Many things, my friends, many things.

I’m just busting over with anxiety — the good kind where you’re like giddy anxious and you’ve got fluttery little excited butterflies flittering around in your tummy. Where, at night, you can’t seem to get to sleep because your legs have a semi-nervous twitch and just don’t want to stay still, sending unassuming and very crankily tired cats meowing in indignancy off the bed. Where following a single train of thought is an exercise in futility, much like balancing my checkbook is a mere exercise in subtraction. That’s me, that’s now, that’s the deal.

And, as such, I would LIKE to write a coherent little entry on the causes of my happygiddiness but alas, can’t do it. Can’t do it because the following thoughts are blisteringly popping around in my head, causing my non-train of thought to be even more nonsensical and nonsequitorish:

* If you have an outstanding check due to me, send it on. The aforementioned exercise in subtraction (i.e., checkbook balancing) seems to display a very very meager amount such that overdraft may be in the near future.
* Correspondingly, if you have a check FROM me that you haven’t yet cashed, do it or risk unfulfillment of said fundage.
* It is very hard to train for a marathon (or, in my case, a half) if you can’t really run on a treadmill and the weather is, say, below 30. That’s cruel and unusual punishment that this little quasi-runner doesn’t mess with,
* I can write about whatever I damn well please on this website, and if you disagree or have issue with that, stop reading it then. Or call Chuck Stone at UNC and see HIS thoughts on censorship (a class that I, outstandingly enough, got a big fat ‘A’ in.)
* I really need to do my expense report but am just too darned lazy to walk across the office and get the much-needed charge number for it. That said, I think I should do it tomorrow to avoid aforementioned overdraft even if any and all moneys are to go to my (forever increasing-balanced) credit cards to reimburse prior work purchases.
* I had a very strange dream about Wrightsville Beach flooding, my friend Beth’s wedding, and driving to the bank. Any thoughts on what THAT means?
* I think I may have broken my pinkie toe this morning, making me wonder if my little toenail is going to fall off and, if it does, how long will it take to grow back in because, dammit, spring pedi season is right around the corner…
* I am touched beyond belief that my ‘call for comments’ actually elicited a response, especially the one that showed the karma results of fu*king with a “tranguch”. Be forewarned.
* I would second that notion about fu*king with a Sabala. Just multiply it by 5 and shiver in fear, because the Gods of Karma are statistically needing to be on my side any day now.

And on that, my happygiddiness and my fractured toenail are going for a pre-date preparatory run.

humor me…

So, it’s like this. This is what I want. This is what I’m asking (no, begging, pleading, and cajoling) you to do.

Leave me a comment.

“A comment?” you say. “What if I don’t have anything to say?”

Well, then, say that.

“But Aubrey,” you say, “What if I think your post is horrific, sucks in ways that I didn’t think things could really suck until I read this, and basically hate and abhor what you wrote?”

I suppose you can say that, but be kind — my ego can be fragile at times.

“But what if I liked what you wrote,” the kind, sweet person that you are says, “What should I say then?”

Oh, you are too kind and you flatter me. But flatter me in a comment, I ask.

Here. I’ll even make it clear for you. Here’s a SUPER example of people commenting their little hearts out and, heck, I’m jealous.

I promise it’s easy, even for the more technologically challenged of you. Just click on ‘Your Thoughts’ below and, intuitively enough, you enter your thoughts.

You got me here? You feelin’ my vibe? Super. Dandy. All that and a box of candy.

But wait! There’s more. You rub my back, I rub yours. (Figuratively, of course, except for at least one lucky one of you — and you know who you are…) See? I’m a giver. You leave me comments, I give you something in return. I, being the kind, karma-ish person that I am, will think lovely and wonderful thoughts about each and every one of you who comments. I’ll wish you happy things like money, cars, and mind-blowing sex. See? Fair’s fair.

So, whaddya say…do we have a deal?

