Archive for August, 2006

Limp

Things have reached an all-time summer-yet-winter low here at Chez Jonniker. While Adam’s suicidal work mission has slowed down enough for him to stop skulking around the house like Chillingworth in the Scarlet Letter, things continue to be embarrassingly dull. I know I’ve said it before, but it is too freakin’ hot to leave the house, and we’re desperate for entertainment. I’ve been, um, driving to the gym, which is (oh my God, I’m saying it out loud) half a block away from our house.

Combine this miserable heat with a healthy dose of Ernesto panic – which, um, turned out to be light breezes and about 15 minutes of heavy rain – and it’s been well over a week since we’ve actually ventured out of the house for more than 10 minutes at a time for anything other than work, food and blue tarps.

It’s taking its toll. Television is ruling my life, as if it wasn’t already obvious. My mind has become the equivalent of mashed banana with peas, and nowhere was this more evident than when I realized that tonight’s Big Brother episode was an entire week’s worth of excitement crammed into one action-packed hour. I went nuts, squealing with excitement, jumping up and down and accidentally throwing my wine glass in some sort of wildly inappropriate cheer, complete with screaming and hooting (hooting?). There may or may not have been some celebratory fist-pumping. (There totally was, and I had this kind of too-serious Olympic sports face on, clenched teeth and all.)

“OH MY GOD!” I jumped around excitedly as I remembered the ominous prophecy from Julie Chen last week. “ADAM! Do you know what this means? Two people are being evicted. They will play the veto! AND NOMINATE SOMEONE ELSE. And then the whole cycle happens again tonight. LIVE. BEFORE OUR VERY EYES.”

It sounds pathetic, even to me, and oh – it was. I felt especially ridiculous when I had to clean up the wine that I threw around the bedroom in a humiliating display of unbridled ecstasy because I was excited about a new episode of a reality television show.

Someone save us. Bring knishes.

In addition to sweating profusely and drinking copious amounts of cold white wine, I’ve been downloading an ungodly amount of music. In the event you are remotely interested and/or looking for something new, here’s a few things I’ve picked up this week. Someone get me out of the house before I spend my whole paycheck.

Rusted Root, When I Woke
Further evidence that I have yet to move beyond my college years. I saw them more than (oh my God) 10 (or more?) years ago in a tiny bar, and I’ve loved them ever since. I’ve bought this album no fewer than four times and keep losing it. Let’s hope this is the last.

Peter Gabriel Up
Another re-purchase for me (where the fuck did all my CDs go?), but one that’s totally worth looking into if it’s new to you. If you’re an old-time Peter Gabriel (pre-So) fan, then you will appreciate it, as it’s pretty damn enjoyable. If you’re looking for “In Your Eyes” or even “Blood of Eden,” run screaming for the hills. It’s not that kind of album.

Snow Patrol Eyes Open
I’ve been totally resistant to this after the Grey’s Anatomy overload, but actually? It’s quite good. Sigh. Chase the cars, brother.

Keane Under the Iron Sea
Hopes and Fears was fucking phenomenal, and Under the Iron Sea doesn’t disappoint. I hear they’re fabulous live, and when Tom gets out of rehab and reschedules their shows, I suggest you go. I will not be there, however, since rock concerts make me uncomfortable, as I am uptight and also, awkward.

Carbon Leaf, 5 Alive
Great band no matter what, but live? Pretty freakin’ awesome. Not that I would know, because again: concerts make me unhappy. And so I pretend to go somewhere live. However, if you’ve never listened to Carbon Leaf, this is a nice introduction no matter what (although their other albums are outstanding too).

The Killers Sam’s Town
Pre-ordered. “When You Were Young” is exactly what it should have been, and is it possible for me to anticipate an album more? No. No it is not.

Have a great weekend.

*Fiona Apple

6 comments August 31st, 2006

Baba O’Riley

I have lived through many, many awkward moments. When I was in college, I was out at 3 a.m. – after several drinks – having pizza with a girlfriend, when I recognized one of the nearby patrons as my former boyfriend’s roommate who, on at least two occasions, walked in on me completely naked, doing, um, embarrassing things. And do you think I could just let it lie there? Nope. Totally caused a scene. Went on for an extremely long, loud time about how the last time we saw each other, he probably “…saw my ass first, right? HAHAHAHA.” Except no one was laughing, and everyone just looked horrified. The veins were popping out of my neck with the strain of the awkwardness, as my friend whispered in a completely terrified tone, “oh my God, you are making a scene. For the love of God, stop.”

I am good at scenes.

Of course, there have been many incidents of physical discomfort and stumbling moments such as the time I fell into the stingray pool at Sea World. I was feeding them as part of some ridiculous exhibit thing when I slipped on the algae on the ground and tumbled headfirst into the water, displacing about a frillion stingrays, their slippery little bodies squirming away from me as fast as possible while throngs of SeaWorld employees rushed to their rescue. Not my rescue, mind you. The stingrays’ rescue. I spent the rest of the day soaking wet, covered in green schmutz and the red veil of embarrassment.

