Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Frustrated

31 flavors and varieties.

How was your day?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why Swishy shouldn't be let out of the house ... THE SEQUEL!

I've just started typing and already I'm shaking my head. I'm going to tell this story, and then we're all going to forget we ever heard it. Deal?

OK. I pull up my checking account online every so often to make sure everything looks all right. I pretty much hate doing it, so I put it off, but it's a good thing to do and it always makes me feel better when I do it, so I do it.

So. Today I was paying some bills, and I went online to look at my account because I hadn't done it in a while. Right off the bat, I see a $20.00 transaction at 7-Eleven dated November 24. I can tell it's not an ATM withdrawal, and I'm like, hmmmmm, that's strange. I scroll down a little more and see another debit for $24.70 on November 14. Same 7-Eleven. I go down a little further and see one on October 30 for $24.55. All told, there were six 7-Eleven transactions totaling about $120.

OK, I never buy stuff at 7-Eleven. A bottle of water on my way to work out, maybe, but that's it. Even then, I always use cash. After a moment of confusion, I transition into being pissed. Completely pissed. I've got myself worked up into an absolute tizzy. I'm convinced that some punkass kid copied my debit card number the one time I might have used it there, and now is slowly siphoning money out of my account thinking I won't notice. The charges are all for about 20 bucks, they're spaced a week or two apart ... it's OBVIOUS I'm the target of some debit card scam. And do you think I'm going to take that lying down? Oh, hell no, I am not. That punkass kid and his punkass friends at other 7-Elevens who no doubt are helping him are going DOWN.

I call my bank. "I need to report some unauthorized purchases."
Bank girl verifies all of my information. "OK, go ahead."

I explain that some 17-year-old kid at 7-Eleven is screwing me over by seeping money out of my account, probably to buy himself some hot new car that's 100 times nicer than mine. Or some pot. And that he's probably not the only one--there's probably a whole network of shady high school kids doing the same thing all across the metro area.

Bank girl: OK, do you have any of the transaction dates handy?
Me, practically marinating in my righteous indignation: Yup. The first one is November 24.
Bank girl: OK, let's see ... it's a 7-Eleven at blah blah address. Do you know that one?
Me: Yeah, it's down the street.
Bank girl: Hmm. It shows the card being swiped, so it wasn't a number that was manually entered. Do you have another transaction I can look up?
Me: November 14.
Bank girl: OK ... this shows up as being made at the same 7-Eleven ... another swipe. Hang on. OK, it says the purchase was for gas.
Me, in my head: Oh, shit. Me, out loud: Uhh ... you know what? I might have overreacted.
Bank girl: They're both coming up as gas purchases.
Me, now marinating in total embarrassment: Ummm ... yeah. I've been getting my gas lately at a 7-Eleven. That makes sense now.
Bank girl: Well, it DOES come up initially as a Citgo purchase on the online statement, so it's natural that you might be confused.
Me, in my head: Yeah, if you're a dumbass. Me, out loud: I'm really sorry.
Bank girl: We do have a disputes department, if you need to contest anything.
Me: Um, no, I think I'm good. Thank you for checking.
Bank girl, who's being so nice she almost has me convinced that she's not going to laugh her ass off with her coworkers as soon as we hang up: That's what we're here for! Have a nice day!

I don't think there's really anything to add here. The only thing I can say in my defense is at least I check my statements. It's weak, but that's all I got.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Why Swishy shouldn't be let out of the house

First off, I hope everyone had a lovely and safe Thanksgiving. I made a quick trip to my parents' house, and it was very nice, except for the crap I got for taking two naps in 36 hours. ("Every time you come here, all you do is SLEEP!" they said. I HAVE been pretty tired the past couple of times I've gone. But the naps were only like an hour long! And everyone else took one too! And in my defense, I'm not anti-social about it. I don't go up to a bedroom like a normal person. I fall asleep on the floor with the TV blaring and people stepping on me and plates banging five feet away in the kitchen. So that counts for something ... right?)

Anyway. Back to the subject at hand.

