Monday, July 16, 2012

Friends Don't Let Friends Type on Ambien...

Dear Chickens-
Popping my head up to say hello and address a recent event that some of you might have read about over on my pal Jen’s blog
Now you all know that Jen is my bestie.  I get the benefit of her company, counsel, and generosity of spirit.  We make each other laugh till we almost pee.  And we are women in our 40s, so that is NOT a euphemism.   Being Jen’s BFF is a constant source of joy for which I am always grateful.  

But never so grateful as when something happens like happened today.
In order to best explain this, I am turning to Jen herself, who has posted the event from her perspective on her own blog.  I am reprinting her post with her permission, and you will see my notes interspersed….

Sometimes what I write and what I mean to write are diametrically opposed... like, when Ambien is involved.
Stacey’s Note: Jen and I have had many discussions about the Ambien thing, where I have STRONGLY encouraged her to turn off her computer before she takes the pill, and then to immediately get into bed without her iPad after.  Jen, does not always take this sage advice.  Especially since, despite the air of authority I adopt when discussing this with her, she knows that I am not, in fact, an MD.
Now, a quick caveat before someone signs me up for the Betty Ford Center - the Ambien stories are few and far between.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I take my pill, read my book, possibly eat a piece of cheese, and then fall asleep, exactly as God and Sanofi-Aventis intended.
Stacey’s Note: Ninety-nine is not one hundred.
It's only about one percent of the time that anything happens, e.g. ordering Barbie heads, skinny jeans, or seatbelt extenders.  And the odd reaction is usually the result of either being dehydrated or not having consumed enough protein during the day.
Last night, I was the one percent.
Stacey’s Note: Like I said.
To backtrack, I had guests up here this weekend.  One of my friends mentioned first how her dentist doesn't do teeth whitening and then later that her dermatologist doesn't perform cosmetic procedures.  As I am nothing if not business-minded, this made me twitchy.  I kept exclaiming, "Your doctors are leaving money on the table!" 
(Note: no one else seemed bothered.)
Stacey’s Note:  This is because MOST people are not concerned about their medical professional’s bottom line, and are just grateful that these people are not hocking at them to whiten teeth or pump face full of fillers when we just need our six month cleaning or annual mole check.
Such was the extent that the doctors' lack of entrepreneurial spirit bothered me, I kept thinking about business-type ideas after my friends left. 
Stacey’s Note: Even sober, this is not a good idea. 
I would look at the most basic of household items and then come up with suggestions on how one might profit from it. 
Stacey’s Note:  And before you ask, no, this is not the first time this has happened, and yes, I do my best to talk her off the ledge before she goes public.
For example, I happened to be cleaning out the fridge when I came across a bunch of little tubs of ranch dressing left over from a packaged salad that accidentally froze and I thought, Ah, yes.. there's an idea here.
Stacey’s Note: If you think this is not going to go well, you are correct.
So I began to figure out how one might monetize ranch dressing. 
Stacey’s Note: Apparently the whole multimillion dollar ranch dressing industry that ALREADY EXISTS did not occur to her.
I came up an "I'd dip that in ranch!" campaign, envisioning it as a Stuff White People Like-type tumblr.  Every day I'd feature some beautifully photographed item that would be made more delicious when dipped in ranch dressing, e.g French fries or grilled cheese sandwiches.  Seriously, name almost anything and it would taste better dipped in ranch.  Like, a stalk of broccoli is nice, but dipped in ranch?  It's a treat worthy of a dinner party!  But I'd make each entry funny, like one day showing a shot of Channing Tatum, because, come on, ladies. 
Stacey’s Note:  Oy.
Channing Tatum dipped in ranch? 
Stacey’s Note:  No.
Then I pictured said website becoming a cult favorite and all of a sudden Big Dressing comes a-calling and offers to buy the whole thing for a check containing many zeroes.
Stacey’s Note:  Jen fails to see that once you run through the gamut of readily available produce and the cast of Magic Mike, this very quickly becomes boring.  Anyone else really tired of Iron Chef America?  Want to know why? They have used all the good secret ingredients and are now just going through Bob’s Big Book of Fish and filming episode after episode of Fish Battles.  I don’t care if this is the white flaky fish from Hawaii, or the white flaky fish from the Caribbean, I. Am. Bored.  Fish Battle, schmish battle.  No one is making ice cream.  But I digress…. 
Stacey’s Note:  No.
 (FYI, Fletch thought this idea was dumb, particularly the Channing Tatum part.)
Stacey’s Note:  Fletch is correct, on both counts.
(Fletch is not a visionary.)
Stacey’s Note: This is irrelevant, it doesn’t make him wrong. Steve Jobs was a visionary.  I'm not seeing the iRanch in my fridge.
Yet I cracked myself up about this the whole night and at random intervals, I'd shout, "I'd dip that in ranch!" to the point that Fletch went upstairs to watch Falling Skies by himself.  (He said he was going to anyway.)
Stacey’s Note: I cannot blame him.
I kicked the phrase around so much that it actually began to morph into an idea for a television pilot - I envisioned a couple of best friends who adore each other but are polar opposites, yet circumstances force them to live together. 
Stacey’s Note:  Oh, here we go…
I'm talking The Odd Couple meets Two Broke Girls only less Tony Randall and fewer graphic discussions of ones downstairs ladyparts.
(By fewer, I mean none.)
Stacey’s Note:  NIPPLE.  Nipplenipplenipplenipple.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Somehow they'd come together in this pilot and all the action would turn because of the one roommate's passion for trying to make the "I'd Dip That in Ranch!" website happen.
Stacey’s Note:  Hmmm.  Wonder which roommate this would be?
  They'd end up fleeing from corporate America to run a food truck and would have hilarious and delightful misunderstandings in the neighborhood and with one another.

