Sunday, November 04, 2007

Frosting and Farewells

The Cupcake Tent is now closed. The bakery thanks you for your patronage.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"You Know There's a Well in Your Backyard. Watch The Baby!"

On the twentieth anniversary of this defining moment of American history, I feel the time has come for me to speak my mind. Now that she's grown up and by all appearances seems to have a normal life, it's without reservation that I finally say: Fuck you, Baby Jessica.

Listen, we all felt bad when you fell down the well. Babies can be annoying enough to deal with given the optimal circumstances, let alone when they're trapped underground and being totally dramatic about it. But let me talk to you about a little something called Bad Timing. I'm not saying this was your plan all along, but news of your rescue cut into all the regularly scheduled programming back in 1987, and your victorious second birth from the pipe womb trumped the season finale of Rags to Riches. Remember Rags to Riches, the show where that Joe Pesci-looking guy inherited a bunch of teenage orphan daughters who randomly started singing and dancing to oldies songs? Yeah, it was pretty awesome, and not just because I was ten years old. Toward the end of this particular episode, Marta, one of the pivotal and more subtletly nuanced characters, was lying on a mountainside, half-dead from a rattlesnake bite. What was going to happen? I was riveted. And then, suddenly, breaking news. The well! The baby! The miracle! You were fine. But Marta? Poof. Gone forever.

Thanks to the internet and YouTube and the disturbingly comprehensive TV show collection at Best Buy, I could probably find out pretty easily what happened. Really, though, it's the principle of it. If you had been courteous enough to wiggle out during the daytime while I was at school, I might've been able to miss a few minutes of long division. But no, of course not. It had to be on your terms, and your gauze-clad self wasn't coming out until you were good and ready. Diva.

I couldn't yell at you when you were Baby Jessica. Yelling at babies is almost always frowned upon, but yelling at Baby Jessica would've resulted in automatic deportation, and learning a second language would've been a total pain in the ass. So now that you're Adult Jessica, it's on, bitch. You owe me four minutes of television gold and step-by-step instructions on how to remove snake venom while simultaneously singing Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles. I'M WAITING.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Know You're Home Russell Answer Your Phone

So this afternoon I'm on my way from school to the home of one of the kids that I see after school and I get pulled over for making a left on a red light. In my defense, the person in front of me... and the light was just barely... and I would've been blocking the... meh, whatever. I'm a Boston driver, I admit it.

The one advantage that I can see to being pulled over in the city that I work in is the opportunity to milk the fact that I work at one of the schools and children are the future and please please don't give me a ticket. I got pulled over two months ago, though, and I got off on a warning then, so I'm not optimistic.

"Hi, I'm so sorry. I thought I could make that light but obviously not. I was just coming from the XYZ School."

"Yeah, you weren't even close to making the light. You work at the XYZ?"

"Yes, I do!" And I love puppies and flowers and most of all THE LAW!

"Okay, let's have your license and registration. It'll just be a minute."

Six long minutes later he comes back to my window. "You've had a lot of offenses, huh?"

Sure, driver retraining school comes to mind, but his tone sounds less like he's talking about illegal U-turns and more like selling crack to second graders.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, your license was suspended awhile ago."

"What? No, it was definitely wasn't."

"And there's a restraining order against you? Someone named Russell?"

"Wait, WHAT? I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't even know anyone named Russell." This isn't exactly true. I have a student named Russell, but it's been awhile since a kindergartener took legal action against me. And I had a camp counselor named Russell 15 years ago, but I'm fairly certain that I haven't been crowding him.

"How many tickets have you received in the past few years?"

"I got a couple a few years ago, but none recently. And my license was never suspended and no one has a RESTRAINING ORDER against me."

And then of course I stop for a second and think, wait, does someone? Would I know? Does my mom really hate me that much?

He kind of laughed and shrugged. "Okay, then, I guess I pulled up the wrong name. Anyway, I just wrote you a warning."

"Oh. But..." How would information on someone else come up if he ran my license? Why did he just shrug it off? But I'm already late and I decide not to push it. "Okay, well, thanks."

I thought when people stole your identities that they just bought crap online and called China. Maybe I should look into this.

And I'm sorry, Russell. BUT WHY WON'T YOU TAKE ME BACK?

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Earlier tonight I was talking to a friend from college who now lives out of state and has always stood by his opinion that Boston is a townie town, i.e. people who are born here (not that anyone is ever actually born or raised IN Boston, just close to it) never leave, or always return, and natives will obsessively extoll its virtues to anyone who will listen.

I started to disagree on principle, and then I realized that I was sitting on my bed with the Improper Bostonian flipped open to an article about fall dining in the city (which I do more reading about than eating, but I love fall and I LOVE fall menus... cider apple soup, pumpkin ravioli, baked apples, cornbread and cranberry stuffing, I could go on) while watching the Sox play, and win, their first postseason game (last October I drew a big, optimistic "07" in the centerfield dirt at Fenway with my sneaker, so here's hoping). All I needed was Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the other room writing a screenplay.

When I told him this, he started presenting more proof of my townie status, pointing out that my split second reaction after hearing that a friend moved to California was "Why would anyone DO that?" and that my idea of a money shot is the view of the Boston skyline after the Cambridge tolls on the Pike. He reminded me that anytime I go to New York for the weekend I get homesick (what, Manhattan is freakin' scary!) and he still insists that when my road rage creeps in, so does a slight Boston accent. I deny that, but okay fine, if that's your definition of a townie, then guilty as charged, I guess. I love the seasons, being close to the water, the fact that it's a baseball town, the overall sense of coziness, the locally brewed beer, the Cape, how people are wicked smaht... okay, I'm just driving the point home now. "Born and raised" sounds so provincial, I know, but I can't imagine living anywhere else. I'd never want to be transient, but I suppose if you don't like to be trapped in one area for too long then you feel as strongly about that as I do about being a country mouse (living five miles outside of a major city). Most of the people that I love are here, and I've always been happy here. I imagine that if they weren't or I wasn't, I would've made a different decision long ago.

Do you guys feel a major connection to where you live? Would you up and move for any old reason, or have you in the past? If you didn't have job/family/etc. connections to where you live now, would you move somewhere else?

And this is the perfect time to comment, because The Great Delurking Day was... oh. Yesterday. Yeah! So anyway.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

All Growed Up

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. If you manage not to die for long enough, eventually you turn thirty. In your face, Cobain!

I'm not bummed at all, actually, which is good since most of you are over thirty already and right now giving your computer screen the same hairy eyeball that I give my 27-year-old friends who talk about their biological clocks. Why do all the girls I roll with seem to be 27? Bitches. The 70s rocked and you missed it.

Also? Hairy eyeball is like the grossest expression ever.

Anyway, I'm ready! I own my age! And I've been telling people that I'm turning 50 just to try and elicit the "Holy CRAP you look great" response. That would also mean that my mom had me when she was ten, but hey. She's always been a little promiscuous.

Ahem. No more slutty mom jokes! I expect that the next time you hear from me I'll be older and wiser and wearing a smoking jacket and discussing equities. When you're thirty, you suddenly don't feel the need to do the Thriller dance in your living room, and you're such an adult that you don't leave cooked pasta that you didn't finish on the stove for two days, right?

Fine, three days.

Tuesday is The Big Day. There's a car commercial out right now that says, "Hurry, offer ends October first!" I always reply to my TV, "So does my youth!" Yeah, no one else in the room with me laughs either.

I guess I could try to come up with some corny life lessons or something, but why bother when Kenny Rogers has already done it for me? My life has been distilled into knowing when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away, and when to run. Sounds about right, though, huh? Of course, at the end of the day soft rock defines my life.

Anyway, I'll pretty much be drunk with my peoples all weekend (and I define weekend as being the second that work ends tomorrow until sometime very early Wednesday morning) so I'll see you once I shake off these 20s.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quotes of the Week

Me: Okay, do you really want to talk about this? Because here's the deal. Rooting for the Yankees is like going to Epcot Center instead of Europe. It's like going to Italy and looking for the Olive Garden. It's like choosing Paris Hilton instead of Scarlett Johansson. The Yankees are the drive thru value meal of baseball. When you say you're a Yankees fan, especially if you're not from New York, you're saying more about your own lack of character and integrity and class than you even realize.
Dave: You know, I've still never been to the Olive Garden.


Me: The IT guy who works at my school winked at me on Match.
Kate: There are no words.
Me: And you know what this means? If my work laptop breaks there's no one I can call. Do they still make typewriters?
Kate: Who are you, Bridget Jones?
Me: Aren't I?


Over the weekend I was taking care of Dorie's kids, who are 9 and 7, while she and her husband went to a wedding in Philadelphia. First of all, I have new respect for parents. I got the kids off the bus after school on Friday and went home Saturday night so exhausted that I could barely muster the energy to club my ass off until 4 AM. Hearing "Hey, is that the book you're reading? Is the book you bought yesterday? Why did you buy a book yesterday but it's not the book you're reading now? Did you start this book awhile ago and you want to finish it before you read the new book?" five seconds after you wake up kinda makes you want to crawl back under the covers immediately, even when it's coming from kids that I've loved and adored their whole lives. And then between meals (apparently cocktail olives don't constitute "a balanced meal" for children), soccer practice and soccer games and fall ball, not to mention one little girl's mom who screamed from the sidelines, "ALEXIS! Run like you mean it! Put the pressure on! GOD, this is depressing!"... holyfuckingshit. I'm doubling up on my Ortho Tri-Cyclen this month just to be safe.

Anyway, the quote came when the 7-year-old was discussing how hilarious it would be to have a secret hole that allowed him and his friends to see into the girls' bathroom at school. His sister promptly admonished him and said that she and her friends would never want to do that. Then he said, almost wistfully, "You know, it seems like with girls, we want to see THEM naked, but they don't really want to see US naked." Pretty much hit the nail on the head there, buddy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Remain Powerless Against Surveys

1. Did you cry today?
No, and I don't plan on it.

2. What were you doing at 8:00 this morning?
I was at work listening to Knocked Up Supergirl talk about how she read that when you're newly pregnant you don't actually need to "eat for two," you only need three extra glasses of milk a day, and besides that she's enjoying snacking of lots of healthy fruit and vegetables. In that moment I wanted to shove sour cream and onion chips down her throat more than I've ever wanted to do anything in my entire life. Fruit-eating baby-housing bitch. I mean, what? Miracle of life, whee!

