Apr 30, 2008
Things I find annoying that are fairly insignificant:
*Putting on a pair of freshly laundered pants, then sitting in them for three hours; I hate it when they lose their shape and the seat of my pants are hanging by my knees.
*Wilted lettuce. I know it happens, but something about its' wastefulness really bugs me.
*A warm, sunny day with rain. Pick a team, that's all I'm saying.
*Misspelled text messages; I'm talking about the ones I erroneously send to people before checking them. I feel uber-lazy or like I have meathooks for hands.
*Asymmetrical things; edgy haircuts, contemporary furniture design, clothing, buildings, eyebrows.
*The texture of fish. I love to eat fish, but I'm not in it for the rubbery, concrete-colored coating.
*The smell of sulfur. Matches are my enemy.
*People who don't care about acceptable parallel parking; do they not see how everyone is in a straight line while they're parked at a right angle?
*Guys who like, love, and worship only Asian chicks; the sex-kitten hero worship can reach a yellow-fevered pitch, which tends to drown out any real social life the guy could be happily having. This is especially annoying when the guy hasn't actually dated an Asian girl, much less met one, in his entire freaking life.
*Ugly dogs. Why do we love them? They're everywhere.
*The color purple; it's too finicky. One shade this way and it's a symbol of royalty, one shade lighter and it's the chosen color for an 80's hair band. I'm almost a fan of aubergine, but only when it suits me.
*People who use the words 'retarded' and 'whatever' too much in a conversation. Like me.
*Squeaky swings. I can hear one through my bedroom windows, coming from the park across the street. That is the only soundtrack you would ever need to film a children-of-the-undead slasher flick; and yet, it's the soundtrack of my dreams. Delightful.
*Trees without leaves. I just feel hopeless looking at them. And fat.
*DVD jewel cases (is that what they call them?). The plastic number your DVD's come in. They're cold, ungrateful, and hard to open. Great design strategy.
*Round-toed dress shoes. The 21st Century called, and the message was this: your shoes suck.
*Carpet stains. In anyone's house, including mine (although I live in a hardwood palace). It doesn't matter what they are; they could be water, or milk from the baby's bottle, or a ketchup stain someone left at the last summer barbecue. Whatever it is, I will always think it's blood and that something sinister happened in your household. Thank you, Jon-Benet.
*Spiral notebooks. They seem so young and hopeful to me, but I can never find a use for them.
*Coffee drink orders that are longer than this blog. To be fair, I'm not a coffee drinker, I'm a hot chocolate girl; so anything that is longer than 'tall caramel latte' is going to piss me off. But before the iced grande half-caf, non-fat, no-foam, single-shot, soy vanilla latte you ordered, you had to have consumed something else.... what was it, juice? ...milk? ...water? I can guarantee, all of those things are better for your overall health than coffee. Liberate yourselves!
Photo: Facelift powered by Snotty.
Two hours later, and I'm still sitting at my computer; I feel like my eyes are peeling and my brain is melting. No, I'm not doing crystal meth (again? you ask)--I'm trying to fix The Vomitorium. Getting content on the blog was my first priority; now that I'm 60 posts in, I'm starting to work on the brand. It's easy to pick the first template that comes your way; I chose Minima, which is Blogger's default template, because I knew I'd be changing it later, so it didn't matter what it looked like in the beginning. Now, with peeling eyes and a melting brain, I finally care.
It seems fun, designing your own blog, or creating a page that represents who you are. And in theory, it is fun. Choosing your favorite colors are fun, and finding a font you love can be fun (except for a nerd like me, because I find most fonts to be monotonous and disappointing). Designing a blog includes those things, but it's not "fun" for someone like me. I just want to take a photo of what I want (which is in my mind only), and then throw it at my computer monitor, where it will miraculously turn into my new and improved web page; that isn't how it's done, though. There's a lot of back and forth between different tutorials, note taking, constant music changing (I need FOCUS music, the kind that makes me *focus* and not dance around my kitchen--so don't listen to Gotan Project, Hot Chip, or Massive Attack while doing this, because they will assist you in nothing but failure), refreshing my HTML skillz (an all-day process, I assure you), reading through a thousand lines of code looking for just one thing, saving-saving-saving-losing data, image searching, frustrated shrieking, hunger pangs, and giving up. Since it will take me at least two more hours before I give up (and beg the Esq for assistance), I figured I would take a break and detail how incredibly frustrating this is for someone who never uses the math-science-logic side of their brain, which is left, or right, or whatever.
This page had better look crazy awesome by the end of all this. Or, I might end up in a bathtub filled with my own weary blood, one never knows. That's a nice thought. Being in the bathtub, I mean--minus the fatal, self-inflicted wounds.
Photo: My favorite kind of magic.
A few things I'm getting into (or back into):
Cooking. (The Esq is probably shouting 'Hallelujah!') It's been really fun; two nights ago I had a wild hair and we grabbed a bunch of BBQ food at Trader Joe's to throw on the grill. I realized that 'spring food' (fresh veggies, fruits, barbecued meats, yummy salads, sparkling lemonade, homemade dessert) makes me into a happy bunny. It's healthy and fresh, and I feel good preparing it (and eating it!). We had a spring potato medley (I love purple potatoes) doused in butter, olive oil, and rosemary; chicken skewers--the Esq's mom marinated half of the chicken with teriyaki, sesame oil, ginger, brown sugar (nummers), and I did my half with garlic, rosemary, olive oil and sea salt; simple spinach salad with pear and smoked gouda; heirloom tomato skewers, sweet potato skewers, grilled pineapple skewers...I will skew anything, hear me now, anything at all. I also made dessert: big oatmeal cookies covered with sauteed apples in a brown sugar and cinnamon sauce, and topped by a homemade vanilla whipped cream. All made by Yours Truly from scratch, thank you very much. Cooking allows me to focus, so that my mind can actually wander. It's a pleasant balancing act, throwing on some good music and hammering out the details of a recipe. We've decided to put 'diet' at the top of our priority list, and cooking real meals is the key to most of it; the only part about cooking I hate: the clean-up. Also, thanks to Princess Lil Red and my mama, who are always helping me in cooking emergencies, which is always.
Stretching. Or "yoga", whatever. Before it was hip and trendy yoga, it was boring and necessary stretching. Let us not forget that. We were at Sara Rose's place--having a very nice vegan meal, I might add (YES, it's still me)--when she and Joe Ball began to stretch. This isn't unusual for Sara since she's a massage therapist and always stretching; but then Joe Ball joined in, and then I couldn't help but join in, and then the Esq started up...it was pretty amusing. Four people doing impromptu yoga together after a vegan meal. Sound like me? Didn't think so. But it was helpful--now I have to do it multiple times, every day, otherwise I'm a big, solid iceberg. So I'm getting super stretchy and downright bendy. It's cool.
