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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

If the Spirit Moves You (or Smells Like Christine Spirit)

My dead grandmother is living my bathroom.
Wait, oh my gosh, that came out all wrong.
My dead grandmother WAS living in my bathroom.

There, much better.

I knew she was there because I smelled her.  Not so much her, as her apartment.   Her sweet,old, hard-to-describe apartment smell that was something like: salami and cheese and homemade pizza and house coats and plastic tablecloths and Jean Nate' and just...Nana.

And, since I already sound like a loon...

I might as well admit that once I had her, I didn't want to let her go. So, I locked her in. Yes, yes, I know that's insane.  Everyone knows ghosts can float through walls.  But, still.

I hadn't seen her in years so I planned to keep her.

Shockingly, there is an awkward side to housing one's deceased grandmother.   For one, guests can't use the bathroom.  You know...in case they release Nana.

That wasn't always popular.

For two, I  started to fear Nana had come for a reason.  Why had she chosen to visit ME (aka, chicken liver), given my well-documented disdain for (incredible fear of) all things supernatural (including but not limited to: poltergeists, apparitions, electronic voice phenomenon, the movie Rosemary's Baby, Ouija boards, unexplained noises, people talking about unexplained noises, haunted houses, the Haunted House ride at Disney World, channeling, possession, Jason, Michael, Carrie and Casper.)   Why not haunt my sister?! She's brave (clearly touched) and strong (undeniably coo coo) and watches things like The Shining all alone with all the lights off (animal. crackers.)!  And, why now? After all these years??!

Maybe she just came by to check on me.  Yes, that must be it.

Or  mayyyyybeeee...she was trying to tell me something (gulp.)!  Like..."Be a good daughter and move back to PA!" or "Stop using jarred spaghetti sauce!"   I  considered asking her but I was terrified she'd answer.

Mercifully...

Nana never revealed the reason for her visit and moved on a month later, just when I was getting really used to having her.  I reckon she hi-tailed it back to the great beyond upon realizing my roommate (and her over-cologned, under-achieving boyfriend) was bat crap bonkers.

Can't say I blame her; I barely made it out alive.

Today, I am happy to report that Nana still passes through my new residence from time to time, weaving her scent and reminding me of how wonderful she was.

But, Nana, in case you are reading this blog over my shoulder (and, I sincerely hope you are not.)...

I adore you.  But, I do not...let me be clear, DO NOT wish to actually see you.  Or, hear you.  Also, kindly refrain from levitating objects or flashing lights.  I'd really hate to have to move again (I kinda like THIS roommate). ;)

I am, however, happy to smell your sweet Nana scent, anytime.

And, if you come across my Nana McKechan on your travels, please bring her to the states for a visit. I'd love to have her, too!  As long as she abides by the above-mentioned rules.





















Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eleven Things I Learned in 2011

This post is a little late because I'm very busy and important and I haven't had the time.  Except...I've managed to watch every single episode of Gossip Girl this season, so..no.  

Ok, let's do this.

Eleven Things I learned in 2011:
  1. I choose wine by the cuteness of the label and by how well it matches my kitchen. Boom. 
  2. You can miss a dog as much as you miss a human. 
  3. It takes exactly half an episode of Long Island Medium to become addicted. And, six and a half seconds to become a crying loser.  
  4. America really does have talent.  
  5. The actor's lifestyle is not for the lily-livered. 
  6. LA is very small world.  (and yet, I never seem to run into McDreamy...)  
  7. "Loving What Is" (Byron Katie) is just the Serenity Prayer, expanded.  
  8. The Cirque Du Soliel people are VERY bendy. 
  9. You CAN learn to like something you've hated your whole life.  Even when it's yogurt.
  10. Michale Cerra and Jessie Eisenberg are actually the same person. 
  11. My thumb is not black after all. It's gangrene.  RIP, plants number 1 thru 7.



Saturday, May 21, 2011

To Live and Date in LA: The Sequel

I met him at my favorite grocery store. Johnny. We didn't say more than 20 words to each other...but we had scheduled a date.

Or so I thought.

He pulls his shiny black Porsche in front of me as I walk out. He'd been eying me in the canned foods section and I'd given him a smile as I passed, thinking he was kinda cute.

