Tuesday, November 28, 2006

5 Things About Christmas That Are Supposed to be Touching But Pretty Much Just Make Me Want to Lay Down and Die

When Frosty melts. What's the lesson here? That someday everyone we love will die so we might as well enjoy them while we can? Fine, I guess that's an okay lesson. But I still can't hear "Frosty the Snowman knew the sun was hot that day..." without being overwhelmed with dread. My mom claims that when I was little I would become hysterical following Frosty's demise. What a treat I must have been.

When Hermey and Rudolph have to run away together because no one at home can deal with their socially unacceptable nose/fact that they want to be a dentist. Like there's anything wrong with rhinoplasty/dental school? And then the poor bastards end up on the Island of Misfit Toys, which is sort of like claymation's homage to New Jersey, with nary a licensed plastic surgeon or bubble gum-flavored fluoride treatment.

Two words: Christmas Shoes. I'll be experiencing a massive personal trauma like a long line at Bloomingdale's or the effort of avoiding the forlorn gaze of the Salvation Army bell ringer, and then I hear this song, and I suddenly want to cuddle with a homeless person and cut up my Mastercard. Kind of.

A Very Brady Christmas. Have you seen this? It's so great. And it ends with (SPOILER ALERT) Mike getting trapped in one of his buildings as it's collapsing. Personally, I'd rather see the incompetent architect go down with his own crappily built ship rather than an innocent office manager who just works in the damn place. But no worries, Carol sings O Come All Ye Faithful, and Mike is able to toss aside the ninety ton cement slabs than he's pinned beneath. In an emergency situation, it can be tough to decide between calling 911 or Christmas caroling, but thankfully she made the right call. (Miraculously, Carol's singing not only helped Mike emerge unscathed, but Kitty Carryall was also plucked from the rubble, Cindy spontaneously lost her lisp, and Jan suddenly felt okay just being Jan.)

Charlie Brown and his bag of woes. How old is he, like eight? Why is life so difficult? Where the hell are their parents? Charlie just wants to have fun, his friends all mock him, and he incessantly wonders what it's all about. Shut up, I see absolutely no similarities.

Monday, November 27, 2006

City Mouse, Country Mouse

My mom always insists that she hasn't been spoiled by suburbia, that she's still more city girl than circular driveway. Honestly, if there's any Boston left in her, it's strictly Beacon Hill; the woman shops almost exclusively at Talbots and calls a week without a manicure "really chaotic." She grew up in an Irish-Catholic home with a huge oil painting of the Kennedys on the wall and now secretly votes Republican. Don't get me wrong, she's an absolute love, but Dorie and I always delight in her unwillingness to admit that now she's much more "go children slow" than "checks cashed here."

Anyway, my dad is describing an apparently ginormous Christmas lawn decoration that features a snow globe with a penguin that rises out of it. He wants to get it; he says earnestly that it's "wonderful." Same man who came home with a snowman last year that sang and danced to "I'm a Snowman" to the tune of "I'm a Soul Man," which, I have to admit, was pretty freakin' hilarious.

Mom: If you put that thing on the lawn, so help me I'll call someone and have it taken right down.

[Hysterical laughter ensues.]

Mom: I mean, I'LL take it down! I'll take it down myself! I don't need to call anyone to do it! DAMN IT!

Thanks, weird penguin creation, for proving our point once and for all.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What Just Happened: 11/26

This weekend was two weekends in one, which means that I got to execute the pointless mindfuckery that comes into play whenever holiday circumstances allow more than the typical two-day weekend. When the weekend starts on Wednesday, it's like it's Friday. Thursday is Saturday, and Friday is Sunday. And THEN, just when you think your weekend should be over, it starts all over again, because now it's REALLY Saturday! Everything leading up to the real Saturday was just a bonus! Am I the only one who does this?

Fine. I figured as much.

Being home for a couple days was fun. As usual, Thanksgiving was like a party in my mouth and all the Pilgrims were invited. I was somehow coursing with tryptophan before I even ate any turkey. Seriously, I fell asleep every time I sat down. It didn't matter who I was talking to or what the topic was, every conversation was like a big glass of warm milk with a side of Tylenol PM, and I'd wake up twenty minutes later wondering what happened and where I was. So basically, I was your grandpa, minus the brown sweater and glass of bourbon.

Then at dinner I ate potatoes, which would normally be a relatively unremarkable thing, but I don't eat potatoes. When I was a baby, my dad mashed one up for me and I spit it all over him, and that's pretty much been my reaction ever since. But my mom's friend made these sweet potatoes and they were really good. I had two helpings and everyone just stared at me, presumably waiting for my head to spin around and a demon voice to announce that Red's not here anymore.

Friday night, Mardi and I went to Melissa and Joe's to help decorate their tree, eat most of the appetizers we brought, and give Olivia more opportunities to writhe in misery every time I came within ten feet of her. I'm really glad that we're bonding. I can already picture her at three years old, facedown on the carpet and having an epic tantrum because mom and dad went to a movie and left her in the care of some vile, unfathomable monster, i.e. Auntie Red.

After we left Mardi and I went to Watch City, played some pool at a hole in the wall (I won! I won two pool games two days in a row!) and then went to the Skellig for a bit. I rediscovered my adoration of Lose Your Love by the Outfield (I totally just broke out the Microsoft Word thesaurus so I didn't have to say "I rediscovered my love for Lose Your Love... could you tell?). You should all go listen to that song right now, incidentally. "Josie's on a vacation far away..."