But all of those bits of humiliation cannot possibly compare to the wild and flailing and…desperate discomfort I felt tonight while watching Rockstar: Supernova. BABA O’RILEY. Dear God, Ryan. I’ve put away the Ba Tempte pickles. I no longer have dreams of sharing a large plate of kugel with apricots and beef knish at Zaftig’s deli in Brookline. I mean, I wouldn’t throw him out of my bed…errr, car, or anything, but my God. The second the words “Baba O’Riley” were out of his mouth, I died. I knew. It’s the song of death (does he not remember Dana?) and MY GOD, it was bad. I like Baba O’Riley very much, in fact, but not for him. Or anyone, actually, except for The Who.

I watched the entire song from behind a pillow on our couch screeching, “PLEASE. STOP THIS. LET IT END. OH MY GOD, LET IT END.” and yet: it didn’t end. It went on and on and on and by the time he crawled up on the speakers, I was almost in tears, pleading with Adam to hit fast-forward on the Tivo, or push pause or change the channel or something to save us from the trainwreck unfolding before our eyes. He cruelly refused. In fact, he rubbed it in, screaming back, “YOUR BOY IS GOING DOWN IN FLAMES AND I AM GOING TO WATCH. NOW PLEASE STOP.”

Strangely, I felt so bad for Ryan. There was screaming and screeching and crawling. WHAT WAS WITH THE CRAWLING UP THE SPEAKERS? I forgave him last night when he humped the piano awkwardly (which was at stingray-levels of humiliation), but climbing up a set of speakers and jumping around like – oh hell, I don’t know what it was like – just killed me. It reminded me of one of those bare-assed baboons that move around ungracefully and try to act cool while they pick their ass, forgetting that their asses are bright, flaming red and hello, we can all see them. And their asses. And it’s not good, not good at all. Did anyone else catch Gilby’s horrified face?

The truth? I’m slightly more endeared to him, but on a platonic level now. Platonic. Listen to me. Like a) it matters and b) anyone cares, because there are like, three of you who watch this damn show. And I’m sure he’s disappointed at the change of heart from some random married woman in the south, and will save the pickle and knish entry until the day he dies.

I’m awkward, and I get awkward people, and DUDE, if you asked me to be a rockstar, I would totally get so nervous that I’d fumble around like an idiot and probably do something like fart on stage, then fall backwards from the powerful kickback and stench. This would, of course, take out an entire set of speakers along with Jason Newstead and his incredibly annoying, nerdy tone. (Who knew a bass player from Metallica could be so…GOD HELP US, I don’t know? Something powerfully geeky and not in a good way.) And then I would try to play it cool by going out while loudly spouting about my solo career which would be, mercifully, entirely played out sitting down at a piano where I could maintain some level of hotness.

Which is basically what Ryan did, sans farting. Moving around the stage? NOT HIS THING, unless you count flailing limbs and more uncomfortable moments than you can shake a stick at as remotely attractive. And thus, along with the departure of poor, awkward, geeky-hot Ryan, ends my brief career as a Rockstar: Supernova groupie and blogger. I will continue to watch, but the magic is gone on every possible level.

15 comments August 30th, 2006

Food & Creative Love

I’ve been going to the gym.

Let’s say that again: I’ve been going to the gym. Honestly, I can’t understand why I haven’t been receiving bouquets of congratulatory flowers for this, because it’s just that painful. I’d like tulips please, and in large bundles. I’ll take daisies if you’ve got ’em. No roses!

I sincerely hope it’s worth it, you know, even if it’s just for my health. Oh sod it, I can’t say that with a straight face, I just can’t. Yes, yes, I’m a huge proponent of healthy living, and I don’t have major body image issues, but I’d be completely lying if I said that lately, I’ve been craving a leaner form.

I hate that fact, and I hate that I just said that. Like many other things, I feel like wanting to be thin is far too stereotypical for me to concern myself with, yet as I get closer to having kids, it weighs on my mind. While I’m not at my heaviest, I feel like I was somewhat rapidly deteriorating to the all-time foom-baba, foom-baba! weight of last January. And I think of adding pregnancy weight to this, and I just imagine…oh christ, I just imagine a giant, blob-like form slothing around the house like Grimace, a baby attached to my boob while my greasy hair hangs around my head in sad strings. Strangely, I would also be purple.

Given that I have tendencies towards laziness, and also am extremely resistent to change, I can’t help but think it would be a little easier to resist the transformation into a McDonald’s character if I had a six-pack going into it. That way, I would at least have had that body once – just once! – in my sad little size 10 life.

How is it that some people crave exercise and actually enjoy it, while others of us would rather sit on the couch and eat wasabi almonds while watching back-to-back episodes of Rockstar Supernova? (Did you think you’d get away without hearing about it? Absolutely not. I have decided/realized (duh!) that Ryan is most definitely Jewish. And that, my friends, is about the most attractive thing about any man in the universe, and a Jewish musician? Hotter than hot. At this point, you probably think that I am Jewish. And you would be wrong! I am not Jewish! But I am intensely attracted to all things Jewish, particularly Jewish men and also, stuffed cabbage and kugel and knish. Ooh ooh, and the sound of someone speaking Hebrew. Yes. I am way into that. Give me a man who speaks Hebrew and I will swoon. If Ryan spoke Hebrew to me and then sang “The Back of Your Car” then I would die of some sort of strange orgasmic explosion and And then we could sit together and have some meat knish, followed by sweet and sour cabbage and maybe some Ba Tempte pickles.)