Exhibit A: I'm in the security line at the airport and I get pulled to the side: "Ma'am, we're going to need to look through your bag."

Me: OK.
Security guy: I'll wait for you to put your shoes back on.
Me, precariously close to missing my flight: No, it's OK. Go ahead.
Security guy: It looks like you might have packed something against the guidelines ...
Me (thinking this was just one of those random checks): Wait ... what?
Security guy: ... so I just need to go through and check everything.

Security guy starts pulling stuff out of my bag. Book, notebook, another book, leftover tampon from the last trip ...

Security guy: Maybe that's it.
Me: What? A tampon? Seriously?
Security guy: Maybe.
Me: Well, you can just get rid of it. I don't need it or anything. It's, like, you know, I just keep it in there for emergency or whatever.
Security guy starts going through my makeup bag and holds up a tube of Carmex: Actually, I bet this is it. This is supposed to be in a Ziploc bag, you know.
Me: For REAL?
Security guy holds up some mascara: This too.
Me: REALLY?
Security guy: Yeah. We're going to have to send these through again in a plastic bag.
Me: Ohhhh-kay.
Security guy, handing me back my smashed tampon: The good news is, I think this is OK.

I'm tempted to blurt out one of the many potentially witty responses that come to mind, but I resist. Airport security guys aren't always known for their senses of humor.

Exhibit B: I get back into town and go shopping today with my friend Allee. We go to the rich people mall because I'm scared to go alone. See, there are regular malls, the ones with the Gap and H&M and Macy's, and then there are the rich people malls. The ones with Saks and Louis Vitton and just ... RICH PEOPLE STORES. I need Allee to go with me because I'm afraid I'm going to walk in and some invisible laser will scan my wallet and set off flashing lights and a blaring alarm and I'll be unceremoniously tossed out on my common, middle-class little ass like the fraud that I am.

Anyway, that's not why I shouldn't leave the house. It's because of the reason I wanted to go to the rich person mall in the first place. I went to the rich person mall to buy ... makeup. Yes, makeup, and, yes, I'm kind of cringing right now admitting it. I spent the most obscene amount of money on makeup EVER! It's really sort of embarrassing what I spent. Let's see ... put it this way. I went to Walgreen's and got buy-one-get-one-free Almay mascara for a total of $7.03. What I spent on two mascaras at Walgreen's was almost as much as my sales tax for two things at the rich person mall. My SALES TAX!

I swear it will last me like two years though. For real. I looked online and someone really said hers lasted that long. So when I think about it that way, it's not so bad. It's a LITTLE bad. But not, like, HORRIBLE. OK, when you think about starving children on the other side of the world, it's horrible. But ... OK, I'm going to stop now.

Exhibit C: I get home, I start winding down, and it occurs to me that, at some point in the next 24 hours, I'm going to want to eat the rest of the pumpkin pie my mom sent back with me. It HAS to get eaten this weekend, because I've got to start being good again on Monday. Only problem? No whipped cream. I absolutely cannot eat pumpkin pie without whipped cream. So I go back and forth on it, and finally decide to run to the store for whipped cream, just so I have it.

It's 12:30 a.m. I know the grocery store that's two seconds away closes at midnight, so I go to the next closest one. Closed. I go to the next one a little farther down the road and ... flashing lights in my rearview mirror. Shiiiiiiiiiiit.

Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?
Me (thinking that it had BETTER not be for running a stop sign in an empty parking lot): Umm ... because my registration expired?
Officer: That's right.
Me: Yeah ... I've been meaning to do that. Sorry.
Officer: Can I see your license and insurance?
Me: Yeah. Here's my license. My insurance is definitely here--I totally remember putting it in here--but I have to find it. Hang on. (I start going through the stack of papers in the glove box.) OK, here's 2004 ... 2005 ...
Officer: I'm going to go run your license while you find it.
Me: OK.

