Archive for October, 2003

Story of My Hometown


WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Dead Ringer by Lisa Scottoline. Damn, that girl is witty!

WHAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO: Maroon 5. They rock. Good workout music.

COOL WEBSITE: At friendster, you create a profile and so do your friends, and you link to one another. Then you are able to view the profiles of your friends, your friends’ friends, your friends’ friends’ friends…and so on and so on and so on. Like that shampoo commercial from the seventies.

Look at the testimonial Evie left for me:

“Melanie is the one girl in the world who can put up with me 24/7, and therefore not only the best roommate I have ever had, but also one of the best friends I could have ever hoped to wish for. She is caring, sweet, and wise, but all of that in addition to a wicked sense of humor. Melanie also has the most amazing, sparkling blue eyes and most infectious smile to be found in the state of California, if not the entire planet. She is someone who will never stop astounding you with some incredible facet of her personality.”

aaaaaawwwww…….. 🙂

WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON: I just got back from my friend Heather’s Pampered Chef party. It was SSSOOO good to see her! She’s been out on maternity leave and I have not seen her since the end of August. She and I were notorious for misbehaving during the Houghton Mifflin training. We wouldn’t shut up! The trainer, Deirdre (DEAR-dray), was very irritated with us. She even used that old classroom management trick of using my name in a sentence to get my attention. Of course, it didn’t actually snap me into line like it would have an eight-year-old…because I’M AN ADULT!!! Just for the future, though, here’s a good idea to get me to pay attention: SAY SOMETHING USEFUL. What a novel concept. 🙂

Heather and I have a big common interest, though, and that is Homeless Education. One of the good things about the federal Leave No Child Behind legislation (On of the ONLY good things, IMO) is that it makes it illegal to discriminate against children on the basis of residence where enrollment is concerned. Which is all very nice…but in REALITY…try to register a child in a school with no utility bill or other proof of residence. You basically can’t. This system makes it damn near impossible to send a child to school who happens to live in their car. The result? They probably won’t learn to read. This is a very serious problem. Heather wrote to Oprah about it, but she never heard back. I think we should make a guerilla-style documentary. I think that would have punch.

STORY ABOUT MY HOMETOWN: So, I was emailing with my friend Ryan, and he asked me for a humorous anecdote about Tracy (my hometown). I wrote him back with one, and then realized that it was so perfectly descriptive of Tracy, that I had to post it here. Enjoy:

“This is a story that will tell you ALL you will ever need to know
about what Tracy is like.

Last summer was my ten year high school reunion. (I’m old. I know.
Shut up.) It was $185 for some dinner and dancing at a hotel near
here, which I think any reasonable person would agree is a little
steep. The only real reason to go to a reunion, anyway, I think, is
to catch up with people’s lives that you’ve lost track of. This
being Tracy, however, the only people who I would be curious about, I
already know about. Here goes:

1) Jeff Sparkman: Ex-boyfriend. He’s a humor columnist for my
hometown newspaper. Therefore I catch up with his life weekly, in

2) Beth Wilson: Best friend from 8 years old to early twenties. Our
friendship kinda fell apart when Jeff and I started dating, because
the three of us had been friends before that and it made it weird.
Of course, two years after I broke up with Jeff, he and Beth started
dating. She dumped him, too. Poor guy. I catch up with her once
every couple months on email. She works at a museum in Sacramento

3) Ken Colburn: My sixth-grade boyfriend. My first boyfriend,
actually…hand holding and the occasional hug. HOT stuff, lemme
tell ya. We were the envy of the other 11-year-olds. He could (and
probably still can) ride a unicycle. Our song was “Take My Breath
Away” by Berlin (we were big Top Gun fans, apparently). He was also,
incidentally, Jeff’s high school best friend. And since his parents
still live next door to my parents, his life is not exactly a mystery
to me, either.

So, even though I didn’t really care about the reunion, I was feeling
sort of nostalgic and halfway wishing that I hadn’t missed it when I
went into our local hip coffee house, Shots, a couple of weeks ago.
Shots is like Starbucks but much cooler. Think Central Perk from
Friends. I was talking with Justin Porter, the cool guy that owns
the place…and who also graduated in my year at high school.
(Also, incidentally, he’s friends with my sister’s boyfriend Tony.
And Tony’s aunt Joanne was my nephew’s kindergarten teacher, and his
other aunt Barbara was MY second grade teacher. Aaahhh…Tracy).
The subject of the reunion came up in my conversation with Justin. I
started getting sentimental about it, but he dismissed that with a
short laugh.

