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Archive for April, 2012

Thinking of going to Vegas? Looking for something other (cheaper) than Celine and casinos? Check out Beth’s Vegas Guide for Weirdos Like Her.

1. Take a sweet limo from the airport.

2. Get married (remarried, renewed, whatever) in the cheesiest way possible.

3. Play a round of miniature golf with KISS (replicas, of course).

4. Enjoy an evening of “Absinthe” — a mix of comedy and Cirque du Soleil.

These two are on roller skates.

5. Listen to a band like Squeeze at the House of Blues.

6. Watch the dancing fountain at the Bellagio.

7. Show your love for your friends outside their hotel room door. (Thanks, Royce and Sarah!)

8. Eat at delightfully tacky restaurants such as the Peppermill.

9. Go to one of the billion sex shops and marvel at the wares.

10. Wait for an hour for the shuttle back to your hotel because someone doesn’t want to walk. Watch people walk up and down the strip.

11. Take pictures of all the entrepreneurs in their get-ups.

12. Take photos of your friends in front of interesting signs.

13. Copyedit signs.

Is spelling it that way supposed to be a joke?

Should be "girls who want to meet you."

14. Bask in the glow of the city’s neon.

15. Keep your mouth shut about all your adventures. (I have, more or less.)

Safe travels!

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The best part of the Vegas trip was people-watching. Folks like to let it all hang out, sometimes literally. Allow me to elucidate:

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Up next: Fun things to do in Vegas

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It’s been two weeks (two weeks!) since my last post. I have one word as an excuse: Vegas. Here are two more: Vegas recovery.

The city is known as the adult Disney World for a reason. And I can’t really discuss that reason, because, well, you know.

I will share a little, though: I was there to present a paper and attend a conference. I flew out a couple of days early with Eddie and our friends Royce and Sarah.

The first thing we did? Renew our vows, of course. Our wedding 16.5 years ago was a tasteful, lovely affair in Forsyth Park in Savannah.

So naturally, we went with something tacky for the renewal: The Little White Wedding Chapel. It was the chapel of choice for such esteemed celebrities as Britney Spears and Sinéad O’Connor, so it was good enough for us.

In the back of a pink Cadillac in the Tunnel of Love, we promised to love each other in sickness and health, and all the rest of that stuff.

The way the minister performed the ceremony, however, makes us think we are now all married to each other.

I’m OK with that. These are the people we spend the most time with anyway, so why not?

Up next: bizarre behavior (not mine).

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In the business writing class I teach, I conduct mock interviews with students. To prepare them adequately, I ask questions that take three forms:

  • “Normal” (“Where do you see yourself in five years?”)
  • Inappropriate (“Do you have children?”)
  • Kooky (“If you were a tree, what tree would you be?”)

Now there’s a new screwy question they have to consider:  “What is your Facebook password?”

It is a disturbing trend on the job interview circuit.

Businesses want it for two reasons:

  1. To make sure the candidate doesn’t do anything in his private life that may embarrass the company or affect work productivity.
  2. To get to know the candidate better to see if she would be a good fit with the rest of the employees.

Regardless of the reason, it is a bad idea for candidates because it (obviously) could cost the person the job. If the person does get the job, the interviewer could still have some preconceived notions that would affect how he or she treats the new hire.

No one would ever get a job if potential employers had an all-access pass into a candidate’s personal life. As Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor, puts it in the above linked article, “It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys.”

I can’t imagine what someone would say about the books on the shelves in my house, for example. Meteorology textbooks, scholarly journals, qualitative research books make me look educated. Travel books show I’m globally minded. David Sedaris, Tom Wolfe, D.H. Lawrence, Flannery O’Connor — I think I’m still OK.

And then things go downhill. What does “The Modern Witch’s Spellbook” say about me? Or “Linda Goodman’s Love Signs?” Must I explain that I went through “a phase” in high school and don’t like to get rid of books?

Some might say not to put anything on your Facebook profile you don’t want the world to see. They have a point, and I do that to a certain extent, but I still want to have interesting, unvarnished interactions with my friends and family. So I just monitor my privacy settings.

Even with that, I can’t control some things. My friend Julia (of the New Orleans extravaganza) took a trip down memory lane on Facebook with embarrassing results for me.

She posted pages of the diary I kept for us during our ninth grade trip with my parents to Myrtle Beach.

I’m mortified.

I take pains to make sure my FB life and work life are separate. What would my current employer (or future ones) say about “prose” like this?

Shudder.

