Friday, February 26, 2010

I love Jesus but I drink a little.

The Aquatic Cousins have a lot to bring you, and that does not include excuses or unfulfilled promises. So while we are away in the great wild lands of Small Town, Texas this weekend involved in family shenanigans (which we will of course document for your entertainment), we leave you with one of our very favorite people to fill the lonely hours in the meantime.

Her name is Gladys Hardy and she's a regular caller on the Ellen Degeneres show. AC2 has had the wonderful priviledge of speaking to Gladys on the phone and if ever you needed a better rec of AC2's character, Gladys called her a peach and reminded her to eat some yogurt while she was taking her antibiotics so that. . .well, nevermind.

Ladies, just don't forget. Gladys is a woman of marvelous advice.

You can find more videos of her talking with Ellen on either Ellen's site, or that magical entity known as YouTube.

Keep on keepin' on.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Feel the burn. . .no, not that kind. Go to the doctor for that.

Feel your New Year's commitment to exercise already starting to wane? (If you weren't one of those people diving back into the chips and ice cream on January 15th, that is.)

Never fear. The Aquatic Cousins are here for you, with a source of workout material not far from an eternally overflowing spring of sensory overload. . .because basically that's what it is.

You're welcome.


Friday, February 12, 2010

February 15th is Half-Price Chocolate Day.

"Love is like a snowmobile, racing across the tundra when suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come." -Matt Groening

I'm posting this a bit early, in case you're also celebrating the Chinese New Year (we're going from the Year of the Ox to the Year of the Tiger- which, coincidentally, AC2 is an Ox and AC1 a Tiger) on Sunday along with any Hallmark Holidays on your horizon. Either way I figure you'll be drunk, so I might as well post this now. I could actually be drunk right now, as there was an ice-luge-sculpture in my office this morning and they were giving out shots of Patron, but I am apparently responsible.

If this is your Sunday, you're either more culturally diverse than me, or you have a rich husband.

Or, you know, trying to get them to hire me full-time and I figure barfing up my coffee and bagels in the kitchen in front of everyone is not really the way to go. Plus I was on a natural high from having won 2nd place in our office Valentine's Poetry Contest. As a special treat, I've included the text below. You're welcome.

I Love You More Than Socks: An Epic Love Poem
By Sparker, Age 24

I love you more than I love socks
For you I would eat rocks
While you were eating steak

I love you more than I love shoes
I would need more than booze
If our love you did forsake

I love you more than Cheetos
Nothing really rhymes with Cheetos
I think because they're orange

I love you more than naps
And really cool bear traps
That I've seen on the TV

I love you more than outer space
And were you gone without a trace
Well, that would be the end to me

I love you more than peanut butter
Honey, I SWEAR, there isn't any other
Do you believe me now?

I mean. . .

Indeed it is so true, for me there's only you-
Here, I got you this ShamWow.

I know, right? That's pretty special. I personally illustrated some Valentines I'm mailing out to friends/family/internet strangers last night as well:

I should totally be an illustrator.

Anyway, I think that's enough Valentine's well-wishing for you. Go learn about neuroscience or something (CAUTION: contains pictures of cats. What. I got it from her. Don't look at me.)


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Edward Cullen is a fictional character and he will never love you.

Hallmark holidays sure are fun, aren't they? The brightly colored merchandise haunting you for months ahead of the actual holiday when you're just trying to buy some partially hydroginated oils in 2/3rds of your groceries, the candy sitting on the shelves for months ahead of the actual holiday (is it creepier that it doesn't go bad in that time?), down to the disappointment setting in months ahead of the actual holiday.

If you're alone, let's remind you and make you feel guilty about drinking 8 bottles of wine with your cats when really that's your activity of choice on any given Sunday. If you're in a couple, let's put tremendous pressure on the both of you to come up with THE MOST ROMANTICAL ACTIVITY OF ALL SPACE AND TIME involving-but-not-limited-to unicorns and air balloons. If you're a Twilight mom, let's give you another excuse to whine over the fact that no one will ever be perfect enough to stalk you and commit necrophilia with like Edward.

If you're of the simpering romantic sort, you are certainly in luck this year as there is an entire movie ripping the well-executed concept away from Love Actually and throwing in some teen stars and Kathy Bates for two scenes to try and expand their audience as much as possible- Valentine's Day!

