Jun 27, 2008

Friends, Meet the Future

Photo: Take that, Juicy Couture.

I saw my future last night, and it was depressing, at best. A group of women were at a table nearby us, celebrating an unknown occasion; no 'Happy Birthday' was half-heartedly sung, but they were drinking like classy hillbillies (out of wine glasses, by the gallon), and had a festive mood about them. Each woman represented something I never want to become, which is how I know I'll morph into one of them first. Hey--it's a cruel world, but someone has to live in it.

I'd put their ages somewhere in the 45-55 range, maybe even higher. I studied this group throughout our two hour dinner, and these were the women present:

Woman #1 was a goner. Ruddy, uneven skin, alcoholic Santa nose, blond streaks too brassy, haircut too edgy, coral jacket too trendy--I see this woman everywhere. This woman owns a mirror, but when she looks into it, she sees a tanned, youthful, shiny 25-year old; I'm sure I will, too. (I already do.)

Woman #2 was sitting across from Woman #1; they were in the middle of a deep, yawn-inspiring conversation about children, and to whom they were more fulfilling. Woman #2 was All Bangs and looked like SuperMom circa 1982. She possessed modern-day mall bangs that started in the crown of her hair and soared, like a flying minivan on fire, all the way down to her clumpy eyelashes. She wore a striped t-shirt under an over-sized blazer (over-sized because of the shoulder pads, methinks), and tapered jeans that fell short of their sky-high, ankle-reaching goals. You could tell she had discovered this look in the eighties and never looked forward again; the future, her clothing said, was for the birds. She was so into their conversation, she didn't even notice that Woman #1 had "accidentally" consumed all of the wine between them, even her own glass; I thought that was tacky until I overheard Mall Bangs Lady say she had six children. If I had to sit through the verbal ticker-tape parade this woman was spewing about her six sticky, stinky children, I'd drink all of the wine, too, and throw in some crystal meth for good measure. Six children. Call me crazy, but after watching Woman #1 drink two bottles of wine and then teeter off to her car, I still considered Woman #2 the most dangerous and irresponsible. Six children, my ass; China could teach you a thing or two.

Woman #3 was All Business. She was harried, hurried, and had little time for small talk. She was wearing a Business-y Business Suit with the sleeves haphazardly pushed up, as though she were Getting Down to Business. She wasn't wearing the Power Suit that day (black and black with a side of black), and you could tell; the taupe-colored suit was supposed to make her more approachable, and give off a Casual Summer vibe. She just looked uncomfortable, and talked too loudly about her career goals. She never looked anyone in the eye, and was the only one in the group who inquired about hard alcohol.

Woman #4 was the MILF of the group. She was the only one with the right shade of blond hair (very light blond), the only one who hadn't succumbed to the Mom Haircut, the only one with tasteful breast implants; her make-up was flawless, and her outfit was only about ten years younger, which worked for her. There's always one in every group, who the rest of the group must publicly acknowledge as their physical superior, and this gal was it: "Oh my God, LOOK at you!" "You are SO THIN! How do you DO it?!" "Margaret, look at her, just look at her. She's practically a TEENAGER!" "And you have HOW many children?" "You make me sick, you really, really do." "Look at your HAIR, I remember when I used to have long hair." "You must be living the good life, girl!" All of these phrases were said, of course, through gritted teeth and with a murderous glint in their eyes; that's how it works, everyone knows that. The MILF was gracious enough to deflect their barbed compliments with a self-deprecating wave and a shake of the head, but I could tell she secretly agreed with them.

Woman #5 was openly hostile around Woman #4; you could tell she thought #4 was a waste of space. She kept theatrically rolling her eyes at the woman, and dismissing her opinions with a sharp wave, a move that reminded me of a murderous meat cleaver. Woman #5 was an angry attorney--she was angry as a woman, as a minority (Mexican, I think), and as a lesbian. After hearing her rant about The Man--namely her boss, who didn't understand what it was like being a woman, a minority, or a lesbian (since he was male, white, and straight)--I could only think, thank God she's not handicapped, because this woman does not need anything else to bitch about.

Woman #6 looked exactly like Lisa Rinna; too much makeup, severe fake tan, and epic implants. She smelled a little desperate, and drank with gusto. She also laughed really loud, like I did when I was 13 and wanted attention from strangers. Of course she was wearing a pink Juicy Couture sweatsuit, with *J*U*I*C*Y* spelled out in fake bling across her old, flat ass. I had a Front Row view of it when she walked past me, heading to the bathroom; it took everything I had not to vomit on the spot. That outfit--seen everywhere--doesn't even look good on the targeted audience it was made for (pre-teens? prostitutes?). It doesn't even look cool on celebrities.

