People watching is the best show on earth...

Jul 28, 2007

Too Fabulous

. Jul 28, 2007
4 Whispers

Okay, I admit it. I went to see Lindsay Lohan's new movie tonight, "I Know Who Killed Me". I'll spare my commentary and get down to what I heard. Two older teen girls sit down in front of us. Both are blond, long-haired and tight-jeaned. One is wearing big sunglasses in the theater. Both have big leather bags and one wears a black "Bebe" rhinestoned tank top of sorts.

Blond 1: This is gonna be so cool. I just know she's gonna be so good in it.
Blond 2: Oh I know. I'm so sick of all the bullshit they're saying about her in the news. So she has some drinks, who cares? She's frickin 21 years old. Ass bags! (?).
B1: (Laughs) Exactly! Everyone's just yanking her because she's too fabulous. She's so hot and such a good actress. They're just jealous.
B2: Yeah. It's not like she's a criminal or anything. Good thing "Entertainment Tonight's" not watching my every move! Can you imagine? "More under aged drinking tonight at the Wilson home. Mrs. Wilson arrested for buying the booze!"

She looks back, realizing others can hear. I'm looking straight at her. My cover's blown. The previews start, fade to black.

Jul 27, 2007


. Jul 27, 2007
4 Whispers

I am so very pleased to announce my very first blogging award, "The Power of Schmooze", bestowed upon me by Lisa of LifePrints, a very inspiring and positive blog. If you'd like to be uplifted by some well-written posts and interact with a friendly blogger, visit Lisa's site! The "Schmooze" badge is a community involvement award given to bloggers who make an effort to get to know others in the blogosphere. I do enjoy meeting fellow bloggers!

I now may select five other bloggers who schmooze well. I'm still quite new, but I have met some very nice folks who have already made me feel welcome with encouragement or good advice. I hope they won't mind my links here:

Nakalas of Odlum Online, a fantastic web design blog. Nakalas was the first to join my neighborhood over at Blogcatalog and leave a great comment. He has already won the Schmooze award this week from another blogger, but I think he deserves double the schmooze since he contributes thoughtful insights to many.

BNSullivan of Aircrew Buzz, a very informative blog of industry news created for crew members but quite relevant to travelers of all trades. B. N. was the second to join my 'hood and often comments on my discussions over at BC.

Stoneman of History Survey Links, an extensive resource for European history links. Stoneman is very active on the discussion boards and I really admire how he speaks his mind in a respectful manner. He's great at stimulating critical thinking on the boards.

Cat of UltraJam, a combo news commentary/personal journal blog with a very unique, and quite funny, voice. Cat is a crime analyst and often posts about crooks. She has been very supportive of my blog and I know we'd be fast friends outside the 'virtual' world!

Boba of Blackholes & Astrostuff, a fascinating astronomy blog with wonderful photos and posts written in plain English. Boba obviously knows a lot about astronomy and I like how he shares his passion with the rest of us. He also participates frequently in BC discussions and left an encouraging comment on my blog.

Thanks to all for interacting with me. You're all gifted and amicable bloggers!

Jul 24, 2007


. Jul 24, 2007
1 Whispers

I've had a character in my mind born out of this Yaz song for about 20 years now. I hear such desperation and regret in these lyrics, send shivers down my spine. I should just bring her to life, already.

And now it's midnight
it’s raining outside
And I’m soaking wet,
still looking for that man of mine
And I ain’t found him yet
Well all of this rain can wash away my tears
But nothing can replace all of those wasted years
In all of this I tell you I have learnt
Playing with fire gets you burnt
And I’m still burning

Jul 22, 2007

Pants Bandit

. Jul 22, 2007
0 Whispers

I am visiting my parents at their senior living community in Orange County, California. It's a nice, gated complex with live security and lots of conveniences on site. It's also a treasure trove of ideas. There are characters around every corner.

This is not an overheard conversation, but it's too tempting too ignore! I am gathering my Mom's clothes from the laundry room and a man walks in with a spring in his step. He is mid-60s, tan with wavy salt and pepper hair. He wears jean shorts, a green Hawaiian shirt and brown Van's without socks. He has hair on his arms but none on his legs. He smiles at me:

Smooth Legs: Ah, helping out huh?
Me: Yes, my parents don't want to cram machines into their utility closet. But it would be so much easier than this.
Smooth: Yeah, well, I agree with them. Why buy machines when you've got 10 right here? This works out fine. (As he opens a dryer...) Well son of a bitch! Son of a BITCH!
Me: What's the matter?
Smooth: Someone stole my jeans! Son of a bitch! I just bought these jeans. They're Levi's!
Me: You're kidding? What about your other clothes?
Smooth: No, that's all I washed, the jeans. I just wanted to soften them up some. And they're gone!
Me: Are you sure that's the right dryer? (He looks at me, incredulous)
Smooth: Yes I am sure. Look, it's still warm. Look at! Here's my fabric sheet! I'm gonna find that son of a bitch.