Anyway, as I journey down the long road to killer abs and a smaller ass, err, healthy living, I can’t help but wonder: why, exactly, I wasn’t wearing a bikini and/or some sort of revealing clothing throughout the entire decade of my 20s? Why wasn’t I rocking half-shirts and miniskirts and oh, I don’t know, assless pants or something? Despite my perpetual self-loathing, I was skinny and kind of on the hot side (not so much anymore, and don’t argue with me, as I don’t think I’m hot anymore, so this isn’t as obnoxious as it sounds, and how about we end this caveat right now, because I am sounding stupid and should just go eat a knish and maybe some kugel). Oh, where was I? Right. I didn’t wear a bikini all the time because I thought I was too fat. For the love of God, I weighed 110 pounds sopping wet, and yet I can distinctly recall being 23 and putting on a bikini and grabbing hold of what I actually called “love handles” and refusing to leave the house. Oh oh oh, and my ass was too big.

God, I was so stupid sometimes. I was kind of hot! I was skinny! I should have been naked, like all the time.

* I married a Jewish guy, for those of you who didn’t know. It had to be that way.

**Rusted Root

24 comments August 29th, 2006

In-Between Days

It’s hot here. I mean hot, like sear your everloving socks off, hot. Just a few weeks ago, I was rambling on and on about how not-hot it was, and how people in the Northeast, really, had it MUCH worse than we did, because it’s air-conditioned everywhere here, and it’s soooo manageable! So manageable!

Except, I lied. Honest to God, the heat could melt the hotpants off of a Las Vegas hooker. Stepping outside is like wandering through a thick veil of slightly sour pudding that clings to your skin in every crevice imaginable. Within 2.5 seconds of stepping outside, my upper lip has a sheen to it that resembles a salty mustache after kissing a whale. It’s a foul, foul world out there, and the beaches offer no respite, for the water is about as refreshing as dipping your toes into a toilet of hot piss.

Oh, and did I mention there are sharks that make swimming extremely unappealing (unless you’re Christine)? There are sharks. Everywhere. I do not lie. I’ve become friendly with an environmental writer down here, and he’s reported – multiple times – personally seeing 7 foot bull sharks and hammerheads close to shore WHERE I SWIM. Recently, he drawled in his loveable Tennessee accent, “I wouldn’t go swimmin’ with no silver jewelry, if I were you, darlin’. You don’t want to resemble a mackeral! I’ve seen it happen!”

So yeah. I’ve been spending a lot of time inside.

It’s weird, these in-between days where nothing is wrong, but nothing is particularly exciting, either. I’m not dreading anything, but I’m not really looking forward to anything. The mornings, workdays and mealtimes sort of all blend together into a bland melange of days indistinguishable from one another on the calendar. It makes me think of the days – much headier days – when things were exciting, because I was always working on something important, always working on another merger or acquisition or earnings announcement, always killing myself to write another speech. For the first time in a long time, I can kind of look back fondly on those days. Well, if not fondly, at least not with a vitriolic rage that makes me want to kill people who work in accounting at every company across this wild nation.

I recall a time a little over a year ago, sitting on a gigantic, major corporate financial announcement and accompanying documents, including a speech that the CEO was going to read live in about 10 minutes. No one – no one – in the entire company had read those documents but me, and yet they were about to go out across the entire world to thousands of investors in 15 minutes. The whole time, I was thinking, “If these are wrong – if there is a fucking TYPO in these numbers – then I’m going to jail. J-A-I-L,” and for the first time ever, I wasn’t really being dramatic. I was pretty sure that it was absolutely true, and I would have been next to Ken Lay in orange scrubs screaming, “ATTICA! ATTICA!” I then cried and threw up, but when it was over, I rejoiced! I was right! Hot damn, I had done it! The sense of accomplishment was so overwhelming, I cried again. (For the record, all of this crying and puking was happening behind closed doors.)

Adam is living some of those days right now, and while I don’t envy him the ass-clenching stress, I know I’m going to be jealous of his sense of accomplishment when this is all over, and I never thought I’d think that. It’s not that I don’t love what I do – sweet Jesus alive, I do – but for the first time in my life, I’m completely and totally competent at it, and it is completely without excitement, and mostly without challenge. I feel like a giant turd complaining about this: I have a great job. I’m always home in time for dinner, and hell, if I go to work early in the morning, I can be finished by 4 p.m. and walk away without guilt. But there’s something to be said for challenging yourself beyond your comfort zone, and I haven’t done that in a very long time. I’m writing my book, yes, but not nearly as much as I should be. I’m writing more professionally than I ever have before, and it’s immensely satisfying. But christ, I can’t help but think “more, more, more, you lazy ass!”

I don’t know if it’s the curse of the Type A, or just the way things are. Honestly. The drive to ACCOMPLISH ACCOMPLISH ACCOMPLISH supercedes relaxation to the point of distraction. I hate sitting quiet, and I’m afraid that when these days are over – when I’m chasing a toddler around the house and I would give my right patella for just a moment to myself, a moment to write, a moment to accomplish more – I will regret not making more of them.