"You have a fantastic smile," he says. "You have a fantastic car," I say. "Can I take you out for a drink?" he says. "Sure!" I say. We exchange first names and phone numbers and before I finish my five-minute drive home he has texted.
"Awww, that's nice," I smile.

Johnny- Very nice meeting you :)

Me: thanks, you too!

Johnny is a writer on a very popular television show and was a writer on a #1 show that ended a few years ago. Johnny is also a writer of text messages. Johnny wants to know everything there is to know about me from birth to present day, via text. I avoid questions, attempting repeatedly to meet him out (at a very public place) to talk instead, but Johnny is having none of it. He wants to text. And text. And text.

The next night...

Johnny- What's your last name. Are you on Facebook?

Hmmm. Weird. We haven't even met in person yet and he wants to Facebook me. Ok, I reason. Everyone's on Facebook; I guess this is normal. I stupidly give him my last name (instantly regretting it and flashing back to a Lifetime movie involving the murder of a girl who stupidly gave her full name to an on-line predator.)

I search for Johnny only to find that he is not actually ON Facebook. Johnny has a Facebook page. But, his page has no picture and absolutely no information (except that he's a television writer, which is how I know it's him), wall posts or activity at all. I am irrationally relieved that there aren't three names on the profile (John Wilkes Boothe, John Wayne Gacey, Lee Harvey Oswald...you get the gist.), but it's a stalker page, nonetheless.

Awesome.

Feeling like the girl in the horror film whose murder you want to assist with because she's THAT stupid, I quickly make my name unsearchable.

Johnny- hey, i can't find you on Facebook. Friend me so I can look at your page. I'm going to google you now.

Hold. The. Phone. Or drop it...which is what I did.

Me: Um.....what? You want to google me??? That's a little creepy.

Johnny: What? Why? That's what people do these days. Why are you freaking out? (oh, I don't know...I guess the kill room in your basement wasn't what I had in mind when we said we'd meet for drinks...)

Crap, I've pissed off Dexter.

I put the phone down and back away slowly...expecting him to actually walk through the screen holding the length of rope and roll of duct tape he purchased earlier today. You know, the evidence the police will later find in his trunk along with my DNA.

Johnny: Where did you go? You haven't answered. Are you on IMDB? Where did you go to college?

I can't block him...and I can't even ignore him. Because, Johnny is a writer on a very popular television show. And, in television, the writer is God. And, God better not have an axe to grind with you (or into you) when you audition in front of him or you'll never been seen again. By anyone. Ever. Much less book his show. You never piss off the writer. Or the psycho.

Thinking of my acting career and the fact that it will be slightly harder to book while in pieces in his freezer, I decide to respond.

Me: Early day tomorrow...gotta run. But, have a good night and pen something brilliant tomorrow.

Cordial. Acknowledges his talent. But, not encouraging. Not engaging. Perfect.

Johnny: Oh...ok. Yeah, you too. I'll try.

And, just like that, the horror film ends. For the night.

Over the next 2 months, Johnny randomly texts the word- hi. I don't know why, but I have always found it eerie when people just text- hi. I wait the appropriate you're-so-weird-but-I-can't-be-rude-to-you-in-case-you-kill-me-or-worse-yet-blackball-me 24 hour period and text back, hi. (hey, he started it!)

Silence.

A week later...

Johnny- hi.

Goosebumps. Check the locks.

Me- hi.

Silence.

At this point, I know he's either losing interest or plotting my demise. I give up my favorite Beverly Hills grocery store and keep an eye out for shiny black Porsches. There are almost no black Porsches in Beverly Hills. (That, Miss Morrisette, is irony. A fly in your chardonnay, is not.).

Two weeks later...

Johnny- Where have you been? I haven't heard from you. Wanna meet me for a drink?

Annnnd, there it is.

So, i do what any strong, capable, woman of the new millennium would do. I make up a fake boyfriend. A big one. One whose bodybuilding competition has kept me away from my phone for a while.

Johnny wishes me luck with Arnold Fakezenegger and disappears. Just like that.

If I do ever audition for him, I won't know it. I can't even remember what he looks like anymore, but I no longer think he's kinda cute. He, however, will definitely know me, as he sits with a panel of producers, my name in block letters on the headshot in his hand.