25 Things You May Not Have Known About Me (and may not want to)

1. I won second place in the fifth grade spelling bee.
2. I used to make Barbie and Ken have sex in the Barbie pool by throwing them in there and letting them stay for a while. I figured that whatever sex was, they could do it in the pool in a few days time.
3. I have still never seen the end of “What Lies Beneath” because I got too freaked out at the Ouiji board scene and turned it off.
4. Mashed potatoes and corn mixed together are one of my favorite dishes.
5. To the best of my knowledge, I am still the Lee Burneson Middle School 7th grade champion of the most sit-ups in a minute’s time. I was third in the V-Sit and Reach.
6. I’ve just recently discovered Quaker Instant Grits, and am obsessed with the “Cheese Lovers” variety pack.
7. Besides my family and friends, I’ve never told anyone that I’ve loved them.
8. I tried to campaign to my Mom to have another baby sometime in my fourth grade year. Clearly, I was unsuccessful.
9. Due to a bad experience my freshman year with a bottle of Bourbon, I try quite hard to stay away from that lethal nectar.
10. I fell off my bike in 2nd grade, breaking my three front teeth. They’re still bonded to this day (and will become veneers once I decide to spend my $$ on that instead of overpriced jeans.)
11. I’ve had my heart broken quite a few times, yet will still dive in, headfirst, to new love whenever it presents itself.
12. I hate pickles, mustard, peppers, and onions.
13. I can tolerate honey mustard, as long as it’s heavy on the honey and lite on the mustard.
14. I would move to Australia in a heartbeat.
15. My first crush was on Ethan Foster in third grade, and when he asked me to ‘go with him’, I said ‘no’ because, even though I liked him, I didn’t want my parents to know I “liked boys” yet.
16. My first kiss was at age 13 1/2 with Jon McConnell, who is now engaged to a girl that I went to middle/high school with.
17. There are four words that I hate more than life itself, and they’re so bad that I’m not even going to put them down here even though none of them is typically a ‘cuss word’
18. When the nurse sent home a letter to my parents in third grade, telling them I needed glasses, I hijacked the letter from the mailbox and tore it up, placing the pieces in my bedroom waste basket. My parents taped it back together and promptly sent me to the eye doctor.
19. I hate the scent of vanilla.
20. My favorite ice cream is Jake’s Apple Pie-Scream, made right here in Hot-lanta (and within biking distance from my house!)
21. I’ve cried myself to sleep in the last month.
22. When I was about 2, I used to turn over the bricks that lined our garden and have conversations with the tweedle bugs. (Proving I’ve never been at a loss for words, even at a young age.)
23. The only color I really can’t wear is a peachy-skin-tone.
24. I hated Mad Balls and Garbage Pail Kids so much I used to pray that God would make them go away.
25. If my house was burning down and I could only save the things I could grab quickly, I would throw the cats under one arm, grab my jewelry box, my journal, and my photo album. (And possibly my laptop, if I had space.)

MAM: Morning-After Mortification

You know you’ve done it at one time or another.

It’s the morning after the night before, and you languidly crack open one eye to see that noon has, in fact, already passed and at some point during the night your mouth has become a desert, as if the dentist took that suction tool and sufficiently removed any and all moisture found within. You try and focus on the clock on your cable box, testing to see if it’s blurry or not, a surefire way to see if you had managed to take out your contacts before falling asleep/passing out. As you groggily wake up and scan your outfit (surely including remnants of the night before or an alcohol-inspired choice of unmatching pj pants and no shirt), you have this overwhelming sense of foreboding as the memories — languidly, as well — come fluttering back.

It’s the jigsaw puzzle of drunken activity — pieces slowly fall into place as you inspect the clues. Start with your purse or your pockets. You see receipts galore, a dollar or two, and perhaps even some peanuts (and shells) swimming around in your personal contents. You may even find a random business card or two, wondering who was kind enough to offer you their information, either solicited or unsolicited. Checking your cell phone offers you even more insight on the stupidity of the night prior — the mis-dialed attempts at even the most normal of numbers, and (at times, worse), the successfully dialed attempts of ex, current, and (unless you’ve screwed it up big time) potential suitors. In the midst of your soporific sleuthing, you remember the worst of it, that memory that causes you to cringe in sheer embarrassment — pulling the covers over your head, you’ve just entered MAM: Morning-After Mortification.

It’s the little things that, at the time, seem like a great idea that are the true killers here. It’s the vocalization of a thought that should have remain unsaid, the action that should have remained undone, and the good intentions gone bad. (And sometimes, it’s the combination of the three.) Tracing the thought process that led to said mortification is an exercise in futility, and basically, it’s damage control at its very worst.

