Archive for December, 2007

Love Is All We Have

Oh hi there! How nice to see you! I hope you had a good holiday. My goodness, there has been so much going on. We went up north to visit family, drove our asses up to Vermont, drove home in one of the worst, and I mean OH MY GOD, THE WORST, snowstorms I’ve ever driven through, and I mean really, at one moment — ironically when the snow cleared, and people started feeling safe enough to drive like assholes, of couse — I feared for our lives. Driving in near white-out conditions? Perfectly fine. Everyone drives reasonably well, then. Sleet? Freezing rain? Death on a stick.

Driving back to Boston from Vermont, a car missed an exit and thought he’d try to make it anyway by cutting the wheel, which only resulted in him slicing across six lanes of Rte. 93, spinning four times and COMING RIGHT AT US, only to spin one more time and land by the guardrail, facing us, yes, but on the side of the road and relatively unscathed.

I cried the rest of the way home, shivering in my coat, because Jesus, if we’d been there a few seconds earlier, that car would have been smashed directly against my husband and
GOODBYE, LIFE. IT WAS NICE TO KNOW YOU. This may be the first time that my Grinchy bladder that was born two sizes too small saved us. I’m telling you, the fact that I put the ‘pee’ in Sunapee is PRECISELY the reason we’re alive today. And did I mention it was my birthday, when all of this scariness went down? Nothing like spending your birthday alone in a strange city, followed by a near-death experience during a harrowing, snow-laden drive. (Seriously. Scariest drive EVAR.)

Really, it wasn’t a great birthday. Not that I have high expectations or actually care all that much — a Dec. 27 birth date will do that to you, and OH THE CHRISTMAS WRAPPING PAPER — but near-death experiences? SERIOUSLY, GOD? (Something tells me that maybe my birthday gift was surviving. And I’m okay with that. So ah, thank you, God.)

Anyway! Onward with the New Year’s meme, before I get too carried away with the ranting and the raving. Pilfered from Linda for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, 2007 was a bit of a sucktackular year, but according to my slightly off friend the astrology buff, this is Capricorn’s year, what with Jupiter heading into Capricorn and all. I did as I was instructed and took some time around the solstice to think about what I wanted and came up with … well, the basics, but mostly I just prayed that 2008 was better than 2007. I mean, it wasn’t the worst year, but it was pretty … well, it wasn’t the easiest, either.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

Uhhh …. I got a fancy new title at work that involves “editor” which, sadly, is the most exciting thing that happened to me all year, and that wasn’t even that riveting.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Oh no. Apparently I was supposed to write a book this year? Oh har har HAR, that did not happen. And I don’t think I’ll be attempting any this year other than general improvements all around.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


HO! So get this: the same two people who gave birth last year gave birth this year, too. My younger brother had a SECOND baby boy last week, and Adam’s brother had a second baby boy. And my friend Erica had the most spectacular baby girl ever.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thank God, no. I guess it wasn’t such a bad year after all.

5. What countries did you visit?

Yeah, ah, the U.S.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

Too many things to really list, but mostly, I’d like more local friends and a little sense of perspective.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I don’t think many, to tell you the truth. I think they all kind of blended together, but I think that’s to be expected when it’s 80 degrees all the time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Losing almost 30 pounds. That was pretty freaking awesome, and thrills me to this day.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I was under a lot of stress this year, and frankly, I’m not proud of how I handled it — how I’m still handling it. In a few weeks, I’ll be able to tell you more, but I’ve been a bit of a wreck lately. Not depressed-wreck like I was before, but I’ve been stressy and frustrated. And if I had to guess, I haven’t been that enjoyable to be around. And I’m not happy about that — it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy, you know? The more stressed I get, the less grace I have to handle it, which simply makes me MORE stressed and oh my, what a vicious cycle we have.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I tore my plantar fascia while running.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My little Nikon D40.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Like last year, it has to go to my husband, who has kept both of us sane and, at times, laughing our asses off during some challenging moments. And the dog has been positively angelic. Who’s got a new Boston Celtics collar? WHO LOVES KEVIN GARNETT?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I think the near universal answer has to be the Spears family for this one, don’t you think? I mean, I’m not usually for blaming the parents when things go awry, but Jamie and Lynne, please: you gotta look at where things went wrong. You just … well, you have to.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Savings, because we like to live on the edge like that.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Dude, putting on pants that were two sizes smaller was the greatest moment in recent memory. It’s a wonder I’m not going to work naked, such is the extent of my pride and joy. I’ve never been so excited by the sight of my thighs.