Clutching his fabric softener sheet, he pivots left and walks briskly out of sight.

Dingleberry Shame

0 Whispers

I am at the pet store buying supplies for my roommates, my black cat and blue fish. There is a young woman at the grooming counter. She has her cat in a small pink plastic carrier. She waits for the attendant to finish a phone call. When she does, the girl speaks in a hushed tone and I strain to hear.

Groomer: Hi, can I help you?
Hush: Uh, yeah. Well, my cat, she needs a grooming.
Groomer: Okay. Let's see. Is she long-haired? What do you want done?
Hush: Well, she needs some stuff cleaned off. And she won't let me do it.
Groomer: What do you mean? What stuff?
Hush: Ahhh! This is embarrassing. They're, you know, by her butt. Dingleberries. You know?
Groomer: Berries? No -
Hush: No! Not like real berries. You know, dingleberries. POOP. Stuck there in the hair.
Groomer: Oh! Okay! I've never heard of that name. Okay. No problem. Let's have a look.

The cat owner is simply flushed red with embarrassment. I have to laugh and I do. I tell her I battle with dingleberries, too. I wonder how long she practiced that explanation. Modesty's interpretation sure is different for everyone.

Jul 20, 2007


. Jul 20, 2007
2 Whispers

I am at the pool today, with my giant sunglasses and "Who's your daddy?" visor. That can be a conversation starter, which I was up for today. But no one wanted to talk to me. I put my ear buds in and turn up the iPod. About an hour later, I turn it off.

Two girls claim chairs one down from mine. They are early 20s, white, talking loudly. A little buzzed, both hold cans of the Silver Bullet. One is very toned, tanned and quite striking with impressive boobs. She wears an emerald green string bikini, a belly ring with dangly charms and red fingernails. The other is heavier, paler, with burgundy and black hair in a short ponytail. She wears board shorts, a tank top and sports half sleeve tattoos on both arms. A Bettie Page portrait smiles on her shoulder:

Beauty: I am so glad we came out here. I just need to relax.
Bettie: Exactly. You're too stressed. You need to unpucker your asshole (wild laughter)!
Beauty: I might take Monday off, too. I told Mitchell I'm run down.
Bettie: That's good. You should. What did he say?
Beauty: Nothing. He just nodded. Then he asked me about ETCs (?) for Newport.
Bettie: What a jerk. What a jerk! You only work what, 60 hours a week? Fucker.
Beauty: Relax! I'll deal with it. Tuesday (more wild laughter)!
Bettie: Are you going to Mike's tonight?
Beauty: I guess. He says he misses me. He's just horny. What are you doing?
Bettie: I'd rather stay home and make out with you.

Jul 18, 2007

Handsome Kevin

. Jul 18, 2007
3 Whispers

Another song that conjures characters for me, David & David's "Welcome to the Boomtown":

Handsome Kevin got a little off track
Took a year off of college
And he never went back
Now he smokes too much
He's got a permanent hack
Deals dope out of Denny's
Keeps a table in the back
He always listens to the ground
Always listens to the ground

Jul 15, 2007

Sex With Socks

. Jul 15, 2007
13 Whispers

I'm one of those irritating people that sits a bit too close to you at the beach. I only do this to someone with great eavesdropping potential. Today, I sat close to two women with two young girls, one wearing a bikini with bright orange polkadots and a giant straw hat twice the size of her head. She does a runway walk up and down the length of her towel, hand on hip, waving. I just have to hear what she has to say.

The girls are maybe five, white and both brunette. The other wears a "Dora" one piece and sits mesmerized by her friend's performance. The wind blows the model's straw hat off and at once the show is over. The two conspire together and then pick up what look like Bratz type dolls and settle into the sand to my left. I bury my head in my OK! magazine. After some gibber jabber:

Polkadot: Mine is having a baby and her name is gonna be Madison.
Dora: So is mine and she's having two babies and ... (Polkadot interrupts)
Polkadot: No she can't because she hasn't made one yet.
Dora: Yes she has.
Polkadot: No she has not.
Dora: Yeah!
Polkadot: Then say how she made one.
Dora: She just made it.
Polkadot: No that's not how.
Dora: Well how then?
Polkadot: She gets on her tummy on the bed and all her clothes are gone except for socks. Then the boyfriend stands at the end of the bed and unrolls his thing. Then it goes to the girl and tickles her feet. Then she laughs and puts the pillow over her head and when she wakes up there's a baby in her tummy.