On Saturday, I... don't know what I did during the day. Whatever it was must have been fascinating. I met Carly and Kevin for dinner at Iguana Cantina and then we went to Lifestyles, Moody Street's own frosted-glass, ID-required sex shop, where the cashier is knocked up (insert tactless joke here). The predictably skeevy shelf stocker showed off an XXXL t-shirt illustrating all the different kinds of "boobies" and told us that wearing it once helped him get laid, to which I could only reply, "Sir, I simply do not believe you." I decided to start picking up favors for my New Year's goody bags, but the edible undies were pricey, as were the individual packs of anal lube, and they came in chintzy flavors like coconut and berry (wait a second... flavors?). The only affordable thing to buy in bulk was Rough Rider condoms, so I bought them out. Sorry if you went in there right after me hoping to pick some up. But why not treat yourself to some of their watermelon pleasure potion, and check out the Hispanic fetish DVDs; for a limited time you can get three for $30.

After that I met Mardi, Sarah, and some of Mardi's friends at Crowley's, and then we went to the Cherry Tree to bid adieu to our favorite drunk, who is moving to New York next week. I got to second base with Sarah and then booty-called all the restaurants in her phone, because who has Applebee's on their speed dial? (Honestly, maybe I should. I secretly love their chicken fajita wrap, as I've shamefully admitted before.)

Also, I'm suddenly realizing what a klassy girl I am. Maybe this weekend update thing is better in theory.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful For

My family (even Hipster Cousin), because it's (usually) happy and fun and relaxing to be with them, and that's how it should be with family.

My best friends, with whom I'm completely at home and able to talk about anything, and who still love me when I'm being totally lame.

My job, which is (usually) worth getting out of bed for.


Kate Winslet and Embeth Davidtz, because girl crushes are fun.

Jason Varitek and Leonardo DiCaprio, because boy crushes are funner.

Diet Pepsi, online bill paying, and Bare Escentuals, all of which make my life easier.

The fact that tonight, for the first time in the 27 years that I've known him, I beat my friend Jeff at pool. (Incidentally, I'm also thankful that Jeff didn't end up having a mixer before his wedding.)

My Christmas tree (which I put up last weekend, thankyouverymuch) and for the first time ever decorated with just white lights and silver ornaments. It looks like it belongs in the Macy's juniors section.

Crate and Barrel's dark chocolate fondue set, peppermint bark, and edge wine glasses, all of which has put me on board with having a New Year's Eve gathering. I'm going with a silver snowflake, cinnamon stick, cranberry tea lights, warm-you-up theme. (I also want to get a snow cone machine. I found this updated version of the Snoopy classic, which seems oddly cheap, but I really want the old-school one that comes in the doghouse with the shovel. There's a really funny review of that one here.)

Real Simple's special celebrations issue, because that magazine is like heroin to me, AND because it has thrown smoked salmon with creme fraiche, rosemary olives, and a brownie bar into the mix. (As usual, I'm already out of control.)

My blog! I love the Tent and all of you guys, my blogfriends. I'm one of the only ones who doesn't blog at work; I actually do all of it in my free time. What can I say, I'm made of hardy blog stock; I aspire to be grandmommy-blogging someday. Maybe when it's all compiled it will make for interesting reading. Because you really can't hear "Wow, Grandma, you were kind of a slut!" too many times.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Talkin' Turkey

Work Friend (whom some of you met on Halloween) and I are discussing how I failed miserably in coming up with a Thanksgiving song and dance for the kids. For Halloween my crew and I busted a move to Monster Mash and Werewolves of London, and those little dancing candy maniacs were so cute. Alas, there's a drought of turkey songs. Sorry about the Native Americans But Enjoy Your Pie? Here's Hoping Bird Flu Hasn't Hit the Turkey Population? I made the exciting discovery that you can kind of sing "Glad I'm Not a Turkey" to the tune of "We Are Family," but if I'd spent anymore time on that I'm sure someone would've made the helpful suggestion that perhaps there are more constructive things I could be doing at work.

Anyway, we move onto pondering coming-to-a-new-country songs, because when in doubt, rock the Pilgrim vibe. I'm trying to make a case for why America by Neil Diamond, while resplendent in its awesomeness, really seems like less of an anthem for patriotism and more of a flat-out announcement that terrorists are on their way (TODAY!). And then:

Supergirl: Hi guys! I just wanted to say bye and have a happy Thanksgiving!
Me: Hey Super. Are you going to [state her family lives in]?
Supergirl: Yup! I have an almanac!

This is usually the point where I'd say, "Neat! Bye!" but Work Friend doesn't know yet not to go there.

WF: An almanac?
Supergirl: Yeah! It's such a long drive but you know what [Husband] and I do? We'll read the almanac and it'll say stuff like who the ten biggest political figures of the year are! And then I'll read them to [Husband] out of order and he has to put them in order! And we do it with everything! Music and movies and lots of stuff!
WF: Wow!

I give WF a wait-for-it look.

Supergirl: And for every one that he gets right, he gets a point!
Me: There it is. Happy Thanksgiving, Supergirl!