This movie is completely unpredictable! I have no idea what's going to happen!

I actually used my Twitter account to predict the entire movie, as follows:
@SparkerPants So I just saw a trailer for "Valentine's Day" & that looks horrible. I should start writing these unimaginative scripts. I have no shame.
@SparkerPants Cast:workaholic but otherwise perfect woman in relationship with her vibrating Blackberry- check. Patrick Dempsey will play a doctor- check
@SparkerPants An adorable young child will be adorable. The "perfect couple" will break up. Topher Grace will be slightly awkward/adorably unassuming.
@SparkerPants Wolfboy will bring in the Twilight crowd. Kathy Bates has 2 scenes. Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah & George Lopez provide DIVERSITY! Also: a dog
@SparkerPants Julia Roberts. . .is an off-duty soldier? Really? Hector Elizondo, remind her she's a hooker with a heart of gold. #valentinesday

Do I have to put "CAUTION: INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS SPOILERS" ahead of that if I haven't even seen the movie yet? Oh, I left out "finding love in an unexpected place" and "Anne Hathaway plays 'slightly racy' character to balance out Topher Grace's haplessness". Reader, I am counting on you not to care. Also I still really want to know how we went from several people named St. Valentine- whom we actually know little to nothing about- being matryed (and probably tortured/stoned/beheaded etc) and/or buried around February 14th to people giving each other half-sincere cards, dying foliage and chocolates of questionable origin and quality.

I mean, don't get me wrong I love presents and getting flowers and everything (because who fucking doesn't love presents, seriously), but I also recognize that getting plants from someone is not a soul-shaking, life-changing event. I do not cry when I get flowers. Unless the cats eat them, break the vase and then barf everywhere.
Happy Valentine's Day! I WANT TO EAT YOUR SOUL.

I can't speak for AC1, but my personal expectations fall more along the lines of wanting a typewriter, a FUCK YEAH LEVEL 4!!! Regretsy mug (in the stainless steel commuter style), or that Austin is Magical shirt with the unicorn wearing cowboy boots. Also my expectations for sweeping romance are pretty low, considering the only boyfriend I ever had on a Valentine's Day bought me raw fish and some HEB red roses (my favorite flower=Gerbera Daisy; my favorite cliche=white horses and pantaloons, not any sort of flower).

Basically I'm encouraging you to go do something you'll actually find fun on Sunday, rather than adhering to any stupid stereotypes. Unless stupid stereotypes are your kind of fun. In that case you're probably from my sorority and stop calling me, I don't want that fucking glorified $100 phonebook.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Get to Know AC2. Intimately.

It's 2010, you guys and that means new and exciting forms of communication and bonding are happening. Yesterday I came across this amazing thing known as an EMAIL SURVEY. It is an unprecedented form of information-sharing across groups of friends. Probably you have never heard of it, because Aquatic Cousins are pretty much ON THE CUTTING EDGE. Of many things- like fashion, technology, muppets. Trufax.

Below is a copy of the EMAIL SURVEY I received from my dear friend Nicole and decided to perpetuate to many of my other friends so that they might learn intimate facts and details about me. Now it's your turn, reader dear.

Feel special. Because you are. I think you're pretty, too.


Welcome to the 2010 edition of getting to know your friends. (This is also known as a "survey" which you may or may not have experienced countless forwards of in junior high. We're bringing it back, much like the Track Pant is the new TROUSER OF THE SEASON!! Don't believe me? Just check the London Times Online.)

How a survey works, in case you have been chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor all this time, somehow managed to survive and yet have not learned this vital internet skill: Change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to your friends including the person who sent it to you. The idea is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known! I think the person that wrote this doesn't know about Facebook.

Just press the 'forward' button then you can erase my answers and add yours. (This direction included for those still using AOL aka don't understand the Internet or email.)

1. High heels or boots?
I keep a pair of roller skates in the office just so I can deliver beer to people while wearing them. (There is a keg in my office.)

2. What time did you get up this morning?
5:30, and went to 6am kickboxing. Do not be impressed; I've only managed this three other times. Usually I repeatedly press the snooze button, trying to remember what I was dreaming about. (Which often includes knife-fights; I think I've been watching too much Legend of the Seeker.)