Also, I fell in love with running. Who gets excited about running? OH I DO. LET ME GO RUN.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

Sara Bareilles “Love Song” Oh, how I love the Sara Bareilles, I don’t care how poppy and fluffy she is. That voice! I love it!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
Sadder isn’t the right word; I know this time will pass. I’m perhaps more hopeful, but in many ways, more apprehensive. But I feel good about 2008. b) thinner or fatter? Oh, I am thinner. SO MUCH THINNER! I am healthy! Small! Happy!
c) richer or poorer?
Financially, we’re better off.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Relaxing and letting go.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We spent the actual holiday with my family in Swampscott; part of the rest of it was spent in Burlington, Vermont.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

I fell more in love with my husband and dog, sure.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Friday Night Lights, how I love you.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nah.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read a lot this year, but you know what? The new Harry Potter thrilled me. Mock me if you will, I can take it.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Jesca Hoop. And I loved Sara Bareilles, which surprised me, for she’s not the kind of thing I’m usually into.

26. What did you want and get?

Plenty of new music. A new camera. And OH YES, a new body.

27. What did you want and not get?

Lots of really big important things, but at the end of the day, I have a great husband, a sweet dog and a family I adore.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I can’t remember the last movie I saw.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

See above: I drove through a snowstorm and cried. I turned 32.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More friends who live within driving distance. It’s tough when most of them are very, very far away.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?

Jeans that fit.

32. What kept you sane?

Adam. My family. My friends. Lawyerish.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Uh … my crush on Milo Ventimiglia remains steadfast.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Oh forget it.

35. Who did you miss?

My family. Erica — having one of your best friends go through a major milestone away from you sucks, it really does. Friends.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Tammie. I need to see her again now that we’re back.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Everything is temporary. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes it’s bad, but it’s a fact.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
LAME. Oh the lameness. But look! “Everything is temporary, anyway … ” Edie Brickell, “Circle”
I can’t believe I just wrote a SONG LYRIC. Color me emo in black eyeliner.

Feel free to meme von memerton this. Linda’s keeping tabs on the participants, so check back there for links.

*Jesca Hoop.

12 comments December 28th, 2007

Falling Silent in the Dark

We’re heading to the great northern tundra for the holidays, and I needed to ask my neighbors to watch our house-slash-cat, and oh I made it as awkward as humanly possible. This of course, will be no great surprise to anyone who’s been reading this website for more than five minutes.

This time, however, I think I even outdid myself, when I pulled up in front of their house as they were standing outside to just pop out and say, hey! Will you watch the house? And … they didn’t see me and I realized they were heading into their car, and it would be inappropriate to stop them. But I was already out of MY car when I realized this and so I tried to … I tried to dart quickly back to my car without them seeing me, but the thing is that they DID see me, so both of them (BOTH OF THEM) launched wildly out of their minivan like there was some kind of EMERGENCY — or, more likely, a mouthbreathing stalker — as they nervously yelled, “HELLO THERE. WE SEE YOU. WHO ARE YOU?”

And … and I was just left standing there panicking in the dark until I popped out from behind my car and announced, “It’s me! I’m … I’m really sorry to accost you in your driveway and then lurk behind my car. I am … I am really embarrassed.”

That’s … well, that’s exactly what I said to the letter, and I kind of wish I were kidding. I think that summed up the situation nicely, and I’m sure the hysterical nervous laughter and wild hand gestures drove the point home (“I realized you were leaving and tried to leave before you saw me and I bothered you, but I couldn’t get there fast enough and I’m so sorry!” HAND GESTURE HAND GESTURE HAND GESTURE FLAILING HAND FARKING GESTURE).

And then I stood there as they clutched their chests with relief and confusion, because by then I had completely forgotten why I was there, and I still hadn’t explained WHY I was lurking behind my Honda, and it took me a solid three minutes to remember why I embarked on this awkward, ridiculous mission. And if you think three minutes isn’t any time at all, oh, you are WRONG, and anyone who’s ever used an ovulation prediction kit can tell you EXACTLY how long three minutes is (AN EXPENSIVE, USELESS ETERNITY).

But they were happy to do it, even if they went to dinner thinking I was a bit of a nutter, which — let’s be honest — isn’t an inaccurate assessment.