Stacey’s Note: To be clear, Jen and I could absolutely live together.  We are both very respectful of each other, have an awesome time, and recognize that we are of an age when we need separate bathrooms.  I have total faith that if we were young and single we could be awesome roomies.  Provided it was just Jen, and not “Jen and Menagerie”.  Two Broke Girls?  We can do.  Stacey and Kate Make Eight?  Uh uh.  I’d be out the door, banging younger girls with tramp stamps and endorsing Ed Hardy within a week. 
I'm not kidding you, I would watch this.
Stacey’s Note:  Yes.  Yes she would.
I would.
Stacey’s Note:  Jen would watch “I’d Dip That in Nair” if Andy Cohen produced it.
I mean it.
Stacey’s Note: We know.
Oh, come on. 
It's not the worst idea in the world. 
Stacey’s Note: Yes.  Yes it is.
(Cavemen, anyone?)
Stacey’s Note:  Touché. 
So, I knew I was seeing Stacey for lunch today and I made a mental note to mention it to her.
Then I took my Ambien.
Stacey’s Note: You all see where this is going.
That's when my silly little idea began to take on epic proportions.  I figured I'd best get this down on paper before anyone stole it from me or did it first, so I grabbed my iPad and wrote Stacey:
Stacey’s Note:  I woke up this morning to find three things in my inbox…two e-mails from Jen and a note from Twitter that Jen had mentioned me in a tweet.
This is the first e-mail, arriving in my inbox at 12:30am, annotated:
 Okay,do not let my Ambien buzz dissuade you for the badness poroporotins i'mma put I from of you to tomorrow with out new pilot we're writing based Ion the nicotine "I'd dip that in ranch!".
Stacey’s Note:  I know immediately that Jen has ignored my excellent advice once again.  I can mostly deduce that she has a proposition to bring up to me at lunch, and that it involves a tagline involving ranch, and apparently, smoking?
See, yiu're an uptight felix foodie and I'm your bestie Oscar who just lost her house and has to move I wit tiy.  We clash over our differences but bond ove the one. Niversal truth - evening tasted better dipped in ranch.
Stacey’s Note:  Okay, Felix and Oscar I get, and I get that in this pilot we are apparently writing, they have to live together.  So apparently at the moment this pilot idea is entirely cribbed from the plot of The Odd Couple,  but with girls and ranch dressing.
Stacey’s Note:  I do not like beets with ranch.
Friend pickles in ranch!
Stacey’s Note:  Pretty sure she means FRIED here, and yes, that I can get behind.
Freshu veg with ranch!
Stacey’s Note: Closer to English, and sure, who doesn’t love fresh veggies with ranch?
French friens with ranch!
Stacey’s Note:  Most of my French friends are good without dressing. 
And we ciudk go to town with a food truth and lake stander shy try all out four shit with ranch and theync'd be all RANCH RANCH YES YKU ARE GIRL GENUSISES
Stacey’s Note:  This is just fairly incomprehensible.  The combo of Jen’s finger/iPad problem and auto correct is not helping.
Stacey’s Note:  E I O?
We ciudk trademt k "I'd dip that in ranch' and the sell to the hidden valley consortium for ALL OF the THINGS
Stacey’s Note: Not just SOME of the things, ALL of the things.  Also?  Exactly what is this consortium of which you speak?  Is this like The Authority?  The Tribal Counsel?  Can they vote us off the island?  Is Austin Powers getting involved?
Stacey’s Note:  Yup, you are telling miu.
All UR buttermilk are belong to us!
Stacey’s Note:  Anyone need buttermilk?  Apparently Jen and I are cornering the market.
pS copied fletch o case he needs to ruthis past the lawyers land accountants and they keepers of the RWNCH
Stacey’s Note: Fletch was, in fact, CCd on this email. This is why Jen is not allowed to have the email addresses for the lawyers or accountants or “keepers of the RWNCH”
Stacey’s Note: To be clear, this part I like.
See YIU tomotto!!!
Stacey’s Note:  Sigh.  Here was the second e-mail, sent precisely seven minutes after the first.
Well.  Did YIU read it yet..?.
Stacey’s Note:  Oh yeah, I read it.  Then I saw the tweet:
@staceyballis - checch your email for brilliant Ambien bindersest plan! He who controls The RANCH CONTROLS HE WORLD,!!
Stacey’s Note:  Bless her heart.
I particularly like how I misspelled/autocorrected everything except for the "Hidden Valley Consortium."
Stacey’s Note:  This did not go unnoticed by me either J  Jen and I had lunch today.  Imagine my surprise when she ordered fries…with Thousand Island dressing.  Stay tuned to see what new porposieshumns come my way tonight….