“Don’t even trip about missing it. You didn’t miss much. Only,
like, thirty people showed up, and they basically just went out back
all night and got baked. It was fun, but hell…they do that every
Saturday night anyway for free.”

And there you have it. From weekly Saturday night cowtipping to
weekly Saturday night ganja fests in only ten short years. That’s my
hometown, in a nutshell. I’m so proud!”

Elliot Smith


Elliot Smith died. Apparently he committed suicide. I *just* found out and I feel like I’m in shock. This is so incredibly sad. What a loss! What a completely *pointless* loss to both music and the world.

It makes no sense. Assholes who contribute nothing to society but pain and misery don’t have the good sense to kill themselves, but a poet like Elliot Smith, who made the world more beautiful, feels that he has to take his own life.

The world became a little bit uglier today.



WHAT I’M LISTENING TO: Matt Nathanson. Totally talented singer/songwriter guy…not to mention a complete cutie. He’s based out of San Francisco. He’s playing at Slim’s in the city next week. Damn. I’m broke. Sucks! (Every time I say the name “Slim’s”, I think of that line from Love Jones… “Come on, slim…f*ck your man, I ain’t worried about him.” Aaaahhh….Love Jones. Hey…If Jennifer Love Hewitt married somebody named Jones, her name would be Love Jones. Heh)

WHAT I’M READING: Lake House by James Patterson

COOL WEBSITE I’VE RECENTLY DISCOVERED: It is freakin’ hilarious!!!! The concept of the site is that people who think they can sing (and a handful who actually can) upload mp3’s of themselves daring to sing (or daring to suck, as the case may be). Other people then download their attempts and are able to rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 and provide comments.

Oh….my…God. That’s comedy, people. An added bonus is that some of the people on there actually are talented. Jazzybagz is fantastic. Also, that site is how I originally discovered Ernie Halter (, because he posted a Mayer cover which was discussed on But, the main function of the site, for me at least, is comic relief.

WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON: Man, I realize that I had complete PMS the last time I wrote! The tone of almost everything on that post is complete irritation. LOL Well, I’m back to my old cheerful self.

However, before I completely exit the kingdom of bitchiness I do have to lodge a complaint. Remember in my last blog, I told about how I had emailed Five O’Clock Shadow to see if they are really breaking up? I didn’t post the email here, but I will now:

>Subject: BREAKING UP???? NNNNOOOO!!!!!
>Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2003 21:13:36 -0800

>Hi there!

>You don’t know me, but I am a big fan. I heard that you are breaking
>up at the end of the year. Is this true? Is the person that I heard
>it from crazy/on drugs? Joking. I realize those two things don’t
>have to be mutually exclusive 🙂 Anyway, this is so incredibly sad
>if it’s true.

>I have to bribe my inner two-year-old to do unpleasant tasks (such as
>paying bills, doing laundry and working out) and listening to your
>music is one of the major carrots I dangle for her. 🙂 Trust me, if
>y’all stop putting out new tunes, it’s highly possible that I will
>turn into an out-of-shape, dirty-clothes-wearing,
>currently-in-bankruptcy-court former fan. 🙂

>Come now…I don’t think any of us wants that!

>Seriously, though, if you are breaking up, I am sad about that. You
>guys have a truly unique and quality sound that will be missed by
>many people, including myself. I only hope that you are pursuing
>solo projects so that I can still manage to drop some coin on y’all’s
>behalf. Wow…I used two apostrophes in one word. Cool.

>If you have a moment, feel free to write me back and end my misery of
>uncertainty. 🙂 God knows I’d appreciate it! 🙂

>Thanks so much for your time!


I felt that was, if not my finest comedic writing of all time, at least worth a small chuckle.

So, Oren tells Evie… “Yeah, one of your friends emailed me this week, and it was the most hilarious thing I’ve read all week. She said we satiated her inner two-year-old or something.” But the way she related his tone, it was more like he meant hilarious-psycho than hilarious-funny. Not to mention that the way he explained the “inner two-year-old” comment was completely out of the context of the email. I am very irritated by this. Not to mention the fact that he STILL HASN’T WRITTEN ME BACK! Way to keep in touch with the fans, man. Ridicule their emails behind their backs so they know you’ve read them, but don’t bother to respond.

So, listen…if you are reading this, dude, let me tell you something…it was MEANT TO BE FUNNY! It was not meant to be literal! My life is not actually going to fall apart if you guys break up. I was exaggerating for comic effect. But, it doesn’t really matter. I’m pretty much over you guys breaking up at this point. David Ryan Harris can “satiate” my inner two-year-old.