All of this drama to protect the house I kind of don’t like AND a cat who scratches my face off twice a week.

Anyway! It’s pomegranate season, and I’ve been eating one every chance I get, and my God, while those suckers are strangely delicious and tart, they really are kind of giant glorified cranberries, aren’t they? Giant, glorified cranberries that take at least fifteen minutes to prepare, which is interminably frustrating and more than a little obsessive with the never-ending seed picking and juice smearing, and hey, did you know that each of them has exactly, and I mean PRECISELY, 840 seeds? Nature is so randomly awesome.

In addition to all of this holiday awkwardness and merriment, I am currently so busy at work that my eyeballs are bleeding. One of the greatest joys (ho ho NOT) of my business is that when you take a vacation or have a holiday, my job doesn’t slow down or stop for anything, be it a holiday, vacation or national tragedy (actually, I dread a national tragedy for reasons so far beyond the obvious, because in addition to whatever personal reaction to said tragedy, I would have an obligation and odd desire to deal with said tragedy in some kind of professional, public manner and OH THE BLEEDING EYES).

Ergo, I have to finish everything I have on my plate for this week AND everything that could possibly come up for next week and the week after that (and after that, too!) and my head kind of feels like it’s trying to come squarely out of my ears in tiny, typeset strings. On the upside, I met a woman with the last name of Vulcan today and I couldn’t stop snickering.

And with that, I’m off to do more laundry because my dog just … well, honestly, she just farted directly into my face — my lips, to be more specific, as she was climbing on me and her butt was briefly passing right near my lips and it was … well, that makes it sound like I was doing something wildly inappropriate to her butt with my lips and I assure you, I wasn’t, it’s just that … oh, forget it. I’ve got laundry to do.

Happy Wednesday!

*Catie Curtis

23 comments December 18th, 2007

The Sword of Damocles

Next week is Christmas! CHRISTMAS! And Hanukkah is over! And once again, another year has passed where I failed to get any shopping done ahead of time and spent the better part of this weekend at various shopping outlets, including the mall, which was about as you’d expect: fucking madness, with an extra dose frustration entirely centered around the food court. I don’t know why we ate at the food court, I don’t know. It was just that we headed out before having lunch and decided that Charley’s Steaks (which are more like Steak-Umms) was the best we could muster … it was a desperate, foolish move I regret to this moment. It was … it was a wall of people packed with strollers, angry senior citizens and more than a few screaming children who were so sick of being dragged around the mall by their overzealous parents. Certainly I sympathized most with the children, but mostly, I was jealous, because I, too, wanted to burst into tears while being pushed around in a recliner.

But we’re done — except for each other — and that’s what matters most. Adam’s family does all of their annual gift-giving at Thanksgiving, in a secular nod to Hanukkah, which leaves only my family to shop for at the holiday season. And as for each other … is it horribly un-romantic to admit that we haven’t gotten each other gifts for the last three holidays, except for a camera on my birthday five months after the fact? It makes me sad, when I really think about it, because it’s like we stopped trying, but on the other hand, the truth is that we’re horribly, horribly spoiled in that if we want or need something, we simply buy it. Spoiled, spoiled brats, we are. But we’ve promised each other that this year will be different.

And I’m not much of a luxury person, so that’s out: I wouldn’t know what to do with nice jewelry other than lose it, and I have no interest in anything grotesquely out of my price range. I’m not saying this condescendingly, like I am above such things (don’t you want to punch those people? It’s like the non-television watching people who claim to never have heard of Jennifer Aniston, like they NEVER SHOP AT A GROCERY STORE), for I actually find it quite pathetic and lowbrow of me. Mostly, I’d like a couple of gift cards (free shopping!) and some high-endish bath products and candles, which makes me a cheap, cheesy giftee, because I get free high-endish bath products and candles from one of my freelance jobs, so … so it’s really even sadder.

Rapidly shifting gears (what else?) I caught The Lord of the Rings trilogy on television this weekend, and is it super-geeky to admit that they are three of my favorite movies, ever? I mean, I’m not about to show up in costume at a convention or anything, though remind me to tell you of my short stint in high school in the cast of a midnight re-enactment of The Rocky Horror Picture Show(I was … well, I alternated between Columbia and Magenta, if you must know), but every time the elves show up at Helm’s Deep, I cry. And I mean, EVERY TIME, for TNT had it on repeat the last two days, and both times, I made sure to be present when they arrived in their little blue cloaks and I got choked up both damn times.