Woman #7 was the soft-spoken, ignored one. She drank nothing and fiddled with the gold cross around her neck all night. When she laughed, which was rare, she was caught off guard by the sound of it. I liked her the best. You could tell she had been friends with these women, way back in her past, before Jesus was her homeboy. I thought she was endearing, if a little bit mousy.

Woman #8 was the world-traveling yuppie (although in her mind, she's probably a hippie). She basically looked like a walking Om, another white woman in Seattle wearing a sari, metal jewelry, and authentic slippers made in Angkor Wat; another Microsoftie in disguise. I was surprised she wasn't wearing a bindi (forehead decoration) or carrying a didgeridoo, or even nursing African babies with her own useless breasts--but she did speak at length about the Southeast Asian Cleanse her meditation partner suggested, and mentioned a 'shaman' at one point. That was enough for me to stop listening, and start plotting her demise.

Obviously I'm hoping to be in either the MILF category, or the world-traveling yuppie category; both are appealing, in totally different ways. Being a MILF might help my flagging self-esteem in the years to come, which I assume will just continue on a consistent, downward spiral until I've perished. But traveling around the world would be cool, pretending to be not-white and buying a lot of flimsy, ineffective clothing made by village children. I wondered how all of these incredibly different women had become friends, and how they had stayed friends. I wonder if that's how my friends and I will look in the future--if I'll bring back mall bangs and wear rhinestones on my ass, or if Auticia will have six children who unknowingly drive me to drink. I seriously hope not. Then again, as I get older, I am increasingly less interested in how I look, and more interested in how everyone else looks (as long as their looks are worse than mine). Maybe it's inevitable, and this is how it begins. The end is nigh, I can feel it.

Jun 24, 2008

Sucking the Solstice Out of Life

Photo: This is what happens when I don't blog for a few days--the city turns into a naked, chaotic, fiery hot mess.

I woke up Saturday morning and thought, why does it smell like old feet, dirty hair, desperate optimism, and Nag Champa? Then I remembered: the Solstice Parade. Was it said with a dismissive hand wave and an eyeroll? More like an offensive hand gesture and a sleepy return to bed. Solstice doesn't hit my radar, really; it doesn't make sense to me. It's an entire parade thrown by borderline yuppies, enjoyed by current yuppies, hosted in the yuppiest place on Earth: yuppie-infested FREMONT. Now I'm sure that a few ex-hippies (read: older men with beards and Teva's, older women carrying Ayn Rand books, sans brassieres) celebrated the restorative properties of le soleil and Vitamin D through the entertaining melee that is the Solstice Parade, but most of them probably just complained about crowd control and 'the good old days'. That's what I would have done. I find it slightly ironic that we, as a city, celebrate The Sun--the same city that has been withholding sun from us like a woman withholds youknowwhat from youknowwho; it feels almost spiteful, no? I know I sound like the Sunlight Scrooge, but I was not in the mood that day to sit in traffic on my way to work, just so a bunch of sweaty naked adults could painfully perch upon leather bicycle seats in the gray Seattle weather. Bleh.

We ended up at a Solstice Party that night, thrown by Miss Sara Rose; I invited Griz, who met us there, and we had a blast. As Solstice parties go, it was very ...Solstice-y. Older men with long hair and Teva's, check; painted fairies spreading forced, drunken cheer to the masses, check; vegans galore, check; more than two guitars being played, check-check; a ruinous, neverending Beatles sing-along (also entitled: Abbey Road Is Now Dead To Me, Thanks To You Douchebags), checkitty-check; the smell of hemp, incense, and dirt, triple-check; laughs, good times, and a gay redneck rapper drag queen: priceless.

After the party died down, the Esq, Griz and I were huddled around the barbecue outside; we were roasting marshmallows to make S'mores, and barbecuing the boys' sandalwear. We rotisseried the be-Jebus out of their shoes so they could have warm feet; I thought it was innovative, if a little princess-y. Griz played the gee-tar (he's better than I thought he'd be), and serenaded us with a few ditties (good voice, too), while we sat under the peach tree, eating S'mores and settling into the night. At one point, this one guy rolled up and started talking to us, and his voice--his heavenly, dreamy, hysterical voice--made me send out this text message to the guys: Is his accent for REAL??? Gay redneck rapper drag queen?! OMFG! I figured out that he sounds like Terry from Reno 911 and Eminem. A very strange combination. Strange and exhilarating, that is.

It was nice seeing everyone at Sara's--she always has the best parties, even if they're Solstice parties. I remember the real Solstice parades, back in the day....

Back when I was young. Sigh.

Jun 20, 2008

Flowery Goodness

Photo: This isn't the actual shirt, but the Esq would say it was close.