Or will I regret not just chilling right the hell out, exercising and watching the world go by? Gak, I wish I knew the answer.

Although honestly, if the world continues to look like this, I will stop watching. Doesn’t it look like I’m driving straight into the ninth level of hell?

*The Cure

14 comments August 28th, 2006

Domino Dancing

I don’t dance under any circumstances. It goes along with that whole uncomfortable-in-my-body thing – I am mostly unaware of the space around me, and walk into walls, objects and I’ve stepped on my pets more than I’d like to admit (and the squealing – oh the squealing! – is miserable). Want to make me squirm? Force me to dance in a large group of people, preferably with Gloria Gaynor or ABBA swirling in the background, and I will melt into a puddle of miserable discomfort.

It’s not that I don’t feel the urge to move in time with music: au contraire, for I can rock out and head bob when I’m alone in a moving vehicle like nobody’s business. It’s that I cannot perform these movements in front of another living being, and that definitely includes Sunny. The last time I danced, I had consumed no fewer than 11 shots of tequila and was be-bopping along with my too-short-but-still-hot French Moroccan college boyfriend when I fell back, hit my head on a random barstool and got up and kept right on dancing after he picked me up off the floor. The next day was spent puking, shivering and feeling like I was wearing orthodontic headgear combined with some sort of vise-like grip around my temples. And that was that.

Nothing good comes from dancing. I know there are many who argue with me, but seriously, no. Just no. Yes, it’s awkward for me at parties to simply stand in the corner looking stiff and judgy, and yes, it made for many an uncomfortable evening out with my friends when everyone thought that heading down to Avalon on Lansdowne Street was a good idea (and oh by the way, this is never a good idea, even if you’re Paula Abdul.) And for the record, I’m not happy with this development: like many things, it’s a symptom of my odd shyness that manifests itself in bizarre, specific ways.

Repeat: it’s never a good idea for me to dance. I am even uncomfortable when other people are dancing, unless it’s a part of some sort of performance, and a night out at Wonder Bar doesn’t count. And, like the rock star situation, this is because I imagine that it’s me, and I can hardly contain my terror because they might MAKE ME DANCE, and then I will explode.

There’s a solid chance that this makes me a mirthless, pathetic sack of a human being who is trying to suck the last remaining joy out of humanity, and perhaps that’s a correct assessment. But the world, oh the world! would just be so much more comfortable for me if there was no dancing! I wouldn’t have to see people rock out, their awkward little bodies twisting in the wind like a giant mass of drying towels. Their jaws are always set tight, for they need to concentrate, as dancing is hard. I wouldn’t have to feel bad because other people feel bad that I am not dancing, because really, I am much happier this way. I would rather just stand on the sidelines, bobbing my head like Chris Kattan while sipping on a cocktail, thanks. And it would most definitely mean that I would not have to sit there eating multiple pieces of crappy cake while wedding revelers rock the night away to Mustang Sally.

However, like most things that involve some level of letting go, it is true that I am merely jealous of the dancers: Jealous that they can just let their little bodies go free with the rhythm without worrying about the awkward direction of their hips and flailing arms. I’m jealous that they can just screw their eyes shut and let go and not worry about how ridiculous they look. Because I can’t. Nope. No can do. My flailing arms have taken out entire soup displays at the supermarket just moving them normally – I shudder to think what deliberate arm-flailing would do.

You know that song – that incredibly annoying, twee, and interminably frustrating song – “I Hope You Dance?” Every time I hear it, I sincerely hope Lee Ann Womack falls over and clonks her head hard enough to require stitches while cutting a rug at her next family function. Maybe then she wouldn’t be such a judgmental pain in the ass about those of us who choose to sit it out instead of dance, and intimate that we are all going to burn in the fiery depths of hell because we lack faith and dancing. (I know, I know, I’m doing the same to the dancers. The irony is not lost on me.)

Actually, the main reason I wish they would stop playing that song is so that women with a penchant for acid washed jeans and big hair will stop playing it at their weddings and writing the lyrics all over their websites with giant airbrushed hearts, flowers and kittens, screaming things like, “DADDY! I luv u always and foreva…I HOPE U DANCE. Lotsa LUV AND KISSES – BRANDI.” (The ‘i’ must be dotted with a pink heart.)

Separately, it’s been a painfully uneventful weekend at Chez Jonniker, unless you count a level of work stress eeking from Adam that can be picked on Doppler radar as a giant angry-looking blob. I can FEEL the stress oozing from his pores like a meal of old roasted garlic. I feel just wretched for the guy, but honestly, I’m doing my best to avoid him. Hence, I have been living my life in a strange, yet not unpleasant, vacuum. If there was a single goddamn thing worth photographing or reporting on, believe me, I would. I am as sick of seeing those giant hunks of meat in the corner as you are. And lo, maybe we’ll have a hurricane to talk about! Whoo hoo!

