Tuesday, May 30, 2006

red alert

One Red Opinion and I know that the havoc wreaked by our identical names has been keeping you up at night. We know you're sick and tired of clicking on the link to figure out which one of us left you that comment. So instead of having a dance-off to Red Red Wine to determine who gets to use the name, we've decided to join forces and give you some pointers on how to more easily tell us apart. Read on, figure out which Red is right for you, and then collect us all! You pay only for shipping and handling.

That Red is a redhead, lives in Oklahoma, and is a self-proclaimed redneck. This Red is a redhead, lives in Boston, and doesn't know any rednecks personally. She does have a Mormon governor, though, if that earns her any points.

That Red believes in the Bible. This Red sees a Bible whenever she goes to a wedding or funeral.

That Red is about to have a baby. This Red enjoys other people's babies.

That Red has a husband. This Red sometimes pretends to have one to keep serial killers away.

That Red used to love the show Knight Rider. This Red used to drive a car that talked ("right door is open") which means she was basically a chromosome away from being David Hasselhoff.

That Red called Charlie Sheen a drug addicted partying manchild. This Red liked that description but sort of wishes she knew a drug addicted partying manchild because how fun would he be to hang out with every now and then.

That Red worries about raising kids in a country where every famous starlet is half-naked and "almost longs for the cheesy mall days of Tiffany." This Red says amen to that, but at the time of her mall days preferred Debbie Gibson.

That Red was never called a "dirty, dirty girl" by a dolphin trainer in the Bahamas. This Red may have been, but she can explain.

That Red got pissed off when Snopes verified that an email forward about a missing teenager was a hoax. This Red got pissed off when Snopes verified that a story she heard at work about a kid stealing a penguin from a local aquarium was a hoax.

That Red likes dirty jokes. This Red likes dirty jokes. Ahh, the common ground.

the goods

I think I'm going to run with the theme this week of blogging about things of absolutely no consequence. We've all got a bit of spring fever and it seems like a good time to spend awhile just focusing on the flutternutter aspect of life.

In the past I've eluded to being a bit of a product queen. Let's delve further into this, shall we? I should put a disclaimer on the fact that what follows may be highly intolerable reading for some of you, so feel free to stop now, or leave a comment telling me I'm shallow. Because after writing this, I could never argue that I'm not.

Before we begin, a few things to know about Product Whoredom:
PW cannot be taught or acquired. You either care about this shit or you're happy with buying drugstore products. This isn't always a bad thing; we'll talk more about it later.
PW is genetic. My mom had it, and so did her mom (although my nana always saved everything "for best," and my mom and I have no such need to stockpile the goods for some far off day when we'll be deserving of it).
PW does not necessarily mean you're girly in every aspect of life. You'd be hard pressed to find someone less girly than myself, insomuch as I've actually been called a boy. However, you'd also be hard pressed to find a boy this well-moisturized.
PW also does not necessarily mean that you're an expert on or even interested in all beauty rituals. For example, I still bite my nails.
Significant others will kindly try to indulge your PW, but they will always get it wrong. (Most of the good stores have pretty fair return policies, though.) The only person who can truly feed your addiction is another person with PW.
PW can make you poor, but you'll enjoy getting there immensely. Also, your friends will be happy they know you, because they can periodically go product diving in the two boxes in your closet where you put all your cast-offs.

The products that I care about are of the body variety, in their many incarnations, including lotions, creams/cremes (the latter usually costs more), butters, souffles, scrubs, washes, and things of that nature. When it comes to this subject, I am sort of embarrassed to tell you that I know absolutely everything. No, I really do. Some people might know everything about foreign policy, but welcome to me.

Let's start with Sephora. It's a little bit tacky but it has a huge inventory, kind of like Stop & Shop. Their marketing is skewed more toward teenage girls with their Benefit and other chintzy vendors up front and their Bliss and L'Occitane and Fresh hidden in the back like they're ashamed of them; who on earth designed their store layout? As for the goods: Bliss is obviously high-end but their lotions are fake fruit smelling; their Naked Body Butter is the best. Fresh is also top shelf and charges accordingly; you basically can't go wrong with anything they put out, except that weird geisha line they have. Maybe they thought the movie would be bigger? Their Brown Sugar Body Polish is perfect, but too expensive to keep on hand. L'Occitane is straight-up quality, but no frills, like some bitch who knows everything and doesn't care what you think. Frederic Fekkai is mostly hair stuff; not much to say about that because I'm pretty much a wash and go girl (ask anyone who knows me; on any given day I'm rocking the slightly damp ponytail) so I don't tend to buy expensive shampoo, but I do have some FF products in my guest room bath so maybe you could ask some of my houseguests. Clinique has the Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator which I've liked for years, and no, it doesn't leave you sparkly. Philosophy has a good skincare line but their 3-in-1s are getting a little bit out of control; I suppose they must sell them before they can create them because they appear to be multiplying. The only one I use faithfully is cinnamon buns, in the winter. As for the actual Sephora line, their body butter is good and the rest of it is junk. Sorry, I take no prisoners. They have tons of perfume, organized alphabetically (perfect example of how you kinda lose something when you warehouse shop) but I don't wear perfume, although I did have a brief flirtation with Clean a few years ago. But best of all about Sephora is that they carry a line called Red (my real name, though).

Origins is a train that I've recently reboarded. For a long time I thought their products smelled weird, like Aveda (more about that later, too). I think it's that earthy crunchy straight from the soil phase they went through, where they may have had products that did the job but they smelled like mud. But lately they have that yummy Salts of the Earth line and lots of great scrubs, like Never a Dull Moment. Dr. Weil's line is good and Shedonism is sort of nice; I'm not a big fan personally but my mom likes it. Perfect World has been around forever and is still pretty consistently good. Their tropical lotion/scrub stuff, I think it's called Paradise Found, is too fake islandy smelling. Their cocoa stuff is not good; desserty smells are so hard to perfect. The chocolate/vanilla undertones have to be subtle or else it just smells like Nestle Quik. And they're still sticking with that godforsaken ginger line, probably because it was one of Oprah's Favorite Things years ago. Oprah might have a little bit of PW in her. I always pay attention to her bath/body choices on her favorite things show, and many times I agree with her. (An entire post about lotion AND loving on Oprah? Seriously, bring on the hate mail. But remember that Oprah-bashing is a trademark hipster move, so watch yourself, hater.)

It's kind of a love/hate thing with Bath & Body Works. Right off the bat I have to say that their staff is deeply annoying. They jump on you when you first walk in and then follow you around squirting stuff on you and wanting you to wash your hands with one of their scrubs in their sink; what's the deal with that? Get your half-bath away from me. I know B&BW management probably forces them to get in your face, and wear those damn aprons like they're about to go milk a cow in the food court, but still, it's annoying. Anyway, when I was in college all they had was their sun-ripened raspberry, country apple, plumeria... remember those? They're all still there, but now they've obviously got lots of other stuff, none of which appeals to me a whole bunch, aside from their True Blue spa line; a lot of those products are very good. Back in the day when they first came out with Moonlight Path, I loved it; it smelled like shampoo. But then I swear they changed the formula or something because now it smells really flowery, so we've long since broken up. B&BW also has Biotherm and CO Bigelow now, which I like. Biotherm has a body wash called Aquathermale that's very summery and sporty, and both men and women have used it in my home and sung its praises; I keep that in the guest bath now, too. B&BW has tons of candles, some of which smell good, but I haven't really gone there; they have all the candles in the same scents as their lotions, but then they also have ones that are like chocolate mandarian apricot herb essence, which is a little much for me. They've got a few awful teenage girly lines now too, I can't think of what they're called, but it's stuff with names like sugar puff and pound cake and it all smells cheap and terrible, like Jessica Simpson's Dessert line. Oh, but I will say that B&BW still corners the market for me when it comes to seasonal stuff. One of my favorite things to do in September is buy their new fall candles in scents like pumpkin and caramel. Yum. But that may be because I just love fall so much, especially after a hot summer.