My favorite thing about the Esq's job is Casual Friday; I've never worked in that kind of setting before (downtown law firm), so I consider it an arcane, corporate thing. Last Friday he was unsure just how casual he should be ("if only I had a brightly-colored Hawaiian shirt"), so he ended up wearing normal work clothes. People in the office actually treated it like Casual Friday--jeans, t-shirts, sneakers--so last night, we started searching for something "casual" for the Esq. Now I know my own man; he is not the Casual Friday type. I know if he's working, he likes to wear work attire, and if he's chilling, he likes to be comfortable; Casual Friday has the feeling--or expectation--of both: being at work, chilling. That's just setting yourself up for failure, if you ask me.

When Kyle (my old roommate) moved to DC, he left behind some clothes he either didn't want, or forgot; I always felt he had good taste in clothing, stylish but not super gay (this is how I might describe Kyle), so I grabbed the pile. We found some cute shirts, put them in the closet, and forgot about them. Until last night.

I was rummaging through the back of the Esq's closet, and found a really cool shirt. I implored the Esq to try it on. He was dubious.

Me: What about this?
Esq: It's a little gay.
Me: What? No, it isn't. It's cool.
Esq: It looks like a shirt a gay cowboy eating pudding would wear.
Me: What?!
Esq: I'm just saying, a gay cowboy eating pudding is what I think of when I see that shirt.
Me: I see. Well, will you try it on?
Esq: Maybe.... (starts putting it on) see the snaps? And the cowboy-esque design? And the... is this a flower pattern? Yeah, this is why I didn't want to wear the shirt.
Me: It's not flowers... it's a bush!
Esq: A bush that's flowering.
Me: Whatever, I think it's hot.
Esq: You should see it in the light... (we walk towards our bedroom)
Esq: See? Yeah, its--
Me: --it's indie! It's artistic! I love it. It's fancy.
Esq: And you don't think that those are words you might use to describe a homosexual? Artistic and fancy?!
Me: Hey, I also said 'indie', like indie rocker.
Esq: Right. 'Indie' being another word for 'homo'.
Me: This is going in my blog.
Esq: Besides (rips shirt open) what if the shirt just snaps right open?
Me: You'd be wearing a t-shirt underneath!
Esq: Ah.
Me: A manly one that says, "I Heart Pussy".
Esq: All of my t-shirts say that.

My favorite part about this story happened this morning, when I woke up to say good-bye to my sweetie, and he was wearing the shirt anyway. Tucked into his jeans. With brown shoes. He's gaying up Casual Friday, but only from the waist up. I was so proud.

Two other Esq conversations I wrote down that were funny:

Carley: At least men are good for something.
Me: (nods) Killing spiders.
Carley: And penis!
Me: *shakes head*
Carley: (looks at Esq) No penis?!
Esq: Actually, that's what I kill the spiders with.


Last night we were playing Mad Libs online, and this is what happened:

Me: Okay, give me a noun.
Esq: Morality.
Me: What? A noun?
Esq: What do you think it is?
Me: A sham. What do you think morality is?
Esq: A noun.


I heart Mad Libs, and my man's comedic timing. It gets me through the day--no, it gets me through life. And I need to go get dressed so I can have another serving of Life with a side of Life, aka Work Work and More Work. Working 40 hours a week sucks when half of it is spent twiddling my thumbs, but don't get me started. I'm taking a good attitude with me to work today, and then beating people about the face with it; a positive attitude is always contagious.

Jun 16, 2008

How to Be Merry and Gay

I forgot my phone at home yesterday; I realized it just as I was arriving at work. The blind panic and rolling depression I experienced all day can be attributed to that. It surprised and dismayed me, to say the least--I felt like I'd accidentally forgotten my right foot at home. How do you operate without a foot that is normally very much there? I had to use a land line to call the Esq. A land line. I felt like I was suddenly deaf or something--just woke up, got dressed, left the house, and went deaf. My poor little fingers were fidgeting all day; air-texting, I guess. Hello, my name is Loser.

Work is okay. There's a couple of girls there I really like at work, and the rest of them are pleasant. But I'm sticking to the plan. No getting crazy involved, because that just leads to 'crazy', and I have had enough of that this month. I have had it up to here with *me*. Between hormonal bouts of rage, non-stop sobbing, gorgeous weather while I'm working and not seeing the Esq much, I am a hot fucking mess. So much change at once is overwhelming to me, and overwhelmed I have been. I hate starting new jobs--the introvert in me rises above all of my other personalities and attacks. I feel like a Samoan turtle.

Had a nice dinner with the Esq's parents and a gaggle of women. I would have said they were a plethora of women, but no--it was a gaggle. You just have to meet them to understand, believe me. The Esq's sister is great, her BFF is a character (which is a hard word to attribute to people because you can't hear the tone, so it's hard to decipher if 'character' is positive or negative, much like the word 'interesting'), and the other two are amusing. My favorite thing to say about Courtney and Juliana is that they are the most lesbiany lesbians promoting lesbianism to non-lesbians around the world. If my son ever said, "Mom--what's a lesbian?" I would point at them and say, "Observe, my child." Dogs and cats, check; Storm games, check; rainbow wristbands, check; equality bumpersticker, check; hypochondria, check. I love it. I never went to a Storm game when I was playing for the other team; guess that's why it didn't stick. But it was certainly was *interesting*.