(I also need to tell you that I am enough of a Tolkien geek, having read the trilogy multiple times, and ah, I took a class on the books, that I knew that this was a departure from the novel and was at first outraged, but later touched.) (HA! As if you needed further proof of my deep-down geekiness after reading about Rocky Horror.)

(Also, I had a huge crush on Richard O’Brien, which is so utterly disgusting to me now, I can’t believe I’m admitting it. Apparently there was a time when I found Riff Raff sexy.)

Anyway! I’m sure there was more I intended to write, though heaven knows what that actually was (I honestly never know, ergo the non-sensical stream-of-consciousness you’re forced to endure), but I need to start at least trying to sleep, because on Sunday nights, I simply can’t. You know Sunday-night syndrome? I’ve got it in spades, and I like my job — I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t. But on Sunday nights, I wake up every hour on the hour, my pajamas drenched in a pool of anxious sweat, so I have to go to bed super-early. And besides, Eowyn is about to beat the pants off of the Nazgul, and it’s my favorite part. (And later? THE EAGLES ARE COMING.)

Happy Monday! I sincerely hope you didn’t spend the night drenched in anxious sweat.

*Rocky! Big, dumb Rocky in the Lab, from the Rocky Horror soundtrack. GEEK.

21 comments December 16th, 2007

Heaven or Las Vegas

I woke myself up snoring last night by way of what I am convinced was the loudest snore on record, if such things could be measured. Of course, I woke up everyone else, too, and when I opened my eyes with horror, wondering what, exactly that goddamn noise was and can’t people keep it DOWN in here? I noticed that there were three sets of eyes staring at me with a general air of pissed-offedness — for the record, the cat was the most peeved.

Snoring is not new, of course, as I have tonsils the size of meatballs, but a chest cold and congestion takes the existing snoring and cranks it up to 11 — Adam has been sleeping with ear plugs for most of the years we’ve been together out of sheer necessity. I’m told I was snoring in infancy, and I’m shamed to admit that it hasn’t let up. It was great fun to hesitantly warn new boyfriends when we would be in the first throes of staying over together.

Anywho, I’ve been wildly distracted lately by the never-ending year-end wrap-ups (Hi hyphens! Nice of you to come!) of people who died in 2007, and for some reason I’m riveted. I mean, I’m not riveted by death, per se, but I can’t get past the fact that I seem to be morbidly obsessed with how they died. I can’t even read the whole tribute to who they were, why they mattered, blah blah blah, without knowing HOW DID THEY DIE FOR GOD’S SAKE, JUST TELL ME. I don’t know why it matters, for certainly it offers no prophylactic benefit for how I live my life, unless of course, they all died from eating too many chocolate chip cookies, in which case please prepare my portion of the multimedia presentation for Boston.com for 2008 at your leisure.

What is this, this weird desire to know this? (Incidentally, this section was edited later to remove suicide references of family members, because though yes, they were illustrative of the issue at hand, they were also … coming across a little nuts and ah, SERIOUSLY, it took a dangerously sad turn, and that’s really not how I was feeling, I was just trying to make a point. Sometimes I can be remarkably eloquent, and sometimes I can just ramble incoherently and sound like some kind of suicide bride).

I wonder why that is. I’m guessing I’m not alone here — although certainly feel free to tell me if this is some sort of deep, dark warning side of a truly tormented soul. Or you know, don’t, because I don’t think I’d believe you. Part of me wonders if it’s the logical side of us that can rationalize the mechanics of it all, the physical whys of how a life just ends, in the absence of emotional understanding. Although that doesn’t really explain my desire to know exactly what “natural causes” means in the case of Lady Bird Johnson. (NATURAL CAUSES? That’s the best you can do? I get that it’s a euphemism for old age, but cancer is, in theory, a natural cause. Sheesh. Some of us want actual information.)

I think that’s plenty of that kind of death talk, not only for today, but maybe ever. Unless sometime next week you want to talk about estate planning, and if that doesn’t really make you stare death in the face in the most practical sense of the concept, I don’t know what does.

So hey! Guess what? It’s Sunny’s birthday, and she turned two today. And I, ah, bought her presents. Yes, yes, I know, I know, I need a baby or something, I KNOW. But she loved them, and she’s now sacked out with her face buried in her brand-new stuffed pheasant that she “killed” all by her little self, and is gleefully stuffed with chewy bones.