Aveda... I just got a pedicure from them this weekend, or rather, from a Cape salon that contracts with them. I don't like much of their stuff because of the aforementioned funny smell of most of their products, but they seem to be coming out with lots of new things, so I'll keep an open mind. I do really like their new Carribean Therapy body cream. It's a great lotion and they did the islandy scent just right, unlike Origins. They have a good scrub in the same scent.

Can't do The Body Shop. I've never been happy with anything I've purchased there. I haven't been inside a Body Shop in like two years, though, so who knows.

MAC is pretty much all make-up, which I don't wear consistently enough to be an expert on... not because I shouldn't, but because I'm lazy. Also, MAC's employees scare me a little.

Drugstores! OK, it's not ghetto just because it's from CVS, but you have to know what you're getting. Johnson & Johnson came out with softlotions, and those are pretty good. In my experience Dove products are good, and I like that they smell clean. (Sidebar: I have a splotch of brown on my left big toe because Dove's "energy glow" gradual tan lotion stuff DOES NOT WORK. Be warned. Learn from my mistakes and don't end up with a sad toe.) I used to keep a Fresh hand lotion in my bag and I didn't like it as much as the Purell with lotion that I have in there now. Palmer's cocoa butter is great stuff. Nivea, I can live with, in a pinch. Other than that, I don't want to hear about you buying your products at the same place where you buy your floss and greeting cards. Time to trade up, buttercup.

What's in my shower/on my bathroom counter as of this moment (read: what comes highly recommended from someone who has tried everything): Aveda Carribean Therapy body cream, Origins smoothing souffle, Fresh sugar lemon lotion, Palmer's cocoa butter, B&BW I'm in the Mood for Scrub, Dove exfoliating body wash, Biotherm Aquathermale body wash, and Origins salt suds body wash. I also have the Bliss lemon and sage sinkside set in my guest bath, just because it looks so cute.

By the way, all the references to my guest bathroom are making my apartment sound bigger/fancier than it is, and I'm laughing at myself right now for inadvertently making it sound like a hotel. Or Brett's inn.

So that's it, kids. That's my heroin. First Laguna Beach and now this. I can't decide if I should feel better having shared every horrific detail, or if I should be curled up in a ball of shame on the floor. Are there any others out there afflicted with PW, or does the cheese stand alone? And if it's not products, what are you all irrationally obsessed with?

And if your answer is something like "world peace" then you're not allowed to play on my blog anymore.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

beach party

There appears to be a Laguna Beach marathon on MTV as we speak. Why was I not immediately informed? I love this show, as you might remember.

It's the graduation episode! They're lamenting about how "you'd think we'd have cuter" graduation gowns. The valedictorian is saying in her speech, "If only we had valet parking and a Starbucks, we wouldn't have been late to school so many times." Seriously, why is my cell phone not ringing?

Oh, that's funny, it just rang, but it was Mark and not related to this show. Damn it. They are now having a fashion show to the tune of "I Didn't Steal Your Boyfriend" by Ashlee Simpson. I'm about to hyperventilate.

Dorie is having none of this, so I'm going to have to change the channel.

WAIT A SECOND. LC is getting her own show? OK, but why is it not Kristin?

The channel just got changed. Boo.

Does anyone want to rent the first season and have a Laguna Beach drinking game? Because no one here with me tonight does. In fact I think my family hates me right now.

I haven't actually played a drinking game since, oh, 1997, but there's no time like the present. Here we go:

Drink every time:
-Steven's name is over-enunciated. Steve-EN!
-One of the girls describes something or someone as "so cute!" especially when it's something weird like a mosaic patio table.
-Kristin does a voice-over and says "but here in Laguna..."
-Somebody says the word "drama."
-Somebody makes out with Jason.
-Somebody decides they're totally done with Jason.
-Jason arrives and all the girls start analyzing him.
-Jason says something like "the waves were epic today."
-That really blond girl says something high-pitched and insincere about friendship.
-Someone says the name Talan or Deiter because who the hell is named that.
-Someone says "OH MY GOD" because they're happy.
-Someone says "OH MY GOD" because they're upset.
-Jessica sleeps with someone to get them to like her.
-Jessica is surprised when sleeping with someone to get them to like her doesn't work.
-Jessica's friends make fun of her.
-You'd be making fun of her if you were her friend, too.
-Somebody yells at somebody else over a cell phone.
-Somebody has a conversation with somebody else with their cell phone on speaker so that everyone else can participate.
-You think that Lauren probably invented the nickname "LC" to have a gimmicky little thing for herself but that she probably regretted it and that's why she tries to phase it out.
-Somebody is on screen who you think is probably bitter that they're not featured in the opening credits.
-It strikes you as funny that all these girls are basically identical and act the exact same, except some of them are best friends and others are sworn enemies.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

five for Friday

1) Someone keeps googling a past entry of mine to see an old picture of my friend Dave dressed as a pimp from the neck up and drinking a 40 (it was either Halloween in college or a typical Tuesday night). Anyway, someone is stalking him, because I get the hit for this picture like eight times a week. So reveal yourself, googler. Or just save it to your desktop next time. Or ask him on a date, because that pimp you like to look at is single.

2) Have you heard about Snakes on a Plane? Well, get on board, because it's going to be one of the highlights of my summer, I can feel it. I might have to have a viewing party. I can definitely do a snake-and-plane theme; off the top of my head, maybe something to do with dressing like a flight attendant and throwing gummy worms around?

3) I sort of hate even bringing this up, because this girl doesn't really need anymore press, but I feel compelled to mention that Stephanie Klein's blog has become the train wreck that I always knew it could be if it just applied itself. If you don't know who she is, just move on to #4 because it's not really worth delving into it. But if you read her blog, and her comments, how funny has it been lately? She writes some crap about her life and an all-out comment war ensues. People tearfully praise her ability to string a sentence together and then someone says something about how she's not all THAT great, and her legions of fans descend upon the poor schmuck and write dissertations about the fact that it's not that he doesn't like Stephanie, it's that he really loathes himself. I love that argument and plan to use it all the time now. But the best part is that in the midst of one of these epic battles, someone posted this: "How could you people right at this moment be concerned about attacking a person's blog when a beautiful, courageous horse is in his stall fighting for his life?" Can I use that line at work? "How could you people right at this moment ask me to do an evaluation on a 4-year-old when there's a beautiful, courageous horse..." (And here, I'll save you the trouble: Red! Show some respect for animals, my GOD!)