At least he won't be holding my actual head.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Where Once There Was None

(I rarely...never...post product reviews. But, this little black tube deserves a little blog love. so...)

The top ones...would suffice. They didn't spread like black spiders approaching the lid-ville county line, as they did when i was twenty, but they were decent, adequate. The bottom ones were another story. Sparse, unless onyx-drenched, and even then there were gaps, empty foxholes where now fallen tress once lay. Wounded, i assume, in a past assault with a deadly curler.

Then came Josie.

Waving a wand of enchantment and argan oil across the battlefield, restoring life where once there was none. And, now, life. sprouts. hope.

Hope's full name is Josie Maran Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara. You can find her, this angel of eyes, atop a shelf at your local Sephora. And when you do, never let her go.

http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P268208&categoryId=C19270

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

10 Things I Learned in 2010

1. Christmas goes by too quickly.

2. Everybody is on Facebook. Or, as the film industry likes to call it, "Cha-Ching!"

3.
Twitter is the new Facebook. Or, as the film industry likes to call it, "2011's Cha-Ching!"

4. P90X was actually designed by Kim Jong-Il as a means to torture Americans. And, who owns a chin-up bar anyway.

5. The Secret can suck it. I've been "secreting" snow in LA for 3 years and have yet to see a flake. Not a snow flake, anyway. Perhaps, I should have been more specific.

6. Not having a roommate is Heaven. Having a roommate is the place below hell where the people who fail hell go.

7. Comedy is hard.

8. I may not be a good redhead.

9.
Parking garage columns are strategically placed in your car's blind spots...by Geico.

10. "Dogs don't say goodbye."

RIP Ginger. I will never stop missing you.



Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Secret Life of the American Actress

Once upon a time, an aspiring young actress (hey, young is a relative term) received many, many bills in the mail, all at once. It went down something like this...

Dear Girl About Town, you owe $81.56 MORE to the incompetent doctor who already charged you $100 to look at your tendinitis-ridden knee and say, "I have no magic for you."

Dear Patient, you owe $122.72 to Cedar Sinai for "fee not covered by insurance and over and above fee for incompetent doctor who had no magic."

Dear Girl, you owe $69.51 to Time Warner Cable for your snail-slow Internet and your six TV channels. Yes, six.

Dear GAT, you owe $214 to the DMV for your car registration renewal and for our efficient, friendly and unparalleled service during your recent eight-hour visit.

Dear Actor, please pay your Comedy Class tuition or or live your life as a talentless bore.

The girl, unable to keep up with her expenses, had no choice but to take to the street. Being a big proponent of the positive attitude, she decided to think of it as a grand adventure. "I will be the best gamine ever," she thought, "I've always liked the outdoors and sewer rats are perfectly good companions!"

For every hardship, the ever-hopeful actress found a benefit: being car-less (no more LA traffic!), homeless (shelter is like, so 5 minutes ago!), TV-less (it's all reruns anyway, so whatevs!), Internet-less (no more breaking news alerts on Lindsay Lohan's court case!), credit-less (no more pre-approved credit card junk mail!), and without comedic timing (pity, as a sense of humor might come in handy on the street, but alas, I shall be marvelous at crying on cue!).

The happy-go-lucky girl adapted well to her new environment and spent her days on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, joyfully polishing the likes of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe (I guess you can take the girl out of the clean home but you can't take the home-cleaning out of the girl...) At night, she conducted corner-classes on the importance of personal hygiene, even taking her students on nightly field trips to The Grove to bathe in the fountain.

The girl had the cleanest, most organized box on the block. She made shabby so chic, her fellow vagrants named her "Guttersnipe of the Month." And, she discovered some wonderful street perks: being outside all the time, she never lacked for vitamin D (Dr. Oz would be so proud), she was able to host a scrumptious dinner party using only a discarded French fry and a partially-used packet of ketchup (take THAT MacGyver!), and she became very adept at breaking and entering.

But, the BEST part of her adventure....