*Cocteau Twins.

13 comments December 12th, 2007

Take It Where You Find It

Right now, I am studiously avoiding the cat’s litter box. It’s so bad — oh, it is so, so bad — and yet I can’t bring myself to do it, I simply can’t. And the worse it gets, the really and truly worse it gets, if you know what I’m saying, and I kind of hope you don’t. I keep telling myself day after day that tomorrow will be that day, it will! It will be tomorrow! And then suddenly, today is tomorrow, and tomorrow becomes the new tomorrow, and there is an endless string of tomorrows full of poopy litter boxes that will kill us all, I’m sure of it. So I, uh, sprinkle another dose of Arm & Hammer and run away, because I’m confrontational like that.

I find it interesting, actually, that landlords would rather have cats than dogs, as a general rule, when in my experience, dogs are far more sanitary. Their poop is completely contained to the outdoors, and if trained properly, don’t claw or chew anything and spend most of their time lying about like pickle warts begging for belly rubs. Cats, on the other hand — at least my cat — poop in large quantity at odd intervals (particularly just after you’ve cleaned the litter box) into a receptacle that stays in the house, and oh yes, there is much carpet-clawing going on, and we’ve already replaced several squares as the result of his extreme anger at being locked out of whatever room he wanted to get into.

Note to self: when/if I am a landlord, accept small dogs, no cats. Yes, that’s it. Small dogs, no cats! (The truth is, I don’t think I’ll accept any pets, which makes me a fat hypocrite, I know it does, and the reason I’m considering this is that it is a possibility I may rent my house in the future because Jesus knows, no one is going to buy it. See: last week’s mental breakdown.)

Anyway, there are far more important things to think about, like whether Mucinex does anything at all (Verdict: no). I mean, I was convinced that all of my chest congestion would just go whipping out like a bat out of hell — or, more accurately, like those fat little mucous-men with bowler hats and New York accents. Mysteriously, they would also be carrying suitcases. Except it’s done nothing at all, and I’m back on Robitussin to keep the barking at bay. The word “expectorant” is also a little upsetting, so perhaps it’s best.

I was up all night with a super-attractive post-nasal drip — you know, the kind that gathers in your throat so bad that you must, you SIMPLY MUST, clear your throat right then and there, only to find that it is merely a temporary solution that lasts no more than, say, THIRTY SECONDS before you have to do it again? Everyone loves a throat-clearer, especially at 2:42 a.m.

Also worth noting: I drooled my face off last night, in the precious moments that I actually slept, and my drool turned my taupe pillow case blue. Blue! Am I a medical mystery? Am I somehow tainted with top secret poison-infused drool? Why is the pillowcase blue? This and other mysteries solved tonight in a Robitussin-induced haze.

All this, P.S., and I watched the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy, despite my better judgment, and oh, RIGHT. That’s why I said I was finished and started reading more. OF COURSE. I’m actually interested in how this writer’s strike will affect the shows I watch — if nothing else, I’ve gotten along quite swimmingly without television. Do you know that I never even watched the last three episodes of Heroes, and in fact, deleted them from my TiVo without a second glance? The only shows I miss are Friday Night Lights, Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money. That’s it. The rest of them can go shit in their collective hats of bad writing and painful melodrama.

And finally, I always find it a little funny how things can seem so cruddy and then all of a sudden, they return to normal, or some variation of normal. It’s like we’re all set to some relative standard of balance, like a bobber in a lake. And we just bob, bob, bob our way back to okay no matter what.

Van Morrison

14 comments December 10th, 2007

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

Sometimes all you need to get your shit together is a self-imposed Suck-It-Up Smackdown, and that’s precisely what I delivered myself last week, and I’m feeling much better, thank you. Apparently, I’m still behaving rather curmudgeonly, so I can’t promise that all of my reviews will be glowing, and yes, I still want to punch Ayelet Waldman in the face, but I’m no longer filled with pissy despair, hooray!

(I hate when people get all pissalicious and don’t tell me what’s going on, PS. Hate. It’s just that … some of it is tangentially work-related in that if I talk about it, it will find a way to be work-related, and well, we all know about that. But there will be a day when this will be all non-work-related and then we can have a royal free-for-all.)