4) Well, buy me some peanuts and a CAT scan after some Yankees fan lobs a brick at my head, because my dad and I just booked a weekend trip to NYC in September to go to two Sox/Yankees games. We've been wanting to do this for years, and it seems like the perfect time, with him recovering from his knee replacements and unable to get to Fenway for most of the summer. I've never been to Yankee Stadium and I'm really excited, although I imagine that it will be kind of surreal to be around baseball fans that are so full of hate and venom, I mean hometown pride, rooting for a ball club that has more money than class, I mean has had some of the most dynamic players in the history of baseball. Should I wear my Sox hat? It would be weird and sort of disloyal not to, but I don't especially want to be on the receiving end of this:

5) Yeah, I don't really have a fifth thing. I'm headed to the Cape so I'll see y'all next week. I've been blogging up a storm lately and could use a break. Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

get your own

Work Friend and I have a system down wherein every morning, one of us stops at Dunkin to improve both of our mornings via the power of beverage. Iced coffee with milk and two splendas for her, Diet Pepsi for me if I've had breakfast, and one of their new yogurt smoothies if I haven't. (I know I probably shouldn't drink DP that early, but I have an addiction. I think I actually do; I get a little frantic when I'm without it for too long. The last time I drove to New York I didn't stop along the way for one, and by the time Jason got me to a little store near his apartment it was late, and while walking home I had to restrain myself from drinking it straight out of the 2 liter bottle. I know, it's like I'm an animal. But it proves my point.)

Anyway, it's like a well-oiled morning machine. We never even have to think about paying each other back because we're always trading off. But this other person we work with has somehow managed to complicate the most mindless, uncomplicated ritual of my day. For this and other reasons I've come to think of her as the Ruiner of a Perfectly Good Thing. It started when one morning I didn't stop at Dunkin on the way to work and instead ran out a few minutes after I got there, and Ruiner asked me to get her a complicated coffee order. I don't drink coffee (hence the DP) so it's all I can do to remember Work Friend's splendarific drink order. But, okay, I picked up what Ruiner wanted. But when you carry three drinks you have to use the dumb cardboard tray, and it's hard to open doors, and she asked if I brought her any napkins, and she wanted to pay me but did I have change for a five and... blah blah blah.

Then the next morning, Ruiner came in with drinks for all of us. Work Friend had already picked ours up, so we had doubles; I had so much caffeine that day that I'm not even sure I was blinking. Ruiner said, "So just grab me a such-and-such when you go tomorrow morning. Just make sure you get me napkins." So the day after THAT, I had to go find her and give her her dumb, high-maintenance coffee and a stack of napkins because apparently they're very important to her and then I had to wait there while she dug around in her purse to find a couple dollar bills to give me, holding up a finger at me because she was on her cell phone the whole time. When I saw her later, she asked, "So, is it my turn tomorrow morning?"

I said (lied!), "Oh, we don't actually go every morning, so it's fine, don't worry about it." Then I told Work Friend I'd broken up with her. She said, "Great, but now we're going to have to sneak around."

And now we do have to sneak around, every damn morning. And we've done a pretty good job of it, until this morning. We were in Work Friend's classroom, and Ruiner walked by and said she was going to Dunkin and did anybody want anything. Then she saw Work Friend and I, between us ingesting enough aspartame to kill a small country. She looked at us and gave us the fakest, meanest smile I've ever seen. Busted! It felt like a Seinfeld episode.

But whatever, you know? Homegirl needs to take care of her own napkin habit.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I once was lost, and still am

Dear Lost,

It's difficult for me to write this, but I have to be honest with you. I feel like we've been spending too much time together. I need space. I guess what I'm trying to say is: It's over.

This wasn't an easy decision, believe me. I really do enjoy spending time with you. But afterwards, I just feel empty. I end up on the phone with Elusive Jen, practically in tears, wondering what it's all about. And she can't help me; she doesn't know either. I don't even know what I am to you. I'd like to think that I'm a jungle warrior, but I may just be one of those useless beach people lying around doing everyone else's laundry.

I guess I just don't see a future with us. You know how to push my buttons (ba-dum-bum!) but really, where is this going? I mean, DO YOU EVEN KNOW? DOES ANYONE? WHY DID I SPEND TWO HOURS WITH YOU TONIGHT AND WALK AWAY ONLY KNOWING THAT DESMOND WAS KIND OF ATTRACTIVE BEFORE HE STARTED ROCKING THE SCRAGGLY ISLAND LOOK?

Sorry. I'm a little emotional. Please don't call me. Don't DVR yourself. Don't even IM me, Walt. I need a clean break.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

everybody dance now

Some time ago, Party Jen DVRed a comedian on HBO that she said I would love, and she played it for me last week. I was a tiny bit skeptical, since my mom usually tells something is "SO FUNNY" right before she recites a Jay Leno monologue. But damn, Party Jen's comic instincts were right on this time; I DID love this woman. Her name is Megan Mooney and she's hys-freakin-terical. Watch a clip of her here. I'm not sure it fully does her justice because I haven't watched any other clips, but it's a start.

Anyway, one of the many reasons that I loved Megan was that at one point during her show, her suggestion for solving a dispute was "Let's dance this bitch out." I've long been a supporter of the dance off as a more peaceful alternative when attempting to solve international economic disputes. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake once had a dead-serious dance off at a club following their break-up; oh dear God, I practically wanted to eat the issue of Us magazine that described that train wreck. I'm sorry, but if you're both on board with battling it out under a disco ball, then breaking up is the worst decision EVER. You are obligated to populate the world with children who will dance off to decide who gets shotgun or who gets the bigger slice of pizza or who gets to be the executor of your will.

So this is the new plan: I'm taking the mildly annoying or eyeball-searingly maddening events of my recent past and figuring out how to address them using the power of song.

1) Supergirl can't stop talking as I'm trying to write an email, and because I'm not answering her immediately she's standing over my shoulder to see what's keeping me from giving her my full attention. Solution: Dance-off. Location: On top of her desk. Song of choice: Whip It by Devo.

2) Steve thinks it's lame that my favorite dessert is the chocolate lasagna at the Olive Garden. He's right, but lay off, hipster. Solution: Dance-off. Location: Olive Garden parking lot. Song of choice: Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J.

3) Mark hangs up with me by saying "smell ya later." I immediately call him back to ask what the hell was up with that. He informs me that he single-handedly plans to bring that saying back into circulation. My attempts to reason with him ("It wasn't even funny in second grade!") are fruitless. Solution: Dance-off. Location: Right next to the drumming guy outside Fenway after a game. Song of choice: You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive.

So today, instead of having it out with someone who pisses you off, you go get yourself some bootcut black pants, a pair of Steve Maddens and a glittery tank top, and settle that shit old school.

Monday, May 22, 2006

excellent adventure

First, you need to go watch the trailer here.

Okay, I know, you couldn't make it even halfway through. I understand. First of all, it took me like a minute to process that it wasn't Speed. Is the lake house about to explode unless you throw it on the back of a tractor trailer and drive around the city and stay above 50, JUST KEEP IT ABOVE 50!

Yeah, not so much. The tagline for this movie is, "What if you found the one you were meant for but you lived two years apart?" Apparently they can't just make regular hokey love movies anymore, they have to actually attempt to shatter the space-time continuum. This seems like a bit of an ambitious undertaking considering that the characters complete disregard the enormity of this idea and react to their situation like they just realized they both went to the same college: "Are you serious? I'm in the future and you're in the past? No way!"

One of the characters lives in 2004 and the other lives in present day but they're totally in love because see, they're both trying to save innocent people from Dennis Hopper who is this retired cop who... sorry. Wrong movie again. If they're going to live two years apart, why have it be now and two freakin' years ago? What the hell can she share with him? "Say your goodbyes now, because the Pope is totally about to bite it." At least go far enough back that she can taunt him with her knowledge of something interesting. "Hitler? Yeah, I heard he's got some great ideas!"

Oh well, whatever. I love terrible movies. No more Speed references though, I promise.

