Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Per usual

When I need sleep the most, sleep won't come.

I got in bed at 10:45, thinking I could finish my book and roll over only to wake up at 3am all groggy-like to turn out the light and re-locate a soft thing to hug to lull me back to sleep. A penguin or panda, whichever.

The book I just finished, The Flight from the Enchanter was a fine read up until the last 50 pages. The last fifty pages were not magnificent. They made me angry a little.

After I had finished the book, I was a little like "hmmm, clumsy ending-- a bit freaky, though".

And then anger turned to all out, ridiculous, un-prompted new-house-what's-that-creaky-noise fear. A noise I could not blame on my intrusively loud upstairs neighbor

And then my tightly shut bedroom door pops open.

And now I'm sitting in my living room with all the lights on watching David Gregory booty dance on Conan O'Brien to some Chris Brown. Didn't he already do that?

You know you're home when you're scared in your house for the first time for absolutely NO REASON.

I just can't tell if it was the sight of the booty dancing or the book that has caused me to be awake this late AGAIN after being exhausted all day. And still, with the extreme tiredness. But the lack of sleeping.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Double your pleasure, double your fun

I just got back from work.

Not day job, which I do not write about on the internet. (Haven't we all learned that lesson by now?)

Which I will.

Other job involves me wearing a very unattractive suit that would melt if lit on fire and which makes a rustling sound that makes a girl feel as unattractive as it gets. The pants are tapered, the jacket has shoulder pads are too boxy, and the shoes like that of your dippy middle school English teacher who liked sensible shoes with long flowy skirts. The pockets in the blazer are long but not deep, which doesn't make carrying a lot of necessities a good option unless you like to rock a mean cellphone bulge. The button-down shirt is tight around your neck neck and short at your sleeves. There is ring-around-the-collar on it like you wouldn't believe. No matter the amount of bleaching I put forth, it's still 3 years of sweat.

Catering is a serious business.

There are people who take it as such. People who get into the power of telling hundreds of lemmings (many of whom are college students) where to go, what to do and "HUSTLE". They know the way to lay the knives
just so, that your way which was .5 millimeters off is just SO WRONG. They walk faster than you and heave deep sighs when you might not jump when told.

There are people who do this on the side of day jobs, because those jobs don't pay them enough money. There are two types of those people.

1.) young people who work for non-profits or are just starting out in the workforce and don't have much money. Apartments and beer and clothes not from H&M sometimes need to be paid for, but not when you make a laughably low starting salarty.

2.) people who don't understand why you would pass up the opportunity to make more money pretty easily (you carry things, walk around, get fed, clean up and go home). Many of these people were born outside the US and cannot believe EVERYONE doesn't hand people plates of food for $17 an hour. In some of these peoples' faces, is where you see the most gratitude for living in America.

There are other people who do it because friends of theirs do it, and why not get paid a very decent hourly wage to whisper your gossip into their ear than yell across a smoky bar.

There are people who do it because they are newly 21, and need to fuel their new relationship with alcohol now that they are finally out and proud.

And then there are people like me. Who just spent an irratingly high amount of money at Ikea and who might have to buy some leopard print new shoes. I have money in my budget for things, but not for EXTRA things. I spent all my recent savings on Gilbert chairs and Expedit shelves. C'est la vie when you move.

I've had this job since 2004 on the sly. It's always been good to me. It's there when I want it, ignorable when I don't. Tonight was one of a handful of "mandatory" dates. I went, begrudgingly.

Now there are a handful of people I enjoy seeing there, and our numbers are dwindling because people move on. It was more fun in the past when my roommates in college and I did it together. Out of 4 of us, someone was usually working with you, and it was fun to unwind together after being on our feet unaccustomed to that much action.

That is the main drawback. When you get home, it's impossible to shift modes. You just carried plates and trays and tables and chairs for hours. Always more than 4, never more than 12 hours at a time. Your hands hurt from heavy decorative plates topped with delicate china, and having to pinch them so other people can grab them from your shaking hands while balancing a handful of silverware and being told to smile. Your back hurts from lifting things; your shoulder blades from picking up trash and your lower back from picking up heavy boxes. Your legs hurt from walking so swiftly around people milling about, eager to catch a glimpse of DC celebrities and show of their biggest diamonds and smallest appetite. Your feet hurt because your heinous shoes cost $12.99 at Payless in 2004 and you are too stubborn to buy new ones.

Your pride hurts, just a wee bit, because you still need that second job.

I don't know when I can get rid of it exactly. The money is too good and too necessary. I have student loans and expensive taste. That's a dangerous combination.

Much like being very awake at 2am on a Sunday, with your feet in a tub of hot water and two advil swimming in your stomach.

On the upside, they usually let us take home the flowers.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Heaven is your boyfriend asking you...