Jun 13, 2008

Mop-and-Go Music for the Masses

Photo: Mark Ronson is one of my favorite producers, and also made my 2008 Laminated List ("the Exception List"--you know you have one). Congratulations, Mark!

Albums you should be listening to while cleaning (alternately titled, Artists I'm Listening To While Resentfully Cleaning the Kitchen):

Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple; fun--really fun. Mostly mellow with a few manic breaks. "Run" is probably the best song *ever* to dance around to like a back-up for the Supremes.

I'm an Abbey Road fan, myself (or a Beatles fan, rather), but that's because I like to sing while I'm cleaning. It's also nice while organizing. But if you don't like singing along to Abbey Road, you don't deserve to listen to the Beatles at all anyways, jeez.

The Snatch Soundtrack (this link includes music samples, just scroll down); this is in my Top 3 as far as soundtracks go, but probably in my Top 20 overall, to be honest. It's really diverse, and each song has an intensely-driven beat that makes doing the dishes almost fun. (Almost.)

I know I go on about them (they're in my Top 5, for sure), but Hot Chip actually makes cleaning fun and aerobic; for the best compilation, take their most popular stuff from all three albums, because some of their slower stuff will make you want to procrastinate. Believe me. Try 'Shake a Fist', 'Ready for the Floor', 'Over and Over'... the classics.

Amplive's Radiohead remixes (free album download through the link); this album has a song for every type of cleaning. It's also the kind of album that makes you want to groove, which I believe was outlawed in the 70's. 'Faustz' is my favorite song; 'Weird Fishez' is Manthony's, although I think he's just being silly over the name.

Did someone say Britney Spears? I didn't. Did I? Or was that you? I think it was you. Because I would never say something like that. Nor would I say that her last album, Blackout, helped me clean my kitchen today.

Need something instrumental? Try Ruben Gonzalez, from the Buena Vista Social Club; I think of his music as vintage, spicy-flavored piano. It will make you want to salsa with your Swiffer Wet Jet all over your kitchen floor, and then you will feel like a dork.

Normally I would put Mrs. Madge on here--Madonna's Greatest Hits, or Confessions--but since I was so unhappily underwhelmed by her last effort, I think I'm going give the slot to Lady GaGa. Most people think she's the New Pop, but I think she's bridging the gap between the 'old school pop' I grew up with, and the sexified electronic music in the gay clubs (aka "the good clubs"); her fate will be sealed when she plays the Mainstage at San Fran's Pride Parade this summer. 'Just Dance' is a catchy little tune; although pop is pop, and most people hate it, I think she's kind of refreshing, in a retro way. One of her songs reminded me of an Ace of Base song, and that made me laugh. What's next, Roxette?

BBC's 6 Mix featuring Mark Ronson; the best set list of all time. Smooth and punchy, just like I like my women. And since I don't know where to find a sample compilation (my sweetie downloaded it for me from... the internet ether), here's the tracklist (I posted this on a Myspace blog once, sorry for the repeat):

Richard Swift – Songs of National Freedom
The Smiths – Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before
Candie Payne – One More Chance
Rumblestrips – Back To Black
Pete Rock and CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You
Arcade Fire – Intervention
Beach Boys – Sail On Sailor
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – Beggin (Pilooski edit)
Kings of Leon – Slow Night, So Long
Queens of the Stone Age – Better Living Through Chemistry
The Gaylads – Fire & Rain
Ben Folds Five – Battle of Who Could Care Less
Stevie Wonder – We Can Work It Out
Led Zeppelin – The Rain Song

There are countless others, I'm sure--but now, I have to practice what I preach. To the Swiffer!

My Inner Charlotte

I used to think that tears lived in a bottomless, self-replenishing well inside of us; then I felt the wretchedness of a truly broken heart, and cried myself out. Between not showering, not eating, and barely even sleeping, I saw the ugliest side of heartbreak (a mirror). I punished myself further by taking up "sobbing" as a hobby, since no one was willing to pay me for it; I considered it volunteer work. The guy didn't want me, so neither did I--being around me actually felt like community service, even to myself. As for the crying, I was perfectly content to weep in my bed, in the kitchen, on the phone, in my car, out in the fields, upon a mountaintop, or while riding a camel... you name it, I wept in it. I was like a portable Wailing Wall; it wasn't pretty.