And, of course, the same to the rest of you. Enjoy/tolerate/plot revenge against your family, eat well, and if you'll be revisiting your childhood turf, repress the urge to meet your high school classmates for beers, because really, they're just the same drunk bitches they were fifteen years ago.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Take Five

5 (or 4) Songs For 5 Girls
Jillian - Bright Side of the Road by Van Morrison
Olivia - Let's Get Physical by Olivia Newton-John
Kate - Kate by Ben Folds Five (it has deep metaphorical meaning)
Melissa & Carly - Sweet Home Alabama by Dianne

5 Songs For 5 Boys
Peter - Fading Like a Flower by Roxette (it was my theme for my crush on him circa 1991, and discussing this still makes him flustered)
Ryan - Happy To Be Stuck with You by Huey Lewis (our roommate anthem... why yes, it WAS tremendously lame, thanks for noticing)
Joe's dad - Celebration by Kool & the Gang (don't you guys wish you had a videographer?)
Steve - Cool by Gwen Stefani
Jason Varitek - I Wanna Sex You Up by Color Me Badd I Salute Your Skills in the Sport of Baseball by Respectful Fan

5 Songs From High School
Porch - Pearl Jam
Big Empty - Stone Temple Pilots
Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
Doll Parts - Hole
Big Star - Letters to Cleo

5 Songs From College
Too Much - Dave Matthews Band
Crush With Eyeliner - R.E.M.
Life in a Northern Town - Dream Academy
Someday I Suppose - Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Never Said - Liz Phair

5 Songs From My Childhood
True Blue - Madonna
How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles
Straight Up - Paula Abdul
What a Feeling - Irene Cara (I still sometimes hear it and fantasize that it's my final song right before I win the gold medal for ice skating in the Olympics. Everyone is cheering me on and I am wearing all sparkly silver.)

5 Songs That Old Boyfriends Have Put on Mix Tapes For Me
Add it Up - Violent Femmes
Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan
Good - Better than Ezra (wah-huh)
Too Drunk to Fuck - Dead Kennedys
Just Like Heaven - The Cure (who doesn't have an old boyfriend mix tape with this on it?)

5 Songs That Every Annoying Girl I've Ever Known Has Loved
Ice Cream - Sarah McLachlan
Every Little Thing She Does is Magic - The Police
Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
You Were Meant For Me - Jewel
Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls

5 Songs That If I Found Out You Knew By Heart I'd Immediately Be Best Friends With You
Magic Dance - David Bowie
The Age of Not Believing - Angela Lansbury
Email my Heart - Britney Spears
The Frug - Rilo Kiley
New Version of You - Felicity (new wallpap-err, new shoe leath-err...)

5 Songs That I'd Slow Dance To With a Stranger, With My Head On His Shoulder and Eyes Closed, Rather Than Not Slow Dance To It At All
If You Leave Me Now - Chicago
After All - Peter Cetera and Cher
Making Love Out of Nothing at All - Air Supply
Take My Breath Away - Berlin
Can You Feel the Love Tonight - a lion (right?... isn't it from The Lion King?)

5 Songs That Amuse Me To No End
88 Lines About 44 Women - They Might Be Giants (everyone should write a song like this!)
Ignition (Remix) by R. Kelly (sippin' on coke and rum, I'm like so what I'm drunk, it's the freakin' weekend baby, I'm about to have me some fun...) I could quote this song all day and still not capture its perfection.
Temperature - Sean Paul (I wanna be the papa, you can be the mom)
Fergalicious - Fergie (too far, Fergadacious...TOO FAR)
I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack (best wishes for continued success, and please don't call me anymore)

5 Songs That Summarize My Shortcomings Pretty Well
The Lady is a Tramp by Ella Fitzgerald (har har... listen to the words before you flood me with your wisecracks, snarky pants)
Don't Change Your Plans by Ben Folds Five
Everything to Everyone by Everclear
Oops! I Did It Again by Britney Spears
Mark's part in Goodbye Love on the Rent soundtrack

5 Songs That I Just Freakin' Love, I Don't Care What You Say
Learning to Fly - Tom Petty
Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson
Summer Breeze - Seals and Crofts
The Only Living Boy in New York - Simon and Garfunkel
17 Again - Eurythmics

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What Just Happened: 11/19

I'm going to try and do more regular weekend updates, because I never write in my actual journal anymore, and I can never remember what the hell I got up to once Monday rolls around. So, yeah. This grand effort should last for about the next two weeks.

On Friday, after two full days of hearings at work, during which I ask a lawyer if it's possible to have a stroke at 29, I agree to make a lightning-fast run into Macy's with my one male coworker, who has been asking me for help picking out products because his mom really likes "Horizons." It takes me awhile to understand that he means Origins. I'm checking out Estee Lauder's Pure White Linen and he sprays it on me instead of the tester strip. Luckily it's a scent that Gwyneth markets which means it's light and airy and practically nonexistent in its boringness.

When we finally get to Origins, it turns out that I know way more than the woman behind the counter. This is a dubious honor, though... what exactly am I aspiring to here? I make some suggestions, become temporarily obsessed with their Modern Friction dermabrasion, and then make tracks to Mardi's, where wine and friends and fondu is happening. I end up agreeing to have a New Year's Eve party, like I really needed convincing. "I'm always the hostess! Even when I was little, the girls brought their dollies to MY tea party. I served the best air." (Guess who.)