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Buying chicken broth and mushrooms in preparation for the now legendary Tuesday Night Dinner.

4. What did you do in 1992?
I was a freshman in high school. I played with my friends and gossiped. Wow, things are so different now.

5. What song do you love right now?
I love every song on the latest fun mix, Fun The One You're With. If I had to pick one, maybe You Know I'm No Good by Amy Winehouse.

6. Three words to explain why you last threw up.
Jen's cats suck.

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Green and black.

8. What was the last thing you bought?
Cocoa butter body oil. It kind of sounds dirty, doesn't it? Oh, just to me? Okay. Well. Anyway. How are you?

9. Where do you keep your money?
In the bank, or in Sephora.

10. What was the weather like today?
Cool in the morning and at night. I LOVE FALL! Bring it! I already have pumpkin candles.

11. What's the best part about winter?
The holidays, and the snuggliness of it all. I think winter's cozy.

12. When is your birthday?
October 2nd.

13. Are you over the age of 25?
Not a day over 22, thanks for asking.

14. What were you doing last night?
Texting and cursing the Sox.

15. Do you sing?
I love to singa...

16. Does your screen name have an "x" in it?
No. These questions have started to suck.

17. Do you know anyone named Daisy?
No. Oh wait! When my dad was a kid he had a cat named Daisy. It probably died like fifty years ago. So, actually, the answer is still no. Crap, now there's an angry cat ghost after me.

18. Do you make up your own words?

19. Are you ticklish?

20. Would you say you're feisty?
Indeed I would.

21. Favorite animal?
A fish that buys its own food and cleans its own tank.

22. Name someone whose name starts with the letter "B"?
Brody Jenner.

23. Who's the last person to call you?

24. At what age do you want to have kids?
Mmm, that depends. Not anytime soon.

25. What is your favorite candy?
Mini Eggs.

26. What is the next concert you're going to?
Matt Nathanson next month.

27. Where did you go today?
Work, CVS, Shaw's, home.

28. What is something you say a lot?

29. You're at a friend's house in the bathroom and realize there is no toilet paper. Do you ask them or look yourself?
Well, I'd do a scan, but then I'd start pounding the wall and swearing and Larry Craiging out.

30. Do you have to work tomorrow?
Yes, does anyone have a job where they get Wednesdays off?

31. Who was the last person you said "I love you" to?
Jen, but via text, so maybe that doesn't count.

32. Soup...out of a can, packet, or homemade?
Preferably chicken noodle with extra carrots from the Soup Factory. In the dead of winter, that stuff is like crack. Warm, delicious crack.

33. Do you have a nickname?
Red. But you knew that.

34. Are you a heavy sleeper?
No, I'm a light sleeper. Sorry, former and future bedmates.

35. What are you listening to?
Um, definitely not Rock of Love. Definitely not.

36. What is the best movie you've seen in the past two weeks?
Superbad! It was fantastic. And I can't WAIT to see I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With, (Sarah Silverman, yay!), Lars and the Real Girl, and Feast of Love.

37. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Earlier today. Although my dishwasher did them, so I really can't take much credit.

38. Name someone who made you laugh today?

39. What's your favorite quote?
There are TONS but the most succinct is probably "If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?"

40. Guiltiest pleasure?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Good Fences

I came home from work on Friday to find my new neighbors, who have been gradually moving their stuff over for awhile now, finally settled in. So settled in that they'd found the time to place an indescribably ugly kitchen playset and two white plastic chairs on the grassy area in front of their home, presumably for the purpose of sitting and enjoying their kindergarten-age daughter prepare fake meals. At first glance I assumed they must have been piles of garbage waiting to be taken out. By the time I left for the night about an hour later, I was already plotting how to make the eyesores go away.

If we were regular neighbors with unattached homes and yards and septic lines, then more power. Go on and whip up that fake risotto all the live long day with your proud parents looking on. But since we live a condo, we don't really have a front yard. We each have a few feet of grass that we all basically inhabit, which means that all the hideousness on their "lawn" was also on mine. Call me crazy, but I happen to think the area looks better when you don't fill it with pieces of ginormous plastic crap. Ironically, these neighbors had just spent weeks having their home professionally readied for their arrival courtesy of an endless stream of painters and carpenters and feng shui whisperer psychic good vibe analysts. Given all that, it seemed funny that they'd throw piles of decrepit Wal-Mart junk right in front of their (and my) windows. I mean, what's next, a Chevy on cinder blocks?

Now, some might say this is a Bad Time To Mess With Me to begin with. Some others may even say, Seriously, Don't Get In Her Way, That Girl Ain't Right. What, does no one else's road back to normalcy involve copious amounts of tequila and dancing to Will.I.Am and T-Pain in one's living room? Okay, so my path to happiness is a little different from the Dalai Lama's. Whatever, on my plan you can have cocktails and greasy brunch.

So maybe my altered state of mind is partially to blame for the note that my new neighbors woke up to on Saturday morning. Considering I haven't officially met them yet, you'd think perhaps that it would be "Welcome to the neighborhood!" wrapped in ribbon around a basket filled with freshly-baked cookies. I went with something slightly less heartwarming.

Personal items should be enjoyed on your patio. The courtyard is a public area and not an appropriate location for large play equipment. We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter. Thank you, The Condo Association

The Condo Association (read: me) is happy to report that when I woke up the next day all their shit was gone. Victory is mine!

It's such a fine line between feisty neighbor and that crazy lady next door, isn't it?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Does It LOOK Like I'm Wearing The Easy Button?

Can we talk about inappropriate touching for a minute? Okay, not show-me-on-the-doll-where-he-touched-you Law and Order SVU inappropriate touching.

I was at Staples looking for a globe for my classroom and made the mistake of soliciting the help of one of the employees, one of those sad little men who try to offset their disturbingly tiny upper body by having a ginormously annoying personality. "I'd be THRILLED to help you! A globe? Hmmm! Are you going to be using it for traveling, because a GPS might come in more handy! HAHAHA!" And then? Hand around my waist for about three seconds as he guides me in the direction of the (overpriced) globe.

Now, okay. Shouldn't be that big a deal, right? Except why isn't it? It's one of those things that I walk away from going, What. The. Crap? Since when is it okay for a five foot four red shirted assistant manager to touch me? And since when do I not even squirm away because I don't want to be impolite? A stranger has his hand on my body and I DON'T WANT TO BE IMPOLITE? I'm a battered woman waiting to happen. He really loves me, I swear! I can't just LEAVE, don't you understand, I LOVE HIM!

On the plus side, when I finally wrangle myself away and change my identity, I'll get my own Lifetime movie.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, letting the short man at Staples get handsy. Would there have been any way to say "Please don't touch me" without sounding hysterical? Moreover, why do I care how I'd sound to him or anyone else around me?

There are other incidents in this vein: Letting some first date fucknut kiss you even though it was the longest caesar salad you've ever suffered through but you just don't know how to sidestep the moment. Because, what, you don't want this guy you'll never see again to feel rejected for the next four seconds? Or how you never call out your perpetually cheap friend whose wallet seems to mysteriously vaporize from time to time and everyone just smiles politely like they don't notice that it's happening. Again. Why do we ever let people mess with us, however slightly, especially strangers? Or maybe especially friends?

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. In any case, I still need a globe. Why are they so expensive? Are they still trying to convince us that the world is flat? Because I'm just pointing out that wall maps are much cheaper. Political propaganda? You decide.

In other news, I decided after watching approximately three minutes of the new Real World on MTV that I'm never going to have children. I'm a little concerned that my unconceived child is already drunk and screaming crying into a phone at a bar because some guy who looks like every other guy on the planet did her wrong. Seriously, what the hell is happening to teenagers? I know, it's like I'm a member of the Greatest Generation. But for reals, people. Do babies just come out with bad highlights and sideways trucker hats now?

If I do have kids, they're pre-emptively grounded. Go to your womb, sassypants.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sing, Sing A Song

What song makes you think of...

Your life twenty years ago (and where were you)?
True Blue by Madonna. I was a feisty fifth grader.

Your life ten years ago (and where were you)?
Two Step by the Dave Matthews Band. I was a junior in college, probably drunkity drunk on vodka and orange soda.

Your life now (and where are you)?
Hmmm... maybe More Adventurous by Rilo Kiley. Okay, fine, it's easier to sum your life up with a semi-hipster song, but it's really more like Good Day by Jewel. Don't judge me, I'm still in positive affirmation mode. Also, damn you Jewel! You have always pissed me off. I forget, did you ever live in your car? I'm not sure you ever mentioned that in any interviews.

Summers as a kid?
Definitely Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Honkin' at the honey in front of you with the light eyes...

Summer now?
The song of this summer was, without a doubt, The Way I Are. Talk to me, girl. Also, thanks Timbaland. My students didn't really need to know how to talk English good anyway.

Spring break?
Ha! Well, the only time I did spring break up proper was when we went to Florida during senior year of college, and I was thinking the song of the moment was probably Baby One More Time. Back then I shamelessly loved the kitsch extravaganza that is Britney and I STILL DO. Don't kill yourself, Brit! Or if you do, at least make sure you do it on live TV! Anyway, I just asked one of my friends if he remembered what songs I was digging during that trip and he reminded me of a piano bar on Disney property called Jellyrolls that I LOVED. I'm sorry to tell you they played lots of Billy Joel covers. It was really fun, though! Also, why do my friends remember my life better than I do?