Just one more. There's a bomb on the lake house!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

how to win enemies

It's a little ironic that someone just today googled "how to win friends" and landed on my site, because, well, I don't really dispense advice on that subject, although I do like the idea of WINNING them, and also, I'm clearly not an expert, after all my inappropriate behavior at FlyingJ's baby shower today. Seriously, Chillier and I started counting my social gaffes. I think there were six of them, but if I've forgotten any, I'm sure I'll hear about it. I even promised Effie that I would blog about these catastrophic events. (What, doesn't everyone you encounter in real life have a blog, too?)

1) We were introduced to FlyingJ's cousin Amy, who is currently getting her PhD. Their nana told us, very sweetly and proudly, "Amy loves to learn." FlyingJ joked about how the rest of us are slackers, or something to that effect. Nana continued with, "When Amy puts her mind to something, she does it. She wants to do well and she's not afraid to work hard." There was a pause and I said, "Amy is better than us." It just fell out of my mouth. She tried to say she wasn't, but whatever, Amy, you know you are.

2) I was chatting with FlyingJ's friend whom I've met on two other occasions. I paused mid-word to tell her, "I don't mean to flirt with you or anything, but you have AMAZING blue eyes." She did! But she got a little embarrassed and didn't like me joking about flirting with her. I'm not sure why. Were they actually contact lenses and I was drawing attention to them? Or do women just not like when I hit on them? I mean, neither option seems remotely possible.

3) I was talking with another of FlyingJ's friends about her shoes and she was saying something like, "I know you're not supposed to wear open toe shoes at work..." and I said, "Oh, because they're so seductive?" and she finished her thought with, "...because something could fall on your foot." Luckily I think Chillier was the only one who heard that one, but still, I apparently could not stop finding other women attractive today.

4) FlyingJ's friend was telling us about being single and not especially wanting to be. I said something like, "Hey, who needs a relationship when you have a job?" I guess I was just trying to point out something else in her life that was okay, despite not being in a relationship. Well, no, because she's also unemployed.

5) When I saw Effie, she said something like, "Right, I remember meeting you; you were telling a story about how you had a made-up husband." Dear God, what a memory to have of me.*

6) Chillier and I were on the porch and FlyingJ's aunt and nana came out. I enthusiastically said, "Hello!" They ignored me. So I said it again. "Hello!" I really can't stress how chipper I was being, attempting this greeting twice. They ignored me the second time, too. So I figured they were just kind of more involved in their own conversation, but then a few seconds later, the aunt turned to us and said, "Have you heard how the Red Sox are doing today?" To which I said, "Hello!" No, I'm kidding.

I jest (clearly) but it was actually a very fun, sweet, happy day, with lots of nice people and a crapload, I mean an abundance of presents and cupcakes.

I can't wait for the newest edition to the friend family, due in early July. And FlyingJ and Joe, I promise to try and interact with her appropriately whenever possible.

*If you really want to hear the story of the made-up husband: As a general rule I don't tell people that come into my home to fix things or install cable or what have you that I live alone, just because I don't know them (but of course I don't hesitate to inform the entire internet). Anyway, one time a few years ago my complex was being painted. I was unloading groceries, and one of the painters asked if I was making a gourmet meal for my husband. Now, he was probably the nicest man on the planet, but, like I said, if I don't know people, I just don't want to make a point of saying, "Gosh, no, it's just for me; I live alone and sleep with the doors unlocked." So I said yes. Then the painter said, "What's his name?" And I said, "Brett." I said it without thinking and without ever having known a person named Brett. And when I told my friends about this, I think it was Joe who said, "What would you have said if the painter asked what Brett did for a living?" I replied, "He's an innkeeper." Yeah, I don't know what to say about that, either.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

sex and the single girl

The people in my life are all in different situations: Raising kids, considering kids, starting families, pursuing cute, heartbreak recovery, pondering engagement, sometimes doing more than one simultaneously. I tried to not put those different stages "in order of accomplishment" because it's not supposed to be a pecking order (but we sure can torment ourselves by seeing it as one). I don't fit especially well into any of these boxes, and everyone is always moving from one to the other, anyway, so maybe I'll find myself in one of them at some point.

I was reading a recent posting from a beloved Neighborhooder about dealing with the end of a relationship, and the inevitable emotional chaos that ensues when you're alone again (naturally). He wondered, "How do you all do it?" A fair enough question, but it made me think about how I've always sort of wondered the opposite.

There are people who feel more comfortable in a relationship. I had a friend in college who was being smothered by her biological clock at 20, and with each holiday or meaningful event that passed, she felt a little sad that she wasn't coupled. She was a fantastic person, too, not at all devoid of interests or personality aside from the pursuit of a significant other; she just wanted to be in a partnership, and then, of course, shortly after college, she made sure that she was. I heard an interview with a Celebrity That I Don't Actually Hate, and she was saying that she likes being in a relationship more than being out of one (but then again, I'd also prefer being in a relationship to being single if that relationship was with Vince Vaughn, as hers is). I think some people just feel more complete with another person by their side, whereas other people have to decide how to make space for someone else.

I've typically fallen into the latter category and tended to be the person who is concerned about maintaining my independence within the confines of a relationship. Not obsessively or pathologically so, but it's always been a consideration. It's not that I'm never happy with what I have, or that I'm a cold, detached person... I actually think I'm quite nurturing, and deep connections with other people are very important to me. But almost because of that, I don't want to hinge my need for connection on one person, and let my relationships with everyone else be ornamental and fall into the "nice but not necessary" category. I don't realistically think I run the risk of ever doing that, but the thought of it is overwhelming.

People who are maybe a little uncomfortable with where they are tend to simplify other people's choices: "At least I'm not tied down." "At least I'm not alone." Just like everything in life, it's never really that cut and dry. Single people aren't necessarily lepers and people in relationships aren't necessarily settling. Neither one is necessarily happy or unhappy with their status. A woman who bores you to tears when she's 39 and has kids probably would've bored you to tears when she was 19 and had hickeys.

You also, of course, get the people that like to stand on the other side of the fence and taunt you about how their life is better than yours, but that's really just playground bullying and they don't deserve much of a mention here. I had to distance myself from a couple friends who became un-single simultaneously and liked to stick it to me a little bit (don't even get me started on people who think marriage and marriage alone signifies adulthood). Two of my closest friends are married with kids (well, one is about to have a kid) and they don't blink back tears of sadness for me when I say that I'll be single forever if I don't meet the right person. They know our friendship doesn't have anything to do with whether my date to their dinner party is an adoring husband or an adoring guy friend or, gasp, no one at all.

I'm not a great girlfriend for other single women. I mean, I am in the sense that I like to go out and travel and make mischief, but I'm not a great comrade when it comes to analyzing men. I know women for whom men are strange, foreign creatures who exist only to watch the game and drink beer, whose whims and throwaway comments are fodder for psychological deconstruction, and I've never felt that way. Many times I like and connect with men more than women. Not all the time, to be certain, but sometimes. While I love to girl it up, one of the only things that I don't like to talk about is why he isn't calling you. I think he should think you're fantastic and not believe his luck that you like him too, and if that's not your starting point, then move on because it's not going to be what you need.

I hear all the time that I'm very picky and have high standards, implying that maybe that's why I'm single. To which I can only say, um, of course I do. Don't you? Doesn't everyone? Okay, I think we all know of people who grabbed onto the first monkey that handed them a banana, but I like to think that desperation is not the norm. (I'm probably wrong. And in fact, I may marry one of my guy friends for a little while just to get in on that Crate and Barrel registry; did you see their latest catalog? Yum.)