(As if to illustrate his ornery nature, Adam just exploded in a fit of irrational rage because our favorite weatherman is not briefing us on the status of Ernesto: “What the fuck, is he on vacation? Does he not know we need him? THIS IS RIDICULOUS.”)

*Pet Shop Boys.

20 comments August 27th, 2006

The Back of Your Car

I’m pretty sure when the world ends, I will be hiding under a mattress clutching Adam, crying and screaming my fool head off while I wait for the aliens to come and pick the flesh off of my bones (Can you tell I saw ‘War of the Worlds?’ And that it was Not Good. Not Good At All?). I think it is safe to say that I will not be in the back of a carwith some random wannabe rock star – of that much I am sure. Do I wish that’s what I could be doing? Today, the answer is hell oddly yes.

I am prone to celebrity crushes. Ever since the days of Teen Beat, when I plastered ripped-out photos of Jason Bateman and Ralph Macchio all over my wall, I have had a crush on at least one celebrity, and in particular, I have had a thing for rock stars. I went to college in the days of Dave Matthews, and spent an inordinate amount of time listening to “Crash” over and over and over on repeat thinking, “But I wear nothing so well too! And dude, you can look up my skirt anytime.”

And now, my rockstar lust has oozed into the world of reality TV: I have a crush on Ryan Star of Rockstar Supernova, and I am not ashamed! I don’t care who knows it!

Except, I am not rockstar girlfriend material. I have small boobs. I’m nerdy. I sometimes wear glasses and have a penchant for dairy farms and I’m kind of into fidelity and also? I get embarrassed when people sing live, and it’s why I hate concerts and musicals. Something about the passionate eye-closing and singing and everything and oh, I get hives just thinking about it, because I imagine that it’s me and then I feel faint. Which is why I married the antithesis of a rockstar, and although once, long, long ago, he had a burgeoning rap career, he is decidedly un-rockstaresque. (Please for the love of all that is holy, do not ask, but I will only say this: there was a time, once when we were in Stop n’ Shop, where someone screamed, “MC STORM!” and Adam turned around and waved, because yes, they were talking to him. There. Enough.) And so, I will content myself with the fantasy of a rockstar, happy with my warm dreams of a much-younger man in my bed, yet even happier with the technology geek I ended up marrying.

But seriously, um, I bought Ryan Star’s album on iTunes. And I listened to it all the livelong day. And it was good. And I still want to have sex with him, except not really, because, well, you know. Unless of course, the world is ending, in which case I will try to crawl out from my mattress to find his car! I will try!

*For those of you who do not watch the show (and I think that is most of you), he, um, sang an original song about having sex in the back of a car while the world is ending, and everyone else is totally in church. And I am pretty much so. freaking. there.

And now for a series of completely ridiculous non-sequiturs:

Today I was talking to someone who was hard of hearing – or so I hope – for when I asked him, “How is that volunteer project going?” He answered, completely earnestly, “Yes! We do have a lot of ducks in the lake! How did you know?”

And tonight while out at dinner, we met a couple from Massachusetts – Canton, to be exact – and I announced that “Our wedding is there in three weeks!” But of course, it is not OUR wedding, it is our friends’ wedding, and while we are going to it, we aren’t getting married. Except I didn’t realize that’s what I’d said and I spent a good ten minutes deflecting their squeals of “Oh my GOD! CONGRATULATIONS!” and trying to figure out why they were so excited that we’re going to a wedding. And then when they asked me where the wedding was, of course I had no idea, and the woman promptly asked, “How is that possible?” which left me more confused and then finally, they just walked away with a rather disgusted air about them.

And lastly, Sunny has acne. It’s my fault for using plastic dishes, I know, but she’s a teenager! With acne! And um, it’s taking every inch of me not to pop her zits for her. I know, I’m gross, but I CANNOT LET A PIMPLE LIE THERE. I can’t. It’s why I walk around with a scabby face shortly after a zit, and it’s also why every boyfriend I’ve ever had has been terrified of me picking at them like some sort of OCD monkey. If there is a whitehead in the room, I need to eradicate it, immediately, and I do not care whose face it’s on. I will pop that shit, if given the chance. Blackheads too. Sick. I’m sick.

And now, I’m projecting such horrific acts onto my dog. And also fucking rockstars and getting married. It’s been an exciting week.

*Dude. Ryan Star. Leave me alone. I know.

23 comments August 24th, 2006

Patience of a Saint

I was so ornery today for no good reason. I wasn’t in a particularly bad mood, but my patience was somewhere in the negative range. What’s worse, I had no idea until I was driving along, blithely listening to my iPod (which was, infuriatingly, only playing every other song and there was nothing I could do about it – not even a soft reset could save me), when two girls were driving too slow in the left lane. Honestly, I behaved as though they spit in my eye, the way I carried on and screamed at them and flipped them off wildly with two hands and then rolled down my window and stared them down with the Evil Eye of Angry Honda Driver. Yes, yes, they were going 25 MPH and if I’d stayed behind them, I’m sure I’d have been killed, or at least, okay fine, REAR-ENDED but really? Was the rage necessary?

No. No, it was not.

Later, when a perfectly nice and completely well-meaning co-worker asked me where the envelopes were kept, I felt rage boil within me like nothing I’d experienced before. Well, at least I’d never experienced it related to office supplies. Envelopes as a source of blind rage? Discuss.