Al Gore made a personal visit to her box, awarding her the Medal of Honor for her extraordinary efforts to end Global Warming by using less electricity...and for having a 100% recyclable home ("I would have preferred a sandwich," she mused, "but I suppose it's best for an actress to stay thin!")!!

THE END.

UPDATE: Legend has it, the girl, while dumpster-diving one day, happened upon a ratty old copy of The Secret and used it to land a role in the latest Tarantino film. Thus, as every good story goes...she lived very happily ever after.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

10 Things I Hope to Learn in 2010

This post requires no introductory paragraph as the title is self-explanatory (ok, I'm watching Gray's Anatomy and I am too lazy to think of an intro).

Ten Things I Hope to Learn in 2010

1. Why should I use a water-saving shower head when, due to its penchant for sputtering out insufficient trickles, it takes me thrice as long to rinse the shampoo out of my hair? Personally, I think it's a wash. Pun intended.

2. I can't believe it took me this long to realize that Bill Clinton closely resembles one of The Muppets. But, which one...

3. I just blew through $70 worth of Starbucks gift cards in under 2 weeks. At what point does does this become something I should be hospitalized for...?

4. Is it better to waste water washing dishes, or waste paper using paper plates? Saving the planet is some tricky business.

5. My dog is 13 1/2 and walks at a snail's pace. Slower, maybe. In fact, often, I have to carry her outside because she can barely walk at all. Until she sees another dog. Then, suddenly, she can canter. Something is rotten in Dogville.

6. I will never be a truly fulfilled person until I learn all the words to "We Didn't Start The Fire." It has been taunting me from 80's radio for years...

7. What is all the fuss about Lost????? Is it really THAT good?

8. Where is my Bluetooth? Where are ALL the things that go missing from my apartment? I'm an extremely neat, organized person. So, I either have a poltergeist or a mental disorder. I'm not sure which I prefer.

9. Wikipedia. How do they know everything. Seriously.

10. In light of the vet telling me Dog About Town will likely only be with me for a few more months, I need to know- Do all dogs, in fact, go to heaven? I'm counting on that to be true.




Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ten Things I Learned in 2009

I know you've all been glued to your computers watching and wondering WHEN I would post it. So, here it is.


My annual, and particularly inane, Ten Things I Learned list.

Read 'em and weep, my peeps.


1. Being "on-set" is a very nice thing to be.

2. Roommates are overrated.

3. Pickled beets are underrated.

4. Texting is the downfall of the dating world.

5. No matter how much your prepare yourself, watching your wonderful, sweet, loyal, quirky, beautiful dog lose her mojo is just sad.

6. All men are not created equal yet...but we're making progress.

7. Nanas never leave you...even when they're gone.

8. Elton John's version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is better than The Beatles version.

9. You can be wildly off-your-rocker and still sell 8 million albums.

10. Turns out it's true. All you need is, in fact, love. And, a really great pair of boots.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Freak Out

As a follower of this blog (or a potential future date...) you should probably familiarize yourself with this list of things that freak me out. Why you ask? Because I'm too lazy to write a full post, obvi. (I learned that word from Gossip Gir...I mean CNN)

23 Things That Freak Me Out
cottage cheese, Blue Man Group, intoxicated elderly, that miniature corn that comes in Chinese food, Rosemary's Baby, Ben Stiller, the Theme Song to Jaws, flan, talking dolls, moms who wipe their kids' noses with their hands, perfect symmetry, liver and onions, long toe nails, death metal, cruelty, filth, intolerance, the smell of rotting flower stems, ant hills, The Exorcist chick's inverted crab walk thing, the humorless, former members of the Bush Administration and waking up before 7am. Oh...and the entire insect kingdom.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

I'm all about freedom. In fact, I'd say freedom is a driving force in my life. And, there are laws that I find archaic and oppressive- The ban on gay marriage, for instance,or the fact that I am not allowed to paint my nails while driving....so unfair. But, there are some things that are not illegal...that really need to be.

Case in point.

1. Over Zealous Sprinklers Systems- There are sprinklers that spray out onto Sunset Blvd. during my commute to and from work. Thus, every day, I have to SWERVE around the streams of water that threaten to splatter my nice clean car...while going 45 mph...and dodging on-coming traffic. Not my happy place. 40 lashes.