Next comes the character witnesses — those comrades that were either privy to your stupidity in person or can at least offer you some sensible advice in the aftermath. When you ask them if it’s really that bad, you depend on them to tell you that “it will pass,” “give it some time,” and by no means was it as bad as you’re making it out to be. These little PR agents of your ego can do the ultimate spin cycle on your action, offering you kind words and an invitation for a greasy brunch to at least try and mitigate the mortification.

At some point, you’ll come face to face with your embarrassment — either apologizing, attempting to apologize, or even just admitting to yourself that you’re nothing less than a huge dumbass. You make promises to others (and to yourself), swearing off all unhealthy agents, including the root of the problem, the provoking poison commonly referred to as alcohol.

And then, you’ve done all you can do. You realize that your little (or big, as it may be) snafu is NOT the center of the world. Stupid? Of course. Embarrassing? To say the least. But you learn to chalk it up as yet another dumb thing that you’ve done, and at the very least, hope that one day, it will be a good story. And until that day (hopefully) comes, you just know it could be worse, and hope for the best.

An exercise in happiness

Thank God for friends.

They’re there for all the much-needed times, esp. when your pilates-induced endorphin high wears off around 10 am and that, in combination with work drudgery and a few other unrelated annoyences, sends you into a tailspin of a funk. They’re there to play stupid little games on IM to cheer each other up by telling them why they should be in a good mood, after all. (And aren’t I sweet, I even disguised this angel on earth’s name to protect her identity.)

AubreyOS: 1. You wear a little teensy weensie size and are comfortable walking on the beach sans shorts and cover up
IM Friend: 2. You have a good clavicle and are comfortable showing your cleavage
AubreyOS: 3. You paid off your credit card.
IM Friend: 4. You are going to San Diego
AubreyOS: 5. I am going to stay in the Hotel del Coronado when in San Diego even if I do not have a boyfriend as we near Valentine’s Day
AubreyOS: 6. You have a Burberry blanket and a Burberry purse and a trip to Hawaii
IM Friend: 7. You have a coach purse and expensive jeans and your OWN home.
AubreyOS: 8. You have a very quiet washing machine.
IM Friend: 9. You have 3 feline friends
AubreyOS: 10. You didn’t date a boy named [name withheld to protect the asshole] but you DID know [another guy that one of us dated] when he had a mustache.
AubreyOS: 11. You have a very pretty kitchen and a hubby who cooks and you STILL aren’t fat.
IM Friend: 12. You throw fun parties
AubreyOS: 13. Your job doesn’t include assessing epidemiological software for the cdc
IM Friend: 14. Your job doesn’t include pretending to care about the philanthropic habits of rich people.
AubreyOS: 15. It’s very improbable that your feet are anywhere near as cold as mine are.
IM Friend: 16. It’s warm today in the southeast
AubreyOS: 17. I already did one part of my two-part exercise regime today and am actually looking forward to my 2 mile run as an effort to regain the endorphin high that just dropped off thus leaving me in a substantial funk.
IM Friend: 18. I slept until almost 8 and didn’t come to work until almost 10 and am very happy about that.
AubreyOS: 19. I made a kickass chicken curry dinner the other night, providing proof that perhaps there IS hope for me after all in the cooking dept.
IM Friend: 20. I ordered a fabulous new red chair so that more than 3 people can sit in my living room.
AubreyOS: 21. You live in a town where the guy to girl ratio isn’t nearly as skewed as it is in Atlanta, even if you (as a married) can’t enjoy it.
IM Friend: 22. You live in a town that has better shopping even if you can’t always afford it.
AubreyOS: 23. You at one point in your life dated someone we nicknamed “Precious Puppy” and you turned out ok after all
IM Friend: 24. Ditto for Pubehead
AubreyOS: 25. You didn’t shower with your PP in public at the Carolina Inn unlike some other people that we know, ahem, did (And I didn’t DATE Pubehead, and don’t know if that makes it better or worse)
IM Friend: 26. You can get into strip clubs without paying cover.
AubreyOS: 27. You can go to Oasis cafe any time you want to and get “Muenster Mash” without having to drive 7 hours.
IM Friend: 28. You have cheesecake factory at your disposal.
AubreyOS: 29. You could actually go to cheesecake factory and not gain 10 pounds unlike me who can’t even drive by it without adding a kg or twenty to my rotund ass
IM Friend: 30. You have the opportunity to do pilates on a regular basis while I am left to pour through the videos on
AubreyOS: 31. You have Tivo and could probably record some Pilates moves on the Exercise channel (do they still have that anymore?)
IM Friend: 32. You have the best nail polish collection of anyone I know and always have.
AubreyOS: (Very true. I’ll definitely agree with that. 🙂
AubreyOS: 33. You may have red-haired kids and I’m jealous
IM Friend: 34. You may have the cutest blond 3 year old with curls ever conceived.
AubreyOS: (again, very true. If I ever procreate in this decade, that is.)
AubreyOS: 35. You don’t have a burning desire to eat masses of sushi and double-chocolate cake, clearly a genetic mistake and a subconscious subterfuge of my doing very well with my exercise and diet plan status
IM Friend: 36. You don’t have to share your bed with a full grown man who steals the covers and snores.
AubreyOS: 37. You don’t have to share your bed with THREE full-grown cats, one of which who snores so loudly that it sounded like my phone was on Vibrate this morning.
IM Friend: 38. True. Very True.