I’m always like this when Adam flies, I’ve realized. So, in addition to not sleeping, worrying about random illnesses and a host of other concerns and maladies, I’m apparently a raging psycho who wants to beat up little girls while they drive to work. Oh oh oh! And also: entirely dependent on a husband for my emotional well-being, lest I unleash with the fury of hell on anyone who dares ask me for an envelope.

I am woman, hear me roar.

Really it’s that I’m afraid to fly, and when anyone I love is on a plane, I’m nervous and edgy and awful to be near. And since he was flying into our nation’ s capital, I had visions of some rogue teenager with a death wish blowing him up over the Chesapeake Bay with, I don’t know, Axe Body Spray. He’s fine, and I am now calm.

Also, did you know that I am opinionated and sometimes I can be a major asshole? Yes. I don’t know why I can’t keep my mouth shut, and for some reason, if there’s a subject that I have an opinion on, I feel compelled to stubbornly share that opinion, sometimes loudly, like I’m some kind of expert, even if I do not actually care about the subject at hand.

However, even discussing it at all makes it look like I care, and then, because I’ve launched INTO the diatribe in the first place, I feel compelled to finish it. And then I realize I actualy have no vested interest in the topic or person a hand, and I try to backpedal, because the truth is, I don’t actually care, but by then it is too late, and I have already launched off and I am in very, very deep. And also stubborn and mean-sounding. Over nothing that I actually care that much about.

I did this a few months ago while I was defending the safety of alligators in lagoons. Alligators. I couldn’t care less about fucking alligators, and yet there I was defending them like I worked for the WWF. This is a repeating pattern.

An all-around pleasant day, really. Road rage. Opinion-spouting. Envelope rage. Oh oh, and behaving like a general asshole.

But Big Brother AND Rockstar Supernova are on, and let’s hope the excitement of it all puts me in a better mood.

*Electronic

11 comments August 22nd, 2006

Round & Around

I’d love to write a scintillating recap of my weekend with my family – which was glorious, by the way, and full of fun meals, playing Boggle with my mom and tripping over (and taking out) a giant stack of Maeve Binchys at a used bookstore while my mother laughed so hard I thought I’d killed her – HOWEVER, I am forced to address more pressing issues, such as the fact that the friendly folks at US Airways lost my bag. The bag I only checked because I wanted to bring liquid hair product across state lines. Yet another way that terrorists are giving it to us right up the pooper.

Now, I realize that LOTS AND LOTS of people lose their bags, and I guarantee that all of you have lost your bag at least once and I am being a whiny little pain in the ass about this, but I’m still irked. I know I have no right to be, given that there wasn’t anything more valuable in there other than an outlet-procured Donna Karen skirt and an alarming number of Threadless t-shirts and so whatever.

What’s unfortunate is that this means that you won’t get to see any of the pictures I took over the weekend of exciting Pennsylvania-like things such cows, goats and barn cats (yet. YET!), because the downloading thingamabob is in my luggage which is….well, we don’t know where it is, do we? And you probably don’t care. But would it intrigue you more to know that one of those cows was named after me? ME?

Me neither.

God, it was only three days, but it felt so long, and after I came home, I skipped so happily happily happily! into the house to see everyone and oh look, my husband! How I love you! Sunny! Snapper! The love, it was overwhelming! And then I was immediately assaulted with something more overwhelming than my love. Something very…potent. And familiar. And very, very expensive. Something that I could only describe as smelling like “me.” Shit. It smelled like fucking Quelques Fleurs Royale.

According to Adam, the entire bottle broke on the kitchen floor* after the cat knocked it over and seriously? I might throw up. Not just because it is nauseatingly expensive (though I bought mine on eBay, so please don’t stone me when you see the price PLEASE), but because while at first sniff our home smells like like a garden-fresh vanilla grapefruit grove, an entire bottle is…well, it’s sickening, and it’s everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. I’m lying in bed right now and the powerful wafts are wafting right up to my miserable little nose. Nowhere is safe. It’s so overwhelmingly potent – like living downwind of Donatella Versace -and it’s highly unlikely that I will ever buy another bottle or ever ever wear it again. The end.

Oh and separately, yet related, I was behind a young kid in security this morning at the Philadelphia airport, and after going through the x-ray machine, we were both stopped for a random bag search. Well, mine was random, but his was not so much “random” as it was “completely deliberate, you fucking clueless moron” because he had four tubes of Crest toothpaste and – I shit you not – 10 bottles of Axe shower gel and two bottles of body spray in his backpack. The backpack he planned to carry on the plane. Where has this young man been living? A cave where they serve up bad bath products and send you on your merry way? Axe? AXE. And four tubes of toothpaste. Because Axe will turn his pimply little ass into Nick Lachey, and he needs to be prepared.

Until tomorrow when, baggage Gods willing, I shall bring you very (VERY!) exciting pictures of cows and emus and chickens, oh my! Did you know emus’ claws have the power to eviscerate us? Yummy.

*I took it out of my luggage at the last minute. Hence, why the perfume was in the kitchen. No, we do not usually keep it there.