Then one day, I was done. I felt like I had cried through twenty lifetimes, four wars, two recessions, one week of Scientology, an entire episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, and AIDS. My eyes were Goodyear Blimp-like, my skin was yellow, and I smelled like an old sock. But I had felt the bottom of the well, and was done with the blubbering bits. The feeling of weary completion was intoxicating, confusing, and final. I couldn't tell if I had moved on, or if my body had just pooped out--was I over it, or waiting for the well to re-fill?

There's a point--a crossroads, maybe--that everyone hits during a Sob-O-Rama. It's the moment of truth. Are you going to let your howling dwindle away, reduce it to self-pitying sniffles, and walk away? Or are you going to throw gasoline on the fire and stoke this tantrum into something that could burn down an entire city?! I say, go gasoline or go home!!! Once you're committed, the inhuman keening that comes natural to dogs will take over your life and consume you--the sound of it sets my teeth on edge, even when it's me doing it. I think it sounds like a robot slitting its' wrists.

The reason crying is on my mind tonight is because Califlower took me to see the Sex & the City movie this evening. Yeah, I cried buckets. I've been crying a lot lately--happy, sad, angry, confused, tired, pensive, crazy--so I wasn't all that surprised; I think the well replenished itself years ago and I just haven't had a chance to use it. But I was pretty surprised at what set my weep meter off in the theater. I cried because my life was simpler back in the days when I watched SATC; I cried because the people I used to watch it with aren't around anymore. I also shed some tears over the movie itself: the girls aren't really 'girls' anymore, they look their ages now, the movie was poorly written (and the execution was sketchy, although I was still entertained), and I will never own any of those shoes. I also had a hard time identifying my feelings over relating to Charlotte's character, whom I mercilessly made fun of for the better part of five years. I bawled my big brown head off when she was talking about being a woman who had it all--happy family, lots of money, nice apartment, good health--and that she lived in fear of something bad happening to balance out the fact that people don't get to have it all. It was a big thing for me, because we've been going through that lately (and by "we", I mean I've been going through it, and the Esq has been dragged along for the ride), and it really fucking sucks.

I am not a woman who has it all, but I feel lucky (or some version of "hallelujah!") every day. Sure, there's crushing debt, a messy apartment, a partner with an opposite work schedule, and 60 pounds to lose; it's called Life. But I wake up every day, grateful that the Esq is the first face I see; it's hard to explain how freakishly connected we are, but even with all of Life's unexpected poopy shit, he makes Life merry (like Santa!). Let's be honest here: before I met Justin, I was headed towards dating Below-Average Joe, who probably would have been a knuckle-dragging troglodyte with control issues and back hair (historically speaking). It's not that I don't like solid, quirky, intelligent men--of course I do, look at the Esq. But they generally date girls who I like to think of as Aren't Me, so I never really saw myself with someone like him. Luckily, he was a nerd, too, and not an Abercrombie-loving frat boy. I have next to nothing in my life right now--no money, no clothes (goddamn you, spa industry! I shake my fist at your goth-inspired, standard black uniforms!), and did I say no money? But it's easy to love our penniless existence, because I have someone who gets me--ME, the extroverted introvert--and we get to build a better life with and for each other. It's nice being part of a team; it's fun walking through the world with him.

The reason for this schmoopy pile of bullhonky is this: "Be careful what you wish for" is the most appropriate title for this blog posting, because it is exactly how Charlotte and I are alike. Now that I have something worth losing, that's all I can think about: losing him. Ever since we started dating, I"ve felt like I was on borrowed time, because I know the kind of relationship karma I deserve, and it's not for the meek. I feel like my well is refilling itself with epic, crocodile tears, and preparing me for something awful. I know it's just me being all Drama School, but it wasn't until Charlotte said it onscreen that I completely realized my greatest fears. I have frequent nightmares that address these fears (death & dying, the fun stuff), but I never wake up relieved--just temporarily assuaged, heart racing at seeing the Esq alive and breathing, reaching for me with concern on his face. And I wonder, is it worth it to have one dream come true if it turns into a daily nightmare?

I say yes. I also think that all the crying I've been doing lately is largely hormonal, but it could be practical, too; maybe if I keep the well somewhat low in the water department, I won't need it for grief of any kind, imagined or otherwise. Whatever it is, I find it aggravating to be eternally grateful for something that could potentially bring me the greatest amount of pain, but I guess that's the trade-off. I know it's putting the cart before the horse, but it's true. And now I have to figure out how to move past it. Cupcakes would have done the trick two days ago, but with the cupcake debacle that happened today, I am currently not a fan of the wee sugary treats; I'm a bigger fan of heroin, to be honest. I hear it's fast-acting and effective, like foot powder, or Advil. I wonder where I can get some.