Damn. I think that worked.

PS: In funk again. Guess what I just saw:
HBO is preparing for life without “Sex.”

HBO has made official what had been rumored for weeks: The upcoming sixth season of “Sex and the City” will be its last. The critically acclaimed comedy will do 20 episodes, with 12 airing this summer, starting in June. The other eight won’t be shown until next January.

The Official Aubrey 2002 List

Best addition to my Top Five List:
Michael Vartan (Agent Vaughn from Alias. TASTY.)

Most likely to be added to my Top Five List for 2003:
Evan from “Joe Millionaire”

Best activity perfected early in the year of 2002 that needs to be repeated again soon, pink scarf and all:
Late-night dance parties

Best name for a dog imagined in one of my long-winded dreams:
Nancy Pantsy

Best memory reminisced upon in 2002:
Summer Nights

Best book that had tears running down my face in public at the Phoenix airport:
The Lovely Bones

Place most likely to try to crash at when frighteningly inebriated and often belligerent:
This cute little house with a red door

Best wedding I didn’t spend nearly enough time at due to someone heinously making me leave:
Katie & Austin Koon’s

Best post-wedding action by a bridesmaid:
TIE: Tracy telling everyone that I was a transvestite because I worked for and me subsequently falling down the stairs at Top of the Hill

Scariest picture of 2002:

Worst outfit I wore in 2002
This little number to the Peach Bowl & afterwards to a New Year’s Party in which I was (and I quote) “sloppily making out in public”

Best Christmas present I didn’t get:
Sewing Machine or Wireless Modem

Best Birthday present I did:
Kissing Booth at our Three-way Throwdown

Best word I coined in 2002:

Best piece of advice by someone I don’t really know re: my intended actions on Memorial Day:
We won’t have any TP left if you go roll their house

Best thing about not going anywhere for Labor Day:
Saving $ and sleeping in

Worst thing about not going anywhere for Labor Day:
Having your closet fall down on your head 3 times and then receiving news that completely broke your heart and led you to weep on your spare bedroom floor since your own room was uninhabitable due to the piles of clothes taking over every square inch

Best new activity that I took up:
Pilates, despite the pain induced by “Lady of Pain” Lane (my teacher)

Worst new activity that I took up and/or continued:
Drunk dialing, repeatedly

Somewhere between the best and the worst new/continued activity that I took up in 2002:
Singing Christmas Carols on Mike Warner’s phone machine on a weekly basis

Best Purchase of the year:
My hizouse

Worst Purchase of the year:
Car cell-phone charger that fell out of the car within 24 hours of its purchase

Best phone call I received that wasn’t technically in 2002 in my time zone but may have been in the caller’s time zone:
Brian Kiger, who has still not accepted my many proposals of marriage

Best mode of procrastination when I don’t feel like assessing epidemiological software in Sub-Saharan Africa:

Feel free to add your own best/worst by clicking on ‘Your Thoughts?’ below …

positive thinking…

I just recently began calling myself a writer.