People talk about other people being "afraid of commitment," usually men. As someone who has been accused of being this way herself, I happen to think it's complete bullshit. Of course you're wary of commitment when you haven't met someone you've wanted to commit to yet, but very few people consciously decide to be lone wolves wandering the plain and howling at the moon until the end of time. "Commitment-phobic" just means "doesn't want to commit to me." It sucks, but get yourself some Ben & Jerry's and call it a day. (Insert joke here about how I'm so paralyzed with my fear of commitment that after I wrote this, my spell checker showed me that I can't even spell the word right.)

From the time I graduated high school until my mid-20s, I pretty much went from one relationship to another without too much lag time in between, and it wasn't because I really, really wanted to be in love (lone wolf, remember?); it was because I met a few gems that fell into that smartfunnycutequirkybeefy category, and most of these heavy hitters of my past are still in my life. When I became single again after my last relationship ended, one of my friends who has known me for a long time said, "It's funny to think of you as single." THAT was funny. To me, I'd always been single, even when I wasn't. I think I always knew, even when the person that I was with was talking marriage, that I wasn't going to marry young, that I'd be a bit of holdout, that my friends would place friendly bets and snort at the thought of me in a dress, never mind a white one.

So. Where am I going with all this? I don't know. I guess I just felt like talking about it. Being 28 and single is something that's kind of "supposed" to bother me, or a situation that I'm trying to rectify. I don't exactly buy into that, but I also don't always feel 100% comfortable with where I am, and for the record I think that feeling a little misplaced from time to time is worth reclaiming as a valid state of being, not something you bury under a cheery facade, lest you not win the Battle of Who's the Most Blissfully Happy. It does feel a little strange, sometimes, to not have a partner, but it doesn't feel like standing outside your party and staring in; it just feels like being at a different party, and maybe we'll all meet up later for sangria. And if I do end up at a different party someday, I suspect it will be as fun and silly and debaucherous as this one, in its own way.

One thing feels certain: Wherever I am, I'll be here blogging my face off about it.

just a steel town girl on a Saturday night

When your coworker buys you a redheaded stuffed frog who sings and dances to She's a Maniac because she said it made her think of you, is that because you were singing that song and dancing in her office last week? Or is it that she actually thinks you're a maniac? Because if it's the latter, it seems like an elaborate, but admirably creative, way to tell me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

my two cents

Blogging pimp Stephanie Klein says that she's often called upon to give advice. To which I can only say: why? But that's beside the point. The point, here, is to steal a few of the questions she says she's received and give my own advice to them.

It's 4:15am - you've just returned from a night of sangria martinis and are getting down to it when your cell phone goes off. Not only do you answer it, but it's your boss screaming that you got her hotel reservations in Anguilla all wrong. How do you keep both your boss and your man sweet?
It's 4:15 and you're just getting down to it? That's impressive, because I'm like dead asleep by then. Anyway, why did you give your boss your cell number? And isn't it kind of a bummer that you're making her hotel reservations? Maybe you should find a different job. Just a thought.

You think you've managed to drag him away from football for an entire week - but you're wrong. He's a constant crackberry, and when his thumbs are numb, he's scooting around town, hoping to find "the game" somewhere in the middle of Bali. Next thing you know, he's hooked up with fellow fans in a hotel lobby. Grrr. What do you do?
Crackberry? Even though you tried to keep him sweet? Seriously, who wrote these? Okay. Um, just a reminder that you're in Bali, and this isn't really a problem.

You're on vacation. You're taking preventative measures: suntan lotion, bug spray, condoms. But when it comes to food, you plan to readily stuff yourself until your white cargo pants need to be unbuttoned. You'll work it off the next morning, snorkeling, diving, having sex. But what's this? Your man's ordering his dressing on the side. A small Greek salad. He's watching his figure. How can you possibly binge in peace now?
What, are you always on vacation? Anyway, I don't really know how to answer this because I didn't go on vacation with this guy. I left his girly ass behind and brought his beefy, meat-eating friend instead.

maybe I'M actually the crazy neighbor

Party Jen and I drank Crazy Neighbor's $150 wine tonight. It was yum, obviously, but what a waste of money. It wasn't any better than my favorite, Cakebread chardonnay, which is like $50 a bottle (still too rich for my blood, but I'm just saying, no need to go up to the three digits in order to get something really good to go with your pizza and Will & Grace finale).

Beforehand we tried to think of how it would taste, at that price. Like the backwash of angels? Like a liquid vacation? Like Jason Varitek's bathwater (but not immediately after a game)?

Ewwww. Sorry. Those were clearly all my ideas. She just thought I should shut up and open it already.

Of course, leave it to me to find a way to ghetto up that which is supposed to be refined. I picked up a cake yesterday for a co-worker who just finished grad school (i.e. got out of prison), and I put the wine in my car because I'd be going to Jen's after work. Well, when I was taking the cake out of my car this morning, I was adjusting the cover and the wine rolled into part of the cake, covering one side of the bottle in frosting. I sort of paused, not sure what to do, because I didn't have any napkins or anything and my work parking lot was crawling with kids and their parents, and I was thinking that licking frosting off a bottle of wine at eight in the morning in front of children is not really the sort of thing that I want to be remembered for, you know? So I stood the wine up in the cup holder of my car and just went to work. And by the time I got that schmancy libation to Jen's, there was tons of dried, flaking frosting all over it. Presentation is everything, right?

Let it never be said that I'm not a classy girl.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the modern day Unicorn Club*

Me: Aren't you happy I joined MySpace?
Mark: Yeah, I'm thrilled. Your page is completely useless.
Me: What!
Mark: You're like, "Hi, I like to lay around."
Me: But I do.
Mark: You have some song by Jerry Lee Lewis...
Me: Jenny Lewis!
Mark: And you have TOM in your best friend slot.
Me: There's a best friend slot?
Mark: Yeah, and you have Tom there. You can delete him, you know.
Me: Why do I need to delete him?
Mark: Right, why get rid of him, you only have three friends so you better hang on to the ones you have.
Me: I don't know how to find people to make my friends!
Mark: That's sad.
Me: Yeah, so far, not a fan of MySpace.
Mark: Why not? It's the best.

*Bonus points if you get that reference, Lila. Incidentally, does anyone feel like acting out all the old Sweet Valley High covers and taking pictures of it? No? Uh, me neither.

But if you change your mind, Dangerous Love and Kidnapped! are all mine.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I don't appreciate your ruse, ma'am

Praise God, Kevin Smith has a blog! This is an absolutely perfect, entertaining, thoroughly readable forum for an overwriter such as himself. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of his*, but some of me was rolling my eyes at Banky yelling at Ben Affleck that "the time will come when I have to throw down the gauntlet!" I've always sort of wished that Kevin wrote books instead of screenplays; he seems like so much more of a novelist than a screenwriter. Jersey Boy wants to WRITE, and sometimes it doesn't work for characters in movies to have such grammatically correct, uncomfortably articulate soliloquies. But he's got a bunch of movies under his belt and I'm sitting on the couch, so who am I?

How do we feel about Clerks II? (Jaek, this could be inspiration for your blogging block.) Does the Clerks phenomenon work no matter what (like Dazed and Confused) or do you have to be a certain age to fully appreciate it (like Rent)? I sort of love Kevin Smith on principle, and he's had plenty of time to think through this sequel, but I'm just curious about what this experience will be like, all these years later. Probably funny but totally different than the first, but with all the same characters, as always (which is actually a facet of his moviemaking that I find more endearing than enough already).

It'd be great if Dante was still kicking around the Quick Stop. I take it by the movie title that maybe he still is.