Jun 12, 2008

Volunteer Work Made Me Hate Cupcakes and It Will Ruin Your Life, Too

12:16AM, Captain's Log: cupcakes for the 826Seattle's elementary school publishing party are finally done. But not frosted or decorated. And no, I'm not crying. I just have something in my eye.

There's something about making 120 cupcakes for a bunch of stinky, ungrateful strangers that makes me want to kill you.

I think I need therapy. Cupcake therapy.

Jun 9, 2008

I'm Not Dramatic, I'm Melodramatic

Tomorrow is my first day at work, although the first two are considered training days. My new boss was nice enough to say that if I needed more time, I was welcome to take it--but since I know a half-dead, cracked-out monkey could do my job, I don't think I'll be needing it.

Between the Apocalyptic weather and my bank accounts signing the same airtight suicide pact, it's been a challenge to stay positive--but here I am! Living proof that you can stare down a bowl full of cyanide tablets (even the chocolate-covered ones) and win, kind of. If wanting semi-permanent sunlight and bags of unmarked money to suddenly rain down from the sky is wrong, then I don't want to be right; I'd rather be wrong, wronger, the wrongest.

If I could have my it way, my first day at work would look like a commercial that Ellen might star in. I'm not for or against Ellen in any way, and I sometimes find her funny--but something about her commercials makes me feel like we could be best friends. She's goofy, wry, self-deprecating; she wears comfortable looking jeans, and smiles a lot. There's usually a choreographed number, or some silly dance that everyone in her building knows. Sometimes she ends up with a monkey on her shoulder--or some type of stupid Carrot Top prop, like oversized sunglasses, or a big sombrero--but it never overwhelms. Sometimes she sings, but she always ends up laughing at herself in the end. Yeah, Commercial Ellen would be a fun best friend. I could be getting her American Express ad mixed up with Tina Fey's American Express ad, though. I would not want my day to look like Tina Fey's commercials; she always looks harried, pointy, and two seconds away from a brain aneurysm. And let's be honest, the monkeys in her commercials lack the pizazz of the ones that may or may not be in the commercial that Ellen is in; everybody says so. The funny part about this is, I don't have television at my house. I've only ever seen these commercials in the homes of other people--"cool" kids, people with digital cable. I assume they appreciate the warmth and comfort of Ellen's commercials, just like I do, but doubt they see her as anything more than a clever marketing tool. Not me. I think she's the next Oprah, only openly gay and actually white. I can't wait for her to take Oprah down in an epic battle, only to be usurped by a turd like Miley Cyrus, or twin turds like MarkiePost & Ashhole Olsen, or whatever their names are.

Anyways, hear me now, Universe (even though I don't really believe in you): I need an Ellen day tomorrow! I need a marching band to march me into my new job, and dancers for the musical number, and millions of streamers for the ticker tape parade! Hire the entire cast from those Austin Powers movies! Get Beyonce and Celine Dion to sing a horrible duet! Gather children from around the world, and take pictures of me holding hands with them! I do not need an Energizer Bunny-type day, or a Country Crock Creepy Hand Soap Opera kind of day; I know I'm a manicurist, but those hands killed any assumptions I had about long-term hand relationships. All I'm saying is, if there's not a photo of me tomorrow--hailing a cab with a Starbucks latte in my hand, singing Gloria Gaynor's sister anthem 'I Will Survive', with George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars on backup, dancing with a newborn puppy on a very sunny day--I will consider this mission to have officially FAILED.

Note to self: Sometimes you have really high expectations and it can get you into trouble.

Note from self: I don't care what you say, tomorrow will be perfect.


Jun 8, 2008

Big Ideas (don't get any)

Ganked from James Houston:

Radiohead held an online contest to remix "Nude" from their album In Rainbows. This was quite a difficult task for everybody that entered, as Nude is in 6/8 timing, and 63bpm. Most music that's played in clubs is around 120bpm and usually 4/4 timing. It's pretty difficult to seamlessly mix a waltz beat into a DJ set.

This resulted in lots of generic entries consisting of a typical 4/4 beat, but with arbitrary clips from "Nude" thrown in so that they qualified for the contest.

Thom Yorke joked at the ridiculousness of it in an interview for NPR radio, hinting that they set the competition to find out how people would approach such a challenging task.

I decided to take the piss a bit, as the contest seemed to be in that spirit. -JH

Big Ideas (don't get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.

To blow past the screechy electronic intro, go about a minute and ten seconds in. This is one of the most creative things I've seen this year--thanks to the Esq for insisting that I watch it. I also love the vintage quality of the video shoot; very Napoleon Dynamite without the ironic edge. I wonder what kind of camera it was and how long it took to sync everything up. I wonder how he even thought of this.