Your job?
All Star by Smash Mouth. Last year our principal had some group come in and he must've thought they were going to do something educational but they put on a crazy laser show in the pitch black gym, set to the tune of frenetic bubble gum songs. The kids frrrEAKED out, dancing like crazy and singing at the top of their lungs, and All Star was the song they loved the most. It was hysterical. All they needed was glow sticks.

Your parents?
Probably Misty by Johnny Mathis. It's their wedding song, and it cracks me up for several reasons. First of all, my mom randomly picked it at their reception because they hadn't thought about a wedding song until then. Second of all, the first line is, "Look at me, I'm as helpless as a kitten in a tree," and third of all, ever since then whenever my mom says, "Do you hear something?" my dad automatically says, "Misty?" even if it's the sound of a truck backing up, because when they were first married she'd get annoyed with him for not recognizing it if they were out somewhere and it came on.

Your siblings?
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. Just kidding, I'm sans sibs.

Your favorite relative?
Stupidly enough the song that always makes me think of my cousin Andrew is Jump by Van Halen, because I remember being at a party at our aunt's house back in the day and I was making up a complicated dance routine to it and he would jump around incessantly behind me, all useless and literal. Granted he was probably 3.

Your spouse?
Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down, which is his at-bat song.

Your kids?
I don't have any, but something like My Front Porch Looking In by Lonestar. Country song, I know, and a little cheesy, but I love it and it's the kind of thing I hope for. (Ahem, not for awhile, though, uterus. I promise I'll eventually be ready for sleepless nights and spit up, but for now I'm good with friends and cocktails and Sox games. Are we clear?)

Your best friend?
God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, especially lately.

Your exes?
Cry Me a River by JT. No, just kidding. Maybe Cool by Gwen Stefani. Or Dude Looks Like a Lady, depending what ex we're talking about here.

Monday, September 03, 2007

5 Messages For 5 Boys

1. The trannie gets a lot more press, but you were my first true love. That time in the gym when you picked me as your ballroom dancing partner out of all the other girls in the sixth grade, I thought I'd die, DIE, of happiness. Even my braces were letting off tiny sparks of joy. I thought that you looked like Joey McIntyre. My parents almost died that I was 11 and demanded to start dating, but I loved going roller skating and having awkward phone conversations with you. Now that you're a goth DJ you'd probably be embarrassed to admit (or sniff, would you even remember?!) that our song was Some Kind of Wonderful from Dirty Dancing. (Ha, the best part is that I still don't know who sings that song... The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack is a band, right?)

2. I know I haven't seen you in awhile, but I gotta level with you: Not a fan, my friend, not a fan. And you know it. You were always sheepish around me, because you know Red don't play that. I don't like generic fratty guys like you, and I especially don't like when my friends are hung up on generic fratty guys like you. You've said numerous times that you don't want to be with her, so why don't you just leave her alone? Seems easy enough. You know you're just messing with her head. I almost wish I'd run into you at CVS so I could just say, "Hey, how are you? I know, it's been forever! How's work? How's your family? Oh, no kidding! Great. Oh, and STOP. CALLING. HER." I know it's none of my bidness but so help me I'd say it. Also? Why are you thirty years old and still wearing shiny shirts and clubbing every weekend with your boyz? Gay much?

3. I know that you'll either be the President of the United States or a homeless guy standing on a milk crate outside Starbucks urging us to see the irony in our actions. You can be totally infuriating, patronizing, and my friends will probably never forget that time you kicked your dog. But you and I have been friends for a long time and I still want to know that you're okay.

4. I know that your sickness and skewed perception of the world continues to hold you back, and I'm worried about you, as always. On a lighter note, I saw your ex-girlfriend on MySpace and holy shit, she's 31 but she looks ten times cuter than she did in college. What the hell? I almost wanted to email her and tell her that but it seemed like an odd way to start a conversation, you know? Oh, and I can't believe you're opening for Guster this weekend. That's rad.

5. I'm glad we're still friends. I'm glad you save emails that I sent you ten years ago and then resend them to me so I can relive being a drunk 19-year-old again. Happy birthday!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Didn't I Do This One Already? Did I Forget To Post It Or Something? Should This Be More Of An Internal Monologue Instead Of A Post Title?

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
Credit card, of course, or as I call it, tripping down impulse purchase lane. I actually don't really use it anymore.

2. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?
I always end up going to really nice restaurants with, like, my parents. Go ahead and read that again, I promise it'll be just as sad the second time around. It's mostly because if it's up to me I wouldn't necessarily order up a fancy night out. If my dining partner (ha) was gung ho, I'd happily go along, but most of the time if I'm going out I'd rather it be someplace where I can wear a ponytail and flip flops and watch the game.

3. Do you regret losing your virginity to who you lost it to?
Nah. He was my boyfriend so it's not much as far as exciting anecdotes go. I'm sort of glad it happened the way it did because I knew this one girl who told people she gave up her flower (hee! Friends) in an office building to some guy she was being tutored with.

4. If you could go back and change one thing what would it be?
In my life? I probably would've tried harder in school. I mean, I did fine, but I never cared and all I ever wanted to do was hang out with my friends. Who am I kidding, if I could enroll in high school all over again I'd be sitting in Western Civ texting someone, "Get me some Marlboro Lights while you're @ the packie, k?"

5. Name of your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Price.

6. What do you really want to be doing right now?
Clubbing at Les Deux.

7. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A writer. For awhile I wanted to be a waitress named Kathy. I didn't understand how jobs worked.

8. How many colleges did you attend?
Just the one. Although I came home after first semester amped up about transferring to UCLA. What?

9. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?
It chose me.

Blah. Could be worse, I guess. I can fill up for $38 and still sleep at night.

11. If you could move anywhere and take someone with you, where would it be?
I'm good here for now, thanks.

12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
What time is it?

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night?
I'm tired.

14. Favorite style of underwear?

16. What errand/chore do you despise?
Laundry. It's not so much that I despise it as much as the fact that it's never done. You have to wash, then dry, or hang to dry, or fold. Life is hard.

17. If you didn't have to work, would you volunteer?
Maybe. That, or be cracked out of my mind on a Tuesday. Toss-up.

18. Get up early or sleep in?
Get up early. I like to sleep in now and then, but it's gotta be a now and then thing or else you feel dirty and homeless.

19. What is your favorite cartoon character(s)?

20. Favorite thing to do at night with a girl or guy?
Wish on stars and talk about the future. I'm a Mandy Moore movie.

21. Have you found real love yet?
Yes, and it tastes like chicken.

22. When did you first start feeling old?
Yup, when I wasn't the youngest one at work anymore. I'm not sure why that's a reality check. Maybe because you start to realize you're not the office cherub anymore (um, because that's a thing), you're just another person living in the world doing some job.

23. Favorite 80s movie?
Labyrinth, The Goonies, The Neverending Story, Back to the Future... whenever I see one of those weird vans, I still think it's the Libyans.

24. Your favorite lunch meat?
Turkey with lettuce, pickles and mayo.

25. What do you get every time you go into Sam's Club?
I'm not a member so I don't go there. I love Jim Gaffigan's bit about that. "Are you a member of our secret club?" "Um, I just want Doritos." "Well, that will be $4,000." "Okay, well, I can't come to a lot of meetings... but I guess I'll join."

26. Beach or lake?
Beach. Lakes are scary.

27. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?
No. I mean, I don't think it's for everyone, and it doesn't exactly seem like a house party, but I don't think it's an outdated ritual.

29. Favorite guilty pleasure?
The Hills. Clubbing at Les Deux.

30. Favorite movie you wouldn't want anyone to find out about?
I love movies that are over-the-top terrible, but that's a kitsch thing. I actually feel more embarrassed about the stupid girly movies I like to watch sometimes, crap like Sweet Home Alabama. It's so generic female, but there's something satisfying about a good chick flick to me, as much as I hate to admit it. It's between me and Netflix.

31. What's your drink?
Diet Pepsi, white wine.

32. Cowboys or Indians?

33. Cops or Robbers?

34. Who from high school would you like to run into?
Hmmm. I can't think of anyone right now, but I'm sure there's someone.

35. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?
Probably Mike FM.

37. The Cosby Show or The Simpsons?
The Simpsons, although 8-year-old me is hearing that and going, "What? But Rudy's so funny!"

38. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?
I've felt bad for stringing guys along, but that mostly happened when I was a kid and had no idea what I was doing in relationships. Which contrasts wildly to now when I know everything and have no issues whatsoever.

39. Do you like the person who sits directly across from you at work?
I like Supergirl sometimes. It's purely a work relationship in that I totally respect her professionally and value her opinion, but on a personal level we really don't connect. Just kidding, we're actually having an affair.

40. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?
Air Supply, obviously. Periodically we'd stop to sing by the fire. You want to carry on... carry ONNNNNN...

43. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose?
No. Do I even have one? God, I'm going to die, like, tomorrow.

44. Last book you read for real?
Eat Pray Love. Oh, for real? Naked Ninjas In The Desert.

45. Do you have a teddy bear?
I don't, but my mom still has my favorite broken ass teddy with an eye patch that I had when I was a kid. When Dorie's son was little(r) he decided that I needed a stuffed animal and he gave me the twin of his beloved stuffed yellow cat, which was adorable and guarantees that he'll hate me when he's 18 and I say things like, "Remember when you gave me my own version of Cuddles?"

46. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth?
Nothing says self-respect like the toothpaste on finger brush. It's God's way of saying, "Didn't expect to be sleeping here tonight, huh?"

47. Somewhere in California you've never been and would like to go?

48. Do you go to church?
No. But, I mean, I won't stand outside fuming if you're getting married in one or anything.

49. At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or a new relationship?
New career. Well, same career with more money. Was that an option?

50. Just how OLD are you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We Were On A Break

I'm taking a bloggin' break, kids. But here's a little something to try and encourage good baseball karma in my absence.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Again, I'm Sorry

1. Do you like cheese?
Oh sure, start with the one that makes me look crazy. I mostly don't like cheese. There are exceptions when it's melted, because I like pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches so long as they're not super cheesy. Please invite me to your wine and cheese parties anyway because I would be happy to enjoy your wine.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?
It's tempting, but I hear detox is a bitch. Right Lins?