Also helpful: chocolate chip cookies, which I made from scratch tonight and consumed in large quantity after I skipped dinner for this express purpose. And they’re delicious, oh so delicious, but when I came home, Adam was horrified that I had to make them from scratch, and didn’t just buy the dough in the tube, because that’s where cookies come from. I had to defend my from-scratch decision, and that seems terribly, terribly wrong on some sort of broad societal level, doesn’t it? And it makes me sad, so very sad for my husband, who thinks cookies come from a tube.

The gods also punished me for smoking by giving me a ripper of a chest cold, and I’m currently breathing oh-so-sexily through my mouth and alternating hacking seal barks with wheezing coughing spells that end … well, the only way to end the gasping is with a giant burp, which is usually executed as loudly as possible and also sounds like I’m about to throw up. This also reminds me: except for these spells, I never burp. Ever, unless I cough myself to it. I can’t make myself burp, I don’t know how to relieve chest pressure by burping and I’ve certainly never experienced the pleasure of releasing the alphabet through my vocal chords. It’s absolutely possible that I’m making up for it on the other end, but … is it only me?

Odd, non-gaseous segue!

Occasionally I’ll find myself going through phases where I fantasize about living in another era (see: strange desire to be Donna Reed in crinoline, gleefully vacuuming my life away), because in the glow of history, don’t some things seem so simple? I mean while yes, it would suck because I like my career — or at least I appreciate the flexibility to have one — there’s got to be a certain amount of stress lifted when the option no longer exists. I know, I know, it wasn’t like that, I’m just saying I harbor the fantasy, and there are moments when it strangely comforts me. I mean I don’t want that, I’m just saying … oh forget it, you know what I’m saying.

And then there are moments that I am just so happy, so very happy, that I live in an era where it’s more likely than not that if I were dumped in a makeshift crematorium in H. H. Holmes basement, someone might look for me, oh my God. This is the longest way ever of saying that The Devil in the White City is so good! So good! And scary and amazing and creepy! So creepy! But worth picking up, and way worthing sifting through the first 100 pages or so, which is actually how long it took me to get way into it.

The rest of our weekend involved Superbad, which was … well, it wasn’t as super-awesome as I was expecting, but in fairness, I was comparing it to Knocked Up and there was no way it could win out over that, there just wasn’t. Oh, and we bought light fixtures and a Dyson Root, and are you riveted now, or what?

(The Dyson Root rocks, but six minutes of battery life? Seriously?)

*Rufus Wainwright. And I’ve used it before, I think …

19 comments December 9th, 2007

Trouble in the Message Centre

Please ignore me, just please … ignore me. I’m scary, and I’m taking it out on all kinds of creatures! A Fine Frenzy! Zadie Smith! Ayelet Waldman! Is no one safe from my wrath? Apparently not, and vitriol is mine to own this week, and I’m not sure I realized it until this afternoon, when I smoked five cigarettes in quick succession and still clamored for more (I quit three years ago), and ranted for a full fifteen minutes about the quality or lack thereof of my turkey sandwich and I meant it.

(Also, hey, did anyone catch A Fine Frenzy’s “Hope for the Hopeless” on House tonight? Hi, I can’t pick music for shit, nice to meet you!)

I apologize, really, it’s just … it’s been a bit of a bad week (all this before hump day!), and I’m not even ready to talk about it like a rational person, but, lest anyone get sucked into Needless Internet Drama, rest assured that it is spectacularly boring if you’re anyone but me, and it’s not even a little dramatic or exciting. In terms of Big Things in Life, I’m fine, just in a bit of a perfect storm of pissy due to a convergence of irritating things, some big, some small, and I’m sure you’ve all been there. Shit happens, but that doesn’t mean it’s fair to unload all over the place and take it out on strange people, I’m sorry! I’m sorry!

(I’m not that sorry, Ayelet.)

And though it’s not like I owe anyone an explanation, because really, who is waiting with bated breath? How presumptuous can I be? Except I’m saying it anyway: I’m going to take the rest of the week away from here to figure some stuff out, get some sleep, read my fabulous book (thank you!) and get over myself and stop acting like such a hoity asshole.

But not before I leave you with the image of my neighbors’ giant light-up Christmas trees in their front yard with GIANT GLEAMING COLORED BULBS, which is hilarious enough (I totally admire their spirit, really I do, because it’s so in your face! And Christmasy! Elf Adam would absolutely approve), it’s just that … it plays Christmas carols in faux-classical style and the lights blink in unison! And the trees sway! And you can hear it three blocks away!

So I’ll see you Monday! Have a great week!