The cool thing is, he missed the deadline for the contest, but two days ago, this video was the first link on Radiohead's official website. I'm always glad when a Big Band helps a Little Person become a Big Presence on the Web. Plus, the guy deserved it--the concept and execution of a project like this seems epic; that one dude pulled it off, in an almost breezy manner, is balls, man. Brav-o.

Jun 7, 2008

Deja View

Photo: *hork*

If you want to read a truly awesome article--awesome in every sense of the word, i.e.; enormous, omnipotent, neat-o--then amble on over to The Stranger to read the linked article. This is a story I should have written, although I'm grateful I didn't have to. I really enjoy the writing of Lindy West--it's very thoughtful, and hysterically funny.

Thanks to Manthony for blogging about it first!

Dictating Laughter

"Do you think Hitler had laughs?" The look on Cory's face gives me a glimpse into what normal people probably think about; this isn't one of them. "LAUGHS?!" he said. Well...yeah. Is it outside the realm of possibilities that Hitler may have laughed once? Or many times? Did he ever make other people genuinely laugh? Did he ever tell a kneeslapper? A knock-knock joke? Was he tickled by anything? Did he chortle, or guffaw?

Everyone can see Hitler laughing like a madman; it's in all of the pictures and videos. He was serpentine, peccant; a scourge. His overbearing, mustache-y smirk as he Heil'ed his way through Europe, the crinkly crows' feet around his eyes, the confidence and bemusement of his stance, the fervor with which he led; he was getting his way, and was surrounded by people who zombie-worshiped him. I don't know about you, but if I was being blindly adored/feared/repulsed by the entire world, I would probably feel cocky enough to tell a joke or two every once in a while.
You can picture him maniacally laughing as he killed small animals and fed the Jews to the fire, but did he ever genuinely laugh? A belly laugh, or a snort that escaped? Did he ever cry from laughing so hard? I'm sure people screamed with laughter when he told a joke, but I'd say that was for survival, and not from any imagined intimacy they may have shared.

Did Hitler laugh? My partner says yes; I agree, but assume he laughed loud and hard. I imagine his laughter sounded like a German Shepherd barking. It's hard to separate Hitler's diablerie from Hitler the human; it's hard to make him human. All of his public actions were diabolical, so I wonder how far that extended into his private life. Eva Braun, Hitler's 48-hour Furherwife, once wrote to him: "From our first meeting I swore to follow you anywhere even unto death. I live only for your love." They committed suicide together, so I guess she really live only for his love (eww, love?), but for anyone to write something like that to him--something so ninth grade, and the certainty behind it--is beyond my comprehension. Because the person she was writing to was Hitler. If it had been anyone else, I would have thought, 'well that's almost sweet in a creepy way', but since it was Hitler--and we can't allow him to be humanized--it doesn't really "count". Plus, the way she stood by him, spoke of him, and wrote to him made Hitler sound like a German rock god on a world tour; I guess he was sort of God-like, in the worst way possible.

It's not just Hitler, it's all of the heinous figures throughout the history of our planet. Just substitute Saddam Hussein's name in there; did Saddam laugh? I've seen pictures of him looking jovial, but wonder if his children made him laugh. I wonder if Lenin thought about his childhood fondly, or if Mussolini hated fighting with his wife. I wonder if any of them ever let their kids jump into bed on a Saturday morning. Did they worry about anything personal, like gaining weight, losing hair, a cheating spouse? Did Hitler doubt himself while he was executing six million people, or regret it in his very last moment? Was Saddam frightened when they put the noose around his neck, or just proud to have died for the cause? I wonder if any of them, before killing themselves or being executed by others, felt ashamed by the scurrilousness of their deeds? Did they wish they'd gone about the business of being a dictator differently? I highly doubt it. They died for the cause. Those men lived for infamy, and received it in droves--we don't throw parades for these historical assholes, but every kid in school has to learn about them, countless books and articles and college courses and TV shows have featured them, and this entire blog is about them. They're like the kid who steals something big from Fred Meyer, and gets stopped before he reaches the door; he doesn't care about his actions, he's just annoyed he got caught--and will definitely do it again. That's what a dictator is, in a nutshell. That's why we should shoot shoplifters on sight: they're playing a dangerous game.

It occurs to me that the real question I'm posing here is: did these men experience humanism in the same way Average Joe Dirt did? And I don't know the answer. I think, as a dictator, there are certain sub-human, or uber-human, traits one must have to rise above killing all of your countrymen for no good reason; you must be somewhat psychopathic, sociopathic, and fucking dotty in the head to pull it off without crying or cutting yourself repeatedly. But as a human, the kind that wants to love and be loved, I can't see how they would have transitioned or survived. It's only with great power and ego that someone can seize control of an entire country and make a negative impact on the world for hundreds of years. I can't imagine that same dictator writing love notes, worrying about their sick dog, or sharing their fears with anyone; I can't picture what it would look like if Hitler were honestly laughing. It's scary to think that any one human can change the face of your country forever, but I guess if you can't imagine them as actual humans, it's easier to forget how they started out: just like you and me.