Tutoring. I love the 826Seattle. Yesterday I worked with Cameron. The last time we saw Cameron, he was part of a blog about how middle school kids suck--he was the big dorky kid. I felt a special kinship towards him, since he was about as likable as a used tissue and as nerdy as they come, but very sweet for a 12-year old. Cameron fails socially, almost on every level. He is simultaneously shy and overbearing, too honest, too loud, and nerdy in an unapproachable way. I think he's really funny and interesting, but I'm also 20 years older than him; I can ferret out the good stuff because I have the patience. After we'd worked for over an hour straight, I suggested taking a break, because I'm nice. I did not suggest taking a break so that we could play Magic the Gathering. And yet that is what we did. And while we're on the subject, yes--I did look around to see who might be watching us, and yes--the non-nerd in me was screaming YOU HAVE MADE A GRAVE ERROR IN JUDGMENT; I DO NOT PLAY MAGIC THE GATHERING, SIR, I SIMPLY CANNOT AND WILL NOT. But I got over it--the conversation we had before, during, and after our card game was worth it:
Cam: (dealing cards) Have you played Magic the Gathering before?
Me: Ah, no.
Cam: I love Magic. *beams* I have Asberger's Syndrome.
Me: Oh. Oh? Ooh. That's, ah--mmmm.
Cam: Do you play Dungeons & Dragons?
Me: I've played a couple of times, but it was years and years ago.
Cam: I'm a Level 5 Human Palladin.
Me: (not laughing) Mm? That's pretty cool.
Cam: You know, I could let you join my team!
Me: I don't know, I'm not very good--
Cam: (reverently) I think you'd make a good Dungeon Master.
Me: Oh, ah, God--yeah, I dunno, Cam, I'm not really good at that kind of thing.
Cam: Yeah, well, if you play D&D like you play Magic the Gathering, you'll probably get creamed. *laughs hysterically at his own joke*
Me: I don't even know how to play, you're just playing for me.
Cam: (waves his cards dismissively) Well DUH--that's because you can't play a Kithkin creature card if you only have two mana, and I can't even believe you didn't play this Enchantment card--why aren't you tapping your Land cards? This Hill Giant could have totally done damage to my--(looks at me)--what?
Cam: If you join our D&D campaign, I think you'd be a dark elf assassin--wait, no! You'd be an Orc Wizard.
Cam: You'd cast spells, and although Orcs are stupid and ugly, you'd be intelligent and beautiful. You'd beat people up with your flaming hand--a spell, of course--and have the ability to poke people, like a shocking poke.
Me: *muffled laughter*
Cam: You could summon a net and throw it, like Spiderman, only not like Spiderman.
Me: Makes sense.
Cam: And you'd be part of a gang called the Sirens; you'd lure married men to rob them blind with your charms!
Me: Like I don't do that already.
At this point, another little girl (12 or so) came up to us; she's special, too, but adorable and very curious. She also has a Napoleon Dynamite voice, which is disarming. She ran up to Cameron and this is what transpired:
Girl: Hey, what are you doing, because I. am. so. bored.
Cam: (puts cards away) Nothing.
Girl: Is that Magic? There's a group of people who get together at my school and play that after school.
Girl: Do you play Dungeons & Dragons? I feel like I've seen you before. Do we go to school together? I'm the after school D&D leader, you should join!
Cam: *eyeroll* I don't even go to your school. *eyeroll*
Girl: Maybe you could just join the club, come to my school after your school gets out!
Cam: (huffy) Maybe not.
Me: (kicks him under the table) But that was really nice of you to ask, sweetie--do you want to sit down?
Girl: (sits down) What's that? -points to Magic cards-
Me: Cameron, just explain it to her.
Cam: *HUGE SIGH* FIIIIIIIIIIINE.
At this juncture I was just thinking, here's a cute girl that is special, his age, into the same nerdy things, and starving for friendship--I figured it would be good practice for him to talk to girls without telling them they were straight-up idiots (something I witnessed last time). I sat back and listened. They mostly talked about Magic and their D&D characters, bemoaning the last game they had lost or bragging about their conquests. I actually felt good about forcing them to interact. Ever the social director, that's me. I came back into the conversation here:
Girl: Basically? There's, like, two kinds of 'weird' to me--
Cam: (lights up) --am I one of them?!?!
Girl: Yeah. Like, there's weird like you-weird, and then there's just weird-weird, like too-weird.
Me: (wiping eyes) God, you guys are keeping me young.
Cam: (curious) How old are you?
Girl: Are you way older, like 22?
Me: You are now my favorite.
Cam: Hey! I thought you were 20!
Me: *beams* Just for that, I will go home and learn how to play Magic--rematch next week?
Girl: I want in.
Me: (tersely) But you're going down, both of you, and not in a blaze of glory.
Both of them: Yayyy!!!
So that's how I ended up here, awake at 7:30AM on my day off, watching How-To videos on YouTube, getting NERDIER by the second and learning how to play motherfucking MAGIC the GATHERING, just so I can participate with the strangest children I've ever met. *sigh* If I could have a tutor, I'd want it to be me; the geeks dig me.
Apr 27, 2008
Of the many things I loathe about my body, the feet win, hands down. Yesterday I told the Esq that my feet are a hybrid between the slimy, undead feet of an Orc and the hairy, matted feet of Chewbacca. But why, you ask? Because they are.
Looking at them now, I can also thank these necessary items for the feet I have today: falling down, too-small shoes, three-inch heels, weak ankles, late-night knife-dropping, kicking things, wild animals, Old Navy flip-flops, dirty floors, and the absence of a good pedicure. I can still get a pedicure at work before my last day (this Saturday), but after that I'll have to pay for it *pout* so who knows how often I'll get them done. My Planet of the Apes appendages, my Sideshow Bob clownfeet; God, how I hate them.
Here's the thing about feet: you can't do shit about them. If you have the money for the re-constructive foot surgery--where they shave down the toe bones and reconstruct the skin on the feet (and toes) to make them look prettier or appear more even--then good for you; I will also assume that your judgment has been compromised and you should be stripped of your titles, wealth, and influence. No one should have re-constructive foot surgery just so they can fit into a pair of Manolo Blahnik's. No one.
In an effort to make amends with my heinous, unnatural elephant feet, I now buy good shoes for them; I also implore the Esq to massage the hatefulness out of them, which sometimes works and, at other times, fails. I get a pedicure (or try) every 5-6 weeks, and put overpriced lotion on them when they seem dry or suicidal. I try. I hate those monkey toes and how they resemble a bruised banana, but I try.
One good thing: if I ever lose my hands in a debilitating accident, my feet will be able to take over without effort. I could probably play a Rachmaninoff concerto with these toes--or with enough yoga, I could probably teach myself the guitar, or the piccolo. I could cook, blog, and defend myself with these brown, fleshy waterskis; my feet might be ugly and totally unlovable, but they certainly are resourceful.
A haiku written for Whoreleen:
Candy of the pig
Completing me forever
I love you, bacon!
Apr 25, 2008
Sixth graders: more frightening than a barrel of serial killers.
I volunteered as a tutor for the first time this week at 826Seattle, and it was an interesting character study of how Snotty regresses when surrounded by annoying pre-teens. I arrived at 3 P.M. to observe how everything works, and by 3:45 P.M. (that fast?), I was twelve again. 826Seattle was a fun place to volunteer, but being twelve again sucked.