  1. Stacey-laughed my head off at this as I saw Jen's tweet and knew immediately what happened-as am a big fan of both of you and therefore knew all about the ambien effect. You guys are hilarious. Full Stop. Much appreciated entertainment in my (very) dull work day!

  2. Oh,this coupled with Jen's post is enough laughter for a week! Thank you both for that!

  3. Please write a book together?! You two are my heroes. Seriously. No Ranch dressing required.

    1. This is a great idea!

    2. I was going to say the same thing!


    4. My FAVORITE part because I know she hates it is when you wrote nipplenipplenipple!!!!

    5. Please write a book together! I've read almost all of Jen's books and this is my first time on your blog. I was crying so hard I couldn't read. The two of you together is magic!

    6. Yes please write a book with Jen. I understand your "process" may be different but try.

  4. In all honesty, I do share Jen's obsessive with ranch :)

  5. Hi Stacey! Just bought the book, and LOVED it! Devoured it in one sitting and am still figuring out which recipes to make first. Thanks for popping your head up! Sometimes I think you and Jen need a theme song hahaha.

  6. I love you both.. instead of "The Odd Couple...or The Hilarious Ambien Stylings of Jen and Stacey", can you do a reality show? Kind of like an Oprah and Gayle thing only funny?

  7. I am at work trying to laugh silently but am not sure this is going to work because I'm about to fall off the chair.

  8. makes Jen's blog post even more entertaining when accompanied by commentary. And suddenly I'm craving ranch dressing on something....

  9. too freakin hilarious!

    although, my choice of dipping destination would be chocolate. - i'd dip that in chocolate. will have to bring that to the willy wonka consortium.

  10. I found your blog through Jen's Facebook postings and was laughing so hard I was crying! Thanks!

  11. I just read this and could not stop laughing. I'm giggling as I type this. This is the funniest thing I've read since Jen's books.