Dora is silent.

Jul 12, 2007

Take a Deep Breath: The Hookah Boys

. Jul 12, 2007
0 Whispers

I go to a hookah lounge around the corner sometimes. It's so easy to fade into relaxation and peel back stress on the hookah. It's also one of the absolute best people-watching places. Two male friends and I went directly after work. As we took drags of our mint flavored tobacco, two very young men walked in...

They are quite apprehensive, looking back and forth at each other and the dimly lit lounge. They're early 20s, clean-shaven and white. One is lanky and looks down more than the other, who is a bit round. He leans forward and runs his palms up and down his jeaned thighs. This is clearly the round one's idea. Thankfully, they sit in the alcove next to ours:

Lanky: Dude this is weird.
Round: I know but it's cool!
Lanky: What's cool about it?
Round: It's dark and it's all smelled up in here like fruit - like peach, like smokey peach! It's freakaaaay. It's cool!
Lanky: I'm staying a half hour and then I'm getting on ( of a website?)
Round: Don't be a donk. Don't be a fuckin donkey, man. Girls think this stuff is hot. Eva Longoria likes it. She is smokin' hot man! She is asstastic! I like that word, asstastic.

Jul 10, 2007

Magic Mirror

. Jul 10, 2007
2 Whispers

I'm in a dressing room when two young female voices enter. They chatter back and forth, excited. Hangers clank on metal rods. Girlish laughter. The two crowd into one stall next to me. Zippers unzip, shoes are flung off. A cell phone rings, playing "Party Like a Rockstar" by Shop Boyz. The call's ignored.

Girl 1: I totally need jeans. So bad.
Girl 2: Me too, but I'm only getting shorts today. And my gloss.
Girl 1: Oh my god that makes me think of that song, 'my lip gloss is poppin', my lip gloss is cool!'
Girl 2: My lip gloss is gonna make me pop! Make Ryan pop!
Girl 1: This is soooo cute, but I don't wanna get any tube tops until I get my boobs. I cannot wait until the 28th!
Girl 2: I know. You are so lucky. Your parents are so cool. You're gonna look so hot for senior year!

I have to see these girls. I am long finished but wait in my stall until I hear their curtain slide open. They look just like I did at 17.

A Girl in Trouble

2 Whispers

Songs are great inspirations for creative writing since they are of course, stories set to music. Often, I'm driving along and lyrics on the stereo invoke instant scenarios and snapshots for stories. Every musical era and genre can affect me this way at one time or another.

Romeo Void's "Girl in Trouble":

A girl in trouble is a temporary thing.
There's a time when every girl learns to use her head.
Tears will be saved 'til they're better spent.
There's no time for her to be afraid,
so instead she takes care of business, keeps a cool head.
A girl in trouble is a temporary thing.

Watch music video. (give it a was the 80s!)


0 Whispers

It seems my eavesdropping hobby is not as creepy as my friends think! In "How I Write", author Janet Evanovich, who creates believable and endearing characters, says she eavesdrops for character development (p.5). This is a great little book with keen insights on the writing process from characters to plots to publishing. I highly recommend it.

Don't worry, I'm not using electronic listening devices or slinking under window sills yet. Just putting my two big ears to use and sharpening observation skills. I do carry a tiny voice recorder that I whip out instantly to log details about people I notice. It's amazing how much someone's appearance and mannerisms can suggest things if you're paying close attention.

Jul 9, 2007


. Jul 9, 2007
0 Whispers

An older man walks slowly on the beachwalk. Cyclists and rollerbladers whiz past him. He walks toward me and squints at the sun. He is in shorts and a t-shirt with "Semper Fi" on it. His tennis shoes are bright white. He walks a beagle alone. A group of young black boys walk past me, shirtless with pants hanging below their hips and underwear sticking out. They are laughing loudly with each other. The man stops and stares. The beagle pulls forward.

"Mercy", he says, under his breath.

New Money

0 Whispers

A mother and teen daughter shop in handbags. The mother is dark-haired, slender and very tan. She wears a "Juicy" light pink velour track suit, carries an oversized white pleated leather Chanel bag and sports no wedding ring. The girl is blond, hair long and straight as a board, an inch of dark regrowth. She has flawless skin, wears pink lip gloss and and low slung jeans. She is very thin and looks tired. She is not at all animated and follows her mother around the glass cases displaying designer bags.

Mom: Coach purses are so new money. They're ridiculous. Everyone has them, even the blacks.
Girl : I know.
Mom: When you rush this fall, you'll have a nice Gucci bag. Everyone knows how much Gucci is. By that time, Coach bags will probably be at Walmart.

The girl laughs but it doesn't sound real.

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