Friday, March 31, 2006
An old college friend who I had not seen since the day his father drove him away the day after graduation come into town tonight. This is a friend I have known since DAY ONE of college at GW. Small group in Colonial Inauguration, that's how old. Meeting him for drinks with a bunch of old friends was hilarious, because though we all have grown up in some respects, we are all still the same.
It's funny to think what purposes certain friends serve. Every person isn't every friend. The word "friend" encompasses so many functions: comrade, co-worker, family, peer, lover-- yet we all sort of shrug it away. We have friends we call to try to pour our hearts out, friends we call when we want to get wasted, friends we call when we want to reminisce and (the occasional) friend we call when booty is the question and what follows is a complicated answer.
I am probably some of these friends to some people. Most call me with either super good or super bad news. I feel like in those situations is where I am best. People don't call me when they are looking for a blunt opinion, because let's face it-- I'm not the best when it comes to either tough love OR telling people something that's hard to hear. People call me for tea and sympathy, for laughs most likely at my own benefit, and for support in their decisions. I am ok with that, but the super hard truth is hard for me to pussy-foot around. Confrontation and I have never been friends, so why should confrontation be my friends friend?
What I am good for in a crowd is saying something that I don't mean in a sexual way and having it come out the fattest innuendo EVER. If you are looking for a good inside joke to recyle, I am your woman. Case in point: tonight. Rosemary's Thyme. After a very long, very involved conversation with people of all sexual persuasions, a nearly unanimous decision was made re: various shapings of women's pubic hair. (does that look like a Q to you?)
That became the David Letterman theory of comedy. You know, whenever something quiets, it's the joke you always come back to, waiting for someone else to piggy-back on your incessant repeating of a clever observation, summation of comments, or quirky phrasing. Whenever something was quiet for a moment, we went back to "genitals" or "landing strips" if you will.
My friend Drew made a comment about "yay genitals", his turn for a David Letterman theory humor take.
Then, to my horror, my mouth-which-just-had-multiple-margaritas said this: "Aah, Drew is Pro-Genital.... You know, it's really something he CAN GET BEHIND".
And then everyone falls to pieces. Because I said that. Without sexual connotations implied. Like genitals were a cause you could vote for or donate money to-- really get behind not GET BEHIND. Is that why people invite me places? Maybe. Who knows?
But that's what is funny about friendships, in many forms. They change shapes, colors, and time-zones but still you have that David letterman joke to fall back on. And there they are to quip back, digging you further into your attachments to them, from wherever they originally came.
I have friends I think very fondly of in all stages of my life: middle school, summer camp (WHY DID YOU NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE CUT OFFS?) high school, college, work, and beyond. You've all been there when my blue cue cards telling me what to say are ready. And I thank you for that.
Some people think that you are either attached to college friends, or high school friends more. I keep in touch (directly.... Thanks, internets!) with a disproportionate number of people on a truly regular basis, that I don't ever really tell college friends, high school friends, friends-of-friends and friend-friends-- especially those who are far away or whom I never call back because HELLO, I listen to my voicemails every 4 weeks...
I miss you all. You all are very lovely folks. I'm looking at YOU, people I haven't talked to in a while. I have pictures of us laughing. Paul Shaffers are hard to find. Play the keyboard and be bald. I'll make a joke, about it, in a blue suit and buck teeth, I swear. Or maybe you need someone around to wear small sunglasses and laugh at your jokes. I also serve that function pretty well.
That will never change. Everything else is workable.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
I talked to Tim Gunn.
Rather, Tim Gunn let me ask him a question.
Tim Gunn answered my question on the Washington Post chat today. He was talking about spring styles, and I had submitted a question about my lovely new shoes. These are "the-sandals-of-toe-doom-which-rendered-me-a-cripple-for-two-weeks-because-the-blisters-were-so-bad" shoes.
Aren't they cute? So very now. so very $14.99.
The first time I wore them my feet were bleeding so wretchedly that other pedestrians sort of sidled away from me at the crosswalk and probably went home to tell their friends and neighbors about the bloody girl in payless shoes who was silly enough to try and walk in them!
BUT: TIM. GUNN. ANSWERED. MY. QUESTION!
(me) Washington, D.C.: Hi Tim! I join the ranks of women who gush about how fabulous you are. We speak the truth! My question for you is: I bought a pair of bronze gladiator style sandals for the spring, but am unsure what would be a good match for a complete ensemble since I feel like I am in roman high-tops. Thanks so much.