The program lead, Toffer, asked me to sit with a group of girls who supposedly needed help with their homework. There was no homework, just goofing off and the flinging of things at boys with soprano voices. There were three of them, so I felt like they had safety in numbers (meaning I was unsafe), and they were sixth graders: two were eleven and one was twelve. Toffer introduced me to them, and I sat down, wary. There was a lot of eye-rolling, a lot of whispering behind hands, and loud, explosive giggling--the 'look at me having so much fun' laugh, tra-la-la. They were three very distinct characters, although fairly stereotypical.
One was a big-eyed blonde, the short and pert variety--she'll be the 'cute' one in high school, and probably a cheerleader (the kind that puts out, not the kind that's on the honor roll). Later on in life, I imagine she'll be sturdy and compact, cheeks ruddied, hair colored a brassy blonde--and to keep Father Time from creeping up on her, she will always laugh like she does now, which is a practiced, simpering Japanese giggle that comes from behind a demure hand. Her real laugh was a shout and a shriek and a cackle all at once; that's the one I liked. My favorite thing she said, while tossing her hair from side to side and standing like a pre-teen model, was this: (shoving Twix into her mouth too hard) "Don't you hate it when you put something in your mouth and it hits the back of your throat over and over again?" I got the innuendo, she did not; I had to
Another girl was African-American, and she possessed the attitude of four seasoned drag queens, two gladiators, Marilyn Manson, and her formidable momma--who, she calmly explained to me, was a powerful, man-hating attorney that could sue the pants off of me and all of my friends. It wasn't hard to figure out who this little one worshiped. She also bossed everyone around, and let people know how inferior they were to her; I was surprised at how much ease she had in doling out her judgments. "These two are going to (waves hand dismissively) public school--I'm going to private. I'd like to see them get into my private school--that would make me laugh." She reminded me of that hateful girl in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca-dahling. She's a future attorney, for sure, just like her mom.
The last girl was just unfortunate in every way. She just ... she was beaten with The Stick, you know? It was kind of sad. She had an asymmetrical face somehow--I know we're all lopsided in some way or another, but she was really bringing Picasso back. And you know how if someone has a really great personality, their looks improve because they're just so awesome? Yeah, not the case here at all. She had that deep, nerdy "hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-huh" laugh, and British teeth (like me!...only she had "teef", which is a whole 'nother thing), and a heart, but not one of gold. She was mean. She was mean to others in the same way I imagine the Unabomber's family was mean to him, and look what happened there. Her Granpaw and Meemaw were probably brother and sister in the Adirondacks, and drank out of clay jugs on their porch together; if I was related to them, it would make me angry, too.
Point being, I didn't do well in middle school, just like everybody else--but I didn't want to re-live those feverish, awful years in my thirties, either. I kind of went back to being an overgrown, uncomfortable dork with no allies. When the little black girl said to me, "So this is the Cool Table here, and you're gonna want to be on our good side", I went INWARD. I thought, do these tiny bitches have actual power, or is their power an illusion? I remember the girls in my middle school seeming to be all-powerful: they skipped class, talked shit about teachers, made out in the bathroom with real live boys, and wore G-strings like common whores. They were untouchable.
It was around then that Toffer said to me, "I try to not base my self-esteem on what sixth graders think of me--it's hard at first, but you have to try." I laughed, grateful for the reminder. He was right: I don't need approval from a girl with a powerful mother and a chipped shoulder, or some snot-nosed future ho. I came here to tutor kids who need help in school, not babysit brats who have nothing better to do. I felt much better after Toffer's advice and my internal pep talk.
At the end of the day, the girls came up to say goodbye; I had earned their trust by accidentally saying the phrase "cheap ass" when describing my phone, which they thought was hilarious, and for not telling Toffer that they didn't have homework. All three approached me as though we were co-conspirators, and one whispered to me: "If you come here on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can totally sit with us, since you're cool--but don't invite anyone else, okay?" I was sitting with Cameron, an immature, Star Trek-loving computer geek, trying to help him with geography--and although I flushed with pleasure at the thought of these girls thinking I was cool (because I have the self-esteem of a 12-year old), I was ready to stick to my principles.
I pointed at Cameron and said, "Only if he can join us once in a while--oh, and that kid over there (pointing to a painfully thin, painfully shy Indian kid)--he's pretty cool, too." They looked at me like I was crazy, and the future lawyer stalked off, tossing her hair dismissively. The blonde looked at both boys dubiously and said, "I mean, I guess ... not, like, permanently, but if they have to ... sure, alright." The boys turned bright red, grinning from ear to ear; Cameron had that awestruck look on his face, as though the Starship Enterprise had just landed in his backyard. The Indian kid looked pleased, but frightened. "Don't worry," I told him, "I'll sit with you guys, too. It'll be fun--and if it isn't, we'll move to our own table and start a freak show." One laughed, one looked relieved.
Finally. Finally I get the acceptance I'd been craving back in middle school, from none other than my middle school counterparts, 25 years later. But it wasn't enough to receive the unwarranted acceptance--I had to pass it on. So that's what I did: I gave those two a chance to sit with the cool kids and see what it's like. I loaned them my free pass. I also gave them an out, because they're smart enough to see that the Cool Kids' Table is made up of screechy bitches and stupid little boys; if I had to choose between the cool table and the freak table today, I'd definitely go with the freaks. Way smarter, way more interesting, and very little Abercrombie & Fitch. That's my kind of sixth grader.
Apr 24, 2008
Ooh! I also put my notice in yesterday at work. *grin* I feel really liberated, panicked, happy, and stressed. All good things.
Here are the places I would prefer working, if anyone has a connection there:
-A magical fairy wonderland.
-The office of David (or Amy) Sedaris.
-Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
-A den of iniquity.
-A different planet in a different solar system.
-Johnny Depp's back pocket.
-The New Yorker.
-A Mexican wrestling ring.
-The Third Reich.
-A miniature bunny farm.
-A time travel company.
-A palace made of cupcakes.
-Your mom's house.
So keep your eyes peeled, whatever that means.
...and I'm rolling, rolling, rolling on the river.
Me: (tugging on messy hair) Ugh, I'm hairy. I'm a hairy beast!
Esq: It's a beautiful bounty of hair!
Me: (disbelieving) Did you just say, 'a beautiful bounty of hair'?!
Esq: What else would you call this lustrous mane?!
Apr 23, 2008
Every descriptive phrase I've ever hated came to mind last night; for example: "off the hook", "totally boss", and "all that" came to mind. Other good examples included "the shiz", "the Kubla Kahn", and "on like Donkey Kong". But I don't blame society: I blame the Hot Chip concert.
After turning back to retrieve our forgotten tickets, we were a little late--they were about 45 minutes into their set already, but we still saw a good solid hour of the best party music around. I don't know anyone who hates Hot Chip--you would also have to hate floor-thumping, heart-pounding, hands-flailing, brain-numbing, boogie-inspiring, death-defying, teeth-grinding, fist-pumping, ass-shaking, time-shattering, sock-rocking, sweaty, writhing, euphoria-inducing, good ol' fashioned FUN. And who hates fun? NAZIS, THAT'S WHO.