I find my insurance card two seconds later and wait for the officer to come back. And wait. And wait. He's seriously taking forever, but I'm scared to look over because I don't want him to get pissed. My phone rings. I pick it up and tell the person on the other line to get ready to bail me out of jail, because we're going on 20 minutes, and maybe the officer's mixed me up with some other Swishy with a criminal record and an outstanding warrant and he's calling for backup. I'm not really kidding. He's taking THAT long.

Finally, FINALLY, he comes back: "Sorry, we got this new computer system, and I don't really know how to use it." Fantastic. "OK, I'm citing you for having expired plates, and your court date is ... let's see ... where is it ... your court date is ... there it is! November 26. November 26 at 7 ... Wait. That's today. Well, it's on there somewhere. You can find it later." Super. "And this other one is a ticket for not having insurance."

Me: Whoa, wait a sec. My insurance is right here.
Officer: Well, you should have told me.

OK, last time I checked, you were supposed to stay in your car during a stop so you don't get, I don't know, SHOT AT. I don't say that, though. I don't want to put ideas in his head. Instead, I just hand him my card.

Officer looks at insurance: What's on it?
Me: What do you mean?
Officer: The blotch.
Me: I mean ... I don't know. Lotion, probably. I keep lotion in there.
Officer: Oh. Well, anyway, you should have told me you had it. It's too late now. You'll have to call the courthouse. They might waive the fine, but you'll still have to pay the court costs.

I find this very annoying, since last time I checked it wasn't against the law to take longer than 5.7 seconds to find your insurance card. But I really don't want to be arrested. Or shot. I will save my wrath for the poor lady at the courthouse.

Me: Allllll right.
Officer: What are you doing, anyway?
Me: What do you mean?
Officer: What are you doing out?
Me: Driving.
Officer: To the grocery store?
Me: Yeah.
Officer: It's closed.
Me: Yeah, I sort of figured once I saw the parking lot.
Officer: What did you want to buy?
Me, thinking it is WAY TOO LATE to pretend to be nice and borderline awkward flirty, considering you just handed me TWO TICKETS when you could have let me go with a wave and a warning: Whipped cream for my leftover pumpkin pie.
Officer: You might want to try Walgreen's.
Me: Maybe.
Officer: Really, you should.
Me: Yeah. Maybe.
Officer: You know, I could have given you tickets for not having a current inspection or emissions sticker, too. So, really, I gave you a break.
Me (dancing on the edge of Sarcasm Street): Well, thanks.
Officer: You're welcome.
Me: OK, well ... have a nice night.

Yeah. Now, not only do I finally have to go through the utterly ARDUOUS process of renewing my registration, I have to fight one ticket and pay another. All because I couldn't wait eight more hours to buy freaking whipped cream. SO annoying.

It could be worse, though. My sister called me while I was shopping and informed me that she went out to dinner and found a pubic hair in her food. Yes, I just said pubic hair. (Me: "Are you SURE that's what it was?" Her: "Um, what ELSE would it be?!?!")

So ... yeah. Definitely could have been worse.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thank you, Al Gore

How do I love the Internet? Let me count the ways ...

It lets me watch the special Grey's Anatomy Oprah from last Friday that someone else illegally uploaded or downloaded or who the hell knows what ... the important thing is that I missed it, and then I forgot about the 1:30 a.m. repeat, and I was soooo mad because I heard about some hot little wink real-life McDreamy gave real-life Meredith, but THEN I got to watch it online! In its entirety, minus commercials. Seriously big-time, ranking up there with the illicit YouTube clips.

It lets me download cute little female empowerment anthems, like the one ("Irreplaceable") I downloaded last night. Beyonce has been the queen of little female empowerment anthems ("Bootylicious," "Independent Women") the past few years, but this one is my favorite. The best part is the chorus: "You must not know 'bout me ... I can have another you in a minute." YEAH! And of course, the "To the left" part, because you can totally pop your hips to it. (Golightly likes that part, too!)

It lets me Google myself and see what the world REALLY thinks of Swishy. I write some stuff for my job. Ever since someone dropped me an email a few years ago informing me that something I'd written was all over 16 pages of this one message board, I do the occasional Google search when I'm bored to see what's out there. So the other day, I Googled myself and found an entire blog entry that some woman had written a couple of months ago about me. An ENTIRE BLOG ENTRY. Poor thing, she was pretty worked up about it, too. Apparently, I'm classless. And cliche. And superficial. And I left her annoyed. And she left me laughing my ass off.