Later on at the Cherry Tree, they have blueberry back on tap which as far as I'm concerned puts them back in business. I get a shake-five-hug from our old favorite, John (say what you will, but he's now hooked up with two of my friends... how many others can claim the same?). I overhear and am slightly bewildered by a group of corporate types (all men) toasting K-Fed. Unless they're his legal team, what's the deal there? Mardi is chatting with Some Guy and during a lull in the conversation she asks Party Jen and I what she should talk to him about. I suggest asking him if he's a naughty boy, and then nearly choke on my beer when she immediately turns back to him and does. I'm always happy to alter a G-rated vibe; you're all very welcome. I'm unspeakably tired but perk up long enough to sing Don't Stop Believin' to Jen, because that song is like caffeine. I turn off my phone because it's turning into Text Message Creek, head home, find that I now have a blog theme (thanks Keith), and finally fall into bed around 1:30, a few hours later than I would have liked.

On Saturday, Melissa and Joe bring Olivia over to my parents' house, where my dad surprises one and all by serenading her with Let's Get Physical (get it? Olivia Newton-John?) and makes the open-ended suggestion, that I know will become a catchphrase in our friend arsenal (frarsenal), "Hi Olivia! Let's talk about stuff!"

By the way, my honorary niece is almost four months old and rocks the casbah. She is brilliant, beautiful, and will probably be running a small country by this time next year.

They also finally meet Dorie, and her eight-year-old daughter, who is also my parents' goddaughter (got all that? This is probably why I usually don't do extremely specific entries) and for whom my mom has purchased what can only be described as starter hooker boots. But I got her lip gloss and a pink purse so I suppose we're both in cahoots to lure her down that path.

After Melissa and Joe head home, the rest of us go to dinner at the airfield cafe in Stow, where they have homemade peppermint ice cream and a goldfish pond but no heat, apparently. I get back home, delighted at the prospect of sleep. Crazy Neighbor is having a party and there are guests in what he calls our courtyard and what I call our front lawn. I smile and wave and try to escape into my apartment, but he sees me and insists on introducing me around as his "social butterfly neighbor, coming in at eight o'clock on a Saturday night!" Thanks, buddy. I do a quick round with him, during which I'm looked up and down no less than ten times, as all his guests are dressed to the nines and I'm somewhere around the fours. I'm just a neighbor who wants to be polite and then go home, watch a little bit of Junebug on DVR, talk to Kate, and go to sleep.

Sunday morning (oh, this morning), after sleeping for nearly 12 hours, I meet Mark for coffee (hot chocolate for me) and during a story he tells me that something "is crazy, but it's true," which inspires us to sing Arthur's Theme for a couple minutes. Or, rather, each of us say one line and then defy the other to recall the next. It's best if you can play this game in a really functional way, i.e. "Hey, I think your coat is caught between the moon and that other chair."

Which just reminded me of a really funny blog entry about that song that I once read. If you deconstruct 80s soft rock, you are guaranteed to earn one enthusiastic link from me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

One Day at a Time

As the year draws to a close, it's time to reflect. Time to ponder. Time to buy a new day-to-day calendar!

I love day-to-day calendars. Love! Them! I don't really know why. I keep one in my bathroom, and every morning when I wake up I tear off a new page and then I just feel like I own the day. It's a special feeling, you guys.

It's also a commitment. I can't spend the year with just any old pile of paper and glue. This year I was happy to share my tooth-brushing with Jon Stewart. But since I can't really bear the idea of this, and I don't think there's a House of Carters calendar yet (why the hell not, though), I need some ideas.

The Complete Runner's Day-by-Day Log and Calendar 2007: Start small, Red, like maybe going to the gym occasionally.

Mary Engelbreit's The Happy Side of Me 2007 Day-to-Day Calendar: I'm a little touched by all the sweetness and light, but stuff like "Life is a bouquet of love and hearts" would inevitably start pissing me off by, say, January third.

Jeopardy! 2007 Day-to-Day Calendar: Ooh, the useless information I could spew forth. Can you imagine having a conversation with me? I'd be categorizing everything and only asking questions.

365 New Words-A-Year Page-A-Day Calendar 2007: I could be SO SMART by 2007. I mean 2008. While I'm at it, I should get a calendar that helps me learn what year it is.

Shoes Gallery Calendar 2007: Good morning! Look what you can't afford!

The Wine Lover's Page-A-Day Calendar 2007: Good morning! Look what you can't drink until after work!

The Civil War 2007 Day-to-Day Calendar: Do you have to wait until December of 2007 to find out how it ends? Spoiler alert: Sell your slaves now because they're about to be so two centuries ago.

Zelda Wisdom 2007 Day-to-Day Calendar: I was hoping this was going to be advice from the little guy with the gold sword, but it appears to not be that at all. What would Link have to share with us? "Always keep your shield up and stab people who are mean to you"?

Medical Bloopers 2007 Day-to-Day Calendar: I don't know about you, but misdiagnoses and malpractice sure spell early morning comedy to me.

Becky Kelly's Enchanted Little Moments 2007 Mini Day-to-Day Calendar: Shove it, Becky.

The Best of 14,000 Things To Be Happy About Calendar 2007: Becky, seriously. Give it a rest.

Bible Verses in a Box 2007 Calendar: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BECKY.

I still haven't found one. Please send help.

Monday, November 13, 2006


What was your favorite concert?
The concerts that have been ecstatic experiences for me are as follows: They Might Be Giants, because at the height of my obsession with them they came to play at my high school (where they also went to school). I was 15 and it was utterly surreal. I also saw Ben Folds Five at the height of my obsession with THEM, shortly before he ditched the Five (well, two) and none of his subsequent shows really measured up (although his Rockin' the Suburbs tour was good). And then, of course, Paul McCartney a few years ago. Bizarre, endless opening act, and then suddenly he's behind a giant screen holding his guitar above his head and then the screen comes up and he launches into Hello Goodbye. And IT'S REALLY HIM! I saw him again earlier this year and it was great, but it's never the same as your first time.

