No, thank you. Anyway, so this pterodactyl. Maybe the sky behind him is like this freaky purple prehistoric electrical storm? Totally end times weather? And we make it so he moves his head and opens his beak really menacingly, but also really awkwardly? Maybe there’s some blood or shredded muscles in his beak? Were pterodactyls meat-eaters? When the intern gets back from lunch, let’s get her to google that. No? Too gory? God, you fucking account managers are always afraid of the big ideas, Dave! The one thing that would push it from being a good ad to a great ad, the thing that would fucking win me the Addy, and you’re too scared to make that leap. No, no, fine, forget it. No shredded muscles, just the purple storm. Let’s be safe for the client. Whatever, man. I’ll be in my office blaring Seven Mary Three and putting all my headlines in lowercase Courier New if anyone needs me.”


Look, Nicolas Cage: wearing a hairpiece in your new movie isn’t going to convince me that you’re good-looking any more than playing a good song in the trailer is going to convince me that your new movie is going to do anything other than suck.

Edited to add: Hollywood, you are not fooling anyone anymore into thinking your movie is “quirky” by using that fucking American Beauty-era xylophone music in the trailer, so stop.

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