*In college I had a poster from Chasing Amy signed by him: "Red, had her. Honest" with an arrow pointing to Joey Lauren Adams.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

the 90s gala

You know how they do play-by-plays of the Oscars and other events of significance? Since I know you're all on the edge of your seats, here's a play-by-play of my Sex in the 90s non-party. (Actual times are fudged a little, because, well, it would've been kind of creepy if I'd been sitting there with a stopwatch and a notebook.)

Friday afternoon:
I decide the theme for tomorrow night will be kitsch and spend more money than I ever thought possible on gummy worms, sour patch kids, Swedish fish, and ring pops.

Friday night:
The voice mail robot lady tells me I have three new messages. First one is from Jason; he'll be able to tear himself away from work and make it. Second is Jason again; he spoke too soon and has to work. I'm hoping the third is him saying he actually CAN make it, because I want him to come and also, how funny would that sequence of voice mails be? But it isn't from him. It becomes clear to me that he's chosen his job over Sex in the 90s. I immediately terminate the friendship.

Saturday morning:
Party Jen calls, subliminally sensing that a gathering might be afoot. She even says she'll come early and help me wash my wine glasses. That's love, people.

Saturday afternoon:
I call Jen and ask her to come earlier than she planned because I want to crack open that wine, and if she's with me it's festive, but if I'm home alone, I'm a drunk.

Saturday, 7:30 PM:
Carly isn't in the door five seconds before she's insulted the Swedes. Now it's ON.

7:45 PM:
Joe lets me serve him soda like it's wine; he inhales the bouquet and then swishes, but forgets to tip me when he leaves.

8:11 PM:
I tell them the Dirtiest Story I've Ever Heard in my Entire Life from my godmother's retirement party (the one that I blogged about a couple days ago). You can find the story in the comments section from that entry; I apologize ahead of time.

8:32 PM:
Crazy Neighbor is outside smoking in the rain; I lose my mind and tell him to come over later for wine. Then I realize I've put myself in a weird position, because if he DOESN'T come by, now I'm the girl that wasn't cool enough for Crazy Neighbor to hang out with.

9:12 PM:
We make the odd discovery that Kevin played Tetris in college with The Bride's tall brother. And this is irrelevant and none of these people were present at the time, but Dave's roommate is good friends with my orthodontist's daughter. My point is this: It's a small world after all.

9:34 PM:
We poke at Melissa's belly to feel (i.e. wake up and anger) the baby. Later I'll poke at Jen's belly, but only to see her bellyring, which I happily report is a very early 90s kind of thing, in keeping with the theme and all. Anytime you can have an ironic piercing, it's a good thing.

10:03 PM:
We start watching Sex in the 90s. We make kind, sympathetic remarks about the character with AIDS: "She's probably dead now, you guys!"

11:12 PM:
Crazy Neighbor comes by. After a few minutes I realize that I only wanted him to pop in for a cameo, like a guest on Letterman, but not move in. It alters the vibe, but I have no one to blame but myself.

12:30 AM:
Crazy Neighbor leaves and comes back with more wine and also, um, pot, at my request. What the hell is my problem? I haven't smoked since college, and even then it was sporadic and never sought out. Party Jen, who has an encylopedic knowledge of my life, immediately corrects me and reminds me that the last time I smoked was with "those guys at that club in the Bahamas." Oh, right. That moment must have not made it into the photo album.

12:47 AM:
Crazy Neighbor's superweed basically kills Carly, and my pregnant friend is in the other room. I immediately know that I'm going to wake up feeling dirty, and not in a good way.

1:52 AM:
Crazy Neighbor is pontificating about how everyone in the room will be friends for the rest of our lives. It's such a lovely, drunken, random sentiment that I don't have the heart to tell him that three people in the room just met for the first time tonight.

3:30 AM:
It seems like a GREAT idea for Jen and I to agree to go to Turks and Caicos with Crazy Neighbor. He leaves us with a $150 bottle of wine and the knowledge that his and my next exchange may be our most awkward one yet.

Sunday morning:
Mark can't stop laughing at me: "I wish I'd been able to come to your party and get high, man." Also, I notice that all the Swedish fish have been eaten... except for the green ones.

When all was said and done, we only got to watch a tiny bit of Sex in the 90s. Too much Crazy Neighbor and far too little sex. You know what that means: Do-over. And maybe next time, only invited guests and only legal substances... man.

Friday, May 12, 2006

la dolce vita

I don't think I'm overstating it to say that I want this woman's life. Her stories are so interesting and yummy and I love reading about her new life in Italy. Go check it out and live vicariously, as I am.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

five for Friday

1. All I can say about Lost is: Another motherloving hatch? Are you KIDDING me? And apparently none of the castaways have ever seen any bad made-for-TV movies, because if they did they'd know that the name you say right before you die is ALWAYS the name of the person who killed you, not a guy you just like so much that you want to say his name. Who wastes their dying breath being like, "You know who's awesome? MICHAEL." No. It's, "You know who killed me? Yeah, that'd be MICHAEL."

2. I love that Nick Lachey has songs out now that are all love-me-I'm-broken; those two have successfully marketed their relationship to a bloody pulp, and now there's even a divorce soundtrack. Does anyone else wish their show was still on? They could have the corny intro with the song be the same as before but then cross out Newlyweds and call it Not So Much-yweds. Or, um, something like that. Whatever they called it, I know I'd DVR the crap out of it.

3. My dad went back home today after two weeks in rehab. He left with two new knees and I left with a massive addiction to Purell because they have a bottle of it every two feet in every hospital on the planet. The medical profession has really gotten behind this stuff, and it's like heroin for your hands. The clear stuff is OK, but the kind with lotion is beyond reason. It makes your hands ridiculously soft, plus it's anti-bacterial! I could only love it more if it also swiffed my apartment. And I can't believe I'm proclaiming my love for this drugstore junk, being the product connoisseur that I am. Supergirl's had a bottle of it on her desk all year and I've snobbishly avoided it. Turns out Bliss has nothing on Purell. Who knew?

4. I went to my godmother's retirement party tonight, and all I can say is that former school administrators really know how to kick out the jams on a Thursday night. There are places in this world where people cut a rug to that "hip hop hooray, ho, hey, ho" song and encourage me to marry an Ecuadorian woman. Also, I was told The Dirtiest Story I've Ever Heard in My Entire Life by a woman who must have been at least fifty. It literally stunned me and my pseudo-cousins (my godmother's son and daughter) to silence for a few seconds, and as you might imagine, that ain't easy. I'd tell you guys, but then I'd start getting some really sketchy search engine hits.

5. I'm clearly up too late but I have to say that I love when Conan has a guest that truly makes him laugh; not the polite heh-heh he gives to boy band members, but the full-on laugh from people who really crack him up, like John C. Reilly is right now. I love me some Conesy. But I have to turn it off and go to bed because it says John Mayer is on the show later, and in my opinion there are few things worse than that guy, rambling about how your lips are like bubble gum and your tongue is a cherry popsicle or whatever the hell he sings about.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I can play well with others, I just want them to play PERFECTLY

I usually think this stuff is crap (and it probably is, let's face it), but the cutting-edge behavioral scientists that work for my MSN homepage led me to find this interesting today. I'm not sure if I think determining elements of your personality based on your birth order is just a hop, skip and use of fancy terminology away from reading your horoscope to figure out what kind of day you're going to have, but who knows? And as with all pseudo-research, the article ends with, "But this might not be true at all." That's usually my favorite part. Also the fact that the only thing they say about twins is, yeahhh, they're, like, pretty much the same, you know? They should've followed that up with, "I mean, just LOOK at them!" It's funny that they base that on equal status and being treated similarly instead of being, I don't know, genetically identical?