Tim Gunn: Let's be blunt about this: gladiator sandals are just that. And I'm confident that you bought them for that very reason. Think 50's and embrace that style -- a pair of black cropped pants, for example, with a crisp white top. Or try a circle skirt. Don't force the sandles to compete with the rest of your ensemble. Embrace your inner gladiator, just don't carry a trident!
My friend at work called me to be like "YOUR QUESTION IS UP" and I freaked out! I was so excited! His answer was adorable, and I agree with him completely! Now I feel like I can't "just carry the trident", i have to be fashionable-er!
I'm sure people read it and were like "um.... gladiator style sandals? give me a break". But who the balls cares?
Not me! Tim Gunn hath spoken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Don't get me wrong, I love spring in DC, all two weeks of it before we begin the slow simmer of perpetual August. It's our punishment for such a lovely spring. Temperatures are comfortable, and spring fever hit us HARD. Remember that really warm day about two weeks ago? The world was out on blankets making out. The city stripped itself of grey suits in favor of showing some skin, and the unseasonable timing made it all ours.
You remember, as a DC resident, to avoid being outside.
The cherry blossoms have arrived.
This means two things for me.
1.) take the bus everywhere instead of squeezing on metro, because someone's fanny pack is going to get all up in my business while they are reprimanding their 13 children in a vague southern accent that could be from anywhere and everywhere at the same time.
2.) I sneeze like a sickly child for their entire 10 day peak time. Straight.
I have never suffered any other real allergies. Sure, a lot of dust makes me sneeze, but give me a break. I only actually for-real dust when the OCD becomes so acute that the swiffer duster doesn't do it for me and I have to wipe everything down to remove the offending particles. I have spent more time at home and at work staring up into the fluorescent light praying for freedom.
One of my favorite episodes of the Adventures of Pete and Pete (you remember it, don't lie) was when everyone revolted against bedtimes and they tried to stay up for as many days as they could to beat the world record of no sleep. One of the friends of Pete (or was it Pete?) succumbed to sleep after staring at the sun to make her sneeze.
I have had no such luck, but EVER since I was a little kid I have ALWAYS squinted at light to make myself sneeze. It's just about the only thing that works for me. Last night while poking around on my computer I spent more time staring up than a twelve year old boy hanging out by the staircase at the mall with a camera phone. At work, all day, I have been staring at the fluorescent light in vain, pleading with my nose.
I would go outside, and just stare at the sun, but thanks to THE STUPID CHERRY BLOSSOMS, there are 8 million Midwestern tourists who are going to block my view with their gi-normous Midwestern selves (Midwesterners I know, my apologies). Note their FBI cheap sweatshirt, white reeboks, and light tapered-leg jeans. They have infested our city and my view.
People, they are just plants. Yes, very pretty plants, but just plants. They are near museums, nice museums, but pretty boring museums. They are from Japan, yes, but I suppose it's not even on your radar screen to think about traveling there? You've been to Vegas right? Why ever go to Paris? If you are coming here, why not look at the cherry blossoms in other places, or take a cultural walking tour of an interesting neighborhood? Do something aside from be big white people gaping at big white buildings.
But then again, I don't want you to. Stay where you are, tourists, in pockets of the city that are easily avoidable. Maybe I don't want a zillion people clustering around what is unique about this city. Does cakelove need a line around the block like Magnolia bakery? No thanks.
Perhaps I confused the haterade with my claritin this morning, but I'm serious.
image taken from www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org
Sunday, March 26, 2006
The Apple store in Bethesda is very nice, and quite small as far as apple stores go. I showed up at 6:50pm on Friday for my appointment with "the genius". The Genius was a pleasant 19 year-old-kid who probably makes more money than me. I chatted nervously with him while I asked exactly "how many crazies like me, who come in and worry about their I-pods like it's their firstborn?" The Genius then laughed at my ipod cozy asking if the "sleeping bag" was helpful. I stopped chatting nervously and looked him squarely in the eye. How dare he insult my knitting.
Mr. Genius-19-year-old then told me my options. I felt like I was 6 again,faced with the death of my first pet. Greeny the grow-a-frog had met his untimely demise after being with us for a few short months. We figured we could bury him, or flush him like a fish, maybe. We went with burying. Except we didn't bury him, we put him in the freezer first.
Mr. Genius-19-year-old explained that I could either send the ipod back to Apple for a battery test and if it failed, then I could keep my original ipod (with the engraving on it.) Or they could run a test for me and if my little friend failed, then they would give me a replacement ipod (thank god a mini for a mini, pink for pink!).