  12. I laughed through Jen's blog and laughed harder through your point of view. You two are hilarious and Jen is lucky to have someone so not Jen to balance her insanity. :) I wish I had a friendship like that! I Twitter and email could use a little spicing up. ;)

  13. OMG! Jen's post was very funny on it's own but your comments made me laugh till I peed...and being in my 40's also, I know we can all relate!

  14. I am definitely lobbying for your commentary in Lancaster's next book! Maybe a "Stacey's Cut" edition. PS. I am LOVING Off the Menu!!

  15. I laughed til I cried, then kept laughing and crying more. OMG - Thank you!! (And I second that - you two should write a book together!)

  16. thank you both for letting us live inside your friendship for one day- its just as hilarious (though maybe less so for the 3am email addressee)as I imagine it in my head :)

  17. Still laughing hysterically and getting some VERY strange looks from my office-mates. I think this may top the curtains post of a few years ago.

    Also? You two sound a lot like my bestie & I. (Her husband has proclaimed on more than once occasion that we should come with a warning label. Have either of yours done that?) I'm the one who takes Ambien, but she has a LOT of auto correct issues, so we have some entertaining exchanges.

    Thank you (and Jen) for totally making my day!

  18. Good Lord both of these posts had me laughing out loud. Perfect example of why you should not type on Ambien or Booze for that matter.

  19. I laughed so hard at you two I think my husband and dogs are considering having me...what's the word??? Incarcerated? NO...COMMITTED! Yes, that's it! I'm going to be in a looney bin soon but as long as I have your two blogs I will be FINE!

  20. Reading this at the airport, and everybody around me wants to know why I am convulsing from laughing so hard. Bravo on the very witty, very entertaining responses!

  21. Angie is brilliant. I want to read Jen's next memoir annotated by Stacey! That would be epic, as my son says! And I just finished OFF THE MENU. I loved it!

  22. So I laughed when I read Jen's blog - but I cried reading yours. Seriously - had to stop reading and find a tissue because I couldn't see anymore! Thanks for the funny!

  23. Between Jen's post on her blog, and now this, I'm laughing my head off.

  24. I seriously was wiping tears from my eyes after this one. Your comments are hysterical and when I saw the "Also? Exactly what is this consortium of which you speak?" comment I actually laughed out loud.

  25. Brava to you both!

    But really. I mean, hello, you're this incredible foodie and your fictional characters either own food stores or invent crème brulée French toast for Food Network shows. Every time I read one of your novels, I feel as if I'm gaining weight just from reading the mouth-watering descriptions of the food.
    If Jen wants you to come on board with her Felix and Oscar running a food truck, she needs to come up with something better than leftover tubs of ranch. Ambien or no Ambien, she needs to work on the basic concept. Thousand Island is a start, but how about dipping everything in Green Goddess? Or Aioli?

    Wait! I have it! NUTELLA.

    Can I play your wacky neighbor?

  26. This just cracks me up because when my best friend takes Ambien, I never know WHAT is going to come out of her mouth. Of course, most of the time, I'm agreeing with her that 7-11 slurpees ARE really delicious but 11pm is not the time to go get one. Of course, she would not dip them in ranch. At least, I hope not.

  27. Jen's post and now your thoughts are so funny. I laughed so I going to need depends?
    Cyndee Thomas

  28. LOL -- I know a great dirty joke involving everything being better dipped in ranch...
    Anyhoo, on a totally unrelated note, I just read your "About" section & had to weigh in:
    "...It should also be noted that when asked something I don't know, I am likely to make something up and adopt an air of authority..."
    My friend Niki does the same thing.
    The best part about Niki?
    If you bust her making something up, she'll totally cop to it. (Then attempt to extract a compliment regarding the very convincing bluff she'd constructed.)
    Weirdly charming.

  29. I had read Jen's post and it was funny. But then I read it with your notes and laughed hysterically throughout. Love that you two are both writers, bloggers, and friends!

  30. I just finished reading My Fair Lazy and I am looking for a new book. I think I may have just found it. Off to check out your new offering (loved Good Enough to Eat and sent that off to live with other friends to read it too!)
    Enjoy the day.