In other, completely unrelated, news, I severely broke the nail on my left thumb the other day. I had to wear a Band-Aid (Scooby-Doo, of course) on my thumb for, like, two days, because it broke so far down. Anyway, I CANNOT THROW AWAY MY NAIL. I know that's sick. It's sitting on my bathroom counter. It's so long, I feel like I should show it to someone or something first. So here. Consider yourselves shown. Now I can toss it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Well, hello there

I seriously don't even know why I'm writing a post right now. It's freaking 2 a.m. and I'm supposed to be a responsible adult, which means I'm supposed to be in BED! I'm tired, but I'm in that zoned-out tired, where I know I'd just lie there and not be able to fall asleep and eventually roll over and turn on the 1:30 a.m. repeat of Oprah. So I guess I might as well blog, huh?

I haven't been able to sleep all week. I've been very busy, for one thing. Up late working and stuff. For another, this has become a pattern of mine. Every couple of weeks, I'll go a straight week where I can't wind down until, like, 3 a.m. I don't mind so much being up late, but it kills me in the morning, just kills me. I always have to give myself a pep talk to get myself out of bed. I swear, an out-loud pep talk. I always promise myself if I get up, I can come right home after work and take a nap. Which I never do.

Anyway, I'll tell you one story before I go to bed. Last week, I go to work out a little earlier than usual and I hear Christina Aguilera ("Ain't No Other Man," in case you're interested in the full visual) blaring from one of the aerobics studios. The door's open, so I peek in, and it's the funniest thing ever--it's this new hip-hip cardio dance class, and there's an entire roomful of people doing a dance routine to Christina Aguilera! It's ALL different kinds of people, too--everyone from cute little teenagers to pleasantly plump middle-aged women to big, burly guys. I stayed there for like 10 minutes and watched. I DIED laughing, but mostly I was SO JEALOUS because it looked like a blast.

So you know I had to go this week. I was a little scared, though, because I'm a spaz. I cannot dance. AT ALL. I love to shake and shimmy my little ass around, but only in the privacy of my own home. And, I guess, the car. And my desk at work. But that's it! So I went up to this girl before the class: "OK, if this is my first time, and I can't dance, am I going to make an idiot out of myself?"

"No!" she said. "I can't dance, either. He breaks it down, but I don't get it, so I just mimic him."

"Really?"

"Really," she promised. So I went in.

OK, seriously? From the second the music started, I COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING. Everyone else was all focused, and I was completely cracking up. COMPLETELY. I think the teacher even laughed at me one time. I was DEFINITELY a spaz. I was 100 percent more concerned with making sure I stayed directly behind someone so no one could see me in the mirror than I was with making sure I was in a spot where I could see the teacher. (Who, by the way, was a GUY! A cute, young guy who can move, and I do mean move.) As a result, I pretty much picked up, oh, I would say, 2 percent of the routine. The rest of the time I tripped and laughed and nearly bumped into people and laughed some more. If you haven't thrust your hips in a room full of a people to the strains of Beyonce singing, "I'll be your naughty girl" ... well, you just haven't lived.

I'm totally going back next week. It's a good thing I don't know how to post video. I don't know if the Internet is really for that kind of train wreck.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Leftovers from the retreat

Just to give you a better idea of the kind of area I was in:

* I come back from a french fry run. There's a lodge employee showing a group of people around. We cross paths near the elevator, and the woman announces, "This is the fastest elevator in town!"

There are a couple of oohs and aahs. "Really?" one guy asks.

"Sure is!" she says proudly, then: "'Course, it's the only elevator in town, too!"

(I have to vouch for the elevator here. It might have been the only one in town, but it WAS pretty fast.)

* Sunday morning, I see a billboard. There's an adorable, smiling baby on the left side. Was it an ad for a day care center? An Osh Kosh outlet? A fertility clinic?