Who was your favorite Goonie?
Okay, lots to say about this. First of all, I had a crush on Brand, and I loved his nickname. Second of all, I didn't like either of the girls. They were all like that in 80s movies: stupid and cute or reasonably intelligent and masculine. Third of all, is Cyndi Lauper's Good Enough one of the best songs of that era or what? Fourth of all, and to actually answer the question, my favorite was Mikey, of course, with all his guts and glory and his inhaler. Although his speech ("It's their time. It's their time up there! Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here!") wasn't as compelling as he probably intended it to be. "Pronoun! Preposition! Same pronoun again!"

What was the best video of the 80s?
The best was the first one I ever saw: Take On Me by A-Ha. YES IT WAS. The drawing coming to life! The romance! The way he almost DIED when they crumpled the PAPER! I'll be defending this choice on my deathbed, because I'm right and also how funny would it be to be discuss A-Ha when you should be clarifying your will or something.

Who has it better, Grey's Anatomy or Lost watchers?
Even though it sucks, I'd have to go with Grey's, because at least that show isn't on hiatus until FEBRUARY. You better have made some headway on that island by then, bitches. No more letting those creepy-talking Others keep you in cages. I'm talking to you, Greasy Haired Scowler and Noticeably Buffer Party of Five Guy.

Who has it better, Britney or K-Fed?
Depends on the pre-nup, I guess. Brit has potential to put out some new songs for the next fun mix (which, incidentally, was pre-named "Knock Knock. Who's there? FUN!" by Party Jen) but overall I'm not sure this is the big emancipation everyone's thinking it is. That girl's dumb as a post and the next guy probably won't be much better.

Who has it better, singles or marrieds?
Yikes, way to draw those battle lines. I think if you've met the right person, you're happier being married, and if you haven't, you're happier being single. Except if you don't really have friends, you're probably happier being in a relationship. I've found that single people who are total drones about wanting to meet The One never seem to have much else going on.

Would you help your best friend in a fight if he/she was losing?
Of course! My loyalty combined with my delusions of toughness would throw me right smack into that fray. First I'd try to battle the punk by busting some rhymes ("Bat! Cat! Hat!") but if that didn't work, I'd pull out my blade and get a little West Side Story (by which I mean dance frantically in the street and hope the problem resolved itself).

How would you have been different if you'd grown up in the 60s?
I guess I'd be all hopped up on LSD, alarmingly free with the love, and wearing flowers in my hair. Man.

How do you feel about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?
Islands in the stream, that is what we are.

Who's your favorite TV character?
Monica Geller, because I understand.

What's your favorite thing to do on weekends?
Just be with my peoples. Doesn't really matter what we do; I'm easy. Easily entertained, that is. Excuse you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

State of the Products

Fellow citizens: As we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy hovers on the brink of recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the products have never been better. (Applause.)

For me: Creme de la Mer moisturizing cream, because there is no other. You only use a tiny bit at a time, so two ounces can last for close to a year. Cetaphil facial cleanser. Kiehl's avocado eye cream. There's no better make-up than Bare Escentuals. Go right to Sephora and get the starter kit in your skin tone. Really. You can thank me later. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, CO Bigelow rose salve, Palmer's cocoa butter stick, Aquaphor for whatever ails your epidermis. NARS hydrating body serum, Bath & Body Works Grin and Bare It, and Nivea smooth sensation. I also really like the La Mer body lotion, but it's absurdly expensive and I only have it because it was a gift. Also, carry a tiny Purell with lotion in your bag and you won't remember how you ever lived without it (no, really, it's good stuff, and not as rubbing alcoholy as straight Purell).

For my bathroom: Kerastase nutritive and L'oreal vive pro shampoo and conditioner, Fresh soda shampoo and pomegranate conditioner. I alternate which ones I use and avoid my hairdresser's voice mail death threats that it's been MONTHS and she can only imagine how long and full of split ends my hair must be now. (True story. She's a family friend.) Origins' Never a Dull Moment and Bath & Body Works I'm in the Mood for Scrub. Skintimate with baby oil, the Venus. Philosophy senorita margarita hot salt scrub and their cinnamon buns 3-in-1. Johnson's softwash and a rubber ducky.

For your bathroom: Guests in my home can rock it out in a bathroom stocked with either L'Occitane or Bliss minis. I like to switch it up because I live on the edge. The shower/tub has Nexxus Therappe shampoo and conditioner, Biotherm Aquathermale body wash, Philosophy Falling in Love bubble bath, and Dove exfoliating body wash. No bars of soap; sorry boys, can't do it. You also get your own ducky. Oh, and there's a bottle of Bath & Body Works aromatherapy sleep lotion on the guest room bedside table. (While organizing the haunted house at my Halloween party last month, I mistook it for a beer in the dark and almost asked Steve to throw it out, until Kate caught my near-tragic mistake.)

For Maliavale: The thing about perfume is that I sort of love it and sort of don't. If I really like a scent, I usually prefer its accompanying lotion, since walking past too many ladies who overspray has scared me out of ever inadvertently becoming one of them. Plus, I very rarely find a scent that I really like, since I think a lot of perfumes smell the same, sort of like eau de trying a tiny bit too hard. Having now talked this to death, I like (and own) Chanel No. 5, Burberry Brit, and Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely.