  31. I want to hang out with you two!


  32. This was hysterical. I'm sitting at my desk laughing so hard that I'm crying. So, so funny! Thanks for sharing it!

  33. Oh, so torn on this whole idea on behalf of my daughter, for whom ranch is its own food group.

  34. I'm multi-tasking right now between filling out an online job form, and checking health insurance quotes (of which it seems 25 reps called me within an hour wanting my biz, and I'm pretty sure I got the job) - anyway, because I suddenly became ADD I started reading Stacey's comments to Jen and giggled by way through the Ambien/Ranch scenario. So funny! Now I think I'll order some books. Thanks for the laughter.

  35. I laughed through reading that and Jen's tweet. You guys are hilarious.

  36. I. Can't. Breathe. You two are priceless. This totally just made my day :)

  37. I laughed and laughed and laughed and now my sides hurt and I have to pee. Thank you both for being awesome!

  38. My insomnia comes from anxiety issues when I try to sleep. I found that Ambien didn't make me sleepy but it did relax me enough to fall asleep. There are tons of stories floating around about strange behavior and I have my share. I found this only happens when I try to do things between ingestion and onset. Only take it when you are already in bed, relaxing, and attempting to fall alseep, and you shouldn't have any problems.

  39. I read Jen's post and your reply to the post while at work and nearly peed myself while the tears rolled down my face. Meeeelllions and meeeelllions of dollars to you both!

  40. Cheese bread dipped in Ranch is actually really good.

  41. Oh my gosh, that is hilarious. I laughed so hard at your "EIO?" comment.

  42. This may be the funniest thing I've read in several weeks. Actually, I thought Jen's original post won that honor...but your additional comments have truly added the icing to the cake. Or should I say, the ranch dressing to the broccoli.

    Thank you for the laughs. You're both very gifted writers.

  43. Stacey--

    As someone who knows what it's like to dash off an email while in an altered state, I could relate to Jen's -- shall we say -- "condition". Spelling goes out the window, logic goes out the window, exuberance flows like oil out of a '68 Dart. I give kudos to Jen for managing one genuinely funny lIne in the midst of all that word salad: All YR buttermilk are belong to us. Funny people are funny wasted. Not necessarily fun wasted; but funny wasted.

    Say hi to Jen and let her know that Aunt Pam is hoping for a howdy from Jen on her blog.


    Paul Bradford

  44. My BFF does the same dang thing only in text message form. I love waking up in the morning to ambien induced text messages that say things like "If you keep smelling hot sauce, does that mean you're having a stroke?" and "Ice ice baby. Dungguta dungguta dungga. ICE ICE GOAT. BABBADA BAAABADA BAAAAAA."

    Seriously - you and Jen could be our doppleganger BFF's!!!

  45. After a really sucky, scary day, I laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my face. Thank you for supplying my daily laughter medicine. And yes, I'll take that with Ranch.

  46. They say laughter is the best medicine. I'm not sure who "They" are, however, if we could only bottle you girls up and sell it, we too could make Meelions and Meelions of Dollars. :) (Kind of sounds gory after I put it in writing but you know what I mean... I hope)

    After two glasses of wine I just might be able to compete with Jen, but only on the Ambien level. Outside of that I am NO competition.

    Anyway, Thanks for making me laugh.
    Georgia Munson - A real VP blindly looking for my way out of the corporate system..... unfortunately I'm stuck in the old Jen days of having to pay a mortgage and put a husband through school. Anway - thanks for the smiles. You motivate me... Also, please don't reply to any more emails from your shitty brothers friends. They only bait you. You are better than any of those punks. Ignore them, It will piss them off wayyyyy more than any clever retort you may have for them. All my best Georgia Munson

  47. You are hysterical. Jen is hysterical. Loved both your blogs. I wish we were friends and could drink wine together. 'Cause that would be fun. Thanks for the laughs tonight. :)

  48. I just want to say that I think it is hilarious the friendship that you and Jen have. I must agree with her reasonings that most everything does taste better when dipped in ranch and you could quite possibly make some money off of the slogan if you decided to go through with her endeavor. However, I am not sure that an entire television show centered around ranch dressing would be the greatest tv show like she seems to think that it would be. I also find it quite funny that you are still dealing with her Ambien nights and having to make heads or tails of her ramblings.