“Eyelashes” was the nickname we gave to the T-shirt shop employee we thought was hot. And here’s a picture of what I thought was hot back then:

Shudder, again.

Yes, that’s a Polaroid. Yes, I’m suitably humiliated. So I guess I was wrong in my last post. I do have shame. I didn’t even tag myself in her posts.

So I say “nay” to businesses asking for snooping rights into Facebook. A business that asks for entrance is not the kind of business I’d want to work for anyway.

Mashable has some tips in case you find yourself in that situation.

And please don’t judge me too harshly. Puberty is a bitch.

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The MPAA finally caved to pressure regarding the film “Bully,” and lowered the rating to PG-13 from R. That makes it easier for target audiences to see it.

Good.

I don’t really understand why bad language and nudity is not OK, but people getting peppered with gunfire is just fine. (I should ask my mother-in-law. She once fled the room when a Victoria’s Secret commercial came on and told my brother-in-law we were watching porn. This is the same woman who sat through all of the über-violent “Battle Royale.”)

Bullying mystifies me. We’re all freaky in our own way. We should embrace that, right?

“Be yourself.” I guess it’s a trite phrase that is easier said than done. The older I get, the easier it is. I am who I am, for better or worse.

I have no shame. For example, I freely admit to:

  • Loving Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” and Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).”
  • And loving Hanson’s “MMMbop” and Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”
  • And also loving the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and Hüsker Dü’s “In a Free Land.”
  • While in high school, sneaking out of the house to see the Butthole Surfers at the Metroplex in Atlanta. (Apologies to my dad who reads my blog and may not know this.) They almost burned down the stage = best night ever.
  • Ogling men. (Look, before you say, “Poor Eddie,” let me assure you he knows, rolls his eyes, and let’s me carry on. We’re married, not dead.)
  • Being willing to break my marriage vows for Johnny Depp. (Eddie knows this too.)
  • Being as fascinated by Christina Aguilera’s rack as Eddie is.
  • Wanting a monster truck. (I used to drive a red pickup. I miss it.)
  • Preferring raunchy comedies and D-grade horror movies over any of the crap I’m supposed to like. (“English Patient” and “Lord of the Rings,” I’m talking about you.)
  • Sometimes telling my kids they are driving me batshit crazy.
  • Having tickets to see Adam Ant in concert Sept. 29.
  • Nursing an addiction to “Words With Friends” and “Draw Something.”
  • Liking beer and wine more than fancy mixed drinks.
  • Being a little bit of a hillbilly.
  • Adoring the F word and its big sister, M— F—.
  • Wanting to put bacon in everything.
  • Thinking some plastic surgery might be a good thing. (A little Botox here and there …)
  • Wanting desperately to go noodling.

Express yourself. Let your freak flag fly. I won’t judge. Instead, I’ll think you are awesome.

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Camping seems like a great idea until you find yourself coated in mosquito bites, sleeping on a rapidly deflating air mattress, and lathering your children in calamine lotion because of a mysterious rash.

Why do people in first-world countries see the need to schlep their belongings out to the woods to sleep on the ground? Isn’t one of the benefits of being citizens of a developed nation the fact that we have beds, shelter, etc.?

I didn’t think about any of this as I happily agreed to go camping with two other families at Edisto Island State Park this weekend. Roaring fire? S’mores? Getting back to nature? Sign me up.

But these should have been my first and second clues that this was a bad idea:

Uh oh.

The creatures were out in full force. Worms were rappelling out of the trees like Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible.”

This worm took up residence in my hair.

And that suited Dominic and Gideon just fine.

Dominic shows off his worm habitat.

To be fair, the campsite was equipped with water and electricity, so it is not like we were truly roughing it.

Camp, sweet camp

But as soon as we put up the tent, it rained. And rained. And rained. We stayed inside and watched superhero cartoons.

The rain finally moved on, leaving everything dirty and muddy. Nate’s shoes were destroyed, so he borrowed Charlotte’s as he went to get a drink (and grab Charlotte’s purse).

Nate brings sexy back.

Despite the monsoon, we did have the requisite cookout, fire and s’mores.

And Nate’s sexy look worked on someone: a friendly Southern toad.

The next day we hit the beach.

This is one way to keep him still.

Gideon can't stand to be left out.

Dominic finds some kind of crab.

New media and old media happily coexist on the beach.

Good company, lots of laughs, and some relaxation almost made up for the critters, dirt and back pain.

However, as Eddie groused the whole time he was loading and unloading the car, I’m going to guess that is the last time he strays from the comfort of his own habitat.

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