**Alana Davis

16 comments August 20th, 2006

Jezebel

An acquaintance of mine has gone through roommate after roommate, and man, it just sucks for her. She’s nice, responsible and completely normal, and yet she continues to get shafted with one insane roommate after another. One was a depressive alcoholic who tried to kill himself, another was obsessed with repeatedly washing her dog, and yet another up and left in the middle of the night with no explanation, taking some of her belongings with him.

Hearing her stories of woe, I’ve never been so freaking thankful that time of my life is over, because good God, it really sucked. I mean, please don’t get me wrong – I’ve had great roommates and lived with some of my dearest friends. Yes yes, there was that horrible time that Eve and I were so broke and so…God, I don’t know what we were thinking, but we shared a two-room studio apartment in the North End of Boston that was so freaking small that our two beds were smooshed together so close that we had no choice but to sleep together every night due to space limitations.

But gads, today I was thinking about my senior year in college, when four of us decided to rent a house off campus with two other girls we didn’t know well and holy shit, that was bad. Eve decided to head to London for the first part of the year, and lo, we ended up with a substitute roommate (chosen by the other two girls) from motherfucking hell, and yea, it was truly hellish. Janelle* was a tall, buxom blonde with a penchant for slutty clothes, too much perfume and a raging eating disorder. Loud, brash and brazen, she was Anna Nicole Smith after too many cigarettes and about four gallons of rum. She had a husky deep voice and was Amazonian in stature and she fancied herself to be “tough” and demonstrated it at every turn by screaming at all of us whenever she got the chance, whether it was about who took the garbage out last (never her), who ate her Rice A Roni or why, for the love of GOD, we were angry at her for having sex on the living room floor when we were supposed to be sleeping? (Um, maybe because she was banging against my bedroom door, which was actually IN THE LIVING ROOM, and I didn’t like waking up to the sounds of someone else’s orgasm? Could that be it?)

I’m not normally one to judge another’s sexual escapades, glass houses and all, but I saw that woman’s bare ass more than I’ve seen my own that semester. She brought home every guy I knew, some I dated, and some I’d only heard of by reputation. One evening, around 3 a.m., I heard a scuffle upstairs in the bathroom. Convinced she’d passed out on the floor after locking herself in for the frillionth time, I wandered up the stairs and attempted to rescue her. It wasn’t until I’d knocked on the door for a full three minutes that I heard the moaning that would indicate she was in there with her third guy of the night. I knew this because I’d caught the other two on their way out as I sat in the living room. Twice, I bumped into my ex-boyfriends on their way out as they sneaked their way down the stairs in their boxers and clutching their pants, hoping to make their escape before she woke up and figured out they were gone. Instead they found me downstairs by the door, the picture of grace and poise as I sat in the living room with a bowl of cereal watching Real World marathons and looking awkward in my plaid pajamas and wild hair.

I got into a conversation with her once about how many guys she’d slept with, and as she counted on her fingers and chewed her lip, she finally admitted that she’d lost count after 123, which was a few months back (!!). I’ve always wondered if it was for that semester, or her entire life. Both seemed possible, but sadly, the former seemed more likely. And can I just say ‘ew,’ without sounding all judgy and awful, given that at the time of this conversation, she was only 21, and thus, not THAT far out of puberty? Because: Ew.

She was a vegetarian, so she claimed, but would lapse late at night after a hard night of drinking. It wasn’t unusual the rest of us to wake up and find the entire contents of the refrigerator decimated – including one terrifying evening where the nine (9!) chicken breasts I’d had in the freezer had been turned into what looked like a very messy chicken salad and devoured in front of the television overnight. A rogue chunk drenched in mayonnaise and raisins (?!) tucked in the couch cushions was all that remained of my stash. And that morning, like every morning throughout the entire year, she denied all of it, crowing, “I AM A VEGETARIAN! MEAT DISGUSTS ME!”

It wasn’t until my other roommate caught her at 4 a.m. with half of a pilfered deli bag of sliced ham dangling out of her mouth that it all came together. Wrong as it may be, I’ve been suspicious of most vegetarians ever since.

I think about her sometimes. I often wonder how the christ she ended up so irreparably damaged that she had to fill her life with alcohol, food and sex in order to function. Sadly, I still haven’t been able to muster much pity for her, for she made my life as miserable as she possibly could that year, screaming at me – at all of us – for demanding she pick up her clothes and dishes (she left such disaster in her wake that we discovered a colony of maggots living behind her stash of shit on the kitchen counter). But mostly we demanded, for the love of God, that she stop having sex all over the house every minute and maybe take care of herself a little more, so as not to die a painful, violent death of rape, murder and destruction?

One of my fondest memories of college is hearing my friend Mike recount the time he saw her light her face on fire while extremely drunk at Harry’s Bar. Apparently she’d overdone the hair product that night, and when she the hand holding her lighter slipped, the flame caught hold of the flammable hairspray and quickly grew around her like a blazing halo. Too drunk to realize what happened, she tried to blow it out in concentric circles with her meager little lips, and she came home later that night with a singed head and eyebrows. She never did tell me what happened. Thank God for Mike. Dear God, just thinking about it, I’m seriously laughing so hard I had to collect myself to type it.