And finally, for the record: This was the year that I tried ProActiv. I don't have acne (thank God, since I'm all growed up) but I figured if it could make all those stars look so glowy, I could get on board with that. Yeah, don't do it. I loved it for about a week (and gleefully announced "I'm using ProActiv!" to people who would inevitably shake their heads in response), and then one morning I woke up looking like a burn victim. Bottom line: Jessica Simpson LIES.

Monday, November 06, 2006

In the Stars

The company that my dad works for rents out Borders Books for one night every November. It's mostly a kid-oriented thing: face-painting, magician, balloons and whatnot. Everything in the store is also heavily discounted, so hello Christmas shopping. We go every year.

This year there was an astrologer. He was sitting in the metaphysical studies section! With a laptop! And looking like he could've done my taxes! Seriously, the guy was completely normal looking. I was expecting a woman in a crazy dress, long gray hair with a bird's nest, potions and spells and goblins.

So my new friend used his understanding of celestial rhythms and an iBook to read the sky on the day that I was born. He told me that I'm a very detail-oriented person who thinks that my way is the right way, and that I have strong opinions about how things should be run, particularly in the home. He also told me that when I'm at work, I actually do work. It's uncanny: I was just complaining about the "having to do crap" aspect of my job.

He asked if I was married. "Can't you tell?"

He didn't appreciate this. He's not a psychic. Apparently there's a difference.

He pointed out that I have a very strong indicator for marriage. "Oh. Is he tall?" He couldn't tell me this. Moreover, I've missed the point. God, Red. Respect the cosmos.

"Pluto is indicating a very powerful relationship on your horizon." Apparently "on the horizon" literally means in the sky, not arriving shortly at my door with flowers and little to no emotional scarring. "This relationship will be with a very intense person and will affect you profoundly."

"Intense? He's also laid-back though, right?"

At that point an old woman in line was laughing at me. Whatever, lady, I think you can wait to learn about your imminent death.

Next he told me that when I have fun, I have FUN. Then he spelled fun. I now plan to blame my Tuesday morning hangovers on the planets. I can't control the whims of the solar system, people!

Your Blog's So Ugly That

Me: I have to tell you something really shameful.
Kate: Yay!
Me: I just laughed at a joke on Yo Momma and said, out loud, alone in my apartment, "Good one."
Kate: Did you try to high five the TV?
Me: The guy said, "Yo momma's so fat that when she lays on the beach, Greenpeace pushes her right back into the water." And I was the only one who laughed, including the audience. Or... street gang. What's the deal with that show, anyway?
Kate: They should have a spinoff with blond jokes.
Me: And the joke right after that was, "Yo momma's breath stinks so much that if she were a character on Star Wars she'd be Chewcaca." And Kate, those people went CRAZY with laughter! I have literally never heard anything less funny, and I mean dating back to Michelle's "how rude" on Full House.
Kate: I believe Michelle was "you got it dude."
Me: Oh right. Well, that was subtle wit over a bottle of merlot compared to Chewcaca.
Kate: The winner was from Hell's Kitchen.
Me: There are WINNERS?
Kate: Ouch.
Me: They're all winners in my eyes.
Kate: How Special Olympics of you.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

100 Things

1. I like spicy food. I like Frank's red hot sauce, extra hot salsa, and whole pepperoncinis.

2. On my first report card my teacher previewed my lifelong hatred of math when she wrote, "Red will occasionally use her fingers to count."

3. I started writing when I was six. I used to wake up really early and write stories about My Little Ponies and Care Bears and Tom Sawyer.

4. When people ask what my favorite TV show is, I usually say The Office or House, and I do like those shows, but my secret answer is Friends reruns on TBS.

5. Everything you've heard is true: my first boyfriend became a woman.

6. Aside from her, I'm still friends with most of my exes. I've dated some really great people.

7. My parents didn't mean for me to be an only child, but my mom was really sick when she was pregnant with me and then I broke her ass during delivery so I think they figured, okay then, one is fine.

8. When I went to college, there was a computer error and my roommate and I ended up on an all guys' floor. They had to vote about whether or not she and I could stay.

9. Corny as it sounds, I think that computer error was kind of a formative thing for me. It taught me to appreciate and keep great guy friends in my life.

10. I love my female friends and am very picky about the women I get close to. I think all women have learned to be careful. Men can be stupid and ignorant, but they don't usually mess with you. Women, on the other hand, can really be evil shrews.

11. Having said all that, I have awesome friends.

12. I don't understand people who eat a few Thin Mints but not the entire sleeve.

13. I love to go out dancing, but I hate it at the same time. I wish there were places to go that weren't all drunk 22-year-old girls wearing uncomfortable shoes glaring at other drunk 22-year-old girls wearing uncomfortable shoes.

14. I have a hardcore product addiction.

15. Not to say that I'm a clean freak, but I enjoy my life a lot more when I know my home is clean.

16. Not to say that I'm a clean freak, but I have my students addicted to antibacterial hand gel. Now they run up to me, hold out their hands, and ask for either regular (straight Purell) or raspberry (Bath & Body Works black raspberry vanilla).

17. I'm so obsessed with peanut butter that I usually don't keep it in the house, because if I did I'd eat it for every meal.

18. If my home is messy and there's peanut butter in the cabinet, something is wrong. Feel free to ask what's up, but I may cry.