"so, I really need to get my roommate to drive me to Michael's. You should come!"



There's nothing I like more than some craftiness. This whole lil blog here was for me to take pictures of my knitting and show them to my friends. I had fooled myself into pretending that people were interested in my fibrous habits. I had also fooled myself into thinking that I have THAT MUCH TIME on my hands to do enough knitting to show people things so that I'm updating my blog with the due tenderness it deserves.

Now that I live much closer to a kickin' yarn shop, and the temperatures are falling, I AM interested in getting into the cozy crafting. I'm totally into watching TV with a glass of wine with my needles clicking. It's the best 'me time' a girl could ask for.

So, of course, when your boyfriend needs to get some matting for a print he'd like to frame, those eternal words just made me swoon with delight. OF COURSE, I would LOVE for you to talk your dear roommate into driving out to Falls Church so I can tag along and buy yarn and buttons and beads and JOY!

I feel like that was a big moment in our relationship. A first date. A first kiss. THE TIME HE ASKS YOU TO ACCOMPANY HIM TO A CRAFT STORE. IN HIS OWN RIGHT AND SOBER MIND.

I think this all comes down to a repayment of karma for the World Cup. Because that wasn't fair, not having a boyfriend for that long. He just bowed out of all boyfriend duties because there was a ball to kick. I may have watched some matches because, HELLO, THERE ARE SOME GLUTES ON THOSE BOYS. But otherwise, no thanks.

So please, karma gods. Allow his roommate to not think he's lost his mind, or that I had a hand in persuading two boys to take me to a craft warehouse so that I might skip gleefully through its aisles of fake flowers, embroidery thread and paintbrushes. So I can run my hands over every skein of yarn, every pad of paper and every ream of fabric. It's my own version of being Veruca Salt, skipping in a red dress and tights throughout a craft store, touching everything and wishing for it all to be mine. Only I would be a teensy bit more polite, and probably not demand that my parents buy it all for me. But still.

Do not take this moment away from me.

It just wouldn't be fair.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Like water for chocolate

In the early spring of 2003, I gave up Catholicism for Lent.

My grandfather has always given up candy, and in all 87 years he can remember (which is not very many, granted...) he's always owned up. My mother says extra rosaries. I was encouraged to do something nice for my community and to be a good kid.

Ok, that's fair, but...

Oops. That all was well and good when spoon-fed from my parents, but add the atrocities of Catholic school into the mix, and you've got yourself a deserter. So I dissented in the grandest way possible.

The Catholic girl falls for the Jewish boy. My first friends/family of friends Rosh Hashanah is tomorrow. So far, all I know is that I am in for a.) goose (goose? Is this a "thing"? I don't know any better, so I'm asking b.) honey, walnuts and apples and c.) loads of wine.

So far, being Jew-friendly is a-ok by me. mmmmm.... loads of wine.

It's also fun for once to not be in church elbowing the DK, explaining why being at Mass at Christmas is like a 2-hour lite aerobics class and why you under no circumstances can gulp the wine in the chalice. There will be no slapping away of his hands as he gestures below eye level, to indicate naughty things that are in the news involving altar boys. I've dragged him through many levels and discussions of why Catholicism makes no sense. It flip-flops. This will be different.

On the contrary. I think it'll be neat, I think, to be on the learning end of what seems like the greatest holiday in history. Though it does not involve presents, for which I find great fault.

My friend, Dan, is all about making me and his girlfriend (and a few other select ladies) Shikse shirts. I know it's a term that people have mixed feelings about. But I think you just have to embrace it.

Especially when you are in a relationship where there are differences as such. Sure-- a nearly lapsed Jew and a quite lapsed Catholic seem nearly perfect on paper, but there are always some arched eyebrows and latent questions. It's not like we had to fight through picket lines to be together, but people have opinions, and some of them reek of 1952.

I think the best way to go about it is to enjoy it, recognize that I'll learn how to participate in a way that makes me feel good about eating that much goose. Preferably with a big red-wine-stained smile. BIG.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Social organizer extraordinaire

I'm not very good at keeping my personal life, personal, and my professional life, professional. It seems only natural to make myself perfectly comfortable where I have to spend 40+ hours a week, and vice versa. HELLO, if I like these people, I'm going to want to drink beers with them on my off time, not just fill out TPS reports.

I've done this EVERY job I've ever had. Work friends often cross the line into
friend friends and they often have been some of my greatest delights. Before I know it, I'm gossiping at the water cooler about embarrassing things that shouldn't be spoken out loud while wearing security badges, and then the next day, I'm dragging myself into work hung over and that is always much more fun if there is someone else to blame.