Prior to being published, prior to getting a bit of money for my articles, and prior to this website (and my subsequent incognitly famous “Dear Alcohol” letter that has gone around the web), I felt like a fraud. Who was I to say I was a writer, what with the bevy of writers and authors who had ‘made it’ whereas I, little peon, was a mere neophyte?

But one day, someone asked, and without thinking, I replied “I’m a writer.” From then on, it became my standard answer.

At times, I elaborate, telling them that I have a full-time job doing fun and exciting things like assessing epidemiological software for the CDC in sub-Saharan Africa (true) yet explaining about and Citysearch and my future 10 lbs. that I will gain as a restaurant reviewer. Other times, I leave the rest unsaid and remain, simply, a writer.

I’ve found, though, that as time passes, I feel more and more authentic, like the true writer that I wish to one day be. I find myself truly believing that one day perhaps this WILL come true, I find myself both more and less critical of my writing and more and less enthusiastic about queries, article submissions, and the like. But, regardless, the more I tell people that I’m a writer, the more I believe myself that I truly am.

Using that logic, anything is possible — perhaps I should set my goals a little loftier. Next time someone asks me what I do, I know what I’ll answer.

“I’m a Movie Star.”

Not an actress (not as fancy and too generic) — a full-blown Movie Star.

Take this scenario. On Friday, I go to this snazzy shindig and John Doe chats me up, asking me what I do, to whom I give the requisite “Movie Star” answer. Come Saturday. I’m at yet another snazzy ‘do and in I walk, in typical Aubrey Glitz and Glamour (or “In I stumble, in a haze of beer and wine fumes”), and Jane Doe asks John Doe who that lovely lady is. John, appropriately enough, replies “Oh, that’s Aubrey. She’s apparently a Movie Star.”

And thus it begins.

I’ll even let you say you knew me “when…”

Automated Reply: Out of Office Message

I’m sorry I won’t be able to respond to your calls/emails/inquiries/visits/requests/proposals/propositions as I will be on vacation from my life for the next short while. I will not be able to do the responsible thing, not be able to make the right choices, and not be able to play any and all games that are apparently requisite at this stage in life. I will be unavailable to write your articles, to sell your products, and to assess your software. I will not be able to tell you if your butt looks big, to reassure you for the nine thousandth time that you do NOT look as old or as fat as so-and-so, and not be able to again illustrate the lunacy of liking someone more than you. I will be unavailable from being the designated driver, from catering to any one’s agenda, and to going places that I don’t really want to go. While gone, I will be making rash decisions, doing and saying the wrong thing, and certainly eating things that have never been found in any diet book (with the exception, perhaps, of the Atkins diet and a whole lot of chicken wings.) Until further notice, all typical-girly-overanalysis of what was said and done will cease, all irresponsible acts will be rewarded, and all bets are off. I will be rendered unavailable until you hear otherwise. I will return to my responsibilities when I damned well please.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

Things I’ve (Somehow, and in some way) learned

Well, it’s officially a new year. Out with the old, in with the new, resolute your life away and all that great stuff that comes with a midnight champagne toast and some auld lang syne. I know I’ve often touched on how much can change in a year, month, week, and even day, and again, it seems fitting. Especially this year, since I think I could perhaps hold the record for most things changing in 365 days and I’m happy to challenge you for my place in the books. All day (and well, yesterday and perhaps even this past weekend) I’ve been thinking of where I was last year. Where my life was, what I was doing, what I was wanting to do, what I had found, what I had lost. And while time does seem to fly as we get older (yes, today I realized I’m in that ‘insignificant’ age bracket as seen on surveys — usually 25-40 — where apparently I’m the equivalent of a 40 year old premenopausal woman. Flattered, to say the least.), I think I’m a much different person now than I was a year ago. That said, it’s because what I’ve learned, found, discovered, and have been taught, most often by trial and error, experience, and from the most unlikely teachers. And thus, in reminiscience, I share with you the Things I’ve (Somehow, and in some way) Learned:

Some things really are too good to be true.

Try desperately, with all of your might, to teach your animals the difference between a litterbox and a bathtub, as apparently they’re often interchangeable in their cute little animal brains.