All the Updates That Are Fit to Print…


…and some that aren’t, really.

WHAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO: Ernie Halter. Someone posted about him on a message board I go to, and I checked out his website. He is soooo cool! I downloaded some of his stuff, and I just can’t stop listening. The CD I burned from the mp3’s on his site is what is currently keeping me pumped up during my workouts. 🙂 Check him out, why don’t ya?

WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Manner of Death by Stephen White

COOL MOVIE I’VE SEEN LATELY: The Fighting Temptations. The gospel music in the movie was not quite as authentic as I’d hoped….or maybe I should say, it wasn’t the style I enjoy most. I like “choir” kinda gospel music, which I thought this would be. John P. Kee. Kirk Franklin. Fred Hammond. West Angeles COGIC. Basically any choir with the word “Mass” in it. You know what I’m talking about. This was more like hip hop, R&B-style gospel. For the young people. LOL. But still very cool…a sweet story. I liked the movie overall.

COOL WEBSITE I’VE RECENTLY DISCOVERED: – John Mayer message board. It’s fun. It’s a good way to get rid of some of that pesky disposable time we all hate so much. 🙂 Of course, if you’re not a Mayer fan, it probably would not appeal to you as much.

RANDOM RANT: Die, John Wells!!!!! Die, bastard!!!! You are not fit to derelict Aaron Sorkin’s balls. DDDIIIIIEEEE!!!! (for more info on the reasons why I feel this way, expressed in a way that is much more clever than I have the time to come up with, see: )

WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON: Well, the big news is that I got a new car…finally!!! YES!!! It’s a 2003 Nissan Sentra, silver. Love it! Spending six weeks with no car was no fun. I spent an ungodly amount of time posting on various message boards and abandoning any pretense of leading a real, non-internet life.

I have rekindled my interest in exercising, however, and have been doing my Power 90 tapes and going to the gym very regularly. YAY…..endorphines! WooHoo!

Five O’Clock Shadow is breaking up!!! NNNOOOOO!!!!!!! Evie is friendly with one of the guys from the group and he told her. I don’t think it’s a secret, though, because someone alluded to it in their guestbook. I emailed them to ask if it’s true…just in case for some odd reason Oren was messing with Evie’s head or Evie was messing with mine. But I think both of those possibilities are slim like shady. I think they are history. 🙁

David Ryan Harris is playing this Saturday night in Santa Monica…WWWWWAAAAA!!!! Dang it, every damn thing goes down in LA. I always get excited when I see concert announcements for California…but is it ever up here??? NNNOOOO!!!! This would be one major reason why I am getting my ass back to SoCal as soon as humanly possible.

I went out and voted in California’s own little Saturday Night Live skit….er….um….I mean….Recall Election. Not telling you how I voted. The point is that I *did* vote.

I replaced Eddie, who was broken. Those in the know, know. Those that don’t, don’t.

My website broke 3000 unique visitors this week! YAY!!!!!

I am currently subjecting my 2nd Graders to the non-abridged double CD version of The Phantom of the Opera while they do their seatwork under the pretense that it is appropriately creepy for the season…but really because I just want to listen to it. 🙂 They are BEGGING me to bring Chuck Mangione back. Heeheehee! They love Joe Satriani, but it gets them too riled up. I can only put it on at the end of the day when I’m about to send them out the door anyway. LOL

I’m currently reading “In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson” aloud to them. I forgot how awesome that book is! LOVE it! Makes me cry, makes me laugh…makes the kids do those things, too, which is important. 🙂 They are having a little trouble getting used to the Realistic Fiction genre after I’ve just finished spoiling them with “The Hoboken Chicken Emergency,” “Fat Men from Space,” and “Jennifer Murdley’s Toad.” Heh. But they’ll live. The only thing I regret about teaching second is that they are too young for me to share my favorite children’s lit book, “A Wrinkle in Time,” with. AWWW!

**Note – If any spies from my school are reading this, I only read novels aloud to them for ten minutes a day and I DON’T count it as part of my sacred Houghton Mifflin minutes! God forbid I take precious time away from curriculum adoption workbook pages to share some actual literature…wouldn’t dream of it, baby! 🙂

Have I mentioned on here how much I really hate the state of the educational system today????? Nothing personal against my particular school…it’s the same all over.

I’m just gonna go ahead and end on that downer note. I can’t think of anything else to say! 🙂

Stay strong, power people! 🙂

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