Besides, if there's some kind of racist uprising against the Samoans--which would be stupid, because HELLO, we kill with our bare hands--and for some reason we were all rendered useless (a common Samoan trait, I'm told), I'm not that worried. As my partner says, first the Chinese are going to take over the world, and then the robots will overturn them. I'm okay with robots; I know that they'll take care of me. Maybe I'll become the Marie Antoinette of our day, and lead the robots to victory.

As for the rest of you, I will let them let you eat cake.

Jun 4, 2008

5800 Ways We Rock Blog

Photo: How I'm rockin' you.

It's new, and there will be many changes, but here's the URL to our new building blog, called There's No Place Like Home:


I live in a cool building, and we decided we wanted to document it--but since the rain keeps us from outdoor building shenanigans (which is the kind we prefer), it won't be updated as often as this one. Still, bloggerrific!

Washington+Weather=Moving Day

Photo: My friend, my nemesis.

It's been a long, poopy day of rain and rain with a side of rain; I'd like to give a shout-out to the Washington summer that apparently passed us by last week. I look forward to another three warm days in the first week of August--see you then!

I'm one of those finicky weather people; I'm the worst. My internal rules about the weather and its conditions look like this:

-Extreme heat (85 degrees or higher--I know, I'm a wimp) should wait until I drop 40 pounds; I don't care how many years it has to wait.
-Air conditioning should magically appear whenever I feel the need for it.
-Anything over 75 degrees should be accompanied by a light, continuous ocean breeze. If I'm landlocked in the Midwest, the Midwest should accommodate my needs accordingly.
-Rain should be warm, and only drop from the sky in a vertical pattern; cold rain or rain that attacks you from all sides should be outlawed.
-Standing under a leafy tree canopy should keep you dry, no matter what. Enormous ninja raindrops should not ambush your head and neck whenever they feel like it. It's rude.
-Mud should not exist. If it insists on existing, it should wait until I'm not wearing overpriced, dry-clean only outfits. I would say the same for white pants, but I'm not the type of girl who wears white pants; I'm not a hockey fan.
-Direct sun on the face is fine under 72 degrees, otherwise I may break a sweat, and that is unacceptable. If I could afford an assistant to follow me around with a parasol, I would.
-Snow should come on days that you don't have to work, but your kids do.
-Hail is for heathens. That's probably why I see a lot of it.
-Frolicking in the sun is optional.

I want what I want when I want it. That's my weather philosophy, and my philosophy about everything else. Rain is for the birds; I long for it when it's too hot, and loathe it when I'm imprisoned by it. Meh. At least the building flowers are getting some action on our Deck of Doom.

Back to the job hunt....

Jun 2, 2008

Mission Statement Wariness

Photo: Know your rights.

Adrian and I were discussing the different types of business owners out there; it isn't pretty. I've worked for three types of people:

1. The type of person who has a mission statement and follows it.
2. The type of person who has one, but only so they can use the phrase 'mission statement' when they talk to other people.
3. The type of person who's never heard of a mission statement.

Call me crazy, but I'd take #1 and #3, over #2, any day of the week. #1 is annoying in how overzealous they are in carrying out their mission statement, and #3 doesn't give a good goddamn, but #2 is a dangerous person. #2 is the type of jargon-loving asshole who considers Oprah and their mission statement a neverending source of inspiration; unfortunately, this is also the owner who listens to no one, and clings to the righteousness of their mission statement when they don't even know what it means. What's the point in having one if you don't know how to execute the things you wrote down? I think it's about having a certain type of image; the image of an enlightened being that promotes mission statement-ery. This is also the business owner who sinks the ship and then looks around, confused at what has transpired. At that point, they don't take ownership, they just wonder how tragedy could have befallen them when their mission statement was worded so carefully. As Voltaire said, "no snowflake in an avalanche ever felt responsible".

I believe a mission statement is necessary, and positive, when used for good and not evil. But oftentimes, a mission statement is just smoke and mirrors, or something for people to hide behind. I think a vision statement and a mission statement should be the barometers by which you measure your short and long-term goals; are we following these statements and making the best decisions today, which will affect us tomorrow, in two weeks, and in five years? Personally, I enjoy having a non-religious creed better. That way, you can get rid of the fancy wording and just stick to the words that inspire you; the ones most inspiring to me are 'words' and 'robots'. Maybe 'love'. Definitely 'snacks'.

I think I'll write a mission statement, one I can tattoo onto a body part somewhere. My vision statement can go on my forehead, and my creed can be tattooed onto my knuckles (so I can be hardcore). This should go quite nicely with the Bill of Rights face tattoo I want the Esq to get. This is a good idea.