*Blur

22 comments December 4th, 2007

Come on, Come Out

For once, I put my money where my mouth is unlike past recommendation-request posts (see: vacuums, as I haven’t upgraded yet, and just used my ancient Eureka for the frillionth time), and went to Barnes & Noble and picked up a few books — “The Devil in the White City” the first in the pile, because there were five of you – FIVE! – who enthusiastically recommended it, even those who generally read fiction, like me. I’m cracking it open this evening, and I’m rather excited about it, so thank you!

In the “Oh, the irony — it BURNS LIKE THE HOT SUN!” category, I also picked up Michael Chabon’s “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” which is something I’ve been meaning to read since it came out a few years ago. This, of course, means that I am gleefully lining the pockets of the Chabon-Waldman family, and in some strange way, am contributing to Ayelet Waldman’s uncanny ability to be as condescending as humanly possible. (For a nice, succinct reason as to why I’ve always been … lukewarm at best, on Ms. Waldman, read here. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg.) (Thanks, Lawyerish!)

And yet! I loved Chabon’s “Mysteries of Pittsburgh” and “Wonder Boys” remains one of my favorite books AND movies (though Chabon didn’t write the screenplay to the latter, both are equally good), and one of my neighbors is wonderful and funny and kind and his wife … well, his wife isn’t, to put it nicely, and I hate punishing him because he married a bit of a douche, and I suppose the same theory applies. I’ll just try not to think of the satin sheets I helped the Chaldmans procure with my purchase, and I will try extra-hard not to envision what they do between those sheets, despite Waldman’s relentless reminders.

(For the record, it’s never been the meat of her mothering essay that bothered me, it’s the … well, it’s the condescension with which she presents her ideas. Like those who harbor views different from hers are merely poor, unenlightened sacks worthy of pity.)

Anyway! Anyone who’s sold a house well, ever, can appreciate the misery that is living while it’s on the market. A knife in the sink is not just a knife in the sink, it is a knife in the heart of the prospective buyer who does not want to know that you eat peanut butter. He doesn’t want to know that you use cocoa butter on your legs and he definitely doesn’t want to know that you wear underwear, so for the love of God, put the laundry away! PUT THE LAUNDRY AWAY BECAUSE THE BUYER MIGHT BE AT YOUR HOUSE IN A MINUTE OMG.

Don’t get me wrong — I like a clean house, really I do, but it’s reached the point where I’m afraid to eat, lest a rogue crumb escape my lips and breed and multiply and ruin my chances of moving out of this house as long as I live, forever and ever, amen. All because of a blueberry muffin.

This also means we won’t be decorating for Christmas, which breaks my heart a little, but there it is. It’s particularly sad because we lived in apartments and tiny condos for so long that we were never able to decorate — one of the things we were so excited about moving into our own! house! was that we could finally hang lights like normal people and OH HANG LIGHTS WE DID. Most years, you could see our house from space, and Adam started clamoring for decorations the day after Thanksgiving.

The grand irony in all of this is that Adam was raised Jewish, and yet … he’s the most enthusiastic Christmas decorator you’ve ever met, in large part because he can finally participate, I guess. I don’t know. At any rate, if it were solely up to him, our house would look as though a thousand tiny elves threw up all over the place.

But this year, we’re too terrified of offending anyone to hang anything that smacks of the slightest whiff of religion, because with our luck, we’ll find the one non-Christian couple within a 500-mile radius and they will be offended by our (entirely secular) lights. This would be an astonishing stroke of poor luck , as we live in a part of the country where the Pledge of Allegiance AND at least three prayers are said before any business meeting, but I’m not putting it past our craptastic luck.

And with that, I’m off to fold the 8,897 load of laundry today. I hope you had a great weekend! Happy Monday!

*As in, come on, come out and for the love of God, does anyone want to buy my house? Pretty please? But it’s by A Fine Frenzy, if that’s what you meant. I mean, she’s fine and all — I actually really like her voice — but she’s extremely overrated. The review on iTunes is spot-on. The only reason I can conjure for the ridiculous excitement and … frenzy … around her is that she attracts the teen set after appearing in One Tree Hill. I mean, reading some of the reviews online, I was expecting JESUS HIMSELF to be singing to me, and perhaps I was set up for disappointment from the get-go. Maybe that’s it. Although she is an improvement over Ashlee Simpson, as one iTunes reviewer noted.

19 comments December 2nd, 2007


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