Whatever, though, I don't know anything about twins. People always, always, ALWAYS say to me, "You don't seem like an only child," but that's only because the perception is that onlys don't play well with others, prefer being alone, blah blah. I have a friend who had a baby a couple years ago and is thinking about not having any more; she recently had a conversation with me about the pros and cons of being one. The description below sounds like a more succinct version of the answer that I gave her.

Here's a portion of the article:

First Borns:
More conscientious, ambitious and aggressive than their younger siblings, first borns are over-represented at Harvard and Yale as well as disciplines requiring higher education such as medicine, engineering or law. Every astronaut to go into space has been either the oldest child in his or her family or the eldest boy. And throughout history -- even when large families were the norm -- more than half of all Nobel Prize winners and U.S. presidents have been first born.

Middle children are more easygoing and peer-oriented. Since they can get lost in the shuffle of their own families, they learn to build bridges to other sources of support and therefore tend to have excellent people skills. Middle children often take on the role of mediator and peacemaker.

The youngest child tends to be the most creative and can be very charming -- even manipulative. Because they often identify with the underdog, they tend to champion egalitarian causes. (Youngest siblings were the earliest backers of the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment.)

Only Children:
Only children have similar characteristics to first borns and are frequently burdened with high parental expectations. Research shows they are more confident, articulate and likely to use their imagination than other children. They also expect a lot from others, hate criticism, can be inflexible and are likely to be perfectionists.

Because they hold equal status and are treated so similarly, twins turn out similarly in most cases.

Dr. Frank Sulloway, a behavioral scientist and visiting professor at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at University of California, Berkeley and author of the book, "Born To Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics and Creative Lives," says first borns are more similar in personality to first borns in other families than they are to their own younger siblings and that youngest children are often more similar to the youngest child in another family than his or her own elder siblings. He says this is because the family is not as much a "shared environment" as a set of niches that provide siblings with different outlooks.

Conley agrees, but stresses that these are just general trends -- and that the whole birth-order theory can be turned on its head depending on the child's personality, the age gap between siblings and the family circumstances each child experiences during his or her formative years.

Monday, May 08, 2006

just have the report in by Wednesday Bloody Wednesday

I require help, dear readers. In order to understand and lend your expertise, you must first read this.

Now read this, which happened today:

Work Friend [annoyed]: Today sucks.
Other Work Friend: Are you taking one down?
WF: What?
OWF: Are you TAKING one DOWN?


WF: Are you trying to trying to get me with the American Idol song?
OWF: Maybe.
Me: You've completely lost your touch.
OWF [defeated]: No, I haven't.
Me: NOBODY can win that game better than me, anyway.

They disagreed. So it's on, again, for the last month and a half of school. The tripwire is any and all U2 lyrics. Any ideas? I'll need to be on guard since I don't know all their music and I'm guessing no one is going to try to win by climbing on top of the building and proclaiming things about pride, or by rifling through their desk and then saying in frustration, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for!"

The only rules are that we all have to be present, and it has to go unnoticed by the person that you're directly addressing. I'm thinking about waiting until one of them has taken a sick day and asking, "Are you feeling better, or do you feel the same?" I think that's from One. Actually, I think it's "is it getting better." I need to get my act together here.

I can't let someone else take my crown*. Last year's win was just too good.

*There actually is no crown.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

u know us so well

On the bill from tonight's dinner with Party Jen, right underneath my meal, like it was an item we'd actually ordered, it said, "u guys are already making love."

Huh. Really?

Jen, formerly a waitress, informed me that sometimes notes accidentally get left on there from the waitstaff to the kitchen staff. Still, though, how vaguely disturbing. Were the sous chef and wine steward up to no good back there, or what? Actually, it was Paddy's, so it really would've been more like the Guinness pourer and the fish & chips slinger.

We tried to formulate a decent response and the best we could come up with was: "Maybe so, but I wouldn't exactly call it 'making love' with this girl."

the new face of childcare

Me: Hey. How's the game?
Dorie: Great. How are the kids?
Me: They're great. Sound asleep.
Dorie: Good. Are you drinking yet?
Me: No.
Dorie: Why not?
Me: Because I'm home alone with your children?
Dorie: Oh, it's fine. They're fine!
Me: I know. But I'm just going to wait for you.
Dorie: Just please pour yourself a glass of wine. Actually, two. That way we're even when I get back.
Me: Listen lady, I don't drink on the job. I'm in the union.
Dorie: Come on!
Me: Okay, fine, I'll go lay on your front lawn and get drunk on fridge wine.
Dorie: And eat those cookies on the counter, too. They're really yummy.
Me: Where the hell were parents like you when I was 13 years old and babysitting?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

clearly on a Q&A kick

Swiped without a second thought from the incomparable Jacynth.

1. If you could live in another era, what would it be?
Probably the 60s, for the music and all the changing landscapes and the free-flowing drugs.

2. If you got paid $200 million per year, would you be an Alaskan crab fisher (keep in mind this is one of the deadliest jobs)?
I've never heard of this job, so maybe I don't find it appropriately terrifying. Could I be an apprentice crabber for a year, get the $200 million, and then go back to my regular life?

3. Did you eat glue as a child?
No, but I immensely enjoyed peeling it off my fingers once it dried. I'm sure that's a whole other personality disorder.

4. If you could be in a movie, what would it be and why?
I could be all Clooney about this, but in reality I'd probably love for it to be some smartass teenage thing. I enjoy pop culture far too much (I just bought Peter a book called TTYL and the entire thing is online chats between squabbling high school girls) not to submerge myself in it, if presented with the opportunity. And I'm not talking about something like Scary Movie, for the love of God. Can we talk for a minute about how sad movies like that are when they're not even in on the joke they're trying to spoof... how did misguided parodies become a new genre? I'm thinking more Clueless: "What happened? Did my hair get flat?"

5. If you could set up your own mafia ring, what would you call it?
My mafia ring doesn't need a catchy name. Now bring me that bitch's head on a stick. I'm the godmother, in case that wasn't clear. (Flipping the gender makes that title sound not at all tough.)

6. If you had the choice between meeting David Hasselhoff or Tom Cruise, who would you choose and why?
Tom Cruise. I'd tell him I'm really confused about life and I feel like I need guidance and vitamins. Whatever ensued would be funny.

7. Would you ever fly Hooters airlines?
Sure, if they're cheap.

8. Would you rather hear no evil or see no evil?
Is there a no evil whatsoever option on the table?

9. If you started a search engine, what would you name it?

10. If you had the ability to see five years into the future, would you do it?
No, but it sure would've helped The Bride*, huh?

*Full story forthcoming.

Friday, May 05, 2006


As those of us who plagiarize historical information verbatim from Google know, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's defeat of the French on May 5, 1862. I was truly humbled to see my fellow Americans paying tribute to this event in the following ways:

- A classroom full of kindergarteners wearing sombreros and eating little plates of chips and salsa.
- The parking lot so full at a dinky Mexican place that cars were pulling up on the grass, because obviously the only bartender in the world that can make you a good margarita must work at a place with "cantina" in the name.
- A guy holding a pinata and yelling into his cell phone, "I ALREADY GOT IT! WHAT THE HELL ELSE IS THERE?"

Whether it's more fiesta or siesta, enjoy your day, kids!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

uselessness, in survey form

What is your name spelled backwards?

Have you ever licked a 9 volt battery?
No. Are we doing this now?

What is the type of music you dislike the most?
Whiny, pretentious, why don't you love me I'm gonna die life is hard. What's up, Rufus?

How do people misspell your name?
They take out one of the Cs and put in a K.

How do people mispronounce your name?
No one does.

