Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Am I daft?

I've followed all the directions 87 million times and I cannot make this router thingy work- this episode will likely end in tears. I feel slightly encouraged by the fact that I made my phone work today (had to get a new one as my dog ate the other one while I was back home), but apparently, I am technologically impaired.

Ok. Shower. Coffee. Work on it tomorrow.

New Years Wreck.

New Year's Eve has always been one of my least favorite holidays. It's not that I don't like to dress up, or drink, or go out- these are things I do everyday. In fact, New Years is probably the only time half of my wardrobe is at all appropriate. Still, I hate the idea of scheduling a good time or feeling pressured to have one. I hate being told I'm supposed to have a date, and that everyone else is too, which accounts for the slew of "so... just checking to see how you're doing..." messages I've gotten from dudes I've dated within the last two years.

I might go to a friends party, which I said I would go to... and I'm sure it will be fun, and it would be an excuse to wear my beloved turquoise Jill Stuart dress- but I feel kinda tired. Plus there is usually a Twilight Zone marathon on...

I will take a shower and drink some coffee and see how I feel.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Colours seen by candlelight will not look the same by day (or what I did with my Amazon gift cards)

I just found the letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning (both volumes!) on Amazon for $9.74. I've never owned a copy- but when I was a kid, I really wanted one- I was absolutely in love with it. I'd sit indian style in the middle of the aisle in the library for hours when I was like, 9 or so reading the huge leatherbound copy they had of it there. I think it was almost bigger than I was. I never took it out for some reason, I just read it while I was there. But now I will own my own copy, which I'm sure will not be huge, or leatherbound, but it will be mine- and that will be quite nice.

So I got that, and also The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (which I've heard so-so things about, but whatever, I like her), 2666 by Roberto Bolano, Phillip Roth's new book, because I love him, and a biography of sorts about Hepburn and Tracy, and Fantasy Island Season 1, and also The Lady from Shanghai (which, weirdly, I do not own), and the Greta Garbo Signature collection. Because I plan on being Garbo-esque this winter. Not so much in terms of being glamorous and mysterious, because everytime I attempt such things I spill coffee on my blouse or fall off of a curb. It's more that I just really, really hate to be cold.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Ur-Drummer

So... the other night I ran into the ur-drummer. The first in a long line/near constant stream of drummers I have dated/seen/hung out with what-have-you... that have all basically been the same dude. It's kinda weird, but life tends to carve out patterns like that. For a string of years something broke every year on my birthday (my foot, my heart, my car...).

But, well, with the drummers it goes like this- an overenthusiastic beginning (on their part), quickly followed by a catastrophic end, nearly always brought about by a jaw-dropping lack of basic manners and tact on the part of said drummer. This one was always late, and then, when he was supposed to meet me at a showing of The Purple Rose of Cairo (which was like, my favorite movie ever at the time), called me ten minutes after he was supposed to meet me at the theatre to say he couldn't make it. This, however, is absolutely nothing in comparison to the insanity that followed it from any of the others in his wake. At most, it rates a 1.5 on the scale of douchebaggery I have been exposed to. Trust me, I could tell you some stories (which I totally will. Also, uh, I write them- which you think would cause some sort of self-censorship on their part, but no.).

But this is the thing, the curse on my birthday? It stopped after Reagan died on it. I'm sort of hoping that running into the ur-drummer will put an end to this Groundhog's Day-like pattern of dudes. Which would be pretty rad, because frankly I need something new to write about. It's getting a bit tedious, don't ya think?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A matinee, a Pinter play, perhaps a piece of Mahler's

Aw.... Harold Pinter died today. I liked him.

Planes trains and automobiles

I made it to Rochester- not in the "without a hitch" sense of the word, but I'm here, I'm watching The Golden Girls, and typing this all on the new laptop my parents were lovely enough to get me for Christmas.

Getting there was bad enough, and quite a bit like the last act of The Graduate. I took a cab thinking it would be faster- it wasn't. Traffic was so bad that I had to have the cabbie drop me off at the train station, and then I had to run all the way to the gate (except for the minute or so I stood behind that stupid family on the moving sidewalk thingy. If any of you are reading this, I think you suck at life) because I was so horribly late, and made it exactly on time and completely out of breath. I should probably quit smoking but I won't.