Losing the engraving pulls at my heartstrings a little. This friend was a gift, a very thoughtful gift, coupled with a Jem lunchbox. It was the best birthday ever. However, I am an idiot, and the warranty is up in 3 weeks. Not wanting to risk it, I consented to letting them test it at the store. He said he would get back to me in a few days.
I left hurriedly, after patting her screen gently, sweating with the anticipation of her performance. If she couldn't play for 12 hours straight (since, in theory, the mini's battery life is 18 hours) then she would fail. I had my money on her making it through 3 hours. TOPS.
Precisely 18 hours after I set foot out of the Apple store, I get a phone call from my Genius. ALREADY.
I ask, "so how did my little friend do?"
Genius said, "not so good ma'am. She failed." Then he said he had ordered me a replacement pink mini, and they would call me when it arrived.
Now I am faced with an emotional attachment to a small electronic thing. It's my Snowball I and Snowball II. Nothing can replace Pinky I. She was a special gift, and I mourn the emotional attachment to my name proudly (and noted by gift giver: FREELY!) emblazened on the back. Girls are attached to that sort of thing.
The thing is the in-between of Pinky I and Pinky II is really hard. Rendered I-pod-less is proving to be very difficult. The gym? Less motivation without Confessions on a Dancefloor. The walk to work? Less depressing now that I'm not listening to Low's The Great Destroyer, but I need the depression to fuel a job search.
And that filing? Without KT? NOT HAPPENING!
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
If you KNOW me, you know that I am a tit-bit neurotic. Adorably so. Part of my charm. I freak out about things, often for about 45 seconds with the arms flailing and the voice jumping some octaves -- and then *poof* it's gone. Calm as a cucumber. Wee that was fun.
People who have waited in lines for roller coasters with me know this to the perfect example. I am almost 24 years old. I have taken some science classes in life. I know that loopy rollercoasters are made by Scandinavian engineers who test ride this stuff. I know gravity will keep me in my seat. I know that 4 Gs isn't a lethal speed. I get on the rollercoaster, I strap myself in (REPEATEDLY CHECKING THE STRAPS). The ride takes off, and I am laughing and fine. Going fast is fun! weeeeee! And then afterwards, I say "let's do it again!" and though I JUST DID IT, the process repeats itself.
But I still work myself up to such a level of absolute TERROR that I am going to be FLUNG from that seat and not have the luck to land in the wave pool at the connecting water park. I wouldn't be able to think in those four seconds about "whether I should grab onto this branch" or "I should fall on my legs cuz if they brake who cares, but don't fall on head". I would just be gripped in this moment of total fear that I am going to splat onto the parking lot and fry like an egg on the sidewalk of an august afternoon.
I have never been one to trust my brain. Sure, I got fine grades in high school and college, but NEVER have I EVER been like "it's fine, whatever, I'll just let the old noggin have a crack at it and it will be fine". I don't trust brain to remember important things (ranging from the Hecksher-Olin model to where in the crap I left my goddamn keys!). Brain has failed me before, because anxiety prevails. Exams rendered the palms clammy, the heart poundy, and the brain weepy.
I've gotten over some of the specific anxieties I had as a kid. Some of them are with me today, and have seen me through some spectacles.
But when I saw this on Boing-Boing I completely regressed.
I was PARANOID as a child that my eyes were going to fall out and hang by the optic nerve and dance on the stage of my cheekbones for all to see. I would each night before I fell asleep, align my palms on my temples and bend my fingers over make sure that the eyeballs were about evenly protruding (using the VERY scientific measure of index fingers). If they were a little uneven (which they are prone to be, especially given the angle of your vision, because eyeballs UP feels different than eyeballs DOWN) I would immediately go to the bathroom and quietly freak out, inspecting them from every angle until I had talked myself down from requesting an ambulance to the psych ward because I was a completely ridiculous worrywart EVEN AS A CHILD.
One night, when I was about 6, and I creeped into my parents room absolutely terrified. I scared the bejesus out of my mother because I poked her on the shoulder like she was awake and interruptible. I started wailing even before the poking and asked her,
"are my eyes even?"
After careful poking and prodding (and one bad dream) I had come to the decision that brain couldn't tell me if they were ok or not.
And my mother, a patient woman when it came to fears, as she was a nervous child and semi-nervous adult, before had tolerated this dribble. However, this time, she had been awakened by some severe poking, insta-sobbing, by some short thing that could clearly walk, talk, and function, so what COULD HAVE PROMPTED THIS?