Um, no.

Try DNA TESTING. On the right side was an enormous headline that said "Who's your daddy?" and underneath, the appropriate "1-800-MY-DADDY" phone number. I guarantee that 800 number's really a direct line to Maury Povich's producers. He does one of those shows at least once a week.

Those two things made me laugh, but really, it was a beautiful area, and a very productive trip. VH1 did me a favor by not repeating the Kiefer documentary, so not counting my break, I managed to get, like, 14 hours of work in on Saturday. Which was very, very good.

Also, I banged out five miles on the elliptical tonight, so it's a start to halting the madness. I figure I only have about 50 or so miles to go to undo all the damage from my junk food junket. Assuming I don't have any MORE junk food in the meantime ... aw, screw it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wouldn't you like to get away ...

I went on a little retreat this weekend. I've been working on this project, and I finally got to the point where I really, really needed to sort of sequester myself to focus on it and wrap up the loose ends. So I'm at this lodge in the middle of nowhere right now. For real. Find "middle of nowhere" on a map, and that's where I'm at. It's a little unsettling. I'm not a city girl, per se, but I'm definitely not a country girl. It's a little trippy.

But it hasn't been much of an issue, because I've pretty much locked myself in the room and hidden the remote so I can work. I worked all day today, pretty much straight through, and I'm now taking a break so I can watch that documentary with Kiefer Sutherland on VH1. I am FASCINATED by it. It's not really about Kiefer Sutherland, it's about this band he's backing, but trust me that Kiefer is owning this documentary. He's hammered right now and seriously just dove into a 10-foot Christmas tree in a hotel lobby. I'd read about that in Rolling Stone and now I just got to see it for myself. Oh, Kiefer, my Kiefer.

Anyway, back to my little retreat. I get all settled in last night, and I go to jump online and there is NO INTERNET. I'm like, OK, it's a retreat, not a trip to a third-world country. I'm supposed to go without the Internet for 36 hours? Um, no. Several phone calls and near-fits later, I had Internet access. Yay.

The other thing about my retreat is that I will never eat again. I won't need to. I've eaten about a million calories in the past 24 hours, and I swear to you that's not an exaggeration. When I chain myself to the computer, I eat. Constantly. Mindlessly. It's just how I work when I pull a marathon session--I've got to have stuff to eat or drink. Or both. And I'm sorry, but who's going to sit at their computer for hours on end and munch on carrot sticks? Not me. I'm going to eat Twix ... and Chex Mix ... and chips and queso ... and McDonald's french fries (yes, there is a McDonald's here!) I feel like I'm going to puke, and I'm not sure if that's because I haven't eaten one nutritious thing all day or because I'm full. So you know what that means ... someone's going to be hitting the elliptical with her Britney Spears People magazine on Monday! I have been mostly drinking water, though, so I guess that's good.

I'll tell you about my project later. I'm very superstitious about some things, so not yet, but I will.

OK, back to Kiefer for a second. I am absolutely riveted by this thing. He is sooo funny. He has a little bit of a sad soul, too, but I suppose the most interesting people do.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Do you ever ...

... wish you could just say what you want to say? I don't mean, like, telling off your passive-aggressive neighbor who makes you cower in fear when you run the dryer until 10:03, although I suppose that counts, too. I just mean regular stuff. Like how you feel, or why you act the way you do, or how much someone means to you.

I do.

I HATE not communicating. I hate it. I think life is so much easier and better and more productive and fulfilling when you can just talk and listen. I think many more hurt feelings are caused by NOT talking than talking, and I think people waste a lot of their lives by not talking. But sometimes it's not that simple. It's awkward, or you tell yourself that you'll say it wrong or that the other person doesn't want to know or that you don't want to hear the response or that it's better just to leave it alone.

I wish sometimes it wasn't like that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

When office drones attack

Apparently someone was having a bad day at work today. Some people screw around online when they're having a bad day, or take off for a two-hour lunch, or get sassy with their boss, or go cry in their car. Other people, however, rip the soap dispenser off the bathroom wall.