It wasn't just thump-thump-thump-thump, all night long; they really integrated their set with slower songs, funny dialogue ("...we'd like to introduce the next song...as the next Hot Chip song we're going to play..."), and fantastic lighting. I know that's what most musicians do, but I was really expecting more of an endless toil of indistinguishable rave-y music--mostly because Hot Chip has a very distinct sound, but I didn't know if it would translate in a live show. I know better now. I also thought I would be seeing the younger (early to mid-20's), punk rock hipster crowd there--the kids who wear the skinny jeans with their neon heels, asymmetrical haircuts, horizontally-striped hoodies, and a permanent look of disdain (a look you can't see since they're usually wearing sunglasses, inside of a club, at night). Some of them look pretty cool, but most of the time I'm wondering: why would you go out of your way to look dirty and poor? It's baffling to me.
Instead, it was an older, more mature crowd. It was a crowd of people who really loved the music, and boogied until the very last note left the building (and beyond). There are some parts to getting older that I don't mind, and one of them is dancing in public without really caring. I used to hate it, I was too self-conscious; now I see it as my right and responsibility to dance my arse off and get my money's worth. Standing around, staring at a stage? I could have that experience watching YouTube. I'm not like the people who were in our immediate area, though: two boring head-bobbers, a bunch of male yuppies in button-down shirts doing some shoulder-grooving, an arm pumper (body jumping straight up and down, arm going in the air every beat), a shuffler, and a 40+ chick who was doing some kind of dramatic modern dance right next to me. At one point, I looked over and could hear her inner voice crying, "I'm a tree, I'M A TREE!" and then her arms blossomed into the air, head tilted to the side, body rigid, music flowing over her. A weirdly beautiful thing to see at the weirdly beautiful Hot Chip concert.
And let us not forget that the last encore song of the evening was a spot-on cover of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares to You". Let us not forget that.
Apr 22, 2008
Let me begin this blog post with a disclaimer: I am no fan of Michael Moore's. I've seen some of his movies, and read some of his articles, and witnessed a few shenanigans, but I don't like him. He's just annoying. He's a loud, fat, annoying attention-getter, while I prefer my attention-getters to be thin, quiet, and good-looking. That being said, I still agree with him on many issues, and Hilary Clinton is one of them. Here were the highlights I agreed with in his open letter to the public, which was posted today:
I haven't spoken publicly ’til now as to who I would vote for, primarily for two reasons: 1) Who cares? and 2) I don't give a rat's ass whose name is on the ballot in November, as long as there's a picture of JFK and FDR riding a donkey at the top of the ballot, and the word "Democratic" next to the candidate's name.
Seriously, I know so many people who don't care if the name under the Big "D" is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen. It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.
Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does.
This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert. He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!
Yes, Senator Clinton, that's how you sounded. Like you were nuts. Like you were a bigot stoking the fires of stupidity. How sad that I would ever have to write those words about you. You have devoted your life to good causes and good deeds. And now to throw it all away for an office you can't win unless you smear the black man so much that the superdelegates cry "Uncle (Tom)" and give it all to you.
But that can't happen. You cast your die when you voted to start this bloody war.
There are those who say Obama isn't ready, or he's voted wrong on this or that. But that's looking at the trees and not the forest. What we are witnessing is not just a candidate but a profound, massive public movement for change. My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the Candidate.
It's foolish to see the Democrats as anything but a nicer version of a party that exists to do the bidding of the corporate elite in this country. Any endorsement of a Democrat must be done with this acknowledgment and a hope that one day we will have a party that'll represent the people first, and laws that allow that party an equal voice.
Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Reverend Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this, I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"
Pennsylvania, the state that gave birth to this great country, has a chance to set things right. It has not had a moment to shine like this since 1787, when our Constitution was written there. In that Constitution, they wrote that a black man or a woman was only "three-fifths" human. On Tuesday, the good people of Pennsylvania have a chance for redemption.******
I will never forget this day, the day Michael Moore and I saw eye to eye. But I agree; the election game is becoming more focused, with Hilary getting whiter and Obama getting blacker and McCain getting softer--it's like watching the political version of Mean Girls, or Heathers. And I am all about the Obama Movement, which includes Obama the Candidate. I don't care that Hilary already has her connections in the White House, I don't care that she's been a senator for longer, I don't care that she has a vagina (a statement which I would challenge on her behalf) and that I'm supposed to vote for her.
I consider all of my Hilary-supporting friends to be intelligent, well-read, engaging, and liberal; but I can't get on the old-school, war-supporting, screechy mud-slinging bandwagon. Her actions are speaking as equally loud as her fear-inspiring words. President Bush won the last election because of fear, fear of the unknown, fear of threats unseen, fear of "the enemy". Turned out the enemy was in our backyard all along, and Clinton supported it. But who am I kidding? I'm going to mark the 'D' on my ballot, no matter who it is. I just think that Hilary as President would be a solid step for "man", but Obama could be a giant leap for mankind. "Could" is never a good word to use, but that's what it means to take a risk. The rewards could be awesome and neverending, or they could be totally worthless. At least we can take that risk for ourselves, and reach for possibilities that are still unknown, but not yet impossible. I still think of Barack Obama as The Great White Hope; ironic, but true.
Apr 21, 2008
My birthday is right around the corner--Wednesday, May 7th--and I've been trying to figure out the best way to celebrate. I've met people who don't celebrate their birthdays at all (raise your humbled hands, Jehovah Witnesses) and people who hardly remember their birthdays because it's just another number (mostly senior citizens, in my experience); I am definitely not one of those people. I also don't hang with the uber-hipsters, who are too good for birthday parties and only throw retro-themed soirees for irony; same goes for the *I'll just rent a movie and stay in* folks who I imagine are widows, or librarians, or both. I think birthdays are bigger than that. Quite frankly, I think my birthday should be a national holiday.
Last year, we had a kickass bowling/pizza party at the Sunset; I was the only sober person there, I think, which was helpful--it enabled me to be very present while Breeber sang Elton John's 'Honky Cat' to me. That's our song. We also had a nice dinner at Pasta Freska the night before with some friends and family, and the Esq took me out for a romantic dinner at the Market that week, where we watched the sunset from the Place Pigalle; the food there was amazing. So last year's birthday lasted all month and totally owned--this year has to match that or exceed it, for shiz.
First up, we're throwing a Skate King party on the east side. For those of you who loathe the east side as much as I do, suck it up; it's the closest roller rink to Seattle and I want to Hokey Pokey like a pro. Plus, the east side isn't that bad--it's just homogenized, corporate, and without personality. We'll be going there to liven up the local Skate King, if not the entire area. I think that will be the weekend of the 10th, but I haven't made the reservation yet; I need to see what works best for everyone. Then I'll probably throw a shindig here at the apartment (the only thing that motivates me to clean), and then host a dinner somewhere out there. Fun? Yes. Excessive? Not really. I mean, if you can't be excited about the age you're turning, at least thrill yourself to death with the celebrations.