She flipped over, and sternly grabbed my cheeks in one hand to muffle my sobs and said,
"Katastrophe, you ARE OK. LISTEN TO ME,YOU ARE OK. YOU NEED TO STOP THIS, BECAUSE YOUR EYES CANNOT FALL OUT. IT CAN'T HAPPEN"
Then, being a good mom, she felt sort of bad for being so stern when I was clearly so distraught, so she patted my tears and my hand and got up and made sure I climbed back up to top bunk safely.
I had carried that maternal promise through the ages. Don't care what you say, brain, I don't trust you. EYEBALLS DON'T FALL OUT.
A while back I had reiterated this story to the DK, who was like "um, actually, yes. They can. And they do." But I didn't believe him. Where was this information coming from, A BRAIN? WHO TRUSTS BRAINS?
UNTIL I saw this. If eyes can fall out, you should trust eyes to see the truth. EYES CAN POP OUT. I didn't see the basketball game, but Lord, AM I GLAD I DID NOT. I take this as a note from Karma, because the player that was injured went to Villanova, which is precisely 4.9 miles from my parents' house.
SO, Brain. NOTE TO SELF: Should this childhood fear of eyeball popping actually occur: here is what you should do.
1.) look DOWN
2.) pinch and pull eyelid back
3.) take eyeball, taking care to only touch the white parts back towards the socket
4.) gently push back into socket halfway, while pulling eyelid back
5.) when about halfway in, LOOK UP
6.) your eye should take care of the rest
I'm going out on a limb here, but I MIGHT TRUST YOU TO REMEMBER THIS, BRAIN!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Dear Project Runway:
Thank you for being renewed for a third season!
Thank you for being one of my favorite shows. I wanted to classify you as my favorite "reality show" but really, you're so much more than that! You are my Wednesday night. You are my water-cooler-conversation-fuel. You are the reason I don't hang myself on hump day, because really, what's to live for when the weekend is so far away, and yet the one behind you was so close.
Your time, Wednesday nights at 10pm on Bravo is just ideal. Good going PR producers! THANK YOU. For serious, that's about the time in my life when I need some bitchiness. Not like, bitchiness that I deal with from 9 - 5:30, I mean deep-down, roll-up-those-sleeves, some-designers-are-just-really-great-pattern-makers bitchiness. I crave it. Maybe it's some masochistic instinct. I want a fabulous gay man to scream "WHERE THE HELL IS MY CHIFFON" as my alarm clock (mmm... Nick I'm looking at you). I want to know how to drape my own clothes, and I want to know how to thread my sewing machine in less than 2 hours and without 2 teaspoons of tears.
Project Runway, you are the perfect show. Drama, bitchery, hilarity (Where's Andrae?), superficial glory, and things I don't see everyday. Many shows on TV, I look at and I think "if I could win a million dollars, I could totes repel down the side of a tall building in Sao Paulo" or "Come ON now, kids. Really, are you all that wild and crazy?" but this show?! I can barely hem pants! I can make very, very simple things with my sewing machine. My fabric stash from college has been reduced to 5 yards of pink muslin, 2 vintage tee shirts, some navy blue lace, and a 5 years of ribbon and beads collected from ruined designs involving safetypins and elastic.
But, Darling PR, this is my beef and my delight with you:
1.) if Santino wins, I am going to have to throw down with the TV, write my local congressperson a letter (errr..... Ward One Councilman, mayhaps?) and then cry my brown eyes out at the thought of someone with way too much to say and way too many ruffles to convey it. It will be the ruin of my love affair with Bravo. I might have to cheat on you with either Logo, Food Network (which is already partially true), or VH1 (love to regress).
2.) If Chloe wins, than I think everyone in the country will breathe a collective sigh of relief that for ONCE, the Asian-American population will have someone to point to that is cool, creative, and successful without having to learn kung fu, play the violin, or be really good at math. Chloe is awesome, talented, and beautiful, but I fear she will not win. There are great things for her to come though, this is true. If i looked more like a sorority girl, i would TOTES wear her clothes with platform flipflops and a vera bradley tote and sashay around DC like it was my effing job. (wait-- platform flip flops, i must recind that offer). Also, Texas really needs some more things to be proud of. They're fighting an uphill battle what with Georgie-poo to begin with.