Work friends are important especially here in DC. I've had more friends move in and move out and move back in (and then back out) than you could shake a stick at. People come here (and often go) from all walks of my life-- high school friends, college friends, hell; friends I met while living in different countries! But work friends often form bonds firm and fast because you know they are here to "stay". Not that jobs REALLY hold people down in this city, but you look at a work friend and you think maybe, "cubicles aren't conducive to rapid change. Please tell me that you'll stay for a bit and we can have some fun and laugh and drink beers and make faces at annoying people at work both on weekdays AND weekends!". And I don't mean that in a needy way, but when your friends are of the livelihood that they could do whatever they do in any city, it makes things more transient. Really, if you work in non-profit land, you work here. And here you will probably stay.

I don't know if this experience is universal or not. I highly doubt it. I am just sort of a social circle busy-body and mold them constantly. And I wouldn't say I have a specific circle of friends, even, because who does after college?
But I really value them, however they are scattered.

At my old job, I met two of my best friends here. And my job would be much less sunny (ok, perhaps my whole existence) without shiftless badger by my side.

So here's a thanks- to work friends old and new. No, I won't sing you the Golden Girls theme song, but I'm TOTALLY TEMPTED. So enjoy that as a token of my appreciation for liking jobs that don't pay very much but are somehow money-centered. Go figure?!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Welcome to the neighborhood

When I heard the snap, I assumed it was a twig. When my foot wobbled, I blamed the beer I had with dinner. When I felt the heel pushing inward, I raced over to the nearest streetlight. I turned over my foot of my FAVORITE HEELS, to find this. A crack.

I did the only thing I could do.

I threw my head back and yelled "BALLS!!!!!!!".

A woman walked by in an expensive-looking trenchcoat and looked at me strangely. I showed her the shoe as she was talking on her cell phone. Her look of snobbish contempt gave way to empathy. Every girl has feared the snap of a heel. Tonight was my night.

I can tell you exactly how that happened. It got stuck between two cobbles in the sidewalk. I tugged.

I'll have you know I never broke ONE HEEL while living in Adams Morgan, and I clomped home late at night in heels often. I'm not used to this. I my second assumption was that there was trash under my heel that caught it-- maybe a Big Mac box or a Subway cup, not quaint street that is centuries old.

I have ONE BEER and come home in a klutzy tradewind to this after a long list of hilariousness in the day. Exploding coffee in the microwave. Dropping of keys in a puddle. Cramping of knees while sitting on the floor at Sushi Taro.

This is uncalled for.

Capitol Hill, I want a refund.

Nine West, you suck.

Who has a good cobbler?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A long time ago, we used to be friends.

I'm notoriously late on things. Cool-kid things.

Like this whole here blogging thing? Yeah, 3 years too late. Maybe more.

Legwarmers? Didn't do it the first time around. HELL YES, do I do them now.

Ok Go
? Yeah, I was a year too late on that bandwagon. Everyone was dancing in their awkward band-front-flag-girl kind of way along with their adorable backyard video and a YEAR later there I am, "oh yeah guys, there's this awesome new thing on teh internets" and the rest of the world sighed with a dull yawn of DUH. Where were YOU in 2004?

My new favorite thing in the world that I totally missed the boat on but REALLY, isn't there time for redemption-- is a TV show. No, it's not The Wire, because EVERYONE just jumped on that bandwagon. That show gives me bad dreams and the theme song stays in my head for weeks on end. That ship is overloaded, they are throwing their suitcases overboard to last.

I'm totally girl-crushing on Veronica Mars.

I was an AVID Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I still love a host of terrible actors because of it (see Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Michelle Trachtenberg et. al). There is a toss up for me as to what I would name my first-born. Xander, Giles or Spike.
So lots of folks who jumped the Buffy ship landed gracefully on the Veronica Mars space odyssey.

It's a good one.

When I was cable-less in my squatting situation, I caught Veronica Mars one night because it was the only TV show aside from public television stations begging for money that came through with no static.
I was instantly hooked.

VM is now my crack. I've netflixed season 1. The WHOLE rest of the show is in my queue. I am obsessed with its film noir slant through blue-washed retrospection. I love her chunky adorable haircut. I love that the dog's name is "back up" and she takes him on stake-outs. I love that she takes pictures and wears short sleeve hoodies.

I hate that Kristen Bell is OLDER THAN ME. And that all the boys in the show look at LEAST 27. But I can look past these things.

It's re-arranged my world view. Like "OH, OMG, that's the girl from Big Love who plays the only likeable character!". Or "OH, OMG, you can say 'laid some pipe' in that sorta way on UPN?". Or "OH, OMG, that's the guy from Just Shoot me who plays the only likeable character!."

So I'm getting better. I was TOTALLY on top of OK GO's SECOND video. Treadmill times? I'm getting better. HELL YES.