I know a lot of people who have lost limbs to the rough-and-tumble sport of rollerskating, but we will prevail. I don't think I'm a very good roller skater, despite my not-so-secret wish of being a Rat City Roller Girl. And truthfully, I don't think I really want to be a RCRG, I just want to be bad ass like a rollergirl. And hot. So that's what I want for my birthday: a Rat City Roller Girl of my very own, one whom I can love and worship while extracting her essence through a series of distilling experiments that will ultimately transfer her powers to me, but leave her dead as a doorknob. (This, of course, is the plot to a wonderful book I read many moons ago called Perfume, written by Patrick Suskind--it was one of those creepy, murderous books that make you desperately uncomfortable, but also provides the most incredible descriptions of smells I've ever seen; it's the only novel I have ever smelled my way through.)
First person to bring me a rollergirl wins.
Apr 18, 2008
A list of reasons why my boyfriend rocks harder than your boyfriend ever will:
1. He makes us a yummy lunch and brings it to my work so we can eat together, pretty much every day. (Honorable mention: bringing any number of things to me at work in an emergency, ie; tampons, comfortable shoes, cell phone charger, crystal meth, midget hookers--you name it, he'll bring it)
2. He saves the purple SweetTarts for me--the only flavor I like--in a pile by my computer. (Me: "You're sweet!" Him: "And tart!")
3. When I say babies, he says 'Jonathan Swift' or 'delicious!' (My official stance on babies is: "great with the right dipping sauce".)
4. He is a Scorpio--clever, powerful, and vengeance-friendly--and Scorpios are apparently ruled by the pelvis, which I found on more than 20 websites. But I didn't say it; the experts did.
5. He sneaks onto my computer and leaves stuff like this lying around for no reason.
6. He laughs at most of my tasteless (read: racist) jokes, and makes me do this hyena-hiccup hybrid laugh when he tells them right back.
7. He doesn't let me win when we play video games, which is important--I want to kick his nerdy ass on my own merits, thank you.
8. He makes a nice dinner for me when I've had a crappy day; solid food is the way to my heart. Other sweet, crappy-day things he does: rubs my feet, takes me out for breakfast, leaves me a card (letterpress only, the other way to my heart), says all the right things when I'm a weepy hot mess, and all the other Scorpio traits that made him a catch to begin with.
9. He turns down the bass on his music when I'm home, since I'm an old lady with sensitive ear issues. *cries* Honorable mention: he would never think of me as an old lady, which is nice.
10. He is always the perfect host at parties. And when I compare him to Hitler, he doesn't take offense. And he likes my cupcakes.
There are many more reasons to love the Esq--millions, even--but today, these are my favorites.
Apr 17, 2008
Favorite conversations of the night:
Client #1: So what did you do this weekend?
Client #2: Well, I got up--and then I washed my car.
Client #1: By yourself?!
Client #3: With your hands?!
Client #1: Have you had your family portraits done yet?
Client #2: No--but if we aren't all wearing white for the photo, I am going to die.
Apr 16, 2008
Apr 14, 2008
The Dalai Lama is in Seattle and online today; if you're expecting a long-winded rant about dirty hippies and my hatred of phrases like 'keeping your heart wide open', think again. I've listened to the Dixie Chicks, I read The Bridges of Madison County, I've watched an Oprah or two in my lifetime; point being, anything that falls off the cheese wagon is something I will consume with girlish glee, and the Dalai Lama is at the top of that wagon.
If you don't know who the Dalai Lama is (because you've been living in the booze-filled trenches of the deep, deep South), let me refresh your memory: the Dalai Lama is like the Oprah of the Tibetan Buddhist monk world. He's like Jesus, except his teachings make sense in real time, and the majority of his fans don't make me sick. He is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and has been exiled from Tibet since 1959. Even though he has many followers, I still consider him ahead of his time, if only because his type of leadership--peaceful, self-exploring, thoughtful inquiry, joyful--is still an anomaly in this guns-blazing, penis-wielding, conflict-loving world of ours.
I headed on over to http://www.king5.com and clicked on the Live Feed; then poof, there I was, inside of Key Arena, waiting for my life to change. And that's exactly how it happened. The picture was dark at first, with a small beam lighting up the stage--I couldn't make out figures, but I heard, and felt, the audience: 16,000 children and educators, stinking up the arena with their palpable excitement, their occasional shrieks, their unwavering love for this tiny leader in red robes, this interloper, this stranger. Much like Sally Jesse Raphael, the Dalai Lama was sitting in a comfy red chair, like a talk show host, and shook hands with people by holding both of their hands; there are some people who can get away with this, and some who cannot. Be assured that the Dalai Lama can bless you any way he freaking wants to--unlike the Pope, who just half-heartedly waves at you from his bulletproof Popemobile with all the personality of a dried-up Band-Aid (a Band-Aid who seems to hate most people and would persecute gays--I kind of dug the last Pope, but the newest guy is an old, poopy dick). He was very, very still, and listened intently to all of the guest speakers and entertainment. Before he came out, I was skeptical, thinking, 'what is this all about?', as though I had something better to do. Then I realized that I was holding my breath, and flushed from being warm; it was my own nervous anticipation.
The Dalai Lama walked out on stage, and to be totally honest, I cried my face off. Big, fat, droopy tears of confusion and pain and hope and relief; this past month has been a killer for me, and I haven't had any outlet for it except the Esq. So here was my chance. A chance to connect, to be in the same virtual room as this strange world leader, a chance to change my karma and myself. Knowing my dad was there with kids from his high school, and that so many thousands of kids were there for the same reasons--to learn about compassion, the world, themselves, each other--it was overwhelming. The stage was alive with performers and local kids and Seattle 'celebrities' woven seamlessly together. I sat there for a solid hour, immersed within its' loveliness and liveliness. I prepared myself for the Dalai Lama to speak; I pulled up Wordpad and decided to take notes. I felt focused, grounded, light as air. He rose and came to the microphone--the applause was thunderous (literally--it sounded like a veritable storm of appreciation)--and my eyes filled with tears. Teach me about compassion, I thought; turn my luck around, my life, my karma. Fill me with hope for our future, for my son's future; feed me the answers, because I am starving; throw me an oar, because I am sinking. I didn't really think he would send me real answers, but I do find him to be very insightful and forward-thinking, especially when it comes to children and education; at the very least, I thought I might see my dad and his kids in the audience. I sat there with my hardened heart ripped wide open, and waited for his wisdom to wash over me.
That's when the power went out. And everything came back on, except the computers.