2. The "Poo and Run"- Beverly Hills is a virtual mine-field of doggie dooty. Which, over time, biodegrades into the ground and into the water systems. yum. Book 'em Danno.

3. Beepers- No, not pagers. Beepers...of horns. On my way to work this morning, there was a car that had broken down in the middle of road. I could see the driver inside, an older man who was clearly distressed. So, we're all patiently going around this poor man's ailing Toyota (and hoping he had help on the way) when this misguided diva in a white Mercedes decides to LAY on her horn...as if THAT would magically make the man's car move out of the way. If I hadn't been in a hurry...and a-scared of being shot at by a road-raging Real Housewife...I would have gotten out of my car and slapped her upside her clueless clip-on extensions. 30 days community service and no manicures for a year.

4. Scooters- No, not Razors. Vespas. Formerly known as Mopeds. Don't get me wrong, there is a place for scooters in this world. It's called Key West. It is not, however, called Santa Monica Blvd in rush hour traffic. Move along, little doggies. 12 hail Marys and 3 days in the clink.

5. Gum Drops- If there is gum on the sidewalk, my shoe will find it. Like magnet and steel. Since littering is already illegal it's time it was properly enforced. Off with their heads!

This concludes Part 1 of Things That Should Be Illegal. I realize this post makes me sound a tad petulant. So, if after reading, if you prefer not only to unsubscribe but to block my IP address entirely, I completely understand. If you would, instead, like to add to the list via the comments section- God bless your prickly soul ;)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

There's Gonna Be Fireworks

ok, everyyyyone is bugging me to post something since the last post was a tribute to MJ and Farrah and today...is a time to celebrate. Nothing is coming to me. So you're going to get whatever tumbles out of my head right now. Yay for you!

here goes...

Don't know much about history. fact. But, what i do know I learned not from history teachers or field trips. No, every important educational particle that penetrated my little pea brain came from another undeniably powerful source.

School. House. Rock.

Had it not been for the brilliant lyricists of team SHR, I would not have memorized the entire preamble to the Constitution (information that has proven to be extremely useful throughout my life...k, I'm lying.), know how a bill becomes a law or how a conjunction functions or that a noun is a person, place or thing.

Had I NOT spent a good portion of my childhood watching t.v. until my eyes bled (I feel I must mention that I was surely in the basement playing with my Barbie Town House during every math jingle. It's not their fault I still can't do long division), I would have missed said musical interludes and would, at this very moment in time, not know that an interjection shows excitement, or emotion, generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point, or a by a comma when the feeling's not as strong.

So I wouldn't be able to effectively do this...

Hooray! It's the 4th of July today! Rats, we have to work on Monday.

Thus...in honor of Independence Day...I leave you with this SHR video entitled Fireworks. Not their best work...but apropos to the day. Happy 4th! Enjoy...

And then go unpack your adjectives.


Oh and one last thing...VOTE for Girl About Town for Funniest Blog. Unless you think I suck. In which case you should VOTE anyway in honor of School House Rock. Or something like that.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P.

Usually, this blog is filled with whimsical stories and lighthearted folly
but today, I am extremely saddened by the deaths of both
Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.
So, today, I pay tribute to each.

One battled fearlessly against an insufferable cancer and
the other died suddenly, much, much too young.
Both are loved by many, both will be remembered...always.

R.I.P.
Farrah Fawcett
Feb 2, 1947- June 25, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh_v8IIRk2s














R.I.P.
Michael Jackson
Aug. 29, 1958- June 25, 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ber5DrM6dG8















Tuesday, June 23, 2009

head case

I recently read that people who have suffered concussions actually have permanent brain damage. Usually mild, but apparently permanent.

This explains a lot.

As a kid, I was a tomboy. Of course, I played with barbies and stuffed animals and used Play Dough to make pretend hot dogs, which I served at my pretend restaurant... and I adored my Easy Bake oven (I ingested a LOT of raw ingredients. It is simply not reasonable to expect an 8 year old to wait for a light bulb to bake brownies.). But, I also played in the mud, built forts, climbed trees, jumped fences, rode bikes, played softball, skateboarded, ice skated and roller skated.
Along with such activities came sprained wrists, crutches, stitches and...concussions.