3. Do you own a gun?
No! And if I did, it's probably a good thing that I'm not also on heroin. Because drugs and guns lead to drive-bys, right? ISWEARTOGOD the first time around I type drive-thru. I'm so street.

4. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
Sometimes, but not usually.

5. What do you think of hot dogs?
They're either great or totally gross. I only eat them at barbecues or Fenway. Actually, that's probably the only time anyone ever eats hot dogs. They're everyone's summer boyfriend and then we break up with them in the fall for filet mignon.

6. What's your favorite Christmas song?
I love all Christmas songs, starting the first of December. I'm that person.

7. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
I'm not a coffee person so I just drink water. But I'd prefer a mojito.

8. Can you do push ups?
No, nor do I feel even the slightest inkling of a need to.

9. Is your bathroom clean?
Newly clean.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
I have some necklaces that I've received as gifts that I have some sentimental attachment to, but I never wear them. I wear earrings sometimes. I'm a boy.

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?

14. Do you have A.D.D.?

16. Middle name?

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
I have to get my sheets out of the dryer. I need a haircut. And based on the five minutes that I saw of it, I have a sneaking suspicion that I Hate My 30s isn't going to be as hilarious as I want it to be.

18. Name the last 3 things you have bought?
Three books: Heat by Bill Buford (finally in paperback, yay!), Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston, and Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink.
Diet Pepsi, water, white grape-flavored sparkling water.

20. Current worry?
WHY CAN'T I CLEAN MY OFFICE? It's been a pit for like two years now. Seriously. I'm an animal. I'm going to take a picture of it and post it here in order to shame myself into finally cleaning it.

21. Current hate?
Every time I flip past Mix 98.5 on the radio in the morning, I die a thousand deaths when I hear Kelly Malone talking. She's like Access Hollywood in human form. She never has anything intelligent to say and she has a totally generic top 40 personality. Once I heard her quote a book she was reading that taught her that every time you ask "Do I look okay?" what you're really asking is "Am I good enough?" which she discussed like it was a brilliant philosophical revelation. She drank beer at Fenway after paint chips fell in it and once said her greatest fear in life is getting fat. Need I go on?

22. Favorite place to be?
With my friends and/or family.

23. How did you bring in the New Year?
I had friends over and made potent Bay Breezes. Fine, we may have also handcuffed ourselves to each other and run around outside.

24. Where would you like to go?
I'd love to be on a tropical vacation right now. I'm not picky. Beach, sand, book, sunblock, me happy.

27. Do you own slippers?
No, I hate slippers.

28. What are you wearing?
Shorts and a tank top.

29. Do you burn or tan?

30. Favorite color?

31. Would you be a pirate?
Does it come with a healthcare package? Arr.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower?
I don't sing in the shower. I actually turn the radio up really loud so I can hear the music but I don't sing.

35. What's in your pocket right now?
No pockets.

36. Last thing that made you laugh?
On Sunday I got a text from a work friend telling me that she brought a 22-year-old Brazilian (male) stripper home with her the night before. Then I got the story in person and it was even better than I hoped for.

37. Best bed sheets as a child?
Strawberry Shortcake!

38. Worst injury you've ever had?
Random broken bones, nothing horrible.

41. Who is your loudest friend?
Lucretia can't keep her damn mouth shut. Love ya anyway, Lu!

42. Who is your most silent friend?
Definitely Thurston. Speak up, buddy.

43. Does someone have a crush on you?
Does anyone not?

45. What is your favorite book?
Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck. Kind of a ghetto, scruffy Eat Pray Love. With a dog named Charley.

46. What is your favorite candy?
M&Ms. In related news, I always claim to never get PMS, and yet this afternoon found me alone at a movie theater watching No Reservations with a bag of sour patch kids and peanut butter M&Ms. So, yeah. Hormones anyone?

47. What song do/did you want played at your wedding?
That's All.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
I don't care. I'm dead!

49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night?

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
Thunder! Ooh. (I apparently formulate thoughts as extensive as a puppy when I'm waking up.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jokes About The Apple Not Falling Far Are Frowned Upon

I came to the Cape on Thursday for a long weekend of reading, shopping, eating good food, and lazing in the sun (or sitting inside blogging in the rain, as is the case at the moment). And, of course, time with the parents, who basically live here all summer long.

The joke with my mom is that we'll never know when she gets senile. She's always been kind of a fruit loop. Not unintelligent, just a little out of her mind. Sometimes when I think I might be getting juvenile Alzheimer's, I stop and remember who my mother is. This isn't exactly meant to be critical, but when you have quotes like "I hate these bagels! They're TOO BIG!" fired at you all weekend, you can't help but record them for posterity.

My parents are having an arbor put on the front walkway. My mom and I are pulling out of the driveway and an electrician is pulling in. She leans across me to speak to him.
"Can I help you?"
"I'm here about the arbor."
"Oh, really?! The arbor! YAY YOU!"
"I'm checking your wiring."
"I'm so excited!"
He pauses, clearly uncertain as to whether or not she's the right one to be talking to. "Do you have any wires on the ground?"
"Yay! The arbor is going up! Oh. I don't know."


"You know that dinner I made, with the shrimp? Well, when I went to the supermarket, they had one thing of jumbo shrimp that were really huge for $20.99 a pound. Then they had these other shrimp that were pretty much the same size for $10.99 a pound. I asked the woman why and she didn't know. They don't know anything! So I had her get the manager and I said, 'This one is $20.99 and that one is $10.99 and they're basically the same! It's not even TRUE!' [This nonsensical line was said with such emphasis that it may be my favorite thing she said all weekend.] And he said that's just how they're priced."
"Why did you need to talk to the manager? Why didn't you just get the cheaper one?"
"I just wanted to tell him."
"So which one did you get?"
"The $20.99. They just looked better."


"I was at Tracy Elise and the woman who was working there, this Oriental woman..."
"Asian-American! Fine! Jesus. I saw that Tocca perfume I have that you like and I asked if they had a tester so I could check and make sure it's the same thing, and she said no, the tester was empty. And I said, why don't you open one of the new ones and that can be your tester? She said that they have to make the tester specifically to be a tester. I said, NO, the tester is just a tester because of the little sticker that says 'tester.' I should've put the sticker on her and said, 'See? Now you're a tester.' She told me I could smell the cap. The cap! You've got to be kidding me. But then you know what? I looked closer at the perfume and it said it was a room fragrance. Do you think it's possible this whole time that I've been using room fragrance and thinking it was perfume?"


"Your father can be so disgusting! Remember how he never used to need deodorant?"
"Yeah," I say warily, not liking where this is going. (But incidentally, it's true. For years, weirdly enough, he never wore or needed deodorant, even after biking for hours on the weekend. Still, it's not my favorite topic of conversation.)
"Well, now he needs it, and he REFUSES to wear it. When he comes in from his walk and just sits around, I say to him, 'You stink.' And you know what he says? 'No I don't.' NO YOU DON'T?! When people tell you that you smell, you should BELIEVE them! They're not making it up! I swear, that man is turning into Howard Hughes, and he's only going to get worse!" Pause. "I should've dated more."
That's the second time recently that I've heard her compare him to Howard Hughes. They must have just netflixed The Aviator.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Surveyaliciousness

I realized why I like doing blog surveys: narcissism! It's the new bipolar disorder.

1. What is your best friend's mom's name?
Mrs. Whatever. When it comes to parents, I can't do first names. Although Jen started the inexplicable tradition of calling my dad LJ, which is somehow hysterical because it's the last nickname he could ever pull off. He would need a motorcycle and tattoos and a pack of squealing women following behind him. Which he usually has anyway, that pimp.

2. What body part do you hate the most?
Blah, I don't know. This is the summer of owning all of it, anyway. My version of owning it so far has been to hit my tummy and yell "I OWN THIS!" when drinking with friends.

3. Who was the hottest teacher you ever had?
I actually never had any young teachers, and none of the oldsters really did it for me. It took awhile for me to realize that you could even have a teacher who was under fifty because all of mine were close to retirement. Dorie's kids go to the same elementary school that I went to, and when we were comparing teachers I told them that mine must be dead working in other schools now. But then it turned out that my old gym teacher is still there. I have no idea how. It's twenty years later, and he was old back then. They must just prop up what's left of him in the corner and he uses his disembodied voice to give instructions for how to play capture the flag.

4. Have you ever made out in a movie theater?
Ha, yes. That was the best. It was the only time you were guaranteed to not be interrupted by parents.

5. What body part do you wash first?
Maybe this is weird, but I wash behind my ears first.

6. Do you have any piercings?
Just my ears. I almost got my eyebrow pierced in college. Obviously I would have taken it out years ago, but, ha. I'm not sure what I was thinking.

7. Is your driveway steep?
I don't really have a driveway. I live in a condo.

8. What's your favorite flavored Pringles?
I'm not sure, I haven't had Pringles in years. I like sour cream and onion, though.

9. Have you ever been tied up?
I haven't. I wanted to add "yet" but that seems creepy, somehow. Very arched eyebrow coy.

10-12. Where you at?
I know, right?

13. Have you ever had two dates in one night?
Ha, sort of, but it wasn't planned ahead of time. I came home from one date and wasn't ready to go to bed and so I called this other guy who had been asking me to go out for awhile (clearly he was high up on my priority list) and told him I'd meet him in the city. We made out in the back of this weird Spanish club. I love how I talk about this like I was 21 and it wasn't last summer.

14. How many times have you been cursed at?
I'm sure gajillions. Bring it! I'm terrible at comebacks so you know you'll win.