People DO read this website and will sometimes make assumptions that I’m talking about them. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re not. And, for the record, I’m not telling which, so keep on guessing.

Trust your instincts — we often know things far before the facts add up, and we’re often right.

Sometimes things are better left unsaid.

You can’t push a horse to water, you can’t force a cat to go on a diet, and you can’t make someone love/like/lust/adore you if they’re not going to. It’s not love if you’re trying to make them love you back.

People change, and so do their feelings. And, so do your own.

A clean room/house will make you feel a bit better on those days when nothing has gone right and the world seems bleak. The same can be said for a clean closet.

Your knight in shining armour may get way-laid at someone else’s castle. Sitting around and waiting won’t get you anything but a sore butt.

Old friends are often the dearest, and new friends will surprise and delight you, adding love and laughter to your life. Your cup CAN floweth over, and this is good.

“Dude, Where’s My Car” is by far the dumbest movie alive, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.

Two big bowls of delectable chili can wreck havoc on ANYONE’S digestive system.

“There is fate but it only takes you so far. Because once you’re there it’s up to you to make it happen.” (OK, I stole this from a cheezy teen movie. It’s true, though.)

Adding more cheese than a recipe calls for makes everything a bit better. I promise.

You can’t expect people to treat you the way you want them to, but you can know you deserve better.

Spending $106 on a pair of jeans that makes your ass look like a million bucks is a very worthwhile investment that will pay off in ways you may not even begin to imagine.

Sometimes to get what you’re looking for, you have to stop looking.



As I sit in the computer room in the house I grew up in, wearing the Christmas PJ’s that have become a traditional gift over the years, I realize for the first time in a while that appearances can be deceiving. This house looks the same. We have the same white lights on the tree, the same Buckeyes are made every year, and I somehow find slumber in my pepto-bismal pink bedroom, a color upon which I insisted in a 7th grade bout of girlieness. My dog still dances on his hind feet upon my arrival, my Mom still spends too long fixing her hair in the mornings, and I still have a staunch avoidance to putting my clothes anywhere but on my bedroom floor, apparently an inherent behaviour stemming from many days as a teen at this abode. The house looks, smells like Christmas, and we behave accordingly. Except while everything is the same, nothing actually is.

This is my first Christmas with only my Mom. Despite our voices raised in song at Mass and the hugs and the presents and the food – oh! the food – there’s a sadness in our hearts. While the traditions are the same – I open my stocking first and put silly bows on my head while I tear into wrapping paper without abandon – my Dad isn’t here to videotape the event nor to offer his swiss-army knife to break through that pesky tape on all of the boxes. There is no coffee brewing in our kitchen; there are no robes & DVD’s and golf trinkets opened on December 25th, at least not in this house anymore. We get along just fine, you see, yet it’s not the same.

Divorce is all around us. More than 1/2 the marriages end with a dissolution, be it a divorce, separation, annulment. As Sarah mentioned earlier this month, it’s become commonplace to use divorce as a “get out of jail free” card because, well, everyone else is doing it. I hate that this is the case, I hate that children learn that broken homes are commonplace, I hate that people that promised to love & cherish changed their minds, be it a year or two or twenty-seven later. Change is inevitable – this is never as clear to me as this year when very few of my friends are home for the holidays as they’re at their boyfriend’s or fiancee’s or husband’s family’s place in far-away lands – but change in one’s whole being, a change in the core values and traditions that 26-years can instill in you, well, that’s heartbreaking.

I’m wary of marriage; my Mom thinks it’s because I’ve seen one unravel before my very eyes. While I’m sure that has something to do with it, I think I take a pessimist’s view of “happily ever after”, thinking that the fairy-tale is just too good to be true. I hate to think how many people I know have cheated on their boyfriends-now-husbands and their girlfriends-now-wives, with their partner never in the know. If they can do it, after all, who’s to say it’s not going to happen to me?

Christmas is a time to be joyful, a time to count your blessings. I listened to the priest at mass talk about making room for God and people and love in our life, saying that whatever you want won’t come unless you make room in your life for it. Out with the old, in with the new, as the saying goes. And as I hope the message doesn’t extend to husbands and wives and matrimony, I know there’s no scent of coffee brewing as I go downstairs on Christmas morning. And I miss that. I miss what I thought was forever after.