And no, it was not some angsty girl all torn up over the Britney and Kevin breakup. We found that out AFTER the soap hit the counter. Britney's divorce did knock the soap debacle off the radar, though. No fewer than five people came straight to my desk as soon as they heard the news, which warms my heart more than you'll ever know.

The whole Britney thing means two things: First, Reese Witherspoon is undoubtedly somewhere at this very moment sending thank you flowers to Britney for wiping HER divorce off the cover of People magazine, and second, if life is fair and good, we'll never see Kevin Federline again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I'm so that girl

You know the girl you see dancing up a storm in the car next to you at the stoplight, or the girl on TV who uses her hairbrush as a microphone, or the girl mouthing the words to the song on her iPod?

Yeah. Me, me and me.

I seriously, I mean SERIOUSLY, love music. I can't do ANY of it, but I love it. When I'm cranky, I put on music (or listen to my vault of Grey's Anatomy clips on You Tube, my new favorite addiction--this very Internet-savvy teenage girl has a crazy Grey's collection I like to poach) and I'm golden in no time.

So last night, I'm listening to the Grey's scene from season one where Derek takes Meredith to the trailer for the first time and he tells her, you know, "My mother's maiden name is Maloney, I have four sisters, my favorite color's blue--not light blue, indigo--my favorite novel is The Sun Also Rises, my favorite band's The Clash" ... that scene. When you listen to TV clips, as opposed to watch them, you notice different things. You pay much more attention to the dialogue, for example (and, oh, how I loooove dialogue), as well as the background music. So I'm listening to that scene, and I am just loving the song that plays with it. I do a little research (Seriously: TV.com. Use it, love it.) and find the song: Fix You Up, by Tegan and Sara. (Scroll down and click on "Fix You Up" ... it's a little rough, though, so go to iTunes and listen to the 30-second snippet if you really wanna hear it.)

This is turning into a long story. Sorry. Anyway, so I download it, and today I go to the coffee shop to work and I decide to listen to it. I throw on the headphones and crank it up and it's just SO GOOD. It totally goes with what I'm working on, and I LOVE IT. So I put it on repeat. And I sit in my chair and clickety-clack on my keyboard and dance and silent-sing away. For an HOUR and a HALF. It's a two-minute song. That means I listened and danced and silent-sang, like, 45 TIMES.

OK, and trust me when I tell you that I am completely unabashed in my dancing and silent-singing. The only time I get embarrassed is when I happen to glance over and see a whole car of people laughing at me at lights. The rest of the time, I'm pretty oblivious to the sidelong glances and slowly-backing-away-from-me-and-running-for-the-door escapes. Of which I have no doubt there are plenty.

I suppose I don't need to mention that I've been listening to the song on repeat the entire time I've been writing this post, huh? In addition to occasionally making a public spectacle of myself, when I make up my mind that I like something, I REALLY like it. Like, REEEEEEAAAAAALLLLLY like it.

There was another Tegan and Sara song that used to always get me in a good mood: "Where Does the Good Go." (Favorite line: "Look me in the eye and tell me you don't find me attractive." OK, try getting busted belting THAT out at a stoplight. Awkward with a capital A.) This might replace that one.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The land of passive-aggressiva

(Gold star if you know where the subject line's from!)

I made it four months in the new apartment before I got a letter from the management office informing me of a neighbor complaint. I'm actually impressed I lasted that long. That's not too bad, huh? Apparently the people downstairs (who I've never met) don't like me running my washer after 10 p.m. Well, I'm not crazy about hearing THEIR washer going either when I stumble into the bathroom to pee at 6 a.m., but I mean, whatever, it's an apartment, sometimes you hear stuff.

I do my laundry once a week, so it's not like it's running every night. I also, honestly, didn't realize it was loud at all, since it's way on the other side of the apartment from the master bedroom, and the only reason I can hear theirs is because I pay attention to every little sound so I have time to grab the baseball bat to beat the hell out of the serial killer when he tries to sneak in.