Ugh, what a waste. I can’t even feel sorry for her, even though part of me believes she’s probably dead by now, self-destructed into a ball of flames.

In other news, while taking Sunny out for her late-night walk, a frog jumped on my head in his desperate escape to make it off of the moving front door. A frog jumped on my head. It touched my hair. I grabbed with my hand, threw it, and screamed like someone was stabbing me with a bloody knife, and Adam yelled at me for terrifying the neighborhood and “crying wolf,” when what if there was a real emergency?

Seriously dude, if a frog on your head isn’t an emergency, then I don’t know what is.

*Not her real name. But does anyone watch Big Brother? She looks like a way – WAY – sluttier and trashier version of Janelle. Hence the name. But Eve totally knows who I’m talking about, don’t you?

**10,000 Maniacs.

15 comments August 15th, 2006

Twilight

I’ve never been particularly patriotic. In fact, patriotism scares me a little – I’ve always seen it like some kind of extreme religion, even though I know that’s just silly and painfully incorrect. I guess it always struck me that patriotism was unwavering love for the country we live in – love that requires that you don’t question what happens and you just shut up and sit back and be thankful, you stuffy little ingrate. I don’t suppose it helps that the pervasive stereotype of patriotism pushes the idea of driving a beat up truck with a rear window graphic of a confederate flag and a bumper sticker that says “Git ‘r done!” in an unironic fashion. Inhabitants of the truck are usually wearing head to toe camo and have a penchant for going squirrel hunting and yammering on and on about the time they done up and ran near over that there ‘gator in the hole on their way fishin’ near their grandmomma’s trailer.

And please don’t get me started on God and religion and all of that good stuff. I don’t have it in me to bring it up or argue it or debate it.

Before 9/11, I ran from people who had giant flags dangling from their windows and I fled in horror from women who thought it was a good idea to wear red, white and blue on ANY occasion, much less nearly every weekend. And I would have cringed at the idea that anyone would think it was a good idea to bake American-themed cupcakes for a baseball game. I guess times change, and I haven’t publicly stoned anyone for such behavior yet, and on occasion, I can understand it. But although 9/11 hit me just as hard as anyone else, I failed to jump on the patriotism train and I don’t own a single flag, nor have I donned anything red, white and blue. And it goes without saying that no cupcakes have ever been baked on my watch.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments where I am just flat-out bowled over at how wonderful our country is, even if it’s just by the beauty of the landscape alone. I haven’t been to as many places as I’d like to have been in the U.S. in my relatively short life, but each one of them has been vastly unique and breathtakingly beautiful. This weekend on Sanibel was no exception. The area where I live is a hotbed of development activity. Highrises and pre-fab developments are going up all over the place like giant ant farms, and there is so much friggin’ commerce everywhere that I swear there are going to be repurcussions from the amount of nail salons per capita. Someday the pervasive acrylic fumes are going to cause me to have a baby with a giant fin on its back and I’ll have no one to blame but myself and my compulsive desire for pretty toenails.

But ahh, Sanibel. Smart zoning and a plethora of wildlife refuges make it a lush oasis in the middle of this insanely busy, freakish land. And though our cottage was an overpriced, gritty-floored dog-friendly hovel, it was about 11 feet from the Gulf, and when you can smell the sea from your bed at night, does anything else really matter? We danced on the beach and ate at fabulous restaurants and I swam in the water until my whole body became a brined delicacy. I could hear the ocean swirling around my ears, and I thought: this is heaven. A pelican swooped down and flew level with the water so close to me that for one magic moment we were eye to eye and I laughed at the sandpipers doing their swift little dance as the blue foam caught their toes.

This is such a stark change from the rolling hills of Pennsylvania where I grew up in a land of dairy farms and green cornfields. And it’s a far cry from the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean as it hurtled along the edge of the breaking wall during a snowstorm in Massachusetts near my last apartment. And while it’s not dissimilar to the salt marshes of the low country region of South Carolina where I lived for a time, I’ve never seen anything quite as beautiful as the sun setting over the tall grasses on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. And all of this is wrapped up in one small section on the east coast of the United States, and there is more – more! – in the rest of the country, in the midwest, and the great plains and the west coast. There are mountains in Utah, and mesas in Arizona and towering cliffs in Oregon and snowcaps on the Rockies and goddamn, this whole place is just so fucking beautiful. And we get to choose where we live – where we go next, where we want to visit, what we want to see, and no one can stop us. And while I’m not particularly patriotic or religious, I can’t help but marvel at the wonder of it all. I can’t help but marvel at the incredibly disparate nature of each of our country’s four corners, and how lucky we are to get to live here, travel here and choose our own destiny. And I guess I’m just really thankful to whoever made that possible.

Oh splurt, I’ve just been pummeled back to reality by audible horror at the purchase of skim milk vs. 2 percent, and a certain small dog has to poop. Good thing, as I was starting to get obnoxiously earnest, and damn, it was annoying, wasn’t it?

*ELO. I am in a musical rut. I’ll be repeating myself for a while.

11 comments August 13th, 2006

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