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Are there stand-up restaurants?

When was the last time you swam in a pool?
Mexico, last summer. Kicked out at 3 AM. "Hola! Pool closed!"

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
Yeah, but it would have to be an impulse decision; if I had too much time to think about it, I could scare myself out of it.

Have you ever run away from home?
Once I made it as far as the end of my driveway with my play doctor's kit. Where was I going? Medical school?

In your family, are you the oldest, younger, or middle child?
I'm all three. Can you crack that code, DaVinci?

Has a bird ever pooped on your head?
No, and I'm not entirely sure what I'd do in this situation. Well, obviously I'd try to clean it off. I'm sure I'd be on my way to a job interview, though.

Have you ever pulled an all nighter?
To study. Is that boring of me? Actually, I only did it once, in college, and it was to finish a paper, not study. I had heard that if you took a one hour nap the following day, you'd be fine. Because that makes so much sense. So I tried that and asked my friend Jared to wake me up in an hour. Turns out it's not true, and he immediately became my least favorite person on the planet. I almost did it a few times in grad school, but I'd always manage to get in a couple hours. Supergirl was saying the other day that wouldn't it be so cool if there was a doctorate in our field. All I could think was, no, no it really wouldn't. I haven't been out of school long enough yet to pine for it.

What's your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes. I love how Calvin yells and rants and is extremely opinionated and he's like six.

Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?
Shameful but true: I was the third runner up for the crown of Miss Teen Apple Orchard in 1991.

Orange juice or apple?
No, I'm kidding. But didn't it sound obscure enough to be true? Orange juice. Apple juice reminds me of being in kindergarten. Same with graham crackers and taking naps in the middle of the day.

Do you enjoy Nascar...watching cars go around and around a big track?
Thanks for the definition. No.

Did you have braces, and were you self-conscious?
Yes, in sixth grade, but it wasn't a big deal; everyone else had them too.

Last time you ate a homegrown tomato?
I don't know, but I hope it's soon.

Favorite arcade game?
Spy Hunter! If you know of a Spy Hunter closer than the Canobie Lake Park arcade, please tell me, as I will go there immediately. I do a mean version of the theme song, too.

Ever ordered from an infomercial?
Yes, I ordered the Cool Rock CDs in college. Did my friends mock me endlessly? Yes. But did they obsessively love them and play them all the time? Yes. And did one of them eventually steal them and deny the theft to this day? Yes.

Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work?
No, but I'd consider going to medical school (I already have the doctor's kit) just to be able to eventually have a job that allowed me to wear scrubs and sneakers every day. I'm not even kidding. And not the horrifying kind with teddy bears or smiley faces; just the plain blue, thanks. I'd be so happy and comfortable and able to write prescriptions.

Ever thrown up in public?
I threw up on the bus in seventh grade coming home from a field trip. Luckily we had already pulled into my school parking lot, but still, not my finest moment.

Have you broken any bones?
Mike Simmons broke my wrist playing dodgeball in the sixth grade. The school nurse looked at it right after and told me it was fine. She was very competent. I broke my toe in high school. I've only had lame injuries, thankfully.

What message is on your voice mail?
Nothing worth noting, but my dad's is, "The occupants of this household are unavailable. Please leave a brief yet poignant message."

Would you change your last name if you became famous?

Would you change your last name if you got married?

Do you consider yourself tolerant of others?
For the most part I do, but ironically, as soon as someone else isn't tolerant or nice, I sort of hate them, so in a sense I need to be more tolerant of jerks, or at least not let them get to me.

Do you consider love a mistake?
Um, no?

What kind of backpack do you have, and what's in it?
I used to hate it when people had their three initials monogrammed on their green LL Bean backpack.

Do you have an alias?
I actually did, in college. It was Brittany Fairchild. But then Britney Spears came on the scene and my use of Brittany didn't seem as original.

Do you have a recurring dream?
Yes, of missing a bus. I don't even take a bus.

Are you easygoing or overbearing?
Would anyone really pick overbearing? If you're truly overbearing, you probably think you're easygoing.

Are you disciplined or lazy?
I have to force myself to be disciplined because my natural inclination is laziness.

Are you generally happy or sad?
Generally happy.

What were you like as a kid? Are you still like that now?
I was mostly a tomboy. I'm pretty much still one now, but with a fantastic collection of products.

Would you rather have guys or girls as friends?
I'd rather both. Men tend to be less complicated and are easy to have fun with. There's really nothing better than a great girlfriend, but nothing worse than a crappy one. I'm much pickier than I ever used to be when it comes to friendship; old age leaves me less capable of faking it and more into trusting my instincts.

What movie will you defend to the death, despite its unpopularity?

What movie does everyone love but you hated?
There's Something About Mary.

Have you ever had to fuck stuff up for no good reason?
I don't think so, but I love this question.

Anything else to say?
I tend to think that Shakira's songs don't translate into English that well. Her hips don't lie? Huh?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the non-event of the century

Well, kids, it's official. The viewing of Sex in the 90s will be Saturday, May 13th. I'm not inviting everyone I know because I don't like everyone I know. It's really just a few of my peoples gathering to regress into our pasts and drink wine, but if you're a member of the Neighborhood or another real-life comrade, I would be beside myself with glee should you choose to grace me with your presence and/or presents. If you're neither a Neighborhooder nor a real-lifer, get lost, stalker. Just kidding. Kind of.

Actually, if you're a Neighborhooder and choose this event as your inauguration to becoming a real-lifer, you totally get a choice spot on the couch. My real-lifers are mocking me for posting this invitation on my blog, like I'm going to end up with MySpace pedophiles at my door. All I can say about that is, a girl can dream, right?

So, right, we've got our 90s theme going on; I believe the fact that we're watching a TAPED show on my VC-freakin-R accomplishes part of this (don't worry, the quality is excellent). And I'm talking early 90s because we were all too self-consciously hip by the late 90s. That means you have to pick someone else to have a crush on and not speak to them the entire night, but talk to everyone else about them and speculate on what they meant by that. Get an older sibling's friend who totally has their own car to buy booze. Paint your nails baby blue with Hard Candy and wear the plastic ring that comes with. Make prank phone calls; there's no such thing as caller ID! Or star 69! Or the Internet, so how are you even reading this!

Monday, May 01, 2006

more baseball drivel

Right now I should be writing three reports that I want to get done by tomorrow, but it's 10 PM, the bottom of the 8th, and the Sox now have a 7-3 lead over New York. It's funny because all the speculation was on what Boston's reaction would be to Johnny Damon, but the last minute action was Mirabelli being back with us after having inexplicably left. He was always so cheerfully under the radar, the other catcher in the shadow of Varitek's giant goateed C. It wasn't until Bard dropped about 75 of Wakefield's knuckleballs last week that everyone realized how easy Mirabelli had always made it look, and the powers that be scrambled to get him back. And they got him back at zero hour... ushering him in on a private jet and rushing him to the park with a police escort, without a moment to spare. That just struck me as so funny. Big lug, unassuming, smiley Doug Mirabelli, you're kind of a rock star now, and I love it!

They just won. Good form on Johnny's part, to tip his hat. But Tom Caron is calling him "a very classy player" right now and that's not at all how I'd describe him. Johnny's fun, but he's dippy, and anything he does that comes across as well-executed is more him accidentally marketing himself well, I think. Now, Ortiz is a classy player. And dresses like a PIMP, incidentally.

And while I'm on the subject of baseball, I have to mention that Party Jen was out dancing last night until the wee hours with Bernie Williams. Has she now earned her nickname or what? That story will continue to amuse me all week.