BUT... let me tell you about the guy I sat next to on the plane. I can tell you a lot, because he didn't shut up for the entire ride. First of all, he smelled like beer and Old Spice, and had his hair in an altogether new version of a combover, in which all the hair was pulled forward into bangs. He made prosthetic legs, and although he was Canadian, he worked in the States because the business for such things is bigger here. I am not sure why, I didn't ask. He told me that people were awfully vain about their prosthetic legs, and especially picky about them being symmetrical with their other leg, should they have one.

He did not think I needed to apply lipgloss to impress him, despite the fact that I was doing it because, ya know, my lips were dry. Because I just ran a marathon to get there and all.

He was on his second marriage to a mail order bride. Mail order brides, he said, were the way to go. Because, you see, an "attractive young girl" like myself would not look twice at a man like him here in this country, but in the third world, he had pick of the litter- and also they were more old fashioned, which he liked (ie: They don't have like, opinions and stuff). And he was right about that, because he was gross and he smelled weird and he was at least 50. Oh, and he was totally wearing a Starter jacket, which I have not seen since I was in middle school.

Oh, and then he ordered a beer. And he asked me if he could borrow a dollar for it. I said I didn't have one, so he paid for part of it in dimes.

Then the plane went into turbulence, really awful, "I think this might be the end- I'd faint except I have to stay conscious in case those oxygen masks pop down from the ceiling and I have to put one on" turbulence. It was a bad time altogether. And while I'm whiteknuckled and gripping the armrests, he's yelling "Wooooweeee! It's like a rollercoaster! Woooo! This is kinda fun! If you think this is bad, you should have been on this plane with me to Reno- now that was turbulence! This is just fun!"

And then the plane landed. And he continued talking. "If I'da known you had a problem with planes I'da tried to keep your mind off of it by talking to you"

Yup. I never really thought I'd top the guy who tried to feel me up on the plane and offered to be my sugar daddy, as his wife was suffering from cancer and was too tired to do him. But I did. And at least I got a limo ride home from that deal. Oy.

And that's my story. I told you I have no luck with planes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How did I miss this?

Oh my god- Odetta died on December 2nd. I didn't know. I didn't hear a thing about it... It wasn't on the news or anything. I wouldn't have even found out if I hadn't been looking for videos of her on youtube... I can't believe I didn't know- I can't believe my mother didn't know.

Odetta was one of my mother's all time favorites since she was a kid. I promised her for years that I'd take her to see her live, but it just never happened. Even when I tried to see her here in Chicago the show ended up getting cancelled. We used to listen to her in the car when I was a kid, and my mom would always say that she was one of the few women she could sing along with (we have rather deep voices in our family.). I feel really bad that I never got to take my mom to see her. I remember I was like, so excited one year to give my mom a copy of an album of Bessie Smith covers she did that I found.

So, well, I'm kinda sad to have found that out.

My favorite Jimmy Stewart Holiday movie is not in fact "It's a Wonderful Life"

The Joy of A Secular Christmas

Like Torie Bausch, Christmas has never been a religious holiday for me. Duh- because I'm an athiest. I never felt any guilt, like she did, in "secularizing" it though, as I figure Christians try to ruin enough stuff I like that it's only tit for tat :). Both of my parents were raised Catholic (my father still sort of is and will occasionally try to get us to go to midnight mass, but he usually passes out before then anyway), so it's something they grew up with and just continued doing, I suppose.

But, even as a heathen, there are lots of things I like about Christmas. Perhaps I am just a festive person.

1. The Shop Around the Corner- which is the movie I refer to when I say that my favorite Jimmy Stewart christmas movie isn't "It's a Wonderful Life." It was once remade as a crappy movie in the 90's starring Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks and AOL, but as I've never seen that version, it has remained untainted.