15. Which shoe do you put on first?
I think right.

16. How old are you?
29. It's an interesting age because according to the greeting card industry, it's the age that everyone wants to be. I'm bracing for twenty ten. It doesn't help that VH1 is debuting a series called I Hate My 30s. I thought you guys were my friends! (In all seriousness, I'm pretty much over the turning 30 thing. I'd much rather be 30 than 20 again. I'm glad I got to live it up back in the day but I'm kind of over killing brain cells. No I'm not! Where's the wine?)

17. Have you ever been to a gay bar?
Yeah, and I specifically remember one where they were playing gay porn on all the TVs. I learned a lot.

18. Have you ever had any friends with benefits?
Yeah, here and there, guys that I liked but couldn't date in real life.

19. Is there one thing all of your love interests have had in common?
They all dug this fine package. I mean, I don't know.

20. Did you French kiss before you were 16?
Yeah. Probably not well.

21. Have you ever been cow-tipping or snipe-hunting?
OH MY GOD yes to the latter. Every year in my elementary school the fourth grade class went on a trip to Vermont and we went snipe hunting one night and it was so much fun. The most anticlimatic part was that they didn't even officially tell us afterwards that snipes aren't real, which is supposed to be the big comic reveal. We just kind of heard about it and passed it along and went to bed. Also, I didn't shower for five days. This one girl Jill showered and we made fun of her. A few years ago when they were organizing our ten year high school reunion, someone sent out a spreadsheet confirming everyone's addresses and someone had put in that Jill lived at 15 Huge Bitch Lane or something, and she got mad. I don't think the two stories are related, but police are investigating.

22. Who is the last person you usually think about before you fall asleep?
I don't know, I guess it depends.

23. Have you ever had a song written about you?
Yes, but nothing on the Top 40 countdown. How great would it be if I could be like, hmm, let me think, oh yeah, LoveStoned.

24. Where did 24 go?
I don't know. The show? I hope it's GONE FOREVER.

25. Have you ever found anything in your parents' bedroom that was questionable?
No. I looked through their drawers one time and found all the cards I'd ever made for my mom, which made me feel like a bad person so I stopped looking. I'm going to make sure to lock up the flavored cock rings so my kids don't find them.

26. What was your childhood nickname?
Everyone has always called me Bec, and when I was younger I got Becky, but I've always hated that one. One of my friends and I called each other Beuker (boo-ker) although I don't remember why. My mom has always called me Pie. Neither one of us particularly like pie so analyze that how you will.

27. When is the last time you played the air guitar?
Never, I have to say.

28. Have you ever peeked in the opposite sex's locker room?
No, I don't imagine that I'd observe anything particularly hot.

29. What's the weirdest thing you have done while driving?
I changed my shirt once. It doesn't sound like much but when you're suddenly topless on the highway you definitely have a OHMYGOD moment.

30. Have you ever bitten your toenails?
No, I couldn't even if I wanted to.

31. How do you normally eat your Oreo cookies?
Take them apart, eat the DELICIOUS white stuff (learn to love the lard, Carly) and then the cookies.

32. WHERE IS 32?
Again, don't know!

33. Name something you do when you're alone that you wouldn't do in front of others?
I probably would not (ahem) fully enjoy Skinimax in front of others. If I'm going to get caught, I at least want it to be while watching something respectable like Asian double penetration.

34. Where's 34?
Again, not sure.

35. And 35?
35 is the age when I hope to be mommy blogging up a storm.

36. How many drinks does it take before you get drunk?
Depends on the drink and whether or not I've eaten. I mostly drink wine or beer so with anything else, I have no idea.

37. Why are you doing this survey?
Blah, at this point I just figure I have no choice.

38-40. GAH!

41. Do you have any strange phobias?
I don't like anything scary... movies or TV shows or stories or anything. I think they're fun during the day and then at night when I can't sleep and I swear I can hear Lizzie Borden laughing maniacally on my staircase, I regret it.

42. Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose?
The Monopoly thimble is probably still up there somewhere. When it rains I still have a faint urge to sew.

43-45. [Silent fuming]

46. Have you ever gotten caught sleeping while on a date?
No, but I've wanted to.

47. Have you ever played naked twister?
No, but I bet you can file that under "better in theory."

48. Have you ever been drunk at school or work?
One time my sophomore year of high school we drank beer and vodka in the woods during school. So stupid on so many levels. But I only had a little bit of beer so I wasn't really drunk. As for the second question... come on, I work with children. So yes, of course, all the time.

49. Have you ever found your date's brother or sister to be hotter then your date?
No, thankfully.

50. How many Bryces do you know?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Try To Make Her Go To Rehab, She'll Say No

The only way I could be more ecstatic about the new Lindsay Lohan movie I Know Who Killed Me is if it was autobiographical.

I haven't been this excited since House of Wax came out. And God knows that baby delivered.

I'm thisclose to throwing a pop culture party to commemorate the blessed event. I can see it now: Timbaland tuna tartare, Harry Potstickers... just be grateful I stopped before David Beckham and cheese sandwiches.

And instead of goody bags, a slip of paper telling you when to hand your baby or husband over to Angelina Jolie. Because she's going to end up with all of them eventually anyway.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Who You Gonna Call?

My parents are at Dirty Dancing right now without me, which I may have mentioned 2 or 200 times. Anyway, my mom called me bubbling over with excitement because Waiter Friend is bringing them on a journey into the gaping maw of hell totally fun adventure!

Mom: Waiter Friend is going to take us on a ghost hunt tomorrow night when everyone else is asleep!
Me: What?
Mom: It's going to be so much fun!
Me: Mom, that's totally creepy.
Mom: Oh, it'll be fun. I just hope no one finds out, because Waiter Friend could lose his job. No one is supposed to be down in the tunnels underneath the hotel.
Me: The TUNNELS? Think about this for a second. The place is a jillion years old. They originally wanted to film THE SHINING there. And you know how creepy it can be at night!
Mom: Sure, I guess!
Me: No, not during the day when dad's golfing and you're at a culinary demonstration learning how to make freakin' creme brulee. I'm talking LATE AT NIGHT. It's creepy. I get creeped out just being alone in my room there sometimes.
Mom: Waiter Friend has a list of all the ghosts that are supposed to still be in the hotel. He calls them The Guests Who Haven't Checked Out Yet.
Me: Don't look at any portraits for too long! They always come to life!
Mom: Oh, you're silly.
Me: I swear, if you disappear, I am NOT coming after you with a psychic and night vision goggles.
Mom: I can't wait! We're going to see a ghost!
Me: Is your will updated?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Is It Me...

...or does anyone else find it problematic that on Blogger, the "save settings" and "delete this blog" button are right on top of each other? Clearly this wasn't designed with someone like me in mind. If I suddenly disappear from the blogging universe bluniverse, you'll know why. And rest assured that I'm somewhere screaming, "NO! SAVE SETTINGS! I SAID SAVE SETTINGS! FUUUUUUUUUUUCK! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?"

And then, like in The Cable Guy when Jim Carrey falls into the satellite dish and everyone's cable goes out and they can no longer squander their hours pointlessly in front of the TV, I suddenly pick up a book. Cue music and deep self-actualizations, courtesy of Dostoyevsky or, you know, that chick who writes about wearing Prada and believing in yourself.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Consider My Independence Declared

I'm off to the Cape to spend time with my family, friends, and that bitch who criticized me for being thisclose to albinism.

In related news, did you know that they make 70 SPF sunscreen now? It's like the world is finally holding open its screen door and telling me to go outside and play with the properly pigmented people.

I'll be back at the end of next week. Break out the bathing suits and barbecued meat and happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Freeze Frame

Did you listen to New Kids on the Block?
Listened to them, lived for them, something like that. I was around 11 when they became popular, which of course is the age that guarantees that you will not only love the boy band du jour, but that pictures will exist forever of you, gap-toothed and permed, wearing sweatshirts proudly sporting the band's pictures. And of course I had every Bop, Big Bopper and Teen Beat with their faces on it, pictures of them on inexplicably ginormous buttons on my jean jacket, and a poster of Joey McIntyre on my bedroom wall.

Did you ever own a slap bracelet?
Yeah, a bunch. But we should really talk jelly bracelets.

The Babysitters Club or Sweet Valley High?
Okay, why don't you just ask me to choose between food and water? Both were finely crafted tomes about the struggles of growing up, coming of age, and Kristy was definitely gay, right? If I had to pick one (siiiiigh), I was probably more obsessive about Sweet Valley High. I started reading them in the third grade and I really felt that it helped me get a sense for what being a teenager would be like. Which worked out well because when I was finally in high school myself, I had an asexual boyfriend named Todd, drove a Fiat, and had eyes the blue-green of the Carribean. And my mischevious twin sister finally showed up! (Incidentally, you forgot Sleepover Friends. And what's up, Taffy freakin' Sinclair? I could talk a blue streak about all those bitches, too.)

Salute Your Shorts or Hey Dude?
I didn't watch either. Lame, I know. Where the hell was I?

Kids Incorporated or The Mickey Mouse Club?
I vaguely remember Kids, Inc. I think they recreated the Mickey Mouse Club when I was older or something.

Did you want Dylan to end up with Brenda or Kelly?
Okay, listen. This isn't an 80s question, but I'm perfectly happen to discuss this. Basically it doesn't matter either way because Dylan was a fucknut. The husky voice, the stupid hair, the motorcycle, the tortured past...BLEH. I liked Brandon, but I do understand that he wasn't a viable option for Brenda. The funny thing is that I still remember the creepy, pseudo-sexy dialogue between Dylan and Brenda right before he poked her on prom night. In any case, I never forgave Kelly for stealing Dylan away. So uncool! But then Brenda grew her bangs out and got boring, so whatever.

Who was ALF?
The little puppet alien guy who lived with the family and dispensed wisdom. The 80s were weird. Why did we just accept that shit? Hello, Small Wonder.

Do you remember the show Dinosaurs?
I mostly remember that my cousin Andrew thought it was really funny and I didn't. But he was also probably around four at the time, so that may have accounted for his tastes.

Do/did you know the words to the Fresh Prince theme song?
Do and did! In West Philadelphia, born and raised...