3. Diamonds or pearls?

Probably you have heard my rant about how diamonds are not rare (see: diamond tipped saw blades) and are horribly overpriced because the DeBeers family owns all of them and just keeps train-car loads back to drive up prices.

Personally I'd rather have a typewriter, the Austin is Magical unicorn shirt (featuring a unicorn wearing cowboy boots) or the FUCK YEAH LEVEL 4!!! Regretsy mug, in the stainless steel commuter style.

Tell me that is not so much better than some damn cliche jewelry.

4. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr. . .you're a charismatic bastard, you are.

5. What is your favorite T.V. Show?
TRUE BLOOD! Vampires acting like vampires- it's so novel and wonderful. (Ask Me About My Hatred of Twilight.)

6. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Yogurt & granola, oatmeal, eggs or some fantastically horrible thing we have at the office (like half-stale leftover birthday cake or breakfast tacos. . .mmmm health food).

7. What is your middle name?
Anne. My initials spell tree residue. Still lobbying to change it to Jesus (my parents' names are Mary and Joseph) so I can be SJP. . .but obviously this would be an upgrade from "Jessica".

8. What food do you dislike?
Most land animals with very specific & few exceptions, olives, melons, any candy that is not chocolate, inferior chocolate, babies (possibly also considered a land animal)

9. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
Bootie Mix '09, the very best in mash-ups that the Internets has to offer. Download for free, here:

10. Favorite Clothing?
My £71 sweatpants that I love to wear with my stiletto booties. HIGH FASHION!

11. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?

New Zealand. Anywhere but Siberia or any African nation currently undergoing civil war, pretty much. Or anywhere in Mexico I am likely to get shot or kidnapped. Not the sort of "authentic local experience" I'm really looking for.

12. Are you an organized person?
I can find all of my shit (except for my Passport, come to think of it) but you probably could not. However if this was a job interview: my spreadsheets have spreadsheets.

13. Where would you like to retire?
Texas Hill Country, southern Italy on the Mediterranean. . .you know, I'm pretty easy.

14. What was your most recent memorable birthday?
24 was pretty awesome because it lasted nearly a month with belated celebrations happening. 25, however, will be a FUCK YEAH LEVEL 4!!! birthday.

15. What are you going to do when you finish this?
Probably indulge in some more whimsical fuckery on Regretsy.

16. Furthest place you are sending this?
Email travels the world. We know this and rejoice in the saved postage. No one cares.

17. Person you expect to send it back first?
Old Gregg. It would make a nice break from his afternoon of watercolors, Baileys, doodling "Mrs. Howard Moon" in his notebook and conditioning his seaweed.

18. When is your BIRTHDAY?
September 29th is when I celebrate my Womb Emancipation.

19. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Both, unfortunately. Soon I'll be on the P.Diddy schedule of sleeping once every 72hrs. (We're close. I follow him on Twitter. He makes more sense than MC Hammer, which isn't really that hard to do. GO HAMM ON IT! Yeah I don't know what that means either.)

20. Do you have any animals?

Also unikeys.

21. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?

My sorority had me call them and give them my information to be part of an Alumnae Directory, then tried to sell me said glorified phone book for $100. During the conversation they asked me in two different ways if I was married and refused to let me put my cats down as children.

I get to send in a photo of my choice and a short personal essay. This is going to be fun.

22. What did you want to be when you were little?
Belly-dancing truck driver. Of semi-trucks. I made an illustrated pop-up book about it in high school. My plan was to belly dance at the truck stops. I hadn't learned about issues of personal safety yet, apparently. (I came up with this plan at age 2.)

23. What is your favorite flower?
Gerbera Daisy (only Elyse will get this, but: SET YOUR ALARM FOR CHICKEN!)

24. What is a date on the calendar to which you are looking forward?
December 21, 2012.

25. What was the last thing you ate?

A free parfait sample at Fancy Chick-fil-a

26. Do you wish upon stars?
I scared away one of the design interns with my fervent love of amateur astronomy, talking about the newly remastered/re-released Whirlpool Galaxy photos.

27. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
What color is whimsical fuckery? Probably purple.

28 . How is the weather right now?
You're really grasping for conversation here, survey. If you were trying to work up to asking me out on a date, I would probably turn you down.

29. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
I just listened to a voicemail from Jamie at Martial Way Academy, the place where I train in kickboxing. I almost passed out twice this morning during the 6am class because it turns out yesterday's diet of cheesecake, beer and a frozen burrito was not enough to sustain an intense early-morning workout. WHO KNEW.

30. Favorite soft drink.
I have a fountain Diet Coke every once in a while (I have a fervent hatred of Dr. Pepper, do not bring that shit anywhere near me) but never more than two because I fear turning out like Aunt Alida who- and let me make it clear that I am absolutely not exaggerating here- goes through EIGHT 12-packs of Diet Coke a week. A WEEK. The woman cannot possibly have any bones left.

31. Favorite restaurant?
Can anyone explain to me why The Cheesecake Factory has faux-Egyptian decor? And decorations that look like the Eye of Sauron? This is not my favorite restaurant by any means, I am just confused as hell.

32. Hair color?
After many years and unfortunate decisions- including the week my hair was four different colors and for two days at a time resembled either Vitamin C (". . .put a smile on your faaaace") or Angela from My So-Called Life (but even more maroon)- we are finally back to the natural auburn and HERE WE WILL STAY.

33. What was your favorite toy as a child?

Roe. If you have not 'met' Roe, I will probably present him to you as a means to freak you out. Small, lumpy and grey, he is supposed to be a gorilla and was once a bright reddish orange; he has traveled more than some people (as I took him literally everywhere with me from the age of 8 months to 10 years) and almost been left in numerous exotic locations, including the sheets of a bed in New Mexico and an antique store in small-town Somewhere.

I cried and we went back to get him (that was both times). The owner had left him sitting on the porch in a rocking chair (this was obviously not the incident with the sheets, where I found him in the sheets).

Now several brain transplants of cotton balls, new arms and several eye surgeries with black paint later, holes have ripped in Roe's head to resemble eyebrows and YET HE LIVES ON. There's even a voice we do for him.

(And my parents totally don't get why people are massively unsettled by him.)

34. Summer or winter?
There is a reason I live in Texas and it is not for the chicken-fried bacon in Snook.

35. Chocolate or vanilla?

36. Coffee or tea?
The Aquatic Cousins live on caffeine and dreams.

37. Favorite food of all time?
Cheese. Unless wine is a food?

38. Do you want your friends to email you back?

I hate all of you.

39. When was the last time you cried?
When Elizabetsy's kitten Otis died. I called my father, who is hard of hearing and consequently we ended up having two separate conversations.

"Well when they get old, sometimes it's just time, you know?"
"No Dad, it was a kitten. A KITTEN."
"How old?"
"Oh. Well that's just too bad then."

This may or may not have been the night I spent three hours on the phone with him until nearly one in the morning wherein we discussed many historical events including the downfall of extremely high-waisted men's pants, held up with short suspenders. I have a quote from him somewhere about how "you'd have to use a hacksaw and bend yourself in two" in order to wear those pants now. I don't even know. We may both have been drinking.

40. What is under your bed?
The souls of uninteresting children.

41. What did you do last night?
Drove into the suburbs to watch the Super Bowl, consequently having a mild panic attack in the car upon seeing children's toys in the yards and imagining block parties and parents yelling at you to SLOW DOWN, THERE ARE CHILDREN when you are driving 10mph. . .OH GOD OH GOD I JUST LEFT HERE SIX YEARS AGO IT'S TOO SOON TO BE BACK TOO SOOOOON!

I never want to live more than a few miles away from downtown.

42. What are you afraid of?
Clowns. Pregnancy. The suburbs. Needles.

44. Best quality you have?
Whimsical Fuckery.

45. How many years at your current job?
If you are to believe my keychain, I am FULL-TIME AWESOME and that's been pretty much my whole life.

46. Favorite day of the week?

7. Positive or negative?
Workout Boyfriend doesn't think I'm as much of an optimist as I clearly am, but I think he's just projecting himself onto me, being the "realist" that he is (read: pessimist).

48. How many people will you send this to?
I'll just blind-copy everyone and then YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, SURVEY, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW.

49. How many will respond?
I'm tired.

50. Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends?
I really hope Rebecca fills this out. In the guise of Old Gregg.