3.) if Daniel V. wins I am going to steal some of my boyfriend's underwear and mail it to him with my return address and a note attached in pink swirly penmanship that reads "Curious if boy genius is hung like a man". I'm probably the only girl in America who thinks he is cute. If I saw him on the street, I would be like "swoon!". I know he's not into my plumbing, but that's alright. I'll hold your shopping bags, Daniel V.! He is my favorite. I am rooting for him. If he doesn't win, than THE BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS, PRODUCERS. How about letting a nice guy with good taste win something FOR ONCE. There are enough jerks in the world who get to talk and america listens. How about letting the good guys win, for once?
That's all I have to say about this nonsense. I cannot believe that I missed it. Bless you, DK for owning a TiVo and having the sense to appease me with its many delights.
p.s. I'm serious, if Santino wins, I am boycotting season three.
p.p.s. did everyone see Kara Janx's collection? I was super impressed.
p.p.p.s let me remind you it's the EIGHTH AMENDMENT to the Constitution that guards against cruel and unusual punishment. This lends itself to Project Runway taunting, teasing, telling, and tarnishing. I MEAN IT.
p.p.p.p.s. no links because i fear that i might catch the results and really, i'm sort of looking forward to the challenge of not letting myself know. that means tomorrow, no internets (even cnn.com) and no gossipping. HOW AM I GOING TO SURVIVE?
Monday, March 06, 2006
my own guilt and its capacity escapes me for once. For once, working on ONE project was just too much for me. I'm dying to knit a pair of old-lady mary jane slippers and a cabled hat. but i can't knit them until i see how much yarn i have to use for the sweater. I just want a break from plain old knitting. there was so little increasing/decreasing (and hellooo no ribbing) that thinking of reading a pattern that says "work for 10 1/2 inches in garter stitch" makes me want to vom. on the sweater. and then give it to an alley cat. to poop on.
While i am just in laundry-ville here, i am going to go to the gym and then afterwords figure out how to pick up 12 more stitches and knit the damn cowl aready. Enough is enough. Stop the insanity. Knit the damn cowl!
After this, in no particular order, are things i'd like to knit next:
1.) cabled hat (i can cable, but i need to practice it on something that's not just a swatch)
2.) mary jane slippers
3.) a cute little shrug for the spring time!
4.) a carry all, any where bag
5.) a friend
Further down on the list include mittens, leg warmers, another sweater (ugh no garter stitch this time) and assorted other things.
maybe even a womb?
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Today, I had to work at the Kennedy center. Today, I realized something very strange about myself.
I am older than college-girls. I cannot relate to "the co-eds".
WEIRD. I was chatting on the metro home with some nice enough (remember, these are GW students, here) girls about some things and it occurred to me that I am just old.
here is a small list of the reasons why:
1.) I don't need to run to the kitchen bathroom to chug 4 glasses of VERY cheap champagne while working a RETIREMENT PARTY.
2.) ha ha ha. I can buy said cheap champagne myself. And I will, for Oscar viewing. On Sunday.
3.) I don't use the phrase "alright now, hurry it up buddy" re: boys + alcohol= your pathetic love life.
4.) who talks about that to other people in tuxedos whose names you cannot and will not remember.
5.) you are going in said tuxedo to meet friends at Cafe Japone with only $7 for some beer and karaoke cuz they didn't get carded, and your bf4evah is bringing you different shoes so at least you can appear put together from the ankles down.
5.) I would never thump my chest with my fist like I was paying respect to a fallen brother while telling a group that I would walk at graduation with some "tassels, baaaayyyybeeeeeeeeee!" cuz you "double majored and had an econ minor, and shit" because, really-- that doesn't garner respect, but pity.
6.) 2 out of 7 had nose rings.
7.) they were talking about their TA who couldn't speak English. I cannot remember the name of my TA who could not speak English. All I remembered was that he was mercilessly laughed at for pronouncing "taco" like "take-oh".
8.) They oohed and aahed when I exited the train at the Adams Morgan stop. I'll prolly see them barfing up their jumbo slice on my front steps this spring. I will wave politely and say to a companion out of the corner of my mouth "I think I know this lady with the vom."
9.) they all giggled about something POINTEDLY when I got off the train, indicating that I was a tired old lady who didn't know how to shoot the school shit anymore, because really, ha ha ha. You still have homework. and ha ha ha. You are paying out your father's ass for the luxury of not doing it.
10.) I realized, as I almost tripped out of the train, that for once, I was not jealous of their position in life. If I DON'T KNOW where my life is going, they are only just beginning. ha ha ha 20-year-old-gw-students. It's all a jagged line from here.