I'm in total denial about being a morning person; I am one, but don't tell me that (because I'm not listening). A 'morning person'--not to be confused with a mourning person, although it's possible one could lead to the other--is a retired woman in a cheerfully-colored velour tracksuit who wears matching visors and goes for power walks; it's the 'roid-raging, model-loving Wall Street broker who is up with the Tokyo Stock Exchange on one of four cell phones; it's two hippies, cleansing their bodies of impurities through chanting and Bikram yoga, right as the sun rises. I am none of these things; if anything, I'm their opposite (although I do enjoy my cell phone and the occasional yoga). I don't even do typical morning person stuff; I don't drink coffee (I'm a jittery hot mess on my own, thanks), I don't exercise, I don't have a morning commute, I don't enjoy the early-bird news, and I usually can't summon up an appetite until lunchtime. I thought writers wrote at night, as in 'the dead of'; apparently I was wrong. I used to like writing at night, but lately it's been difficult to let go of the daily grind, and so it's easier for me to start fresh in the morning. I just think it's ridiculous, being up at 7:30AM on my day off; when did I turn into my mother? <--Something I'm saying more and more these days. I remember being 14 and sleeping until 3PM; I remember the hard, sweaty, deadened sleep I used to have, and I envy it. That is a fond yet distant memory. I guess after this, I'll throw on my tracksuit and go for a power walk. *sigh*
Apr 13, 2008
So that's what I did this weekend. I know you're jealous.
Apr 11, 2008
I caught a glimpse of myself in the window last night and thought, I am the exact definition of the phrase "letting yourself go". It amazes me how effortless it is, how comforting. Pajamas and chipped nail polish have replaced the heels and makeup I once wore; my adorable clothes are all gathering dust in my unused closet, and the pride I took in keeping up appearances for the Esq (or rather, keeping up with the image of keeping up with appearances) has fallen by the wayside. At this rate, I will end up like my downstairs neighbor (the rude one), who looks and acts 67, but who I suspect is just an old-looking 52. I look back on photos from when the Esq and I first started dating, and think--who the hell is that? Is that eyeshadow? Am I wearing... ohmygod, am I wearing a bra?! Goddamnit, I used to be so much cuter. At least I used to care. Even if it was in an unusual way, or exotic, or odd, I could still rock it. Now I'm thinking about buying a pair of those brightly-colored whiffle ball shoes for the mentally retarded (yes, I know Crocs are comfortable and not for the retarded, but have you seen them?); that's how I know I'm going downhill. I would never have been caught dead in a pair of those shoes, but now I'm thinking, who the hell cares? What are feet, anyways? Just two brown, lumpy hooves that reluctantly schlep me around town. They don't care what they're wearing, they just want to quit moving and take a nap. I can't even be bothered to put on jeans anymore--I feel dangerously close to being someone who goes to the grocery store in their bathrobe. I just don't have the stamina for 3-inch heels anymore, or the motivation for liquid eyeliner--I even tried giving myself a makeover the other night, but ended up passing out from the effort.
I wonder how long my motto of 'doing the minimal amount of work for the maximum amount of value' is going to last. I think maybe it just ended. I don't have a lot of good years left--I certainly don't think I'm on death's doorstep, but I'm also closer to menopause than ever before. I mean, after 21, all of the momentous birthdays are the ones you're trying to avoid (and no, 25 doesn't count, because caring about your car insurance rates is something a young person just wouldn't do). I remember being 15, and thinking, 'I can't wait until I'm 30--older, mature, thin-rich-and-famous, retired...." Because thirty years old was reeeally fucking ancient. I thought I might be a sought-after Wise Woman, or that maybe the human race, as a whole, would come together and give me a Lifetime Achievement Award for surviving so long. Plus I figured, 15 years would be the right amount of time to seek out all of my dreams (being a musician, an author, an artist, a psychiatrist, a parent, a homeowner, and a contestant on MTV's The Real World--hey, I was 15, at least I had goals), turn them into realities, and turn THAT into royalties. Everything I did, in my mind, was world-renowned or hadn't been done; I was a rebel, a leader, a visionary. Now I'm approaching age 32--the 'really fucking ancient age of 30' has come and gone--and I'm remembering my mom and her friends, or the older friends I've worked with, complaining about how it's harder to lose weight as you get older, or sagging skin, or mustaches; all true for me, all terribly mortifying. You never think it's going to be you; and then you wake up one morning, get up to pee, glance in the mirror on the way out of the bathroom, and see it: the true beginnings of a handlebar mustache. More like 5 o'clock shadow and less like Snidely Whiplash, but still--it's there, ruining your life for all to see. And it becomes a do-or-die moment. Do I ignore it, like I have my weight, my diet, my on-again/off-again relationship with smoking, my insomnia, or the sage advice of real medical professionals? Or do I use it as a catalyst for change, something to lead me out of the dark and into the light?
I think I'll go with the latter; it's really the better message. That is why I have named my mustache: The Hairy Beacon of Hope.
Apr 10, 2008
Eek! W00t! Squee!
Neko Case and M. Ward are on the Bumbershoot line-up this year; of course I'll be going to see them. But the greatest, most surprising headliner there this year:
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
When I lived (heh, "lived") in Ballard with my two best friends--age 19 or so--I consumed as much Stone Temple Pilots as I did Boone's (peach-flavored). I still know all the words to That One album (Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop); I know every guitar nuance, every riff. I don't care if it was good or not--I consider them 'college music', meaning I haven't listened to them since--but I am going to that show.
It will be my first "wistful" show, the kind that brings back memories of youth and stupidity. I'll probably just feel old and be surrounded by 14-year old girls talking about how vintage the band is. I can't wait! (How much do you want to bet me that it's canceled due to Scott Weiland's heroin addiction? Hopefully not, but I wouldn't be surprised.) STP!
Apr 9, 2008
Video: Coach McGuirk the Jerk, from the brilliantly animated series, Home Movies.
If I was a cartoon...
If I was a man...
If I was a fictional character...
If I could be my hero...
I'd be Coach McGuirk. We sound alike, we're shaped alike, we think alike. We must be related. It's spooky. Rent Home Movies today.
Photo: Two of my favorite hobbies--tennis and vertigo.
Any time I am uncomfortable in my own skin (pretty much always), I envision the shiny, happy future I could be having somewhere else in the world.
The Esq and I have talked about moving to twenty different places in the world, because talk is harmless. It's fun to think about, namely because everyday challenges--rent, relationships, work, weight--seem almost quaint when you stick a Bavarian village behind them. I visualize the peace I might have, living on a lake in Norway, or a villa in Spain; forget that I can't afford these things, just imagine how peaceful I might look. Pictured here is a tennis court in Dubai, which is really fucking high off the ground, and attached to a hotel that is equally frightening. I don't think I'd want to play tennis there, but I wouldn't mind being a spectator. I don't love tennis, but I do love fear.
I think I might be one of those Americans, though, the kind that makes other Americans cringe; I wouldn't learn the language, and I'd probably seek out the only McDonald's in the entire country (even in India). But I certainly wouldn't be all East coast about it--being from the West coast, I assume everyone from That Coast is too direct, somewhat rude, fairly entitled, and crappy. Like me, only from the wrong part of the country. Those from the Midwest don't count, since I don't know anyone from there that would take a trip to Europe. There has to be some, but I don't know them. The Midwesterners I know personally (besides my ex-husband) all enjoy high-waisted jeans, porcelain angels, Jesus, and beef. All good things to enjoy, I might add. Just not in Europe.