Kimmie Gibler or Urkel?
Gah, those feisty, weird-talking neighbors. What about Boner? Skippy? Mrs. Poole? (No idea what remote pocket of my brain I pulled her out of.) Also, didn't Laura end up with Urkel? Realistic.

Blossom or Clarissa Explains It All?
Blossom, although I kind of hated her and loved that her boyfriend wouldn't sleep with her. Also, can I just throw in that Elusive Jen once told me that she couldn't understand why the Huxtables' oldest daughter was white?

Bobby Brown or Tevin Campbell?
Either way, you really can't go wrong.

Step By Step or Full House?
Hmm, probably Full House. I was a little more committed to the family members and their compelling character arcs. How rude.

Did you listen to Milli Vanilli?
So much so that I didn't really understand the big deal about them lip syncing. Hello, did a complete lack of musical integrity mean that their songs were any less awe-some?

Mr. Rogers or Reading Rainbow?
I loved Reading Rainbow! I think we all outgrew Mr. Rogers pretty quickly, and some of those puppets were pretty disturbing. There was a strange dictatorship happening there with the king and queen and the rest of them.

Did you own a Glo Worm?
I don't think so.

Paula Abdul: better now or then?
Well, I was a BIG fan of Coldhearted Snake and Straight Up and Forever Your Girl and Opposites Attract and basically everything else that came out of her mouth in the 80s, but nothing beats her being drunk during live TV interviews nowadays, so it's really a toss up.

Wild 'n' Crazy Kids or Double Dare?
Um, did someone order a PHYSICAL CHALLENGE? I loved Double Dare. Didn't it seem like it was on every day? Was it? I wanted to kill the kids who didn't know that in order to go up the slide covered in hot fudge, you were supposed to put your feet on either side where there was NO hot fudge, otherwise you were never going to get that goddamn flag at the end. And I actually don't know what Wild 'n' Crazy Kids are/were.

Remember Legends of the Hidden Temple?
No, but if I was eight years old and you were suggesting that we play it in the backyard, I'd be totally into that.

The Mighty Ducks or The Little Giants?
I never saw either one.

Did you watch Saved By The Bell?
Hell yes. Jessie and her caffeine pills!

Who was hotter: Zack or Slater?
Zack! Slater was and is totally scuzzy.

Camp Nowhere or House Arrest?
I have no idea. What about Camp Cucamonga? Anyone?

Did you own a pair of Reebok Pumps?

Care Bears or Smurfs?
Again, a very tough call. I'm going to have to side with the bears on this one. They really cared.

Rainbow Brite or Strawberry Shortcake?
Rainbow was cool, but Strawberry dominated my world in the 80s.

Did you watch Miami Vice?

Did you own a pair of Jelly Shoes?
About ten.

Did you own a Trapper Keeper?
Of course! I love John Mayer's quote from I Love The 80s on VH1: "Trapper Keepers were the genesis of obsessive compulsive disorders for my generation. You started out strong and then by the third day of school, the Louisiana Purchase was crumpled at the bottom of your bag and you just told yourself, 'next year.'" In related news, John Mayer is a douche.

Atari or Nintendo?
They were both addictive. I remember that Atari had some program you could buy that let you write your own game, and my dad showed me how to use it and then came back a few hours later to play the game I came up with. The first thing that came on the screen was the question, "Do you like blonds, brunettes, or redheads?" Apparently I tried to develop an escort service.

Do you remember when the A-Ha video was the pinnacle of modern technology?
Remember when? It's still the shit, thank you very much. Their love survived the trash!

Ever owned one of those embarrassing crimping irons?
I can feel the judgment in your question. YES, in seventh grade I was the proud owner and obsessive user of a pink crimping iron.

Did you have Michael Jackson tapes?
Records, even! For one of my birthdays, my dad told my grandmother that I liked Michael Jackson, but instead of Thriller she bought me old Jackson Five records. Boo.

Do you remember the first time you ever kissed someone at a dance during Crazy for You by Madonna?
I never did, but my God, I WANTED TO. When I was 12, I couldn't imagine a more romantic song.

Did you play with Transformers?
No. Mostly My Little Ponies, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and friends, Barbies, Jem, She-Ra, that kind of thing. My dad had a Transformer, though. He was probably 35.

What life lessons did you take from 80s movies?
Sweep the leg, angry marshmallows will kill you, in the future we turn into assholes or something, never say that Thor is a homo, Elisabeth Shue is the perfect girlfriend, my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great, the empress likes you to say her name, and when the pirate ship sails away filled with jewels, don't let it go just because you have enough in your pockets to save your freakin' goon docks. Swim after the damn ship and then you can buy the whole WORLD!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Patty O'Furniture

I have a tiny backyard with a concrete slab overlooking green patio that needs furniture. And by furniture I mean stuff that can be rained on repeatedly, snowed on a little when I forget to bring it inside until after Thanksgiving, cleaned halfheartedly, periodically doused with wine, margaritas, and crab dip, and still look impossibly stunning. (I could also use a housekeeper who works for compliments and Diet Pepsi. If you know anyone.)

The "furniture" that I have out there now is 100 years old and so grimy that when one of the cushions somehow sailed over the ledge into the wetlands (my neighbor's and my affectionate term for the unidentifiably marshy land of Oz behind our homes) I didn't even bother to retrieve it. I looked down at it, thought "huh" and left it there, to think about what it had done, I guess. In the past few days it's actually reappeared, but the fact remains that I need decent patio furniture.

First I was thinking of my dear friends Crate and Barrel, because yum. Honestly, I should get married just for the registry gifts. And, um, also to celebrate love and fidelity. Anyway, in between lusting after their veranda wine glasses and wire outdoor candleholders, I realized that they don't actually seem to sell much patio furniture. But boy, will they accessorize it adorably and expensively. Sausalito striped picnic blanket, whee! Of course, I haven't been on a picnic since... okay, well, I remember one that we had after my cousin Chris's christening. He just turned 19.

A google search for "patio furniture" returned some Walmart options. So I tried googling "nice patio furniture" and got JC Penney and some listings on Craigslist. "Really fucking great patio furniture" got me a review of a place called the Spider House in Austin. Okay, apparently I'm not the efficient googler I once considered myself to be. So how about Target? Worth a look, right? And at least while I'm there I can pick up some body wash, batteries, and board games. (What, you have your weekend your way, I'll have mine my way.)

And who would've thought? You sly sons of bitches, you've got gazebos! Deep seating and conversation sets! I don't know what that last one is, but I do know that I want to sit deeply and converse! I nixed the bistro set because I've been on enough awkward dates at cafes and I really don't need to simulate one at my own home. I feel like I could sit there with Dorie and suddenly I'd be nervously asking her how long she's worked for her company and uh-huh, oh really, five years, how interesting, and how many siblings do you have?

Some of the patio stuff looked nice but then I realized that what I really liked was the sparkling pool or bright blue ocean or rolling hills of Tuscany that they conveniently placed the furniture right beside for photographs. Nice ploy, folks. I almost bought a bean bag chair filled with styrofoam peanuts because I thought it came packed alongside that weatherbeaten Italian villa.

Target has plenty of outdoorsy things that I don't need but that I really think no one should have to go through life without: Tiki bars! Cast iron fire pits! Wall fountain with lion head! Okay, okay, too far, Red. Just stick to the furniture.

Wait a second... color-changing solar party path lights? I'm sorry, did someone order a DANCE PARTY straight up? Picture me, if you will, throwing my hands up in the air and waving them around like I just don't care. Who needs a practical chaise lounge when you can have a backyard filled with tequila and pretty colors?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Jerk Store

I found out that my mom's friend's wife, who is a GINORMOUS BITCH, is coming to our Fourth of July barbecue on the Cape. Now, some might argue that this is a bad thing. However, she said something mean to me years ago* and I didn't hold her crabby ass accountable. Since then my poor family has had to hear me go on about how I should have handled the situation. No one cares about this except for me, which makes me George Costanza. Witness:

Me: You know, if she says anything like she did last time, well, I'm totally going to put her in her place.
Dorie: Okay.
Me: Don't expect me to be nice! Because I'm going to let her have it!
Dorie: Are you staying for dinner?
Me: I'm just warning you, because there might be an uncomfortable moment. A very long, uncomfortable moment.
Dorie: Do you want to make a caesar salad?

The funny thing is that I still don't actually have a comeback for her, nor am I the sort of person who can deliver blistering, well-timed, cut-you-to-the-bone comebacks. But if the time is right, I do have big plans to announce to her that the jerk store called, and they're running out of YOU!

*She was harping on me for being so pale, which I'm sensitive about to begin with, plus I don't even know her that well and she was just really nasty about it. Basically, bitch is going down. DownTOWN. You know, where the lights are much brighter. And you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares. Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova, you'll be dancing with them too before the night is over...

Ahem. See above where I mentioned that I'm not the best at comebacks.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ahh, Binky, My Old Nemesis. So We Meet Again.


One of my kindergarteners, soon to be a first grader, is unbearably cute. Not cute in the way that you have to pronounce all kids to be when their parent shoves a picture of them under your nose while you're just trying to heat up your Lean goddamn Cuisine. I'm talking the kind of cute where you know people must just stop and gape at him in supermarkets. The kind of cute where, in fifteen years, he will simply look at girls and their pants will fly off.

A couple years ago, he could only speak in vowels. You can imagine what your speech is like without consonants. You sound like you're doing a one man version of the Survivor theme song (ahem, not the clinical term for it). Now he's just about to turn six (six! remember that) and while he still has some speech errors, he's very intelligible, which is huge for him. He's had to work so hard to get to where he is, and I'm just glad it never seemed to affect his confidence.

Still, there's a part of me that could never figure out why the hell it was so hard for him to develop speech normally. I asked his parents, teachers and pediatrician every question under the sun, but everything pointed to a normal developmental history with his speech being the one huge exception.