Really, though, this is my thing: Just walk up the stairs and tell me. I'm so nice, I really am. If you tell me it bothers you, I will fall all over myself apologizing and be super duper extra careful from then on. I'm also likely to make a plate of cookies or brownies and drop them off as a goodwill gesture. Getting a letter in the mail telling me you're pissed that I ran my washer at 10 p.m., however, just makes me hate you.

They also slam their door. I never slam mine.

In other news, check out this website. It tells you how many other people in America have your name, and it's crazy addictive, even if it's not 100 percent accurate. Allegedly, there are 14 people in the country who have my name. But do they all have passive-aggressive neighbors and an alter ego called Swishy? I think not.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween

I seriously don't have any really great Halloween stories. The biggest things I remember are being really damn cold a lot of the time and being the one who hung back with my baby brother while everyone else ran ahead. It also seemed to rain a lot. I don't remember very many of my costumes, either, although I do distinctly remember this one: When I was in fifth grade, our teachers made the entire grade dress up like California raisins for our school's Halloween parade. You remember those commercials, right? The "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" ones? We all had to wear dark sweats and a black garbage bag. My sweats were purple, and I sort of remember being slightly mortified.

Anyway, in the absence of really juicy Halloween stories, I'm gonna answer some of the questions you guys asked the other day.

1. Are those your feet in the picture? Yup! I always take a picture of my feet when I'm at the beach. Always, always. I absolutely loooooove going to the beach (yes, even though I can't swim), and there's something about feet in the sand/water that just captures that for me. I think I took this one in Monterey, Calif., last summer.

2. Are you named Swishy from the Finding Nemo movie? No! I didn't even realize Swishy was in Finding Nemo! One of my most favorite people in the world called me Swishy, because it sorta goes with my real name and also because I'd wear these pants that swished when I walked. (You know the kind I'm talking about!) At least I think that's why. Maybe it IS from Finding Nemo! I'll have to ask him.

3. What size shoe do you wear? Eight.

4. What actress would play you in a movie about your life? Like, who LOOKS like me, or who ACTS like me? I have no idea who looks like me, Trish Ryan's sweet compliments notwithstanding! Who acts like me ... CRAP! I don't know that one, either. This is a tough question. Can I pass and come back to it later?

5. Would you respond to someone calling you Swishy in a social situation? I totally would. Ask Manic Mom.

6. What's your favorite color? Green. My eyes are green; I think that's why. All shades, except lime green. Yuuuck.

7. If you could order ANYTHING for your last meal, what would it be? OK, I really love pasta--like penne pasta with chicken and shrimp, or linguine and lobster, or the thing I haven't eaten in years because it's so bad for me but love--fettucine alfredo. But last meal, I might have to go with steak and lobster, with yummy rolls and mashed potatoes and of COURSE dessert. Chocolate-covered Oreos or chocolate truffle cheesecake. Yummm.

8. Who's your No. 1 celebrity hook-up if given the opportunity? I always used to say that if you locked me in a closet for an hour with Tom Cruise, I would do all kinds of crazy things to him. But he's different now! I mean, I'm not gonna lie to you, I still wouldn't turn down closet time with him, but he's fallen off the Swishy radar a little. So ... let's see. I think we all know how I feel about McDreamy these days. Also, in character, Jack Bauer (24), Aidan Shaw (the short-haired, hot version on Sex and the City) and Jim from The Office. And, when I'm in the smart, sensitive mood, Mark Ruffalo and Zach Braff. Wait, was I supposed to pick just one? Ha ha.

9. Have you ever been to New Orleans? Nope, never. Is that an invitation? :)

10. Democrat or Republican? Honestly, I don't really strongly associate myself with either. I am a straight-down-the-middle kind of girl, and no, that is NOT a cop-out answer! It's the truth, I swear. Although I saw Cory Booker on Oprah the other day, and I love him now. I'll totally be his campaign manager when he runs for president someday. I don't even know his affiliation (I'm guessing Democrat, but I'm not sure) and I don't care.

OK, kids, your turn--pick a question and answer it in the comments!