People always talk about keeping your business and personal lives separate, but it's never worked for me. As a writer (blogger, shyster, panderer), I write about everything from work problems (Ex#1: Work rocks! Ex#2: Work sucks!) to relationship problems (Ex#1: My man rocks! Ex#2: My man sucks!) to self-esteem problems (The only example: I suck). I've written about my boyfriend's sex drive, my private area smelling like bologna (happened twice), my opinion on vegetables, and pain in all forms, mostly emotional. It takes a lot of work to display my life without professional lighting or accent walls. So therefore, I am a business. I'm in the business of being me--and since writing is the only thing I like to do on a daily basis (not true; I also like "doing nothing"), I have ordered my calling cards from cheapo VistaPrint (fancy letterpress ones to come once my bank account is on board); I get sick of having business cards that tote the business I happen to work at, rather than a card filled with the relevant information of what I love to do, and if I like snacks or not. So that is what I have done, which you can obviously see here. Oprah, what.
Let me just get this out of the way, so that it's clear for all to see: had I a book to peddle to the masses, I would absolutely sell out on Oprah, for two solid-gold, American reasons:
Come on, if you had the chance to take your mom to see Oprah--and you knew she would love it (enough so your stock as her kid rose quickly, above all of your other unworthy siblings)--you'd do it, too. Plus it would be a good blog later on, me on Oprah.
Studies have shown that if your product (whether it's you, your book, or your business) is seen on the Oprah Winfrey show, your sales increase by 30% the very next day; I think this is incorrect. I think it's more like 330%. And that's my goal, a 330% increased interest in my blog. Is that so much to ask?
Apr 8, 2008
I had one of those 'female moments' today. You know the kind I'm talking about; the kind that gives other females a bad name (and I think we all know what name describes that kind of female best). When I hear the word 'moment', it makes me think of an occasion, or maybe a happenstance of some kind; I am not referring to that kind of moment. This was no occasion. This was sheer asshattery, which is a word I had to make up in order to describe my demented behavior, and that should tell you how dire the situation was. I had to coin a fucking phrase just to convey how unbelievably atrocious I was today. But I don't want to tell the story in a boring, linear kind of way, oh no--I'll just start somewhere in the middle and then dismount like a champion. Observe:
So as I was beating my clothes to death in my walk-in closet with a down-filled pillow (I think of it now as The Pillow of Vengeance), pounding the walls and my hangers and my dirty laundry like a domestic violence scene gone horribly awry (all innocent bystanders were hurt in the process, I assure you), I thought to myself: there has got to be a better way to destroy these things and make my day even worse. So I started throwing stuff around, which is always helpful and mature, and I felt much better. After a long, screamy diatribe about the idiocy of Microsoft Office products--which was peppered with short outbursts of rage and a frightfully long weep under the covers around mid-afternoon--I realized that the Esq was navigating through my emotional minefield with all the aplomb of a terrified game show contestant. It occurred to me that I was throwing a tantrum, equal to four pre-teens on their periods, about eight hours too late; so I decided I would sit down, shut up, and ride it out like an adult. I would meditate, steam some vegetables, read a self-help book, go to bed early--that would ease my stress and tension. Unfortunately, I did none of those things--meditation leads to sleep, vegetables and self-help books are banned in this household, and going to bed early is against my creed. My next To-Do list starts with: 1) Rip out my uterus. 2) Become a man.
So it's eight hours later and I'm still waiting for that attitude adjustment; also, I'm still not a man. *weeps*
Days like today, I just want to grab a good book, throw on some vinyl, and drink hot chocolate.
Books that a day like this might appreciate:
Letters from the Earth (Mark Twain)
Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas (Tom Robbins)
Fires (Raymond Carver)
The Lovely Shall Be Choosers (Robert Frost)
Misadventures in the 213 (Dennis Hensley)
Autobiography of Red (Anne Carson)
The New Kings of Non-Fiction (Ira Glass)
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E.L. Konigsburg)
Case Histories (Kate Atkinson)
The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams)
Music a day like this day would appreciate:
They Might Be Giants
U2 (Joshua Tree only)
Food a day like this could appreciate:
Fried polenta cakes
Callebaut hot chocolate (found only at Trophy's)
My mom's Chinese food
Justin's dad's homemade bread
The cheeseburgers at Atlas
By the way, that new Dolly Parton album is pretty good. I don't know what unspeakable acts I'm going to have to perform in order to attend her Backwoods Barbie Tour, but I'll do anything. She's like 104, so this might be my only chance.
While looking for a good Dolly picture for this blog, I stumbled upon one of the best sites ever--a site proclaiming Dolly to be a Satanist!
Crazy Biatch writes: "In an interview by Rick Clark, Dolly Parton revealed that she is NO Christian. I do not write articles to be unkind, but out of necessity to expose those who masquerade as Christians. Anyone who knows anything about the history of rock-n-roll knows that the band Led Zeppelin is Satanic to the core. Dolly is correct in thinking Stairway to Heaven is a spiritual song, but it's of the spirit of Satan, not God. Stairway to Heaven is Satanic to the core. Music is one of the most powerful mediums through which Satan works. John Denver said, 'Music is more powerful than Christianity.' The sinful flesh loves Devilish music...music which has a rock-'n-roll beat and worldly lyrics. Most often, the Holy Spirit of God is ignored and shunned away by hardened hearts."
That tear was from laughter, not sadness. Knowing that Dolly is doing the work of Satan brings joy to my heart, joy that sounds like Satanic music sung by Jimmy Page. I think I'll add Led Zeppelin to the list of music I want to hear today. 'When the Levee Breaks', 'That's the Way'--something churchy. If I listen to that while reading Mark Twain (a blatant atheist), I might go to Hell tomorrow.
Mark Twain quotes a day like this would laugh at:
"If Christ were here now, there is one thing he would not be: a Christian."
"'In God We Trust'. I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true."
"If there is a God, he is a maligned thug."
"The Bible is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies."
"Faith is believing something you know ain't true."
I've been revising this paragraph of my Bread Loaf application, and I'm tired of revising it, so here 'tis:
The old lady in the apartment below us lives in a different solar system ruled completely by anger. She has this enormous picture window that looks into her entire apartment, and although she's intensely private and standoffish, she always has her blinds open. Looking in her window, as I'm walking up the stairs next to it, is almost too much to bear: her discontent and disorder spills into the living room with the uncontrolled defiance of a teenager. I don't need to fucking change, her disarray tells me. The reminder notes on her desk, written in angry black marker for all to see, tell a different tale: GO OUT AND WALK. DON'T ISOLATE. GET A ROUTINE. BE POSITIVE. For something so positive, these reminder notes seem incredibly sad to me. I don't need YOU, her desk says with a bitter look, the same desk that is buckling under the weight of so many unopened self-help books. I see her on the street or at the market, and I want to throw a cantaloupe at her face, just to get a reaction. I want to see her feel something other than scorn, I want to see her smile--but I'm afraid it will be hideous, the smiling and the feeling. I hate feeling sorry for people, because I would never want others to pity me, but I feel sorry for her. And that makes me hate her.