2. Laura Nyro- Christmas and The Beads of Sweat- it's not really a Christmas album per se, but it's what we listened to at my house during the holiday anyway. Laura Nyro is one of those things I have in common with my parents and no one else at all, so it's kind of nice.

3. Lobster- being that my parents were raised Catholic, we still eat seafood on Christmas Eve, and my Dad makes baked stuffed lobster because it's my favorite thing ever.

4. Seeing my parents and sister, because it's one of the few times a year I get to do so.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I fail at airports.


So, after checking the United website 85,000 times before I left to check on my flight, I go to the airport only to find that it is in fact cancelled.

Then I wait in a line for two hours. Luckily, I got a flight back to Rochester tomorrow at 6pm... but still. It was an awful experience. I hate airports more than you can possibly imagine. I truly do. I hate the constant loudspeaker reminders that you can't smoke in the airport, which only serve to make me want a cigarette more. If there is any place on earth where someone ought to be able to smoke a cigarette, or anything else for that matter, it is O'Hare International Airport. In fact, I think they should just hand out heroin at the door.

But, well, at least that half bottle of wine won't go to waste :).

Monday, December 22, 2008


I may have had a bit too much wine, and I'm still not quite packed for my trip back home... and I should probably go to bed, but I felt it was necessary to inform you that this is in fact a horrid idea. A horrid, horrid idea.

Odd behavior

A strange thing has happened to me twice in the past few days. First, yesterday, when I was in line to get on the bus, a girl pushed up in front of me and said "excuse me, I have to get on the bus" and walked on in front of me as though I was merely standing there for my health. Then, two seconds ago, as I was waiting to cross the street, a woman walked past me saying "excuse me, I'm crossing here" which was also quite odd. I was inordinately bothered by both instances.

Also, last night I had one of those dreams where when you wake up you're not sure if it really happened or not. It was quite odd, because I dreamed that I was reading crap on the internet (how lame am I? Next think you know I'll be dreaming about waiting for the train) and I saw like, a link to something stating that a guy I dated for a minute a while ago died, and in my dream I did not care enough to click through and was surprised at how blase I felt about the whole thing, even when I was half awake and kind of thinking that it actually happened- like, I was lying in bed thinking "I should probably get up and look to see what happened. Also, I should probably feel worse about this." and I didn't- I felt absolutely nothing- which was weird because it was such a long time ago that I don't so much have any animosity left about the situation- I actually don't think I have any feelings at all left about it, either way. Maybe I'm just a horrible person. I like to think if it happened when I was conscious that I would have cared or at least been taken aback, or something. I don't fancy myself a sociopath.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What does this say about me?

According to google, these are currently my most popular search terms for this blog... or something. Classy!

1. portable vagina
2. hot vag
3. emotional conquistador
4. paul newman
5. "the shirelles"
6. "cum on my sweater"
7. she's just a small time girl
8. the shirelles
9. "dye hair after bleaching"
10. kiss of the spider woman notes
11. habsberg lip
12. underwhelmed myspace
13. towns shes
14. she's just a small town girl
15. washingtonienne
16. vincent d'onofrio

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The NY Observer ran an article today on a new male archetype- l'homme fatale - a type rather similar to the one described by Tracie over at Jezebel a while ago as The Emotional Conquistador - a phrase which has rapidly become a part of my everyday vocabulary. I prefer Emotional Conquistador because l'homme fatale sounds too aspirational.

It's the same story on both sides- instead of scheming to get into your pants, they're scheming to form some sort of fake emotional bond. Which is way weirder. And sort of a waste of time, if you ask me- there's no forseeable gold at the end of that rainbow. I would never put in that much effort just for the glory of spinning around and yelling "Psych!"- I just don't get that. At least try to get laid. Be respectable.

It seems as though things have been radically switched around. Once upon a time girls were warned about men who would pretend to be in love with them in order to get laid. Back then, maybe it was easier to get someone to believe that than it was to get in their pants. Not so much now, except perhaps among super religious types, maybe. It's probably easier to get a girl to fuck you than it is to convince her that you're not a douchebag.