I met with his parents this morning. First meeting of the day, there with my whole team, but it's mostly my show since he doesn't receive any other therapies. I run through the whole thing: making good progress, here are some things to work on over the summer, any questions?

Mom has one. "You know how you asked us all those questions about the things Kid could be doing at home that could've been hurting his speech?"

I can already tell that this isn't going anywhere good.

"Well, he's been using a binky when he sleeps for years. Could that be a factor?"

We all try very hard to always to be professional with the kids' parents, meaning that we only mock them when we're safely tucked into a corner at happy hour. But I couldn't help my reaction. I put my head in my hands and said, "Oh, no. No, no, no. You're kidding me. Please tell me you're kidding." Our school psychologist later commended me for not turning the table over.

How did I never think to ask if he was still using a goddamn pacifier? How did she not think to tell me after I assaulted her with questions about everything he could be doing with or putting in his mouth throughout the course of his entire day?

Then I read Darren's latest blog entry about seeing a four-year-old with a pacifier and I thought, yeah, it's about time for a public service announcement for parents of young children. Take away the mouth plug. It can profoundly hinder their speech development (and their ability to learn sounds, letters, interact successfully with their peers, need I go on?). Make use of the pacifier fairy, a daily star chart, or a popsicle, whatever works. Just get rid of it.

It's fine for infants, but the old saying holds true: If they can ask for it, THEY'RE TOO OLD FOR IT.

We now return to our regularly scheduled snarkfest.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Apparently Now Every Little Damn Thing Makes Me Cry. What Of It?

1. The trailer for A Mighty Heart. It seems like a nice tribute, but ohmygod. I'm able to take it down a notch by reminding myself that the guy who plays Daniel Pearl also played Charlotte's gay-straight boyfriend on Sex and the City. "Ooh, is that dress Cynthia Rowley?"

2. My Daddy The Crocodile Hunter on Animal Planet. You can imagine where I'm going with this one, right? I spend all day around kids, and somehow I'm completely blown away by how unbelievably freakin' cute the footage of Steve and Bindi is. By the time the show was over, I was so thoroughly convinced of the unsurpassed adorability of the two of them together that you'd think I'd been married to the guy and given birth to Bindi myself. Khaki has never brought out such emotion in me before. I couldn't even post a picture of them here because the tears, crikey, the TEARS!

3. Dave Roberts' standing ovation at Fenway. He plays for the Giants now, but for those of you non-baseball people, he was ours in 2004 and in the bottom of the ninth inning of game four of the playoffs, down by one run against the Yankees and seconds away from losing it all, out of nowhere Dave stole second base and later scored, which changed THE WORLD (i.e. started a chain of perfection which eventually led to the Sox winning the World Series for the first time in 86 years). Anyway, he was back this weekend and received the Boston lovin' that he so richly deserves. I also like the idea that a fairweather Giants fan could've put on the game and wondered why the hell Sox fans are so nice to visiting teams. (Okay, done with the baseball talk.)

4. The fifth grade graduation last week. I'm pretty sure fifth grade graduations didn't exist back when I was in fifth grade. Neither did getting letter grades in first grade or long and involved conversations about central auditory processing disorders as opposed to "that kid just doesn't listen," but that's neither here nor there. They read Oh The Places You'll Go and sang (wait for it!) the Graduation/Friends Forever song by Vitamin C. I'm sort of glad they're done practicing, because for awhile the halls were starting to resonate with the sound of bad late 90s radio. What will next year's class do? Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of 2008, Wear Sunscreen? When it came out ten years ago I hoped that by now it could've been Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of 2008, Get In Your Flying Cars. Incidentally, where the hell is my flying car? I believe it was promised to me years ago. I'm talking to you, Marty McFly.

5. An email from a friend with whom I had a falling out several months back, which said:

For what it's worth fucking up my friendship with you is one of the things I most regret about 2007 so far. I don't regret the ecstasy, the blow, the alcoholism, the poor judgment in dating a sociopath in February, the handjob from that sickly, latino prostitute outside my office in downtown Chelsea, or even trying to masturbate to Brokeback Mountain "just to see..." But I regret losing a pretty cool friend.

Aww. Nothing like good old-fashioned sentimentality.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Promiscuity On The Playground, On The Next Dateline

1st Grade Kid at Recess: Miss Red, Suzy and Joey* are in the corner doing something they're not supposed to be doing.
Me: What are they doing?
Kid: [long pause, searching for the right word, and finally, in a tiny voice] Weenie.

*Names changed to protect the no longer innocent.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Virgin Territory

Friend A: My friend wants to fix me up with this guy, but there are two catches. He's...
Me: Wait, let us guess!

Let the record show that Friend B and I guessed that he has a kid, is married, separated, a cross dresser, an alcoholic, too old, too young, too short, been in rehab, been to jail, had sex with Paris Hilton, had sex with Paris Hilton in jail, or that he has herpes, AIDS, and/or syphilis before we arrived on the actual two catches: that he's a virgin who doesn't drink. For religious reasons on both counts, apparently, which means the proverbial chastity belt isn't coming off anytime soon. Once the dust settled, we all agreed that we'd much rather date a guy who has been around the block a little bit so long as he's not crudded up because at least he probably knows what he's doing bootyless sobriety is a valid and beautiful choice.

But seriously: A hush has fallen over the suburbs of Boston this evening. What does one do with a potential suitor like this? Go to the zoo? Analyze the civil war between Netflix and Blockbuster? Anyone?



Do you have plans for this weekend yet? Because I'm here to tell you that you should go see a little movie called Once. It's sweet and simple and the soundtrack is really lovely. Yes, soundtrack... I purchased a CD for the first time in I don't know how long. Actually, I only bought it because I couldn't Limewire any of the songs.

Speaking of, is it just me or do all of your Limewire searches inexplicably retrieve an audio file called "How to land a girl"? Are they trying to tell me something? Because, well, I don't mean to brag, but I'm hardly hurting in that department. What's up, ladies?

Anyway: Once. It's a love story, sort of, but not overtly so, and I agree with the reviewer who said that if it had been made by Americans it would've sucked. We would've taken whatever delicate bud of potential existed there and turned it into a revoltingly sappy pandering sobfest where someone died in a plane crash while Maroon 5 played in the background. But even though it's not American, it takes place in Ireland which means they speak English, which means no subtitles, which is also good because in addition to Celine Dioning your movies, Americans are lazy and devoid of culture.

And if my recommendation for how you should spend your weekend doesn't work for you, you could always come watch the Sox play WhoCaresIt'sTheNationalLeague with me in Harvard Square. I'll buy you a margarita at the Cactus Club and we can mock Ringo Starr's art exhibit. Because... why? Why does that exist?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dear Ferret Rights Society, I Apologize In Advance. Sincerely, Red

Not to come off like the girliest girly girl living on Princess Planet, but I hate every member of the rodent family. That means mice, gerbils, hamsters, and all the other species in the animal kingdom that fall into some variation of that category. You can argue that the little fuzzies that you keep as pets aren't rodents, but if it's tiny and hairy and should be living in nature or animated and singing about Cinderelly, I want no part of it.

When a friend's hamster died and the huddled masses gathered to bow their heads and mourn the loss, I was not asked to deliver the eulogy. Possibly because it would have started with, "I never understood why the hell you guys even bought that little wheel-running woodchip-gnawing ball of disgustingness in the first place."

Ahem. May she rest in peace.

A few months ago, one of the kids at school did a good job on something and earned the honor and glory of feeding the classroom gerbil. (Interestingly, the exact opposite technique could've been employed to get me to behave back when I was in school: "Do your homework, Red, or else you'll have to hold the wiggly ball of terror for five whole minutes.") Anyway, the teacher was preoccupied with something and I happened to be in the room, so she asked if I'd take the gerbil out of the cage and hold it while the kid fed it. Um, what? I'm sorry, WHAT? I stood there, not knowing how to articulate the depths of my squeamishness, and wanting to be helpful but not at the expense of actually having to touch the godforsaken creature that I'd been careful to avert my eyes from all year long. Eventually one of the classroom assistants noticed my cold sweat and stepped up.

I could go on, but suffice to say that mice, in all their incarnations, are not high up on my list. So imagine how thrilled I was when I got to spend Saturday night with three ferrets, one of which didn't have any hair. Let me back up. My friend discovered that two of her coworkers had totally random connections to me, so we all got together for dinner. Afterwards, we went back to one couple's house for chocolate martinis and continued conversation. I don't believe I'd ever been around a ferret before, let alone three at once, prancing around like they owned the place. It was like the animals had taken over the zoo. AND DID I MENTION ONE OF THEM WAS HAIRLESS? It looked like a sad shrunken camel.

I tried my best to laugh it off and not reveal the extent of my hysteria when they darted over my toes and almost up my pant leg. They skittered across the floor, jumped from the couch to the coffee table, slipped in and out of cushions, and aged me about fifteen years. You never knew where they were! Was one of them behind you? Was it about to jump on you? And more importantly, WHO LIVES LIKE THIS? Dogs, I understand. Cats, sure, knock yourself out. Maybe I could even forgive the errant reptile. But FERRETS? And multiple ferrets at that? This is your home, not Petco!

It posed even more of a dilemma that, while I actually went to high school with the ferret owner, I had just met his wife that night and I felt like it would maybe be a faux pas to dropkick their family pets and then whip off all my clothes and burn them in their living room, all the while screaming uncontrollably. I waited until I got home to do that.

I almost included a picture of a ferret at the top of this entry, but every time I started to upload it to Flickr, I could feel it crawling on me. Sob.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

So, It Was A Land? Made Of Feathers?

Me: ...and I have a lot of work to finish before the end of school, but tomorrow is Field Day so I'll be able to get a lot done.
Mark: Field Day? Is that like a field trip?
Me: No, the kids play kickball and have relay races and stuff like that.
Mark: So they're just outside all day, jumping around and shit?
Me: Pretty much. Didn't your elementary school have something like that?
Mark: No, I don't think so.
Me: Oh, mine did. It was the best. It was called the Goofy Olympics, and it was held at this big grassy area down the road from the school called Featherland.
Mark: ...
Me: I just heard myself say it. Where the hell did I grow up?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

After Awhile, Crocodile


So, what are we thinking about Crocs? Ugliest shoes in the world, right? Who would buy shoes that are sold on a rack and attached to each other by a plastic strip that you actually have to cut?