This woman's name is Ellen. She has never said hello, never been pleasant--she won't smile, and doesn't acknowledge me when I speak to her. She's pretty rude, as far as humans go; I even heard her hiss once, in response to us smoking on the sidewalk (nowhere near the apartment building). She spotted us, hissed, and walked around us--and when I say 'around us', I mean she walked about eight blocks out of her way, just to avoid being six feet from us. That kind of dedication to unabashed surliness is commendable--entertaining, even. I thought it was me, but apparently she does this with everyone, which relieved me at first. Now it's worrisome. She's either been on a long vacation (since before Easter, which would technically make it a pilgrimage), or she's dead as a doorknob. Cory said to me last night, "Have you seen Ellen lately?" And I thought, holy shit--I usually see her every day, either in the window or on the street. But she is nowhere to be found. I might speak to the apartment manager about it, since Ellen and I aren't friends; just mention that her apartment remains untouched and it's a little out of the ordinary. I can't believe that my capacity for worrying extends to those I don't even LIKE, to people who can't even be bothered to exchange banal pleasantries with me. Worrying is like the second career I need to resign from. It's annoying and I'm not getting paid enough.
Apr 6, 2008
Magazine quote of the year (so far):
'A pregnant Jamie Lynn Spears celebrated her 17th birthday, with fiancé Casey Aldridge, having dinner at Ruby Tuesday and shopping at Wal-Mart, a source says.'
She's going back to her ancestral roots, just like her sister; Wal-Mart, indeed.
I wonder if there's a Miley Cyrus countdown somewhere on the internet--like a T-minus something-or-other, that monitors and tracks her progression towards becoming a PR nightmare. I don't care who loves Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus (this is just like the Garth Brooks/Chris Gains fiasco, I knew that we learned nothing as a nation); she just seems like a smug, ugly, untalented, priggish hick to me. I'm glad she's not out there, coke-whoring it up and showing me her locked-down vagina (the way she talks about her faith and virginity makes me want to eat my own face), but come ON. Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire (look what that brought us: the underwhelming talents of Hilary and Haylie Duff, or, the Siblings of Snooooore), Zooey Brooks, etc; if I could bring them down, I'd do it with a bow-and-arrow. More aesthetic that way...and romantic, almost. I can practically hear the arrow piercing the shrunken, Hollywood heart of Amanda Bynes. Actually, I kind of like that chipmunk-cheeked weirdo; she was cute in Hairspray.
I had my first Sloppy Joe last night at Bree's. I suppose it was cathartic, in a Sloppy Joe kind of way. Why do they call it a Manwich? They don't resemble a man at all; and you certainly don't look manly eating them. Any food that requires a bib is almost--dare I say it--emasculating. That's right, I said it: Sloppy Joe's are for pussies. But boy, are they good. We went over to hang out with Bree, and Oliver,
Ollie: Who's Bono?
Me: You're dead to me.
Kids are cute. He and Oren got Whoopie cushions at Bartell's (because who doesn't like hanging at Bartell's?) and farted their way into friendship in Bree's living room. Timo made an appearance, as did Kai, and I startled Jon Auer from above. We walked to the Canterbury to get milkshakes with the kids, but we were too late--they stop making them after 8PM. We departed, drove home, and played Audiosurf until our eyes drooped. I got up this morning and went to work--where everything went wrong, it was one of those days--and we drove to BFE to drop Oren off. Afterwards, I was too pooped to make it home, so we're spending the night at my parents' house; they're at the beach cabin, so it's just my brother, his friend Tom, the Esq, and myself. Family Guy and ice cream, all night long.
But first, I'm jumping in the hot tub.
Apr 4, 2008
Left: Her, bad.
Right: Me, good.
I've started telling stories like an old lady. They start with embarrassing sentences like: "This one time?...." or "Back in the day...." and "In my twenties...." These phrases are designed to make the person listening feel like you are actually okay now--that this kind of story is an anomaly--and this was just a one-time occurrence, which is not true at all. Then I tell a rousing tale of good friends, bad decision-making, and a result usually ending in "oh no you didn't!" that will live on in infamy. But 'infamy' only works if you remember to tell people how infamous you were, and I think I'm dropping the ball.
I was thinking about this because of the flowers on our patio. I told my neighbor, Michelle, that I wanted to get some bigger plants--larger trees or fuller bushes, so we can have some privacy from the walkway. I jokingly said, "If I buy a big plant, I'm chaining it to the rail, so nobody steals it." She laughed, and I laughed, and then I remembered: there was a reason I had that chain-its-ass-down, knee-jerk reaction.
So this one time? Back in the day--in my twenties? We used to steal flowers in our neighborhood. My BFF and I would hop in Big Blue--an enormous, worn-out, dirty truck from the sticks--and cruise through the neighborhood, looking for our bounty. Big Blue sounded as big as her name; 'stealth' was not her style. She stalled and rumbled, spat and roared. Big Blue seemed like an overweight smoker from the deep, deep South. She had a surly attitude and a poor sense of humor, but she was our other sister in crime. We'd spot a garden up ahead and bounce on her seats in excitement. We would slow to a crawl, and turn the AM Radio down. Slowly, Big Blue's dusty door would creeeak open on hinges bigger than my hands, and we'd climb out of her, shushing each other for no reason. One of us would spot a big row of tulips and squeal with delight like a Miss America contestant; the other would make wild hand gestures like an umpire gone raving mad. We'd do a fearful little jig, put a fingers to our lips, and run through the garden looking like clumsy, drunken ninjas, dancing in the dark with a fortune at our fingertips. Usually stoned and always paranoid, we'd both perk up at a sound in the wind, or a dog barking five blocks away. We'd run, with shame and giddiness, back to Big Blue and throw ourselves into the truck. "Go, go, GO!" one of us would yell, at each other and Big Blue, and the other would shriek with laughter, and we would screech off into the night, two of Seattle's loudest thieves. We were always quite pleased with ourselves, high-fiving each other and shouting,
"OohmyGooodthatwasaaawesome!!" and "DidyouSEEthat?!"
Bonding through illegal acts (theft, trespassing) brought on by illegal acts (sparking a doobie) is really the only way to bond. We always smoked a victory cigarette afterwards, on our porch, peering into the darkened streets of our criminal masterminding. Guilt rarely entered the picture, as we were young and lacking morals, as most young people do.
As always, on the morning after, we would re-live our adventures over our morning smoke and whatever wasn't moldy in the fridge. Our other BFF, sleeping soundly during our midnight escapade, would come downstairs to find the big bouquet of fresh-cut flowers in our living room; they were always for her. We figured that was part of our penance; we would take, but we would also give away. I think she disapproved a bit--her father was a gardener who took pride in his garden--but I know she appreciated the gesture and always thought they were beautiful. I liked having fresh flowers in the house. It reminded me of my parents' house, and also made me feel kind of fancy. It still does.
Now I have guilt, but only because I fear that my crappy green-thumb karma is coming home to roost. And then I have guilt about that because I know I should feel guilt for reals. I am a woman who lives in fear of having a garden. That's like being scared of a miniature bread roll. So it seems like I should apologize for my behavior to the Universe, and see if that helps me at all. I will finally admit to my part in everything, and take responsibility for my actions:
She made me do it.