19. I don't mind when it gets dark early in the winter. I think it's cozy.

20. Although by the time April rolls around I definitely start to get anxious for more sunshine.

21. I feel like I'm on the phone all night long.

22. I can bust out with the A-Team theme song on command.

23. Movies I know by heart: Dazed and Confused, Clerks, Heathers, The Princess Bride, Clueless, Back to the Future, Napolean Dynamite, Singles, Reality Bites, Labyrinth, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Breakfast Club.

24. I love the board game Moods. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE, I know hates it, and no one will play it with me anymore. Things that have actually been said to me: "If I see that game again, I'll set it on fire." "If you don't stop bringing that game out, nobody is going to be friends with you." And sometimes simply "NO." (There are people on that website who like it. I wonder if any of them would play it with me. Maybe we could have a support group.)

25. I'm addicted to mints, preferably Icebreakers in the round blue container. I eat them all day long.

26. I used to love Olivia Newton-John. LOVE.

27. Yeah, it's my natural hair color. I'm surprised how many strangers care enough to ask.

28. When I was little, having red hair made me feel like the kid in the darkened square in the "which of these kids doesn't belong here" skit on Sesame Street or whatever show that was on. Then sometime around high school I stopped hating it.

29. My hair and I have really come full circle, you see.

30. I really don't care about animals. I don't kick puppies or anything, but I just don't have a need for animals in my life.

31. By day I aspire to be a woman of leisure. By night I solve crimes.

32. I'm weird about deadlines and anything on my to do list. I want to get everything done ahead of time or else I feel out of control. I think it's because my natural tendency is toward laziness and procrastination and I try to fight it.

33. According to Myers-Brigg, I'm an ENFP. I think it sounds a lot like me, but you know how it is with that stuff... because it's supposed to sound like you, it sounds like you. Kinda like horoscopes.

34. I don't have a Boston accent. I grew up in a suburb about an hour outside of the city.

35. I have two identical pairs of blue moon pajamas that I'd wear everywhere if I could. Everyone I know has seen them and I have worn them to friends' homes. I mean, not for parties. But still. Have I no shame?

36. I love owning movies, but I hardly ever watch them.

37. I like to read books about random crap, like sleep disorders.

38. I've been making fun song mix CDs for my friends for several years. They have songs like Coldhearted Snake and Rock the Casbah and OPP on them. Their names are: The Fun Mix, The Fun Strikes Back, The Return of the Fun, Did Someone Order More Fun, Would You Like Fun With That, and Go Fun Yourself. I'm always open to suggestion for subsequent titles. You know, things like Putting The Fun in Dysfunctional, Flora and Funna, that kinda thing. Only funny.

39. I loved college. I even mostly liked high school.

40. My one extracurricular activity in college was writing my column in the school paper. I also wrote all my friends' campaign speeches for their random positions in student government.

41. My grandmother lives in a retirement community that sounds like college but with nice accomodations and no gen-ed classes. Now I'm so ready to get old.

42. Even though I've always been a mostly happy person, things feel very different now than they did when I was in my early 20s. Calmer, happier, richer (but not really in money).

43. I like going to the movies alone occasionally, but only at an off time during the day. I can't do it alone at night without feeling self-conscious.

44. I don't like any sports except for baseball.

45. I love baseball.

46. The quickest way to shut me down is to be passive-aggressive or overdramatic.

47. I thought getting older would make me feel displaced, but 29 feels about right. So far every age I've been has felt like the age to be.

48. I can't promise that that will be the last lame soundbite you'll ever hear out of me.

49. I'm very pale and sunburn easily.

50. I call the foods/drink that I don't like my Big Five: potatoes, (unmelted) cheese, beans, bananas, and coffee. Some people don't like one or two of them, but I've never met anyone else who doesn't like all five.

51. When I was little I did gymnastics, and during a recital one time I was doing a million somersaults through a tunnel, and I stopped halfway through and cried because I felt claustrophobic.

52. I love getting pedicures but still bite my fingernails.

53. My old school Nintendo is in my hall closet, and if I ever plugged it in, believe you me I'd play Super Mario Brothers and Tetris all the live long day.

54. When I'm in a hotel, I'm all like, "Where's the TV? I want to watch TV."

55. Which is kind of weird because while I have a TV in my bedroom at home, I hardly ever watch it.

56. I love nice hotels.

57. I'd love to live someplace in Boston that's ridiculously high-end with a concierge and doorman and floor to ceiling windows and granite countertops and warming drawers and a whirlpool bath.

58. Not to raise kids in or anything, but, you know, for now.

59. I can be a bit of a snob.

60. I was a cow in a school play in kindergarten. I didn't tell my parents until the night before, and my dad found me a cowbell and had the word "moo" printed on a t-shirt. My teachers didn't think it was funny.

61. I hate the show Everybody Loves Raymond. I don't like the generic humor, and I also don't like when marriage gets portrayed as one long, boring, impatient eyeroll. It's shows like that that keep single people promiscuous.

62. I love Dance Dance Revolution more than I can adequately articulate.

63. I have recurring dreams about missing the school bus.

64. I used to teach ESL on the side, but then I was all like, assimilate on your own, bitches.

65. I love bad soft rock from the 80s. Love. It.

66. When The Sixth Sense was out, I hated the people who said they knew Bruce Willis was dead the whole time, even though you know they didn't.