Well, my mom started swearing by hers and then bought me a pair. I made fun of them and then tried them on. People, I have never known comfort like this. Would you believe that you can wear them all day long and not feel the need to take them off when you get home? It's like magic.

Good thing I work in an elementary school in the sticks and not a schmancy office in the city, because I now wear them EVERY SINGLE DAY. They make my feet look like Shrek's and I may as well not even be dropping money on pedicures. In my defense, I only wear them to work. The rest of the time I wear my favorite $7 pink flip flops.

In case you hadn't already guessed, I may be the least fashionable person ever. In fact, I'm so unfashionable, I'm thinking that the word fashionable might not be very fashionable anymore. But when I'm walking down the hall and one of my first grade BOYS says, "Miss Red, look! We're wearing the same shoes!", well, I can't help but wonder if things have gone too far.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I've been trying to avoid my mom this weekend. It's not that I don't want to see her or that she's been annoying me (well, ahem, the latter may be bordering on the truth, but that's just a mom thing). It's because I organized a 60th birthday party for her and it's happening later on tonight. She thinks it's just dinner with my dad, the Dories and me, but when we get to the restaurant, fifteen of her closest friends will be waiting, hopefully geared up for a fun night thanks to the hour they'll spend with an open bar prior to our arrival.

Her best friend, my godmother, made a scrapbook of my mom's entire life. I made her a scrapbook too, but the theme is that it's from all of her kids... Dorie's kids, my three closest cousins, and me (both godchildren and goddamn children, as my mom would say). Everyone has their own page with a picture of them as a baby and a picture of them now. The best part is that everyone included something special that they did themselves... a birthday message, a funny poem, or a recreation of all of Harrison Ford's biggest movies, incorporating my mom into the plot in some way. I think it will mean a lot to her.

When I wrote my birthday message to her, I talked about how I'll never run out of Sudafed because when I had a stuffy nose years ago she bought me a lifetime supply, how when I say that I like her jewelry she takes it off and tries to give it to me, how she takes people who were once just neighbors and turns them into family, and has lifelong friends where other people just have occasional acquaintances. Everyone who meets her wants to be her friend. I've never known anyone else who cares more about the people in her life and really knows how to show it. She and I don't always see eye to eye, but I'm really excited to be able to throw her this party. She'll really appreciate it, because she's a person who is always thinking about everyone else, and this is a chance for other people to toast her. I found myself thinking that everyone the scrapbook is from is someone who didn't exist thirty years ago, and how different the second half of her life so far has been from the first half. She's lost a lot since then, but she'd tell you she's gained even more.

Last night I was at Dorie's, admittedly not the best place for taking refuge from my mom since she and my dad live across the street. Dorie and her husband were supposed to go to her college reunion, and she was psyched. I was supposed to babysit, but then her son got sick. Nothing serious, but he wasn't up for being left. It was a last minute decision to stay home and that was that. After time in a cool bath, he felt better, and spent the rest of the night lying in the family room watching the Sox play the Yankees with his dad. Dorie washed off her makeup and we sat on the porch drinking wine, enjoying the humidity as you can only do in June when it's still a novelty, her daughter playing with my hair and then standing back and saying things like, "Maybe it looks better when you do it yourself."

It seemed like a good metaphor for how life can change: You really, really want to meet up with old friends... and then a person that you made needs you, so you don't go. And it ends up being a different kind of night, but still a good night, because for better or worse you're where you want to be. You lose and you gain, sometimes in the same moment, and what you end up with at the end of the day isn't always what you expected, but maybe it ends up being exactly what you want. Not a bad theme for a milestone birthday. And also maybe, inadvertently, the lyrics to a new Jimmy Buffett song.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Making Sweet, Sweet Love To My Television, or My Plans For The Weekend

Thanks to those of you who emailed to tell me that this is on VH1 Friday night:

40 Most Soft-sational Soft Rock Songs
They're the titans of tenderness... the sultans of sensitivity... the monsters of mellow, and we're counting down 40 of their greatest songs. So dim that lava lamp, pour a chalice of white zin, and cuddle up...

And wouldn't you know, at the same time, the Sox will be playing the Yankees on NESN.

I'm faced with a dilemma of epic proportions. Lionel or Youk? Dear God, it's like Sophie's Choice. If Sophie could watch one live and DVR the other, that is.

That's called having your cake and eating Peter Cetera too. Or, uh, something like that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How The Public Schools Failed Me, or I'm So Dumb That It's Actually Kind of Frightening

The fifth graders have been participating in the state standardized testing for several weeks now. There were always bubbles to fill in, blue books to write in, and number two pencils to sharpen when I was in school, but it's much more extensive these days. I've been periodically sitting with my kids to help them with parts of it. I thought it was bad enough that I had to review fractions so that I had a clue going into the math portion, but today's test was social studies, or what will henceforth be referred to as the twenty six multiple choice questions that made me realize that I'm not the intelligent, functioning member of society that just this morning I believed myself to be.

When it comes to questions about historical events, you either know that shit or you don't. Turns out? I don't. On many, many more counts than I'm prepared to admit. The Aztecs? The Pequot War? Lewis and Clark? Not to mention the fact that the only reason I remember Thomas Jefferson's affiliation with the Louisiana Purchase is from a random memory of learning disabled Mallory Keaton, who, after studying for days on end for a history test, yelled in class, "THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE WAS DIFFICULT FOR THOMAS JEFFERSON!" I don't remember why it was so difficult. No discount? I do, however, remember that a guy named Skippy had a crush on her. If you did a scan of my brain the only thing you'd find is Kimberly Drummond and Mike Seaver playing Operation. People, I need to buy some history books and READ THEM.

Or maybe there's something I could learn by watching the History Channel. Or the Discovery Channel. Or VH1. Wait a second. Lindsay Lohan did WHAT to her hair?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Years Go By, I'm Looking Through A Girly Magazine

I went to Store 24 for gum and Diet Pepsi and apparently lost my mind, because I came out with the gum, DP, Cosmo, People, Us Weekly and Allure. Why? Especially why COSMO? I don't know. I had just been thinking about how lame it is that I haven't made any time for reading this year when I have so freakin' many books that I want to get to. And... this is the solution?

I love this shit, though. Ricki Lake lost more than 100 pounds and Us listed a few days' worth of the food that she eats. One of her breakfasts was pastel frittata with shiitake mushrooms, Gruyere and fresh herbs. Uh. Yeah. Sounds just like the cereal bar that I eat in my car on the way to work. It should be easy to emulate her success strategies and work in a little PASTEL FRITTATA during my commute.

Allure and People are pretty straightforward, as always: summer products and lame human interest stories, respectively. But oh Cosmo, you glossy vixen. You almost feel bad for it, like the trampy girl in your freshman dorm who meant well but would've fucked your futon if it said she was pretty. Reading it now is how I felt reading Teen and YM when I was 13: Should I be laughing dismissively or frantically searching for my prom date?

Anyway, Cosmo taught me what his text messages really mean, and that when he texts "What are u up 2 L8R?" it means "Wanna meet up and go home together?" (It doesn't mean "What are you up to later?" I'm so naive.) They also taught me how to cuddle by using spoons to illustrate different positions for different moods. If you put your spoonhead on his spoonlap, it makes him feel manly.

Ashlee Simpson, who apparently brought a picture of her sister into the plastic surgeon and said "Please, as close as you can get me to this" is on the cover, along with the words "75 Sex Tricks: They're So Hot, This Magazine May Burst Into Flames." For the love of God, Cosmo, is there really anything left? I could understand if we were still in college with the requisite jar of honey dust in the top drawer, but do you really have close to 100 tricks to share with women in their 30s and beyond who give new meaning to been there, done that, bought the t-shirt?

But the article was actually quite entertaining because it was all tips from men. Call me childish, but the wording was the best part. Angelo, 31 enjoys the occasional "delicious thrill." Oscar, 20 talked about "nibbling at the swollen head." Earl, 26 enjoys the ocean because "the cresting waves add to the ecstasy." Andrew, 28 has a girlfriend with "hidden reserves of bone-crushing passion." And finally, Billy, 23, urges you to "Come to bed covered in baby oil. You'll be so slick, I won't know which way to do you first."

That's about when I closed the magazine and resolved that this will be the year that I finally finish Anna Karenina.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Still Waiting on That Stereo, By the Way

On Saturday night Matt and I were at a black tie soiree in downtown Boston Stop and Shop buying Mother's Day cards. As usual, I went crazy with glee over the singing cards. The sound quality is so good! One of them plays Truly by Lionel Ritchie! Would someone please send me one of these cards already?!

Apparently I was a little too enthusiastic about them because as we were leaving some guy turned to Matt and said, "You need to buy her a stereo, pal." To which I believe Matt said something to the effect of, "Yeah, really."

Once it sank in that this guy had basically been making fun of us (well, me), Matt proceeded to spend the next two days revisiting this incident and crafting a more clever response. These gems ranged from "I'm not your PAL" to various puns related to musical equipment. The last version that I heard involved lighter fluid and physical violence. I tried to tell him that his actual response was fine in that anything more involved would have made me think he was CRAZY, but he was undaunted in his pursuit of the perfect airtight comeback.

Personally, I think great comebacks are overrated. You always remember the bad ones, anyway. For example, one time in high school I told my mom she was stupid, and she fired back with, "I'll stupid your head." Another favorite of mine was the time that Dave's dad yelled at him, "You're trying to fuck with fire, but fire don't fuck!"

Lesson learned: Next time some random stranger semi-insults you, instead of stewing for days about what you should have said, just tell them you'll [adjective] their head. Guaranteed they'll remember you forever.