So they pull all the same lines that they used to, the lines we were warned about and never lived to hear in that context. They overflatter, they do nice things, they talk constantly about doing things in the future... except this time they don't try to sleep with you, at least not figuratively. Except this time it's not clear what they want from you. And when it's over, you're left thinking "Well, what fresh hell was that? That wasn't at all necessary!"

You harken back to a better time, a simpler time- a time when things made sense. When a dude would just buy you a drink, tell you you're pretty and make a pass at you- and you could say yes, or say no, and either way know what you might end up with (Ideally, not Mr. Goodbar). Alas, alack, Alaska.

Is there an information overload chakra?

So, yesterday, this lady comes into the store, and, you know, she walks around for about a half hour picking out cards and staring blankly at things. Normal. Finally, she decides that she'd like to see something in the jewelery cases up front. Normal.

The things she'd like to see are these rinky dink chakra necklaces. Fine. She picks out the "Third Eye" chakra necklace and tells me that she plans to get it as a christmas present for her acupuncturist. Fine. But then she has to decide which chakra necklace she ought to get for herself. So, for about an hour she debates on whether she needs the "root chakra" necklace or the "throat chakra" necklace- not just which one is prettier, but which one would come more in handy. The throat chakra necklace, she tells me, she needs because she's going to tell her husband she's going to divorce him in a month. And also she's a Taurus, and that's symbolized by the throat, and also she's an actor and "voice over artist." Voice over acting is her passion, she says, other than being a yogi, which she has been for three years. She lets me know that she has lots of crystals at home- because she's a yogi, but the necklace idea is great. Despite the apparent merits of the throat chakra necklace, she decides on the root chakra necklace and a "luck" necklace because she is going gambling on a boat with her mother, and that way she can earn the money back and then come back and purchase the throat chakra necklace when she has to tell her husband about the divorce. Also, she had like, sort of a British accent- but in a Madonna sort of way, like it only popped up every so often.

She was totally, totally serious. And despite the fact that I am a girl who tends to talk far more than is necessary, I had no words. I was silent for most of the hour. I just nodded. And tried not to laugh. Because the whole time I just wanted to say "Um, you know these necklaces don't actually have magical powers, right?"

But I couldn't. I mean, it had nothing to do with making a sale- the necklaces were fairly inexpensive (like $44 and $100)- but I probably would have felt bad, you know, crushing her dreams or whatever (and Robyn's heart grew three sizes that day? Probably not).

Still, I have nothing to say on the subject of crystals.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sympathy for autodidacts

So last night after class, we went to a bar and had a couple drinks. Which, you know, is what we usually do. Anyway, there was this guy there who bought our drinks (awesome), and he was a teacher at another school and, well, he started complaining about a student who just wanted to show up for the tests.

"Ugh. That's totally me. I'm sorry, I am so that person. If I could test out of everything I'd be fine- it's the going that kills me." I told him. And then he tried to explain that well, there are things you learn in class that aren't in the book, etc. etc. I told him the story about how I tested out of economics in highschool (not knowing a thing about it beforehand)- with only a day to prepare, by reading my dad's old college textbook in a day- and, uh, I also got the highest score. Not to brag, but I totally did. Then he said "Well, what about the kid who came to my office ten times, tried really hard, came to every class, and maybe still doesn't doesn't score as high on the test, or have as nuanced answers as you do? How do I grade the both of you? It doesn't seem fair to give him a worse grade."

"What am I supposed to do?" I asked. "Pretend like I don't get it when I do? I'm just not a "going through the motions" kind of person."

This, in case you don't know, is why I sucked at elementary school. I remember the first day of third grade, when we once again got our plaid phonics books, the feeling of my face burning up with frustration. I came home, and I said to my mom "Can you believe this? What is this? 'ph' equals 'ffff'! I get it! Let's move on!" Then, the years of nouns and verbs and adverbs and conjunctions and prepositional phrases... it was agony. I pretty much refused to do any of my seatwork or homework, because I didn't really see the point in doing it if I already knew it already.