67. I didn't know he was dead until the big reveal. I own my slowness.

68. I dropped out of Girl Scouts because I hated them, all of them, and their stupid badges.

69. I secretly like the chicken fajita wrap at Applebee's.

70. I loved Sassy magazine.

71. I like pickles.

72. I sort of want to get my doctorate.

73. I hate all the letter shows: CSI, SVU, ER.

74. I don't like violent or scary TV shows or movies in general.

75. When I saw Rent, I very much identified with the character Mark.

76. I still do.

77. I'm watching Shopgirl on HBO right now. I hated the book (novella, whatever) but loved the movie.

78. I love books and movies that acknowledge that relationships can be complex and explore that without Hugh Granting everything up.

79. Did you see Spanglish? Or read Little Children? Those are good examples.

80. I still like to watch girly movies but I usually hate the way they end. When people fight all the time or can't get their shit together, they probably wouldn't make a very good couple.

81. Although I did like how that one girly movie, My Best Friend's Wedding, ended. Not just because she didn't get the guy, but because the characters ended up not being entirely black or white, totally lame or entirely perfect.

82. Whenever my girlfriends ask me for advice about guys, I find myself practically quoting Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson. That song has so many levels, people.

83. I don't really like anything floral: patterns, perfumes. But I love actual flowers.

84. I love the seasons in New England. I don't understand the appeal of living anyplace where it's sunny and warm year round. As Cameron Crowe said, the sweet isn't as sweet without the sour.

85. I get a headache if I don't drink Diet Pepsi by about 3:00. I guess it's my crack. At least it's cheap.

86. I like gummy bears, but don't you feel like we'll find out someday that they're really made of plastic and that they just sit in a ball in your stomach and you never really digest them? And that eventually we'll all give birth to an eight pound gummy baby? Were you with me until that last sentence?

87. I wear sunglasses all year round, even on overcast days, because my eyes hurt when I don't. My eye doctor told me that's because my eyes are so light.

88. I'm like an enzyme away from being an albino.

89. Well, not literally.

90. One of my first clients in grad school was a woman with severe brain damage from a bike accident. If I find out you ride a bike without a helmet, I will berate you, publicly if necessary, until you change your ways.

91. Same with wearing a seatbelt.

92. There are so many places I want to visit. A few are Spain, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii...

93. I've been to Bermuda, Bahamas (come on pretty mama), St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Mexico, but not Europe yet. How lame am I? But on the flip side, how much of a thorough spring breaker?

94. I'm so done with guys with guitars who take themselves too seriously.

95. I'm not, however, done loving Eddie Vedder. 15 years and going strong. It's practically a common law marriage.

96. I enjoy people who wear perfume perfectly. They're very much in the minority. You hug them and suddenly can't believe how delicious they smell, but you're not overwhelmed by said deliciousness. How do they do it?

97. I'm not asking because I want to do it myself, because I don't really like to wear perfume, but I'd like them to educate others. You know who you are. Or actually, you don't, and that's kind of the problem.

98. That sounded vaguely threatening. I should say that I wasn't referring to anyone I know. YOU all smell good. Really. I can hardly believe the pleasantness that wafts from you. I'm talking more about people in elevators whose noses apparently don't work.

99. In high school my friend Alison's mom didn't have a sense of smell. That girl took advantage and smoked more pot than anyone alive.

100. I'm honestly starting to think that Mapquest is just screwing with us. I just do not know how to drive northeast.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Guess the Movie

And if you can do that easily, smart guy, try to come up with a line that we missed.

Me: a compliment for us...
Joe: is a compliment for you!
Me: steve, don't come yet
Joe: you dare rip the x-man
Joe: sonics have a good team
Me: come to debbie country
Joe: cliff, while we're young?
Joe: i am very, very lonely
Me: janet, i could not be fooling you less
Joe: are my breasts too small for you?
Me: sometimes?
Joe: you're dr. jamison!
Joe: many, many babes are into that!
Me: mr. sensitive ponytail man
Joe: he is not mr. sensitive ponytail man!
Joe: you've made popcorn with half the city!
Me: hey! maybe i've been hurt
Joe: at least i don't have to CHASE the popcorn
Me: pow pow pow pow pow! of course you may be busy
Joe: you are the king... THE KING!
Me: what's so funny about peace peace peace
Joe: love and... peace peace peace
Joe: put it up against something white
Me: i was just nowhere near your neighborhood
Joe: what took you so long?
Me: i was stuck in traffic
Joe: a) i could come up with an act or b) i could just be myself. i chose b. what do you think?
Joe: i think that a) you have an act, and b) not having an act is your act
Me: eddie watching the bees... "ssshhh"
Joe: 20 numbers of 20 girls that you will never call
Me: i'm walking down the avenue! and i'm looking at the garbage can
Joe: and i'm laughing at the people i see--hee-hee
Me: am i coming off too intense? cause i can be intensely laid back
Joe: basically, my name is dick and you can touch me
Me: i want to meet someone who feels the same way i do. about a bike.
Joe: guy with the bicycle
Joe: he's like your soulmate
Me: debbie, he's only like the next martin scor-sees
Joe: debbie, remember when you told me to tell you when you're being plastic? well you're being plastic.
Me: and what comes out? SPAM!
Joe: and he was ably backed by stone and jeff and drummer eddie vedder
Me: that's good, that's a good review
Joe: all this negative energy just makes us stronger. tonight we rock portland!
Joe: i'll replace the windows
Me: have fun, stay single. i was eight.