Four, to be exact.

One occurred while ice skating (I naturally suck at all winter sports), one while roller skating with a cup of Kool Aid in my hand, one while skateboarding down an insanely steep hill in an attempt to impress the cute boy who lived at the top...and who didn't know I existed and probably wasn't even home at the time, and one while playing "run and slide on the ice patch" during 8th grade recess. We were 13, what do you want?


The ice patch fall was a doozie which caused temporary blindness (No, Mr. Thomas, God rest your mean old soul, I wasn't faking it to get out of math class that day. But, I'm not sorry I missed it.) and, I now believe, a whole host of other issues including, but not limited to, the following:


-Last week it took me 4 full minutes to figure out how to get a travel toothbrush back into its case. yep.

-My math center doesn't work. I'm not even sure it exists. I don't know exactly where it is located in the brain, but I'm pretty sure I fell on it during the skateboarding incident. Stupid cute boy.

-I utterly adore brand new jars of peanut butter. Specifically, Skippy. If i get to be the first one to break the unnaturally smooth surface, my life feels complete. Tell me that's not brain damage.

-I once forgot my dog's name. The vet tech said, "Who do we have here?" and I said, "um..." followed by a blank stare and head tilt. uh huh.

-I have watched all three seasons of Rock of Love. And, I'm hoping Brett breaks up with Taya so there can be a Rock of Love 4. God help me.

-All these years I thought Michale Jackson was saying, "keep on, do the bus stop, don't stop 'til you get enough." Figured the "bus stop" was a kind of dance. Astonished I had that wrong.

-I continue to throw myself into the horror that is the LA dating pool. I think the use of the word horror is explanation enough here.

The list goes on...and on. But, I'll stop now for fear of scaring off...everyone single one of my readers.

***This post is dedicated to my childhood partner-in-crime, Charlotte, who bore witness to many of my mishaps and who got side-swiped by a speeding car while biking to DQ with me via a highway we were NOT supposed to be on...something we manged to hide from her parents despite cuts, bruises and limping. Hopefully, her mother is not one of my followers... ;)***

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If you like what you read, VOTE for Girl About Town for funniest blog!! If you don't like what you read, leave my site immediately...but not before you VOTE ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Diary of a Madwoman

Sometimes... quite often...all the live-long day, I think deep thoughts about nothing at all. It's a gift. I was born with the enviable ability to obsess over things about which most people don't give a tiny worms knuckle.

Don't be jealous.

Today, I have decided to post said random crap. Lucky you.

Things That Don't Belong Together

Going Commando and Mini Skirts- Now, young Hollywood Starlets, I am hardly a prude. but, it's just bad manners to show your lady-business to the paparazzi. Keep it under wraps, yeah?

My dog and Rain- Dog About Town resides in the perfect climate because she despises rain and it hardly ever rains in Southern California. Her distaste runs so deep, she actually refuses to even cross the threshold onto the porch if the sprinkler system is on. She can't hear me calling her name from 2 feet away but she can hear the lawn being lightly watered one-story below. I think I'm being bamboozled.


Spam and me- I do not now, nor will I ever, desire to enlarge my penis. I like my penis the way it is. So, hotloveforyou@biggerisbetter.com, know your audience..and know when to quit.


Children and Electronics- I find it interesting that my mom-friends find themselves missing calls, placing involuntary calls and even replacing entire cell phones because of their children. "My son gave my Blackberry a bath...in the toilet," "My 3 year old must have dialed your number," "My 4-year-old turned the ringer off," "Little Lauren covered it in play dough." K, I don't have a child...or a blackberry...but when I do, I'm thinkin' never the twain shall meet.


Ectomorphs and Running- for details, see prior post (yes, that was a shameless plug).



Blind Dates and Men Who Don't Speak English- for details, stay tuned for future post (hey, I just installed Ad Sense and a girl's gotta eat).


And my personal favorite...


Cottage Cheese and Human Consumption: It's curdled milk, people!! curdled. milk. I rest my case.


Last Minute Addition:


Blogging and Blogspot- There is a ghost in the machine. Hence, the crazy font sizes and styles it chooses against my will. Trebuchet, damn blogspot, Trebuchet!!!!!