It's not that I was a child genius, it's just that I had my own way of learning. I like learning. I like knowing things, but I prefer to do it on my own and I don't feel the need to share. They had "Enrichment Class" in school, which I went to for a while- but really, it was pretty much just "Write a paper on Abraham Lincoln!" "Let's do some haikus!" and shit. I didn't find it especially enriching. I just wanted to take the test and have it be over with, so I could go back to learning things that I cared about.

I hid "The Diary of Anne Frank" behind my 'Mr. Fig' reader. "He's magical. He speaks in three word sentences. He talks to animals. Point taken."

I was told for a bunch of years that I had ADD. I knew I didn't. I knew I didn't because when push came to shove, I could read the whole damn book in one night without a break, and get an A on the test without doing any of the homework. I just had no interest in people repeating the same things to me, over and over again, day after day, year after year. I don't have a lot of patience.

The only class I ever really liked in high school was my sophomore global studies class, where the teacher talked a mile a minute, slammed books on the desk if people weren't paying attention, and, to boot, everything he said had a good chance of being on the test, and he never repeated anything the . Your hand would ache by the end of the period. There was no homework, only tests. Perfect.

I hated group projects. Oddly, I hated anything in class where you were supposed to be creative. I didn't want to be creative in class, I had other outlets for that. I just wanted to read the book and get it over with.

So, do I think, in this hypothetical situation that I should be able to just read the book, show up and get an A on the tests, and get a better grade than the kid who comes to every class and tries really hard? Kinda. I don't think it's some giant sin to prefer to learn things on your own. I mean, I could work for 20 years on a painting that would be nowhere near as good as the one someone who happens to be naturally talented in that way did in a couple hours. Should my painting go up in a museum because I tried harder? Probably not. Then again, I'm kind of a pretentious smart ass, so what do I know.

I love it when we're cruisin' together

Saturday Night Live - Goth Talk

Hey! So we actually watched "Goth Cruise" the other night- and yes, it was just as magical as I thought it would be.

Best quote by far: "I've always been like, on the cutting edge of fashion. In the 90's, I wore parachute pants."

The thing that really struck me was their commitment to "freaking out the norms." At like, 50 years old. I felt kinda bad for them because no one was really freaked out- they were all kinda like "Yeah, we've seen the Jenny Jones show, we've been to a mall food court before, what?" I mean, some of the other people on the cruise were definitely mall walkers. As a former mall employee, I can spot them a mile away. If you really want to freak out the squares, take a tip from my 16 year old self and drive around blasting "Songs of the Blue Whale" from your volvo whilst sporting monkey masks from the dollar store, and then slowly turn and stare at people at red lights. Not that it's any less sad, but at least it's unexpected.

Another interesting fact was that they all seemed to live in the suburbs- which we decided was because if they live in the city, no one would really give a shit. Being that, on my way to work or school everyday, I see a woman in a blanket and duct tape cocoon, who lives at the bus stop... a dude wearing a lacy pirate shirt and a kilt is not exactly going to blow my mind.

I'm obviously not saying it's all of them- just the people in this particular documentary. Amusingly enough, I totally just almost used the "some of my best friends are..." line- but I think that anyone that would agree to be in a documentary (though I love them) about their particular subgenre, or go to a convention, is a little too committed for my taste.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am in fact the girl with the most cake

A week after Thanksgiving, I have to tell you- I am a lucky, lucky lady. I really am, in fact, the girl with the most cake. And I am very, very, very happy all of a sudden.

I have an awesome show that people actually really love- and I can't tell you how happy that makes me. What I like most is that everyone gets to participate and feel a part of things, and promote their own stuff as well- so, it's like, not only am I doing something neat that I like doing, but it's also something different that's very much in line with my own sort of philosophy of life.

I have like, retardedly awesome people in my life. And lots of them. I'm totally giddy about it too- it's kind of funny.

I love my job. Which is awesome because I hated it for so long, and then the change of ownership changed everything.

My skin, after a really awful beard burn incident, has at last returned to it's natural complexion. Thank you, Albolene!

The only thing that is sad about life is that there is no more Fantasy Island on the OnDemand. I must now purchase it on DVD. Sigh.